The Frankenstein chronicles grabbed me from the first episode of the first season. It is essentially a gothic murder mystery thriller — set in early 19th century London during the pre-victorian era, mixing historical events with science fiction and some gothic horror.
Sean Bean is excellent as always, playing John Marlott of the River Police, tasked with investigating the mystery surrounding the discovery of a body that washed ashore. This dead body appears to be made up of body parts sewn together from different people. Very similar to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel, which was released a few years before the events of the show. Mary Shelley is a character here, but not a central character, and it is cool to see her featured in the show. Other historical figures of the era are also featured, like William Blake and Sir Robert Peel, as the Home Secretary, who was instrumental in founding and creating the modern British police force.
The first season is excellent, using the events of the historic passage of the Anatomy Bill as a backdrop, and with the strong opposition from religious groups and all the anti-science sentiment of the historic period. We see the early days of forensic science being explored. We have mad scientist-type doctors conducting all kinds of weird experiments on dead and living bodies. The show captures the grim, gloomy, and dark vibe of the era. There are beautiful shots of 19th century foggy London — The divisions between the upper class and the underclass are clearly distinguished. Additionally, the characters are interesting enough to keep you invested in the show.
Season 2 is not as satisfying as the first, mainly because the second season tends to drag a bit — with a lot more exposition than season 1. However, it is still compelling enough to keep you watching.
Three out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿
The Frankenstein Chronicles (Season 1 & 2). Streaming on Netflix