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This fall’s TV season brought us an updated version of Dracula. This new offering is much more then just a retelling of the classic tale, it is completely re-imagined and packed with some unexpected surprises. The story is still set in London in the late 1800’s. The main characters are familiar and yet very different. Here is a brief overview of the characters.
|Dracula (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a more complex, three dimensional character. He feels love and compassion as well as hatred and blood lust. He comes to London under the guise of an American industrialist named Alexander Grayson. He has vowed revenge on the evil secret society, the Order of the Dragon, which burned his wife at the stake and then transformed him into a vampire. He meets Mina Murray who is the doppelganger of his long dead wife, Ilona. Dracula loves Mina instantly.
|Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw) is a modern woman, studying medicine at university with Professor Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann). She is not content to just be a proper English wife. She has aspirations of her own. Mina loves her beau, Jonathan Harker.
|Jonathan Harker (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is an ambitious journalist who accepts a job in Dracula's employ. Jonathan loves Mina.
|Most interestingly, Lucy Westenra (Katie McGrath) remains a wealthy socialite and Mina's best friend as in the original tale, but she wants more, so much more. Lucy loves Mina. Perhaps the show should have been named Everybody Loves Mina.
|Professor Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann) is in league with Dracula in his quest for revenge on the Order of the Dragon. Apparently the Order is full of pyromaniacs. They burned Van Helsing's house to the ground with his family still inside.
|Reinfield (Nonso Anozie) is Dracula's loyal servant as in the original novel. But he is a well-educated lawyer, not a raving lunatic.
|A new character is Lady Jayne (Victoria Smurfit), the badass sword-wielding vampire hunter. She is affiliated with the of the Order of the Dragon.
The first few episodes don’t give you much insight into Lucy’s feelings for Mina. She thinks Jonathan is a bore and not good enough for Mina. That could be chalked up to a natural rivalry between a best friend and a lover. As the season wears on however, Lucy’s affections become more transparent. When Mina and Jonathan fight, Lucy drags her out to a party to drown her sorrows in bohemian nightlife and absinthe. She snuggles up to Lucy gazing at her longingly, but alas Mina is oblivious to Lucy’s attentions. Mina wanders off to hallucinate elsewhere and ends up chatting with Dracula, much to Lucy’s dismay. Although they sleep off the evening’s indulgences in the same bed, the night has definitely not gone how Lucy hoped. The morning after finds Lucy still mooning over a sleeping Mina.
As Mina’s relationship with Jonathan solidifies into an engagement, Lucy begins to unravel, but offers to plan the engagement party anyway. This only creates more angst for Lucy. She reveals some of her feelings to Mina when she tearfully admits she is “planning a party to celebrate the end of the only thing that has ever mattered to her.” And she proclaims, “Things will never be the same.” Mina remains oblivious and reassures her that they will always be friends. Poor Lucy, in love with a straight girl, we have all been there. Given the storyline and Mina’s cluelessness, it seems doubtful that Mina and Lucy will ever get together. Maybe the writers will introduce another love interest for Lucy, perhaps a lady vampire? One can always hope.
Can’t Get Enough of Dracula? Here’s More.