We are super excited for the release of the new Dracula mini-series on Netflix in January 2020. Developed in collaboration with the BBC, the show was created and written by BBC favourite Steven Moffat. For anyone familiar with his work, this is a sign that this show will be good, very good. The only downside being that there will only be three episodes in the season. Extremely short by American reckoning, but pretty standard for the BBC.
The new show will star Claes Bang in the titular role and will tell an origin story starting with Dracula’s rise in Eastern Europe and including his conflicts with Van Helsing and his descendants. The show promises to humanize Dracula by telling his story, without taking any of the horror and villainy away from a truly dark character.
For anyone not fortunate enough to be familiar with his work, here are five must-watch Steven Moffat shows.
Murder Most Horrid (1994-1999)
No one gets to start out creating their own show, everyone has to earn their writing/show running chops somewhere. For Moffat, one of the great places he di that was Murder Most Horrid. This was a series created by the comedian Dawn French. It is an anthology of dark comedies, all starring French in a different role, and all making a mockery of well known horror and thriller stories.
Moffat wrote three episodes over the show’s five-year run. Overkill, which featured French as a social worker turned assassin, Dying Alive, where French is a laid-off abattoir worker, and Elvis, Jesus and Zack, in which French is the head of a media obituary department. The whole show is worth watching, but these three episodes in particular.
When Moffat did have the opportunity to create a show, he basically made the English version of Friends with Coupling. Starring three male and thee female characters, the show was a bit more overtly focussed on dating and sex than its American counterpart. What made the show interesting is that it would often look at the same situation from the perspectives of a number of the characters, and show how differently each of them viewed it.
Starring Richard Coyle Jack Davenport Gina Bellman and Sarah Alexander, Moffat wrote all 28 episodes, and it was so popular that short-lived American and Greek versions of the show were also made.
Doctor Who (2005-2017)
When Doctor Who rebooted in 2005, it was popular, and when David Tennant took over from Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor after the end of the first series, it became a phenomenon. Moffat was involved as a writer on the show from the beginning, and took over as lead in 2010 when Tenant left the show and was replaced by Matt Smith. He continued in the role for Peter Capaldi, but left when Jodie Whittaker took on the role, letting some new talents flex their muscles.
Moffat has said that it is not actually the Doctor who is the lead character of the show, but rather his companions, and it is from the perspective of the companion that each Doctor reboots. Some of the Doctor’s companions have gone on to become big stars, most notably Karen Gillan, Catherine Tate, Jenna Coleman, Arthur Darvill, Freema Agyeman and Billie Piper. Moffat’s excellent writing for the characters is surely part of the phenomenon.
This show was short-lived, but beloved by the fans. Pitched as a sequel to the Robert Louis Stevenson novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide, it stars fan favourite James Nesbitt as a descendant of Dr Jekyll, who finds himself suddenly transforming into Mr Hyde. He is joined on screen by Michelle Ryan.
Moffat created and wrote all the episodes for the show, demonstrating his affinity for classic horror, which he will be revisiting with Dracula.
The show that made Benedict Cumberbatch a household name, Moffat created this reimagining of the class Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character, set in the modern day. He also wrote seven of the thirteen episodes that aired. The show stars Cumberbatch as Holmes and Hobbit star Martin Freeman as Doctor Watson. The show manages to be gritty, funny and thought provoking at the same time.
Fun fact, before working on the show, Cumberbatch starred in a theatre version of Frankenstein alongside Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Holmes in the modern U.S. reimagining of the character Elementary.