In 2020, Netflix released Dracula, a three-episode co-production with the BBC. The show, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, is a modern reimagining of Bram Stoker’s 1897 vampire novel of the same name. At the time of its release, author Stephen King described the project as “smart, involving, and bloody terrific.”
Each episode of Dracula is approximately 90 minutes long. While the Netflix series reinterprets the iconic vampire story, it stays true to some of the core elements of the source material. The first installment begins with Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan) arriving at Castle Dracula in Transylvania. He has been sent there to assist Count Dracula (Claes Bang) with a real estate transaction in England.
Viewers agreed that Claes Bang brought a captivating presence to the character.
However, Harker quickly realizes he is a prisoner in the castle and Dracula is not what he seems. As he attempts to escape, Harker realizes that he is in the presence of a vampire. The second episode shifts the focus to a group of survivors on a ship called the Demeter as they travel to England. Among the passengers is Sister Agatha Van Helsing (Dolly Wells), who is determined to stop Dracula.
The tension escalates as passengers on the ship begin to fall victim to Dracula, and Sister Agatha is determined to uncover his weaknesses. The final episode of the Netflix series continues to explore Dracula’s voyage to England aboard the Demeter. It also delves into his backstory, revealing more about his origins and powers. It ends in a confrontation between Dracula and those seeking to destroy him.
Dracula received a mix of positive and negative reviews from critics. While some praised its stylish production, Claes Bang’s performance as the titular vampire, and its bold reinterpretation of the classic story, others were critical of the creative choices and tonal shifts, especially in the later episodes of the Netflix series.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a classic Gothic horror novel and one of the most influential works in the vampire genre.
Viewer reactions were similarly divided. Some appreciated the series’ fresh take on the Dracula legend, while others felt that the Netflix show strayed too far from the source material and became too convoluted in its storytelling. However, many viewers agreed that Claes Bang brought a captivating presence to the character.
Still, Dracula was generally praised for its high production values, including its visual effects, set design, and cinematography, which contributed to creating an atmospheric and immersive experience. Since the show was created by Moffat and Gatiss, who previously collaborated on the successful modern adaptation of Sherlock, there was a high level of anticipation for the Netflix series.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a classic Gothic horror novel and one of the most influential works in the vampire genre. The book is presented in an epistolary format, comprising journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and diary fragments. Like the Netflix series, it tells the story of Count Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England in pursuit of new blood.
The novel explores themes of vampirism, bloodlust, and the supernatural, drawing on Eastern European folklore and superstitions. Dracula contains elements of repressed Victorian-era sexuality, with the vampire’s bite often interpreted as a metaphor for seduction and forbidden desires. The story also touches on British colonial anxieties of the time, with Dracula symbolizing the fear of foreign invasion.
Dracula, a three-episode series from 2020, is streaming on Netflix.
Bram Stoker’s portrayal of vampires and their characteristics, including immortality, vulnerability to sunlight and garlic, and the need for blood have heavily influenced subsequent vampire lore in literature, film, and television. Count Dracula remains one of the genre’s most iconic and enduring figures, which is why the Netflix series makes sense.
While Stephen King has no direct links to Dracula, he is known for appreciating the horror genre. The author has often praised and supported adaptations of classic horror literature and has a keen interest in the works of fellow authors. As such, it’s not unusual for him to enjoy a Netflix that reimagines a classic horror novel in a fresh and innovative way.
King has previously expressed admiration for creative storytelling, and adaptations that successfully capture the essence of classic horror themes often catch his attention. Furthermore, King has also highlighted the importance of talented actors and filmmakers in bringing horror stories to life. Dracula fans or new viewers who want to see what all the fuss is about can catch the series on Netflix.