Penny Dreadful versus The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Penny-Dreadful-Vanessa-Ives

[EDIT: I penned a running review series of Penny Dreadful season three for the Victorianist. Click here for direct links.]

This article contains (very) minor spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen Penny Dreadful or read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you may want to steer clear.

When the Showtime/Sky television series Penny Dreadful was announced, many fans and critics accused it of plagiarising Alan Moore and Kevin O’Niell’s comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It does, after all, feature a very similar cast of characters and draw from similar nineteenth-century texts, especially if you count the abysmal film adaptation from 2003. Both mashups feature characters plundered from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, though LoEG showrunner Mina Murray is replaced by her father Malcolm (played by Timothy Dalton) in Penny Dreadful, as the unofficial ‘leader’ of the band of monsters. Sir Malcolm Murray, like LoEG’s Allan Quatermain, is a hunter and explorer who spent much of his life in Africa.

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Victorian Monsters? Strategies of Appropriation in the Neo-Victorian Mashup

This post originally appeared on the Victorianist, the postgraduate blog of the British Association for Victorian Studies, on 18 May 2015. It is reposted here with the kind permission of the editors. I should probably preface this post by admitting that I’m not a real Victorianist. The Victorians were one of my undergraduate passions, and … Read more

Anatomy of a Cover

We’re always told that we should never judge a book by its cover, but the truth is that a lot of work goes into making sure we do. A cover generally gives us an immediate idea of the genre, register, and target audience of a book. A good cover will also generate excitement and interest, … Read more

On the Front Lines Between ‘Funny’ and ‘Offensive’

Seeing as today is April Fool’s Day (or April Fools’ Day, as Wikipedia pointedly suggests I should be apostrophising it), and most of the commentary on the day’s festivities seems to border on despair and desperation, I thought it might be fun to post something about the uses and limits of humour. The line between what’s … Read more

New to the Reading List (05/12/2014)

In this initial phase of my full-time PhD research I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Fortunately Cardiff University’s library has a massive selection of books in my field, specifically on the Gothic and on neo-Victorian fiction. They were missing a handful of books that I really felt I needed, so about a month ago … Read more