Further Frankenstein Chronicles, er, chronicles
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.”
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.