Mark Gatiss reveals the part he wants to play in his new Dracula TV series

The Sherlock co-creator has his eye on one character – and it's not a vampire

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As he departs the Whoniverse after the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, writer and actor Mark Gatiss will turn his full attention to a new project: an adaptation of Dracula with Steven Moffat.


And although the scripts aren’t finished, Gatiss has an idea which character he would like to get his fangs into. When asked how he could be cast in the new show on ITV’s Lorraine today, the Sherlock star said: “I don’t know yet [if I’ll be in it]. The part I’d like is obviously Renfield, the mad man. That’s the best part. We’ll see.”

So, who is that? In the original 1897 Dracula novel, R M Renfield is an inmate at a lunatic asylum who eats living creatures in the hope of gaining their life-force. This starts with him eating flies, before progressing to spiders and birds.

He soon comes under the influence of vampire Count Dracula, who promises Renfield an endless supply of insects and rats in exchange for unwavering loyalty. Spoiler: this deal doesn’t end well for either of them.

Renfield has been played by many actors, including Tom Waits (Seven Psychopaths) in the 1992 film and Dwight Frye in the 1931 big screen adaptation.


Although we’ll probably have to wait until 2019 to see the shown on screen, Gatiss has promised Dracula will be a “stablemate” of his Sherlock adaptation.