Dracula (2013) - Season 1
Thankfully, the sole season of Dracula has since been made available on DVD (I picked up a copy the first chance I could get.) There are only ten episodes, but it remains some of the best television I have seen in recent years.
Dracula (2013) - Season 1
The series was shot in Budapest. Prior to the series premiere, NBC released an animated web companion entitled Dracula Rising, which serves as a prequel that depicts the origin story of the titular character. The series was given a straight-to-series commitment of ten episodes. It was canceled after one season.
The Order is clearly not directly affiliated with the Church as the Order uses black magic to punish people (like Dracula) and to hunt down its adversaries (such as by employing seers). They don't exist to protect the souls of the world, then, but they also are devoted to hunting monsters. Are they battling someone else (other than Dracula, who they all think is a myth) or is there some greater goal in mind for them? Maybe this is something that could have be elaborated upon in a second season, but sadly the show was canceled after only ten episodes so any greater evolution for the Order was quashed.
The show does begin to develop Harker and Van Helsing as eventual foes for Dracula -- the former because Dracula "steals" his lady-love, the latter because eventually their truce dissolves and then Van Helsing goes back to being a vampire hunter. Had the show continued on for another season it was clear that Harker and Van Helsing would be the big bads going forward (maybe aligned with the Order, maybe not). While I couldn't ever get invested in the machinations of the Order, Harker and Van Helsing are well-developed characters I understand and appreciate. They would have been fantastic villains moving forward which would have goosed the series and really kicked it up a notch.
Even still, the series is great for a single season. Watching Dracula pulling the strings of English high society never gets old, nor does seeing him stalk the night, killing people in bloody fashion. From a production and filming standpoint this series knew exactly what it wanted to do and it gives it to the audience in lush, gory fashion. If the show could have given us a more compelling villain I think the viewers would have stuck around for it. The show was close to being great, it just needed a little more time to cut the cruft (the Order) and focus on the character pairings that really mattered.
Of course, more than anything the series was hampered by the fact that it aired on NBC in 2013. At that point, with the transition of viewers from traditional TV to streaming services, shows were still regularly slaughtered if they didn't find their footing with viewers quickly enough. If this show had come out on HBO, or Netflix, or Hulu, I think it easily would have gotten a second season. Its such a gorgeous, detailed production with a number of very interesting characters. It had a story that could have gotten great and, at the right now, it would have succeeded admirably. Dracula's greatest sin was coming out at just the wrong time for it to survive.
I agree whole-heartedly with your assessment of the series. Despite the (to me) over-used trope of reincarnated love, the characters were drawn with enough clarity to attract your attention, yet enough unseen to allow for development as the series progressed. Kudos to the cast, who did much with what they had.It started to feel as though the original narrative was abandoned around episode 5 or 6, and the story sped up, as if the creators were hurrying to get as many of the familiar elements in before the season ended.The settings were a wee bit too sterile in some respects; even the London portrayed in the 1940's Sherlock Holmes movies seemed closer to the truth. Overall, a great start inexplicably wasted, as if midway through the series they lost their train of thought. Maybe next time. 041b061a72