Parents' Guide to

The Frankenstein Chronicles

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gloomy 19th-century detective tale is clever but gory.

TV Netflix Drama 2018
The Frankenstein Chronicles Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Interesting, but gratuitous nudity

Beware: while this may seem a cool entree to a classic Shelley novel, it actually is simply a venue for gratuitous breast exposure.
age 14+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (4):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Though the show's awkward title may suggest otherwise, this is less a straightforward horror series than it is a clever, atmospheric crime procedural -- sort of a souped-up Law and Order: SVU set in 19th-century London. As John Marlott delves deeper into what may have spurred this outrageous crime, a real feeling of dread begins to permeate The Frankenstein Chronicles. Was it a copycat inspired by Mary Shelley's sensational novel? Or perhaps a jealous amateur scientist angered by Sir Robert Peel's proposed new legislation, the Anatomy Act? The act would mandate that only licensed physicians be able to practice medicine -- and that the deceased bodies of the poor become property of these budding surgeons, for educational purposes.

Though the series starts off a bit slow, and isn't above dipping into genre clichés at times, Sean Bean's gruff sincerity is eminently watchable, and the supporting cast is markedly strong. Some will compare the show to another serial killer-driven period piece, The Alienist -- but The Frankenstein Chronicles actually pre-dates that show by three years (it began airing in the UK in 2015) and manages to find its own unique -- if not a bit pulpy -- ways to examine issues of classism, faith, and the morality of medicine.

TV Details

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