DRACULA is a new Netflix mini-series co-produced with BBC and created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. It consists of three feature-length episodes with Claes Bang being truly magnificent in the title role. Check it out on Netflix and read our Dracula mini-series review here!

Dracula is the new Netflix and BBC co-production by Sherlock co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. It’s a mini-series that features three episodes each with a runtime around 90 minutes. In other words, you can also view this Dracula Netflix mini-series as three feature films.

However, each episode (or movie) does tend to end on a cliffhanger, so you’ll probably end up binge-watching the mini-series. On BBC, the mini-series aired over three consecutive days ending the day before the full Netflix release.

Danish actor Claes Bang is absolutely brilliant, charming and very deadly in the title role while Dolly Wells is bound to become a fan favorite as Agatha.

You might like: Our Dracula ending explained piece here >

Continue reading our Dracula mini-series review below.

Episode 1 of Dracula is The Rules of the Beast

The opening episode of the Dracula mini-series is called The Rules of the Beast. It’s a very familiar story about the vampire overlord himself. In fact, elements of it are very similar to the Bram Stoker’s Dracula movie from 1992 which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 

That movie, of course, starred Gary Oldman in the title role and had Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins in the other key roles. In the mini-series, we have Claes Bang in the title role while the character of poor Jonathan Harker is portrayed by John Heffernan. Honestly, I didn’t care much about him either way. Not that he’s bad, I just wanted the scenes with the nuns. 

The story in The Rules of the Beast is told as Jonathan is talking of his visit at the Count’s castle with two nuns. Sister Agatha is portrayed brilliantly by Dolly Wells. You will come to adore her! The other woman is portrayed by Morfydd Clark who we recently saw in Saint Maud. Having seen her talents in Saint Maud, she is grossly underused in this production.

You might also like: Our review of the amazing horror movie Saint Maud here >

Overall, this episode is an introduction to the world of vampires and especially the final half should please horror fans!

Dracula (2020) Review Netflix Mini-series

Episode 2 Blood Vessel offers more insight

The second episode of Dracula is Blood Vessel and this time we’re on a ship for most of the story. Also, Sister Agatha is a big part of this episode once again. For me, the Blood Vessel episode really builds on the events of episode 1. 

Since we’re now on a ship heading to London, we also meet a lot of new characters. Including quite a few gay ones. Of course, Count Dracula couldn’t care less what gender or sexuallity someone has. He has an appetite for delicious food in any shape or form. Also, he enjoys flirting with anything that has a pulse – literally!

The new actors in this episode include Jonathan Aris as Captain Sokolov. You might recognize him from the Netflix productions The End of the F***ing World (where he was a real creep) and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Also, Youssef Kerkour is awesome as Olgaren. Youssef Kerkour was also in the Netflix series Nightflyers and Criminal: UK.

Also read: Our review of the mini-series Criminal: United Kingdom here > 

I enjoyed all the weird games and flirting of this episode, but don’t be fooled; This is a very bloody and deadly episode. Once again, the scenes between Count Dracula and Sister Agatha are what makes the story shine. I just love their energy. They both have the best lines… some real zingers during this episode!

For our review of, and commentary on, episode 3, some spoilers will inevitably come out. Click here to jump past that segment of our review.

Episode 3 The Dark Compass offers a whole new twist

This part of our Dracula mini-series review will include minor spoilers about the basic plot.

Immortality might not be all it’s cracked up to when you watch the final episode of the mini-series. The third episode is called The Dark Compass which sees the story move up to the present day. The Count has been recovering at the bottom of the sea after the event in episode 2.

When he awakes (you’ll see how during episode 3), he will step onto the beach and be greeted by someone who looks like Sister Agatha, as well as cars and a helicopter. This is all revealed at the ending of episode 2, so we know that episode 3 of this mini-series will make that time-jump. 

The character played by Dolly Wells is now named Zoe and yes, she is a descendant of Sister Agatha. From episode 1, we know that her last name was van Helsing. And yes, Sister Agatha is in this episode as well. After all, we still don’t know exactly what happened at the end of episode 1. All will be revealed and explained during this final episode of the Dracula mini-series.

Along with Claes Bang and Dolly Wells (as Count Dracula and Zoe/Sister Agatha), we have several new characters and actors. The character of Lucy Westenra is part of the story. She’s played by Lydia West who also had a key role in the brilliant BBC series Years and Years. which was also on HBO – and which we highly recommend.

Don’t miss: Our review of Years and Years here >

Also, Mark Gatiss (one of the creators) is part of this episode as Renfield. A character many fans of vampire stories should be familiar with! Finally, Matthew Beard (Elizabeth Harvest) is part of this episode as well in a small but important role.

Dracula (2020) Review Netflix Mini-series

The creators of the BBC & Netflix Dracula series

Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat co-created the new BBC and Netflix mini-series. The two are probably best known for co-creating the Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Also, they’ve both been writers on the Doctor Who series for many years.

As mentioned earlier, our fellow Dane, actor Claes Bang is a fascinating and enigmatic Count Dracula. This is exactly the kind of Dracula that really works for me. He is charming but also extremely focused and dedicated only to his own needs and desires. He is enough reason to watch this mini-series along with Dolly Wells.

Claes Bang first came to international fame with the award-winning movie The Square and then the Lisbeth Salander movie The Girl in the Spider’s Web. This Netflix / BBC mini-series is bound to create a whole new fanbase for him and he deserves it. He already has more productions coming out, so we’ll probably be covering more of his performances soon.

Watch Dracula on Netflix now!

However charming Claes Bang is as Count Dracula, the real surprise of this mini-series is Dolly Wells as Agatha. By the end of episode one, you’ll know why she is such a key character – and maybe you’ll guess it ahead of time. Dolly Wells has already done genre-productions as she co-starred in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) and an episode of the sci-fi series Room 104.

Overall, episode 3 was our favorite episode. Especially due to the scenes between Claes Bang and Dolly Wells. Then again, that can be said for every single episode. Those two have amazing chemistry and banter energy that just works!

If you enjoy a good vampire story, then you should definitely check out this new Netflix production. The first episode is the weakest, so hang in there and you will be rewarded!

The Dracula mini-series is out on Netflix from January 4, 2020.

Details

Creators: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Directors: Jonny Campbell, Paul McGuigan, Damon Thomas
Writers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Stars: Claes Bang, Dolly Wells, Morfydd Clark, John Heffernan, Lydia West

Plot

The Count Dracula legend transforms with new tales that flesh out the vampire’s gory crimes — and bring his vulnerability into the light.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina