Dracula mini-series features Lord Ruthven and a female Van Helsing

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Dracula Claes Bang

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein wasn't the only published work to come out of a ghost story competition between a group of friends in 1816. Another writer who took part in that competition was Lord Byron, who began to craft a vampire story before abandoning it. Byron's physician John William Polidori then based his own story on ideas his employer had for the discarded tale. Titled The Vampyre, Polidori's story was published (without his permission) in 1819 – beating the most popular vampire of all, Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, to press by nearly 80 years. In fact, Shelley, Byron, and Polidori were all long dead by the time Stoker's Dracula was published.

The vampire in Polidori's story was called Lord Ruthven, and while speaking with The Sun the creators of the upcoming Dracula mini-series, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, revealed that they have included a Lord Ruthven in their show. If you have watched the trailer (embedded below) for the mini-series, you've already seen Ruthven – he's the fellow that Dracula (played by Claes Bang) is telling, "Try and stay calm. You're doing very well."

Gatiss and Moffat's Dracula consists of three 90 minute episodes and is said to be 

reinventing Bram Stoker’s classic story for a 21st-century audience.

Apparently dropping Lord Ruthven in there is part of the reinvention. Another part of it: the vampire hunting Professor Abraham Van Helsing has been replaced by a woman in this mini-series. Maybe one of those stake-wielding nuns in the trailer.

The centerpiece of The Sun's article on Dracula is a quote from Gatiss in which he confirms that the Count will use his "hypnotic seduction techniques" on both men and women over the course of the episodes. That's another thing we can see in the trailer, when Dracula is caressing Ruthven's face.

He’s got broad tastes has this Dracula. It’s not just a collection of Sixties women with push-up bras this time. Dracula has never discriminated, in so far as he can tell the difference between the sexes. He goes for his food but also people who interest him. This goes right the way back. There’s a moment at the end of a Hammer film with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing when he goes to bite him and it’s very, very homoerotic for its time."

A Hartswood Films production, Dracula will be airing on BBC One in the U.K. and Ireland, then it will be available to watch on the Netflix streaming service internationally. A premiere date has not yet been announced.

Source: The Sun

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.