Some of literature's most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
- 1 Season 1
- 2 Season 2
- 3 Season 3
- 4 Cast
- 5 External links
Night Work [1.1]
- Vanessa Ives: I have a need for a gentleman who's comfortable with firearms and not hesitant to engage in dangerous endeavors. Or was all that a tall tale as well?
- Ethan Chandler: What do you think?
- Vanessa Ives: Expensive watch, but threadbare jacket. Sentimental about the money you used to have. Your eye is steady, but your left hand tremors. That's the drink, so you keep it below the table, hoping I won't notice. You have a contusion healing on your other hand, the result of a recent brawl with a jealous husband, no doubt. Your boots are good quality leather, but have been resoled more than once. I see a man who's been accustomed to wealth, but has given himself to excess and the unbridled pleasures of youth. A man much more complicated than he likes to appear.
- Vanessa Ives: Do you believe there is a demimonde, Mr. Chandler? A half world between what we know and what we fear? A place in the shadows, rarely seen, but deeply felt. Do you believe that?
- Ethan Chandler: Yes.
- Vanessa Ives: That's where we were last night, where some unfortunate souls are cursed to live always. If you believe in curses, that is.
- Victor Frankenstein: I would never chart a river or scale a peak to take its measure or plant a flag. There's no point. It's solipsistic self-aggrandizement. So too those scientists who study the planets seeking astronomical enlightenment for its own sake. The botanist studying the variegation of an Amazonian fern. The zoologist caught up in the endless fascination of an adder's coils. And for what? Knowledge for itself alone? The elation of discovery? Plant your flag on the truth? There is only one worthy goal for scientific exploration... piercing the tissue that separates life from death. Everything else, from the deep bottom of the sea to the top of the highest mountain on the farthest planet, is insignificant. Life and death, Sir Malcolm. The flicker that separates one from the other, fast as a bat's wing, more beautiful than any sonnet. That is my river. That is my mountain. There I will plant my flag.
- Malcolm Murray: You have the soul of a poet, sir.
- Victor Frankenstein: And the bank account to match.
- Malcolm Murray: I'm trying to rescue my daughter. To save her, I would murder the world. Join me, doctor. With me, you will behold terrible wonders.
- Victor Frankenstein: And how much of the world will we have to murder?
- Malcolm Murray: Do you care?
- Victor Frankenstein: I've only one other question: Why me?
- Malcolm Murray: Because you were unafraid to pull back the skin and look beneath.
- Malcolm Murray: There was another thought when she was so very close to me, a strange working of memory. I thought of a particular lion hunt many years ago. You're moving through the tall grass, getting a glimpse of the prey, the shoulders mostly, the mane. You prepare your rifle. You're very quiet. And then there's a moment. The wind changes, the grass stops swaying. The lion turns, looks at you. The moment you realize you are no longer the hunter, you are the prey.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: My mother taught me many things. Among the most useful is that one must always have Shakespeare at hand.
- Galsworthy: They're not for the fainthearted.
- Sir Malcolm Murray: My heart has never fainted.
- Sir Malcolm Murray: You see, you're hunting for a man. You need to start hunting for a beast
- Proteus: Victor, what am I?
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Man does not live only in the empirical. We must seek the ephemeral, or why live?
- Vanessa Ives: "If this belief from heaven be sent, if such be nature's holy plan... "
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: "Have I not reason to lament... "
- Vanessa Ives and Dr. Victor Frankenstein: "What man has made of man."
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: The ancient Egyptian religions were unique in a way. They had a singular goal. Not transmutation to an afterlife, but something even more profound: eternal life.
- Ethan Chandler: Brona?
- Brona Croft: It's Gaelic.
- Ethan Chandler: What does it mean?
- Brona Croft: Sadness
- Brona Croft: Sir, you shouldn't.
- Dorian Gray: I don't know the word.
- Dorian Gray: It was more of a... random invitation.
- Vanessa Ives: Do you get many of those?
- Dorian Gray: Entirely.
- Vanessa Ives:You could say "no."
- Dorian Gray: I never say "no."
- Vanessa Ives:I wasn't skeptical about the room.
- Dorian Gray:What then? Shall I guess?
- Vanessa Ives: Have on, Mr. Gray.
- Dorian Gray:You do not belong here. Even less than I. You are not frivolous. Your eye is careful and appraising. This is not a careful room, although there is much to appraise. That can divert you for only so long. You do not like it here. You are closed to it. Yet... you're the only woman in this house not wearing gloves. Your hands want to touch, but your head wants to appraise. Your heart is torn between the two. You were skeptical because you thought... This was going to be a wasted evening, but now you're not so sure.
- (under the sway of Peter's spirit)
- Vanessa Ives: Father... ♪ Cold blows the wind to my true love, and gently drops the rain. I have never had but one true love... ♪ I am... weak... Can't feel my hands. There's no water. I can't swallow. You knew I was dying... didn't you, Father? Did you name a mountain after me?
- Mr Lyle: I would not tell Miss Ives this. After all, who wants to know they're hunted by the devil?
- The Creature: Your first born has returned... Father.
- Young Frankenstein: Death is not serene.
- The Creature: Is every newborn creature abandoned the moment they are born?
- The Creature: Hear how I bled.
- The Creature: Who is the child, Frankenstein? Thee or me?
- The Creature: I learned to stay in the shadows. To protect such a heart as this you gave me.
- The Creature: You have not known Horror until I have show it to you.
- Vincent Brand: There is a place where the malformed find grace, where the hideous can be beautiful, where strangeness is not shunned but celebrated. This place is the theater.
- Mina Harker: They are all about me. The beasts that feed at night. And they are hungry.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: When you transform a life, you're making it anew. Whatever happens to that creature downstairs, we are responsible for it. It is our burden now. Every action builds another link that binds us to it. That chain is everlasting.
- Vanessa Ives: We here have been brutalized with loss. It has made us brutal in return. There is no going back from this moment.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Killing redskins more your line?
- Ethan Chandler: You know nothing about it.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Whole Indian nations pacified into nonexistence, what don't I know?
- Ethan Chandler: How do you know I was in the Indian wars?
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: I didn't.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: I cannot unmake the past!
- The Creature: I'm not concerned with the past, only the future.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: You seek to threaten me with death? If you seek to threaten me, threaten me with life.
- The Creature: You made me strong and tireless.If only you had made me handsome.
- Dorian Gray: What does it say to you?
- Vanessa Ives: Touch me with your finger, softly.
- Vanessa Ives: Is it poisonous?
- Dorian Gray: Like all beautiful things, I hope so.
- The Creature: My bride must be beautiful.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: To match her mate?
- Sir Malcolm Murray: How will we be able to tell?
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Well, he won’t want to eat everyone, to start.
- Dorian Gray: I suppose we all play parts.
- Ethan Chandler: What's yours?
- Dorian Gray: Human.
- Vanessa Ives: Leave the mad larks to the boys, Sir Malcolm.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Oh, not me, just him. I'm bloodless.
- Vanessa Ives: The essence of your appeal, Doctor.
- Vanessa Ives: You don't miss your home?
- Ethan Chandler: Landscape's nice. Legal system less so.
- Dorian Gray: Once you get used to something, why bother? It's just repetition.
- Dorian Gray: Different aromas make you feel differently.
- Vanessa Ives: Things are so rarely what they seem.
- Ethan Chandler: You ever wish you could be someone else? Just run away from your life?
- Dorian Gray: All the time.
- Dorian Gray: You want to be someone else? Come with me.
- Ethan Chandler: Does it involve a drink?
- Dorian Gray: Many.
- Ethan Chandler: We've all done things to survive. There are such sins at my back it would kill me to turn around.
- The Creature: You are so fragile, you mortals, such things of skin and air. Such things of the past. The future belongs to the strong, to the immortal races, to me and my kind.
- Sir Malcolm Murray: We'll carry on with this fight. We can lose every battle, except the last.
Closer Than Sisters [1.5]
- Vanessa Ives: You have to give them names or they’ll never come to life.
- Vanessa Ives: Perhaps it has always been there, this thing, this demon inside me. Or behind my back, waiting for me to turn around.
- Vanessa Ives: I tried to pray that night and God didn’t answer me, but another did.
- Sir Malcolm Murray: There was a time I would have gladly killed you and there may come a time when I gladly shall.
- Vanessa Ives: God, how I envied you. Perhaps I even hated you.
- Vanessa Ives: His name is Ariel. The most challenging bit is the eyes. They're glass, of course, so by nature are dead and dull. But that wouldn't do for my great predator. So I put mirrors behind the glass eyes, so they would spark. You see?
- Captain Branson: It's like they're alive.
- Vanessa Ives: They are. I would put mirrors behind the entire world if I could.
- Vanessa Ives: An unforgivable transgression that has marked me for life. You think you've suffered. You think you know blood. You think you've walked on corpses. Spread them from here to the horizon and I have walked further! You weak, foul, lustful, vainglorious man. How dare you presume to speak to me of death?
- Vanessa Ives: I write in hope that one day you will answer me and that everything can again be like it was... Though I know that can never be.
- Vanessa Ives: I don't remember clouds when we were young. Were there any, my dearest Mina? Just beyond the horizon, perhaps? Or was it all seashore and sandcastles? Such a thought is naive, I know. But aren't memories always that?
- Vanessa Ives: Your father loves you very much and would do anything to save you. But I love you in a different way. I love you enough to kill you.
What Death Can Join Together [1.6]
- Professor Van Helsing: Of what I am about to tell you, we cannot enlighten him.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Why not?
- Professor Van Helsing: Because the truth is unendurable.
- Professor Van Helsing: She did not succumb to a disease precisely.
- Dr. Victor Frankenstein: Of what did she succumb?
- Professor Van Helsing: I drove a stake through her heart and cut off her head.
- Sir Malcolm Murray: Do you hold out hope for her?
- Ethan Chandler: I hold out for dignity.
- Sir Malcolm Murray: She will cease to be who she is.
- Ethan Chandler: Then I will love who she becomes.
- Vanessa Ives: I have a complicated history with the Almighty.
- The Creature: Do not weep. I've learned that skill. It brings no solace.
- Professor Van Helsing: For the dead travel fast.
- Dorian Gray: Photographs are so ironically impermanent. They capture one moment in time to perfection. A painting can capture eternity.
- Ethan: Do you believe in God?
- Sambene: I believe in everything.
- Victor: [shooting bottles] Again?
- Ethan: Go crazy, Dr. F.
- Vanessa: You have very clean hands.
- Victor: Yes, I suppose so.
- Vanessa: Do you value cleanliness?
- Victor: I suppose I do.
- Vanessa: That's why you're a virgin. [Victor looks startled] Or maybe not. Who can tell about such things, such hidden things. Such secrets we all have, don't we, Doctor? [pretends to almost bite his thumb] There's a line from Shelley that haunts me, a single line from Adonais. I can't seem to get it out of my head. "No more let life divide what death can join together." [Victor stands, shuddering] Your clean hands are trembling. Are you afraid?
- Victor: N-Not of you.
- Vanessa: You think you know a greater demon? Tell me of him. Or shall I tell you? [Victor walks to his bag] Is the examination over?
- Victor: It has not yet begun. [leaves the room]
- Ethan: [about Vanessa] What's wrong with her?
- Sir Malcolm: She's been possessed by the devil.
- Ethan: [under his breath] Fuck me.
- Sir Malcolm: Or a devil. Who can say. There is a pantheon, I believe.
- Ethan: [to Victor] Well, you're a doctor, do something!
- Victor: This is a bit beyond my usual practice. [pointing up to Vanessa's room]
Grand Guignol [1.8]
- Mina: I am your daughter!
- Sir Malcolm: [Looking at Vanessa] I already have a daughter. [Shoots Mina]
Fresh Hell [2.1]
- Ethan: Mina's dead, the creature's dead. We lost.
- Vanessa: That was only a battle. Do you think the dark forces that converge on our heads can be vanquished so easily? Do you honestly believe you can escape them?
- Ethan: And the other ones? The ones inside us?
- Vanessa: Inside me you mean?
- Ethan: No, that's not what I mean.
- The Creature: What would Dr. Frankenstein be without his creature?
- Ethan: This is something I never thought I'd see.
- Sembene: What?
- Ethan: Here's a woman who faced down that creature in the theater without blinking. And held her ground against Satan himself, but now... I've never seen her frightened.
Verbis Diablo [2.2]
- The Creature: Is it not this, Ms. Ives? The glory of life surmounts the fear of death. Good Christian's fear Hellfire, so to avoid it they are kind to their fellow man. Good pagans do not have this fear, so they can be who they are. Good or ill, as their nature dictates. We have no fear of God, so we are accountable to no one but each other.
- Vanessa: That's a profound responsibility.
The Nightcomers [2.3]
- The Cut-Wife: Why you want to learn the art? [spreading out tarot cards]
- Vanessa: To find out what I am.
- The Cut-Wife: And if the answer you don't like?
- Vanessa: Better to know.
- The Cut-Wife: Not really. Look that them. What do they say to you?
- Vanessa: [looks down at the cards] Nothing.
- The Cut-Wife: [hits Vanessa on the head] I said look at them.
- The Cut-Wife: They send their girls to me, but for this very service they despise me. So it is always for those who do for women. Old as I am, I know nothing. Why people in this world hate what is not them Why they fear all they don't know. Why they hate themselves most of all- for being weak, for being old, for being everything altogether that is not godlike. Which of us can be that?
- The Cut-Wife: Monsters all, are we not?
- Vanessa: Some perhaps more than others.
- The Cut-Wife: Is that what you feel?
- Vanessa: Yes.
- The Cut-Wife: Then it will be true, as long as you feel it so.
Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places [2.4]
- Vanessa: [clothes shopping for Lily] Good morning. Vanessa Ives, pleased to meet you.
- Saleswoman: Mr. and Mrs. Ives.
- Victor: Oh God, no! No, we're not married.
- Saleswoman: Oh, I see.
- Victor: No, it's not like that either.
- Saleswoman: I assure you, sir, discretion is the watch-cry of my trade.
- Vanessa: We'll look around for a bit if we may, my non-husband and I. [they walk away]
- Victor: This is worse than I knew it was going to be.
Above the Vaulted Sky [2.5]
- Malcolm: How do we protect ourselves?
- Vanessa: There is lore to ward off witches.
- Mr. Lyle: And rituals.
- Ethan: And sturdy locks. And a shit load of weapons.
- Caliban: Do you like poetry?
- Vanessa: All sad people like poetry. Happy people like songs.
Glorious Horrors [2.6]
- Victor: My cousin and I... it's not without its complications. That's what they call the workings inside of watches. Did you know that? The intricate gears and mechanisms. Complications.
- Vanessa: Then enjoy them, doctor. They will tick away no matter what we do.
- Dorian: I come bearing an adventure.
- Vanessa: When do you not?
- Mr. Lyle: A dizzying panorama, isn't it? All the toys of love are out of the box, scattered around the floor.
- Vanessa: And at the end of the night, to be carefully put away. These terrible games.
- Mr. Lyle: And do you ever play? Or only spectate?
- Vanessa: I never learned the rules. The complications, as Dr. Frankenstein said to me, like the workings in a watch.
Little Scorpion [2.7]
- Sembene: The shamans in my mountains call it Uchawi Mabadiliko... the changing from one skin into another. The ones so cursed do not always fully remember it, this... becoming. Is it a sickness? Or is it something else? Is it a blessing, the purpose of which we can not yet see? I say, this is what it is. For I know you my friend, Ethan Chandler, I see inside you.
- Ethan: All those things that mark you when you're young... that make you what you are. Never escape them. They just wait, don't they?
- Vanessa: What?
- Ethan: The monsters inside us.
- Vanessa: Monsters?
- Ethan: What would you call them?
- Vanessa: For me... demons. But one word is much like another.
- Ethan: And when they're released?
- Vanessa: We're most who we are. Unrestrained. Ourselves.
- Ethan: You will not die while I'm here. You will not surrender while I live. If I have one goddamned purpose in my cursed life it's that.
- Vanessa: You are one man.
- Ethan: More than that and you know it. We are not like others. We have claws for a reason.
- Victor: What is love but a kind of creature waiting to be unbound? A malady. What does it bring any of us but... confusion and bedevilment?
- Ethan: Do you know what it is... to walk with someone's body tied around your neck for the rest of your goddamn life? Do you know what that is, little girl? Let me tell you about it. First time is hard. I'm sure you cried a bit, didn't you? Don't worry, that'll pass. Second time is easier. Third time, you don't blink. Then it's all just repetition. You don't cry anymore. You don't even remember when you used to cry. You're alive and they're dead. Fuck 'em.
Memento Mori [2.8]
- Sir Malcolm: We're all neophytes in love. None of us have the tools, or the weapons, or the resources. Prepared as we think we are, we're defeated.
- Dorian: So... you've discovered my secret. Forever unchanging. My sins made manifest only here. At times I've deceived myself into thinking I'm other than this. Don't we all want to paint ourselves into something better than we are? But that... is truly who I am, Angelique. Can you accept me as I am? Can you love me?
- Angelique: Yes. [drinks Dorian's wine and dies.]
- Dorian: I don't think you can.
- Brona/Lily: We flatter our men with our pain, we bow before them, we make ourselves dolls for their amusement, we lose our dignity in corsets and high shoes and gossip and the slavery of marriage! And our reward for this service? The back of the hand...the face turned to the pillow...the bloody, aching cunt as you force us onto your beds to take your fat, heaving bodies! [her voice becomes Brona's] You drag us into the alleys, my lad, and cram yourselves into our mouths for two bob when you're not beating us senseless! When we're not bloody from the eyes, and the mouth, and the ass and the cunt! Never again... will I kneel to any man. Now they shall kneel to me.
And Hell Itself My Only Foe [2.9]
- Sembene: [to Ethan] I have been much feared and hated in my life. By my people, by yours. These marks mean I was a slave trader. 'Tis my sin to live with. But in this house, I have found kindness among the unkind. So have you.
And They Were Enemies [2.10]
The Day Tennyson Died [3.1]
Predators Far and Near [3.2]
Good and Evil Braided Be [3.3]
A Blade of Grass [3.4]
This World Is Our Hell [3.5]
No Beast So Fierce [3.6]
Ebb Tide [3.7]
Perpetual Night [3.8]
The Blessed Dark [3.9]
- Eva Green - Vanessa Ives
- Timothy Dalton - Sir Malcolm Murray
- Josh Hartnett - Ethan Chandler
- Billie Piper - Brona Croft
- Danny Sapani - Sembene