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Dracula: Claes of the Beast (BBC/Netflix)

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I’m about to finish ep2. Wonder at the signifixance if any at Lord Ruthven. That was the name of the vampire in The Vampyre novel by John Polidori. Which I read when I was about 10 or 11, too young to catch the subtext.

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12 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

I’m about to finish ep2. Wonder at the signifixance if any at Lord Ruthven. That was the name of the vampire in The Vampyre novel by John Polidori. Which I read when I was about 10 or 11, too young to catch the subtext.

Hadn't previously looked into the significance of the name Ruthven. To me, it conjured up the Gilbert and Sullivan burlesque of gothic horror, Ruddigore. Happy to realise Gilbert picked a name from what sounds like a foundational text in vampire fiction. Or from later works in a similar vein. And Lord Byron was involved. Should have guessed. 

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I enjoyed it, very much enjoyed the dark humour and dialogue and I liked how they kept the look how strong/fast I am vampire special effects to a minimum, he’s Dracula the audience already knows he’s powerful as fuck we don’t need reminding.

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Posted (edited)

Thought that the final episode was a bit meandering and weak compared to the funnier first two - the horror elements accelerated while the wit fell behind.

Spoiler

Apparently mankind lost its sense of humour in the course of the last 123 years. 

Spoiler

Things improved with the reappearance of Sister Agatha, but she was really only in the final third of the episode. :(  Suppose it was...nice that she had a chance to resolve her UST with Dracula, albeit in dreamland...? I was impressed at the way the van Helsings past and present were differentiated. Dr Helsing seemed completely different to her great-great-aunt. For a start, she was still only an apprentice in the art of the deadpan aside and cutting remark. 

Felt it was a bit unfair that Lydia West's character Lucy seemed to be punished by the episode for her amorality and hedonism, while Dracula himself got more of the narrative sympathy. And a happy death of sunshine and Agatha. 

In conclusion: Sister Agatha should be the next Doctor Who. 

Edited by dog-days

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This was really good. Although, I'm not sure Dracula deserved that ending.

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During the first episode I found it difficult to get a handle on the feel of it, during the set up, and whether I was enjoying it or not (Sister Agatha was being on the verge of being 'too knowingly edgy' to be genuinely funny or clever - and was almost annoying instead). But once you (are we spoilering stuff?) realise

that Jonathan is (un)dead

it all clicked into place. Then the transition of Dracula from his original presentation into his rejuvenated version was also a bit challenging for me, like - do we like this person? Are we meant to? Does he have any personality? 

But once the story got going properly I found it engaging and interesting and I was curious as to where they were taking the story.

So what are the main complaints from viewers then? I've seen a lot of people saying its rubbish.

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What a great two part miniseries, I’m so glad they didn’t add a complete hour and a half of fluff and nonesense episode afterwards to bring the series down! :)

First two episodes were 10/10 for me, landed the varying degrees of horror, mystery and humour perfectly, and as mentioned above Sister Agatha was an absolute delight. Even the minor side characters were compelling in the first two episodes particularly the crew and passengers of the Demeter. (As an aside, and not a comment at all on the quality of the acting, script, or even appearance of the actress, more just a “can’t shake this thought.” But through every scene with the Mother Superior in episode 1, i just kept thinking of her as the Headmistress/Nun from Derry Girls, which was pretty hilarious).

The effects/visuals were very good i thought. Jonathan’s make up or prosthetics or whatever was fantastic and I thought Dracula emerging from the wolf was particularly horrifying, for me anyway.

and then episode three. I don’t have a lot to say really. I think it could have worked, and i certainly didn’t go into the episode thinking ‘i already hate it.’ I actually generally appreciate an attempt to take something old and snip elements from it and introduce them in new ways (see Penny Dreadful and how they handled, e.g. Seward and Renfield). This however, did not work at all for me

Spoiler

All of the new characters felt flat and uninteresting and severly lacking in development or characterisation. Most of them were throwaway names (Quincy for example) and even the characters who should have felt a bit more ‘real’ given their importance, namely Lucy and Jack, were just bland, uninteresting husks with poorly thought out motivations and no personality. As dog days said above, the episode also suffered because it felt like Lucy was punished for her hedonism while Dracula was given a...i guess for him, a happy ending, so far as that goes. And i don’t think (or so i hope) i need to explain why that is an issue.

van Helsing, as both doctor and nun, was the highlight of the episode, once again. Though the doctor (again) was comparatively bland and uninteresting. 

It almost felt like this episode was from an entirely different writer than the first two.

Also, nobody in 123 years thought to widen the scope of the search around the wreck to a mere 200 yards! from the original wreck?! What?

 

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First two episodes were excellent!

 

The third one could have been great but the modern twist was too much. Dracula works much better in the original Victorian setting. 

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I’m not quite so down on the third episode but whereas the first two did have tinges of Doctor Who (which I love but it is essentially a children’s programme), the third ep was full on Doctor Who, a lot of silliness and set in an unrecognisable version of the real world.

Still, it had some great lines and concepts.  I liked how it ended, looks like the Agatha/Dracula love story wasn’t just a figment of my imagination.

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I've only seen the first episode so far.  The scene with Agatha talking trash to Dracula while he does't have permission to enter is one of the wilder and more awesome scenes I've seen in a while.  Our lead actress was just tremendous there.

I never got around to seeing The Square.  This is my first Claes Bang experience.  What a name.  

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On 1/5/2020 at 11:57 PM, Macklunkey said:

First two episodes were excellent!

 

The third one could have been great but the modern twist was too much. Dracula works much better in the original Victorian setting. 

To give Dracula his due, at least when he was catapulted into the modern age he didn’t feel the need to endlessly repeat high school and date a teenager as seems to be the M.O. of most other vampires in the modern era.

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8 hours ago, Triskele said:

I've only seen the first episode so far.  The scene with Agatha talking trash to Dracula while he does't have permission to enter is one of the wilder and more awesome scenes I've seen in a while.  Our lead actress was just tremendous there.

I never got around to seeing The Square.  This is my first Claes Bang experience.  What a name.  

I'm trying to watch The Square, but as usual Netflix have made the subtitles unreadable.Can't they just put them in a black box?

Has it occurred to anyone at Netflix?

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I really loved this. I can't for the life fathom why people would hate on this. It had style, wit, great acting and it was such a clever twist on the classic Dracula story. I remember reading the novel as a child and being quite bored by it (I htink Frankenstein aged much better by comparison). This however, while still having camp, managed to make Dracula scary again!

I also enjoyed the last episode. The very end was a tad rubbish

Spoiler

I didn't understand the very last thing Dracula was saying to Agatha/Zoe, which might have twisted my interpretation a bit but I did feel like Dracula's ending was undeserved. They should have just cut after Dracula saying how beautiful the sun was. 

but I loved everything that went before. Especially the Lucy stuff

Spoiler

She was terrifying. I wouldn't say she she was punished for her hedonism, more for her stupidity since she willingly fed herself to Dracula. The way she turned out however, that was horrifying. I could stand the sight of her, but just the acting of her making a fool out of herself and looking like a monster was just to harsh.

 

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1 hour ago, Veltigar said:

can't for the life fathom why people would hate on this.

Because, you know, boring and predictable.  Why in the world would a count from Transylvania want to look and behave like Purefoy playing the lout, Mark Antony?  But that's what he did. :D  Which was funny but not in an interesting way.  And Lucy -- she made no sense at all.

I've re-read Stoker's novel several times, as a better educated adult each time, and admire it more.  Go figger.  It's much more readable than Shelley's novel.  And deals so much better with the glow of wonder modern technology, particularly that of communications.  The joy Minna has in the typewriter!  All those letters they write each other, in which praise for the typewriter is a frequent refrain!

Edited by Zorral

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I loved the book actually. The letters and diary entries work so well to tell the story. 

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