As it turns out, the end really was the end when it comes to Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful.” Last night, the series ended with the death of the Vanessa character played by Eva Green, and the title card certainly had quite a few people freaking out in regards to the show’s future. Now, we understand why. While the series was not canceled, creator John Logan decided to end it for creative reasons a good stretch of time beforehand.
In explaining the decision that he made, Logan said the following to TVLine:
“[The decision] was made a while ago. The show, to me, has always been about Vanessa Ives and her struggle with faith. I knew, sooner or later, it would get to a point of apotheosis, where she would either accept her God or deny her God. Midway through [Season 2] – so, two years ago — as I was planning a third season, I realized, ‘Oh, I see exactly where this is heading. She’s going to have that moment, and the only way she can truly have it is at the moment of her death.’ So, in my mind, I began shaping the third season thinking about all the characters and how I could lead them to a place that felt like a fitting conclusion. And it was very difficult to do as a writer. I’m deeply attached to these characters. I feel like I created them, even the ones I didn’t, like Victor Frankenstein and the Creature; they’re real parts of me.”
Showtime head David Nevins acknowledged that he also knew for some time that season 3 would be the show’s last, but the network decided not to promote it as the final season out of respect for what the show is, therefore preserving the element of surprise. It is in retrospect an interesting move so that viewers are still guessing for the entirety of the season what is coming up. Do we think there could have been a show moving forward without Vanessa, or with her revived in some way? Sure, but it’s sometimes better to have a show end early than have it go on past its time.
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