How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There?

How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There?

Monday, December 23, 2019
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How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There?

How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful'

Penny Dreadful is a British-American horror drama television series created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, who also acts as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes.

The series premiered on Showtime in the United States on May 11, 2014, and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2014. A spin-off series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, is set to start production in 2019.

The series stars Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray, Timothy Dalton as Malcolm Murray, Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, Rory Kinnear as the Creature, and Billie Piper as Brona Croft.

How Many Episodes & Seasons In Penny Dreadful? There are 27 episodes in Penny Dreadful series, over three seasons.

Plot Summary

Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Production Details

How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There
Penny Dreadful Poster -

• Drama
• Fantasy
• Horror
• Thriller
Country of origin
• United States
• United Kingdom
Original language
• English
Running time
• 47–60 minutes
Original network
• Showtime (United States)
• Sky Atlantic (United Kingdom)
Original release
• May 11, 2014 – June 19, 2016

Cast and Characters

  • Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray
  • Timothy Dalton as Malcolm Murray
  • Eva Green as Vanessa Ives
  • Wes Studi as Kaetenay
  • Rory Kinnear as the Creature
  • Danny Sapani as Sembene
  • Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler 
  • Helen McCrory as Evelyn Poole
  • Simon Russell Beale as Ferdinand Lyle
  • Patti LuPone as Florence Seward
  • Harry Treadaway as Victor Frankenstein
  • Billie Piper as Brona Croft / Lily Frankenstein

Production and Development

In January 2013, it was announced that Showtime had made a series commitment for the project. Logan and Mendes previously wrote and directed Skyfall, respectively.

Production began in London in the second half of 2013. Showtime president David Nevins stated that the tone of the ensemble series will be "very realistic and very grounded, not Bela Lugosi. All exist in human form in turn-of-century London."

This was also reflected during production of the sound for the show, where Logan often pulled things back towards more realism.

Logan, a lifelong fan of literary monsters, wrote the project on spec and scripts the majority of episodes of the series. It was intended that Mendes would direct episodes, but scheduling prevented this.

Juan Antonio Bayona was announced as director for the first two episodes. The remaining episodes of the first season were directed by Dearbhla Walsh, Coky Giedroyc, and James Hawes.

In March 2013, it was announced that the series would be filmed in the United Kingdom; eyeing the new UK tax credit for high-end TV productions that offers a 25% rebate.

However, it was reported in August that production would instead take place in Bray's Ardmore Studios and other locations around Dublin, Ireland, because of the country's section 481 tax incentives. Filming began on October 7 and lasted 5 months.

Reports indicate that the change was made as no stage space of a sufficient caliber was available due to the filming of major motion pictures in London.

In December 2013, Showtime announced its first production blog for a series with the launch of The Penny Dreadful Production Blog.

The venue gives viewers an online, behind-the-scenes look at the series' production from its early stages of filming in Ireland through the end of the first season, featuring interviews with cast and crew In February 2014, Showtime released a full-length trailer for the series.

Logan revealed at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International panel that one of the texts he thought about while planning the series that he would like to use in a future season is The Island of Doctor Moreau.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly prior to the premiere of the third season, Logan stated that the addition of Dr. Henry Jekyll was implemented because the rights to Doctor Moreau were not available.

Showtime announced shortly before the end of the first and second seasons that another season (of 10 and 9 episodes, respectively) would debut the following May.

However, Logan had decided during the middle of the second season that the third season should be the last, and he pitched the third season to Showtime president David Nevins accordingly.

They did not release this information until after the final season had completed, as Nevins stated, "given what I knew the ending of Penny Dreadful was going to be felt like a massive spoiler and it felt disrespectful to the experience that people were having with the show."

Logan said regarding not releasing the information: "That's what the ending of this series is, it is meant to be a strong, bold, theatrical ending because I think that's what our fans like and to water that down with an announcement or having them know I think would be an act of bad faith."

Season 1 Episode Guide

How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There

Season 1 Guide for Penny Dreadful TV series - see the episodes list with release date and episode summary.

How many episodes are there in Penny Dreadful Season 1? There are 8 episodes in Penny Dreadful season one. The series aired on May 11, 2014 to June 29, 2014.

  • Cast Of Penny Dreadful - Season 1

Episode 1 - Night Work

London 1891. Renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and the strangely beautiful Vanessa Ives recruit American sharp-shooter Ethan Chandler and Dr. Victor Frankenstein to help them search for someone who has been lost.

Episode 2 - Séance

Vanessa and Sir Malcolm encounter the mysteriously beautiful Dorian Gray at a party. Things take a turn, however, when renowned medium Madame Kali hosts a séance. Meanwhile, Ethan befriends Ms. Brona Croft, a young Irish immigrant.

Episode 3 - Resurrection

Dr. Frankenstein is confronted by his past. Vanessa has a vision of Mina, which leads to a strange discovery at the London Zoo.

Episode 4 - Demimonde

Vanessa's infatuation with Dorian Gray grows. Professor Van Helsing is hired to work with Dr. Frankenstein. Fenton draws his master to Sir Malcolm's mansion.

Episode 5 - Closer Than Sisters

Vanessa recalls her past and the events that ultimately lead to Mina's disappearance.

Episode 6 - What Death Can Join Together

Vanessa's latest vision leads Sir Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene on a search. Professor Van Helsing reveals more details to Dr. Frankenstein about who has taken Mina.

Episode 7 - Possession

Over the course of four harrowing weeks, Sir Malcolm, Ethan, Dr. Frankenstein and Sembene do everything they can to save Vanessa from what's within her.

Episode 8 - Grand Guignol

After a vision of the Grand Guignol, Vanessa, Sir Malcolm, Ethan, Dr. Frankenstein and Sembene explore an empty theater - only to be confronted by their worst nightmares.

Season 2 Episode Guide

How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There

Season 2 Guide for Penny Dreadful TV series - see the episodes list with release date and episode summary.

How many episodes are there in Penny Dreadful Season 2? There are 10 episodes in Penny Dreadful season two. The series Aired on May 3, 2015 to July 5, 2015.

  • More: Cast Of Penny Dreadful - Season 2

Episode 1 - Fresh Hell

Sir Malcolm returns to find a new evil hunting Vanessa.

Episode 2 - Verbis Diablo

A haunted Vanessa turns to Sir Malcolm for solace. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray meets an intriguing woman with a secret, Hecate hunts down a prize for her mother - and Ferdinand Lyle reveals the disturbing backstory of the Verbis Diablo.

Episode 3 - The Nightcomers

In a flashback, Vanessa meets The Cut-Wife, who quickly realizes the extent of Vanessa's powers and warns her of the danger that lies ahead - and the evil that pursues her.

Episode 4 - Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places

Lyle reveals how the story of the Verbis Diablo affects Vanessa. Meanwhile, Hecate tries to get closer to Ethan; Angelique and Dorian's romance grows; and Inspector Rusk interviews the sole survivor of the Mariner's Inn massacre.

Episode 5 - Above the Vaulted Sky

Vanessa, Ethan and Sir Malcolm protect the mansion from another attack. Meanwhile, Angelique is humiliated while out with Dorian and, as Evelyn works on a new totem, Hecate returns to her mother with a gift.

Episode 6 - Glorious Horrors

Sir Malcolm gets tragic news. Roper hunts down Ethan. Dorian hosts a lavish ball in Angelique's honor. And a glorious night turns to horror for Vanessa.

Episode 7 - Little Scorpion

Vanessa and Ethan flee London for the Cut-Wife's cottage; a figure from the past resurfaces.

Episode 8 - Memento Mori

The Creature unleashes his rage; Sir Malcolm confronts Evelyn.

Episode 9 - And Hell Itself My Only Foe

Vanessa goes alone to battle Evelyn in order to save Sir Malcolm

Episode 10 - And They Were Enemies

Vanessa must rely on her strength in order to defeat the demon.

Season 3 Episode Guide

How Many Episodes & Seasons In 'Penny Dreadful' Series Are There

Season 3 Guide for Penny Dreadful TV series - see the episodes list with release date and episode summary.

How many episodes are there in Penny Dreadful Season 3? There are 9 episodes in Penny Dreadful season three. The series Aired on May 1, 2016 to June 19, 2016.

  • More: Cast Of Penny Dreadful - Season 3

Episode 1 - The Day Tennyson Died

With Ethan, Sir Malcolm and Dr. Frankenstein now scattered around the world facing their own demons, a shattered and despondent Vanessa seeks the help of Dr. Seward to battle a new evil.

Episode 2 - Predators Far and Near

Sir Malcolm continues on his journey with the enigmatic Kaetenay. Meanwhile, Ethan gets some unexpected help from Hecate, Drs. Frankenstein and Jekyll hatch a plan and unbeknownst to her, evil forces track Vanessa's every move.

Episode 3 - Good and Evil Braided Be

Vanessa Ives is confronted by a familiar face who will reveal a clue to her past.

Episode 4 - A Blade of Grass

With the help of Dr. Seward, Vanessa undergoes hypnosis to relive her time in the Banning Clinic.

Episode 5 - This World Is Our Hell

Hounded through the desert by Kaetenay and others, Ethan faces a reckoning. In London, Victor makes a dire modification to Jekyll's cure for madness.

Episode 6 - No Beast So Fierce

Vanessa contacts her old friend Ferdinand Lyle for help. Lyle introduces her to Catriona Hartdegen. Lily, Dorian and Justine put their plan in motion. Ethan, Sir Malcolm and Hecate arrive at Talbot's ranch.

Episode 7 - Ebb Tide

Lily sends her legion of women on a gruesome mission, Vanessa makes an ominous choice, and Kaetenay's visions drive Ethan toward his destiny.

Episode 8 - Perpetual Night

While an apocalyptic pestilence enshrouds London, Victor decides Lily's fate and Ethan comes face-to-face with the evil that seduces Vanessa.

Episode 9 - The Blessed Dark

Sir Malcolm and his allies battle the fiend laying claim to Vanessa, the Creature faces a baleful demand, and Ethan makes a heartrending choice.

Did You Know?

1. The language used in season two (Verbis Diabolo) is a fictional amalgam of Aramaic, Ancient Greek, Latin, and an obscure Arabic dialect called (in phonetic English) "Kan Allah Musali-Algins." The language, Verbis Diabolo was created specifically for the show by the curator of the London Historical Societies Emeritus Professor of ancient languages.

2. Penny Dreadful is an old term used during the nineteenth century to refer to cheap popular serial literature, and it could be interchangeable with penny blood, penny awful, or penny horrible. It means a story published in weekly parts, with the cost of one (old) penny. The main plot of these stories were typically sensational, focusing on the adventures of detectives, criminals, or supernatural entities.

3. As creator John Logan had never written a television series before, he did not produce a speculative script, but instead wrote the first two episodes directly. When he had the opportunity to pitch it to Showtime, he also wrote a forty-page "bible" exploring the characters and story, with the network eventually buying the show.

4. The séance back-bending scene was filmed in three different segments: the first was on set with Eva Green standing on the table; the second was filmed in a studio where the actress bent her body as far back as the stuntmen deemed safe; the third was Eva bent all the way back in a contraption, the last was filmed in front of a greenscreen. The post-production team then combined all three segments into one.

5. Sarah Greene stated in an interview, that the make-up for Hecate and the other witches' Nightcomer forms consists of several different pieces, which take several hours to apply. She stated that the breasts and genital regions are fake, and are part of the prosthetic. However, Greene forgot the instructions not to drink alcohol before putting on the make-up, as sweating alcohol would negate the adhesive used. Once while shooting in the make-up, her chest-piece fell off.

6. In this show, Dr. Victor Frankenstein likes to quote the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley's second wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley, was the author of the 1818 gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, from which the characters of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and "Frankenstein's monster" originated.

7. Hecate Poole, the witch who pursues Ethan Chandler in seasons two and three, shares her name with the ancient Greek goddess of witchcraft and the moon. This link to the goddess Hecate fits the character perfectly, as it reflects her status as a Nightcomer witch, and her infatuation with Ethan, the "Wolf of God", who transforms into a wolf when the moon is full.

8. Simon Russell Beale based his accent for his character, Ferdinand Lyle, on the accent of the renowned playwright Tom Stoppard. Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia, but while still a young boy, his family fled the Nazis. They went first to India (where he spent three years), where his Czech mother was remarried to a British Army Major, and subsequently Tom was educated in north-central and northeast England. Consequently, Stoppard's adult accent, though mostly standard Received Pronunciation English, is a unique combination of many diverse linguistic and dialectical influences.

9. According to John Logan, Dorian Gray's entire admittedly-anachronistic look came from Reeve Carney, who dresses very similar in real-life.

10. In every episode, the phrase "and then?" is used at least once.

11. The show used many metaphors to point out the hidden or dual nature of the main characters. One of them is shooting scenes in reflective surfaces like mirrors. Most notably though, is the dark versus light depiction of Vanessa and Mina.

12. Frankenstein's monster sometimes uses the names "Caliban" or "John Clare". Caliban, the name first given to him by the actor Vincent Brand, is a character from Shakespeare's play The Tempest who (like the monster) is described both as monstrous ("A freckled whelp hag-born--not honour'd with / A human shape") and sensitive, with a legitimate grievance against his master Prospero. John Clare was a real English poet during the Romantic movement (the same era as more famous writers such as Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Shelley, and Shelley's wife and "Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus" author Mary). Clare had a tragic life; although his mostly rural-themed poems were generally well-received, their sales were not sufficient to earn him a living to support his wife and children, especially after he started suffering from mental illnesses and alcoholism. He was institutionalized due to his florid delusions, which included the beliefs that he was really Shakespeare or Lord Byron in disguise; that he had multiple wives; and that he was a celebrated boxer. The Shelleys and the real Lord Byron knew each other well, and it was while they were all on vacation together in Switzerland, that Mary Shelley first conceived the Frankenstein story.

13. The shows boasts four cast members, who appeared in several James Bond films. Timothy Dalton played the title character in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). Eva Green played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006). Helen McCrory played Clair Dowar MP in Skyfall (2012). Rory Kinnear played Tanner in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), and Spectre (2015). In addition, Writer and Creator John Logan co-wrote the screenplays for Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), and Executive Producer Sam Mendes directed the latter two films.

14. The Grand Guignol (in London as depicted in the show) is not a real theatre. It was constructed for the filming of the series. It was a real theater in Paris in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The style of plays common in this theater eventually ended with that style of storytelling being call "Grand Guignol".

15. Danny Sapani, Billie Piper, Timothy Dalton, David Warner, and Helen McCrory and Alex Price have appeared on Doctor Who (2005).

16. When the director scheduled to direct the finale of season three had to back down, the producers and the cast (specially Eva Green) demanded Paco Cabezas to be back, after having helmed episodes five and six of the same season, because they had a great working experience.

17. This marks the second time that Anna Chancellor has played the mother to one of Eva Green's characters, the first being in The Dreamers (2003).

18. Among the pictures hanging at Dorian Gray's house, there is one known portrait of Frédéric Chopin.

19. Similarities to the original Dracula novel: Dracula acts more as a permeating force throughout the series, than actually being a physical threat. The same goes for about three quarters of the book. Dr. Seward uses a phonograph, which was a novelty when the original book was published. "Children of the night, what music they make" is a reference to the original Dracula (1930) starring Béla Lugosi, as the Count says "what sweet music they make" in the book. The characters Dracula, Professor Van Helsing, Mina Harker (née Murray), Dr. Seward, and Renfield all have a role in Penny Dreadful. Jonathan Harker is only mentioned. Major differences and liberties taken from the original book: Dr. Seward is American in this show. The only American in the original, was a Texas man called Quincey Morris. Renfield is Dr. Seward's secretary in the series. In the book, he's an assistant to a real estate agent that gets touched by the evil of Dracula and goes insane in the process, leaving him with a constant lust for the blood of small living creatures. Rather than fully fledged vampires, the Dracula of the series seems to be more reliant on an army of vampiric minions, similar to Renfield. In the first season, the party of heroes is attacked by more "traditional" fang sporting vampires. In the book, there are only five vampires: Dracula, his three brides, and Lucy Westenra. While Mina Harker is portrayed as a vampire in multiple films and series, including this show and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2004), she's never fully turned into a vampire in the novel. Professor Van Helsing only plays a small role in this show. In the book, he leads the "pack of hounds after the fox", as the human protagonists travel far and wide in pursuit of The Count.

21. Though the Grand Guignol Theatre was primarily a French institution, there was a British Grand Guignol that was active in London in the early 1920s.

22. Sam Mendes originally planned to direct episodes, but schedule conflicts prevented him from doing so.

23. In the season three opener, when Vanessa visits the museum, the two animals that she views closely are a wolf and a case of scorpions. These are the two animals that represent Ethan and Vanessa respectively.

24. The manner in which Vanessa sizes up and breaks down Ethan Chandler during their first meeting is remarkably similar to the way Vesper Lynd, a previous character of Eva Green's, does to James Bond in Casino Royale (2006).

25. This is not the first time that Billie Piper played a prostitute, she previously portrayed "Belle" in Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007).

26. Helen McCrory (Evelyn Poole) and Alex Price (Proteus) played a villainous alien mother and son in the Doctor Who (2005) episode "The Vampires of Venice".

27. Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, and Douglas Hodge appeared in Mansfield Park (2007).

28. Patti LuPone previously played another character named Joan on American Horror Story (2011). She played an over-zealous fundamentalist Christian named Joan Ramsey who lived next door to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Talented Young Ladies, a witches coven. Ironically, LuPone would later go on to play the Daywalker witch Joan Clayton on this show.

29. Billie Piper and Eva Green have worked with Matt Smith.

30. Inverted with British actor Stephen Lord who plays the American Warren Roper.

31. Eva Green and Anna Chancellor have played mother and daughter before.

32. The first and last episode are directed by Spanish directors.

33. John Logan wrote the role of Evelyn Poole, a.k.a. Madame Kali, specifically for Helen McCrory, and told her from the beginning the truth about the character and how her importance would arrive in the second season.

34. Vanessa Ives is shown to be writing a constant stream of letters to Mina Harker (one of the protagonists of Bram Stoker's Dracula). Stoker's book was written in epistolary format, a series of letters, diary entries, and ship's log entries.

35. Eva Green asked for her last scene to shoot not to be Vanessa's death but something else, because she didn't want to play the character for the last time in those circumstances, so the last scene she shot was the one where Vanessa is in her bedroom looking at the space where the cross used to be.

36. In season two, episode eight, "Memento Mori", after Sir Malcolm regains his power, you can see an Edgar Alan Poe doll behind Madame Kali.

37. Ethan Chandler's (Josh Hartnett's) real name is revealed to be Ethan Lawrence Talbot. This is a reference to the character Lawrence Talbot, portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Wolf Man (1941), and its subsequent series of sequels, and Benicio Del Toro in its remake, The Wolfman (2010). Contrary to what has since become a custom in werewolf films, the 1941 original never shows a shot of the full moon. This does, however, appear in this show during Ethan's transformation scenes.

38. Eva Green is the only series regular to have scenes with dialogue with every other series regular as of the end of season two.

Source: Wikipedia -