Could be Dreadful. Could Be Great.

Showtime's Penny DreadfulPenny Dreadfuls were proto-pulp—lurid, sensational novels sold for a penny to Victorians who were ripe for the stuff. But if you were watching the recent Dexter finale on Showtime, you might have noticed a little teaser for a newly defined Penny Dreadful. That would be the new “psychosexual horror” series set to air on Showtime next year. It involves 19th century Brits and their favorite literary terrors—Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray…

The series creators are John Logan and Sam Mendes, who last teamed up to give us Skyfall. The UK production company is also responsible for Call the Midwife and The Hollow Crown, which proves an ability to do outstanding period drama. And since Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) is directing the first two episodes (of eight total), we know we’re going to a dark place—smart, but dark.

The cast includes Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Eva Green, and Billie Piper. Shooting is going on right now in Dublin.

Lots of hot buttons being pressed with this one. What do you think? In for a penny, in for a pound?