Dracula – dripping with bloody brilliance

3rd January 2020

Dracula is now showing on BBC One and iPlayer.

There’s no better way to start the new year than with the darkly brilliant Dracula on BBC One. Here Bram Stoker’s gothic creation finds a new voice in Steven Moffat’s and Mark Gatiss’s hands. The writing duo’s love for the original text shines through while, in turn, embracing a delightfully modern final act. The result is a TV series that echoes the visual style of Hammer Horror in its early episodes before diving into a far more modern tale of bloodlust.

In recent film history, Dracula has often found itself underserved, with the inherent themes of flued sexuality often sidelined for a far more heteronormative figure of fear. However, while Dracula as a figure has mainly remained absent on TV, the vampire has had some wonderful and creative moments in the spotlight. Just look at Being Human, True Blood and Penny Dreadful. All of these vampire stories provided us with devilishly brilliant interpretations of vampire mythology, where the fluid sexuality of the vampire was embraced and celebrated. Therefore, seeing Stoker’s Dracula finally receive the same TV treatment is a blood-soaked joy.


Just as Gatiss and Moffat reinvented Sherlock Holmes for a modern generation, Dracula takes the core themes of Stoker’s novel and layers them with a fresh and dynamic reinterpretation of the character while equally paying homage to Hammer Horror. The central performances of the delicious cast pulse with energy. At the same time, the theatrical and darkly delicious performance of Claes Bang combines the statue of Christopher Lee with the devilish charm of Bela Lugosi. Dracula is not only a love letter to gothic horror but a long overdue rebirth of Stoker’s character, its gore and charm wrapped by the writing genius of two of TV’s most visionary talents.

Cast: Claes BangDolly WellsMorfydd Clark, John Heffernan, Sacha Dhawan, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, John McCrea, Samuel Blenkin, Lily Dodsworth-Evans, Chanel Cresswell, Joanna Scanlan

Morfydd Clark also appears in Saint Maud.

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