'Sherlock' team sinking teeth into 'Dracula' next in BBC-Netflix co-production

·Senior Editor
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 24: Writer/producer Steven Moffat (L) and actor/writer/producer Mark Gatiss attend the press call for “Sherlock” during Comic-Con International 2016 at Hilton Bayfront on July 24, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 24: Writer/producer Steven Moffat (L) and actor/writer/producer Mark Gatiss attend the press call for “Sherlock” during Comic-Con International 2016 at Hilton Bayfront on July 24, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The BBC has today announced that it has commissioned Dracula, a lavish new adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel, from the creative team behind Sherlock.

Written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and inspired by Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula will be a mini-series comprised of three 90-minute episodes. Unlike Sherlock which reimagined Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories for the 21st century, Dracula will remain a period piece, set in 1897. Here’s the synopsis: In Transylvania in 1897, the blood drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.

There’s no word yet on who will play the mysterious Count Dracula, but we’d love to see Benedict Cumberbatch as the prince of darkness… just putting it out there.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: (L-R) Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman attend a screening of the Sherlock 2016 Christmas Special at Ham Yard Hotel on December 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: (L-R) Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman attend a screening of the Sherlock 2016 Christmas Special at Ham Yard Hotel on December 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

“Who could play Dracula himself? Well, that’s a very good question,” Gatiss said to Radio Times earlier this year. “Or herself? No, that’s a mistake. That’ll haunt me for the next 10 years. It’s a very interesting question because in Stoker’s novel he’s an old man, who does get younger. That’s rarely done. Gary Oldman did it, it’s rarely done. That’s quite interesting.

“But obviously, the point of Dracula was that he’s the first kind of Byronic vampire. He’s the first one that set pulses racing. The vampire tradition up to Stoker is much more horrible.”

Co-creators, writers and executive producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss said of the news, “There have always been stories about great evil. What’s special about Dracula, is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero.”

The BBC is teaming up with Netflix to produce the show with Hartswood Films, the production company who also brought us Sherlock, Jekyll, and the upcoming TV adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveler’s Wife.

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Due to the increasing expectations of big budget dramas, broadcasters like the BBC are increasingly having to team up with other channels or video services to finance prestige shows like Dracula. Just recently it teamed up with ITV to produce Bodyguard, who sold the international broadcast rights of the hit Jed Mecurio show to Netflix.

Sue Vertue, Executive Producer, Hartswood Films said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be back at the BBC, and also delighted that Netflix are coming on board with Dracula. There’s nothing like fresh blood.”

The BBC has a number of Netflix co-productions in the pipeline including a new adaptation of Richard Adams’ Watership Down starring John Boyega. Collateral and Black Earth Rising were similarly co-financed with Netflix, who broadcast the shows internationally.

Dracula is coming to BBC One in the future.

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