Blu-ray Review “Penny Dreadful: The Complete First Season”

pennydreadStarring: Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Rory Kinnear, Helen McCrory, Billie Piper
Directors: Juan Antonio Bayona, Dearbhla Walsh
Number of discs: 3
Rated: TV-MA
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Run Time: 435 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I heard about the idea of “Penny Dreadful”, I was really excited, especially since it was going to be on Showtime, which means it could be much edgier than cable TV. It was created from three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, Gladiator) and Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) stars Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down), Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights) and Eva Green (Casino). The season took a while get to started but was overall very well done with some good effects and scares. I just wish it would have been longer than eight episodes to expand this world…luckily season two is on the way.

Official Premise: From three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, Gladiator) and Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) comes an erotically charged, profoundly unsettling new saga, “Penny Dreadful” completely reinvents literature’s most iconic and terrifying characters. Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein and timeless figures from Dracula join a core of original characters in a dark and brutal quest to save a soul – even as they grapple with their own monstrous temptations.

“Penny Dreadful: The Complete First Season” includes the first eight episodes of the series as a three-disc collection. The 1080p high definition transfer look great for these episodes and really show the high amount of detail that went into this show. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks also work well with the action and suspense. Disc One includes the episodes: “Night Work”; “Séance”; “Resurrection”; Disc Two includes the episodes “Demimonde”; “Closer Than Sisters”; “What Death Can Join Together”; “Possession” and Disc Three includes the episode “Grand Guignol”. I am not sure why the it goes from three episodes on the first to five on the second to one on the third but it is what it is, I guess.

The special features are worth checking out if you enjoy the season. There  are a bunch of featurettes includes going behind-the-scenes into the show including “What is a Penny Dreadful?”; “Literary Roots”, “Coming Together”; “The Artisans Pt. 1 & 2” and “The Grand Guignol”. “Prostitution and Sex in Victorian Times”, “British Exploration & The Search for the Nile”, “The Science of Medicine” look into the history in the show’s period and it’s influence. Lastly there are the first two episodes of fellow Showtime series “Ray Donovan” includes from the first season. Not sure how this is related but I assume they are trying to spread the word about it also.

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