Premiering Friday (NBC, 10 pm et/pt), Dracula features Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the iconic, immortal bloodsucker. Under this iteration, he takes on the guise of an American entrepreneur looking to expand his business in Victorian era London. Our antihero, however, actually has a more vengeful task in mind with his plan to destroy a corrupt group named the Order of the Dragon.
Fans expecting a bit of heated romance will get their fix in the form of Lady Jane (Victoria Smurfit), whose dalliance with Dracula has its share of complications. Former Arrow actress Jessica De Gouw is Mina Murray, a woman who may be a reincarnation of Dracula’s one true love.
The series’ most intriguing elements don’t center on Dracula’s thirst for love and lust, but rather his impulsive desire for retribution. His uneasy alliance with Abraham Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann) and bond with loyal friend R.M. Renfield (a commanding Nonso Anozie) give Dracula a much deeper dimension, and much of the narrative’s thematic shadings can be credited to series creator Cole Haddon.
“Once I figured out the origin of the character,” said Haddon whose lifelong love for comic books led to penning the graphic novels The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde and Space Gladiators. “This idea that he was born out of this fundamentalist organization – it created all this conflict that really gave me the theme and got me passionate. And then from there, I love history. So (it was) finding some way to integrate that into the history we know and creating ironic details. If you interpolate that the outcome of this world, you know that the Order of the Dragon and the quest for fossil fuels succeeded. So you know the hero has failed to save the 20th century. (But) both organizations are villains in some way, and that was very fun to play with.”
A former entertainment journalist, Haddon is also an avid cinefile, a love which will hopefully shine through in his next project Dodge & Twist, a reimagining of Oliver Twist that is currently being developed by Sony.
But first things first – Dracula’s pilot offers enough subplots to keep this TV addict tuned in to the next episode, and hopefully that momentum carries throughout the rest of its season. During our interview with Haddon, the writer joked about how a bit of “ignorance” helped him expand his boundaries to create a three dimensional teleplay.
Click on the media bar to hear Cole Haddon, who is also an executive producer on the show, talk about the genesis of penning Dracula (he references the Mario Bava film Black Sunday in the clip):
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