Review: BBC One Dracula (2020)

At the end of last year, the BBC started advertising a brand new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic ‘Dracula’. I love all things dark and if there are vampires it’s an added bonus, so I was looking forward to it. Written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, writers of ‘Sherlock’.

Starring Claes Bang as Dracula and (spoiler) Dolly Wells as Agatha Van Helsing. Claes was unknown to me but he’s a fantastic actor, I’ll definitely have to check out the other things he has been in. Dolly Wells was in Bridget Jones’ Diary and Some Girls. I wasn’t really expecting this version to be as accurate to the original novel as other adaptions, judging from Gatiss’ and Moffat’s previous work.  I was not disappointed.

I’m going to try and keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but I want to talk about things that could be a small hint towards significant information, so if you haven’t watched it, read with care.

We start off, just like the novel, in Transylvania 1897 with Jonathon Harker meeting Count Dracula. When we first see Dracula he isn’t the young, handsome fella we see in the trailers and promotional pictures.  The three-episode series follows Dracula’s journey to London and who he meets (and eats) on the way there. Each episode was 90 minutes long, at not one point throughout the show did I get bored.

Episode one was definitely the best, dark and interesting. One scene really stood out for me, when Sister Agatha and Dracula meet for the first time. I keep rewatching that scene, it’s brilliant. Sister Agatha is a bad bitch who I want to be best friends with, she’s clever and brave. This episode is set in Transylvania and Budapest before Dracula leaves.

The second episode was primarily set on a ship traveling for England. I enjoyed this episode too. A lot happens in the episodes because they’re so long. They’re as long as movies so there’s a reasonable amount of story in each episode.

The final episode sees Dracula finally in England. It’s absolutely not what I was expecting, but I wasn’t let down. Now, I’ve seen a lot of disapproval over this last episode but I really don’t think it deserves all the hate. Yes it was different, yes it was unexpected, yet it worked. I think people are mad because the dynamics of the show changed, which I don’t think is a bad thing. The way I see it if the last episode hadn’t changed then people would’ve complained that the show was repetitive and boring, so the writers couldn’t really win whatever they did.

I know that the show was co-produced by Netflix, therefore, it will be considered a Netflix original and be available on the platform soon (I’m not certain when), but until then it’s available on BBC iPlayer for you to catch up on. I genuinely enjoyed the series, every episode, so I recommend it.



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