Is the BBC's Dracula down for the Count? The gory first series of the broadcaster's new Dracula adaptation has made viewers desperate for news about the show's future, but the finale seems to hint that there will be no more episodes.
Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat scripted the series, which draws heavily from Bram Stoker's seminal 1897 vampire story, while Danish actor Claes Bang plays the role of the villainous Count Dracula, following in the footsteps of famous on-screen bloodsuckers like Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman.
Find out everything you need to know about the rumoured second series of Dracula below...
Will there be a series 2 of Dracula?
Although the BBC are yet to officially confirm a second series of Dracula, Mark Gatiss had suggested in an interview with RadioTimes.com that the Count would indeed be making a return.
"It's very hard to kill a vampire," said Gatiss, when asked about the possibility of a second batch of episodes.
“Do you know what I mean?" he continued. "What they do is resurrect.”
However, more recently co-creator Steven Moffat was cagey about future episodes.
"That would be to give away how it ends, wouldn't it?" he said when asked about the series' future. "So you'll have to wait and see."
And in Dracula's final episode, The Dark Compass, it certainly seems like the drama has ended for good...
After realising that many of his vampire "weaknesses" are actually habits borne out of shame, Dracula is convinced by Sister Agatha (Wells) that all this time he's been running from death, and so the Count decides to end it all. Drinking the cancerous blood of Agatha's descendant Zoe (within whom Agatha has been conversing), Dracula willingly poisons himself as he kills both Agatha and Zoe.
"After all this time, did you think I'd let it hurt?" he asks.
One of the final shots of the series is a prone Dracula and Zoe, apparently both deceased, as their spirits converse on a different plane, and frankly it's hard to see how the series could talk itself out of that one...
When would a potential Dracula season 2 air?
If the BBC does indeed decide to go through with a second series, don't expect to be seeing anything for a while.
Even though the first series is comprised of just three episodes, Dracula entered development over two and a half years ago, in June 2017. After the series was officially commissioned by the BBC, in October 2018, production took over a year - including seven months of filming!
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Meanwhile, Moffat is set to begin work on new HBO drama The Time Traveller's Wife and BBC series Inside Man, so it's a bit unclear when he'd find the time to fit making another Dracula into his schedule.
So don't expect to see anything until mid-to-late 2021, at the earliest. Sherlock, Gatiss and Moffat's previous series, was renowned for lengthy gaps between series.
What would happen in a potential second season of Dracula?
Although the events of Dracula's first season hewed pretty close to Stoker's original storyline, the series' creators weren't afraid to make changes where necessary.
Asked about the first series, Bang said that “ there is stuff in here that really strays. In a really cool way. And gives you that new take on Dracula."
“Why do one more of those that we already have? They’ve done them brilliantly before. So, we needed something else and something new, and that’s happened here.”
This would suggest that even if Gatiss and Moffat decide they've already used all the best parts of the original book, they could still find ways to turn the story into new, original directions - it's certainly what they did with Sherlock, after intentionally burning through the most famous stories in series two to challenge themselves.
If there is another series, we'd presumably learn that Dracula survives his poisoning and we could see him try to reform and live up to Agatha's values, doing some good even as he searches for peace in death - but based on how series one ends, it is genuinely quite difficult to see where else there is to go.
Who could star in a potential second season?
If the series came back Claes Bang would of course return as the villainous Count Dracula himself - there could be no show without him. Before playing the Count, Bang had previously won recognition for his star turn in Ruben Östlund's 2017 arthouse satire The Square.
Series one also featured John Heffernan (Luther) as Dracula's victim Jonathan Harker and Dolly Wells (Dolly & Em, Blunt Talk) as Sister Agatha Van Helsing, though like all the rest of the cast, these characters died so it's difficult to imagine them making a grand return. Though when it comes to the supernatural, one never can tell...
Dracula episodes one-three are available to stream on BBC iPlayer now