After seeing Claes Bang’s vampire tear his way through a shipful of unlucky Russians, you’d think there was little left to shock us in the second episode of new horror adaptation Dracula.
However, Sherlock creators Steven Moffat had one last trick up their sleeves for the feature-length drama’s final moments with huge repercussions for the final entry in this trilogy – and if you haven’t seen the episode yet you should probably look away now, as we’re going to go into some in-depth spoilers hereon out.
Still here? Then you’ll know that the final scene of the episode saw Dracula finally achieve his goal to make landfall in England – but with a catch. You see, somehow he’s only ended up arriving in Whitby in the present day (presumably 2020), over a century later than he’d planned (and as almost exactly predicted by RadioTimes.com).
Worse, his nemesis Sister Agatha (Dolly Wells) is there ahead of him, somehow still alive and boasting a team of armed police.
“Welcome to England, Count Dracula,” she says. “What kept you?”
Clearly, despite their repeated assurances that Dracula wouldn’t be brought to the 21st Century like Sherlock was, Moffat and Gatiss have pulled a fast one on us, and the final film will actually show us how the Count deals with the present day – but how did he end up there?
Well, that actually seems fairly simple. After the explosion of the Demeter Dracula locked himself inside his remaining earth-filled box, keeping himself safe with its magical properties even as he sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
It appeared in the next scene that he immediately broke out of it, but obviously he didn’t – instead, he must have languished, unconscious in the water for around 123 years, only rising from the waves after that and missing the entire 20th Century (shame – we’d have loved to see Claes Bang in flares).
More curious is the reappearance of Agatha Van Helsing all these years later, now with what appears to be an English accent and a senior position in the police. But how has she survived too?
The obvious answer would seem that despite her best efforts, she became an undead vampire like the Count and inherited his immortality, but something about this idea doesn’t sit right. After actively getting herself killed to avoid spreading the contagion to London, why would Agatha suddenly decide to stick around instead? Even Jonathan Harker in episode one decided he’d rather die than become a vampire.
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Sure, maybe she decided it was only up to her to stop Dracula if he ever came back from the sea, and maybe she was able to resist the worse impulses to be a nicer sort of vampire – but this series has also made clear than when it comes to vampirism you are what you eat, so to retain her intellect Agatha would have had to have fed on a few people at least.
Other options are that while no vampire, Agatha found some way to live on as a different sort of undead person (we’ve seen a few zombie types in the series so far), or that this isn’t the initial Agatha at all, but some sort of Van Helsing descendant who has carried on the mantle of watching out for Dracula (which could explain how the police intercepted him so quickly as well).
OK, yes, Agatha was a nun and then died, but we all have a past – maybe she had some offspring hidden away somewhere? And maybe, with a little help from Morfydd Clark’s Mina (who, lest we forget, Dracula was revealed to have let go) they set up some protocols to make sure that if the Count ever did return, there’d be a strong response waiting for him.
Whatever the truth, we don’t have long to find out – less than 24 hours, in fact – when we’ll also see just how Dracula finds life in contemporary Britain. Somehow, we don’t think he’ll be stuck as Agatha’s prisoner for too long…
Dracula concludes on BBC One on Friday 3rd January