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Jul 302014
 

Penny-Dreadful-logo-wide-560x282By Alicia Glass, contributing writer

“Have you ever been touched by a Demon? It’s like being touched by the back-hand of God.”

And that, gentlemen and ladies, is Penny Dreadful in a nutshell. A penny dreadful is defined as a generally Victorian lurid fiction publication, often fantasy or horror or some marvelous combination of both, sold for an old-fashioned penny. The Showtime show Penny Dreadful is literally those old-timey stories, part science fiction, part fantasy, part horror, brought to life on the small screen, and don’t think we fans aren’t grateful.

“Horror is not about Death, but about exaltation, of everything, good and bad and in-between.” - Show creator John Logan. Photo by Alicia Glass.

“Horror is not about Death, but about exaltation, of everything, good and bad and in-between.” – Show creator John Logan. Photo by Alicia Glass.

Show creator John Logan appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con panel, along with stars Josh Hartnett, who plays our beloved Ethan, Reeve Carney who is Dorian Grey on the show, and Harry Treadway, who is Doctor Victor Frankenstein! Aisha Tyler, who professed herself a huge fan of the show, moderated!

John Logan is a native of San Diego, and spoke of how he had been roiling around the idea of Penny Dreadful for 10+ years in his head, inspired by the works of William Wordsworth and of course Shelley’s original Frankenstein, and how he used to walk the back-ways of San Diego and see the coyotes and wolves, which became his inspiration for the werewolves on the show as well.

The show is also inspired by the second generation of Universal Horror monsters, many of whom have appeared on the show already in its first season. Logan talked passionately of the acceptance that he lovingly found from the show and its fans, which truly aided him after the less-than-stellar reception he received earlier from friends and loved ones, as an openly gay man.

All of the show’s stars talked about reading the books that inspired their respective characters: Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, and Logan spoke of using the book Inventing the Victorians by Matthew Sweet as a sort of bible for the show. Treadway stated he actually consulted with Cambridge University about period medical practices, and arranged to get period-accurate surgical gear for him to use as Dr. Frankenstein on the show; he’s a bit of a stickler for it now and enjoys good-natured ribbing about such from even the shows creator Logan himself.

Logan talked about how many seem to be of the opinion that Victorian-era people were stilted and in-the-closet, so to speak, about matters of sexuality, and how the show bursts those corset strings of superstition with gusto and joy. Reeve Carney laughingly informed the crowd that he did at least ask for a hot guy to be chosen to play Ethan, for those amazing male-male love scenes if nothing else, and was perfectly satisfied when Josh Hartnett was chosen for the pivotal role!

Logan dropped a few very juicy tidbits in hot anticipation of Season 2 of Penny Dreadful: in Season 2, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature will choose a name for himself; we will see Dorian’s portrait at some point; and Season 2 will bring in another highly recognizable character from Dracula! Penny Dreadful will return to us drooling fans in 2015!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFXHfEqMcis]

-30-

Apr 122014
 

being_human_slice_01Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Website: Being Human

Warning! Spoiler-laden review ahead! We held this article back to give all you time-shifters a chance to watch. If you haven’t watched yet, stop reading, go watch, then come back! 

So Sally, Aidan, Josh, and Nora have reached the end of the road. The place that they’ve been roommates in for the past few years houses a secret room and an inhabitant that has never heard of things like restraint or mercy. Josh recently went totally ballistic with his wolf-self and killed like nine people including Astrid, Aidan’s childer Kenny’s girlfriend, but in all honesty, they kind of had it coming. Nora may be the one person that is supposed to be Josh’s anchor, the only one that can keep him safe from him and his wolf-self, but Nora has issues of her own now – she’s with child.

Our resident vampire Aidan is so very very sad, having lost his wife recently, and watching his childer Kenny just lose his mind after the death of Astrid, whom he professed to love, despite him being a vampire and her being a werewolf. Kickass poltergeist Sally keeps doing the magic she stole/borrowed/bought and flitting through time and alta-verses, so it’s quite hard for her to tell what should be happening, as opposed to what she bulldozed into being real. And after the death of Sally’s brother in the very same house, Sally’s father decides he just can’t stand it and sells the house, telling our friends to find a new place to live.

Cue the secret room and “hey, she’s not actually a ghost” demonic spirit Ramona, who delighted in being fed by all the slaughter that went on in the house while our pals tried their Grand Experiment to, say it with me, be human.

being-human-syfy-castRamona doesn’t want any of them to leave, we got that quite clearly. Each friend is blasted into a different section of the house and presented with their own personal nightmare illusion. Nora gets Josh’s sister, the druggie who died, trying to convince Nora that the only way she and her baby will be safe is to take Josh out entirely. Sally herself gets a previous girlfriend of Aidan’s whom he of course mistakenly destroyed, reminding Sally that she and Aidan can never really be together the way they both need.

Poor Josh, after all the nonsense he’s been through already, gets a visit from Julia, the ghost of the ex-wife that died, trying to convince him he should take himself out to save Nora from the werewolf curse he inflicted upon her.

Our dear bloodboy Aidan gets a visit from his now-dead childer Henry, his proudest and most devastating creation all wrapped up in an enigmatic final-death package, who proceeds to absolutely floor Aidan by telling his Sire that yes there is indeed an afterlife of sorts for vampires and yes they can become ghosts. This means that hey, Aidan can stake himself out (get it?!) and go join Sally in the afterlife, finally.

Our four heroes are stuck in their own heads, devastated by the worst thing that little pest Ramona can think of to haunt them. Eventually they manage to break out, all but the oldest and possibly most tormented, Aidan. It doesn’t help that Kenny just has to come by and have a few final choice words. And after that debacle, Sally does the impetuous Sally thing and does one last Good Act, turning Aidan human before BAMFing for a final time. Wait. Is that even possible? Well…

Yes, and no. One can’t just assume that a man who’s been a vampire for 200+ years can suddenly just become human without consequences. Aidan wants to make the most of the rather little time he has left, and hey, there’s still Ramona and the house to be dealt with. If he can’t be with Sally in the life they had, Aidan can at least meet his final death in more or less exactly the same way Sally did, and taking out Ramona and the house is a sweet bonus. Josh and Nora, the only friends left, are devastated to find the smoldering ruins of the house, and yet. In a truly fantastic tearjerker move, Aidan reappears in his iconic leather jacket, for a last goodbye and a Door that leads to Sally, finally. And the last we see of the Being Human crowd is Josh and Nora, happy and together in the woods, playing with their twins who are of course named Sally and Aidan.

beinghuman2It is a beautiful and sadly joyous ending to a very fine show. Granted the original show was a BBC creation, and the first season of SyFy’s Being Human was pretty much a carbon copy of season 1 of the BBC show. But after that, the SyFy show made it their own, and I faithfully watched every episode, enjoying the ghost-vampire-werewolf interactions and how they ripple affected everything and everyone around them. Each main character got closure of sorts from the nightmare hauntings they endured at Ramona’s demonic hands, and they each got voiceover monologues of what it meant to them to be human. As Aidan sentimentally declared when his Door appeared, these last few years with Josh and Nora, Sally and Aidan, all their baggage and sorrow, deaths and lives and loves, have been the best of his life. And I couldn’t think of a better ending to a truly marvelous show.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6nZAioXXaA]

-30-

Apr 142012
 
"You're just my type!  O-negative, isn't it?"

"You're just my type! O-negative, isn't it?"

Vampires are driving the entertainment economy faster than anything.  Well, except superheroes.  And zombies.  But for those who simply can’t get enough of blood suckers, Spacetime Studios is releasing on Android for two weeks only a new MMO called  Dark Legends.  This is definitely a no-sparkle zone.  The tone is definitely on the adult side.  In the game, you assume the role of a vampire (you can select your gender and appearance) and then do battle against countless supernatural foes.  Developers Spacetime Studios have promised that the Android version of Dark Legends will deliver the exact same gaming experience you’d expect if you played it on your Windows, Linux or OSX machine.  Players not on an Android tablet or smart phone can play using the Google Chrome Web Store and play it right in the browser.  Spacetime’s games are the only 3D MMOs in the world that allow people to play the same game together on desktop computers, smart phones and tablets.

“Google Play and the Chrome Web Store allow us to upload and update our online, multiplayer games instantly. Their immediate and unified environment fits perfectly with Spacetime’s ability to push global content to our suite of games on-the-fly across mobile and desktop,” said Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Studios. “We’re both at the forefront of creating cross-platform gameplay that connects players in a much deeper online experience, anywhere and on any device.”

Dark Legends is the third title in the highly popular Legends franchise of mobile and desktop games. The first two titles, Pocket Legends and Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles, are the world’s largest mobile MMOs with more than seven million downloads.

Dark Legends is free to download and play. The game features optional microtransactions and virtual currency that enhance the play experience with vanity items, health packs and premium revives. After the exclusive period the game will also be available for iOS devices.

For more details visit http://www.darklegends.com .

About Spacetime Studios

Spacetime Studios is an independent game development studio located in Austin, Texas. The company was founded in late 2005 by online game veterans Cinco Barnes, Gary Gattis, Jake Rodgers and Anthony L. Sommers.

Spacetime has been recognized by Develop as one of the world’s 100 most successful game studios. The company continues to expand its content and technology lead in the mobile multiplayer market. To learn more about Spacetime Studios, please visit www.spacetimestudios.com .

SOURCE: Spacetime Studios