The connection between nursery rhymes/fairy tales and horror stories are deeply profound and significant: they tend to share sinister origins and connotations, mixing dreamy perceptions of childish innocence and exploration with symbolism, metaphor, and the dark brutality of the world as it actually was, or could be. As we move into the second episode of a 6-part series, The Frankenstein Chronicles increasingly explores the compounded collisions and collusions between the connective tissue that traditionally separates fantasy and (fictional) reality.
Last week, The Frankenstein Chronicles initiated its own variation on the Frankenstein tale, with Inspector John Marlott (Sean Bean) being commissioned by Robert Peel (Tom Ward) to track down an elusive, murderous boogeyman (or woman); except the beasts that Marlott came across in his travails, with their filthy, degraded pits of iniquity, were all human residents of London — some of them well regarded in the community. In this instance, the “recombined” monster was actually a pitiable amalgamation of disappeared children that nobody cared to acknowledge existed, let alone remember.
Spasmodically twitching and slowly pulsating like a creation that is beginning to stir from whatever slumberous depths it’s been summoned from, this week, whilst offering another slow episode, the series’s shows deliberate momentum: introducing characters, bringing in clues, and incorporating the narrative elements that will all clearly play a greater role as the secrets and subversions of Georgian England are systematically autopsied, dissected, and laid bare by Marlott…
The full 1,600 word version of this review is published at PopMatters.com, where you can read the rest of the article for free.