This is a Netflix Original series from BBC that is essentially a miniseries which goes over particular parts of Dracula’s life. This is more towards the latter portion of that life, with this being a three part series. Each episode is roughly an hour and a half long, making them mini movies to a degree. I don’t typically mention this, but it helps add context to the setup for what’s going on in this show. It starts out particularly strong within the first episode that finds a lawyer going to work for Dracula (Claes Bang).
This lawyer is Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan) and things don’t work out well for the man. This isn’t a spoiler as it’s told from his perspective remembering the situation. It’s a weird setup, and part of the overall series uses this style of perspective to tell its story. Things build, and Sister Agatha (Dolly Wells) comes into the picture. She’s a smart person, and one that has a direct connection to this sinister monster of the night. I won’t dig into that further as it would spoil things. The first episode is setting up this character, and giving context to those involved.
The second episode takes place entirely on a boat, being a poorly put together murder mystery of sorts. It could have been really cool and it was just alright. Things get really bad with the third episode that takes place in an entirely different era and it was awful. A horrible end to something that started out with such promise. I really disliked that last episode, and it was just a boring weird waste of time. There was so much potential for the final era, disappointing for sure.
I found the acting from Bang with Dracula to be very well done. To see a sense of aging, as well as peak performance during the ruthless scenes. Wells’ Agatha was also well performed, she had a neat element of sass to her that worked well for the confident presentation the character was providing. Other performances were alright, not too many others stood out.
The ending cast was particularly awkward at times, or it felt disjointed there. The set pieces were beautifully done for this series, yet at the same time very simple which just worked. It was graphic, and certainly dark. They deliver on the gore and violence to the level I would expect for this character. It had some interesting scenes, and was for the most part well shot.
Dracula Season 1 is a fine limited series that gets progressively worse which each episode, it had a very neat opening and then whimpers out slowly. It’s a strange situation, and disappointing as the initial episode was so enticing. I was expecting a more epic through the ages sort of situation; which it somewhat did, but not well.
The narrative gets weaker literally in the progression of how it’s watched, and that’s too bad. The acting was great here, particularly with how Dracula was presented. I liked the gore and violence, that felt natural to the character. Some truly twisted scenes to it as well. It seemed like they had neat ideas, yet almost rushed through the source material.
That first episode had a nice story arc to it, whereas the other two added on awkwardly. They could have expanded this further to be truly through the ages, and to give more time to know this character. That might have been better and I assume it’s done at this point since its limited, but you never know. A final note would be that Dracula is strangely sexually active with his victims which was odd.
Dracula Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
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