To paraphrase the great Sean Bean, one does not simply walk into a Frankenstein television series. However, that, indeed, is what Bean has been doing in the U.K. since the 2015 launch of ITV’s The Frankenstein Chronicles. The series reinvents the bodies-stitching myth of author Mary Shelley as a murder mystery, depicting Bean as an embattled police inspector in 1830s London who is on the trail of a mad scientist who – you guess it – is cobbling corpses together, attempting to give life to the dead. Now, U.S. distribution plans for the U.K. series are… well, alive!
With the successful deal, The Frankenstein Chronicles finds a platform for U.S. audiences on Netflix, on which it will stream affixed with its signature “original content” label, reports Variety. The deal will also see Netflix – after a later release window – distribute the series in international territories in which it already airs per distributor Endemol Shine International. The series launched in November 2015 on ITV’s Encore as a six-episode miniseries and was subsequently renewed for a second season, which just completed its November to December 2017 run. With the Netflix deal in place, chances of a third season have increased significantly.
The Frankenstein Chronicles is produced by the U.K.-based Rainmark Films and is executive-produced by Frank Doelger, who previously worked on another little series connected to Sean Bean, Game of Thrones. Benjamin Ross and Barry Langford (Thorne: Scaredycat) are the credited creators.
Sean Bean stars as Inspector John Marlott, whose jurisdiction along the Thames River typically sees him tangling with smugglers of vice, at least until the discovery of a most vexing corpse. The series has notably featured the presence a pre-The Crown Vanessa Kirby and, in a meta concept, Anna Maxwell Martin portrayed Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.
Here’s the official synopsis for Season 1:
In the drama’s opening sequences, the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, following a successful operation by Thames River Police to apprehend a gang of opium smugglers, recruits Marlott.
As he stands on the water’s edge contemplating the arrest of the smugglers, Marlott makes a shocking discovery. The body of a dead child is washed up on the shore and on further examination of the corpse he is horrified to discover it’s not actually a child but rather a crude assembly of body parts arranged in a grotesque parody of a human form. The mutilated child-like body leaves an indelible impression on Marlott and he finds himself unable to shake off the memory of what has happened that fateful night.
With a formidable reputation as an investigator, he is known as a man who “doesn’t know the meaning of fear,” so it comes as no surprise when coldly efficient Peel, summons him insisting the “details of your investigation must remain confidential.” And after what he’s witnessed Marlott accepts the challenge to track the perpetrator of this heinous crime.
We follow him as he pursues the crazed killer behind the mutilated body. As he investigates, Marlott discovers that what he’s dealing with is more horrific than he could possibly have imagined.
There’s no word yet on when The Frankenstein Chronicles will arrive on Netflix.