TV Review: Dracula 2

Thursday 14 November 2013 by

Dracula, 2013, TV Series, SkyI’m quickly catching up with the new Dracula. So without further ado, I hasten towards episode two…

Dracula – episode two – A Whiff of Sulphur

*mild spoilers alert*

The plot thickens, with Grayson (AKA Dracula) taking Lady Jayne Wetherby (the vampire hunter from the Order of the Dragon) as a lover, and Harker deciding that now is the time to finally propose to Mina.

Mina, meanwhile, has less time for a proposal, as she’s more intent on passing her medical exam. And as for Van Helsing, he’s off trying to invent a serum to allow Grayson/Dracula to stand in sunlight.

Harker is blundering his way forward – not quite getting things right, as he fails to be supportive of Mina through her exam, and then strikes a devil’s pact with Grayson the moment a huge house and extortionate income is dangled under his nose… okay, I’ll give him credit – he has reservations, whilst everyone else tells him to jump at it (he still takes the offer though).

And that really is it to the plot for the second episode. There was a fair amount of navel-gazing, backstory, and character arc-ing going on – which as a writer I don’t necessarily have anything against as such. But with a wishy-washy opener, I wanted something with a bit more oomph. We didn’t really have any blood and guts this time (though there was more sex).

Good news is, we finally get confirmation that Grayson had a wife, and Mina looks suspiciously like said burnt-at-the-stake-before-his-eyes wife. Just ticking the box to explain why Grayson is taking such an interest in poor Mina.

The stand out performances came from Victoria Smurfit as Lady Jayne Wetherby (again), and Katie McGrath as the acid Lucy Westenra. Lucy is the first of Count Dracula’s victims we come across in Bram Stoker’s novel, but nothing about her really sticks out. But this sassy, vicious, social climbing, flirtatious and deadly intelligent young Lucy from the TV series is a character I can seriously get on board with. She sounds like fun!

In fact, both characters are at the more snarky end of the spectrum. They get the better lines, the better scenes and overall they seem the characters I would want more of. Poor Harker and Mina really do pale in comparison. You kind of feel sorry for Harker (Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s portrayal is starting to remind me of Jack Davenport in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which, if he carries on with, stands strongly in his favour), as he’s just a fool that people take advantage of – his heart’s in the right place, but he certainly doesn’t feel like the hero yet. And Mina has a moment of sass about her towards the end – for such a “modern” woman, training to be a doctor and all, she is tragically trapped by the Victorian tropes.

Am I impressed with episode two? No.

Is there potential in the series? Make Lady Jayne Wetherby our hero of the hour, and now you’re talking.

2 Houses

Are you on board with Dracula? Who’s your favourite character?

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