Sam Mendes and John Logan are set to make Gothic television history with a new Penny Dreadful series for America’s Showtime. A ‘psychosexual’ drama set in Victorian London promises to bring us the Gothic greats, online Frankenstein, Dracula and Dorian Gray among others. I can already hear the groan of some Gothic scholars at this highly predictable choice of characters for the series but with their popularity of over 100 years who are we to argue with that?
The series, still in the early stages of creation, promises ‘visual spectacle’, ‘psychological insight’ and mesmerising television that will be ‘totally original’. Sounds promising certainly and there have been some good Gothic updates in recent years. And of course the American network have already announced that they think it will be extremely erotic. We would expect nothing less.
The Gothic is open to new interpretation, that is part of its charm. Hopefully Logan and Mendes will be able to do these old classics justice.
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