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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Penny Dreadful, Season 3

Penny Dreadful, Season 3

Premier SteamGoth/horror series Penny Dreadful is back.

Season 3 takes place a few months after the events of the season 2 finale. If you haven’t seen season 1, it’s not the biggest issue in the world (although it does help to have seen every episode), but you really should watch season 2 before starting season 3 or else you’ll have very little clue about the background leading up to events in this season.

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Deutschland 83

Deutschland 83

Deutschland 83 is Germany’s answer to the highly successful American television drama The Americans. Whereas the latter follows two well-trained KGB “illegals” in the United States, Deutschland 83 centers on a young East German border guard who is unwillingly thrust into the middle of a nuclear standoff.

The two series have a powerful theme in common: the way in which the extreme polarization of the Cold War could tear families apart.

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Agent Carter

Agent Carter

Agent Carter is one of Marvel’s recent additions to their cinematic universe. Peggy Carter was first introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger, not only as Captain Roger’s love interest but as a lady of flawless class, style and competence. It’s no surprise the character became loved enough to earn her own TV series.

The time is 1946 and things have radically changed for Peggy. Where she was a valued part of anti-Hydra and -Nazi actions during World War II, she is now the sole female field agent of the Strategic Scientific Reserve — and grossly overlooked by her male co-workers.

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Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful poster

If there is such a thing as a quintessential SteamGoth series, Penny Dreadful must be it. The eight-episode first season of this British series has mad science, asylums, mysticism, disease and horrific crimes committed by the living and the supernatural.

Penny Dreadful largely takes place in Victoria’s London and revolves around a cast of characters fighting an ancient evil.

A word of warning: this series is not for the faint-hearted. It can be very gruesome and very brutal.

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Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Avatar: The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra is the sequel to the original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon from Nickelodeon. It’s set seventy years into the future from the original series and is a whole new show in its own right. Although it’s not necessarily to see Avatar first, I would still very much recommend it or you will miss out on a great many details and history of this story.

In the first season we meet some familiar characters, a whole brand new bunch and a brand-new setting.

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The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

Some days just don’t go very well for the Doctor, as you could already see in the prequel to this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe.

The story starts pretty explosive, with the Doctor ending on Earth in something of a predicament. Luckily for him, the very friendly and caring Madge Arwell lends him a hand and gets him into a his faithful Tardis. It is pre-World War II England and Madge’s family is happily living in a quiet village.

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Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is the best thing that’s been on television since AMC launched Mad Men several years ago.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, imagine The Sopranos, set some ninety years in the past. It’s Atlantic City during Prohibition and Boardwalk Empire combines bootlegging and American upper-class bliss in a splendid mix. It is the Roaring Twenties and, although liquor is banned, The World’s Playground went through its golden age of gambling and entertainment.

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The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin

It must have been a nostalgic mood that gripped me when I decided to buy the boxset of The Adventures of Tintin. I was yearning back to rainy Saturday afternoons when the TV or a good book offered the only chance for some innocent high adventure. So I acted on this whim and made the purchase, remembering the brightly colored characters and escapist adventures of Tintin.

Although not strictly what we might call dieselpunk, being based quite directly on period comic strips, these Tintin films could still be considered as good examples of the pulp genre and so are worthy of our study.

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