fbpx

Dracula, All bark, no bite..

Dracula, 2019

Writers: Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat

Release: January 2020

Airing: BBC 1 and Netflix


Dracula, Dracula, Dracula. 

It is not a surprise to anyone that when the BBC announced it would be making a new show based on Dracula with some more.. mature and bloody themes I was stoked. HOWEVER, my excitement was certainly quelled when the creators, Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat were announced.

Now, this is an entirely personal preference, but I do not enjoy the way they write certain character types or the direction that they take some of their stories in. Unfortunately, Dracula was no different. If you disagree with me and thought it was wonderful, that is AMAZING and I am absolutely thrilled for you. I am not here to bash, just to objectively put down some of my thoughts. 

First off visuals

Okay, so some solid positives. Visually it was great for a BBC show. The CGI of the boat from above in episode 2 was dreadful, however, aside from that. I got some intense Hammer Horror vibes especially in episode 1. When they are creeping around the castle, the labyrinth of rooms, the skittering and the unsettling atmosphere really work. They had created a genuinely sinister atmosphere, coupled with the mind tricks between Dracula and Johnathon Harker, episode 1 really had some fear factor. 

The whole castle’s vibe just worked, really nice and gothic with some strong German Expressionism influences in the corners and corridors. Also, can we all agree that we need to bring some more heavy drapery into modern decor? 

Cinematically, Dracula was testing out some new things, especially for a show on the BBC, the reveal in episode 2 of room 9 was absolutely fantastic and really took me back to films like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. However, slow-motion blood? Once was enough, we don’t need slow drippy drops every time. It just dragged me straight out of any immersion I might have managed to find my self in.

Daddy Dracula 

 

Okay so, first off. Dracula has been around for 500 years so of course, he likes it both ways! He’s the epitome of getting elbow-deep in hedonism, he is “sin”! So chill if he wants to have Johnathon for his bride then let’s do that! 
I was conflicted at first with the representation of Dracula, I have never found the perfect representation that works for me. However, I like Claes Bang for Dracula physically. He is a handsome Dracula, has a regal, nobleman presence that just works for the character. I even enjoyed his slightly over the top hammed up Dracula voice. HOWEVER, as with everything in this article. I did not like how he was written, some aspects of his personality were entertaining but too much was reminiscent of Andrew Scott’s Moriarty. 

That being said, more naked, bloody knife licking would be fine.. you know, for science…

Claes Bang in Dracula (2020)

 

Moving swiftly on… 

I would have happily watched the full show as a game of cat and mouse between Nun-Helsing and Dracula. Her bold, bolshy, take no shit attitude was absolutely wonderful. She is an educated woman who is not afraid to call Dracula on his shit and face him, literally nose to nose. 

I’d love to see her, as some kind of immortal, following Drac across the world and time, just fang jamming him at every turn.  The chess match in episode 2 was so engaging, a cat and mouse game of wits is always 100% my jam. We’re so drawn into the game on the table and the game unfolding around us. But, that doesn’t even last the full episode. 

The tonal shift from 2 to 3 is so swift and gut-punching I got whiplash. After watching all this set up and this “modern twist” I just found myself longing for the mental games, the horror and the drama of the first episode. Not this Hollyoaks, teenage drama. 

Respect the source

There is a time and place for adaptations that change a few elements to bring them up to a modern-day setting. Nevertheless, there needs to be some respect. The removal of key lore just to shoehorn, what was a rushed and convoluted end scene does not work for me. Episode 3 lost its footing, gone was the dark sense of humour that was SO prevalent in ep 1. It was just depressing with a pseudo-Shakespearean ending that feels as though it should be hugely significant and meaningful. Though in fact, it felt rushed and a bit hamfisted. 

I have great respect for what the creators have put together, but for me, it was all bark, no bite. 


Supporting the Valks

Any and all commission paid to the Valks through affiliate schemes or patronage goes back into the site. It helps with the hosting costs and the running costs. Anything you purchase through our links does earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. The continued support of our wonderful community is what keeps us going, so thank you again and again!

As always we hope you enjoy if you would like to support the site you can join our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/thevalkyries

If you don’t want to join up but want to support us, you can donate via Kofi here: https://ko-fi.com/I2I6FUC7

Want more from the Valks? You can listen to our podcast over on SpotifyTuneinStitcherGoogle PodcastsApple Podcasts|Anchor FM

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Dracula, All bark, no bite..

    1. I didn’t even WATCH Sherlock 4 I bowed out long before, but I can’t say no to a Dracula show

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: