BBC One has confirmed its Dracula TV series for a January 2020 premiere, but has yet to announce its Netflix release date. Bram Stoker's iconic vampire has been adapted and re-imagined many times over the years, with everyone from Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee to Gerard Butler, Jonathan Rhy Meyers, and Luke Evans playing him. He's about to get re-envisioned once again by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss in their upcoming show for BBC and Netflix. It's not their first time repurposing a literary icon either, having previously created the BBC's highly popular Sherlock.
Claes Bang (The Square) stars in the show as Count Dracula, with John Heffernan (Jonathan Swift & Mr. Norrell) playing Jonathan Harker opposite a cast that includes Joanna Scanlan, Dolly Wells, Morfydd Clark, and Gatiss himself. Unlike the modern-set Sherlock, however, Dracula is a period drama and leans heavily into its supernatural horror elements (assuming the teaser trailer is any indicator). Viewers will be able to see for themselves very soon... well, those who can watch shows on BBC One, anyway.
Dracula will stream globally on Netflix, but a release date has yet to be revealed. Ahead of then, the series will air for three days on BBC One beginning January 1 next year. You can watch the announcement video below.
Much like Sherlock, each season of Dracula will be composed of three feature-length episodes (all written by Moffat and Gatiss) spread out across an equal number of days on BBC One. Sherlock veteran Paul McGuigan is directing one of the episodes, with the other two being handled by Jonny Campbell and Damon Thomas. The latter two have experience directing horror TV shows like In the Flesh and Penny Dreadful, so that ought to serve their efforts here well. Arguably, though, the bigger question mark is not the direction or production values (which look quite handsome), but Gatiss and Moffat's writing. The pair were criticized for crafting unnecessarily convoluted plots and their handling of female characters throughout both Sherlock and their time writing Doctor Who (which Moffat show-ran for several seasons), and it raises concerns about how they plan to approach a property like Dracula.
As for when Dracula will arrive on Netflix, that's difficult to say. The company has a habit of abruptly announcing movies and TV shows shortly before they begin streaming, so it's anyone's guess when they might confirm the series' release. It's also unclear how long they will wait after its BBC launch to drop the show globally; an October debut would be timely, but one presumes Netflix won't wait to hold off that long after Dracula airs across the pond (then again, maybe they will). Either way, those with BBC One can look forward to catching the blood-sucker's return to the small screen on the same day Doctor Who season 12 gets underway next month.
Dracula premieres New Year's Day on BBC One.
Source: BBC One