It was recently announced that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the creators behind the hit BBC series “Sherlock,” have signed on to write a new TV adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Fan reactions have been mixed — some remaining hopeful that Gatiss and Moffat will pull the age-old story off, while others have expressed their lack of faith in the writing pair’s ability to keep the integrity of the story and its characters.
While maybe a bit harsh, these concerns aren’t unjustified — Dracula-centered television shows are notoriously short-lived, and while there are a multitude of shows centered around the supernatural, there aren’t that many dedicated to the main vamp himself. NBC took a stab at it in 2013 with “Dracula,” a British-American horror drama that introduces Dracula as he arrives in London and poses as an entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society (when in reality, he’s arrived to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier). Though promising, the series only lasted one season.
Dracula was first introduced in Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel “Dracula.” The story reads as a series of letters, diary entries, news articles, and ships’ log entries that document the activity and evidence of a Transylvanian vampire in England; filled with mystery, blood sucking, and plenty of garlic, it’s one of the novels that helped kick-start the future surplus of vampire dramas, horrors, and romances that we see today.
One of the reasons that “Dracula”-based shows may not be inherently successful is that the shows don’t seem to capture the essence of who Dracula really is. So we’ve put together a few suggestions for the future series, most of which involve getting back to basics.
The classic “Dracula” story included terrifying fangs, ones that Dracula showed off well. But in the midst of all of the modern reboots of “Dracula,” many writers/directors decided that subtlety was more important than authenticity. If we’re looking for ways to incorporate Dracula’s fangs into 21st Century fashion, just think of them as a statement piece.
2. The Era
While all of the modern adaptations of “Dracula” and vampires in general have been interesting, it’s time to get back to its roots. The story of “Dracula” originally took place in the 1890s in England, so the new “Dracula” series should do the same. It would be a breath of fresh air after all of the recent modern retellings. Plus, who doesn’t love a good slick back and a cape? No one, that’s who.
3. Tell the Original Story
While a lot of vampire stories have spawned from the original “Dracula,” there haven’t been nearly as many that actually tell Dracula’s story. Bring back characters like Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing! They don’t have to share the spotlight with Dracula, but they’re relatively new characters to the younger generation, and they would help inspire interesting plot points for the new show (something the previous “Dracula” series lacked).
4. Bring Back the Blood — Real Blood
While the premise of “vegetarian” vampires is intriguing, the new “Dracula” series would be better off just sticking to the classic “lust for human blood” angle. It’s what makes the character and story so morally conflicted — the fact that you know it’s wrong to murder but also understand that Dracula is a creature of the undead and has to prey on humans for sustenance. It also makes things more tense, and that makes for interesting content.
5. Make Dracula a Bit Ruthless
Rumor has it that Dracula was based off of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, better known as Vlad the Impaler. It’s said that Vlad Dracula (meaning son of the dragon, or son of the devil) would dip chunks of bread into buckets of blood drained from the people he killed, usually after he invited them to a feast and then immediately impaled them at the dinner table (he always finished his dinner afterwards, bodies and all, in case you were wondering). So it would be nice if that same sense of ruthlessness could be brought to the new adaptation of “Dracula.” There’s no rule that states you can’t be suave and merciless (just ask Klaus Mikaelson of “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals”).
6. Give Him a Sense of Humor
Speaking of “The Originals,” let’s bring in some of that dark humor and wit that makes characters like Klaus Mikaelson a baddie that we love to hate (but just can’t). That same natural charisma and use of offhanded sardonic remarks should be applied to our newest Dracula, because that’s what the audience connects to. It’s also what keeps people coming back for more, everyone needs a tension breaker once in awhile.
7. MDHA: Make Dracula Hungarian Again!
That is to say, Dracula should not be British, considering Dracula relocated from Transylvania to England and his accent most certainly should have relocated with him. In Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” the Count is described as being Hungarian, and even serves Jonathan Harker a bottle of Tokaji (Hungarian sweet wine) on his first night in the castle. For the sake of authenticity, let’s make Dracula Hungarian again (because he never should have stopped).