Not that any Showtime show is necessarily for the faint of heart, but the network's latest series is a particularly nasty piece of work — in the best way possible.

The show is Penny Dreadful, and Showtime has released the first full trailer for its May 11 premiere. (It's embedded below and very NSFW!)

What's it all about? Quoth Showtime: "Some of literature's most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama."

"Penny dreadfuls," by the way, are the term for the pulpy, serialized publications that cost a penny in 19th-century United Kingdom and peddled in sensational and often horrific storylines.

As the preview begins, we witness a curious exchange between two of the protagonists, played by Eva Green and Josh Hartnett. (Also along for the ride are Doctor Who's Billie Piper, License to Kill's Timothy Dalton, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark's Reeve Carney.)

"Do you believe there is a demi-monde?" Eva muses, in character. "A half-world between what we know and what we fear, a place in the shadows — rarely seen but deeply felt — where some unfortunate souls are cursed to live always."

"That sounds like a warning," Josh observes.

"It's an invitation," Eva replies.

We'll take her up on that invite! Penny Dreadful premieres on Showtime on Sunday, May 11, at 10 p.m. ET.


Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!