By Ben Travers
The cast and creator of “Penny Dreadful” sat down for a 30-minute panel discussion at their Winter TCA presentation in January. The group included John Logan, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Helen McCrory and Harry Treadaway. After showcasing a new trailer to kick things off (see below), the group of five did their best to tease Season 2 without spoiling. We shall try to do the same.
SPOILERS ahead for the first season of “Penny Dreadful.”
1) “This season we embrace witchcraft.”
So said series creator John Logan when discussing what’s to come in the second season of “Penny Dreadful,” Showtime’s hit horror series from the Oscar-winning screenwriter. Though he didn’t give away too much new information — a wise move for a series with some enticing twists — he did expound upon the new villain of the series, new characters, and what the rest of the main characters would be going through. “Last year we set the characters on the board, and this year we get to play with them,” Logan said. The game itself? Witchcraft, which Logan said will be a major part of the new season.
2) “Penny Dreadful’s” new villain is uniquely human.
One big reason to “embrace witchcraft” in Season 2 is the new antagonist, Madam Kali (aka Evelyn Poole). Played by Helen McCrory, Kali appeared in a few episodes last year, perhaps most notably as the “impersonator” who set things off for Vanessa during the show-stopping seance scene. Now, she’s the big baddie, and one wielding considerable power. Logan talked about how vampires were the main adversary last year, but that he wanted a human villain in Season 2. He’d had this planned out for a while, too, cutting a scene with McCrory from the first season that better illustrated her upcoming value (but didn’t fit in the edit in the end). You can see some of what’s in store on her end in the trailer below, summed up in one quote: “When Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone.”
3) Josh Hartnett’s Ethan will be hunted as much as he hunts.
One of the biggest reveals in last year’s season finale was Ethan Chandler’s secret identity, so to speak. Ethan is a werewolf — or so we thought. “He’s a wolf man,” Hartnett casually corrected. “That’s what John likes to call him.” More importantly, Logan said Ethan will be hunted more than he hunts in Season 2. A Scotland Yard inspector, a new character played by Doug Hodge, will be hot on Ethan’s metaphorical and literal tail. All the while, Ethan will be discovering who he is — Logan was adamant in pointing out Ethan doesn’t yet know he’s a werewolf, and discovering as much will be an emotional journey unto its own for the already conflicted American gunslinger.
4) “There’s a major dancing component to this season.”
Logan gave out plenty of juicy details, many of which fit the grisly tone of the new trailer, but he was also asked to explain one of the trailer’s only moments of bliss. There’s a scene where Vanessa (Eva Green) dances with the Creature (Rory Kinnear) in what in passing seems like a lovely, touching moment. Turns out there’s much more like it to come.
“There’s a major dancing component to this season,” Logan said. “He’s composed three waltzes for us. They’re all unique to the characters. There’s a Vanessa and Ethan waltz — which is a larger waltz than with the other characters — there’s a Creature waltz. Seeing what we can do with these characters is very exciting.”
5) If you thought Season 1 was light on gore, get ready for a bloody Season 2.
No one said anything about amping up the classic horror aspects — gore, blood, violence — but the climactic moment of the trailer certainly indicates an emphasis on blood, one way or another. Logan also noted how the directors he worked with this season added their own style to the episodes, especially since the pilot’s director (and tone-setter for the series) J.A. Bayona did not return for Season 2. Change is coming, even if Logan argues “it’s still ‘Penny Dreadful.'”
6) This is the “make or break” season for “Penny Dreadful.”
Logan talked about how difficult it was for him to find the right tone for his show in the first season. “I was immensely proud of the first season,” Logan said. “It was a very, very challenging target to hit, which is a horror show that will break your heart. I believe that’s what we accomplished. I think there’s more pressure, more tension this season. Last year, our heroes were hunters, and this season they are the prey.”
Logan went on to mention the characters are brought closer together in Season 2 thanks to higher stakes. “We sort of unleashed hell this season, so it is our make-or-break season, and we’re going for it.”
7) “Penny Dreadful” premieres May 3 at 10pm.
Set your DVRs accordingly!
By Elizabeth Wagmeister
“Penny Dreadful’s” second season has been pushed back one week. The 10-episode season two will now premiere on Sunday, May 3.
Showtime’s thriller was originally set to bow on April 26, previously announced at the Television Critics Assn. press tour.
The new episodes welcome back Helen McCrory, who is back as Evelyn Poole (aka Madame Kali), and Simon Russell Beale, who returns as Ferdinand Lyle. Guest stars include Patti LuPone, Douglas Hodge, Sarah Greene and Jonny Beauchamp.
Series creator John Logan said of the new season: “Last season, our heroes were hunters. This season, they’re hunted.”
Thanks to our good friend Luciana for the HQs.
By David Crow
A familiar door been reopened. Indeed, if you listen closely, already can be heard the cries of restless spirits (or at least Showtime fans) yearning to embrace the other side of the Deminonde once more; Showtime’s Penny Dreadful is returning for season two. And that first sensation is already apparent in the new trailer for the second year.
As one of the best shows on television, and definitely one of the most underrated, Penny Dreadful had initially introduced itself as a Victorian curiosity from creator and executive producer John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall); a decadently dressed pastiche of many of the 19th century’s best British horror novels, including the works of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Oscar Wilde, quickened back to life as a monster mash for the premium cable generation.
But with its startling fidelity to the works of the aforementioned authors—such as the most faithful rendering of the Frankenstein monster to date—as well as its belabored intensity for capturing the gilded hypocrisy of an age, Penny Dreadful rapidly matured into something more than worth your time: it became a layered drama about repression of one’s true self. You may have predicted that season one would reveal Josh Hartnett’s Ethan Chandler had a wolfish secret, or that the bedeviled Vanessa Ives would find Yuletide love from Sir Malcolm Murray, but the execution was seductively ingratiating.
Now Showtime is gearing up the hype for Penny Dreadful season two. Last month, we received our first real trailer for the upcoming second season, and just last week Showtime rolled out its New Year’s Day celebrations by airing all eight hours of the first season back-to-back. With anticipation growing, there is hardly a better time to organize all in one place everything that you need to know and expect from the second season of Penny Dreadful.
WINNER: BEST ACTRESS
Eva Green (Penny Dreadful)
One of the most fearless and raw tv performances in years was gifted to us by Eva Green, who played a Victorian Era woman having to battle very real inner demons. Never afraid to give her all – sometimes going to such extreme places that you almost felt empathetic exhaustion watching her – Green was absolutely riveting throughout Penny Dreadful’s first season.
Rest of the category and other nominees and winners HERE.
By Trace Thurman
Penny Dreadful – The Séance
Talk about a slow burn. Penny Dreadful has one of the most interesting narratives of any TV show I’ve ever seen. Based on the pilot alone, it is clear that the destination is not what’s important with this show, but rather the journey instead. Penny Dreadful takes its sweet time getting to the point, and at first I was a little bored but after a while I became mesmerized by how beautiful it was. That pretty much changed after the second episode, appropriately titled Séance. If Eva Green doesn’t get an Emmy nomination next year (and let’s face it, she probably won’t) it will be a sad day for TV indeed. All of the performances are top notch, but Green nearly steals every scene she is in. Her tour de force performance in the second episode involves her character becoming possessed at the titular event and it’s phenomenal.
Rest of the list HERE.
Source: Bloody Disgusting
Penny Dreadful is ramping up the horror in Season 2.
Showtime’s gothic drama returns on Sunday, April 26 at 10/9c with more monsters and even creepier imagery than before, like this blood bath that new villain Evelyn Poole (Helen McCror) is soaking in.
And although Vanessa (Eva Green) and Ethan (Josh Hartnett) have fought off a number of creatures both alive and undead on Penny Dreadful, can they survive a car accident? Well, make that a carriage accident, since this is Victorian times after all. Want to know more of what’s coming in Season 2? Check out the exclusive sneak peek for a behind-the-scenes production blog detailing new sets, stunts, storyboards and more.
Penny Dreadful returns on Sunday, April 26 at 10/9c on Showtime.
By Willa Paskin
Mo, you have already chimed in for Penny Dreadful, but I want to chime in particularly for Eva Green. She plays Vanessa Ives, a woman with a traumatic past and a penchant for communing with spirits. Late in the season she became possessed, and not by some semi-friendly neighborhood spirit. Ives’ possession looked painful, brutal, and physically taxing. Green threw her body around with convincing abandon and was even scarier when she opened her mouth. (I will say, Mo, that I found Reeve Carney as Dorian Grey, his kissing abilities aside, to be a total bore—a handsome dull patch.) Prior to Penny Dreadful, I always thought of Green as the best-ever Bond girl. That may be a debate for another club, but it speaks to the regularity with which Green toggles between small and silver screens.
Rest of the list HERE.
By Collider Staff
Penny Dreadful – “Closer Than Sisters”
Eva Green should be getting some awards recognition for her work on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. Want to see why? All you have to do is watch episode 5, “Closer Than Sisters.” It was pretty clear that she was going to own the show after the seance scene in episode 2, but “Closer Than Sisters” isn’t just a standout installment because of one mind-blowing moment. Green nails a drastic single-episode arc that takes Vanessa from a bright, kind young woman to one plagued by demons and darkness. “Closer Than Sisters” functions as a brilliant character piece and standalone episode, but it was also a major game changer for the rest of the show. Whether you’re watching a scene between Vanessa and Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) or one during which she’s exploring her budding romance with Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney), it all comes back to what she experienced in this episode. – Perri Nemiroff
Rest of list HERE.
By Araceli Roach
Penny Dreadful returns to Showtime in just a few months. The Gothic horror series – which boasted an all-star cast, including Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Timothy Dalton – captured its audience by combining the right amount of sex, violence and sensational tales to keep viewers enthralled until the very end, and now it hopes to raise the stakes in season 2.
Season 1 of the new series saw numerous characters discover and accept their dreadful fates. By season’s end, Ethan (Hartnett) had transformed into a werewolf to avoid returning to America, while Vanessa (Green) questioned whether she truly wanted to be normal, even after Malcolm (Dalton) sacrificed his own daughter to save her.
Yet perhaps the most tragic moment of all came when an already deathly-ill Brona (Billie Piper) died at the hands of Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) so that his creation Caliban (Rory Kinnear) could have a mate.
And things are only going to get worse this year for everyone. Whereas last season Vanessa and the rest of the key players did as they pleased, season 2 will find them on the run. According to Executive Producer John Logan at this week’s TCA Press Tour, “Last season, our heroes were hunters. This season, they’re hunted.” And if you watched the new trailer above, you’ll understand why.
Merely a recurring character in season 1, Helen McCrory’s dark witch Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), who seems to enjoy bathing in a tub of blood, will become the main antagonist this season. Like many other villains before her, Poole of course believes she’s doing the right thing.
“She has a noble calling even though it runs counter to Sir Malcolm’s,” says Logan. “She might think she’s on the side of the angels, even though she’s on the side of the devils.”
And joining her this season will be Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate. Together the two characters will bring a proper human villain to Penny Dreadful after the vampires of season 1. They’ll not only become major antagonists for Vanessa but for all the characters.
Logan also said to critics, “We sort of unleash hell in this season. It’s our make or break season.” Let’s hope it’s a good one.
Season 2 of Penny Dreadful premieres April 26th @10pm on Showtime.
By Kara Howland
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
I love genre shows, so when I heard Showtime’s Penny Dreadful would include mashup of some of the best known horror villains there are — Frankenstein’s monster, vampires, a wolf man — I knew we were in for a treat. That combined with the strange and tormented lives of all the main characters makes for an interesting and intriguing show. Now that I’ve been introduced to these characters and come to know them a bit better, I can’t wait to see how their relationships change and mature as they fight a new villain.
Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway, Helen McCrory and EP John Logan participated in a panel at the Winter 2015 TCAs for Showtime. They discussed their characters, what we can look forward to in season 2 and more.
“I don’t really think so, did we? It was clear in the writing. You take the writing. The blueprint is there. The essence is there. Eva and I and John, we just make it work.” – Timothy Dalton
“Tim’s a great example of how, for me, the second season is different from the first, because when I wrote these characters, they didn’t exist. The actors didn’t exist, other than Eva Green being in my head, I had no idea who these actors were going to be. Now I’ve spent a year with them. I’ve worked with them on set. I’ve seen their performances and their voices have gotten into my head.” – John Logan
I don’t remember the last time I saw an actress give a performance that was as committed as what Eva did in the first season of that show, aggressively committed. Can you talk a little bit about working with her when she was in those fugue states, as it were.
Timothy: “Well, I did a lot of work with her last year. Most of my work was with her. I will tell you simply, there were occasions when I was really proud, as a man and as an actor, to be on that set with her. I could have cheated.”
Harry Treadaway: “I felt sorry for her at times. She was cowering in the corner and possessed and dankering and scabs all over her and paper fiddling with her.”
Timothy: “And she had to get up at 4:00 in the morning.”
Harry: “‘Are you all right?’ ‘Let’s just do the scene.’ But she was brilliant. She was brilliant.”
Season 2 synopsis, from Showtime:
Season 2 finds Vanessa and Ethan forming a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm, Dr. Frankenstein and Sembene, unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray, the Creature and Brona are all waging battles of their own. Patti LuPone will guest star as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our protagonists this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate; and Jonny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.
Season 2 of Penny Dreadful premieres Sunday, April 26th at 10/9c on Showtime.
By Jeff York
Premium cable’s new horror series “Penny Dreadful” was good in its debut season, with the potential to be truly great in its sophomore effort. Star Eva Green however, was never anything less than extraordinary throughout. Whether channeling demons in a séance or archly flirting with costar Josh Hartnett, you couldn’t take your eyes off of her saucy and sinful Vanessa Ives character.
And about halfway through the eight-episode run, show creator John Logan pushed some of the lesser narrative threads to the back in favor of letting the Vanessa character take over. Smart move as Green is one of the best actresses working today and she makes each minute she’s in “Penny Dreadful” into something sublime.
Read the rest of the article HERE.