Ever since Eva Green launched into America’s popular culture consciousness as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, she has had a certain appeal.
Now Eva Green plays Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful on Showtime. Similar to her Bond character, Green plays Ives as a feminine force to be reckoned with, a woman who holds her own in 19th-century London’s man’s world.
After a first season on Showtime, Penny Dreadful is set for a second season. The show gets its name from a British colloquialism that is roughly the equivalent of the American term “pulp fiction.” A “penny dreadful” was a horror story printed on cheap pulp paper and available to buy for just a penny.
The late 19th century saw an explosion of horror-type stories, including The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, Frankenstein, and many others. The Showtimes series has its roots in these kinds of stories, blending together characters from these and other stories from the horror genre.
Show creators have spoken about the explosion of these kinds of tales in the late 19th century, pointing out that England was on the cusp of the industrial revolution. The possibility of harnessing lightning (electricity), conquering the skies (flight), and covering great distances in short time (motorized travel) were in the not-distant future. Writers of that period imagined these worlds and wrote about them, much the same way that writers in our own time might conjure up visions of high-tech police work (Minority Report), science bringing dinosaurs back to life (Jurassic Park), or alien encounters (pick a movie). We see these things as more possible than ever, knowing what we do about our own current abilities and technology.
#PennyDreadful Good Lord that girl can act…
— They call me Jinglz (@Ima_TV_Junkie) December 28, 2014
Eva Green is prominently featured in the teaser trailer for the upcoming Penny Dreadful season. Her character speaks of a “curse” that she carries, but that she also has learned that the same curse is in some way a blessing.
— James Hawes (@JamesEHawes) December 19, 2014
Josh Hartnett is Ethan Chandler and Timothy Dalton is Sir Malcolm Murray in the series. They are also seen in the teaser trailer.
The upcoming second season of Penny Dreadful in 2015 has ten episodes. If you did not catch the first season, you can see a marathon of the episodes on New Year’s Eve on Showtime, starting at 8:00 p.m. EST.