TV Club: Penny Dreadful: “Verbis Diablo”

In the world of Penny Dreadful a thin line separates London from an unseen supernatural realm, but of nearly equal importance to the series is the panoply of sexual behavior concealed beneath the veneer of prudish Victorian society. The characters are marked as outsiders for their connection to the spirit realm, but many of them would equally likely be outcast for what would have been considered deviant perversions of the flesh at the time (and, in some cases, to this day). From a modern perspective, someone like Ferdinand Lyle is an amusing eccentric with funny hair, a foppish persona, and a lascivious streak (and even in 1891, Chandler seems more amused by him than anything else). He’s got a secret, however, and although we don’t find out the exact nature of the photos in Evelyn Poole‘s possession, we certainly have enough information to conclude that Lyle is …

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