Sherlock Creators’ Dracula Series Was Inspired By Benedict Cumberbatch


With Sherlock on indefinite hiatus, creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have moved on to reimagine another classic literary character for modern audiences instead in their upcoming Dracula TV series. Fans were hoping that maybe the detective himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, would be part of the cast, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s there in spirit, though, as it seems the actor was inadvertently the inspiration for the show in the first place.

Speaking at the BFI and Radio Times Festival, Gatiss explained the unlikely origins of his current project. Apparently, it all began with a snap of Cumberbatch on his phone.

“It came about several years ago. We were filming  — we’d just started the third series of Sherlock, where he comes back from the dead, and we had to break off after two days to go to the RTS awards (somebody has to do it) and I had a picture on my phone of Benedict silhouetted against the door of Mrs Hudson’s room. I showed it to Ben Stephenson, who was then the Head of Drama [at the BBC], and I said, ‘Looks like Dracula’. And he said, ‘Do you want to do it?’”

Though this sounds like the drama was commissioned right there and then, Gatiss went on to clarify that the series didn’t kick off immediately from that point but that encounter was definitely the “germ” of the idea for the show.

“It didn’t happen immediately but that was the germ of it, really. So it just seemed like the natural one to do if we were able to.”

Much as they did when they cast Cumberbatch as Sherlock in 2010, Moffat and Gatiss have gone with a relatively unknown actor for their version of the Count. Danish star Claes Bang will play the bloodsucking fiend in the series, which will be structured much like Sherlock, with seasons consisting of three 90 minute episodes.

The first run is currently filming, though details remain tightly under wraps. The rest of the main cast has been announced, though, as we know that John Hefferman, Dolly Wells, Joanna Scanlan, Morfydd Clark, Lujza Richter and finally, Gatiss himself, are all lined up to appear, even if we haven’t been told who they’re playing.

Draculaa co-production between the BBC and Netflix, is expected to air in 2020.

Source: Radio Times