Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager) stars as Jonathan Harker, with David Suchet (Poirot) as Dracula in Liz Lochhead's powerful BBC radio adaptation of the classic novel by Bram Stoker.
When solicitor Jonathan Harker sets off for Transylvania to sell the mysterious Count Dracula a Gothic mansion, his bride-to-be, Mina, begs him to stay - to no avail. But on arrival at Dracula's castle, deep in a black forest surrounded by wolves, Harker wishes he had listened to his fiancée. The Count is welcoming but unnerving and his castle oppressive. Plagued by nightmares, Harker soon longs to leave.
Back in Whitby, Mina is increasingly worried. She has heard nothing from Jonathan, and now her sister, Lucy - newly engaged to Harker's friend, Dr Seward - is becoming pale and thin. In Seward's lunatic asylum in London, a madman named Renfield babbles about his master, who is coming. And as a midnight storm rages, a black ship heads towards the English coast....
Acclaimed poet and playwright Liz Lochhead's adaptation was first performed onstage in 1985, and this thrilling radio drama was broadcast on the World Service in 2006. Suspenseful, chilling and suffused with dark eroticism, it retains all the eerie dread of Stoker's infamous horror novel.
Duration: 2 hours approx.
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It's not the most faithful adaption out there...
If you're just interested in hearing David Suchet play Dracula or a young Tom Hiddleston play Jonathan Harker, then you'll probably enjoy this. But if you're looking for a good Dracula adaptation, I'd say give this a pass. It's a heavily abridged adaptation and a lot of the changes suck the life out of the story (pun intended).
I enjoyed David Suchet as Dracula. He plays the count as barely able to hide his cruelty behind his facade of civility, always a good choice. Hiddleston is a serviceable (though forgettable, yes, I said it) Jonathan Harker. None of the other actors are particularly memorable or compelling in this short drama. But probably what offends me the most about this adaptation is that they decided to cut Quincy Morris. I don't care that he is the most disposable character in this story, they deprived me of a ridiculous Texan accent!
It's less what I would cut and more what I would add back in. They cut out Jonathan Harker's emotional trauma from his stay with Dracula, presenting him as perfectly fine after he reunites with Mina halfway through the story. (He even indicates he's down for some sexy times!) This lessens the horror of his stay with Dracula. I also have mixed feelings about Dr. Seward leveling up from rejected suitor to beloved fiancé in this adaptation. It better connects his mental hospital to the greater story, but it also removes some of the internal conflict from the character. However I would cut the maid's subplot... That was weird, am I right?
If you're looking for a more faithful radio adaptation of Dracula, I recommend Classic BBC Radio's Dracula with Frederick Jaeger, Phyllis Logan, Bernard Holley and assorted cast. Not only is it more true to the source material, but they actually include Quincy Morris - exaggerated Texan accent and all!
- Jessie Q
Loved it!! Love Tom Hiddleston ❤