The intertextual monstrous. Appropriations of Frankenstein in the era of Quality Television

Francisco Javier López Rodríguez


The novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, written by Mary W. Shelley and published in 1818, has become one of the most influential works in the gothic-fantastic imaginary because of the many versions of this story disseminated through different media such as theatre, cinema, or comic books. This article aims to establish the ways Shelley’s work has been adapted, appropriated, or modified in TV series from the United States of America in the current phase known as Quality Television. Departing from the idea that the diverse narrative configurations that can be found in TV series shape the process of adapting previous works, this article analyzes several versions of Frankenstein made for television (as an episodic plot, as miniseries, as a TV movie, as a serial plot) paying attention to the characterization of the protagonists.


Frankenstein, adaptation, TV series, monster, audiovisual storytelling.

Full Text:

PDF (Español)


ALLEN, Graham (2008): Shelley's Frankenstein, Continuum Books, Londres.

ANDREW, Dudley (1984): Concepts in Film Theory, Oxford UniversityPress, Oxford.

BAZIN, Andre (1948): «Adaptation, or the Cinema as Digest», en James Naremore (ed.), Film Adaptations, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 2000, pp. 19-27.

BELIM, Celia (2014): «Narrative Structure Analysis of the 2012 Nominees for Drama TV Series: What Does the Pilot Episode Reveal?», en Valentina Marinescu, Silvia Branea y Bianca Mitu (eds.), Contemporary Television Series: Narrative Structures and Audience Perception, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, pp. 59-93.

BLOOM, Abigail Burnham (2010): The Literary Monster on Film: Five Nineteenth Century British Novels and Their Cinematic Adaptations, McFarland, North Carolina.

BROOKS, Tim, y Earle F. MARSH (2007): The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present, Ballantine Books, Nueva York.

CASCAJOSA VIRINO, Concepción C. (2009): «La nueva edad dorada de la televisión norteamericana», Secuencias: Revista de historia del cine, núm. 29, pp. 7-31.

CONSTANDINIDES, Costas (2010): From Film Adaptation to Post-Celluloid Adaptation. Rethinking the Transition of Popular Narratives and Characters across Old and New Media, Continuum, Nueva York.

DIXON, Wheeler Winston (1990): «The Films of Frankenstein», en Stephen Behrendt (ed.), Approaches to Teaching Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Modern Language Association, Nueva York, pp. 166–79.

DRESS, Richard (2016): «Edison’s Frankenstein. Cinema’s First Horror Film», en Film Buzz, disponible en [consultado el 2 de noviembre de 2015].

FEYERSINGER, Erwin (2011): «Metaleptic TV Crossovers», en Karin Kukkonen y Sonja Klimek (eds.), Metalepsis in Popular Culture, De Gruyter, Berlín, pp. 127-157.

GOLDSEN, Rose Kohn (1999): «Televisión», en Buxó, M. Jesús Buxó y Jesús M. De Miguel (eds.), De la investigación audiovisual: fotografía, cine, vídeo, televisión, Anthropos, Barcelona, pp. 105-128.

HOCKER RUSHING, Janicey, y Thomas FRENTZ (1989): «The Frankenstein Myth in Contemporary Cinema», Critical Studies in Mass Communication, vol. 6, núm. 1, pp. 61-80.

JONES, Stephen (1994): The Illustrated Frankenstein Movie Guide, Titan Books, Londres.

JOWETT, Lorna, y Stacey ABBOTT (2013): TV Horror. Investigating the Dark Side of the Small Screen, I. B. Tauris, Londres.

KJELSTRUP, Richard (2007): «Challenging Narratives: Crossovers in Prime Time», Journal of Film and Video, vol. 59, núm. 1, pp. 32-45.

LAVALLEY, Albert (1979): «The Stage and Film Children: A Survey», en G. Levine (ed.), The Endurance of Frankenstein: Essays on Mary Shelley’s Novel, University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 243-289.

LEVERETTE, Marc, Brian OTT y Cara Louise BUCKLE (eds.) (2008): It’s Not TV: Watching HBO in the Post-Television Era, Routledge, Nueva York.

MCCABE, Janet, y Kim AKASS (eds.) (2007): Quality TV: Contemporary American Television and Beyond, I.B. Tauris, Nueva York.

MITTELL, Jason (2006): «Narrative Complexity in Contemporary American Television», The Velvet Light Trap, núm. 58, pp. 29-40.

NESTRICK, William (1979): «Coming to Life: Frankenstein and the Nature of Film Narrative», en G. Levine (ed.), In The Endurance of Frankenstein: Essays on Mary Shelley’s Novel, University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 290-315.

PARODY, Claire (2011): «Franchising/Adaptation», Adaptation, vol. 4, núm. 2, pp. 210-218.

PATTERSON THORNBURG, Mary (1987): The Monster in the Mirror: Gender and the Sentimental/Gothic Myth in Frankenstein, UMI Research Press, Michigan.

PICART, Caroline Joan (2003): Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film. Between Laughter and Horror, State University of New York Press, Nueva York.

RAYA BRAVO, Irene, y Pedro José GARCÍA GARCÍA (2013): «El camino hacia Juego de Tronos. Nuevas tendencias en la fantasía cinematográfica y televisiva del nuevo milenio», en Javier Lozano Delmar, Irene Raya Bravo y Francisco Javier López Rodríguez (coords.), Reyes, espadas, cuervos y dragones. Estudio del fenómeno televisivo Juego de Tronos, Fragua, Madrid, pp. 33-60.

SANDERS, Julie (2006): Adaptation and Appropriation, Routledge, Nueva York.

SCHOR, Esther (2003): «Frankenstein and film”, en Esther Schor (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 63-83.

WAGNER, Geoffrey (1975): The novel and the cinema, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Rutherford.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM
Copyright (c) 2016 Francisco Javier López Rodríguez