“Everything is impossible, until someone figures out a way to do it…and when I say someone, I mean me.”
Frankenstein, MD is a YouTube webseries, which modernizes Mary Shelley’s classic as the vlog of ambitious, young, Victoria Frankenstein (Anna Lore) and her lab partner Ludwig “Iggy” Delacey (Steve Zaragova). Other characters appear who fill analogous roles to their named counterparts from the novel.
The first half of the series follows Victoria and Iggy’s lab work as they finish up their doctorate degrees. Real-world medical procedures, and cutting edge technology (some theoretical), are showcased; including anesthetics, gene splicing, 3D printing bone replacements, and cryonics. The potential applications for all of theses, as well as their limitations are discussed academically and with wit. Victoria fulfills her namesake by portraying an unyielding ambition and adroit intellect although is dismissive of her failings. Iggy is a goofy, yet competent, partner who continually tries to introduce levity to situations while failing to rein in Victoria's ego.
Tragedy strikes halfway through the series, when Robert (the off-screen cameraman) dies in a mountain climbing accident. From there the darker tone and plot of the novel asserts itself, as Victoria and Iggy use everything they have learned to—not resurrect Robert, but birth new life from death. Robert is brought on-screen becoming the creature, while Victoria and Iggy describe the procedures and modifications they made. Once he awakens...well, things go as well, or rather as bad as you would expect.
The acting is fair mostly, which could be due to direction or the unseasoned actors, but there are no really bad moments. A lot of intriguing ideas are brought forth, especially in regard to the hard sci-fi approach to the creature. There is a romance subplot which sadly is the weak spot in the series. And while the vlog format is one that works well for YouTube, it becomes a less believable device after the creature escapes.
A joint production of PBS Digital Studios and Pemberley Digital, the series was developed by Lon Harris, Brett Register, and Bernie Su. The twenty-four episodes of the main series began airing via the PBS channel on August with the final episode on Halloween, side videos were distributed through Pemberley.
A full playlist can be found here.
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