Penny Dreadful City of Angels Premiere

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, a spin-off/reboot/sequel/etc. to the vastly underrated Penny Dreadful, doesn’t make its “official” debut until Sunday. But if you just can’t wait that long, you’re in luck – the series premiere is now available to stream for free, on YouTube. Showtime uploaded the first episode to help drum up hype for their new series, which features a character-shifting Natalie Dormer haunting 1938 Los Angeles.

Penny Dreadful City of Angels Premiere

I haven’t watched this premiere episode of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels yet, but I remain slightly on the fence about the show as a whole. I was a huge fan of the original Penny Dreadful, and making a reboot/follow-up without the original characters seems wrong to me. It especially seems ill-conceived to not bring back Eva Green, who was so memorable, and dare I say iconic, on the original series.

In Green’s place we now have Natalie Dormer, who plays Magda, a demon who can take on various forms (all of which look like Natalie Dormer in different wigs). “[Series creator] John Logan sought to write a great historical drama with the supernatural element raising the tension,” Dormer told EW. “Therefore, he created Magda. I, as an actress, was attracted to his themes and exploration of what it is to be in the 21st century and maybe we’re about to reascend in a way that many societies did in the late ‘30s. Thematically, I was curious in what he was trying to say. Magda is a metaphor for the darker side of men’s souls. Magda is not the devil incarnate. She’s taken a position on mankind: They will always choose the more selfish or baser option.”

Here’s the show’s synopsis:

Santa Muerte. Los Angeles, 1938. Detectives Tiago Vega and Lewis Michener investigate a murder. Tiago’s brother Raul (Adam Rodriguez) battles Councilman Charlton Townsend (Michael Gladis) over California’s first freeway. Tiago’s mother Maria (Adriana Barraza) pleads with Santa Muerte (Lorenza Izzo).

A spiritual descendant of the Penny Dreadful story set in Victorian-era London, the next chapter opens in 1938 Los Angeles, a time and place deeply infused with Mexican-American folklore and social tension. Rooted in the conflict between characters connected to the deity Santa Muerte and others allied with the Devil, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will explore an exciting mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of that period, creating new occult myths and moral dilemmas within a genuine historical backdrop. This chapter is a bold new vision that will employ all new characters and storylines.

While you can watch the series premiere for free above, it will also debut on Showtime this Sunday, April 26.

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