The new take on the iconic vampire will be on TV very soon – and here’s what we know about it so far.
- Steven Moffat’s Dracula drama WON’T be set in the modern day
- Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss will start writing their Dracula series “next month” – and they have some great ideas
- Mark Gatiss reveals the part he wants to play in his new Dracula TV series
This article will be regularly updated
It’s been revealed that Dracula will air its first episode (called The Rules of the Beast) on New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1st January) at 9.00pm on BBC1.
Unusually, the subsequent episodes will air on the two days after. In other words, episode two (called Blood Vessel) will air on BBC1 at the same time on Thursday 2nd January, followed by episode three (The Dark Compass) on Friday 3rd January.
As of August 2019 the series had wrapped filming.
Well, that's a wrap on 'Dracula' after seven extraordinary months. You won't believe it – but when we were lining up the very last shot, a bat flew into the studio. Like a convention anecdote! pic.twitter.com/a6Sr7Sb3eR
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) August 1, 2019
The series began filming in March 2019 as confirmed on Steven Moffat’s Instagram account..
Is there a trailer for Dracula?
Yes! The BBC recently dropped a first look for you to dig your fangs into…
Later, when the airdate was announced another small trailer was revealed.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) December 3, 2019
Who will star in Dracula?
Danish actor Claes Bang will play the bloodsucker, with Bang describing himself as “thrilled” by the opportunity.
“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock,” he said in a release.
“I’m so excited that I get to dig in to this iconic and super-interesting character. Yes he’s evil, but there’s also so much more to him, he’s charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy. I realise that there’s a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged, to be taking on this incredible character.”
“It was one of those moments – who else could it be than Claes?” added production company Hartswood Films and writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
“He has it all. Brilliant, gorgeous, charismatic, lethal. Tall, dark and gruesome all at once. Hell has a new boss.”
The series has since released a first-look at Bang in character – and it’s bloody creepy:
And Bang won’t be alone, with the Dracula team confirming that actors Joanna Scanlan, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Lujza Richter and Morfydd Clark, Paul Brennen, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong would be joining the drama in various roles, alongside co-writer Gatiss, who previously expressed an interest in playing Dracula’s henchman Renfield.
“The part I’d like is obviously Renfield, the mad man,” he told RadioTimes.com in 2017. “That’s the best part. We’ll see.”
“It’s so exciting to see an amazing new cast start to assemble, I hope Claes doesn’t eat them all,” Moffat said of the new cast.
“I’m running out of childhood dreams to come true,” added Gatiss. “And what a delight to join this fantastic cast. The children of the night!”
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) February 11, 2019
Of the announced cast it has been confirmed that Heffernan will play the crucial role of Jonathan Harker, with Wells playing Sister Agatha (an expanded role from the book) and Scanlon the Mother Superior.
The BBC also announced that Sherlock’s Jonathan Aris, plus Sacha Dhawan (Davos from Iron Fist) Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Curtis from Misfits), Catherine Schell (Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Doctor Who 1979 series City of Death), Youssef Kerkour (Sami from Home) and Clive Russell (Brynden Tully from Game of Thrones) will star, with the actors believed to be appearing in the three-part drama’s second episode, which recently concluded filming.
Other actors and their roles are expected to be announced in due course – but for now, we’ve had a go at guessing who everyone could be playing here.
Well, Dracula of course! Moffat and Gatiss are set to bring a new take to one of the most iconic characters in fiction, the blood-sucking vampire created by Bram Stoker for his 1897 novel, and who has informed the popular culture image of vampires ever since.
And a short description of the series has now been revealed, confirming that the three-part drama won’t be modernising the Victorian tale like Moffat and Gatiss did for Sherlock.
More recently, Moffat and Gatiss also revealed that the drama will re-centre the story to have the evil Count as the “hero of his own story,” rather than a shadowy enemy for the main characters to battle (as he appears in Stoker’s original novel).
“We sort of made a promise to ourselves and the people who are making it, paying for it, that we’d make Dracula the hero of his own story, and less of a shadowy presence,” Gatiss told RadioTimes.com in January 2019.
“And that’s a really clever idea, but we had to make good on it!”
“We quickly found out why he’s often kept a shadowy presence,” Moffat agreed.
“Having an evil lead character is actually really difficult. That’s been the main challenge I think. But how we’ve handled that, you’ll have to wait and see.”
Will there be a tie-in Dracula documentary?
There will! Mark Gatiss has filmed a BBC2 one-off documentary called In Search of Dracula, which will examine various literary and onscreen version of the Count, concluding in an interview with his own leading man Claes Bang.
You can read more about this documentary here.
Who’s making Dracula?
As noted above, the series is created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and produced by Hartswood Films – that’s the company run by Moffat’s wife and creative partner Sue Vertue – who also made Sherlock. The series filmed in Bray Studios, Maidenhead, which coincidentally was the location for many classic vampire movies starring Christopher Lee made by Hammer Film Productions.
Dracula will air on the BBC – who broadcast Sherlock – in the UK and Netflix internationally, with the two broadcasters cooperating in the production of the supernatural drama.