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Penny Dreadful - Closer Than Sisters

episode 1.5

Ireland / UK / USA 2014
produced by
James Flynn, Morgan O'Sullivan, Pippa Harris (executive), John Logan (executive), Sam Mendes (executive), Chris W. King (supervising) for Desert Wolf Productions, Neal Street Productions/Showtime, Sky, Netflix
directed by Coky Giedroyc
starring Timothy Dalton, Danny Sapani, Anna Chancellor, Olivia Llewellyn, Graham Butler, Frank McCusker, Lili Davies, Fern Deacon, Noni Stapleton, Xavier Atkins, Michael James Ford, Joseph Millson, Diane Jennings
written and created by John Logan, based on characters created by Bram Stoker, music by Abel Korzeniowski, special effects by Team FX, visual effects by Take 5 Productions, Mr. X

Penny Dreadful (TV-series)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Back in the day, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and the now missing Mina Murray (Olivia Llewellyn) had been best friends, and Mina's father Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) was also a father to her - but Vanessa had always been a tad jealous of Mina. At the same time she was deeply in love with Mina's brother Peter (Graham Butler), a love that was unrequitted. Vanessa in the meantime got luckier with Captain Branson (Joseph Millson), a handsom man who had asked for her hand in marriage - which prompted Vanessa to seduce him, and of course Mina found them both. The marriage didn't happen after that, and Vanessa and family are shown off the Murrays' premises.

After being evicted from the Murrays' place, and after a few attempts to reconcile with Mina, Vanessa's condition gets worse and worse, and she starts to communicate with the netherworld - and eventually, her condition becomes so troubling that she's sent to an asylum, where she falls into a catatonic state. Peter comes round to visit her once, and really gets her out of her condition - long enough for her to predict his death.

Months later, Vanessa's well again, or as well as she can be having constant conversations with the netherworld. And one day, she's walking down the beach and bumps into Mina. At first, it seems the two women reconcile - but there's something fundamentally wrong with Mina, as if she was possessed, or wasn't really herself or something - and then she disappears into thin air right before Vanessa's very eyes. Vanessa pays another visit to Malcolm, who tells her Mina has been abducted by some dark forces, upon which Vanessa offers her assistance in tracking Mina down. Malcolm grudgingly accepts.


Probably the best episode of Penny Dreadful so far as this one finally concentrates on one storyline and one only rather than telling several disconnected stories all at the same time, and it does have an actual story arc as well as character arcs. Sure, there are still quite a few plotholes and leaps of reason here and there, but overall it spins a fine yarn full of mystery that entertains quite a bit and makes one want to watch more.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD