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Penny Dreadful is the highly anticipated new and exclusive series to US television network Showtime (Dexter, Homeland). The show explores the most famous gothic literatures ever written, from Frankenstein and Dracula to Dorian Gray and the not so fictitious Jack the Ripper. Penny Dreadful merges them all into one gruesome story arc set in Victorian London and it looks deliciously horrifying.

The show’s creator John Logan, who has previously indulged in gothic fiction with his script for Tim Burton’s 2007 musical Sweeney Todd, conjures this world set in 1800’s London, in which the switch between science and superstition is just as mythical as the nightmarish monsters we come to face.

Josh Hartnett stars as an American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, a disbelieving character with whom we most empathise as he too is plunged into this world of dark, twisted tales. Fans of the horror genre will most likely recognise Hartnett from his role as the main character in the gory vampire film 30 Days of Night.

Starring alongside Hartnett are Timothy Dalton and Eva Green, two actors from the Bond franchise, and Billie Piper – who will appear later in the series.

John Logan’s reason for creating the show is hinted in the title itself. Penny Dreadfuls were fictional publications written in the 1800’s and were the first horror stories the mass media was able to bring into people’s living rooms, and it’s this that Logan wanted to recreate for television audiences.

The premiere is already available to watch in the US on the show’s YouTube channel but for those who live outside the States, I’m afraid you will have to wait until May 20th! However, the Penny Dreadful YouTube channel is full of other cool content from character profiles to vlogs taken by the cast and crew on set, all to whet your appetite for this tasty new show that starts in only 12 days.

Penny Dreadful will premiere on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday May 20th at 9pm. 

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