Belfast Telegraph

Sean Bean back in Ulster to film gothic horror tale The Frankenstein Chronicles

By Michael McHugh

We've had a flying visit from Dracula - now it's time for Frankenstein to shock Northern Ireland after it was announced that Sean Bean will star in a new TV drama to be filmed here.

The Game of Thrones actor will play Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles, a six-part series commissioned by ITV and based on Mary Shelley's famous gothic horror.

The production has been created by Emmy-nominated director and writer Benjamin Ross and is set in 1827. Filming starts here in January.

Mr Ross said: "Marlott's investigation takes him into the dark corners of Regency London. He discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching and murder for profit. The rational evidence points first one way and then another as he contemplates a frightening alternate scenario."

The series is a reworking of Frankenstein - the Mary Shelley novel about a scientist who creates a grotesque creature - that combines a detective drama with a horror thriller. Belfast actor Kenneth Branagh also played the role of the obsessed scientist in 1994's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

In the opening sequences of the new show, the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel recruits Marlott after a successful police operation to apprehend opium smugglers.

As he stands on the water's edge contemplating the arrests, Marlott makes a shocking discovery when the body of a dead child is washed up on the shore. But on further examination of the corpse, he is horrified to discover it is actually a crude assembly of body parts arranged in a "grotesque parody of a human form".

Mr Ross added: "The mutilated child-like body leaves an indelible impression on Marlott and he finds himself unable to shake off the memory of what has happened that fateful night."

Dracula Untold, filmed here last year and released in October, was also the modern re-telling of a classic horror, re-imagining the story of Vlad the Impaler. Despite a mauling from some critics, it grossed a worldwide total of more than $200m on a budget of $70m.

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