The spiritual successor to Penny Dreadful’s original run starring Eva Green in a 19th century London, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels jumps forward in time to 1938 in Los Angeles, California. The city is a powder keg of racial tension, centering around the Arroyo Seco Parkway construction and the threat of displacement the local Chicano community faces (Los Angeles has a bad history of displacing Latinos from their neighborhoods, see also the Chavez Ravine residents being moved for Dodger Stadium). In a close mirror of today’s tensions, we see not-so-subtle Nazis trying to gain traction and highly racist officials telling the soon-to-be-homeless neighborhood to “go back where you came from.”
Centered in all of this are two LAPD officers, Tiago Veda (Daniel Zovatto) who is also treading a fine line as the force’s first Chicano officer, and a grizzled Jewish veteran Lewis Michener (Nathan Lane). Their story begins when they find the body of a murdered woman whose face is carved and painted to look like a Día de los Muertos skull. From there we’re promised an unflinching look at how low humanity can go when it comes to racism, Nazism, and demagoguery. What the two don’t know, however, is that they’re all pawns between two supernatural figures. Santa Muerte aka the Holy Angel of Death (Lorenza Izzo) is directly confronting her very angry “sister”, Magda (Natalie Dormer), who is hellbent on proving to her that all humanity is evil giving us the chilling line “All mankind needs to be the monster he truly is, is being told he can.”
From the earlier teaser, we know Veda’s family is connected to Santa Muerta, and Veda himself apparently has a much closer tie to her than he knows.
So all in all, things are about to get, well, Dreadful.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premiers on Sunday, April 26th.