Dracula (2006)


Dracula (2006)

Infobox Film
name = Dracula


caption = Promotional still
director = Bill Eagles
producer = joshua eardley
Granada Television
Rebecca Eaton
WGBH Boston
Trevor Hopkins
Julie Gardner
writer = Stewart Harcourt
starring = Marc Warren
Rafe Spall
Stephanie Leonidas
Sophia Myles
Tom Burke
David Suchet
music = lewis wroe
editing = Adam Recht
distributor = BBC
Granada Television
WGBH Boston
broadcast = 2006-12-28 (UK)
2007-02-11 (USA)
runtime = 90 min
country = UK
language = English
imdb_id = 0847161
budget = unknown
"Dracula" is a television adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula" produced by Granada Television for WGBH Boston and BBC Wales in 2006. It was written by Stewart Harcourt and directed by Bill Eagles.

This adaptation explores the ideas of corruption, lies and sexuality in repressed Victorian England. It aired on 28 December 2006 in the United Kingdom. It premiered in the USA on PBS as part of the WGBH series "Masterpiece Theatre" on 11 February 2007.

One member of the cast, Sophia Myles, had actually portrayed a vampire before this production (in the motion picture "Underworld"). Marc Warren had previously worked with David Suchet in the film "Five Little Pigs" for "Poirot" while Donald Sumpter had appeared in "The ABC Murders".

Cast

* Marc Warren as Count Dracula
* David Suchet as Abraham Van Helsing
* Sophia Myles as Lady Holmwood/Lucy Westenra
* Stephanie Leonidas as Mina Murray
* Dan Stevens as Lord Holmwood
* Rafe Spall as Jonathan Harker
* Tom Burke as Dr. John Seward

Plot Summary

In essence, the plot is about Arthur Holmwood's (Dan Stevens) efforts to cure the syphilis with which he was born and which killed his father. Arthur learns the truth soon after becoming engaged to Lucy Westenra (Sophia Myles). He contacts an occult group called the Brotherhood led by a man named Singleton (Donald Sumpter). They say they can indeed clean his polluted blood, but at a price. Lucy's best friend is Mina Murray (Stephanie Leonadis). Her fiancee, Jonathan Harker (Rafe Spall), just passed his solicitor’s exams. Arthur hires his firm to convey several properties in England, with Jonathan himself to bring the documents to Count Dracula (Marc Warren) in Transylvania. Not long after Jonathan leaves, his boss is murdered and all documents about the transaction vanish. Singleton calmly admits to the deed, telling Arthur the "young man" will never return from Transylvania. In Transylvania, Jonathan meets the withered, almost decayed Dracula, but survives only long enough to attract Dracula's attention to Mina. Youthened by Jonathan's blood, Dracula is soon en route to England aboard the "Demeter." A newly married (but still virgin, to her frustration) Lucy watches the wreck of the ship as it arrives in a storm. With her is Mina, visiting Holmwood Castle in Whitby so the two friends can comfort each other. Mina is depressed, while Lucy is increasingly fey and desperate. The "Demeter" seemingly contains nothing but its dead captain and some cargo. Mina and Lucy both meet a stranger, Count Dracula, at a nearby graveyard. Arthur, enraged to find Dracula in his home (invited by Lucy for dinner), finds himself powerless as Lucy suddenly falls victim to the vampire. Arthur's old friend, Dr. Seward, suspects Arthur is somehow involved when he refuses to take Lucy to the hospital and forces Seward at gunpoint to give her a transfusion. Lucy dies and Seward is convinced Arthur is in some sense guilty.

Seward investigates and finds the Chelsea home of the Brotherhood, where Singleton and others have been murdered. In the basement, surrounded by crosses made of twigs, he finds Van Helsing (David Suchet) living like an animal, insisting they must flee at once. He was employed as a folklorist by the Brotherhood to investigate vampires. He found one, and was released with a message to the Brotherhood. The vampire would come to them if invited but wanted property. Frightened of what happened to Van Helsing they sent an innocent (Harker) and locked Van Helsing away.

Seward confronts Arthur and the truth comes out. As the three go after Lucy (presumably a vampire now), Dracula manages to get to Mina as she lets her cross slip. He is about to bite when Arthur stakes and kills his now-undead bride. Dracula feels it, allowing Mina to escape. Mina now joins them as all four go to Singleton’s home. In the cellar, they confront Dracula who brutally kills Arthur. Seward manages to stake Dracula from behind. Van Helsing panics, asking if he got the heart and Seward confirms he did. The vampire melts away. The film ends with Van Helsing returning to Holland, pleased with their victory. He bids Seward and Mina farewell. Mina has said her final goodbye to Jonathan, with a hint that she may have a future with Seward.

But one of London's countless beggars looks up as the two of them pass, revealed to be the withered Dracula of the beginning.

Deviations From The Novel

* Holmwood is a far more central character and is portrayed in a much more negative light. His infection with syphilis and contacts with occultists and secret connection with Count Dracula do not appear in the book.
* The characters Quincey Morris and Renfield are omitted.
* The final confrontation takes place in London rather than outside Dracula's Castle. Like many other modern horror films, the evil monster (Dracula) survives.
* Unlike in the novel, Jonathan Harker is killed, having been victimized by Dracula.
* Dracula has no Brides. And the entire section of the book in which Jonathan Harker visits Castle Dracula is cut down from a major portion of the novel to a few brief scenes.
* Lucy and Lord Godalming actually do marry, and much is made of the fact the marriage remains unconsummated. In general (and somewhat typical for later adaptations such as "Bram Stoker's Dracula") there is some discussion of sexual matters between Lucy and Mina, as well as a sense of the sexual lives of the characters in general.
* Singleton is an entirely new character.
* Van Helsing is a prisoner of a sect, rescued by Dr. Seward in the course of the story, rather than Seward's mentor as in the novel.
* Mina is a Catholic.
* Dracula has allies in an occult sect who sought him out and stage managed his arrival in England.

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/dracula/ Official BBC microsite]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/08_august/10/dracula.shtml Official BBC Press Release]
* [http://www.sophiamyles.org/multimedia/index.php?cat=46 Information from a Sophia Myles fansite]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/northamptonshire/content/articles/2006/12/05/bbc_one_dracula_starring_marc_warren_feature.shtml Article on the Adaptation]
* [http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/PROD/3-/3275097/Dracula/Product.html Listing for the DVD]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYA-BU5GsYA BBC Promotion]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ammLxr6gK8U Second BBC Promotion]


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