Mark Gatiss to star in new Dracula prequel, Dracula’s Guests

Gatiss returns to the world of Bram Stoker’s vampire in a new collaboration with Big Finish

Mark Gatiss

Hot on the heels of his BBC One/Netflix series, Mark Gatiss is returning to the world of Dracula.

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Gatiss co-wrote the recent Dracula TV series with Steven Moffat (and produced an accompany documentary film for BBC Two), but it seems the BAFTA winner just can’t get enough of Bram Stoker’s vampire.

He’ll play the Count himself in Dracula’s Guests, a prequel to the original novel, written by Jonathan Barnes as an audio play for Big Finish (best known for their Doctor Who range).

Gatiss previously played Dracula for Big Finish’s 2016 adaptation of Stoker’s book, with this new prequel intended as “the opening chapter in a trilogy of terrifying Dracula audio adventures”.

“As a life-long horror fan, vampires – and Dracula in particular – were always my favourite of them all,” Gatiss said. “Stoker very mysteriously never bothered to write a sequel, but I thought it would be quite an interesting thing to come back to. He’s always coming back, isn’t he? It’s the point of Dracula.”

Dracula's Guests (Mark Gatiss)
Dracula’s Guests (Mark Gatiss)
Big Finish

Writer Jonathan Barnes agreed: “There are so many loose strands, so many unfinished elements, so many things that are left unexplained in the original book, it seems almost to encourage us as writers to explore the world further. From that we’ve built up quite an elaborate story.”

Alongside Gatiss, Dracula’s Guests will star David Bamber as Jeremiah Hart, Ian Hallard as RM Renfield and Hannah Arterton as Sabine. You can read the synopsis below…

Transylvania, 1888.

Sitting in his castle like a spider in its web, Count Dracula is setting his plans in motion.

Soon he will travel to England, there to cut a bloody swathe through polite society and pit himself against a dedicated crew of vampire-slayers.

Yet before then there is much to be done. A certain artist must be brought to him and a certain portrait painted. An old tale must be told, drawn from the darkest recesses of Transylvanian history. And in faraway London an honest police detective must be corrupted and set to work in the service of the Count.

The vampire king is making preparations. And his survival will be assured – no matter the cost.

Producer and director Scott Handcock said: “It was a thrill to bring Dracula back to life with our adaptation of the original novel in 2016, and an even bigger thrill when Mark Gatiss approached me a few months later asking whether we might be able to tell further tales of the Count. W

“We’ve got some familiar faces returning, plus some fantastic new characters too, and of course, right at the heart, the ominous presence of Dracula himself, once more conjured into existence by Mark!”

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Dracula’s Guests will be released in February 2020 and is available now from bigfinish.com at the special pre-order price of £19.99 as a three-disc collector’s edition CD or £16.99 as a download.