The Frankenstein Chronicles S01E04 “The Fortune Of War” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on ITV Encore, Wednesdays
Writers: Benjamin Ross, Mike Walden
Director: Benjamin Ross
Essential Plot Points:
Episode The Fourth: In which our inspector arrives at a dead end.
- We discover Flora is without child.
- Billy the Child Catcher is caught, and isn’t the monster.
- BOZ writes an expose on the “Composite Corpse” for The Chronicle.
If you thought The Frankenstein Chronicles couldn’t get any grimier, you’d be wrong. At the end of the last episode our resolute Inspector Marlott and his unwilling accomplice Pritty were seen descending into a tunnel under the public house that gives the episode its title. At the end of the filth-strewn tunnel we meet the Bishops: a particularly odorous and exceptionally mucky bunch of miscreants. Led by Ma Bishop (Kate Dickie), they specialise in finding fresh bodies for the surgery schools. Suspecting them of using bodies which aren’t actually quite dead yet, Marlott asks them to find him a fresh corpse for “company”. Yep, he poses as a necrophiliac with a preference young girls.
Meanwhile Flora returns from her stay at Sir Daniel Harvey’s hospital sans child, claiming she miscarried.
Using her as bait Marlott and Nightingale catch both Billy (Robbie Gee) and the Bishops. However it transpires that the two are not connected in any way, nor are they connected to the washed-up body. The Bishops are willing to murder to obtain bodies in good fettle for the surgery schools, but draw the line at children. The escapade is not without its casualties, however, and Flora ends up unconscious after spending too long in the noxious fumes from a brick kiln.
Boz visits Marlott’s old employers, the River Police, and bends some ears to get the lowdown on the washed-up corpse. He pens an expose for The Chronicle on “The Frankenstein Murders”, riling Mr Peel.
Marlott has managed to exhaust pretty much all his leads, and he’s no closer to finding the perpetrator. Perhaps he needs to cast his net a little higher up the societal ladder, it would seem as though Miss Mary Shelley and Mr William Chester are certainly hiding something. Shelley visits a galvanist’s laboratory at the end of the episode; its bloody table looks like something straight out of the pages of her book. Inspector Marlott has been busy clearing the decks, hopefully ready for a monstrous finale…
- The plot is moving along again, tidying up some loose ends.
- Plenty of action, intrigue and scandal.
- Marlott and Lady Harvey’s strange and awkward courtship continues.
- Still no monsters.
- The Fortune Of War was indeed a public house in Smithfield London, and was used as a base by “resurrectionists” (or body snatchers). It was demolished in 1910.
Review by Arthur Scott