The Doll Factory centres around a young woman named Iris (Esme Creed-Miles) who, with her twin-sister Rose (Mirren Mack) – who suffered from smallpox at the age of 16, are painting the faces of dolls for people who want to remember their deceased child… Eww… way too spooky!
Working for the evil Mrs Salter (Pippa Haywood), the pair are at odds with each other, but their job is about as much fun as the time I worked at a Little Chef.
However, after a chance meeting down the shops with taxidermist Silas Reed (Éanna Hardwicke – The Sixth Commandment), to whom she offers a blackberry… and not the mobile phone kind in 1850, as well as to portrait artist Louis Frost (George Webster), they’re offering her the chance to start afresh elsewhere as a semi-nude model.
Already in their sphere is Bluebell (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), although despite the 18-certificate tagged to this, no women show off their charms, while Iris, somehow, manages – inbetween wearing and taking off an open blouse – to attach a bra(!)
In fact, I saw more action in the similar-periodic Blackadder The Third, and I’m sure they had more bawdy bordellos.
The Doll Factory plays out rather creepy at times, throwing in loads of weird nonsense happening, none of which makes any sense
so it’s rather going for the Young Adult market.
Period dramas aren’t usually my sort of thing, but while I did have access to all the episodes, just the first two was enough for me – which is also the same number available on day one.
Oh, about that 18-cert, episode 2 does feature a very grim autopsy scene, so that was a plus, even if I did wince a bit.
Thanks to our friends at Paramount+ for the screener prior to release.
The Doll Factory is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Paramount+ from today, with two episodes available at launch, and then daily episodes.
Running time: 45-55 minutes per episode (8 episodes)
Release date: November 27th 2023
Series Directors: Cathy Brady, Julie Harkin, Sacha Polak
Screenplay/Creator: Charley Miles
Novel: Elizabeth Macneal
Music: Lele Marchitelli
Iris: Esme Creed-Miles
Rose: Mirren Mack
Mrs Salter: Pippa Haywood
Silas Reed: Éanna Hardwicke
Lizzie: Hannah Onslow
Louis Frost: George Webster
Albie: Reece Kenwyne-Mpudzi
Millais: Laurie Kynaston
Hunt: Jim Caesar
Rossetti: Akshay Khanna
Moll: Mali Harries
Evie: Nia Deacon
Bluebell: Saoirse-Monica Jackson
Flick: Liadan Dunlea
Madame: Sharlene Whyte
Charles: Shane Lennon
Clarissa: Nell Hudson
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.