Dracula - NBC

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Taylirious, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "If you insist on behaving like a monster, then I will make you one."

    That was not the ending I expected. I thought we'd see Dracula's secret identity exposed and his empire under assault by the (other) forces of darkness. Instead, we had Dracula's attack on Lucy

    I don't know if the pained expression on Dracula's face as he left Mina's hospital room the final time was a "Lucy, WTF?" or a "Lucy, who put you up to this?" I doubt that Dracula knows of the games that Lady Jayne was playing with Lucy, so I suppose it's the former. But I can't imagine a reason why Dracula fangs Lucy and turns her. Yes, it was pretty hot (I always thought Katie McGrath was a weak actress, but she managed a look of pure rapture when she turned), but I don't see how vampire Lucy furthers any of Dracula's schemes, especially now that he has his great work, the Resonator, back. Fanging her, yes, I can understand that. Lucy hurt Mina, and now Dracula's going to hurt her. But turning her into a vampire? He's leaving an unpredictable piece in play, especially if the Order (and Lady Layne in particular) comes across her. All I can imagine is that the creative decision on Lucy was, "Well, Lucy becomes a vampire in the book and her destruction leads to Dracula's discovery," but that's a reason external to the story.

    In general, I was surprised by how much material Lucy had this week. In retrospect, I shouldn't have been -- we needed Harker's walk of shame and Lucy being caught, Lucy's realization that she's been played by Lady Jayne, and Lucy's awkward attempt at making amends with Mina. On the first, as Greg said, we now know Lucy's living arrangements. On the second, I have to wonder if vampire Lucy will take on Lady Jayne next week in revenge and that's how Dracula's dual identity gets blown. And on the third, that scene in the hospital could not have gone anything like Lucy imagined it would have gone.

    I love how Renfield remains the voice of sanity in this series. He recognized that Davenport was running rogue ops, but I don't know that anything would have happened differently had Dracula heeded Renfield's words of warning. Actually, come to think of it, Dracula would have been in a worse position; the Order was already planning to move against Grayson, which would have had Dracula on the defensive on both fronts, whereas now he's on the offensive on one front at least.

    "Four Roses" struck an interesting balance -- Dracula launched a frontal assault on the Order, yet he managed to remain sympathetic. His sense of triumph when he learned the Resonator was safe to use was palpable (even though we know it's a set-up). His bedside vigil for Mina was touching, and their final conversation, where Mina has finally decided to listen to her heart, was lovely. Everything Dracula wants is in his grasp -- the destruction of the Order, his gift of free energy, and his love for Mina. It's hard not to root for him, and I hope he achieves at least two of the three next week.

    So that's what I want next week -- the two love birds, Dracula and Mina, riding off into the sunset, leaving the wreckage of the Order and that skunk Harker behind them to start life anew.

    And lots of explosions, too. Because you just know that Browning is going to get his "catastrophic." Oh, and lots of bloodletting, because Dracula and Lady Jayne need a throwdown. Fortunately, the next time trailer showed us both.

    This is completely not the series I thought it was going to be. It's infinitely more fun. :)
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And her mother is Kate Lethbridge-Stewart!


    Renfield did make some really skilled deductions here. Now I want to see a spinoff where Renfield leaves Dracula's employ and becomes a consulting detective. Maybe he hooks up with a young fellow named Doyle who wants to chronicle his adventures, but The Strand won't buy stories whose hero is a black American... ;)

    Or heck, just give Nonso Anozie a modern-day detective series. He's a really impressive screen presence and could easily carry his own show.
     
  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought she looked familiar! :)
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Probably just me, but when Dracula was trying to process the news about Jonathan and Lucy, it almost looked as though he was thinking "Lucy? Who is Lucy again?"

    Up to now, he's barely seemed to notice her!
     
  5. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    I expected Lucy to try and commit suicide and Dracula would turn her to save her. How it played out made no sense because now she's a wild card.

    Any chance another network will pick this show up since it's dead on NBC?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It would've made far less sense for Dracula to save her. The only person he really cares about is Mina, and Lucy hurt and betrayed Mina. Saving her is the last thing he'd want to do. He wants her to suffer. He wants her to be damned, as he was damned.

    I don't think she's a wild card either. The show's been a little unclear on this, but it seems that other vampires are instinctively under Dracula's thrall. They're drawn to him and follow his orders. Since he sired Lucy directly, she may be even more under his control (as she was in the book). So he probably intends to use her as one of his weapons against the Order.


    It's not "dead," it was just conceived as a 10-part limited series all along. I wouldn't want to see it picked up if the story's already ended. We saw how badly that can go wrong with Heroes. The original plan there was for each season to feature a (mostly?) new cast and new storyline, so the first-season story and character arcs were satisfactorily resolved in that finale. But because the actors were popular, NBC insisted that they be kept around, and the remaining three seasons floundered because they were dragging out character arcs that had already reached their natural resolution, and so it was all kind of pointless.
     
  7. BigFoot

    BigFoot Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I managed to see the finale already and they definitely left it open ended enough that they could easily do a second season. I'd definitely watch it.
     
  8. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There is some talk about a possible season from deadline.com

    I'd watch it.
     
  9. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dracula is such a compelling character, I hope they don't kill him off or follow the book. It would be great if the series jumps ahead 50 years and have Dracula fight the Order in Nazis Germany.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As a character, I agree that Dracula is pretty interesting here. But I just can't get into Rhys-Meyers's performance. I don't like his voice or his delivery. If there is a second season, I hope that at the very least they don't require him to fake an American accent anymore.
     
  11. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    Dracula was never just a 10-part miniseries, especially when you have a final episode with very little resolution that opens a lot more doors.
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Okay, that was eventful, but not remotely conclusive. Here's hoping we get a second season since they left a lot hanging.

    And, oh, Harker is well and truly a scumbag now. Note that when he found out that the Resonator was set to explode and cause a major catastrophe in the middle of London, he didn't even think about trying to stop the demonstration or prevent the disaster; he just wanted to make sure Mina wasn't present. Never mind the scores of innocent people in danger . . ..
     
  13. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If that's where Dracula ends, I'm content. There are a number of balls still in the air, pieces are still in play on the chessboard, whatever metaphor you want to use, but for the first time since the series began we're in a recognizable position for a Dracula story -- Dracula has enemies in Van Helsing and (five seconds after) Harker who know his secret, Lucy is a vampire, and Dracula's interests have taken major blows and he's essentially on his own in a foreign land. Some of the series' outstanding unique issues -- the Order of the Dragon, Grayson Industries, Mina's loyalties -- aren't resolved, yet I could, if necessary, graft the last half of Stoker's novel onto this and feel satisfied.

    That said, this wasn't the definitive conclusion I was expecting when the series was announced as a 10-episode mini-series.

    Is the Order of the Dragon defeated? No. Van Helsing has had his revenge on Browning, but Dracula's vengeance is still unfufilled, and the Order, despite the loss of Browning and Lady Jayne, is still there behind the scenes. And now Dracula is in a weak position to execute his revenge. Grayson Industries' big device just exploded, killing dozens, perhaps hundreds. Grayson would find soon find himself in legal and professional difficulties due to his liabilities. His plan to ruin the Order financially simply isn't feasible now, because who would want to do business with him after that debacle? Dracula's best bet, frankly, would be to take this opportunity to get out of London; the world probably believes that he died trying to stop the explosion, and he and Mina could set up shop somewhere else, New York perhaps.

    Ah, Mina. In this episode, Mina finally made her choice, and I don't think we can say she chose poorly. Dracula may be a vampire, but Harker just engineered the deaths of a number of people, including his best friend.

    Speaking of deaths, I was quite surprised by Browning's death. Not that it happened -- I expected that Van Helsing would get his revenge -- but how it happened. Browning's lack of recognition at Van Helsing didn't surprise me; when he killed Van Helsing's family, he was only doing his duty, and he probably did the same thing to dozens or hundreds more. I didn't see the cruel twist to Van Helsing's plan coming, and when it came I was both impressed and horrified. He's not unhinged, except maybe for his murder of Renfield. No, that revenge required planning, and this Van Helsing is a diabolical bastard.

    Lady Jayne's end unwhelmed me somewhat. In general, this felt like something that the writers knew they needed to deal with to get it out of the way, and as a result it had a perfunctory feel to it. Her discovery of Alexander Grayson's secret was reactive (since the Seer gave it to her by giving her the location), then their final confrontation in the wreckage of the demonstration was too quick (since Grayson disarms her almost immediately), followed by a far too long death scene. I would have liked to see Lady Jayne work the truth out for herself, and I'd have liked to see her work through the feelings of betrayal and disgust she must surely have been feeling.

    I haven't said a great deal about Dracula because, other than what I said above, there's not a great deal to say as this episode wasn't really about him. I was hoping he would see through Harker's deceptions, and I was disappointed when he didn't.

    As I said up top, if this is where the series ends, I'm satisfied. Dracula entertained me for ten weeks, and I'm happy with that. I've enjoyed the look of the series, the production values have been good, it's been fun to look at the episodes and try to figure out how the stories individually and as a whole work, and, frankly, I got wrapped up in the characters.

    Though I'm not sure where another season of Dracula could go, if the production is as entertaining as this season was, I'll gladly watch it.
     
  14. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. The heroic characters from Stoker's novel are in no way heroic in this series going forward from here.

    Dracula may be a monster who has to drink blood to live, but Van Helsing tortured Browning and turned his children into vampires using Dracula's blood, while Harker was complicit in the deaths of dozens or hundreds.

    If there's a second season of Dracula, I hope Cole Haddon and his team went into this season with an inkling of its plan, because what this episode sets us up for -- a cat-and-mouse game between Dracula on one side and Van Helsing-Harker on the other -- doesn't strike me as viable over the long term.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You're right. It was promoted as a limited series, but now we see that was clearly just rhetoric in case the show didn't do well enough to warrant renewal.

    I'm actually disappointed that it didn't have more closure. True, the bulk of the cast is dead (although Renfield will probably pull through if there's a renewal), but a lot was left dangling. I was expecting something that would bring satisfactory closure while still leaving an opening for a second story to be told the following season. Instead, we just get a cliffhanger like most series have. Honestly, I'm getting a little tired of season-ending cliffhangers.


    Yeah, it is weird that Dracula seemed to care more about the innocent lives than Harker did. Although he was probably more concerned about his image, the bad press if his device killed a bunch of people. And concerned about what Mina would think of him, since she was the one main character there who did care about the lives of the public.

    Not only is Harker a complete scumbag now, but Van Helsing is the worst monster of the lot. I thought he'd reached his limit last week when he couldn't bring himself to bludgeon the children to death, but here he turned two small children into vampires, cut off one of their fingers, had them kill their own father, then burned them all alive (or undead). That's the vilest thing anyone on this show has done.


    Except that in the novel, Harker and Van Helsing are clearly the heroes, whereas here they're pure villains. And in the novel, contrary to most screen adaptations, Mina's loyalties aren't conflicted in the least; Stoker's Dracula is anything but a romantic figure and is more a sexual predator, and Mina is unambiguously afraid of him and loyal to Jonathan. She's a vital member of the anti-vampire team. But here, she's decidedly in Dracula's corner (by "corner," read "bed") and I don't see her ever coming around to Jonathan's side after what he did.


    "For you, the day the Order graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday."


    I think the idea was that, as Dracula said, she'd known all along but been in denial. A few weeks ago, Browning raised the possibility that Grayson was a vampire and Jayne refused to believe it. So she couldn't have figured it out on her own, because she had a psychological block. The seer just forced her to confront what her instincts had been telling her all along.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I for one one will feel cheated if we don't get to see Lucy the Vampire on the prowl . . .

    Meanwhile, the other big shoe to drop is that Mina still doesn't know that "Grayson" is Dracula. She loves him now, but when she finds out that he's a bloodthirsty demon who occasionally feeds on anonymous victims . . . ? We haven't seen Dracula munch on an unsuspecting victim for a few episodes, but it's been established that he does need to do so from time to time, which makes him essentially a serial killer.

    Poor Mina! She's in for a number of shocks. Her fiancee is a killer, her new lover is a killer, her mentor--Van Helsing--just killed two innocent children, and her best friend Lucy just turned into a murderous vampire as well. At this point, the only person in her life who isn't a fiend is her father, who we barely see.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I have to say, this series has really redeemed Jessica De Gouw in my eyes. I found her underwhelming as Huntress on Arrow, but I've really warmed to her as Mina. Probably because here she got to play a warmer and more appealing character, which she seems to be better at (she has a lovely smile). The accent probably helped too, although she's actually Australian.
     
  18. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been watching NBC's Dracula Unearthed "behind the scenes" videos this afternoon, and I'm not sure that I saw the same series the producers thought they made and the actors thought there were in. In one of the videos, Jonathan Rhys Meyers talks about how Harker is the series' hero, in the episode 10 video they talk about Van Helsing's redemptive arc. Right now, I'm not seeing either of those things -- Harker's heroism and Van Helsing's redemption.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I suppose actors often identify with their characters and believe they're the heroes. In this case, I suppose it's a delusion we should humor, so long as it lets them give good performances.
     
  20. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The more I think about it, the more I suspect that what Dracula did to Lucy is what will sever the link between the newly happy couple. Mina could probably come around to the idea that Dracula has to feed on blood to live; she may not like it, but it's a necessity. But turning Lucy into a vampire for essentially no good reason? That one will be difficult, if not impossible, to accept.
     

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