Part gothic horror, part detective series – this twisted tale will have you on tenterhooks
The Frankenstein Chronicles, Tuesday 24 July, 10.45pm, ITV/HD (CH 103/113). Also available for 7 days in Catch up > Channels > ITV Hub
Sean Bean takes the lead in this chilling reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, playing a police inspector who finds the body of a child washed up on the shore. Only it’s not actually a child, but an assembly of body parts taken from a number of murdered youngsters. Heard of a grislier premise than that?
This six-part series stiches together elements of Shelley’s mystical tale with familiar period drama tropes and the essence of a police procedural.
Here’s six reasons why you’ll be enthralled…
1. Because Sean Bean
We’re bonkers about the Bean. We love him in Sharpe. We love him in The Lord Of The Rings. We love him in Game Of Thrones. We love him in Broken. We love him in Moby’s music video for his track “We Are All Made Of Stars”. And he’s perfectly cast in The Frankenstein Chronicles as haunted policeman Inspector John Marlott. Complex and brooding, it’s Bean doing what he does best.
2. He’s joined by a cracking cast
But it’s not just all about that Bean – the star is joined by the likes of BAFTA winners Anna Maxwell Martin (Poppy Shakespeare) and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), plus Ed Stoppard (Knightfall), Samuel West (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis).
3. It’s Frankenstein like you’ve never seen it before
True, the world’s not short on Frankenstein adaptations. Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel, which tells the story of a young scientist who creates a grotesque new life form in an experiment gone awry, has been adapted hundreds of times for film, TV, the theatre and in books. But this one really goes above and beyond – it’s told from the point of view of a troubled police inspector, the story is relocated to London and its positioning as a detective drama adds a further layer of intrigue.
4. Some familiar faces pop up
Real historical figures surface as the plot develops. Anna Maxwell Martin brings Mary Shelley to life, while Sir Robert Peel – the Conservative Home Secretary and Prime Minister who helped create the modern police force (hence the term “bobby”) – is played by Tom Ward (Silent Witness). Poet and painter William Blake is portrayed by Steven Berkoff (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), and Ryan Sampson (Horrible Histories) stars as Boz – a character based on a young Charles Dickens.
5. It’s 10 out of 10 for atmosphere
It’s got the hats, the handkerchiefs, the stench of poverty, the fact it always looks freezing cold – yep, this is 19th-century London at its grittiest and most eerie alright. (Psst… it was actually filmed in Northern Ireland. But we won’t tell if you don’t).
6. Series 2 has already been filmed
So once you’ve made it through the first series, you won’t have long to wait for your next fix of chills, thrills and blood spills!
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