The Frankenstein Chronicles, ITV Encore, Sean Bean

From Rainmark Films The Frankenstein Chronicles on ITV Encore Pictured: Sean Bean as John Marlott in the new six part series The Frankenstein Chronicles. This photograph is (C) Rainmark Films and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above or ITV plc.

Gruesome task: Sean Bean as Inspector John Marlott

Georgian London is brought thrillingly to life as Sean Bean hunts a ghastly foe

★★★★ ITV Encore, day and date to be announced

VISITORS, don’t worry – CrimeTimePreview hasn’t capriciously decided to cover gothic horror dramas on a whim. This atmospheric and fascinating telling of the Frankenstein tale is actually a monster-mash of the crime and horror genres.

And why not? Everyone from Andy Warhol to Mel Brooks has dabbled with Mary Shelley’s creature, and here director/writer Benjamin Ross and writer Barry Langford have crafted an intriguing journey into the darker recesses of Georgian England.

With Sean Bean heading a cast that includes Anna Maxwell Martin as Shelley and Steven Berkoff as William Blake, it’s a six-parter that rises above your average shock fest or cop procedural. With its well-worked background themes of bodysnatching and abandoned children, the writers have stitched together a story with heart as well as a brain.

Sean Bean is terrific as the investigator Marlott

The year is 1827 and the setting is switched from Switzerland to London. Bean’s Inspector John Marlott is working undercover on the Thames trying to catch opium smugglers when his men discover an ‘abomination’ in the muddy foreshore – a body made from the pieces of eight children.

Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel (Tom Ward) is none too delighted when Marlott brings the ‘object’ to the attention of the authorities. The politician fears it is the fiendish work of opponents of the Anatomy Act, which aims to regulate the practice of surgery and remove the barbers and bodysnatchers that give it a bad name. He wants Marlott to expose the perpetrator of this heinous crime, telling him that ‘details of your investigation must remain confidential’.

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