The Frankenstein Chronicles (TV Series 2015– ) Poster

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Nothing you will expect
timesplittertales24 December 2015
First of all, people need to stop saying this is an interpretation of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. It is anything but that. This story takes place about 10 years after that novel was published, which was my first clue that this was going to be something completely different. As a nice early surprise, the novel itself does exists in this tale, which adds further realism to the whole affair. What this tale is though, is two things. First, it's a superb detective mystery. Secondly, it is well-executed, well built-up, gut wrenching horror.

The premise is undeniably very dark, and ingrained in the times, but there are underlying themes that are quite relevant to the world of today--it is a mirror for certain scientific dilemmas of 2015. The protagonist (played by Sean Bean) is a good man but a tortured soul, with high potential for being of unreliable perspective (his character might be experiencing dementia). So that alone will keep you guessing. If you start watching it, watch it to the end. You will see that it is anything but an interpretation of the novel, Frankenstein.
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Interesting & unique take
viper-5772631 December 2015
Felt this was let down by the marketing and fairly bland trailers. I only watched since Sean Bean was in it, thank goodness I did! Whilst its pretty slow initially, after 2 episodes when it all starts coming together the show stands out as a very creative one, with what I certainly felt was a completely original story based around the Frankenstein lore. In this respect it was a great surprise, and like others have mentioned, with so many shows coming out now based on established materials this was very refreshing.

Hopefully we see more, since whilst I do appreciate shows that keep it short and direct, instead of like others dragging on longer than they should (you know who you are!), this is one story that certainly has more to tell.

Not to miss.
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krugerh15 November 2015
Absolutely brilliantly directed! A Must watch series. Great cast, loving Sean Bean in this! and set in a bleak and dim London, it is fantastic and very atmospheric. Apparently filmed in Northern Ireland the scenery is fantastic. Cleverly written, with the traditional Frankenstein story woven with historic nineteenth century London, makes you feel it could be true! I'm a sucker for a period drama so this ticks that box for me too. So often you come across a series that tries hard to do a remake of a famous story and fails in an epic way, so it is refreshing to watch this as it has brought the story to life again and in a historically inspired way.
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This needs to air in North America ASAP!
SMcFirefly10 November 2016
Sean Bean, superb as usual, leads a fantastic supporting cast through this dark and gritty investigation of mutilated corpses and the possibility of galvanizing the dead back to life.

I cannot say enough about this 6 episode (what was originally supposed to be mini-series - but now renewed for a second run!) season. Everything from the costumes, the sets, and the music (oh, the great music!) is phenomenal! The opening credits and theme deserve some recognition as it was very well done (I had a Game of Thrones vibe watching it)!

This could have easily ended at episode 6, because it was a perfect way to end this story, but I am also excited to see where they take Sean Bean's character next!
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True Detective on the filthy streets of Regency Era London
venusboys315 February 2016
I'd heard nothing about this show going in. I'm kind of surprised no word of mouth reached me before discovering it... seeing as how it hits so many beats that share my interests. History and mysticism and conspiracy and film noir... and Frankenstein! I was impressed when William Blake showed up in the series and even moreso when Mary Shelley herself makes an appearance. Her infamous book being a possible impetus behind the crimes the protagonist detective is tasked with investigating. The show is gritty and gruesome and complex in the motivations of its various political factions vying for power. Add to that that the protagonist is not entirely reliable because of disease and medication and the show becomes a quite a heady mix at times. The bad guys range from street scum on up to, maybe, members of Parliament... and no one is safe.

Great stuff, I hope there is more to come.
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Great start, which promises to get better!!
Whitetower412 November 2015
Having watched the first episode last night, i am very impressed.

The show centres on John Marlott, who after an unsuccessful opium case, finds a dead girls body on the shore of the marshes. However this was not just one dead girl, but parts of many! So what ensues after is inspector john Marlott being put on the case to find the culprit.

Set in a bleak and dark London, the setting looks fantastic and eerie. The story seems clever, weaving the traditional Frankenstein story with real life London, nothing looks like it will be too far fetched at the moment, but has the capabilities of being so?

The acting is superb. Albeit the first episode it a little slow, Sean Bean carries it along by us the viewer being invested in his character with a troubled past. Bean has always had a uncanny knack of making the viewer transfixed on him, excellent screen presence. The supporting cast are also notably excellent too, with Richie Campbell as Nightingale (his partner) and Robbie Gee as Billy Oates also captivating.

The first episode finishes leaving the viewer intrigued, not waiting for episode two to see which direction the show will take, the tradition Frankenstein story with bolts in his neck? Or a more contemporary mad scientist detective case? Or maybe a mixture of both?

We will have to wait and see, but i will certainly keep watching.
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Wonderfully creepy and disturbing stuff...
bushtony19 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A six part mini-series with a top-notch cast, headed by Sean Bean, great production values and a nifty hook and line in grounding the Mary Shelley mythos in a real-world historical setting. It screams PRIME TIME, but finds itself inexplicably tucked away in a late night spot on the less than essential ITV2 channel. What gives? John Marlott (Sean Bean) is a London river cop in the early 1800s. In the process of busting a smuggling gang he stumbles upon the washed-up corpse of a child on the banks of the seriously polluted Thames. Only this corpse is a composite of body parts of multiple children crudely stitched together. It could never have lived, yet it briefly grabs Marlott's wrist before lying still forever.

The Home Secretary (Robert Peel) charges Marlott with finding out who is responsible for the "abomination" and we're off full tilt into a Gothic world of fog, body-snatchers, rotting corpses, child prostitution and murder, bizarre medical experimentation and political intrigue.

Mary Shelley (Anna Maxwell-Martin) widow of the poet Shelley and author of Frankenstein and William Blake (Steven Berkoff) poet, writer and artist are key figures who pop up along the way and are instrumental in driving the narrative forward.

It is wonderfully creepy and disturbing stuff. So atmospherically shot and mounted that you can almost smell and taste the stench of death and decay as the characters instinctively recoil from it, covering their faces with whatever they can to blot it out.

Sean Bean gives a master-class performance as a good, honest man adrift in a world of physical and moral corruption. Marlott is an ex-soldier (from the same regiment as a guy called Sharpe, reference spotters), veteran of Waterloo, wracked by grief, guilt and despair after having unwittingly passed on syphilis to his wife and new born child, resulting in their untimely deaths. The illness is active within him, and combined with mercury treatment (a painful and pointless remedy) induces florid nightmares and vivid hallucinations. Anyone who ever wrote Bean off as little more than a movie rent-a-heavy, or sitting duck dead villain in waiting, should reassess on this evidence. His affecting portrayal of tragically damaged and conflicted humanity here is nothing short of superb. Re-imagine it as if Di-Crapio or Crooze replicated in a movie with a bit of a profile, and he'd be instant Globe or Oscar bait.

I'm going to watch the last episode in a day or two, anticipating an outcome that I haven't even been able to guess at. I have no idea how this is going to pan out exactly, and that's a good thing. It is always a great, and indeed rare experience to find a period drama that is both captivating and unpredictable. Set at a time when religion was railing and losing ground against the advance of science and in a capital metropolis teeming with filth, crime, social inequality and exploitation of the weak and vulnerable, it's a compelling canvas upon which the action is drawn. The script is thoughtful and well-rendered and although ultimately it lacks the gloriously overwrought and fantastical dynamic of, say, PENNY DREADFUL, or the heroic wild-west undertones of RIPPER STREET, it represents a solid and entertaining companion piece to those two shows.
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A very dark interpretation of the Frankenstein novel
s327616929 November 2015
The Frankenstein Chronicles is a very dark interpretation of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

Indeed, this work is far more bleak than the original book. Its mired in the misery, inequality and depravity of 19th century London. The focus in this case is not adults but missing children, making this already disturbing tale that much more troubling.

Sean Bean hands in an excellent performance as the lead detective who knows the case he has been tasked with solving, is not, in fact, the case he is really investigating. There's a dark underbelly to this stories dark underbelly.

This is a masterful work, but I would say its not for everyone. I personally found its heavy, sombre and at times downright depressing tones, a little too much to handle. No doubt its true to the awfulness of the times but that's in some ways little consolation. That said, if you are prepared to accept the dark tones of this series I have little doubt it represents an impressive watch. Eight out of ten from me.
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Sean Bean brings light to the darkness of London
qbangy22 December 2015
With the recent glut of Superhero TV series hitting our screens I found this show to be welcome relief. Sean bean as lead manages to play the inspector with the air of someone who just isn't quite right, with flashbacks to his troubled past becoming more frequent it helps to build on his mental breakdown.

I have found the story at times needing a little more "Umph", yes the characters are being fleshed out and the mystery appears to deepen with each step the inspector takes to catch his "Monster", but at the same time do we really need to spend so much time in the inspectors rooms, what do they add to the story?

The overall gloom of the setting does lend weight to the story, the divide between rich and poor, privilege and servitude is very apparent, with the inspector squarely in the middle of these differing worlds.
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Excellent Series..
morrisstephen18 December 2015
I just want MORE! Just sad that it ended after such a short run. I hope there is a second series. I liked the 'suggestions' in the series relating back to Sharpe! Including the kid whistling 'Over the Hills and Far away' and even at the end when Sean Bean' opened his trunk, there was his pistol, sword and uniform from the Sharpe series.

Luckily I have the Sharpe boxset and intend to watch it again this week.

Well worth watching if you are a 'Sharpe' fan but don't mind blank endings!

Sean has never lost his accent in any of the series or films he has been in. I think that makes him unique.
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Can't Stop Thinking About This Series
trygolf11 March 2018
I loved Penny Dreadful and am enjoying The Alienist, so the period drama The Frankenstein Chronicles appealed to my taste perfectly. It started as a very gritty early 19th century police procedural, with an investigation of a strangely mutilated dead child led by Thames River police inspector John Marlotte (Sea Bean). It quickly became something much more. It intertwines many timeless themes, including guilt and redemption, the corrupting influence of power and greed, science versus religion, and the nature of the afterlife. Literary references and themes are liberally added, with glimpses of Frankenstein author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly and poet/visionary William Blake.

The lead actors inhabit their characters completely and heartbreakingly. Sean Bean's Marlotte is a decent man drawn into the most extreme and horrifying circumstances, who maintains his humanity even when it is taken from him by force. A new actor to me, Richie Campbell, plays Marlotte's smart and ambitious partner with great depth. A little surprisingly given the period of the show, a number of fine women actors play more than decorative parts in the series, including Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), Maeve Dermody and Eloise Smith.

The show's tone is very dark; sadness (and lots of blood) permeate each episode. There is not much humor or lightness to leaven the seriousness, but this show is a nightmare trip worth taking if you enjoy the cerebral and the macabre.
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Had me at 3mins and 59 seconds
sephraims12 April 2019
I have passed over this tv program for awhile, thinking it some wannabe gothic horror story about Frankenstein. Oh how wrong I was! I loved 'The Alienist' and this program was recommended so I decided to take the plunge and watch it. I'm chuffed that I did because it's brilliant. I love Sean Bean. The acting is great and set design is really good. I'm hooked. I think I'm going to be binge watching on Netflix
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The celebrated mystery thriller seen from the eyes of a curious officer and the judgment of its time, while preserving the fair surreal ambiance.
quincytheodore3 January 2016
The Frankenstein Chronicles is a unique take of the famous story from the perspective of detective trying to solve a grizzly case. Audience might have an idea of what transpires from pop or literature experience, the series uses this as an advantage, teasing and making only vague connections to keep the interest. It invests quiet a lot on the social value as well as visual atmosphere, flamboyant it might not, but it does capture the gritty and muddy ambiance of the time.

Detective Marlott (Sean Bean) has the luxury of finding a mangled corpse of a child. The investigation takes a turn for the eerie worse as he finds more peculiar twists than expected. Marlott isn't the typical suave confident detective most shows opt for, he's just a simple working man with equal tragic past and drive to solve the mystery. Having a veteran actor like Sean Bean is a definite plus and he seems to fit the role living in faraway past remarkably well.

Visually, the series is engaging, although not in traditional gorgeous manner. There's only few beautiful Victorian era architectural majesty, instead this is a look of dirty roads without pavement and widespread poverty. Strangely, the atmosphere works well for a medium loosely based on popular reading. Many other movies have tired the faint fantasy visage, this murky approach serves as a more grounded witness to the era.

It also produces a greater focus on the social or religious aspect of things. The archaic paradigm creates deeper emphasis on the gruesome puzzle. Marlott is clearly a sympathetic man, although he chooses more passive stance and might look deceivingly detached. It's not often that a main character takes less dominating spotlight, which gives the series ample time to tease whether it will follow the famous story line or sew together different branching plot.

By using still air of the past and fragments of broken doll, it's a retelling of renowned fable from modest man and the era's point of view.
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Enchanting, subtle excellence
muclat19 February 2018
Feels like the show is truly underappreciated. One might even go as far as calling it a hidden gem.

The writing succeeds in creating a gripping, melancholic reality full of subtle emotion, perfectly portrayed by the cast.

The absence of unnecessary flashiness and the convincing look through the eyes of the hopeless and the ambitious leaves me craving for more episodes.
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Absolutely Brilliant
martinthebucket3 August 2019
I have never ever write anything on IMDb, but I needed to write something down just to thank the authors and the whole crew behind this masterpiece.

If any of you ever read this, this is one of those rare compliments that one can receive after so much work. Please do carry on, never stop, this show is truly amazing and somehow very different from anything else. I wonder how you managed to convinced the production companies (very dull and boring most of the time) to create something so wet, mysterious, dark and right on the spot. The costumes and places you have chosen are absolutely fantastic and all of the actors (especially Laurence Paul Fox and to the drunken ex priest (whom I somehow can't find the name of)) have been very well chosen without a single line or emotion out of place. In other words, thank you for finally doing a quality show. I will make sure absolutely everybody around me watches it, so you can earn even more for the great work you have all been doing! This is the least I can do. Best of luck to anybody who has been reading this to the end ;)
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Beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted, well written
mikejohnb128 October 2018
Frankenstein Cronicles is a love story, an action film, a morality tale, an historical drama, a detective/police procedural and yes, a horror story wrapped around the medical science of the day. All this and it works well. Sean Bean is a strong lead and the supporting cast is excellent and recognizable. Watched the first 2 seasons over a couple of weeks and it just got better and better. Fingers crossed that Netflix renews for a 3rd season (and beyond). This show is gem that deserves to live on.
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Marlott/Sharpe...One in the same?
charlesj-morin0015 March 2018
I recently discovered this series and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I am also glad that I am not the only one to notice the references to the character Richard Sharpe. I have read every one of Bernard Cromwell's books and you can't ignore the constant references to John Marlott's past life that mirrors Richard Sharpe. The boy whistling "Over the Hill and Far Away." Marlott's reference of him being in the 95'th Rifles, and being at the Battle of Waterloo. The time when Marlott took his shirt off while bathing showing off scaring on his back (In the Shapre books, the main character was once punished by flogging), and in episode five when Marlott retrieved his pistol, it showed his old dark green army uniform, similar to the one Sharpe wore as a member of the 95th.. I wonder if all this was the doing of Sean Bean. if it was, then it compels the viewer to pay especially close attention to the story line. Great hook.
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Underbelly of Human Consciousness
rupaabdi23 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The Frankenstein Chronicles is one of the few television series which almost succeeds in accomplishing a multi-media creation which has the multiple layers and depths of a novel.

It is a crime period drama based in 1827 London. Its story line is as muddy, gritty and dark as the streets of London in those times. It is a beguiling take on Mary Shelley's Gothic classic from the viewpoint of a detective, Marlott (Sean Bean) who, in his attempts to solve the mystery behind bodies of children stitched together which keep washing up on the shore, ends up becoming Frankenstein's monster himself.

The creators of these series have managed to come up with sordid and grisly characters of all shapes and sizes, perhaps a reflection of the underbelly of human consciousness.

The sets are bleak and gloomy and the visuals require a tough stomach. Underlying the dirt and wide spread poverty , blood and gore, brutalized women and children, and depraved intellects is the art and poetry of William Blake.

The creators of this series have very interestingly juxtaposed the monster of William Blake's visions with Frankenstein's monster with all its shades of grey. The true meaning of Blake's visions and imagery slowly dawn on the protagonist, Marlott, as he undergoes a kind of the catharsis, first during his mercury induced dazed illusions and next as Frankenstein's monster hanging between life and death, heaven and hell, questioning the morality behind medical science's attempts at conquering bodily death at the cost of losing the soul.
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Not realism please
sandraschlick20 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
What a nice series - again Sean Bean is a great series actor - even better than Malcovich!!! This has nothing to do with "realism" of Frankenstein story - hello: people were never able to create people from dead ones by just sewing together - please lets have a look at the time: London 1827 and how well they showed how people lived the poverty, the places. That's exactly what makes this series so wonderful. Adding the foggy atmosphere and how few live of poor people and especially children (think of child labor) were worthy that days, makes it a portrait of how we imagine that time. Thanks for this series.
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Lets Be Frank?
Richie-67-48585220 April 2018
If you like anything to do with Frankenstein then this will only compliment your choice. It takes us into a more believable world where this idea to create life began, developed and took off making us recall the subject of its start-up in the cinemas. Sean Bean is perfectly cast and does a remarkable job lending credibility to the premise and as the series unravels, he brings even more than that. Entertaining and involving with strong images, it is a must see for fans. I like to snack during movies and this one had me eating double-roasted sunflower seeds (home made) with great satisfaction. Find yours and.....
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i loved this series
mikeoflynn20 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
It is original and very dark - it needs to be continued however as it does not need to end after two seasons - the plot twists possibilities are absolutely endless
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Bean's the boss, but the rest is a mixed bag
Leofwine_draca6 May 2016
THE FRANKENSTEIN CHRONICLES is a six-part miniseries originally shown on the ITV Encore channel here in the UK. In it, Sean Bean essays the role of a detective investigating the discovery of a child's dead body which has been stitched together from various parts. His investigations lead him into some very dark places as he uncovers a conspiracy ranging from illegal grave robbers to the highest pillars of society.

I'll be honest, modern-day TV doesn't really do much for me, so I mainly watched this for Bean. He doesn't disappoint, playing the part like a latter-day Sharpe, and the writers even throw in some cheeky references to his famous role as the soldier. The authenticity is very strong in this show, and it's noticeably ghoulish, which I appreciated.

The first episode is excellent and full of mystery, atmosphere, and fine acting. The second episode is nearly as good, but then I found the show starting to lose steam. The resolution of the mystery is overwrought rather than thrilling, and I found the atmosphere and suspense dissipated with each passing episode. The final episode wasn't to my taste at all and I found it hugely climactic.

THE FRANKENSTEIN CHRONICLES suffers, in the end, from poor writing which makes everything feel staid and predictable. There are some good performers mixed up in this - the excellent Vanessa Kirby in particular is someone to watch - but the addition of real life historical figures like Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, and William Blake feels a bit silly and more of a lazily-written distraction than a good addition to the story. The writers really needed to come up with something thrilling and fresh-feeling in order to make this fully work.
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Totally different from what I & probably most expected
lovettstough27 February 2018
I've only just finished the first season so far and I like the whole new completely different twist on the "Frankenstein" story side of things. Although I hope as it get further along and so on that Marlott finds all the evidence he needs and proves how evil & bad a person Harvey is and stops him from going any further with his nonsensical useless science and trying to perfect reanimating dead matter. This show has great mystery and suspense and horror to it so all in all it is a great show.
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Some people die more than once
guyzradio26 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
As a fan of the Ripper Street series and Sean Bean, I looked forward to this tale. As of March 2018, Netflix has aired Seasons 1 and 2. As I watched the first few episodes, I enjoyed the interweaving of history, characterizations, and the Frankenstein literature theme with that particularly harsh and gritty setting in 1800's England. As some reviews state, this is not just another rehash of the standard Frankenstein monster tale. Despite the fictional basis of what the bad guys were doing, there is little need to suspend disbelief. I will say I was having some trouble differentiating one character from another, but by episode 6, that was the least of my concerns.

*** SERIOUS SPOILERS BELOW *** In the last 15 minutes of episode 6, we see our hero, John Marlott (Sean Bean), hanged for a crime for which he was framed. I was sure someone would come and save him, or at least cut him down in the nick of time, but (to quote Star Trek), 'He's dead, Jim.'

The show then promptly ran off the rails, as if the writing staff seemed to suddenly find themselves without a fresh idea, and so caved in to the temptation to create six more episodes of a B-grade horror movie. Marlott is brought back to life by the very people he has been pursuing, but in what appears to be a different body to which his head has been attached. His syphilitic hand is now healed, but he's acquired, at least temporarily, a lumbering gait reminiscent of Karloff's monster. He lapses through hallucination, lucidness, and a stupor-like state.

I gave up on the series, but did watch the S2E6 to see whether the viewer is hung out to dry. Much is left unresolved, but we do see Marlott paired up, Elsa Lanchester style, with a woman also revived from the dead as the wagon train drifts slowly into the sunset. They share a moment when you know the writers are leaving bread crumbs to keep it going for another season. Having misplaced my Suspend Disbelief button, I must pass.
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Great series with a terrible ending
uzver28 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This show has a really great dark atmosphere, Sean Bean gives an acting master-class as usual and Anna Maxwell Martin is superb as Mary Shelley. It has quite a set of XIX cent. mystery disturbing attributes besides Frankenstein, from the painting of William Blake to Stevenson's Body Snatcher, which also comes to mind. I liked the unsettling suspense of the series, it was truly entertaining as a good pseudo- historical thriller - up until that plot twist at the end of the last episode. That ending was of a "WTF?" kind and didn't make any sense to me, somewhat ruined it all. I wish they'd ended the episode 15 minutes earlier. Don't really going to watch a second series. I wonder how to rank in this case, perhaps 9 for the first 5 and 3/4 episodes and 2 for the last part.
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