It seems Harker’s fiancée, Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw, Arrow), is a dead ringer for Dracula’s wife, murdered centuries ago by the Order of the Dragon. Oddly, being the object of vampiric obsession is not necessarily Mina’s biggest problem; she’s a medical student who grows faint at the sight of blood. (Come to think of it, that’s not much of a recommendation for being a vampire’s girlfriend, either.)
Watching this conspiracy, class warfare and romantic indiscretion collide makes for a hugely engaging show, all the more so because of the lushly photographed Victorian settings and droll dialogue. (Perhaps not coincidentally, one of Dracula’s executive producers, Gareth Neame, also works on Downton Abbey, which is just as pretty but would profit immeasurably from the occasional gashed neck or staked heart.)
Dracula is likely to amass a strong secondary audience of literary detectives and connoisseurs of politically correct revisionism. The former will feast on the way it slices and dices both literature and history, shuffling characters from Stoker’s novel (mostly amusingly, his nemesis Van Helsing has become his staunch populist ally) and toying with historical figures (both Lucretia Borgia and Jack the Ripper, it seems, were vampires).
The latter will laugh out loud to hear Dracula claim that that the barbaric looters of his country were British mercantilists. In real life, the invaders of his little corner of what would become Romania were the Muslim armies of the Ottoman Empire. Apparently “Islamic imperialism” is one of the Seven Things You Can’t Say On Television, Millennial Edition.