Showtime’s deliciously creepy freshman series Penny Dreadful made its Comic-Con debut yesterday with a Q&A session including showrunner John Logan and cast members Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway. At the well-attended panel in Ballroom 20, Logan teased the second season of the show, noting that he plans to bring his main characters up against a more tangible human protagonist this time around – and it’s someone viewers have already met.
Logan revealed that Helen McCrory’s Madame Kali, who appeared in two installments of Penny Dreadful‘s eight-episode first season, will be taking on a more central role in the show’s sophomore run. “Her supernatural world becomes the threat to all the gentlemen sitting on the stage with me,” he said, gesturing to Hartnett, Carney and Treadaway. Unused footage from the season one finale “Grand Guignol” was then aired at the panel, shedding more light on Kali’s villainous motivations.
In the scene, which will appear in season two at some point, Kali speaks with quirky Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale), whom Logan promises will be “deeply embroiled” in season two, about Vanessa Ives (Eva Green). If fans need a reminder, Kali witnessed Vanessa in the throes of demonic possession during the episode “Séance.” Kali tells Lyle that “there is nothing common about Miss Ives,” adding that there’s little that women won’t do in the pursuit of beauty. “What games we’ll have, Miss Ives and I, when one will live and one will die,” she intones malevolently, expressing her desire for Lyle to join her and saying that Vanessa and her will “unleash glorious horrors” together.
Said Logan of season two as a whole:
“The cosmology, the theology of the show gets much larger [in season two] — they’re thrown into a much more threatening supernatural world… [Season one was intended to] build a family and bring them together — the joy of writing the second season is building on those relationships in different patterns.”
On comparing the seasons, though, Logan noted:
“Next season is very different. Having spent 10 years building this world in my mind, I talk about the first three seasons of what the story is. What excites me about season two is … it gets much larger.”
Logan also explained that while the first season brought the characters together, the theme for the second season is a little different:
“The thing that makes them exceptional, extraordinary, is a blessing and a curse simultaneously — so how do you exist on that fulcrum?”
On the matter of Hartnett’s Ethan Chandler, revealed to be a werewolf in the season one finale, that character will not take a backseat in the upcoming season. “He finds out exactly what he is, and has to deal with the consequences of that,” promises Logan. Ethan’s father, “a monstrous man who treated his son brutally,” will also factor into season two, which will delve more deeply into the character’s tragic backstory. Eventually, Logan hopes to have origin episodes, similar to the first season’s “Closer Than Sisters,” for all the characters – but expect Ethan to be up next.
Other exciting news for Penny Dreadful? Logan definitely plans to reveal Dorian Gray’s (Carney) famed portrait in the second season. Originally, it was meant to appear in “Grand Guignol,” but the creator eventually opted to push back the reveal for a little longer. Additionally, Logan hopes to introduce Doctor Moreau and include a visit to the Island of Lost Souls in a later season.
Penny Dreadful will debut its second season in 2015.