ITV’s Frankenstein review

Tony watched ITV. By choice, and not just because he accidentally sat on the remote control. Was it worth it? Er... no.

It was one of those nights when there’s simply nothing worth watching on TV, and you don’t have anything better to do. Well aware of how much it disgusts you, the situation forces your hand and you switch over to ITV. Yes, ITV.

And so it was last night that I spent and hour and a half watching the station’s modern ‘reworking’ of the Frankenstein tale. Replacing Dr Victor Frankenstein with Victoria (how very clever), the one-off drama updated the story by making the titular doctor a genetic scientist. So instead of gathering body parts and sticking them together in a Mr Potato-head fashion, she manages to grow a monster from human DNA. For an extra bit of silliness, it’s the DNA of her dead ten-year-old son.

In theory, this is a reasonable idea, even if it is a little obvious.  However, it was ultimately ruined by the typical ‘genes and stuff are bad, mmm’kay?’ treatment, which is just what I’ve come to expect from this shitty channel. You can almost see the good doctor and her monster son on the Jeremy Kyle show: “I’m a monster created from the DNA of a dead child, but I need love too.” As much as I hate that programme, I’d tune in for that one, just to see Mr Kyle having his head ripped off by an eight-foot man-beast.

As well as the sledgehammer approach to the subject of genetic engineering, Frankenstein was also badly paced and generally unconvincing. Victoria’s compassion for the monster was just plain annoying, as the rational response was surely ‘Shoot the fucking thing in the head, and lets go get a curry.’

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Still, there’s always the special effects to save the day, right? No, sadly not, because while the monster didn’t look fake, it was about as scary as a Care Bears omnibus. Clearly, the producers wanted to invoke sympathy, but having what was effectively a stretched-out version of ET seems like a misjudgement to me.  

All in all, it was an utter waste of time, and it also confirmed my hatred for ITV and every piece of shit programme that this anus of channel manages to excrete.