With the 1938 Los Angeles-set Penny Dreadful spinoff, creator John Logan tells the Los Angeles times he wanted to tell a story that “had to do with where we are now in 2020 and the seismic change that happened the world in the last five years. All the assumptions I had made about liberal humanism, compassion and the democratic process were being circumvented everywhere and the marching cry of so much of this was anti-immigrant, and in America, particularly, anti-Latino and anti-Mexican. I started really researching the history of the freeways. I found that all of the freeways that were envisioned for the rich, white enclaves of Los Angeles were never built. (But) in East L.A., South Central L.A.? One hundred percent of those freeways got built. Obviously, you can’t tell the story of Los Angeles without telling the story of Mexican Americans, and you can’t tell the story of the freeways without telling the story of the communities of color that were displaced.” But since Logan is Irish, he wanted to make sure the story he was telling carried authenticity and wasn’t plagued with stereotypes or caricatures. “As much as people say full-blooded Irish is like full-blooded Mexican, it’s not," he says. In addition to his intensive research, he surrounded himself with people who would keep him “honest,” like Latinx writers Jose Rivera and Tatiana Suarez-Pico, directors Paco Cabezas and Roxann Dawson, and producing partner Michael Aguilar. He also cast talent the Academy Award-nominated Mexican actress Adriana Barraza, whom costar Natalie Dormer calls “the heart and soul of the show.” “The first time I spoke with John, I was really surprised by the care and good intentions he took to not folklorize Mexicans,” says Barraza, who plays Maria, the matriarch of the season’s central Vega family.