A Faithful Representation


There have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of adaptations of the novel Frankenstein since it was first published in 1818. In the novel the creature is an articulate, complicated being. Sometimes, in literature and comic books, that creature is represented. Until Penny Dreadful I had not seen that creature in film or television.

Penny Dreadful is tv series that mashes up characters from various early horror stories. Mina Harker, Dorian Gray, Doctor Van Helsing, and others make appearances. Among the principal characters are Victor Frankenstein and his creation. The creation, who calls himself John Clare after the poet, is not a good physical depiction of the novel’s creature. He’s short (compared to the original’s eight foot height). He’s got some scars and a pale complexion but he’s hardly hideous.

But his personality is spot on. He’s melancholy. He’s murderous. He wants to be loved. He’s afraid to be loved. He haunts his creator and inflicts mayhem upon him, yet he is shy and nervous with the rest of the world. If Penny Dreadful did nothing else well I would love it for this creature.