‘Penny Dreadful’ preview: First look at new ‘City of Angels’ spin-off

Filming on the upcoming Penny Dreadful spin-off series is underway in the US.

The British-American horror period drama series launched in May 2014, starring Timothy Dalton (James Bond), Eva Green (Casino Royale), Billie Piper (Doctor Who), Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor) and Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders).

Set in Victorian London, Penny Dreadful featured many characters from 19th-century Gothic fiction, including Dorian Gray, Van Helsing, Count Dracula, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, and Dr. Henry Jekyll.

The show was cancelled in 2016 after three seasons, but a revival was announced earlier this year.

Rather than a direct continuation, however, the new spin-off series will be set in 1938 Los Angeles and will introduce a brand new cast.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is described as “a spiritual descendant of the Penny Dreadful story” set in “a time and place deeply infused with Mexican-American folklore and social tension.”

Penny Dreadful creator John Logan is back on writing duties and filming began earlier this summer.

Marking the start of production, Showtime released an official promotional photo featuring two of the new characters, detectives Tiago Vega (Daniel Zovatto) and Lewis Michener (Nathan Lane).

The original synopsis hints: “Rooted in the conflict between characters connected to the deity Santa Muerte and others allied with the Devil, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will explore an exciting mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of that period, creating new occult myths and moral dilemmas within a genuine historical backdrop. This chapter is a bold new vision that will employ all new characters and storylines.”

While none of the characters from Penny Dreadful will appear, one cast member is returning. Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), who played Frankenstein’s creation The Creature, is back. This time he’ll be playing the role of Dr. Peter Craft.

The character is described as “a successful German pediatrician and the head of the German-American Bund, an organization he hopes will keep the United States isolated from the growing threat of war in Europe.”

Other new faces include Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer as Magda, “a supernatural demon who can take the appearance of anyone she chooses and manifests in a number of guises throughout the story.”

The cast also features Jessica Garza, Johnathan Nieves, Adriana Barraza, Michael Gladis, Rory Kinnear, Kerry Bishé, Brent Spiner, Amy Madigan, John Logan, Lorenza Izzo, Adam Rodriguez, Thomas Kretschmann, Dominic Sherwood, Ethan Peck and Lin Shaye.

Penny Dreadful creator John Logan previously revealed that City of Angels will have “a social consciousness and historical awareness that we chose not to explore in the Penny Dreadful London storylines.”

He explained: “We will now be grappling with specific historical and real world political, religious, social and racial issues. In 1938, Los Angeles was facing some hard questions about its future and its soul. Our characters must do the same.”

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is expected to premiere in early 2020 on Showtime in the US and on Sky in the UK.

The complete Penny Dreadful box set is available on Amazon.