In the season finalé of The Frankenstein Chronicles, we finally have our monsters, the residential mad scientist is finally revealed, as is the answer to the only real question on our lips: will Sean Bean’s John Marlott make it to the end without dying? Well, all situations aren’t as mutually exclusive or clear cut as they might at first appear to be. “Lost and Found” covers the most ground of any episode thus far, attempting to wrap up events in the first three acts before dropping an absolute bombshell on the narrative in the final act, delivering on the slow-burn sci-fi horror promises of the season arc in a way that will make fans heavily petition for a second series should it get cancelled.
Why would it not get renewed? One of the issues I’ve not really addressed is how The Frankenstein Chronicles has only been aired on the ITV Encore channel in the UK, which (approximately) nobody has heard of, and can’t even be accessed without a subscription to Sky, Sky Go, or Now TV. For the love of all that’s decent, this show deserves a proper full-fat audience. Whether the A&E network over in the US can make a decent fist of it, we’ll have to wait and see; but take my advice and pre-order the DVD if you can’t get access to ITV Encore. It’s a small price to pay to watch one of the most interesting shows this year, and if you love gothic drama then it’s a no brainer (or a Frankenstein monster brain at the very least).
Picking up after last week’s revelation that child-raping villain Garnet Chester (Mark Bazeley) may have been set up by his cousin, Sir William Chester (Samuel West), to take the fall for the hideous acts of “recombination”, the story tantalizingly floats the idea that this is where the journey ends. Marlott is waiting after hours outside of Chester’s hospital, and witnesses his own boss, Sir Robert Peel (Tom Ward), make a suspicious nocturnal visit, leading him to surmise: “It confirms my worst fears, he knows what Sir Wiliiam is up to; he has done all along, and this monstrosity reaches to the very heart of our government”. Case closed. Light up a Meerschaum, pour yourself a Cognac, and kick off your Hush Puppies, Sherlock; you’ve earned it.
Except, when Marlott returns home to pick up his old service pistol and has what appears to be a full blown syphilis-induced paranoid attack on his young ward, it becomes apparent that we’ve all been duped: it’s not shady Sir William, but the munificent Lord Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) who has been “steeped in blood, in ways you can’t even begin to imagine”, whilst his man-servant, Lloris (Brian Milligan), is the child-snatching “monster” that all the children fear. Cue the dramatic suspense sound effect!
This then becomes something of an uphill battle for Marlott in convincing others that he’s now got the right suspect (suffering from the “the boy that cried were-wolf” syndrome, perhaps?). When Marlott enquires of Lady Hervey (Vanessa Kirby) “Has he told you about raising the dead?”, he may as well have also asked about Daniel’s ability to crack the moon in half with a well-placed expulsion of wind — there is no way that Marlott can sound credible whilst he’s ranting like a frothy mouthed foreteller of the End of Days — even though they are fast approaching the predicted “World without God”…
The full 2,800 word version of this review is published at PopMatters.com, where you can read the rest of the article for free.