Watch Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night

  • Not Rated
  • 2014
  • 1 Season
  • 7.1  (76)

Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night is a gripping and atmospheric one-hour drama that takes its viewers back to 1816, the year without a summer, and the time when literary giants Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori gathered together in Switzerland. This exciting Amazon Addon show, released in 2014, stars Claire Foy as Mary, Neil Gaiman as Polidori, and Richard Holmes, a renowned Shelley scholar, as the narrator.

Holmes sets the scene by describing how, in the midst of one of the coldest, dampest summers on record, the group fell into a mood of intense and collaborative creativity, firing each other up with weird tales and daring each other to develop them. Out of this competition came some of literature's most iconic works, including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Polidori's The Vampyre.

The show follows the group on this famous evening, as the gloom and dampness of the summer evening press in on them and drive them to fantastical storytelling. The dialogue is taken directly from their own diaries and letters, creating a sense of intimacy with the process of literary creation.

Foy is perfect as the young, reserved Mary, listening intently to the others' tales before retreating to her own room to work on Frankenstein. Gaiman is superb as the precocious Polidori, embroidering his own experiences into the story of the vampyre, played with eerie conviction by Daniel Mays. Meanwhile, Lord Byron, played with flamboyance and sexuality by David Warner, becomes the group's arch provocateur, pushing the others towards darker and more unsettling tales.

The drama is heightened by the use of flashbacks to the characters' pasts, with Mary's difficult relationship with her father and Percy's maverick spirit explored through monologues and re-enactments. The flashbacks allow the viewer to understand the writers' motivations, and the constraints and prejudices that they were up against. They also provide a visual counterpoint to the wet and claustrophobic evening, with glimpses of sunshine and rolling hills.

As the evening draws on, the tension rises, and the dark shadows inside the writers' own hearts begin to be reflected in their stories. The show expertly captures the thrill of creation, the sheer artifice of literature, and the ever-changing play between fantasy and reality.

All the actors are superb, bringing the complex characters to life in a way that is both authentic and resonant. Holmes' narrative thread drives the show towards its conclusion, reminding the viewer that these writers' creations still have the power to haunt us today.

Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night is a must-watch for fans of gothic literature, and for anyone who has ever been inspired by the power of the imagination. It cleverly juxtaposes storytelling and historical fact, creating a powerful piece of cinema that will stay with the viewer long after the credits have rolled.

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Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night
1. Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night
October 30, 2014
Docudrama exploring one of the most significant moments in gothic history - the night when Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and their cohorts gathered at Lake Geneva to tell ghost stories.
  • Premiere Date
    October 30, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (76)