Penny Dreadful: Season 1 (2014)


Season 1
Penny Dreadful

Critics Consensus

Skillfully shot and superbly acted, Penny Dreadful is perplexing in a good way -- even if it's a bit silly at times.



Critic Ratings: 61


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1447
User image


Air date: May 11, 2014
Air date: May 18, 2014
Air date: May 25, 2014
Air date: Jun 1, 2014
Air date: Jun 8, 2014
Air date: Jun 15, 2014
Air date: Jun 22, 2014
Air date: Jun 29, 2014

Penny Dreadful: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Monsters and demons haunt Victorian London in this gothic thriller that includes some of literature's most terrifying individuals, including Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and characters from "Dracula." The story begins with police investigating a series of gruesome deaths, but renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and medium Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) know there is something darker at play than mere murder, as Vanessa fights a demon that is determined to possess her. Also, Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) joins a group of vampire hunters; Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) faces the consequences of his death-defying experiments; and devil-may-care Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) falls for the alluring but troubled Vanessa.

News & Interviews for Penny Dreadful: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Penny Dreadful Season 1

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (28)

Some of its mumbo jumbo may hurt your head, but the last words of Episode 2 are precisely on point. They whet the appetite for more, more. We'll see how it all comes out in the bloody wash.

May 8, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Showtime subscribers have already put their money down, but many of them will probably decide that Penny Dreadful, while hardly dreadful, isn't worth it.

May 8, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As creator John Logan moves away from the horror by the Thames and more toward the internal demons that haunt his protagonists, Penny veers toward the overwritten and overwrought. But by then, you may well be in for a pound.

May 8, 2014 | Full Review…

For fans of expertly hammy acting and heated-up supernatural doings, it's a lot of fun.

May 8, 2014 | Full Review…

If you enjoy the challenge of doing complex jigsaw puzzles in low light, Penny Dreadful will be your cup of tea.

May 8, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo) creation promises an intriguing summer pastime, for an eight-week run anyway.

May 7, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Terrifying in its storytelling, beautiful in its portrayal, and intriguing in its premise, this show is a strong addition to Showtime's line up.

Aug 8, 2019 | Full Review…

It's going to be a dark and messy business.

Jul 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Still, for its faults, Penny Dreadful delivers some performances that are worth the price of admission.

Jul 3, 2018 | Full Review…

We're interested enough to keep tuning in just to see if they can pull it off.

Jun 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Penny Dreadful: Season 1

  • Apr 25, 2019
    Eva Green is absolutely perfect!!
  • Jan 08, 2019
    episode 2, the seance, is absolutely stunning ! No rest for the wicked :\
  • Jun 18, 2018
    Beautifully dark, gothic and scary characters intertwine with each other. Well written with poetic dialogue.
  • Jun 11, 2018
    A Fantastic tv show that perfectly balances all different story arcs with a stellar cast
  • Feb 26, 2018
    Loved it. Great cast that really do fit the characters well.
  • Feb 05, 2018
    This show is a real enjoyment, you get really personal with each and every character, the way this was written and filmed was a real enjoyment to watch, and the character John Clare, frankenstein's creation, was just a joy to watch. You really get emotionally involved in the series 10 out of 10
  • Jan 23, 2018
    If I was rating only for myself and no one else, I would definitely go with five stars, but I decided to leave off half a star because I know that Penny Dreadful is just not everyone's cup of tea. It is a summations exploration of the Victorian gothic. Its characters are nuanced and brilliantly acted, but they approach everything with an intensity and a scenery chewing drama that I know just won't work for everyone. That being said, if you love horror and atmosphere, this series has it in spades. It has supernatural horror, psychological horror, body horror, bug horror, and more. It also has surprisingly transgressive and refreshing politics. All in all, it's not perfect but I love it wholly and unconditionally.
  • Oct 22, 2017
    I think that the most part of the people won't find it interesting because of its "strange factor", however that factor for me is the secret behind the success of it. Sometimes it seems lost and boring, but it always find the course to the difference, strangeness, bloodiness and originality.
  • Sep 01, 2017
    A solid horror series with a great cast and excellent special effects. Despite a weak main story.
  • Aug 01, 2017
    Eva Green and atmosphere carry the series over its rocky parts

News & Features