Birthing modernity: the BBC’s Count Dracula (1977)

HOPKINS, Lisa (2017). Birthing modernity: the BBC’s Count Dracula (1977). Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance, 10 (3), 217-226.

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The BBC’s 1977 Count Dracula is cast firmly in the mould of a BBC classic serial, privileging fidelity, frocks and location shots. However, a surprising amount of cultural work is done by the adaptation’s few but striking deviations from its general principle of fidelity, such as the total omission of Arthur Holmwood, the turning of Lucy and Mina into sisters rather than friends and Dracula’s speech in defence of vampirism, coupled with the absence of any suggestion that vampirism might be a metaphor for something other than itself. This adaptation’s focus, I suggest, is to precipitate the arrival of modernity, as a half-glimpse of the Simone Martini Annunciation in the crypt of Carfax leads into Dracula materializing in Mina’s bedroom as white smoke like an Unholy Ghost, suggesting that a new era is about to dawn and that sexuality is out of the coffin in which the Victorians sought to imprison it.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number:
Page Range: 217-226
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2017 10:24
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:10

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