News: Please be patient while modifications are made to the new themes to add in familiar menus and features.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The Frankenstein Chronicles review  (Read 19362 times)

Offline lab183

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Merrick's Clone
  • *
  • Posts: 521
  • Life is a song, love is the music
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2015, 10:31:51 AM »
These work for me, thanks Patch and I was thinking the exact same thing about the bread...I was thrilled to see the herbs and the natural remedies...love that!

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2015, 12:51:46 AM »
Review: The Frankenstein Chronicles (S1 E4/6), Wednesday 2nd December, ITV Encore
Quote
This excellent series has, so far, taken us deep into the depths of Georgian London – its slums, social mores and how it grapples with a concept we still grapple with today: death. What it means, what form it takes and, in The Frankenstein Chronicles, how to cheat it. Marlott has been hunting a deranged killer, but thinks the disappearance of a young girl called Alice could hold the key to finding him............ 
https://thekillingtimestv.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/review-the-frankenstein-chronicles-s1-e46-wednesday-2nd-december-itv-encore/



The Frankenstein Chronicles episode 4 review: The Fortune Of War

Quote
This review contains spoilers.

1.4 The Fortune Of War

Taking its title from where the series left us and Inspector John Marlott last week, episode four of The Frankenstein Chronicles took us right back to the grubby Fortune of War pub. The 19th century’s answer to Harvester isn't somewhere many people would voluntarily return to, but Marlott had work to do, hoping to bump into snatcher, killer, stitcher n’ seller suspect number one “Billy the Child Catcher”. The leads that led Marlott here: deputy Joseph Nightingale knows that dead bodies are transported through the tunnels snaking underneath the Fortune of War; grave robber Pritty knows which locals are dealing in death to pay the rent; and witness Flora knows Billy was the one who snatched missing child, Alice. Unfortunately, those three pointers are taking our protagonist somewhere dark with no escape route, and we know there’s nobody high or low, religious or scientifically-minded, in Chronicles’ gritty locale who can be completely trusted.

It was a tense start this week, and things didn’t get easier on us or Marlott just because Billy didn’t show (yet). In an already very full suspect pool, episode four threw in even more dastardly wrong ‘uns. Cut-throat cult ‘The Bishops’ were the ones skulking around the tunnels in black lace and rags, making business deals at the end of a blade (and that was Game Of Thrones’ Kate Dickie--Lysa Arryn--under one of the veils, unsettlingly pitching her voice ‘Nancy from Oliver!: Nightmare Edition’ high). Looking like they’d stumbled in from a stock horror archetype convention, right down to their super-villain gang name and Goth get-ups, the new family on the block quickly became less fantastical. The Lady Gaga head gear? Well, the tunnels are dusty, aren’t they? ‘The Bishops’? Not a comic-booky gang with a religious bent, they’re just plain ol’ Mrs Bishop and her kids, supplementing their income with a bit of murder-to-order on the side. As with all the players we’d already been introduced to, there was extra character detail to find under the surface traits.

With more bad guys creeping out of the shadows week by week, it’s a good thing Marlott has got himself a couple of people who’ve proven their loyalty, number one being Nightingale. Richie Campbell’s work on the series is becoming a much-needed spot of kindness in such a harsh setting – Nightingale’s softer eyes a counter to Marlott’s haunted ones. Though, Joseph is just about bordering on becoming an old sop (some more boxing next week?!) when it comes to witness Flora.

Ah, Flora. Back on Marlott’s doorstep this week, the willing-to-help Flora made her return just when the plot required a young woman to serve as bait for some suspects – what good luck, in a series full of such bad luck, hmm? Like the ‘the red-headed lad’ from back in episode one – who was dead meat as soon as Marlott had him investigating where the missing children were disappearing off to – Flora is placed around proceedings at just the right points to get the plot moving where it needs to go. In other (lazier, not as quality) productions, she might have been sacrificed early on with no characterisation beyond ‘disposable sex worker is here to help the hero’, but so far she’s stuck around for more than ‘fridging’, and that's a surprising relief. Especially considering she’s dodging the double-whammy of horror and thriller tropes that aren’t always so kind to more peripheral female characters. And she's a fighter; as soon as Nightingale points out to Marlott – busy planning just how to use her as bait for Billy, etc. – that Flora can barely stand after losing her baby, she quickly straightens herself up, resolving to hide any hesitation or weakness. She’s great, and here’s hoping she’ll make it out of the series alive and un-reanimated.

But you never know, now that Billy is back on the scene. Missing the date at the Fortune, Billy was back to remind Flora “You’re mine, and I still got use for ‘ya […] I’ll slit you up, all the way down to you know where”. So here’s one we’re hoping doesn't make it out of the series alive. His character touchstone – not the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, because Billy is worse – goes well with this ep’s Nightmare Nancy; we’re talking Bill Sikes. Though, Sikes wasn’t this intimidating (and that Bill was even scaring off his best buddy Bullseye by the end of Oliver!).

The tensions at the start brought us to a tense middle, a suspenseful sting putting Flora in trouble, culminating in a showdown with the Bishops at the brick kiln. We also got another visit with the much-nicer-than-The Bishops-and-less-stabby Hervey siblings, dining with Warburton (who had better have brought along a nice dessert from the Weird Cake Shop he disappeared into last week). During luncheon we learned that breathy Lady Hervey is still sweet on Marlott, or her brother Daniel should look into getting her an inhaler, and that Daniel totally helped Flora out with an abortion, him being less preachy than his sister and Warbs.

We also learned that scenes with Sean Bean and Ed Stoppard, who is playing Daniel Hervey, are really, really very good, and there should be more of that sort of thing (along with more of the afore-mentioned boxing stuff from Joseph).

Wrapping up the tense beginning and middle came the equally tense ending, courtesy of Boz and Mary Shelley, who had both been suspiciously absent for most of the episode. It turns out Boz has been busy, deciding to go after the story that Marlott had promised him and dubbing the case 'The Frankenstein Murders'. Which is bad for poor Mary Shelley, who only just managed to get out of London before the controversy cycle started around her again. Poor, innocent, on-the-run Mary Shelley... who finished The Fortune Of War walking around what looked like a set from film adaptations of her book; strapped operating table, Galvanism equipment, et al. So maybe she can’t be trusted, either. It's difficult to predict after an episode full of baiting and switching for the characters, and for the viewers watching them.
 
http://news.abomus.com/en/UK/news/kultura/frankenstein-chronicles-episode-4-review-fortune-war




« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 04:43:45 AM by patch »

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2015, 11:57:56 AM »
The Frankenstein Chronicles S01E04 “The Fortune Of War” REVIEW



Quote

Essential Plot Points:

Episode The Fourth: In which our inspector arrives at a dead end.
We discover Flora is without child.
Billy the Child Catcher is caught, and isn’t the monster.
BOZ writes an expose on the “Composite Corpse” for The Chronicle.

 Review:

If you thought The Frankenstein Chronicles couldn’t get any grimier, you’d be wrong. At the end of the last episode our resolute Inspector Marlott and his unwilling accomplice Pritty were seen descending into a tunnel under the public house that gives the episode its title. At the end of the filth-strewn tunnel we meet the Bishops: a particularly odorous and exceptionally mucky bunch of miscreants. Led by Ma Bishop (Kate Dickie), they specialise in finding fresh bodies for the surgery schools. Suspecting them of using bodies which aren’t actually quite dead yet, Marlott asks them to find him a fresh corpse for “company”. Yep, he poses as a necrophiliac with a preference young girls.

Meanwhile Flora returns from her stay at Sir Daniel Harvey’s hospital sans child, claiming she miscarried.

Using her as bait Marlott and Nightingale catch both Billy (Robbie Gee) and the Bishops. However it transpires that the two are not connected in any way, nor are they connected to the washed-up body. The Bishops are willing to murder to obtain bodies in good fettle for the surgery schools, but draw the line at children. The escapade is not without its casualties, however, and Flora ends up unconscious after spending too long in the noxious fumes from a brick kiln.

Boz visits Marlott’s old employers, the River Police, and bends some ears to get the lowdown on the washed-up corpse. He pens an expose for The Chronicle on “The Frankenstein Murders”, riling Mr Peel.

Marlott has managed to exhaust pretty much all his leads, and he’s no closer to finding the perpetrator. Perhaps he needs to cast his net a little higher up the societal ladder, it would seem as though Miss Mary Shelley and Mr William Chester are certainly hiding something. Shelley visits a galvanist’s laboratory at the end of the episode; its bloody table looks like something straight out of the pages of her book. Inspector Marlott has been busy clearing the decks, hopefully ready for a monstrous finale…

 

The Good
The plot is moving along again, tidying up some loose ends.
Plenty of action, intrigue and scandal.
Marlott and Lady Harvey’s strange and awkward courtship continues.


The Bad
Still no monsters
http://www.mcmbuzz.com/2015/12/04/the-frankenstein-chronicles-s01e04-the-fortune-of-war-review/

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2015, 03:05:41 AM »
I was thinking the exact same thing about the bread...


I was "take the drops.I want a second season" at this point!


Offline lab183

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Merrick's Clone
  • *
  • Posts: 521
  • Life is a song, love is the music
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2015, 10:53:17 AM »
I was thinking the exact same thing about the bread...

I was "take the drops.I want a second season" at this point!

Oh no! Please tell me you don't think they will kill him off at the end of this, do you?! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!  :hellno

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2015, 11:26:17 AM »
Oh no! Please tell me you don't think they will kill him off at the end of this, do you?! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! 

I hope not,seeing the pace of the investigation,Marlot'll never get who did it in the 2 remaining episodes.
It takes at least another season to do so and hoping for more.





« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 11:41:49 AM by patch »

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2015, 04:50:46 AM »
Oh no! Please tell me you don't think they will kill him off at the end of this, do you?! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! 

I hope not,seeing the pace of the investigation,Marlot'll never get who did it in the 2 remaining episodes.
It takes at least another season to do so and hoping for more.

I think he HAS to solve the crime by the end of this season or the audience will be very annoyed with him! But that doesn't mean Marlott has to be killed off --just because we're all conditioned to think that's the default ending for Sean's characters. Next season could have another crime to solve, and maybe a romance with Lady Harvey.  I fervently hope there is a season two.

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2015, 04:59:42 AM »
The Frankenstein Chronicles episode 5 review: The Frankenstein Murders

The plot is starting to pay off in this penultimate episode of Gothic galvanism series, The Frankenstein Chronicles...

This review contains spoilers.

Quote
Ending with the reveal that ‘the composite’ of body parts found at the start of episode one probably crawled to the water by itself, we were left with the teaser of a look at the reanimated creatures in the next episode. And, you never know, perhaps “the secrets of heaven and earth […] the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature” will be revealed, as well. But we’ll settle for more weirdness; its stranger parts are what makes this show such an interesting chimera.
 
http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/the-frankenstein-chronicles/38198/the-frankenstein-chronicles-episode-5-review-the-frankenstein-murders



« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 05:03:10 AM by patch »

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2015, 12:27:10 AM »
The Frankenstein Chronicles S01E05 “The Frankenstein Murders” REVIEW

Quote
Essential Plot Points:

Episode The Fifth: In which our inspector has a creeping suspicion
The anatomy act is passed.
We discover Garnett Chester was responsible for Flora’s pregnancy.
We discover Garnett Chester may be responsible for the composite corpse.
We discover Garnett Chester’s dead body,
 



Quote

Review:
Frankenstein. The name alone is enough to make most people think of monsters, even if it actually belongs to the creator of such horrors. And so we reach the penultimate episode of The Frankenstein Chronicles, and still we have no monsters to show for it. While the body count creeps up slightly this episode, it’s more political intrigue than monstrous goings on.
 
We begin with Mary Shelley (Anna Maxwell Martin) confessing to Inspector Marlott that Sir William Chester is more than capable of murder in pursuit of his great obsession: galvanism. Indeed, she has seen him killing in the name of science before. She then leaves town, which is frankly a blessing as Martin’s delivery has about as much life as the fictional monster her character created.

Marlott sets out to investigate Sir William (Samuel West), but discovers that maybe it’s his cousin, Garnett (Mark Bazely) who is a more likely fit.

The excellent Robbie Gee makes another appearance as Marlott persuades Billy to confess he supplied the bodies of children to Garnett. Marlott takes the evidence to his boss, Home Secretary Peel, who promises to deal with it personally. Next thing we know Garnett’s body ends up in William Chester’s office at the hospital, wrists slashed with a scalpel, seemingly by his own hand.

 Meanwhile Boz’s expose in The Chronicle has put the Anatomy Act in jeopardy, Sir Bentley Warburton (foppishly played by Elliot Cowan) demands an emergency sitting of parliament.

Peel digs the dirt on Sir Bentley with a dawn raid on a sweet shop; the same sweet shop where Warburton gave Nightingale the slip in a previous episode. It seems the proprietor’s perfumed pompadour isn’t the only thing peculiar about the premises; it’s home to some seemingly salacious goings on. The raid brings some much-needed levity to the episode, with shrieks of “Please don’t tell my wife,” and men in frocks running this way and that. Threatened with scandal Warburton withdraws his opposition and the act is passed.

Marlott is now in line to become supervisor of the newly-created Metropolitan Police Force, and everything is nicely wrapped up.

Except… Chester has form for making things look like suicide, and he has plenty to gain from the Anatomy Act. Namely a plentiful supply of dead bodies to experiment on in his pursuit of galvanism. Marlott now believes Chester has succeeded in bringing the dead back to life, and that the original abomination actually crawled its way to the river…

Sean Bean continues to play the dogged inspector true to form. A veritable ray of sunshine to oppose his dour melancholy comes in the form of Flora, excellently played by Eloise Smyth.

Not much has been made of Marlott’s condition. We get about one interrupted dream or hallucination per episode. It would have been nice to see him descend into madness, mirroring his discovery of the wretched and corrupt world around him. Instead he looks a bit tired and has an expanding sore on his hand, hidden by a dirty bandage.

While there’s a lot going on this episode, you can’t help but feel that the whole series has perhaps missed an opportunity. Aside from the literary characters this could be any political drama set in 19th century London. That’s not to say any of it is necessarily bad, but it could have been made better by maybe diving deeper into some of the Blake/Frankenstein mythos instead of briefly hinting at it and leading with the politics. With only one episode left, it’s a bit late to turn things completely around, but here’s hoping for at least a monster, even if it is only Sean Bean with no nose.



Quote
The Good
Marlott gets a kiss.
Plenty of political intrigue.
Moves the plot along at a brisk pace.

The Bad
Anna Maxwell Martin’s insipid performance as Mary Shelley is really starting to grate.
Perhaps there’ll be a monster in the last episode…
http://www.mcmbuzz.com/2015/12/12/the-frankenstein-chronicles-s01e05-the-frankenstein-murders-review/





« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 12:30:47 AM by patch »

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2015, 01:17:43 AM »
Quote
She then leaves town, which is frankly a blessing as Martin’s delivery has about as much life as the fictional monster her character created.
I think she's rather good; something so nineteenth century about her.

Quote
Not much has been made of Marlott’s condition. We get about one interrupted dream or hallucination per episode. It would have been nice to see him descend into madness, mirroring his discovery of the wretched and corrupt world around him.
Oh, it's there, but we don't need to be bashed on the head with it. If he goes mad, there will be no season two, so no, we don't want that.

Quote
... but here’s hoping for at least a monster, even if it is only Sean Bean with no nose.
LOL How old is this guy?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 01:21:31 AM by Rebecca »

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2015, 10:35:52 AM »
I haven't seen a review for the season's finale yet,but imo it just screams out for a second season. :thumbsup:

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2015, 11:03:21 AM »
Yes, it does! 

I didn't see any of the last half hour coming. Very cleverly done in that if it is indeed the end, the viewer isn't left hanging and unsatisfied, but it could easily be continued.

Offline lab183

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Merrick's Clone
  • *
  • Posts: 521
  • Life is a song, love is the music
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2015, 07:50:51 PM »
 :applaud: :drip:  I second that! Cheers to Season 2!

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2015, 12:24:58 PM »
The Frankenstein Chronicles S01E06 “Lost And Found” REVIEW



Essential Plot Points:

Episode The Sixth: In which our inspector is stitched up
Lord Daniel Hervey is found to be the villain of the piece.
Inspector Marlott is set up for Flora’s murder, and swings for it…
…but returns
Quote
  And so we reach the end of our tale, the final episode of The Frankenstein Chronicles. Six episodes later and Inspector Marlott (Sean Bean) has followed clues up dark alleys, down dirty tunnels, and all around Olde London Towne. Mind, if you’d only watched the first episode, then came back for the finalé, you probably wouldn’t have missed much plot-wise. Which isn’t to say the episodes in between were bad, or lacking substance, just that as far as the main storyline goes, they were pretty much filler.

So it would seem our poor Inspector Marlott has been looking for monsters in all the wrong places. The Chesters were not to blame for the creature washed up way back in episode one. Lord Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is the culprit, and has been up to all sorts of diabolical goings on at his remote “hospital”. Upon investigation Marlott finds Alice, the little girl lost, also from episode one. In the process however he gets himself caught by Hervey’s slow manservant Loris (Brian Milligan), the real “monster” of Smithfield market, and killer of children.

Next thing he knows, Marlott awakens at home in bed with a bloody shirt. Laying on the kitchen table is Flora with her throat slit. Nightingale chooses the wrong moment to visit his sweetheart and finds Marlott leaning over the body with bloody knife in hand.



There follows a swift trial in which Nightingale as the only witness damns Marlott to the hangman’s noose.

There’s a great scene as Marlott is taken away to the gallows in a cart pursued by a group of reporters, brandishing their notebooks and pencils like paparazzi. It’s also nice to see some old friends turn up to see the inspector off; Boz, Pritty and Ma Bishop all make an appearance. It’s little touches like this which has lifted the series up from a run of the mill 19th century political drama.
 As Marlott drops and the noose tightens, we see his vision of the forest, his dead wife standing by an empty crib, he looks up to the sky to see an eclipse, everything fades to white and the credits roll.

 No, hang on with the credits. There’s still half an episode to go. We hear Daniel exclaiming, “He lives,” as Marlott wakes up in a laboratory. He has been brought back to life, not with the elemental force of galvanism, but with the natural science of extract of baby foetus: perhaps the first medical use of stem cells.

Hervey seems convinced that he’s done everyone a favour. In “cleansing” Marlott and curing him of his syphilis, he has created the evolution of mankind, and the perfect wedding present for his sister. She doesn’t quite see it the same way, and is generally a bit upset that he got her a revived Sean Bean.

So Marlott has now become the monster, the beast with the face of a man.



The episode ends with a musical montage (set to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”); Lady Hervey marrying Warburton; Alice returning home; Marlott escaping from the tower. Hervey’s manservant Loris gets his comeuppance with a fork in the eye and a particularly crunchy ride down some stone steps. Before the credits roll for real, we see Marlott shambling away from the tower, destination unknown.

And so we come to the end of the series. Production values have been excellent throughout, in particular the costuming and millinery. Acting has also been (for the most part) top-notch; Vanessa Kirby as lady Jemima Hervey is a particular standout, especially in this episode as she comes to terms with Marlott’s descent into syphilis-ridden madness, subsequent death and then re-animation.

The series had enough political intrigue to keep you interested, and guessing who the bad guys really were. Behind all the talk of monsters, beasts and murder, there was a decent drama hiding. The Frankenstein angle seem a little overplayed, preparing you for a darker, more monstrous drama that the show never intended to be. Maybe the show has only been setting the scene for season two, with Sean Bean returning as the avenging monster with a heart of gold.



The Good
A monster!
We find the real creator of the composite corpse.
Sean Bean and Vanessa Kirby make for a great beauty and the beast.
Talk about having your cake and eating it – Sean Bean dies, because, well, he’s Sean Bean… that’s what he does. But then he lives! Was he cast solely to give that whole twist some an extra dimension?

The Bad:
Everything in between this episode and the first was pretty much filler as far as the plot is concerned.

And The Random:
Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” was a staple in horror film soundtracks from back in the day. It’s a great and effective piece of music, but it’s use here is a little cheesy.
Apparently it’s Lord and Lady Hervey, and not Harvey as we had previously written!
“He lives!” is clearly a nod to all those Frankenstein films where Dr Frankenstein hollers something similar. There’s no such moment in the original novel, but in the famous 1931 Frankenstein movie the Doctor yells, “It’s ALIVE!” while in Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) he cries, “SHE’s alive!”
 
http://www.mcmbuzz.com/2015/12/19/the-frankenstein-chronicles-s01e06-lost-and-found-review/



« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 12:30:13 PM by patch »

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2015, 12:38:35 PM »
Quote
Episode The Sixth: In which our inspector is stitched up
:mutley:

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2015, 12:44:28 PM »
The Frankenstein Chronicles episode 6 review: Lost And Found

Quote
The Sean Bean-fronted Gothic cop show shuffles successfully off into the cold beyond for its closing chapter...


This review contains spoilers.

1.6 Lost And Found

So many potential plot directions had been set up for the finale of The Frankenstein Chronicles. The mysteries of missing children, stitched corpses, suspicious surgeons and untrustworthy politicians had stretched so coiled-tendon tense that the final snap promised an electrified punch. That the hit didn’t really ever come, leaving us flinching and “…huh?” was confusing, unfulfilling… and ballsy as hell.

This is how ITV mystery-thrillers are supposed to go – weird murder/murders, good casting, red herring, red herring, red herring, wrong person framed, good guy turns out to be bad guy, showdown in last ten minutes, hero wins/dies, credits roll, audience satisfied: can move on with lives. Lost And Found didn’t get the memo – instead, blowing its Big Bad reveal early on, jettisoning the tension, then just kinda… following the protagonist around until the credits. And it was fantastic.

Just think of all that potential denied. We’d been teased (and teased, and teased) with reanimated creatures galvanised into life to be revealed at last – maybe they’d descend on John Marlott, Joseph Nightingale, and Flora No-Last-Name-That’s-Not-a-Good-Sign in a bloody showdown by the Hackney marshes? Nope, no zombie hoard this week. Mary Shelley, scarpering out of London sharpish after being dragged half to death in the tabloids, showed a flicker of excitement when hearing reanimation was possible and totally happening in the capital in last week’s ep. That was promising – would she enter the melee with a flintlock to help our heroes here at the end? No. Sir William Garnet, heavily hinted as the villain of the series – he’d saunter in and explain his evil plot to Marlott at gun point, sic Billy the Childsnatcher on him, rig something to blow, right? He didn’t show up at all. All those things could have happened, but who would have predicted how we would actually spend the episode while the time ticked down?

There was some satiation of expectations, sure. Marlott died, as Sean Bean characters do – Sean Bean performances being just too darn good for this cruel world we live in. And the reanimation element was never going to be wasted, not when there’s an opportunity to bring him back; we knew that. Apparent good guy Sir Daniel Hervey had his heel-turn (genre rules dictating that should happen in the last ten minutes, but it came closer to the first. Also, while we’re on this point, Nightingale should have been seemingly mortally wounded, Marlott should have struggled with Hervey for a knife, win, rescue Nightingale – you get it). Herv even slapped an underling like a bad guy should, giving Marlott some nefarious side-eye while he was at it. That’s what you’d want and expect. But that was it in terms of giving the audience what we’ve been given over and over again and ready ourselves for as a result – nothing else was sacred, even the sanctity of Marlott’s dead pig race evidence was ripped away. The dead pig floated to Greenwich, but guess what – the super-villain headquarters wasn’t in Greenwich at all. It was opposite Greenwich. Can we ever trust a dead pig race again?

Instead of big final fights and revelations, the episode bravely went with just…yeah, showing Marlott’s afterlife unfold in an unhurried way – Brother Hervey calling him ‘his Adam’, trying to feed him, showing him some kindness. Sister Hervey being given a roped n’ stitched undead Sean Bean as a wedding gift (better than a toaster – also, this ticks off the ‘at least one completely nuts element per instalment’ requirement that I assume the production/writing team set for themselves during the creation process), with the suggestion they’d carry on a relationship in secret. Then a closing montage set to Gothy organ music of Marlott escaping the Hervey compound, and walking out and away from where we can watch him.

I still can’t figure out whether the ending was a squib that didn’t go off, or a shot at something deeper than series like this are usually allowed to aim for. Or if it was even intended as a clever/cruel bait-switch for the viewers – I like that idea the best, but the actual intention doesn’t matter. The finale was surprising, and weird, and the cast was great throughout. How many other shows could have made disappointment so satisfying?
 
http://news.abomus.com/en/UK/news/kultura/frankenstein-chronicles-episode-6-review-lost-and-found



Quote
  Sister Hervey being given a roped n’ stitched undead Sean Bean as a wedding gift (better than a toaster 
:mutley: and much hotter!!!







« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 12:53:04 PM by patch »

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2015, 04:29:01 AM »
The Frankenstein Chronicles

Series 1, Episode 6 - "Lost and Found"



Quote
In the season finalé of The Frankenstein Chronicles, we finally have our monsters, the residential mad scientist is finally revealed, as is the answer to the only real question on our lips: will Sean Bean’s John Marlott make it to the end without dying? Well, all situations aren’t as mutually exclusive or clear cut as they might at first appear to be. “Lost and Found” covers the most ground of any episode thus far, attempting to wrap up events in the first three acts before dropping an absolute bombshell on the narrative in the final act, delivering on the slow-burn sci-fi horror promises of the season arc in a way that will make fans heavily petition for a second series should it get cancelled.

Why would it not get renewed? One of the issues I’ve not really addressed is how The Frankenstein Chronicles has only been aired on the ITV Encore channel in the UK, which (approximately) nobody has heard of, and can’t even be accessed without a subscription to Sky, Sky Go, or Now TV. For the love of all that’s decent, this show deserves a proper full-fat audience. Whether the A&E network over in the US can make a decent fist of it, we’ll have to wait and see; but take my advice and pre-order the DVD if you can’t get access to ITV Encore. It’s a small price to pay to watch one of the most interesting shows this year, and if you love gothic drama then it’s a no brainer (or a Frankenstein monster brain at the very least).

Picking up after last week’s revelation that child-raping villain Garnet Chester (Mark Bazeley) may have been set up by his cousin, Sir William Chester (Samuel West), to take the fall for the hideous acts of “recombination”, the story tantalizingly floats the idea that this is where the journey ends. Marlott is waiting after hours outside of Chester’s hospital, and witnesses his own boss, Sir Robert Peel (Tom Ward), make a suspicious nocturnal visit, leading him to surmise: “It confirms my worst fears, he knows what Sir Wiliiam is up to; he has done all along, and this monstrosity reaches to the very heart of our government”. Case closed. Light up a Meerschaum, pour yourself a Cognac, and kick off your Hush Puppies, Sherlock; you’ve earned it.

Except, when Marlott returns home to pick up his old service pistol and has what appears to be a full blown syphilis-induced paranoid attack on his young ward, it becomes apparent that we’ve all been duped: it’s not shady Sir William, but the munificent Lord Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) who has been “steeped in blood, in ways you can’t even begin to imagine”, whilst his man-servant, Lloris (Brian Milligan), is the child-snatching “monster” that all the children fear. Cue the dramatic suspense sound effect! 

 This then becomes something of an uphill battle for Marlott in convincing others that he’s now got the right suspect (suffering from the “the boy that cried were-wolf” syndrome, perhaps?). When Marlott enquires of Lady Hervey (Vanessa Kirby) “Has he told you about raising the dead?”, he may as well have also asked about Daniel’s ability to crack the moon in half with a well-placed expulsion of wind—there is no way that Marlott can sound credible whilst he’s ranting like a frothy mouthed foreteller of the End of Days—even though they are fast approaching the predicted “World without God”.

It’s also at this point that Marlott deserves his first reprimand of the episode for a Keystone Cops-esque blunder, when he realizes that Lord Hervey’s Abbey hospital is on the other side of the river from the exact spot where he’s been placing the blame. How did Marlott not make this connection, and why didn’t I think about looking across the river? I wouldn’t be surprised if on revisiting earlier footage we could see the Abbey in the background, possibly with Lord Hervey stood on the embankment, flipping us the bird. It’s not the last time I kicked myself whilst this week’s episode laughed at me.

Without Nightingale (Richie Campbell)—who has ironically decided that his job in law enforcement is more important—Marlott ventures into Lord Hervey’s territory, passing over the Cave Baestium floor seal and mingling amongst the same ruined grounds where he saw Alice (Jessie Ross) in his “visions” from earlier episodes. Once more, when the reality of police work fails Marlott, the mystical fronds of the narrative lead him towards the truth, which is rapidly of limited success and comfort for Marlott, who finds Alice still alive in a dark underground cellar, but in quick succession finds himself knocked out, bound to a chair, and forced to drink a green liquid as crows circle and caw overhead.

Marlott manages to wake up in his own bed (which is a feat he was obviously assisted with—I’ve drunk my fair share of green liquids), with the caveat being that he’s covered in someone else’s blood (I wouldn’t know anything about that…). Once Marlott gains his bearings, he discovers some shocking truths. Lying on his bed, the Inspector is finally confronted by Blake’s works, which Flora (Eloise Smyth) laid out on the floor for him last week.

Getting to this point was one of the longest teases of the show, and the pay off made me hate myself. Arranged in two concentric circular patterns, taking the first letter from each point in the inner ring spells CAVE, with the outer circle spelling BAESTIUM. You know, exactly like the seal at the Abbey. Were this review in an audio format, to accurately convey my emotions at that point, the rest of the sound file would be an extended, painful raptor scream from Jurassic Park, followed by the whimpering sound of a barrel of crying puppies—if puppies could also mutter expletives.

As early as the second episode, where Blake’s works were introduced, I suggested that the images contained accompanying text; the first letter of each is made bold, which may be a clue like LYCA was, or the suggestion may be less convoluted as three of the four panels can be plainly read and understood within the context of the show: “Adam”, “Christ”, and “Monster”, but in the end, I literally couldn’t put all the pieces together. Furthermore, these are the same artworks that have been used in the opening titles for the show. The solution to the entire case has been before us from within the first couple of minutes of the first episode. I admire the tenacity of the filmmakers, but I also want to hurt them for making me feel as utterly useless as Marlott must do in the last episode, when his greatest clues are offered when it’s too late to act upon them.

Midway through the episode, Blake’s artworks aren’t even the big surprise of the scene. Remember the blood? That used to belong inside poor Flora, who is now resting on the dining room table as a centerpiece for the dead—which Marlott discovers at the exact moment that Nightingale walks into the picture.

After these revelations, The Frankenstein Chronicles sets off on a path that may divide viewers. With Mary Shelley (Anna Maxwell Martin) gone, there are no more contextual historical revelations aside from Hervey’s confession; and with the politics completely jettisoned (aside from brief considerations about Peel’s position in all of this), the narrative focuses exclusively on Sean Bean, who gives a career best performance as a man who has been wrongly accused of murder—and whose life simply gets worse from there.

From a prison cell, Peel refuses to believe Marlott’s accusations as Lord Hervey appears as the Devil on Peel’s shoulder to reveal that “the patient misconstrues the Doctor as the source of all his agony”. Nightingale compounds the situation, giving a court-room testimony that Marlott’s behavior was “deranged”, and Marlott’s defense lawyer also “helps” by offering that his client was “not in possession of his moral and mental faculties” due to his venereal disease. This chain of devastating events explains why, in addition to the symbolic connotations, Marlott was burdened with an STD throughout the season—the corruption of the physical body allegedly reflects the state of the inner soul. If only there was a way to have a different body.

Oddly enough, for a show that has taken its time getting to the climax, I thought that the whole build-up in this episode towards the last quarter was more rushed than it needed to be. It feels like the season was designed to be an episode or two longer, and these events—which are arguably the showcase for Sean Bean and his phenomenal ability to play a down-trodden and distressed everyman—are greatly truncated; or perhaps, the reason that John Marlott’s decline’s so affecting is precisely down to how swiftly he has been brought down by the political, social, legal, and moral failings of his era. When Marlott exclaims “I’m not a murderer!”, leaping forward to be restrained by both arms being manacled to bench, the constrictions of his world are made manifest.

Another moment that feels slightly off is when Boz (Ryan Sampson) meets Marlott in his cell and explains that he’s “leaving the newspaper business [and] going freelance with a book of sketches; thought perhaps this visit might form the basis for one of them”. Yes, this is confirmation that Boz is Charles Dickens, the author of Sketches by Boz, and is famous for his observations about “Scenes” about places such as Newgate prison, but this is hardly the time to trumpet a new business venture—even if it is a pretext for sending
Boz out to find Alice (Jessie Ross)—Marlott’s Get Out of Jail Free ticket—in order to make the following scenes more tense. I’m surprised that Edgar Allen Poe didn’t take the opportunity to play the priest offering to take confession, so he could tell Marlott he had just started his writing career too.

And with that, Sean Bean—sorry John Marlott—dies on the gallows, kicking, struggling, and with a burlap sack on his head.

And then, he wakes up to the sound of “He lives”.

Uh oh.

Lord Hervey has taken it upon himself to bring Marlott back from the dead, which for the briefest of moments appears to be almost charitable as he shows Marlott his own hand—minus syphilis—but then, along with Marlott, we notice with the new addition of thread sewn around the wrists, and then the neck, and then we hear Marlott’s animalistic moans as he realizes he has a different body: somebody else’s body.

Marlott spends the rest of the episode crying, moaning, or entirely silent, and you can’t really blame him. The detective has crossed a line he had no intention of passing, and it would be impossible for him to close the case now, at the hands of the criminal he’s been chasing for ten episodes. Marlott has also been separated from the afterlife reunion with his deceased wife and child, and it’s quite devastating to witness the end point of the season’s journey featuring a man—our hero—who now wants nothing more than to be left alone to die.

Lord Hervey, on the other hand, is like a kid at Christmas with a shiny new present, proudly explaining that Marlott is “the next step, an existence where there is no suffering, because there is no death”, and going so far as to parallel Doctor Frankenstein, calling his new recombination “The One. My Adam.” Yeah, because that turned out well. We discover that through the tutelage of Johann Dipple (who we looked at in the episode 3 review: he checked out Sir William’s PhD thesis. Damn it, another tiny clue Marlott missed!), Lord Hervey has arrived at a point beyond the work of the Chesters and galvanism, announcing to a bewildered Marlott: “Perhaps you were expecting electricity?

The keys to life lie deeper than that, much deeper. Inside us. All around”. All of the galvanism talk throughout the season was a massive red herring! Hervey also casually mentions that “the substance that brought [Marlott] back from the grave came from [Flora’s] feotus and thousands of others like it”. Just when I thought he was beginning to channel his inner-Wet Wet Wet to say the answer was “Love is all around us”; nope, dead babies; dead babies are all around us. Not quite as catchy, but Hervey seems pleased by the revelation.   

Lord Hervey also explains that the main reason he chose Marlott as his test subject was due to his sister, Lady Hervey (Vanessa Kirby) proclaiming the virtue of her white knight. (Note to self: don’t make Game of Thrones-styled eternal pledges to women I barely know; it never ends well). Lord Hervey is the classic villain who can’t grasp the concept of the wrong that he has done, which leads him to bring his own sister into the fold, offering Monster Marlott as a grotesque “wedding gift”. Was this on her Amazon wedding gift list? I fear that we’ll never find out. 

Vanessa Kirby, as Lady Hervey, perfectly executes a sublime horror scream response, backing into a corner, hands to face, eyes wide open, and making unnaturally discomforting shrieking sounds, whilst her brother almost laughs with incredulity at her disconcertment. I noticed that in this episode, Lady Hervey wears a variety of green outfits; has this always been the case? For comparison, Mina’s (Winona Ryder) clothes in Bram Stoker’s Dracula are mainly green, because according to costume designer Eiko Ishioka, she wanted to symbolically reflect “her youth, simplicity, and naiveté”.

Conversely, green is also the color most commonly associated with Boris Karloff-era iterations of Frankenstein, so this could be her Bride of Frankenstein wedding dress color, to contrast with her actual wedding, where she is wearing a more traditional whitish grey color scheme. (Not that white became a tradition until 1840—13 years after The Frankenstein Chronicles is set—when Queen Victoria was married.)     

Lady Hervey makes it her “penance” to help Marlott, but in the last throes of the episode, and of the season, to the soundtrack of Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor (a horror classic used in the opening titles of the 1931 adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and more famously in Hammer Horror’s 1962 iteration of The Phantom of the Opera), Marlott stabs his captor, Lloris, in the eye with a fork and escapes, running down the path out of the Abbey to freedom, whilst shots are intercut of Lady Hervey’s wedding—with Lord Hervey in tow, so he’ll still be roaming the shadows of London in season two—and Alice returning home to her parents.

Does The Frankenstein Chronicles deliver us a satisfying ending? It perfectly sets up the next season in one major way, as I’m confident that we’re all wondering what a Monster Marlott will be capable of. Lady Hervey’s wedding replaced what was sure to be Nightingale and Flora’s wedding until events conspired against them, and as such it doesn’t really carry as much emotional weight. Lady Hervey (sorry, Lady Bentley) is now trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who has now given her brother, Lord Harvey, the potential for unlimited extra funds for his experiments, so it will be interesting to see how he deals with Marlott’s escape.

Nightingale fizzled out for me, so I’m not in a rush to see him again—even though he’s probably the first person Marlott would turn to as he can now corroborate his story, and I’m sure Nightingale would be up for some revenge. Now that Alice has returned, Boz can expose Lord Hervey as Marlott intended, but I would expect that storyline to be snuffed out fairly quickly once the engines of politics and power start to grind. It’s a shame that Mary Shelley left the series in episode 5, but with her departure, there’s room for more cameos in the second series, as we edge ever closer to the Victorian period of English history.

On balance, the season ended just as brilliantly grim as it started except, instead of a floating dead body, we now have one sprinting and moaning about London. Have the scales started to tip from the pretenses of rational science to the monstrous and truly fantastical? I’m looking forward to finding out in the second chapter of The Frankenstein Chronicles.

http://www.popmatters.com/review/the-frankenstein-chronicles-series-1-episode-6-lost-and-found/
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 04:38:34 AM by patch »

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2015, 01:14:42 PM »
Quote
I’m looking forward to finding out in the second chapter of The Frankenstein Chronicles.

Does he know something we don't? That'd be awesome.

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2016, 10:51:18 AM »
Monstrous times, but no Frankenstein in this smart reimagining

Quote
There have been plenty of Frankenstein ‘reimaginings’ (as we call them these days) over the years, but one excellent recent example didn’t even feature a Frankenstein at all.

The Frankenstein Chronicles was filling our home screens (albeit tucked away on ITV Encore) in late 2015, just as the big screen gave us Victor Frankenstein – a disappointing reworking, which aimed to do for this film classic what Guy Ritchie had done for Sherlock Holmes. It managed the impressive period sets, lots of noise, shouting and fighting, but not much else.

Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) is promoted to a main role (the Watson to Frankenstein’s Holmes), but the central characters aren’t very engaging, and even the big climactic scene in a Scottish castle doesn’t have much to commend it, apart from an appearance by Mark Gatiss.

In contrast, The Frankenstein Chronicles was produced on a much lower budget, by the talented folk at Rainmark Films. But it was much more gripping, and dealt a final episode that had such unexpected twists, it left me in a state which a younger person might describe as OMG WTF.

Set in London in 1827, it doesn’t actually feature Frankenstein, but centres on a River Police officer, played by Sean Bean. Instead of following Frank in his lab, this focuses on the investigation which follows the discovery of a child’s body – stitched together from the parts of several kids – washed up on the banks of the Thames.

This London is cold and dirty, and a pretty monstrous place to live – with hunger, disease, and violence the everyday realities. It also involves some real-life characters – Robert Peel, William Blake, ‘Boz’ (the young reporter Charles Dickens?), and Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, as well as smart references to other period TV pieces.

No more spoilers, because as I write this (January 1st 2016) you probably haven’t seen it yet (why was it hidden away on that channel at 10pm in midweek?); but I will tell you I found it cleverly written, brilliantly acted, good looking, gripping, and ultimately shocking.

Most importantly, it demonstrated a truly imaginative way of reviving the Frankenstein story. And in a ‘reimagining’, that’s really what you need.
 
https://pieceofpinkpie.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/monstrous-times-but-no-frankenstein-in-this-smart-reimagining/

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18184
Re: The Frankenstein Chronicles review
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2016, 11:12:30 AM »
“The Frankenstein Murders” – Frankenstein on TV and Film AD 2016

Quote

A special romantic catch-up with Jokerside’s favourite morality tale this Valentine’s Day! Love has a crucial place in Mary Shelley’s tale and Jokerside takes a look at 2015’s Victor Frankenstein on film and The Frankenstein Chronicles on TV through many glasses of pink sparkling wine. They’re needed. ❤ ❤ Spoilers abound ❤ ❤
 
The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015)

Similarly transposing the myth to London is ITV Encore’s The Frankenstein Chronicles. But this time, that relocation is very much the point for all the publicity that hailed it as a reimagining of the Frankenstein myth.

With a wonderfully atmospheric start that manages to blend the music of Sherlock with the look of recent Dickens adaptations, The Frankenstein Chronicles is very much a product of its time. But it also carries the breadth of its influences on its stitched sleeve from the start. That opening, set in the Greenwich peninsula of London is pure Great Expectations. It’s London of 1827, dodging the Victorian era by a few years to remain Georgian, and instead of a startled Pip Pirrup on Bugsby’s Marshes, there’s the grisly discovery of a young girl’s corpse, with twitching, stitched hand “Parts of at least seven children. Disarticulated and reassembled” as they say.

The heart of The Frankenstein Chronicles is Sean Bean’s grizzled, plain-talking John Marlott, a name carrying a cunning reference to Bean’s famous role in Sharpe, and the kind of bullish and moralistic policeman familiar from many a 19th century police drama. For the Chronicles are indeed a police procedural, with Bean appearing in almost every scene. Unlike Victor Frankenstein, where neither Igor not the good Doctor are really allowed to fall into society, but always sit beyond it, Marlott’s rough and ready copper fall into the mysteries of high society are at the root of the story. And for all the intricacies of the plot it boils down to a resolutely simple whodunit, or whoisFrankenstein?

Rooted to the twists of the tale, and as interesting as historically-stretching, is the blend of William Blake and none other than Mary Shelley alongside Robert Peel and countless other historical characters. None come off particularly well. But intriguingly, set a decade on from the publication, Shelley, played by the ever-excellent Anna Maxwell Martin, is dogged by her novel. As the roots of that come to bear on the present, throwing up a number of medical red herrings it’s a shame that Marlott’s character is the only person in the country never to have heard of Frankenstein. A lot hinges on that, but still, we find out he’s been quite preoccupied. Cu: many shots of him poring over the tone.

Credit to pulling in William Blake, albeit briefly, and casting Steven Berkoff in the role. It’s a nice acknowledgement of Blake as influence on Shelley, and her as influence on the story itself.

Chronicles ramps up references wherever it can, from the reappropriated monastery hospice to the heavy influence of Dickens which carries through the episodes far beyond the opening nod to Great Expectations. Soon Marlott would take a Nancy under his wing and tussle with her Bill Sykes. Come the peak of Episode four, a journalistic expose makes no bones of the links to Jack the Ripper and the threat of a surgeon-like serial killer in London’s midst.

It’s an interesting and strong conceit, with the grizzled fearless undercover copper uneasily mixing with the aristocracy against the backdrop of Peel’s dedication to push through his Anatomy Act. Passed in 1832, that Act gave surgeons greater remit to dissect corpses, tackling the public outcry over grave robbing. Of course, it eliminated much of the everyday horror that fuelled by the likes of Burke and Hare and inspired much gothic horror including Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dracula. “Medical science has grown beyond their comprehension” – the associated superstition and the suspicion of hoaxes the truth adds considerable substance to the tale. And it’s satisfyingly odd when it becomes key to the extraordinary series finale.

It’s unfortunate that significant clues as to the villain can be found by looking at who is fictional and who real in this universe. Also, that Marlott is afflicted from Syphilis from the off. We’re left in no doubt as to the seriousness of the disease – with a graphic representation of the tertiary phase – and while the affliction’s symptoms add a crucial ambiguity to what’s real and what’s not, it follows similar patterns laid down by the well trailed occurrence of consumption in Penny Dreadful earlier in 2015.

Like Victor Frankenstein, and very much an indication of where Frankenstein finds itself in the 21st century there’s great exploration of who’s actually the monster. There’s a broad field to choose from and although it serves up a Frankenstein figure, it’s bold enough to actually remove the figure where Victor Frankenstein suffered by putting him front and centre.

There’s a poor pun, given without irony, but bound to raise an ear in a Frankenstein tale. In all it’s a rather complicated and sprawling plot that really all boils down to love. It’s interesting to catch the older Mary Shelley, abandoned by life, to drip in the morals surrounding abortion and then a rather feeble love story between the girl Bean saves and his idealistic young deputy. It’s the shocking resolution to that which leads to Marlott’s downfall. And there’s even time for the unlikely love affair between Marlott and sister of the villain of the piece, the far out of his league Lady Jemima Hervey. Lady Hervey herself pledged in a loveless marriage and quite probably come the end, the unluckiest character in the piece. She, as with Marlott are merely pawns in a large game of political machination versus the work of an utter mad man.

From the start the other unlucky contender, Marlott, is too haunted. By his disease, his past and the growing mystery of his lost child and wife, he’s too dogged to be anything other than doomed. “Come back to us John, don’t forsake God…” – “God’s forsaken me…” come the hallucinations, apparently prophetic glimpses and warnings.

 Come the end, the drawn out twist conclusion is remarkably unexpected considering the signposts that followed Marlott everywhere. It really plays the misdirection well. And come the inevitable, the misconceived love story suddenly shifts focus. This isn’t about the love of Frankenstein or Igor, but love felt for the creature itself, Hervey’s “Adam”. It’s particularly poignant as we see Marlott ripped back from the afterlife with his wife, one of the key sequences sitting up there with the Marlott’s deduction that the young corpse he found had crawled to the river, not washed up. Lord Hervey’s most successful creature becomes the method for the mad man’s sister’s absolution (she also being its aunt) and even little Lyca/Alyc, the search for whom lay at the heart of the story, is returned safe and well. The love that emerges come the end wanders more into the territory of King Kong, but also manages to capture the gloomy sentiment of Shelley’s novel astoundingly well; quite the opposite of Victor Frankenstein.

Effectively shot, if highly bleak, Chronicles mainly suffers from its over-earnest seriousness – even come the extreme melodrama of the organ scenes at the end. There’s no relish in the Frankenstein of the story, even when he appears. The script and over produced grime and authenticity is similar to the slight stiltedness of BBC and Amazon’s Ripper Street. It packs in the horror jumps, which taught me to be scared of open doorways, but not an ounce of necessary humour. The ending is sequel friendly for what was originally conceived as a miniseries and I wonder if they’ll get the chance to correct that. The situation the leads find them in suggest it would be a tall task to add even a mote of comedy.

Flashbacks reveal Shelley’s influences and the despair that came from experiments at James Hogg’s abode. And aside from that experiment with galvanisation not producing a monster from, the friends’ playing with dark science comes across a bit like Flatliners. Still, it’s particularly striking as we see little other evidence of the villains hard at their own evil work. And it’s the flashback that kicks the series into gear and intriguingly turns this programme into the real creature of her inspiration. Given her sudden, awkward and disappointing exit, a sequel would do well to expand Mary Shelley’s role.

Most of all, the flawed but worthy The Frankenstein Chronicles must be awarded added points for painting it’s inspiration in such a terrible light. As Mary Shelley says of the book that dragged her family name into disrepute and left her an outcast: “It has caused great misery in this world and I must make sure it doesn’t cause anymore”.

Well, indeed. Frankenstein, making the world a better place for 198 years.
http://jokerside.com/2016/02/14/the-frankenstein-murders-frankenstein-on-tv-and-film-ad-2016/