It's a transatlantic duel of the Frankensteins! In one corner, ITV's Sean Bean-starring period drama The Frankenstein Chronicles. And in the other corner, Fox's crime drama Frankenstein. Fight, fight, fight!
The Frankenstein Chronicles recently announced a giant cast joining Sean Bean. Deadline lists them: Anna Maxwell Martin (Philomena), Charlie Creed-Miles (Peaky Blinders), Ed Stoppard (The Musketeers), Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci's Demons), Hugh O'Conor (Killing Bono), Joe Tucker (Bronson), Kate Dickie (Game Of Thrones), Lalor Roddy (Hunger), Patrick Fitzsymons (Game Of Thrones) and Richie Campbell (Lewis). Robbie Gee (Young Dracula), Ryan Sampson (Doctor Who), Samuel West (Mr Selfridge), Shaun Mason (Cilla), Steve Wilson (Ripper Street), Steven Berkoff (Witches Of East End), Stuart Graham (The Fall), Tom Ward (Death Comes To Pemberley) and Vanessa Kirby (Everest).
The show is set in 1827 London, and starts with Sir Robert Peel — historians, prepare yourselves — recruiting Inspector John Marlott to find the criminal who left behind a collection of body parts assembled into the form of a single human body. Over the course of ten episodes, Marlott discovers the horrific truth behind what he's dealing with. In this Frankenstein crime drama, it looks like the Doctor and his creation are the crime being investigated.
Fox's Frankenstein, on the other hand, follows a retired corrupt cop named Ray Pritchard, who is brought back from the dead. His new life puts him in a younger and stronger body, and he essentially gets a second chance to find a sense of purpose and avoid the temptation to go back to being a morally bankrupt waste. In this Frankenstein crime drama, it looks like the monster is the conflicted anti-hero protagonist investigating crimes.
Both are departing really strongly from the source material. Fox's, in particular, seems to be inspired solely by "man brought back from the dead" element. As it stands, I'm leaning toward ITV's winning the fight. Mostly because I'm kind of hoping it'll take the utterly joyously ridiculous route of Jonathan Rhys Meyers' Dracula. It's unlikely, since it seems they're going with a dark and serious route. But, still. Hope springs eternal.