The Frankenstein Chronicles S01E03 “All The Lost Children” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on ITV Encore, Wednesdays
Writer: Benjamin Ross, Barry Langford
Director: Benjamin Ross
Essential Plot Points:
Episode The Third: In which a red dress becomes blue
- We discover Flora is with child
We’re halfway through The Frankenstein Chronicles now, and not really any closer to finding out who was responsible for the original abomination. There haven’t been any more creatures, reports of missing bodies, or murders. These days it’d probably get filed as an aberration and revived as a cold case for some past-their-prime detective. Yet, even though the trail has gone cold, our inspector doesn’t give up, he presses doggedly onwards…
The majority of this episode concentrates on Flora (Eloise Smyth). She was one of Billy “The Child Snatcher”’s girls, but is now under Marlott’s protection. Errand boy Nightingale takes her dress shopping, where we find out she’s pregnant. Worried that she will do the child harm, Marlott seeks to have her stay with Lady Harvey’s brother (Sir Daniel Harvey, played by Ed Stoppard), in his hospital. This, of course, has the added advantage of giving him the opportunity to snoop around the place.
Sir Harvey offers alternative medicines in his care for patients, which would be outlawed by the Anatomy Act. On a tour of the hospital Marlott comes face to (rotten) face with a tertiary phase syphilis patient, and sees what may become of him.
The Inspector also goes to call on Mary Shelley, to ask her about galvanism. She tells him how many friends and family members she has lost and asks would he not, “Defy God’s laws to be re-united with those we love”? We also get a little more background on Ms Shelly, disowned by her parents as her family name has been brought into disgrace because of her “accursed masterpiece”.
Some action in an otherwise character-led episode comes in the form of a chase between Nightingale and the grave robber Pritty (Charlie Creed-Miles). This starts with an exploding door, and ends in a bloody nose. Nightingale finally gets his man after everyone else has managed to (easily) give him the slip.
The end of the episode gives us a cliffhanger, with Marlott and Pritty descending into a tunnel under the city used for moving dead bodies around unobserved.
Halfway through the series and not much has moved on from episode one. We’re still no closer to finding the responsible parties, and no beasts to speak of. Perhaps our inspector needs galvanizing more than some of the bodies.
The effects of syphilis show us something a little more visceral: with Marlott on the mercury again, seeing hideous visions of himself in the mirror.
- Some nice effects showing the horrors of syphilis
- Concentrating on characterisation is all too rare these days.
- Still no closer to finding anyone, or anything, responsible for the initial body
- The latin “Cave Baestium” as written on floor of the hospital should probably be “Cave Bestiam” – beware of the beast. Odd as the show is usually pretty good on the details.
Review by Arthur Scott