From police officer to corpse carrier, John Marlott stumbles into another mystery during his quest for revenge. Season 2 of The Frankenstein Chronicles is an excellent adventure into the depths of the seedy underbelly of London. Murder, corpse mutilation, and a plague outbreak will have dire consequences for everyone living in the slums of Pye Street.
Times have been tough for ex-police officer John Marlott (Sean Bean) as of late. The evil genius Lord Daniel Hervey has framed Marlott for the murder of a young girl and he’s sentenced to the gallows. Deciding he’s not through with Marlott just yet, Hervey conducts one of his unholy experiments to reanimate his corpse back to life. Neither living nor dead, Marlott is now doomed to spend eternity stuck in limbo.
Fast forward three years to 1830 and Marlott is now incarcerated at Bethlem Hospital. He’s a wretched looking creature who spends his days chained to a wall wailing in sorrow. After a visit from a familiar face, Marlott gets into a deadly tussle with one of the guards and manages to flee his prison.
Out in the world, Marlott returns to Lord Hervey’s estate seeking revenge only to find it abandoned. With no leads or way to support himself, he embarks on a new career as a corpse carrier. The job leads Marlott straight into another murder mystery. Having experienced Hervey’s previous handiwork firsthand, Marlott believes he must somehow be involved.
London’s newly formed police force has also taken an interest in the murders, with Marlott’s old acquaintance Sergeant Nightingale leading the investigation. Nightingale soon learns Marlott is still alive and is determined to see him pay for the murder of his bride-to-be.
Unlike the first season where the story was a slow burn, this time around it grabs your interest from the start. No one is safe and even old favorites end up on the chopping block. The deaths are gory and before the finale, you’ll have seen enough blood and human hearts to last a lifetime.
The complex power struggle between factions vying for control of London escalates with each new dead body. The London Police and the Church, both squabble over who has jurisdiction over the crimes.
There are many heated exchanges that devolve into outright corpse theft if it means one side getting the upper hand over the other. These altercations start at the street level and go straight to the stop with the Home Secretary and church leaders trying to one-up each other.
Seeing John Marlott morph from a fearless able-bodied police officer into a tragic character who has more in common with the classic Frankenstein monster is very well done. Like his predecessor, he is now a pale and diseased avatar who harbors a deep hatred for his creator. The makeup department did a remarkable job with Mr. Bean. Yes, he’s getting on up there in age but they still managed to put twenty years on him.
Most of this season takes place in the poorer sections of the city, so expect mud, rundown buildings, and open mass graves taking up a majority of the scenery. Marlott fits right in with his new surroundings, as death is all around but it eludes him no matter how much he desires its sweet embrace.
The new mystery, backroom politics, and John Marlott himself are reason enough to watch. If you liked the first season, then you’ll love this one.