IT'S ALIVE

Fur­ther Franken­stein Chron­i­cles, er, chron­i­cles

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

KEEP­ING IT REAL

De­spite the show’s fan­tas­ti­cal el­e­ments, Ross worked hard to ground it in a world that felt au­then­tic. “I had a very strong sense of what I was look­ing for,” Ross says. “I felt that we needed some­thing rough. We went into th­ese very run­down places, di­lap­i­dated land­scapes that were more what the ba­sis of the city ex­pe­ri­ence would have been in those days. The other as­pect is the ru­ral­ness of it, which is quite for­eign to the mod­ern city ex­pe­ri­ence. My con­cep­tion of the story was rooted in an at­tempt to recre­ate that re­al­ity.”

THE BIG SLEEP

Like all good mys­ter­ies The Franken­stein Chron­i­cles has a dogged in­ves­ti­ga­tor at its heart, one mod­elled on a clas­sic PI. “Gener­i­cally Mar­lott’s a movie de­tec­tive and I sup­pose I was think­ing of Mar­lowe when I named him Mar­lott,” Ross ex­plains. “I was think­ing of Ray­mond Chan­dler and my favourite de­tec­tive movies, things like The Big Sleep and Chi­na­town, and is there a way to get that noirish el­e­ment into this story in a way that’s ap­pro­pri­ate to England at the time that it’s set? That’s one of the stylis­tic el­e­ments that’s in there in the way it’s de­signed and shot.” ONE MAN BAND

Ross wrote and di­rected all six episodes, some­thing ex­ceed­ingly rare on TV. “It’s what I am re­ally. It’s what I do. And it’s a very per­sonal project for me. I felt it would be done best if I were al­lowed that kind of author­ity over it. It gives it a stylis­tic co­he­sion and be­comes a kind of mod­ern novel at that level. That was the am­bi­tion – a mod­ern ver­sion of a Vic­to­rian gothic novel. That was ul­ti­mately what I hoped to achieve.”

FAVOURITE FRANK

But what is Ross’s pre­ferred Franken­stein? “Gosh, I’ve got a lot of favourites. I grew up on Karloff, it was prob­a­bly my first great movie ob­ses­sion when I was about eight or nine. I loved Bride Of Franken­stein. I love at least the first three or four Ham­mer Franken­steins. They would prob­a­bly be top for me. There was a Warhol-pro­duced film called Flesh For Franken­stein. It was done in 3D so I made a pil­grim­age to see the guts come out of this guy’s stom­ach. And of course I loved Young Franken­stein. I sup­pose you’re go­ing quite far back in time to touch a Franken­stein that re­ally ap­pealed to me.”

We’re as­sum­ing he dies at some point.

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