Penny Dreadful: City of Angels season premiere review


Like many other fans, I was delighted to hear that Penny Dreadful would be returning with a new series, after its sudden cancellation in 2016.

It is unclear how or even if, City of Angels will connect to the three-season arc of the original show, but one thing is clear – this isn’t the Penny Dreadful you remember.

Admittedly the show does attempt to get off to a rousing start, as a demon (played by Natalie Dormer) roasts a field of farmworkers.

What is clear from the outset is that City of Angels will be dominated by Dormer’s character, much in the same way that Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives mesmerised in the original series.

The problem in this opener is that it feels quite forced, and given that the character goes under at least three different guises during this episode alone; this is a plot point that could become quite nauseating after a few episodes.

At 67 minutes this does feel quite bloated, but we establish the mainstays of the plot (or so we think) as the Vega family become embroiled in a dark story that harkens back to detective Tiago Vega’s childhood many years before.

There is promise, with some excellent character actors including the returning Rory Kinnear, Nathan Lane and Adrianna Barraza who steals the show as matriarch Maria Vega.

It will certainly be interesting to see how City of Angels compares to the original as the season progresses. A tentative thumbs up.

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