Steampunk Circus Master on Grimm

Grimm series 3, episode 16 The Show Must Go On
The steampunk Ring Master

If you’re currently unacquainted with Grimm, it’s a modern day police drama that draws inspiration from the popular Brothers Grimm fairy tales. The basic plot centres on a police officer who learns he is a descendant from a centuries old league of warriors called Grimms. Throughout the centuries they’ve hunted and exterminated “Wesen” (pronounced Vessen on the show). He teams up with Monroe – a converted Wolfman (Blutbad) – to help find killers who are actually Wesen before dealing with them off radar.


Grimm series 3, episode 16 The Show Must Go On
The steampunk Ring Master in profile

In episode 16 of the third series, we see a steampunk element as an unusual Carnival comes to town. The main show of the Carnival is a display of people who seem to mutate into creatures in front of the crowd. The steampunk Ring Master keeps them all in check until an angry Wolfman breaks from his cage and attacks the crowd. He’s shot by the Ring Master and dragged away. You can tell as soon as you see the Ring Master that he’s a sinister character.

Of course this is all part of the display but trouble ensues when people start turning up dead with claw marks. Nick immediately enlists the help of Monroe and his fiancee Rosalee (a Fuchsbau) who then ends up accidentally undercover at the Carnival to try and find out the truth.

Grimm series 3, episode 16 The Show Must Go On
The Ring Master tries to control his Wesen

The episode is enjoyable and fast paced, and my only issue is with the steampunk character appearing to be a bad guy. It’s a struggle because not all fictional steampunks should be good guys, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen one depicted in a negative light. It begs the argument on how adventurers are supposed to fight the good fight if there’s no-one to start the bad fight.

I suppose it boils down to the fact that there aren’t that many references to steampunk in fictional popular media at the moment because it’s still gaining it’s momentum.

Grimm series 3, episode 16 The Show Must Go On
Rosalee goes undercover

It would be great to have a film or television programme filled with steampunks that are courageous and inherently good. Maybe such as the storyline of Knights of Badassdom. That film, starring Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage and True Blood actor Ryan Kwanten, shows LARP participants as positive, funny and brave as they fight to the death against a demon.

Grimm series 3, episode 16 The Show Must Go On
Grimm steampunk Carnival Ring Master
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