The curious case of BBC’s Dracula

Dracula was one of my most anticipated shows in a very long time. Did it live up to the hype or not?

It is no surprise that I am a big fan of Dracula, both the book and any show/movie that I’ve come across, which is surprising to me since I am not really someone that loves vampires. I also love a lot of what Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat create. So when I saw the trailer to this show I was very excited, especially since I knew that they can do a great job, considering how much I enjoyed Jekyll.

So one would assume that this would follow the plot of the book. But anyone that is familiar with Moffat and Gatiss pretty much knows that it would not be the case. We start with Jonathan Harker, or what is left of him, who begins to tell his story with his encounter with Dracula to two nuns who are there to take his statement.

As his story begins, it follows the pattern of the book quite closely. We see him travel to Dracula’s castle and live with him for a month. It showed the slow physical and mental decline of Harker while Dracula begins to become younger and stronger than ever. Harker explores the castle and after coming across some gruesome discoveries he tries to escape. After his miraculous escape, things take an interesting turn…

The show has three 1.5 hour episodes. All of the plot points above were in the first episode, after that the show took many, many twists and turns. And that’s where it sort of lost me. As you can tell from the title this show is quite the conundrum to me. It’s been a good day now since I finished it, and I still do not know what to think about it.

On one side the show had a decent production value, decent acting, great looking sets, good cinematography, and interesting characters, especially sister Agatha who was a twist on one of the more beloved characters that I did not actually mind, it actually enriched the story.

But on the other side…What the hell was happening? I don’t really want to spoil anything for anyone that will watch the show so I can’t go into detail. I know Moffat and Gatiss’s work, they can take risky and odd turns but this was just…It left me scratching my head the entire time watching it. I’m all for taking a different approach to things but sometimes you just need to hit the breaks.

Dracula himself did not really feel like Dracula at times. There were some great moments where the actor –  Claes Bang channeled his inner Christopher Lee and I really loved those scenes, but most of the time it just felt like he could have been playing pretty much any vampire and not THE vampire himself. But that is to no fault to himself, mainly the writing. As an actor, he did a decent job, other than the poor accent at the start, but that did not last.

At the end of the day, I have no idea how to feel about this show. Did I like it, or did I hate it? You tell me. I’m not even sure if I would recommend watching it, but maybe I just didn’t understand it.

Let me know if you ended up liking it or not if you watch it.

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