Penny Dreadful ended its three-season run Sunday with a shocking death, but plenty of marvelous characters survived who could anchor potential spinoffs.
Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t caught up.
John Logan’s gloriously melancholic take on Victorian England reimagined iconic characters and creatures from classic literature. He mixed them with his own creations—most notably Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives—to tell a powerful story of one woman’s loss of faith and struggle to regain it.
I’m going to miss the show’s beautiful darkness and undefeatable light. I actually sat in bed well after the finale thinking, “It just can’t be over.”
“I can absolutely confirm it is really over, the end, that’s all she wrote,” Logan told Deadline.
OK! OK! Dammit.
In an interview with Maureen Ryan at Variety, Chicago native Logan said there was no doubt the series had to end with the death of Vanessa Ives.
“Eva Green really is my muse, and I set out to write a story about a very complicated character that I love deeply,” he said in Variety. “To continue it past Vanessa’s death would be, for me, an act of bad faith.”
I can understand the need to close “Penny Dreadful,” but I’m not ready to give up on all the characters. So I offer thees five spinoff ideas for Showtime utilizing all those wonderful characters.
And yes, I’m available to write and act as show runner.
Keeping Penny Dreadful alive
Malcolm in the Middle
Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) said he was done with Africa after burying Sembene (Daniel Sapani) there. When the ghost of his son, Peter (Graham Butler), haunts him, Malcolm ventures to the mysterious continent. Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) insists he join the mission just in case Malcolm needs the muscle (and teeth and claws) only a werewolf can provide. In Africa they meet Tarzan, King of the Apes. He enlists Sir Malcolm and Ethan to defeat evil explorers bent on exploiting the continent. When Malcolm and Ethan come face to apparition with Peter’s ghost, Dear Old Dad is torn between his two sons—and the epic battle for his soul begins.
Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale) needs a vacation from his British Museum duties as supervisor of pyramid excavations. He books a boat cruise down the Nile River where he encounters Lily Frankenstein (Billie Piper), who has changed her name to Irene Adler. “You remain the exquisite creature I met years ago!” Ferdinand fawns. She tells him of her exploits tormenting the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Before you can say Amenhotep II, they become fast friends. Lily loots the Valley of the Kings and convinces her new bestie to live a fabulous life of partying and excess.
50 Shades of Dorian Gray
It’s 1982, and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) looks as good as he did when he kicked Lily’s army of empowered women from his home in 1892. But he’s sooo booored with London that he moves to New York City, where he befriends Patrick Bateman, an investment banker in his late 20s. They begin a torrid affair that involves some heavy S&M and mutilation. No matter how many times Patrick stabs Dorian, the guy just won’t die. Eventually Dorian tires of the Patrick’s pocking and prodding, and sends him packing. With his immortality weighing heavily, Dorian consults forensic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter.
Creature of the Revolution (working title)
John Clare (Rory Kinnear) once again leaves London to find solace after the deaths of his son and Vanessa. This time he lands in Montmartre, the area of Paris famed for the Bohemian lifestyle of the artists, writers and philosophers living there. He writes and performs poetry, regularly hanging with dancer Isadora Duncan, actress Sarah Bernhardt and writer Oscar Wilde. He finds a true friend in Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, an artist often mocked for his physical appearance. After an absinthe-fueled all-nighter that began at the Moulin Rouge, John encounters Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). Can he forgive the monster who created him, or will his anger turn him into the creature he abhors?
The Cat and the Bat
Dracula (Christian Camargo) still haunts Catriona Hartdegen (Perdita Weeks). Convinced she is the only person who can stop him, Cat sets off on a mission to stake the bat. Traveling to Transylvania, she meets Professor Abraham Van Helsing, a Dutch doctor who also survived an encounter with the Count. The would-be allies immediately clash because like any man, Van Helsing can’t handle a woman who can kick his ass. With no leads on the whereabouts of their foe, Cat leashes Renfield (Sam Barnett) and together the trio hunt his master.