Penny Dreadful was the best horror show that you probably never watched. The period supernatural series ran for three seasons on Showtime, and explored multiple characters from classic Victorian horror tales. Although never a break-out hit, it still garnered many loyal fans, who called themselves “dreadfuls.” Now, the series is back in a new and very different iteration, from original creator John Logan.
Showtime has just released the first full trailer for Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, which brings the series to Depression-era Southern California. You can watch the first trailer down below:
So what can we glean from our first look into Penny Dreadful 2.0? For starters, the vibe is totally different from that of the original series. The series is now set in Los Angeles in 1938, during the golden age of Hollywood. There seems to be a murder of a young woman that sets off an investigation, which instantly brings to mid the real life slaying of the Black Dahlia. Only this victim seems to have ties to Mexican traditions, and her face has traditional Day of the Dead markings on it.
Series creator John Logan has previously said that this series will explore the racial tensions in Southern California between the Mexican-American population and the police, something we see a brief and violent moment of in the trailer. There are also brief flashes of religious ceremonies, suggesting that the radio evangelism that was super strong during this era is going to play some kind of a role. As will the American Nazi party, who we also briefly see for a moment. This is set in the era just before the second World War after all.
The trailer also gives us our first look at former Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, in a role that has been described as being somewhat “demonic.” Of all the characters glimpsed in this preview, she is the one who seems the most like she would fit in the original series. She definitely gives off an Eva Green vibe. We also get a brief glimpse of Nathan Lane, who is playing a veteran police detective for the LAPD.
It remains to be seen if City of Angels will tie in to the original series in any way. Will they take the American Horror Story route, and have this version become a part of a larger Penny Dreadful narrative? The only returning actor that we know is in this series is Rory Kinnear, who played Frankenstein’s monster in the first series. But he is said to be playing a completely different role this time. Of course, having actors play multiple roles never stopped American Horror Story from connecting its different seasons, so Penny Dreadful just might do the same.
In addition to Dormer and Lane, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels also stars Daniel Zovatto, who is playing the show’s male lead Tiago Vega, a young Mexican-American police officer. Jessica Garza and Johnathan Nieves will portray his younger siblings. The series has a premiere date of Sunday, April 26.
Featured Image: Showtime