The BBC has officially ordered a Dracula TV miniseries that Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have been developing since 2017. Gatiss and Moffat both served as writers on the modern Doctor Who TV series before they joined forces on their immensely popular Sherlock Holmes adaptation. The latter launched on the BBC in Fall 2010, just a few months after Moffat began his then newly-appointed position as Doctor Who's showrunner during the revival's fifth season.
While Gatiss and Moffat haven't entirely ruled out the possibility of Sherlock season 5 at this stage, it seems that the show's season 4 finale ("The Final Problem") will double as its series finale, until further notice. In the meantime, its creators have already begun to focus their creative energies on other ventures, including a small screen re-imagining of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel Dracula. That project has now officially taken the next step forward on its trip down the pipeline.
According to Variety, the BBC has ordered three 90-minute episodes of the Dracula miniseries that Gatiss and Moffat are writing and producing alongside Sue Vertue’s Hartswood Films. The series will air on the BBC in the UK and (most likely) on BBC America in the U.S., with Netflix handling distribution in other territories around the world. Gatiss and Moffat issued the following statement, as part of the BBC's larger announcement:
“There have always been stories about great evil. What’s special about Dracula is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero."
While the BBC is no doubt hopeful that Dracula will become part of the pop culture zeitgeist in the same way that Sherlock did before it, the broadcaster isn't putting all of its eggs in just this one basket. They are currently producing a TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy novel series His Dark Materials and have already renewed the show for a second season, well ahead of its premiere in 2019. Further, the BBC only just began airing Doctor Who season 11, which is the first season headed by Moffat's successor as showrunner, Chris Chibnall, and features Jodie Whittaker as the first woman to ever portray The Doctor. With the areas of sci-fi and fantasy programming already covered, the BBC clearly intends for Dracula to fill the horror television niche instead.
Still, there's no guarantee that Dracula will be anywhere near as successful as Sherlock was, on the whole. Moreover, the latter was increasingly criticized during its later seasons for being too obsessed with convoluted storytelling and throwing in elaborate twists and turns to the degree that it became predictable, among other things. At the same time, Dracula is an altogether different beast than Sherlock Holmes and should have a significantly different storytelling approach for it. Plus, Moffat will be working on HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife adaptation on the side and can use that series as an outlet for his puzzle box narrative tendencies, rather than Dracula.
We will bring you more details on Dracula as they become available.