Creature (2023) Season 1 Review – A Disappointing ‘Frankenstein’ Adaptation

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 20, 2023
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Creature (2023) Season 1 Review - Turkish Netflix

Not many stories are as tragic as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the Netflix Turkish adaptation, Creature, has the same view. Regardless of the fame surrounding this fable, it still grabs the viewer’s attention — it was no shock when the trailer managed to grab attention. A spin on Frankenstein is well-yearned for.

Directed by Cagan Irmak and produced by O3 Medya, Creature explores the story between Bursa and Istanbul in the 1900s, tangling with the question of “death beyond life.” The TV show is undoubtedly an interesting adaptation for Netflix and a series that was explicitly difficult to review.

Minor spoilers in this review ahead.

Creature (2023) Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

Netflix is no stranger to Turkish series. More recently, in 2023, The Tailor triumphed on the platform, but close behind it, Shahmaran and The Club also excelled. Nestled in the streaming platform’s library, Turkish talent is not to be sniffed at.

If you are familiar with the tale of Frankenstein, then Creature will hardly surprise you. Taner Ölmez stars as Ziya, a medical student with high aspirations. He wishes to be the physician that solves life’s biggest mysteries, from crippling epidemics in nearby villages to death. His obsession with pushing the boundaries connects him with the genius Doctor Ishan, played by Erkan Kolcak Köstendil. Together, they join theory with madness and conduct an experiment with tragic consequences, which becomes the core of the storyline.

That experiment is the “Frankenstein” moment, and viewers may be frustrated by how long it takes to get to the pivotal moment in the story. Creature lumbers to the crux of the plot, bringing layers of context, past and present, that led the overreaching student and the misunderstood genius to conduct an inexplicable horror. Frankenstein is a well-engrained cultural reference, yet this limited series slobbers around it.

READ: Creature Season 1 Ending Explained

Once the core of the story is established, it becomes clear what the real tragedy is. It’s not the creature created but the woeful effects of human flaws. Creature demonstrates internal human suffering for the desperateness of wanting to achieve the impossible with undesirable results. Interestingly, Ziya is not a likable character. He’s whimsical in his thoughts, naive, and lacks gratitude for human life and death. A scientist may want to save the world, but how he does it is the key question.

In some ways, the Netflix series reminded me of a key moment in the hit TV show Fringe. In an important scene, scientist Walter Bishop announces to his peers that there’s only room for one God in this lab, and it’s not yours. The irony is always that God is truly the only God, and the egotistical nature of human beings is the true tragedy of our demise. Do not undo what’s already been done. Even if it’s death. Do not become a self-professed God.

Is Creature this Netflix’s best Turkish series?

Unfortunately, Creature is not a strong series for Netflix. It suffers from overacting, overcontextualizing, and overplaying the main point of the story for far too long. Viewers want a Frankenstein story, which they get, eventually. It takes far too long to be established, and when it is, it’s not even that special anyway.

It’s slightly disappointing that Creature did not hit expectations, but it’s a worthwhile effort on a traditional story, even if it does fall short of the mark. Creature is down the pecking order among Turkish series, but luckily, it’s a one-off limited series.

READ: Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein Review

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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