Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels - What We Know So Far

Hard as it may be to believe, nearly four years have passed since Showtime pulled the plug on the beloved but tragically short-lived pulp-horror drama Penny Dreadful. Fans haven't forgotten how Showtime handled the hasty timeline of the series' cancellation, which resulted in a rushed final act for a series that spent its first two seasons reveling in stylized gothic grandeur while delivering meticulously paced narratives and exquisitely drawn characters that deserved a better fate. 

Though some may not be ready to forgive Showtime for cancelling Penny Dreadful, it seems series creator John Logan is. Indeed, Logan has already thrown in with team Showtime for another slice of gothic goodness through a "spiritual descendant" of the original series, aptly entitled Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. This time around, Logan and co. are abandoning the shadowy vistas of Victorian London for the mean streets of 1930s Los Angeles, and bringing a distinctly noir-type vibe to a detective tale that promises its own share of macabre madness. 

Here's everything we know so far about Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

What is the release date for Penny Dreadful: City of Angels?

While we've known John Logan was returning to Showtime with a fresh set of goth-friendly stories in the Penny Dreadful vein for some time now, the larger question surrounding the new series is when fans can get their peepers on it. As it stands, we've only just gotten our first real glimpse at the mirth and menace Logan and the City of Angels crew have in store with the new series. On January 13, Showtime dropped the trailer for the series, which skillfully teases the supernatural-tinged tales to come. 

Luckily, the Penny Dreadful: City of Angels trailer also came with the reveal of the series' release date: Sunday, April 26. The show is sliding into the original series' 10 PM time slot, so fans might want to go ahead and request Monday off work as well. Then again, if you're truly a Penny Dreadful devotee, we'd guess you're also a bit of a nocturnal creature, so you'll probably be just fine — even if Logans' new tales of terror do their duty and leave with a nightmare or two. 

What's the plot of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels?

We're not 100 percent sure what the first season of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will entail — which is probably purposeful on Showtime's part, as no one would tune into a series they already know everything about. However, the series' synopsis gives us some insight into the plot of City of Angels. It takes place in Los Angeles in 1938when a gruesome slaying sends shockwaves through the city. Two LAPD detectives, Tiago Vega and Lewis Michener, take on the case, and in doing so "become embroiled in an epic story that reflects the rich history of Los Angeles: from the building of the city's first freeways and its deep traditions of Mexican-American folklore, to the dangerous espionage actions of the Third Reich and the rise of radio evangelism" (via IndieWire).

Conspicuously absent from that synopsis is anything explicitly related to the supernatural realm. But it's worth nothing that "Mexican-American folklore" is touched upon, and from the looks of the trailer, it certainly appears much of the show's supernatural energy will likely emanate from there. That fact is backed up by the slightly more pointed (but unofficial) synopsis listed on the Penny Dreadful: City of Angels page on IMDb. It appears supernatural may be playing second fiddle to gritty, Chinatown-styled reality this go 'round, with the murders at the heart of the narrative somehow relating to the Mexican deity Santa Muerte (whose name should be fairly self explanatory). 

Here's hoping Logan and co. find just the right mix of detective fiction and supernatural mayhem on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels' inaugural season.

Who's in the cast of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels?

As far as the City of Angels players go, we'll have to wait and see if they can hold up to the potency of the original Penny Dreadful cast (led by Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, and Timothy Dalton). Still, the roster is comprised of a stellar group of actors.

Of the many faces fans are certain to recognize on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, that of former Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer is sure to jump out. From the looks of things, Dormer has found herself another meaty role that'll see her playing a "creature of many colors," shall we say. She's set for the role of Magda, a demon who can shape-shift. Nathan Lane is another familiar face on City of Angels, playing Los Angeles Police Department detective Lewis Michener. Of his appearance, we'll simply say that if the thought of Nathan Lane doing tough-as-nails, detective type things in a 1930s setting doesn't get you excited to see City of Angels, then you really need to reset your entertainment priorities.

While Dormer and Lane will likely be the most recognizable faces among the City of Angels cast, there are quite a few other performers of note. Among them are Adriana Barazza (Oscar nominee for Babel), Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Daniel Zovatto (Lady BirdIt Follows), Amy Madigan (Field of DreamsGone Baby Gone), and Michael Gladis (Mad Men). Fans of the original series will also welcome the return of Rory Kinnear and Patti Lupone to the Penny Dreadful universe, though both will be playing new characters on the upcoming series.   

How many episodes are in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels season 1?

While the Penny Dreadful: City of Angels trailer promises all manner of spooky and socially conscious insanity within the parameters of its period setting, we still don't have a crystal clear idea as to exactly what the new series will be about, other than that it follows a pair of detectives on the hunt for a particularly nasty killer. Still, from what we can glean from that trailer, there's one hell of an ambitious story at play — one that will take several hours to tell. 

According to IMDb, the first season of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will follow the same pattern as the original series, clocking in at eight one-hour episodes. 

If that doesn't sound like enough time to tell the sort of sweeping story Logan appears bent on telling in City of Angels' first season, well, we'd advise you to go back and rewatch the daring first season of Penny Dreadful, and let it serve as a hearty reminder of how much the creative can accomplish in such an abbreviated time frame.