Birth of a Monster
ONE, Sunday 7 December at 8.00pm
In life, as in literature, Mary Shelley's famous monster, Frankenstein,
overshadows its creator.
story of Frankenstein has become a modern myth, one which has developed
a life of its own, mutating with every re-telling.
It is frequently forgotten that the creature now thought of as Frankenstein
– Boris Karloff's dumb, inarticulate beast – is massively
removed from the sophisticated, sensitive creation of Mary Shelley,
perfect in all but appearance.
Using Mary's own words and accounts from the people who knew her,
and dramatic reconstructions of events in Mary's life and from her
famous novel, Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster tells the true story
of Frankenstein's monster and the remarkable woman who created him.
reveals how the turbulent events in Mary's emotional life - the
death of her mother in childbirth, the suicide of her sister and
the drowning of her husband – fed the depictions of rage and
loneliness that Frankenstein's creation experiences.
demonstrates how the book – like Frankenstein's monster –
is a patchwork of the radical political ideas with which Mary was
brought up: the unprecedented scientific developments taking place
at the time; and the cataclysmic events happening across the channel
in the French revolution.
discusses the importance of the infamous 'Summer of Darkness' at
Lord Byron's Villa Diodati in inspiring Mary to put pen to paper.
the dramatic, desolate landscape of the Alps the programmme uncovers
the true face of the monster of Frankenstein.
to Mary Shelley's original idea and using state-of-the-art make
up, the programme reveals the monster as Mary intended.
programme is narrated by Professor Robert Winston
and features Lucy Davenport (Gangs of New York, Ted and Sylvia),
David Schofield as the monster and Ronan Vibert as Frankenstein,
Oliver Chris as Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Harriet Walter and Clive
Merrison as Mary's parents, William Goodwin and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Search of the Brontës
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