Showtime’s new Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels may be set in the same universe of its previous gothic-horror fantasy Penny Dreadful, but there’s not a lot they seem to share, save for the existence of magic. Instead, creator John Logan has found a new muse in the racial and political tensions generated at a time when rapid technological and industrial change was transforming the landscape of one of America’s most iconic cities. Oh, and let’s not forget Natalie Dormer looking menacing and saying some very villainous-sounding things.
It’s worth noting there’s no actual magic taking place in this teaser trailer, unless you consider a strong gust of wind to be especially sinister. (Admittedly, it comes in reaction to a woman praying to an unsettling alter of Mexican-American folklore iconography, so there’s a good chance it’s....magic wind.) What it does have is the setup for the show: Homicide detective Lewis Michener (Nathan Lane) and his rookie partner Tiago Vega (Daniel Zovatto) discover a grisly crime scene that points to the fractious battle over the treatment of Mexican-Americans, and the pressure cooker atmosphere in the city is setting off waves of violence. Meanwhile, Dormer’s mysterious character (reportedly, she’s a shape-shifting demon) oversees these events from a distance, ending with a pledge to her twin sister that they’ll be the only ones left standing at the end of it all. There’s also a brief shot of Nazis, in case you needed even more reason to see the timely connections to our present day.
Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels premieres April 26 on Showtime.