Mar 012017
 

I don’t think Penny Dreadful quite met up to its potential but with a fine cast headlined by Timothy Dalton, Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, to go along with impressive set and costume designs, it’s certainly more than watchable. This Complete Series set is very much for those who don’t already own the individual releases and it is at a reasonable price.

 

 

Penny Dreadful
— The Complete Series —

(2014-16)

Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Paramount | NR – 1462 min. – $47.75 | February 14, 2017

Date Published: 03/01/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


SERIES INFO:
Directed by:
Various
Writer(s): John Logan (created by)
Cast: Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Harry Treadaway, Wes Studi
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 9
Audio: Seasons 1 & 2: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0); Season 3: English (Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE SERIES — 3.5/5


Synopsis: Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein (HARRY TREADAWAY) and his monster (RORY KINNEAR), Dorian Gray (REEVE CARNEY), and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. They are joined by a core of original characters in a complex, frightening new narrative, Penny Dreadful is a psychological thriller filled with dark mystery and suspense, where personal demons from the past can be stronger than vampires, evil spirits and immortal beasts.

Quick Hit Review: A bit uneven through the course of its short 3 season run, I did find Penny Dreadful to be at least semi entertaining between some decent storylines and quality performances led way by Timothy Dalton and the always lovely Eva Green with honorable mentions going to Josh Hartnett reminding us that indeed, he is still around. This, to me, was a more adult version of Once Upon a Time gathering classic characters into one dark universe and on that front, I did find it mostly enjoyable. Sure, some of the story and character get a bit soapy at times but at no point was I bored, which is a win in my book when it comes to television shows.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5


The 9-disc set is housed in an extra-wide Blu-ray case and comes with an embossed slip cover. These are the same exact discs from the previous releases and thus, the same features. All are in HD unless otherwise noted.

SEASON 1 — 2.25/5

Video Production Blogs (TRT 22:19) are merely short featurettes covering a variety of subjects and provide some behind-the-scenes footage:

  • What is a Penny Dreadful (1:59)
  • Literary Roots (2:14)
  • Coming Together (2:06)
  • The Artisans: Part One – Set Decoration & Props (2:33)
  • The Artisans: Part Two – Production Design (2:13)
  • The Grand Guignol (2:23)
  • Prostitution and Sex in the Victorian Age (3:40)
  • British Exploration and the Search for the Nile (2:21)
  • The Science of Medicine (2:50)

Also included are the first two  episodes of Ray Donovan.


SEASON 2 — 2.0/5

Video Production Blogs (TRT 15:11):

  • Welcome Back (2:57)
  • Choreography (2:43)
  • The Blood Ball (2:27)
  • Brona Becomes Lily (2:32)
  • Waxworks Museum (2:40)
  • Werewolf Prosthetics (1:52)

Dreadfuls Roundtable with Reeve Carney (7:47) has a group of fans talk about their favorite show; hosted by Carney.

History of the Occult (2:06) is just a text/visual primer about the occult.

Character Profiles (TRT 13:11):

  • Vanessa Ives (2:07)
  • Dorian Gray (1:32)
  • Sir Malcolm Murray (1:22)
  • Evelyn Poole (1:47)
  • Victor Frankenstein (1:42)
  • Sembene (1:27)
  • The Creature (1:32)
  • Lily (1:42)

SEASON 3 — 1.75/5

This season includes some stand alone featurettes (TRT 10:39):

  • Hectate’s Witch Prosthetics (2:44)
  • The Making of Dr. Jekyll’s Lab (2:27)
  • Vanessa’s Costumes (2:44)
  • The Dead Zoo (2:44)

Character Profiles (14:31):

  • Ethan Chandler (2:02)
  • Sir Malcolm & Kaetenay (1:57)
  • Sweet (2:02)
  • Seward & Renfield (2:07)
  • The Creature (1:32)
  • Victor Frankenstein & Dr. Jekyll (1:32)
  • Dorian, Lily & Justine (1:47)
  • Catriona Hartdegen (1:32)

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Penny Dreadful is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio as originally televised and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. As one might imagine, this series never had pops of color as even daylight scenes were dim, but even so, this was a nice looking picture with sharp, well defined detail and no major issues like artifacting or aliasing. Having never watched the show when it aired on Showtime, I can’t really compare, but presumably it’s a modest upgrade.

AUDIO – 4.25/5


Seasons 1 and 2 received a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track while Season 3 got the more updated Dolby Atmos track (TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) and for all three seasons, these lossless tracks sounded pretty good, providing for clear dialogue levels and when there were some more action-y scenes, there was some depth showcased. It’s nothing extraordinary yet nevertheless fairly impressive.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Overall, I don’t think Penny Dreadful quite met up to its potential but with a fine cast headlined by Timothy Dalton, Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, to go along with impressive set and costume designs, it’s certainly more than watchable. This Complete Series set is very much for those who don’t already own the individual releases and it is at a reasonable price.

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