Dracula: When is Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ adaptation on TV this Christmas? Who stars in it? All you need to know

Classic horror comes to the BBC this Christmas with a new version of Dracula adapted by the team behind Sherlock and starring Claes Bang.

By Katie Archer Published: 8 January 2020 - 4.11pm
BBC

We all love a good festive fright at Christmas, and one of the most hotly anticipated series of the season is a new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

Penned by the screenwriting superduo of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and starring Claes Bang, it promises to be a real highlight of the BBC schedules.

Here’s all you need to know about Dracula on BBC One.

When is Dracula on TV over Christmas?

You'll have to wait until New Year to see Dracula - BBC One have announced that the three feature-length episodes will begin airing on the first day of 2020.

It’s a joint production, so look out for Dracula on both BBC One and Netflix over the festive season.

Who will star in the series?

Danish actor Claes Bang takes on the title role. Bang is best known for films The Square and The Girl in the Spider’s Web, and his role in TV drama The Affair.

Claes said: “I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock.

“I'm so excited that I get to dig in to this iconic and super-interesting character. Yes he's evil, but there's also so much more to him, he’s charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy.

“I realise that there's a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged, to be taking on this incredible character.”

Co-writer Mark Gatiss will appear in the series, and while his role has yet to be confirmed, he has previously said he’d love to play madman Renfield.

On being cast, he said: “I’m running out of childhood dreams to come true. And what a delight to join this fantastic cast. The children of the night!"

Dracula Joanna Scanlan BBC

Cast members also include John Heffernan (Collateral, The Crown), Joanna Scanlan (Hold The Sunset, No Offence), Dolly Wells (Can You Ever Forgive Me, 45 Years), Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials), and Lujza Richter (Phantom Thread).

Other actors announced include Jonathan Aris, Sacha Dhawan, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Catherine Schell, Youssef Kerkour, and Clive Russell.

They’ll be joined by Lyndsey Marshal, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Paul Brennen, Sarah Niles, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong.

What happens in it?

The series will stick to the contemporary setting of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, but shifts the focus of the story by telling it from the perspective of Dracula himself.

Mark Gatiss told the Radio Times: “We sort of made a promise to ourselves and the people who are making it, paying for it, that we’d make Dracula the hero of his own story, and less of a shadowy presence.”

Dracula Claes Bang BBC

Steven Moffat added: “We quickly found out why he’s often kept a shadowy presence.

“Having an evil lead character is actually really difficult. That’s been the main challenge I think. But how we’ve handled that, you’ll have to wait and see.”

BBC One’s short description of what to expect reads: “In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.”

In Stoker’s original Gothic horror, Count Dracula wanted to leave Transylvania for England to look for new blood and spread the undead curse, but was battled by a brave group lead by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

However, as this version paints Dracula as the hero, it remains to be seen whether he will be defeated.

Dracula will air from New Year's Day on BBC One.