"There was another thought when she was so very close to me, a strange working of memory. I thought of a particular lion hunt many years ago. You're moving through the tall grass, getting a glimpse of the prey, the shoulders mostly, the mane. You prepare your rifle. You're very quiet. And then there's a moment. The wind changes, the grass stops swaying. The lion turns, looks at you. The moment you realize you are no longer the hunter, you are the prey."
Malcolm Murray

"Night Work" is the first episode of Season 1 of Showtime's Penny Dreadful. It was written by John Logan and directed by J. A. Bayona. It is the first episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 11, 2014.


London 1891. As the police investigate a series of gruesome murders, renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and the strangely beautiful Vanessa Ives know there's something darker at play. In search of someone close to them who has been lost, they recruit American sharp-shooter Ethan Chandler and Dr. Victor Frankenstein to help them on their journey.[1]




Guest StarringEdit


  • Aoife Byrne as Mother
  • Karla Lyons as 7 Year Old Girl
  • Owen Roe as Colonel Brewster
  • Alison McGirr as Beautiful Young Woman
  • Fady Elsayed as Lead Familiar
  • Robert Nairne as Vampire
  • Pat McGrath as Mortuary Boss
  • Mary Murray as Woman #1
  • Helen Norton as Woman #2
  • Alvaro Lucchesi as Police Photographer
  • Dylan McDonough as Constable
  • Gary Fox as Felix


Production NotesEdit

  • When Dr. Frankenstein peels back the creature's exoskeleton, hieroglyphic tattoos are revealed that will later be described by Ferdinand Lyle as coming from the Egyptian Book of The Dead. The hieroglyph on the right side of the creature appears to be a stylized "42", which is the answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything" according to Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'.
  • It is fitting that Frankenstein's creature "picks" the name Proteus, the name of one of the old gods of water. In Greek, the name translates to mean "first" or, "firstborn."
  • Vanessa Ives offers Ethan Chandler employment which she refers to as "night work". The episodes title is derived from the job description in this conversation.


  • Close-up on Ethan Chandler's cheap battery-powered pocket watch, whose brand name "Jean Jacot" was first registered in 2015 and belongs to a German company offering advertising gifts. The watch's quartz movement is obvious even to the layman on account of its jumping seconds hand. This watch could not have existed in 1891.