Penny Dreadful: City of Angels explained: How does it link to the original series?

The gothic fantasy series is back, but not as you remember it...

Natalie Dormer in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

After several years away from our screens, the dark world of Penny Dreadful is back with a new spin-off series set in Los Angeles just prior to the start of the Second World War.

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Penny Dreadful: City of Angels – airing on Sky Atlantic and available as a boxset on Sky and NOW TV – is inspired by Mexican-American folklore and follows Detective Tiago Vega and his partner as they investigate a gruesome murder that threatens to spark serious social unrest.

All the while, a supernatural demon named Magda is roaming the streets in multiple forms, intent on proving that mankind is an inherently evil species.

Fans of the original series will be searching for hints and references in this spiritual successor, but are there any to be found? Here’s a brief rundown ahead of the season premiere…

What are the links between Penny Dreadful and City of Angels?

Unfortunately for die-hard fans, the links between Penny Dreadful and follow-up series City of Angels are rather minimal.

The shows are separated not only by a 50-year time jump, but also by thousands of miles as the new series swaps Victorian England for sunny Los Angeles, California.

That rules out most characters from making an appearance here, although notably Rory Kinnear has returned to the cast – albeit, in a different role. While in the previous series he played the Creature, a creation of Victor Frankenstein, he now portrays a German paediatrician with a dark secret.

Rory Kinnear in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
Rory Kinnear in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
Showtime

Aside from that one overt similarity, City of Angels reportedly won’t feature any Easter eggs or references to the original show, as creator John Logan confirmed to Deadline.

He said: “As fond as I am about that series, that was a complete novel. It closed at the end, appropriately with that story, that poetic sad story we were telling.”

However, the series should still be pleasing to Penny Dreadful aficionados, sharing the same dark tone as the original, while also brimming with suspense and creepy imagery.

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Penny Dreadful: City of Angels begins on Wednesday, 1st July at 9pm on Sky Atlantic and will also be available as a full series boxset on Sky and NOW TV – if you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide