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Things We Saw Today: Final Trailer for Steven Moffat’s Dracula Has Us Asking, “Who Is This For?”

Sorry if I’m feeling a little bi-homicidal about this Dracula miniseries trailer, but watching it just made me feel confused. Who is this Dracula for? We’ve had so many adaptations of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale that I fail to see why we need one without something boldly new to say.

The tagline for the upcoming Netflix/BBC three-part miniseries Dracula (dropping January 4th on Netflix) is “the legend gets some fresh blood,” but it’s unclear, in the trailer, what Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) and Mark Gatiss’s groundbreaking take is going to be on a story told so very many times. We’ve got Mina and Jonathan Harker, some journeys by boat, castles, candelabras, and a brooding bloodsucker in the well-named Danish actor Claes Bang’s Dracula. Things look pretty standard, though I always appreciate nuns armed with stakes.

As for what’s new, Moffat says he wanted to position Dracula as the main character rather than a shadowy figure: “The big challenge we set ourselves was to make Dracula the central character in his own story for the first time.” But again I ask: who is this for? What generation or segment of audience was clamoring for another Dracula, and for the story to focus on him, rather than, say, Mina?

Yes, I remain salty about Moffat’s need to clarify that their Dracula is not bisexual (after rumors suggested otherwise) but that the notorious old charmer is “bi-homicidal”, explaining, “He’s killing them, not dating them.” It neatly summarizes our point in pop culture that bilateral bloody murder is a-okay but god forbid we get some broader representation of sexuality in examining someone who’s been alive for four centuries.

Why yes, thanks for asking, I also remain salty about Moffat and Gatiss’s end-run on Sherlock, a show that I once liked quite a lot. Yes, I have questions and concerns about the way that Moffat writes women. I’m certainly more wary than the average viewer, but if you love the story of Dracula and vampires, aren’t you well-versed enough in how this one goes to wish we were really shaking things up? I hope I’m wrong—the miniseries is getting largely positive reviews—but nothing here made me feel like this is a must-watch, innovative spin.

Points for whoever chose to use that cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” though.

(image: Netflix)

Happy first weekend of the ’20s, kids! What did you see today?

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.