Seth Gabel! I would have started this article with a long WOO HOO if it wasn’t somewhat unprofessional. But please allow me to take a step back. Gothica (which by the way has absolutely nothing to do with the Halle Berry movie of the same name) is a pilot in development at ABC, described as a modern-day gothic horror soap surrounding the lives of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and more. Excellent, right?
This is not to be confused with the Showtime straight-to-series (no pilot required) Penny Dreadful, which features the same characters but in a Victorian London setting, that we told you about back in January. Nor is it to be confused with the modern-day I, Frankenstein movie which in turn is not to be confused with the Frankenstein movie that might have Daniel Radcliffe in it, as we reported earlier today. Don’t worry, we’ll help you keep it all straight.
Back to Gothica and the great news. Seth Gabel, who played Agent Lincoln Lee on Fringe and whom we need back on our screens as soon as possible, has been cast in the pilot as Roderick Usher (everyone run to your bookshelves for your Poe compendium that includes short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”), the district attorney and heir to the once-powerful Usher family who is carrying secrets.
The pilot stars Janet Montgomery (somewhat reformed thief Ames in Human Target) as journalist Grace Van Helsing who takes over her family’s hometown newspaper The Guardian. I’m guessing she also has issues with the Dracula family. Opposite Montgomery is Melissa George (Sam Hunter in Hunted, Mattie in Bag of Bones) playing Fiona Hunter, whom Deadline describes as the series’ most formidable force, who tests the mettle and savvy of Van Helsing, Dorian Gray, and Victor Frankenstein. Speaking of whom…
Chris Egan (Kings) plays Dorian Gray, a wealthy playboy and major investor in The Guardian who’s probably not as nice or as young as he looks, but that last bit is just a guess on my part. Brit Tom Ellis (ex-husband of Fade Sarah in The Fades) plays Victor Frankenstein, head of a hospital that also does biomedical research; he believes that he may have a way to bring his recently deceased daughter back to life. Nice.
Also cast in the pilot are Raza Jaffrey (MI-5, Smash) as Harker (back to your bookshelf, this time for Dracula), a police detective under pressure from “the most powerful man in town” per Deadline. No, I’m not sure which man is meant. Cast as Mina is Tracie Thoms ( Mahandra in Wonderfalls, Beatrix in Looper, and the friend who got the latest Marc Jacobs bag in The Devil Wears Prada). Mina is managing editor of The Guardian and a friend of Grace Van Helsing. I also expect she has or will develop a relationship with Det. Harker; again, consult your copy of Dracula.
Aussie Emma Booth has been cast as Dr. Frankenstein’s wife Madeline Usher – maybe sister to Roderick Usher? Which brings us back to Seth Gabel. Okay, I see how this could be described as a soap.
The last bit of good news, at least for this post, is that Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, creators of that great dramedy Reaper, will be co-showrunners and executive producers on Gothica, along with its creator Matt Lopez .
An excellent cast, great showrunners, classic horror characters; it sounds so promising. Of course the one bad thing is that this is only a pilot, with no guarantee of pickup by ABC. I for one am really hoping that it’s great, and that ABC picks it up to series. We will of course keep you posted.