Netflix’s Turkish-language adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein brings the story to life in Ottoman-era Istanbul. A modern and very Turkish-take on the classic gothic novel, Creature takes some dramatic liberties in putting forth its clear message. The series has a bleak and tragic appearance from the beginning that is littered with some whimsical moments. In a small town named Bursa, a young, curious boy named Ziya has an affinity for the sciences. After hearing about a book of resurrection, he feels eager to learn about what comes beyond death. As an adult, Ziya finds himself on a journey to Istanbul to learn about medicine and become a doctor like his father. There he meets a special professor who changes his life’s trajectory permanently.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Show?
A ghoulish creature dumps a man named Ziya at the feet of some men in a snowclad mountain for healing. The creature requests that the captain of those men heal the man while he waits someplace else. As Ziya slips from consciousness to unconsciousness, he tells a special story to the captain about his life. As an adult, Ziya witnessed a cholera outbreak where he lost his dear mother. This led him to pursue medicine so he could fight death. Asiye, a young girl, was brought to Ziya’s home when she was a child, and they grew up together. As adults, they believe each other to be soulmates, and Ziya regrets having to leave her alone and go to study. In the meantime, Ziya has found some people who might know more about the book of resurrection. Reaching Istanbul, he tries to meet those people and gets scammed. Naive and alone, he is robbed of all his money and has nowhere to go. He finds a man named Hamdi, who helps him with food and then a job. At the same time, Ziya finds Professor Ihsan, a strange man who is shunned by the people of the school. Ziya feels like Ihsan and he will get along well and decides to find a way into his home.
Arrogant Ziya gets expelled from school after showing the professor that he knows more than him about medicine because of everything he learned while watching his father work. Ziya can’t control his mouth, and his goal in studying medicine is to help people and not sit dormant when something terrible happens. He realizes very quickly that that is not how school works. It turns out Ihsan and Ziya’s father have been friends for a long time, and without Ziya’s knowledge, his father hopes for Ihsan to keep an eye out for his son. Ihsan shows the professor who got Ziya expelled from his school by calling out his wrongdoings for all the students to overhear. This is Ziya’s shot to get closer to Ihsan so he can get inside his home to see what experiments are being carried out there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well as Ziya expected, so he comes up with a new plan when there’s a rat outbreak in the markets. Pretending to be sick after getting bitten by one of the rats, Ziya enters the professor’s house to seek medical attention. At night, he sedates the professor to check out what he’s built in his special locked room.
As Ziya suspected, Ihsan is a man cut from the same cloth as himself. He’s already built the resurrection machine as instructed in the special book, but something isn’t working right. Ihsan has been experimenting with a pig, but Ziya plans on using a human and helping Ihsan realize this big dream. Pretending that Ziya is sick so Hamdi doesn’t get suspicious, Ihsan reluctantly agrees to go along with Ziya, who has hidden the book. He tells Ihsan that he will be his book, so he has no choice but to accept his help. With difficulty, they procure a corpse to resurrect. Blood is required to resurrect the corpse, so Ziya leaves Ihsan with the machine to go bring some blood. At this time, lightning strikes the machine, but because there’s gunpowder on the floors, the room catches fire, and Ihsan burns to death. Overwhelmed by grief and desperation, Ziya decides to put Ihsan himself on the bed. The machine works, and using his own blood, he saves Ihsan. But what has come back isn’t the professor he adored, but a deformed and lost man. After spending some time trying to rehabilitate him, Ziya became afraid of his own creation. He decides to abandon the man and leave him on the streets of Istanbul among the lepers.
Ziya doesn’t think he’s to blame for Ihsan’s condition. He thinks Ihsan himself is just as responsible for creating a “monster” (although the man really hasn’t done anything to be called that). Ziya thinks he can repent by leaving his dream of becoming a medical practitioner behind. Just as easily as he decided to move to Istanbul, he decides to go back to Bursa. In the meantime, his father and Asiye come in search of him because they haven’t heard from him since he moved. While Ziya runs away from his “problem”, the new Ihsan creature searches for the meaning of life. He embarks on his own journey to find out who he really is.
Ihsan’s Soul Mate
After being considered a ghoul, Ihsan keeps his face covered but helps strangers, while trying to follow Ziya. Seeing his super strength, a man named Vasili, who has a theater company, decides to bring Ihsan into his own family. Everybody in Vasili’s company is considered an outcast by society, but they accept each other like family. Immediately, they show the goodness of humanity to Ihsan, who slowly regains his memories and his human side by being with them. Ihsan truly becomes a part of their family and starts to love the others with all his heart. During the shows, if anybody misbehaves, he gets riled up and shows them his strength. Ihsan also becomes a part of their act and impresses everyone until his mask is removed from his face. Ihsan sees how he’s considered a monster the second his face is visible, but until then, he’s cheered on like a god. The human double standard doesn’t sit very well with him. In one of the smaller towns, a fight breaks out and the old man of the team decides to use his gun to protect the rest. If the police catch Ihsan, he would be the one tortured the most because of his naivety. Knowing this, the old man takes his own life so Ihsan can run away freely with no fear of being caught. Alone again, Ihsan tries to find a place to rest in a small town.
He finds a blind woman who lives with a pregnant girl named Esma. Again, Esma is considered a sinner because her cousin’s husband forced himself on her. Ihsan hears the requirements of the two women and brings them meat as a thank-you for letting him rest in their barn. The grandmother makes her way to Ihsan, and she thanks him even though his face is terribly scarred. They build a symbiotic relationship, and the grandmother asks Ihsan to stay with them because he comes from nowhere and is going nowhere. Seeing how helpful Ihsan is, Esma starts to develop feelings for him. He tells her about his horrifying looks, but she doesn’t care. His pure and helpful heart is all she needs to feel love for him. Again, Ihsan’s compassion for humanity is restored. He helps Esma give birth and decides they should get married if she’s willing. Unfortunately, the people of the town have been restless about an unmarried woman with a baby, so some men are sent to kill Esma. Before Ihsan can do anything to save her, she’s shot in the stomach. In his rage, he kills the men and tells the village that if they touch a hair on the grandmother and child’s heads, he will destroy the whole village. Now, Ihsan makes his way to Ziya to save Esma’s life and build the machine again. She’s the only person who would ever give love to a monster like himself, so Ihsan goes in search of him in desperation. He promises to come back and take care of the baby.
In the meantime, Ziya has gone back home, told his family that he’s quit medical school, and plans on starting a family with Asiye. He promises Asiye that he hasn’t done anything wrong, but he worries his arrogance pushed him too far. Now he is certain that he wants to be with Asiye and start a family. His own father suspects that Ziya has killed somebody, but Ziya tells him that he hasn’t. Although he has committed a grave crime, Ihsan makes his way to Bursa and buries Esma high up in the mountains so she can be frozen and intact by the time the machine is built. On Ziya and Asiye’s wedding night, Ihsan makes it to Bursa, kidnapping Asiye to show Ziya the seriousness of the situation. He tells Ziya that if he doesn’t build the machine again, then Asiye will be the one to suffer. After all, this is a tale of love.
What Happens To Ziya And Ihsan?
Ziya believes he truly created a monster after seeing how Ihsan turned up at his house. Ihsan tells Asiye not to send anyone after them because if she does, he will kill Ziya in an instant. They make their journey to the mountain, and Ihsan tells Ziya his whole story about how he met Esma. Because of the cold weather, Ziya falls terribly sick, but there’s only one group of people that can help him. The captain and his team. They’ve reached the top of the mountain in search of a hidden treasure. Ihsan knows that his abilities will allow him to bring the treasure to the captain and his team. What he needs in return is their help to cure Ziya and also help build the machine. When the treasure is found, though, even with all the men having decided on a pact beforehand, they turn on each other and pull out their guns. Ziya gets caught in the crossfire. Ihsan is devastated, as he can’t keep his promise of bringing Ziya back to Asiye, nor can he be with Esma anymore. He decides to stay back with Ziya’s cold body and tells the captain to go share their story with the world, along with giving some of the treasure to the grandma and little boy. All Ihsan wanted was to save his love, but he realized that wherever he went, he brought devastation.
Ziya had already given the captain permission to write his story. Just before he got well, Ziya gave the captain a letter to deliver to Asiye as well. The captain diligently does his part, and at the end of the show, he shares Ziya and Ihsan’s story with the world. What we’re meant to understand from Ihsan’s story is that humans are the real monsters. Ziya is the one who is desperate to bring somebody back to life, but once he sees the results, he decides to abandon his dear friend and mentor. On the other hand, Ihsan was so guilty of his actions that he decided to end his life with Ziya’s because there was nothing left for him to do. Whatever turn he took in life after being “reborn” led to a dark dead end.
Creature is a story devoid of hope; it teaches us the extent of mankind’s desperation and curiosity. Ziya was so stubborn that he didn’t believe Ihsan’s condition was his own doing. Instead of looking out for his friend and mentor, he chose to leave him alone when he needed help the most. At the same time, Ihsan, who was brimming with hope while making the machine when he was considered a great scholar, changed completely after seeing the reality of humanity. When he brought the treasure as a gift, it became a bane that killed his own friend. With that, his desperation to bring Esma back died too, because this is not the kind of world he would want her to come back to.