The dark Showtime drama Penny Dreadful is just now spooking audiences, but creator John Logan has had the tale mapped out in his mind for years. He, along with cast members Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway, revealed how the show was born and where it is headed for its second season at San Diego Comic-con.
“I’ve spent 10 years of my life thinking about this show, and it’s my first television show,” said Logan. “I tried to take it seriously because every time I’ve been to Comic Con, I’ve been sitting out there,” he said, gesturing to the audience. He’s one of us!
Logan said that he first conceptualized Penny Dreadful during a dark time in his life, when he found comfort in romantic poetry and literature. It was in his emotional state after reading Frankenstein that he realized his perceived weakness could be a strength, which gave him his inspiration.
“The very thing that made me different (as a gay man) also made me who I am, and I decided to write about that,” he said. “What I think this show is about is the monster in all of us. The thing that we must embrace, that frightens us, and makes us find who we are.”
After establishing how the show came to be, the focus shifted to season two, spoilers and all. And there were plenty to go around.
“The great joy of writing the second season is now playing with the characters, and introducing and building relationships like Ethan and Vanessa, Dr. Frankenstein and The Creature, etc.,” said Logan.
And it sounds like he’ll be playing with viewers’ emotions, too.
This season’s finale shockingly revealed that Ethan (Harnett) was in fact a werewolf. Though Hartnett said he was pleased to finally be more “engrained” in the supernatural world of the show, not much else could be revealed. Logan said he was still undecided on whether Ethan became a werewolf by bite or by blood. He did, however, promise good drama in store when Ethan learns of his monstrosity.
“Every time a character makes a realization, it’s instant free drama,” he said.
In due time, he said, he plans to reveal Ethan’s, as well as all of the characters’, back stories in the way they revealed Vanessa’s (Eva Green) in the first season.
“I find the back stories to be as riveting as what they’re doing in the temporary story,” he explained.
Not only will the characters be expanded in season two, but so will their paranormal threats. It was revealed during the panel that this season’s antagonist would be none other than (spoilers!) Madame Kali.
“Her supernatural world will then become the big threat,” Logan teased.
Among the other tidbits revealed, Logan said that viewers will get a glimpse at the famed portrait of Dorian Gray (Carney), and that The Creature (Rory Kinnear) will be forced to choose a name – The Dead Poet.
There will be plenty more where that came from when season two premieres. In the mean time, Logan sounds like he’s having a little too much fun with his sinister plans.
“What excites me about season two is that in the first season, we began to build this family, and in the second season they are thrown into a much more threatening, theological, supernatural world.”
For continued San Diego Comic-con coverage, keep your eye on The Daily Quirk!