Mark Gatiss will “get back to the vampire’s roots” for new Dracula documentary

The Sherlock actor and writer will present a one-off film to accompany his new BBC drama, and tells RadioTimes.com he "can't wait to immerse [himself] in the vast and joyous cinematic legacy of the Count"

Mark Gatiss plays Glozier

If Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s upcoming three-part Dracula adaptation wasn’t enough vampire action for you, then you’re in luck – because Gatiss is bringing a new Dracula documentary to BBC1 to sit alongside his Claes Bang-starring fantasy drama.

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“As a lifelong horror fan – and of Dracula especially – this was a wonderful chance to get back to the vampire’s roots, examine the strange character of Bram Stoker himself and immerse myself in the vast and joyous cinematic legacy of the Count,” Gatiss exclusively told RadioTimes.com.

“Dracula, to my delight, has once more risen from the grave!”

Beginning at Orava Castle in Slovakia (which appeared in classic vampire movie Nosferatu), In Search of Dracula will follow Gatiss as he tracks down research literature in the London Library and checks out Dracula author Bram Stoker’s original notes and unused ideas in Philadelphia.

He also meets with actors, historians and experts drawn from decades of vampire stories as he traces the Count’s journey from book to screen.

And finally, after exploring the cinematic legacy of onscreen Draculas like Bela Lugosi and Chrostopher Lee, Gatiss will meet with the latest actor to don the fangs – his own leading man Claes Bang – to chat about their own vision for Dracula, as well as why readers and audiences keep coming back to the Count.

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Described as uncovering the “Carpathian heights and crepuscular lows” of immortalising the Count, the documentary will be made by Hartswood Films for the BBC and forms the centrepiece of a wider year-long celebration of literature on the BBC.

This season will include BBC2 documentaries The Novels that Shaped our World, Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story, A Bear Called Paddington & A Man Called Michael and other programmes examining the life and work of Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel and Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding.

More documentaries airing on BBC4 will include The Inbetweeners’ Greg Davies exploring the legacy of Barry Hines’ novel Kes, David Olusoga tracking the rise of the African novel, Gillian Wearing taking an experimental look at the life of George Eliot and Oscar-nominated actor Richard E Grant visiting locations in France, Italy and Spain that have inspired writers over the centuries.

More documentaries and literature specials will also be available on BBC Radio, alongside a rerelease of classic audiobooks (including Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice) on the BBC Sounds app.

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In Search of Dracula (working title) will air on BBC1