Удивительный мир Penny Dreadful, теперь и на DVD!
Do you dare step into the wonderful world of Penny Dreadful?
THE ghoulish yet poetic Penny Dreadful should be, well... dreadful.
This bizarre, lavish series blends spiritualism with Egyptian mythology, Bram Stoker's Dracula with Dr Frankenstein, werewolves and Oscar Wilde's Dorian Grey - and gets away with it.
It stylishly reinvents the stories and characters, then dishes us up an unashamedly sensual, elegantly shot, textured, feast of gore and drama driven by characters with secrets.
Penny Dreadful is a strange but wondrous hybrid, gothic beast. And a beast it is, an R-rated gory journey into Victorian England with all manner of monsters, blood and cadavers, beetles crawling around skulls and fictional characters brought to life on foggy streets where people wonder if "Jack is back".
Created by Skyfall writer John Logan, the name Penny Dreadful was the term for cheap, trashy little books containing lurid stories. This series lives up to the lurid bit. However it's also bold and compelling and very macabre. One not only for horror fans but for those who like edgy, dangerous TV. For Penny Dreadful is as haunting and enigmatic as much as it is at times brutal.
The language is beautifully poetic, the characters multi-layered and intriguing and their words so reflective you feel as though you're unravelling the meaning of life in every episode.
We meet famous explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and the woman who's become like a daughter to him, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green). She is pursued by Satan, forever resisting the darkness that assaults her. In season one they recruit Wild West show sharp shooter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), a man Vanessa sums up as "much more complicated than he likes to appear".
More complicated is an understatement - he has a dangerous secret that is revealed to some as he is drawn into the battle to save Vanessa. In season two, now showing on Foxtel, she most certainly needs saving. For she is pursued by a Satanic witch Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory), a villain who is absolutely evil and riles you to anger with every foul manipulation.
Poole and her vicious daughters want to make a gift of Vanessa to Satan in return for power. They torment her horribly and Poole even seduces Sir Malcolm to get closer to the household.
Other stories unfold in season one from their beginnings in season one.
In his gloomy lab, the young, intense doctor Victor Frankenstein has brought a young prostitute (Billie Piper) back to life to appease his original creation, Caliban (Rory Kinnear).
Caliban has a monster's face but delights in poetry and beauty. He hates Victor for abandoning him, threatening to kill everyone his "father" loves unless the doctor makes him a bride.
Victor calls his new creation Lily. He begins to teach her how to behave and very soon it's clear our young doctor is in love.
Then there's Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), a wealthy and beautiful young man who Vanessa is captivated with in season one. Dorian even manages to seduce the heterosexual Ethan with art, wine and classical music.
Dorian is melancholy and sweet, forever searching for pleasure. We watch him languishing on a couch, surrounded by half-naked men and women, somehow apart from it all, his eyes drawn to the portraits adoring his walls. When he selects Wagner to play for Ethan he says he's heard all the great classical music so many times he longs for something new.
But the standout in Penny Dreadful is Eva Green. She is compelling and mesmerising as Vanessa, delivering a performance that sends shivers down your spine.
One minute she demands Ethan draw a tarot card, smiling secretly when he selects the lovers, the next she is possessed by Sir Malcolm's dead son who holds his father responsible for his death.
Harry Treadaway as Dr Frankenstein, deliciously repulsive in season one, becomes sympathetic and vulnerable in season two. He is animated as he talks of the thin line between life and death, his passion, but otherwise he seems a cold intellectual, the epitome of creepy researcher experimenting in his den.
Yet he then surprises us with flashes of empathy. He is confused himself when he falls for Lily, never suspecting that he was capable of what others were.
Penny Dreadful is stuffed with all manner of horrors. It's not for the squeamish with definite "look away" moments. Some visual images are disgusting, making this monster fest a classy but gory journey.
What engages is its language, moments of peculiar beauty or tenderness - for example when Caliban and Vanessa share their love of poetry and she tells this man who looks like a monster he has beautiful eyes.
This is a strange journey into the supernatural if you dare to take it.
It's a slow burning pleasure, a bit like devouring chocolate when you shouldn't.
When each season too quickly finishes you feel lost. What to watch now? Nothing will be quite like it.
Penny Dreadful season two is showing on Showcase, Foxtel. Season one is available on DVD.