Chris King on the success of Penny Dreadful
GOTHIC horror TV drama Penny Dreadful has swept awards aplenty, for being the most exciting TV series to shining in the makeup and hair department. Set in 19th century Britain, it tells the story of Vanessa Ives, and her association with literature’s iconic characters, explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American sharp-shooter Ethan Chandler and Dr Victor Frankenstein. Together they are trying to crack a murder mystery. Its executive and supervising producer, Chris King, based in LA, lets us in on the experience of creating this creepfest, and soon-to-be-aired Season 3.
Is it hard to maintain the balance between telling your own story, and of these iconic literary characters?
Yes, absolutely. We’ve always wanted to stay as true to these characters, but it’s also nice to create new versions of them. For example, for season 3, we introduce Dr Jekyll (from the novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). He is of mixed race; he is half-Indian and half-British.
The most challenging episode .
We shot an episode halfway through season 3, inside a padded cell. We tried creating the drama and scope of the ‘big’ Penny Dreadful show in a 10X12 room, with a smaller crew, and just three characters. That was the only episode that we shot in continuity, in a story order, because it builds to such an emotional climax for Ives.
What makes the show so successful?
We always treated this as a drama first before looking at it as a typical horror genre series. Then there’s John Logan’s incredible use of language (from Victorian era). The production design, the costumes, the hair — everything about the show is of the highest caliber and it shows.
Tune in Monday-Friday, 11 pm on AXN
— Team Indulge