Every Second Count.

Books There's much to enjoy in Mark Gatiss's In Search of Dracula (available now on the iPlayer) which for the most part is as thorough an exploration of the history of the dark lord as is possible in an hour, with particular emphasis on those adaptations and projects which don't usually receive the coverage they should, like the Spanish version shot simultaneously with the Bela Lugosi's debut at Universal.  Understandably his survey stops at Gary Oldman in 1992 - there haven't been that many high profile interpretations until his and Steven Moffat's barnstorming version.  But here are a couple I've especially enjoyed since and another thing entirely.

Buffy vs Dracula (2000)

For four seasons, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer followed the habitual rules of vampires lore without directly mentioning the existence of Bram Stoker's creation within that fictional universe (I think!). After the downbeat ending of Season Five, trust Whedon et al to open the fifth season with a total camp fest and a title which must already have been at the top of a fan's imaginative doodles on a LiveJournal.  Rudolf Martin brought some presence to the Count and made the most of the episode's main thread that he was embarrassed by the travesty of what the rest of his race had become.  Xander continued to think fondly of their time together.  The dusting sequences in the Gatiss and Moffat 2020 version cannot be a coincidence.

BBC Cult (2003)

Published a few years before the below when BBC Online still had the budget and freedom to upload content not directly connected to one of its broadcasting endeavours, BBC Cult produced a minisite celebrating Dracula and all things vampire and it's still available (albeit with all of the video content broken and some missing downloads).  But the six short stories by prominent writers including Kim Newman are still intact and the only other fictional entry for the defunct version of the Ninth Doctor played by Richard E Grant, who looks curiously vampiric in both the animation and especially the painted illustration which accompanies this story (and this paragraph).

Dracula (2006)

Another adaptation broadcast over Christmas (what is the connection between the festive season and gothic horror?), this stripped away most of the historical asticrocracy of the Count, with Marc Wootton's interpretation much more of a Byronic or Heathcliffian figure.  Produced out of Cardiff, it's best seen as part of a particularly florid period for the BBC Drama in the mid-noughties when there felt like a particular house style with old school studio casting with almost everyone in this having recently been front and centre in their own prime time slot.  To be honest, I probably tuned in because I'd become quite partial to Sophia Myles, who'd appeared as Madame de Pompadour on Doctor Who earlier that year.  Sorry folks, this was fourteen years ago.

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