In what can only be described as blatant overcompensation for that whole “dying in every movie or TV show” thing, Sean Bean is now going to star in a TV show about bringing people back to life. Variety reports that the actor will soon start filming six-part series The Frankenstein Chronicles for ITV. Based on precedent, we assume it will be retitled Frankenstein after the pilot episode airs, and a sassy waitress character will be written out altogether.
The show acts as further evidence of the entertainment industry’s growing conviction that, like an unruly mob of villagers surrounding a windmill, the public is furiously demanding to get its hands on Frankenstein’s monster. The glut of projects based at least in part on Mary Shelley’s conveniently public domain 1818 novel includes Showtime’s Penny Dreadful; a planned Fox series set in the modern day; an origin story movie starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe; Universal’s upcoming non-monstrous reboot of its classic monster movies; a filmed production, now in theaters, of Danny Boyle’s 2011 stage version; and some other goddamn Frankenstein movie. Not to mention two other previously announced TV series that seem to have vanished, but may resurface at any time to commit their ghastly crimes against humanity.
This latest Frankenstein project is set in 1827 London and stars Bean as Inspector John Marlott, a detective who, show creator Benjamin Ross says, “discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching and murder for profit” after finding an unusual corpse during an investigation into a gang of opium smugglers. The child-sized body he discovers turns out to be a crude assemblage of body parts from different corpses. ”Just like Frankenstein,” we picture an ITV executive murmuring in the pitch meeting, while a snotty, know-it-all intern nearby tries his hardest not to squawk, “Actually, the doctor’s name is Frankenstein.” The Frankenstein Chronicles starts filming in Northern Ireland in January.