The Frankenstein Chronicles S01E06 “Lost And Found” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
Episode The Sixth: In which our inspector is stitched up
- Lord Daniel Hervey is found to be the villain of the piece.
- Inspector Marlott is set up for Flora’s murder, and swings for it…
- …but returns
And so we reach the end of our tale, the final episode of The Frankenstein Chronicles. Six episodes later and Inspector Marlott (Sean Bean) has followed clues up dark alleys, down dirty tunnels, and all around Olde London Towne. Mind, if you’d only watched the first episode, then came back for the finalé, you probably wouldn’t have missed much plot-wise. Which isn’t to say the episodes in between were bad, or lacking substance, just that as far as the main storyline goes, they were pretty much filler.
So it would seem our poor Inspector Marlott has been looking for monsters in all the wrong places. The Chesters were not to blame for the creature washed up way back in episode one. Lord Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is the culprit, and has been up to all sorts of diabolical goings on at his remote “hospital”. Upon investigation Marlott finds Alice, the little girl lost, also from episode one. In the process however he gets himself caught by Hervey’s slow manservant Loris (Brian Milligan), the real “monster” of Smithfield market, and killer of children.
Next thing he knows, Marlott awakens at home in bed with a bloody shirt. Laying on the kitchen table is Flora with her throat slit. Nightingale chooses the wrong moment to visit his sweetheart and finds Marlott leaning over the body with bloody knife in hand.
There follows a swift trial in which Nightingale as the only witness damns Marlott to the hangman’s noose.
There’s a great scene as Marlott is taken away to the gallows in a cart pursued by a group of reporters, brandishing their notebooks and pencils like paparazzi. It’s also nice to see some old friends turn up to see the inspector off; Boz, Pritty and Ma Bishop all make an appearance. It’s little touches like this which has lifted the series up from a run of the mill 19th century political drama.
As Marlott drops and the noose tightens, we see his vision of the forest, his dead wife standing by an empty crib, he looks up to the sky to see an eclipse, everything fades to white and the credits roll.
No, hang on with the credits. There’s still half an episode to go. We hear Daniel exclaiming, “He lives,” as Marlott wakes up in a laboratory. He has been brought back to life, not with the elemental force of galvanism, but with the natural science of extract of baby foetus: perhaps the first medical use of stem cells.
Hervey seems convinced that he’s done everyone a favour. In “cleansing” Marlott and curing him of his syphilis, he has created the evolution of mankind, and the perfect wedding present for his sister. She doesn’t quite see it the same way, and is generally a bit upset that he got her a revived Sean Bean.
So Marlott has now become the monster, the beast with the face of a man.
The episode ends with a musical montage (set to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”); Lady Hervey marrying Warburton; Alice returning home; Marlott escaping from the tower. Hervey’s manservant Loris gets his comeuppance with a fork in the eye and a particularly crunchy ride down some stone steps. Before the credits roll for real, we see Marlott shambling away from the tower, destination unknown.
And so we come to the end of the series. Production values have been excellent throughout, in particular the costuming and millinery. Acting has also been (for the most part) top-notch; Vanessa Kirby as lady Jemima Hervey is a particular standout, especially in this episode as she comes to terms with Marlott’s descent into syphilis-ridden madness, subsequent death and then re-animation.
The series had enough political intrigue to keep you interested, and guessing who the bad guys really were. Behind all the talk of monsters, beasts and murder, there was a decent drama hiding. The Frankenstein angle seems a little overplayed, preparing you for a darker, more monstrous drama that the show never intended to be. Maybe the show has only been setting the scene for season two, with Sean Bean returning as the avenging monster with a heart of gold.
- A monster!
- We find the real creator of the composite corpse.
- Sean Bean and Vanessa Kirby make for a great beauty and the beast.
- Talk about having your cake and eating it – Sean Bean dies, because, well, he’s Sean Bean… that’s what he does. But then he lives! Was he cast solely to give that whole twist an extra dimension?
- Everything in between this episode and the first was pretty much filler as far as the plot is concerned.
And The Random:
- Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” was a staple in horror film soundtracks from back in the day. It’s a great and effective piece of music, but it’s use here is a little cheesy.
- Apparently it’s Lord and Lady Hervey, and not Harvey as we had previously written!
- “He lives!” is clearly a nod to all those Frankenstein films where Dr Frankenstein hollers something similar. There’s no such moment in the original novel, but in the famous 1931 Frankenstein movie the Doctor yells, “It’s ALIVE!” while in Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) he cries, “SHE’s alive!”
Review by Arthur Scott