"You do not belong here. Even less than I. You are not frivolous. Your eye is careful and appraising. This is not a careful room, although there is much to appraise. That can divert you for only so long. You do not like it here. You are closed to it. Yet... you're the only woman in this house not wearing gloves. Your hands want to touch, but your head wants to appraise. Your heart is torn between the two. You were skeptical because you thought... This was going to be a wasted evening, but now you're not so sure."
Dorian Gray to Vanessa Ives

"Séance" is the second episode of Season 1 of Showtime's Penny Dreadful. It was written by John Logan and directed by J. A. Bayona. It is the second episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 18, 2014.


In pursuit of answers, Vanessa and Sir Malcolm attend a party at Egyptologist Sir Ferdinand Lyle's home where they encounter the mysteriously beautiful Dorian Gray. The party takes a turn, however, when renowned medium Madame Kali hosts a séance. Meanwhile, Ethan befriends Ms. Brona Croft, a young Irish immigrant.[1]




Guest StarringEdit


  • Amy De Bhrún as Prostitute
  • Jack Walsh as Barman
  • Michael O'Flaherty as Police Sergeant
  • Joe McAvera as Photographer
  • Paul Ward as Telegraph Clerk
  • Rick Burn as Sailor


Production NotesEdit

  • When Vanessa goes into trance, she talks about a "green place" where "the Porters are dying". This is a reference to the characters of Jane and his father in "Tarzan of the Apes", by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The novel takes place approximately at the same time as the series, and matches its the Victorian setting.
  • "Enter Proteus" appears eight times in William Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1952), but the one shown is from the start of Act 2, Scene 6.


  • At the seance table, Madame Kali asks the women to remove their gloves and the men their jewelry. We see the servants with bowls go around the table collecting gloves and rings, but immediately afterwards, in the overhead shot of those seated at the table joining hands, Mr. Lyle and Sir Malcolm both still have on their wedding rings.
  • A large ship is shown travelling downstream on the Thames towards Blackfriars Bridge. It would have been unable to get underneath it or London Bridge further downstream to reach the sea.