tek's rating:

Dracula, on NBC
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streaming sites: Amazon; iTunes; Vudu

Before the series began, there was a prequel called "Dracula Rising," consisting of five animated webisodes, which are set in "the late 1400s." The actual TV show begins in 1881, with someone locating the tomb of Dracula in Romania, and resurrecting him. (It seems he became a vampire sometime between the end of the prequel and the start of the series; there will be flashbacks throughout the series that explain this and other things.) After the first scene, the show flashes forward to 1896, in London. Dracula has a servant named R.M. Renfield (who is quite different in appearance and personality than any version of Renfield I've ever seen; I think this is actually my favorite version, and quite possibly the most interesting character in the show). We see the guy who resurrected Dracula later in the episode, but I never caught his name. In the second episode, I learned that the character was Professor Abraham Van Helsing. It's definitely strange to see Dracula and Van Helsing working together, but they have a common enemy in the Order of the Dragon. And Van Helsing is working to develop a serum that would allow Dracula to venture out into the daylight.

Meanwhile, Dracula is pretending to be an American entrepreneur named Alexander Grayson, who wants to bring new technologies to Europe. Technologies which would make the business enterprises of the Order obsolete, thereby eliminating their wealth (or at least their ability to continue accumulating wealth). There's also a journalist named Jonathan Harker, who is dating a medical student named Mina Murray. Mina resembles Ilona, and is presumably her reincarnation. So there's an immediate connection between her and Grayson, when they meet. But Grayson gives Harker a job (and a big house). In part this is so he'll have an excuse to see Mina, even though he has no intention of revealing their past to her or of acting on his feelings for her, and in fact he helps ensure that her relationship with Harker continues. But aside from keeping Mina peripherally in his life, the job he gave Harker proves rewarding, as Harker provides invaluable assistance, in a number of ways.

Mina has a friend named Lucy Westenra, who obviously has feelings beyond friendship for Mina, though Mina is oblivious to this. So of course Lucy is jealous of Harker, but she can't speak of it. There's also a woman named Lady Jayne Wetherby, who works for the Order, and is hunting for an unknown, very old and powerful vampire who has recently arrived in England. She also begins an affair with Grayson, having no idea that he's really the vampire she's seeking. (Though she does know he is a financial threat to the Order.) Oh, and Van Helsing is a teacher at Mina's university, and becomes her mentor, though she had no idea he was in any way connected to Grayson.

I must say, at first I found the show rather tedious and hard to follow, but after awhile I came to appreciate it more. I think it definitely has some interesting aspects, though I still feel that its pacing is much too slow. Of course, all of the women are quite easy on the eyes, so that helps. Anyway... the first season was just ten episodes (though it felt longer, to me). I was under the impression that those ten episodes were meant to be the entire series, but I could have been wrong. And of course the possibility always exists for "limited series" to be given a second season, if they do well in the ratings. And... I really think I must have heard or read that this would get a second season, but later I learned that it wouldn't, so either I was mistaken or NBC changed their minds (both seem equally likely to me). Anyway, some plotlines were resolved by the end of the season, while others were left open. I was kind of ambivalent about whether or not I want to bother watching another season, but now I guess I don't have to worry about it. Because it turned out to be a limited series, after all. (Now that I think about it, though, I really do think NBC must have renewed it prior to cancelling it, otherwise the story would have been more fully resolved at the end of the season.)

limited series index
horror shows index

Novel: Dracula
(The following is a list of things I've seen or want to see. There have been countless other things that have adapted or parodied the novel.)

Adaptations: Dracula (1931) * Bram Stoker's Dracula
Other movies: Nosferatu * Taste the Blood of Dracula * Dracula 2000 * The Batman vs. Dracula * Dracula Untold
TV: Buffy vs. Dracula * Dark Prince (2000) * Hellsing * Dracula (2006) * The Librarian 3 * Dracula (2013)
Parodies: Blacula * Dracula: Dead and Loving It * Mina Murray's Journal
Ensembles: Drak Pack * The Monster Squad * Van Helsing * Hotel Transylvania * Penny Dreadful