The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 2

The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 2

A dastardly and murderous plot, the Church is up to something, murder in Victorian London, (mad) science, automata and resurrection. That’s pretty much the theme of season 2 of The Frankenstein Chronicles. An excellent example of the darker side of Victorian storytelling.

It has finally landed on Netflix with its second and (as far as I know) final season.

Season 2 takes off where season 1 ended, with the resurrected man John Marlotte (Sean Benn) trying to solve the mystery that led to his untimely demise, aided and thwarted by a mix of recurring and new characters.

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High Seas

Alta mar

From the moment the Villenueva sisters Eva (Ivana Baquero) and Carolina (Alejandra Onieva) decide to smuggle a woman who claims to be in mortal danger (Manuela Vell├ęs) aboard their transatlantic journey to Brazil, Alta mar (High Seas) does not relent on surprises. Every one of its eight episodes, currently streaming on Netflix, brings a new twist or turn, usually toward the end in a bid to make you binge on the Spanish series.

It works. The show is great fun. Set in the aftermath of World War II, both the style and the story will appeal to dieselpunks. The costumes and art deco decor are beautifully done. The dark-family-secret theme starts off well enough.

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The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy

Originally a comic by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame, the books have been turned into the first season of a TV series, mostly covering the story arc known as The Apocalypse Suite.

Years ago, in 1989, all around the world, 43 women gave birth on the same day. This might not sound strange, were it not for the fact that none of them had been pregnant at the start of the day. Seven of these children are adopted by Reginald Hargreeves, only to be treated to a cold life where nothing matters but becoming superheroes destined to ward off the apocalypse. Needless to say, this has left a mark on the children, now adults, and each has their own personal issues to overcome.

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Do you remember the 1990s TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch? If so, forget everything you’ve seen. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is nothing like its predecessor

And no matter how much Riverdale wants to be a supernatural drama in its third season, it has nothing to do with that either, even though it is a spinoff and the town is mentioned a few times.

CAOS, as the show is known for in short, is a retrolicious homage to classic horror and simpler times, and that’s what we’re here for.

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SS-GB

SS-GB

The BBC’s television adaption of Len Deighton’s SS-GB (1978) sees Britain under German occupation. Operation Sea Lion has been a success. Winston Churchill is dead. An ailing King George is held prisoner by the Nazis. His wife and daughters have escaped to New Zealand. Neither the Soviets nor the United States have entered the war. A British government-in-exile is struggling to win diplomatic recognition.

The plot focuses on a Scotland Yard detective, Douglas Archer (Sam Riley), who is caught up in a rivalry between his two SS supervisors as well as a British Resistance plot to exploit competition between the Germany Army and the SS. (The title refers to the branch of the Nazi SS that controls Great Britain.)

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The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

Christine is a beautiful retro-style gal, living all alone in a house that wouldn’t look amiss in the latest incarnation of the horror classic The House on Haunted Hill.

She doesn’t live alone, however, sharing her home with a variety of monsters (literally) ranging from Rankle, the mummified cat; Rose, who is assumed to be mostly a raccoon; and Edgar, who looks like he could be a retro-style werewolf.

Top that off with ghostly roommate Vivienne, played by none other than Dita von Teese and several other wacky characters.

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A Very British Coup

A Very British Coup

In 1988, Channel 4 adapted Chris Mullin’s 1982 novel A Very British Coup for television. Although the country was well in the middle of the Thatcher boom at the time, the three-part miniseries harkened back to the 1970s and early 80s and its post-industrial gloom.

Under the last Labour government before Margaret Thatcher came to power, Britain had been plagued by strikes and energy blackouts, culminating in the humiliation of the world’s former superpower requiring a bailout from the IMF.

In Mullin’s story, it wasn’t Thatcher who won the election but the socialist Harry Perkins. The character is loosely based on Tony Benn, the real-world leader of the Labour left.

Perkins (played in the miniseries by Ray McAnally) is determined to make good on his election promises: (re)nationalizing industries, breaking up big media, withdrawing from NATO and scrapping Britain’s nuclear deterrent. His program spooks the British establishment. Spymasters, business tycoons and career civil servants conspire to bring Perkins down.

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The Alienist

The Alienist

Based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr, this ten-episode Netflix original brings you the story of the early days of profiling and CSI as we now know it.

Like many other period pieces, The Alienist makes use of a combination of fictional and real people, including Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan.

The story itself is not something I will go into too much, as we have a longstanding tradition of spoiler-free reviews here at Never Was.

What I can say is that this is not just a period crime drama, nor just another crimi where they try to find a particularly atrocious serial killer, nor your typical SteamGoth show.

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The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 1

The Frankenstein Chronicles

Netflix has brought us another beautiful example of SteamGoth TV: The Frankenstein Chronicles, a British series which started in 2015 on ITV and was continued last year for a second season. Some areas already have season 2 available on Netflix as well, but we’re still waiting for that where I am. So I shall limit my review to season 1.

The show opens in London, on the River Thames, where we meet inspector John Marlott from the river police at his job. A grisly discovery on the riverbank brings an investigation into both the high society and underbelly of London to discover who is playing God, much like in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and to find a missing child in the process.

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