“Blood is Lives,” or is it life? The new Dracula series released this month on Netflix takes a fresh spin on the Bram Stoker classic with modernized characters and an exploration of vampire lore.
Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, writers of “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who,” teamed up to create the three-episode miniseries that premiered on Netflix and BBC One.
The show begins with Jonathan Harker, an English lawyer played by John Heffernan, traveling to meet the notorious Count Dracula, played by Claes Bang, to help him purchase an estate in England.
This Dracula turns out to have more character development throughout the series than most Dracula stories. Bang plays the role well, portraying an educated and adept character with ease.
The show is not for the faint of heart, as it is very bloody. Netflix and BBC One make use of special effects and makeup to the very best of their abilities, which makes for very realistic blood and gore, as is to be expected with a Dracula story.
In the show, Harker soon discovers a plethora of supernatural mysteries in the Count’s castle. As Dracula drains his life force, he finds himself torn between escaping and staying with the strange Count. The story continues and reveals Dracula’s plot to move to England in order to expand his food source. Sister Agatha Van Helsing, a nun, takes charge in the fight to defeat Dracula.
From castles to boats to graveyards — even in the 21st century — this story spans space and time in ways Dracula never has before.
Gatiss and Moffat take an interesting twist on the classic story by exploring some of the most famous vampire legends, such as fears of sunlight and crucifixes and the inability to enter a dwelling without an invitation.
The series also introduces a strong female character that was not in the original story. Gatiss and Moffat turned Professor Van Helsing — from the Stoker classic — into Sister Agatha Van Helsing who takes on the role of the main protagonist of the story.
Throughout the series, Van Helsing questions the myths that follow Dracula and strives to find out the truth behind his intentions. What Van Helsing lacks in physical strength compared to other strong female protagonists, she makes up for in wit.
More of a combination of mystery and horror, Dracula sheds new light on a classic tale, modernizing it just enough to appeal to current audiences while still keeping vital elements of Stoker’s original story.