Comic-Con: ‘Penny Dreadful’ Season 2 Villain Will Be a Familiar Face

Penny Dreadful” will be “very different” in season two, according to creator John Logan, who joined stars Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway for a Q&A at Comic-Con on Thursday evening.

“The cosmology, the theology of the show gets much larger [in season two] — they’re thrown into a much more threatening supernatural world,” Logan teased, admitting that the focus of season one was to “build a family and bring them together — the joy of writing the second season is building on those relationships in different patterns.”

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To counterbalance season one’s vampiric villain, who couldn’t deliver long, verbose monologues, Logan revealed that season two’s antagonist will be a familiar face — Helen McCrory’s spiritualist, Madame Kali. The panel then ran a scene that was cut from the season one finale, which explained Kali’s motivations and “the challenge she was going to pose to our family.” While it didn’t fit amid the chaos of episode 108, it will appear in some form next season, and features Kali talking to eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle about Vanessa Ives (Eva Green).

In it, Kali notes that “there is nothing common about Miss Ives,” telling Ferdinand 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 ominously rhymes, telling Ferdinand that they shall “unleash glorious horrors” together.

After the clip, Logan previewed that Ferdinand will become “deeply embroiled” in next season’s plot and join the ragtag central family that formed in season one.

The finale also revealed what the show had been hinting at since it premiered — that Hartnett’s Ethan Chandler was a werewolf, something that Hartnett said he knew from his first meeting with Logan. “The werewolf thing made me feel more ingrained in the actual world of ‘Penny Dreadful,'” the actor noted. “Everyone else had their secrets, I wanted mine.”

While Ethan has not been fully aware of what he is or what he’s done thus far, Logan previewed that in season two, “he finds out exactly what he is, and has to deal with the consequences of that.” The series will also explore Ethan’s backstory and delve into his troubled relationship with his father, whom Logan describes as “a monstrous man who treated his son brutally.” Logan has yet to decide whether Ethan was bitten or comes from a long line of werewolves, but he’s in the process of writing season two. Logan promised that, much like the episode that showed viewers Vanessa’s backstory, he hopes to do the same for all the major characters in seasons to come.

Season two will also introduce a character who will “lead us further into the Dracula origin story,” and Logan hopes to someday explore Dr. Moreau and the Island of Lost Souls. He also plans to reveal what Dorian Gray’s portrait actually looks like — it was originally going to be included in the finale, but the creator decided to hold off on the tantalizing reveal for a while longer.

“There’s an inherent sadness that comes with losing everyone you’ve ever lost,” Carney noted of his enigmatic character. “The portrait bears the burden of his sins, but it certainly crosses his mind.”

As for whether we’ll see more of Dorian’s unexpected sexual relationship with Ethan, Logan demurred, “As a gay man, I thought it would be corrupt and inorganic to not deal with all forms of sexuality… all iterations of what it means to be human. I believe humans behave in the moment in the way that is true to them,” which is to say he doesn’t want to label any of his characters, or rule any sexual dalliances out.

Hartnett agreed, “Given the circumstances, maybe every character could be attracted to each other in a certain way. I mean, c’mon, look at Reeve.”

According to Logan, the overarching theme for season two will be his characters’ quest for identity, exploring the idea that “the thing that makes them exceptional, extraordinary, is a blessing and a curse simultaneously — so how do you exist on that fulcrum?”

We’ll have to wait until 2015 to find out.

(Pictured: “Penny Dreadful’s” Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney, Harry Treadaway and John Logan at Comic-Con)

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