Penny Dreadful: setting the scene for series two

As Sky Atlantic's gothic horror mash-up returns, here's where we left the key players at the end of the last season

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An American werewolf in London

Following the death of Brona Croft (Billie Piper), hard-drinking sharpshooter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) was left desolate. He had lost the woman he loved to tuberculosis (or so he believed), the disease which had been slowly killing her since they first met.

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As he drowned his sorrows in the Mariner’s Inn pub, Ethan was tracked down by the two Pinkerton detectives sent to return him to the United States. And on the night of a full moon, as they tried to arrest him, we finally got a glimpse of what we had already guessed: Ethan Chandler is a werewolf – and it seems likely there will be reports of another bloody rampage in the papers the next morning.

One question remains, though: is Chandler (or his hirsute alter ego) also responsible for the spate of killings in the Whitechapel area of London?

The Bride of Frankenstein

Brona Croft is dead. But she may not stay that way for long… Unbeknown to Ethan, the young Dr Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) smothered her with a pillow during the last throes of her illness and spirited her body away to his lab.

His original reanimated creation, Caliban (Rory Kinnear), had been hounding him around London, even murdering Frankenstein’s friends in order to hammer home the point that he would not leave the scientist in peace until he got what he wanted – a companion like himself; a bride of Frankenstein. And, of course, that’s where Brona comes in…

The series two trailer shows her emerging gasping from some kind of bath and it may not be too long before she meets her intended.

Daughters of death

Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) came through the demonic possession which threatened to kill her and her friends thanks to a makeshift exorcism performed by Ethan, and was left with an insight into the whereabouts of Sir Malcolm Murray’s (Timothy Dalton) vampire daughter Mina.

They found Mina at the Grand Guignol theatre, but when she captured Vanessa – aiming to turn her into another bride for her master – Sir Malcolm made the decision to kill his daughter in order to save Vanessa.

This is likely to be a turning point in the relationship between Miss Ives and Sir Malcolm, who had previously been using her simply as a tool in his search for Mina but has now shown he has the fatherly feelings for her we imagine she has always secretly craved.

Dorian Gray and Madame Kali

There are two other characters to bear in mind as we begin series two of Penny Dreadful. The enigmatic Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) has so far been less central to the main story than others but remains all the more intriguing for it.

His youthful looks and otherworldly magnetism were enough to seduce Brona, Vanessa and Ethan but the true object of his desire, Miss Ives, has decided against pursuing their relationship (not unreasonable given that last time they had sex she found herself possessed by a demon).

Evelyn Poole, aka Madame Kali (Helen McCrory), organised the seance early in season one during which Vanessa became possessed (again) by evil spirits. Since then, the spiritualist has been merely a bit player but will come much more to the fore in this series and looks set to become Vanessa’s new nemesis. In the trailer for season two, she’s seen bathing in blood, which is rarely a good sign… 

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Penny Dreadful series two begins at 10pm on Tuesday 5th May on Sky Atlantic