New on the tubes: Frankenstein,MD

It’s alive! A modern update on a classic.


After The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved, Pemberley Digital is back with a vlog-style retelling of Frankenstein. And what better day than to YouTube it than Aug. 30, which happens to be the author, Mary Shelley’s birthday.

A little background:

Mary Shelley was vacationing in Geneva one summer with her lover (and then husband) Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and some other friends when the idea of a novel writing competition came up. Because, you know, that’s what they did before Netflix. This novel was the first draft of what would eventually become Frankenstein – The Modern Prometheus. Oh, and did I mention that she wrote it when she was only 18?

The novel is about a young, ambitious doctor named Victor Frankenstein who is obsessed in his pursuit of scientific knowledge and reanimating life. He experiments with electricity that creates spasms in muscle tissue, and he is convinced that a similar idea can be used to create an entire human being not in the natural way. After giving life to the creature, Frankenstein is so horrified by what he has created that he flees, leaving the creature to fend for itself. Frankenstein’s desertion is the cause of a great many deaths, including that of his little brother William, his friend, Clerval and his fiancé, Elizabeth.

In the vlog series, we have the young, ambitious almost-doctor Victoria Frankenstein. She is brilliant and committed to her role as a researcher and a woman of science. In fact, she may be a little too committed as she has no inhibitions about the health and well-being of her subjects. She believes that almost human blood can be recreated in a laboratory and everything is just a simple test away.

The novel is narrated by Robert Walton, an explorer in the Arctic who meets Frankenstein and narrates the tale via letters to his sister. In the vlog series, the cameraman’s name is Robert, which is a modern update as his edits become the “narrative” of the series.

The series is light-hearted compared to the dark subject of the novel, but it is only six episodes old so there is time for it to get to the classical definition of gothic and horror. New episodes are uploaded every Tuesday and Friday with a special finale on Halloween.

And for a bonus, watch YA darling, John Green give a crash course on Frankenstein. Reading the classics will never be the same again.