Tom Ellis, best known as Miranda Hart’s love interest in her BBC1 sitcom Miranda, has been cast as Dr Victor Frankenstein in ABC pilot Gothica. The modern day tale brings together iconic characters from gothic literature, also including Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde and Dorian Gray.
Gothica will see the troubled Dr Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley’s classic creation, running a hospital while conducting research aimed at returning his recently deceased daughter to life. Ellis will star alongside Beauty and the Beast’s Chris Egan, who plays a wealthy playboy inspired by Oscar Wilde’s perpetually youthful Dorian Gray. An actress is yet to be cast as the third lead, Grace Van Helsing, Frankenstein’s former love interest and part of the Van Helsing vampire-hunting dynasty.
Miranda’s soppy chef may seem an odd choice to play the dark Dr Frankenstein, but Tom Ellis has turned his hand to the supernatural before, in BBC3’s The Fades and BBC1 ghost story The Secret of Crickley Hall.
And if the premise of Gothica sounds eerily familiar, it could be because it shares striking similarities to upcoming Showtime project Penny Dreadful. The series, executive produced by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, features many of the same characters, although in a Victorian rather than modern-day setting.