Creator John Logan set his Showtime original series Penny Dreadful in Victorian England and took inspiration from classic novels like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to tell his story. Now, years after the original series came to an end after a three season run, Logan is back with a spin-off that seems more indebted to film noir than Gothic fiction.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels shifts the setting to Los Angeles and trades Eva Green (Casino Royale) for Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), who’s vamping her way through the city and leaving all kinds of trouble in her path. Check out the newest trailer below, as well as a clip from the show and a video showcasing Dormer’s transformations into multiple characters throughout the series.
This trailer recycles a lot of the same footage it has used in other marketing materials, but there’s probably just enough new stuff here to tide fans over until the series premieres later this week. It certainly looks like Logan is taking a big swing here, and he’s doing it in classic John Carpenter style: tackling huge ideas of his day (in this case, Nazis, racism, demagogues, and policing) and wrapping them up in a genre story as a way to comment on those topics without feeling didactic.
Behind the Scenes Video
Portraying multiple characters in the same series may be the most challenging work Dormer has done so far as a performer, and I look forward to seeing how she rises to the occasion.
Clip: “A Great Battle”
And finally, here’s a quick teaser from earlier this month that focuses on the L.A.P.D. detective played by Daniel Zovatto, the connection he has to his family and community, and how all of that might get tangled up in the explosive chaos to come in the show.
Here’s the show’s official synopsis:
A spiritual descendant of the original Penny Dreadful, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels opens in 1938 Los Angeles, a time and place deeply infused with social and political tension. When a grisly murder shocks the city, Detective Tiago Vega (Daniel Zovatto) and his partner Lewis Michener (Nathan Lane) become embroiled in an epic story that reflects the rich history of Los Angeles: from the building of the city’s first freeways and its deep traditions of Mexican-American folklore, to the dangerous espionage actions of the Third Reich and the rise of radio evangelism. Before long, Tiago and his family are grappling with powerful forces that threaten to tear them apart. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels explores an exciting mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of the period.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premieres on Showtime on April 26, 2020.