Scenes I Love: Penny Dreadful

Episode 102

2014 has been a very good year in the realm of great television. We have the perennial stand-outs like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Justified and The Americans. Some shows that have been brought down a peg or two in seasons past made a resurgence in quality and consistency with The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy.

Yet, it is with the new kid on the block that I pick my latest “Scenes I Love” and probably the most memorable scene on TV all year. The scene I speak of is the “seance” scene of the second episode of Showtime’s gothic horror series Penny Dreadful. This scene wasn’t even the big reveal in the episode but it ultimately set the tone for what’s to come for the rest of the series’ inaugural season.

The scene focuses on Eva Green’s character, Vanessa Ives, as she attends and participates in a seance held by Madame Kali in the home of renowned Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. It’s a powerful performance from Eva Green who has become an actor with a penchant for pulling off bravura performances in the small and big screen.

Green’s Ives has several more performances such as these during the rest of the season, but they all didn’t come with that first shock and awe this scene gave the episode and the series. It’s actually a shame that Green’s work on Penny Dreadful hasn’t garnered as much, if any, year end accolades. Her work as Vanessa Ives was that good.

2 responses to “Scenes I Love: Penny Dreadful

  1. That’s quite a séance.

    I’ve seen only the pilot episode of this series. I thought it was very well done, with excellent performances, and liked the period setting. But I had mixed feelings about the invocation and merging of the themes of the two most iconic gothic horror novels. It seemed to create a certain level of silliness to an otherwise excellent production. So I didn’t follow the story any further. But that was a great scene.

    What’s your take on the series so far? Has it managed to present its mythology in a “credible” way? (Did you ever watch the SyFy show, “Sanctuary”? I liked the idea, but when we were given an immortal vampire Nikola Tesla, I got off the ride.)


    • You should give Penny Dreadful another look-see. Combining not just Dracula and FRankenstein but Dorian Gray actually works once you get past all the literary references.


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