Dracula 1.01”The Blood is the Life” Review

A tv review article by: Timothy Ashley

All hail! The king of vampires has returned in a new and exciting way. Dracula made its premiere on NBC on October 25th, introducing the prince of darkness to a whole new generation. While watching the show the first time I had flashbacks to the 1992 film starring Gary Oldman and remembering how closely it followed the novel.

This new Dracula is a refreshing take on the lore of old with twists to keep it from being lacklustre. We start off the series with Dracula being awakened in 1891 (by an unexpected ally), centuries after the death of his wife. He is brought to London in 1896 to carry out his goal of destroying the Order of the Dragon, a group of high-class aristocrats getting rich off the misery and blood of others.

NBC’s reimagining of these characters is refreshing and one that I very much welcome. Dracula has actually adopted an American disguise by the name of Alexander Grayson, a disguise he is using to bring about the end of the Order, but using new technology to destroy the petroleum business they have control over; as Dracula states, "No money, no power, no Order." However, this does not stop him from using some rather brutish methods of taking out one of the members. He is Dracula after all.

Along with the revamped series, the characters have been reworked as well. Renfield (Nonso Anozie), Harker (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), Mina (Jessica De Gouw), and Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann) are all here. Renfield is Dracula’s loyal assistant and keeper of secrets, who guides Dracula in his new role as Mr. Grayson. Jonathan Harker, who we know from the original as Mina Murray’s fiancée but is only dating Mina here, is a journalist who wishes to climb the aristocracy rank. Mina is a medical student and of course has a strong connection with Grayson.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers brings his own take on the character, acting as both an American bourbon-swilling industrialist and a tormented soul. He is really charming and quite seductive (the opera scene is quite intense), but can also be downright cold; not without reason, though. It seems strange that one could sympathize with his character. Dracula is the Prince of Darkness and has always been synonymous with evil, but here he is a man, er, rather, an immortal who wants revenge against those who killed his wife and dammed him to immortality.

I was hoping that Dracula would take place during more modern times, but this steam-punk Victorian-era setting still works quite well for the show. I was hoping to see more of Dracula’s history and exploration of his background a bit further, but I guess that will have to be saved for future episodes. I am very interested to see what direction they take with this revival of Dracula. There is a lot of potential for the series and I have to say, things are off to a promising start.

Timothy Ashley is an avid movie lover and tech junkie. When he's not reading up on new Android devices, he makes a little bit of time to check in on his start up production company, By Design. You can follow him @ByDesignVideo. He tries to write interesting posts.

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