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Summary

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.

©2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd. (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good

I enjoyed the story, although, felt the adaptation to be a little short and wanting. Not for those who have already read the original Bram Stoker masterpiece. Could listen to Tom Hiddleston all day!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric read

I wasnt sure if I'd like this as it's an adaption rather than the traditional full book audio. However it's Atmospheric and well paced, the actors are excellent and it retains the flavour of the original. I thought it was a good length too, listened in one sitting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • Oxfordshire
  • 05-01-18

A very enjoyable listen!

Having looked at the other reviews I'm not sure whether I'm at an advantage or disadvantage in never having read Bram Stoker's original (yikes!). I know the general gist of the story (well, who doesn't?), but that's as far as it goes.

So - I'm taking the story and performances very much at face-value, and I enjoyed it very much indeed.

Brilliant story - creepy and atmospheric where it needed to be, and light and frothy in other places. The actors do a wonderful job and I found the whole thing fabulously listenable.
I would highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 18-10-17

David Suchet as Dracula, BBC Radio 2006


After listening to three productions of Dracula this week it is surprising how different they are compared with each other. All were enjoyable and each had their faults/ positives; though if you wish to listen to a more faithful telling of Dracula I would suggest the Mark Gatiss version (Big Finish Productions).


David Suchet as Dracula, BBC Radio 2006 (1hr 54mins)

This is a radio adaptation of Liz Lochhead’s stage play and was the last of the Dracula dramatisation I listened to. There’s more focus on the female characters than Bram Stoker’s original tale and the only one to mention menstruation.

Overall it was nice to be given a different approach to the story, but it was far too abridged. Believe the main problem is this is an adaptation of a stage play, so in actual fact an adaptation of an adaptation. Lots of the story has either been changed/absent and where was our young American Quincey Morris.

Lastly the I’ve got to mention the end, Dracula’s demise. The king of vampire’s final moments should be a dramatic climax, but it’s more forgettable fizzle than loud ka-boom.


The other productions I listened to were:
Frederick Jaeger as Dracula, BBC Radio 1994 (3hrs 19mins)
Mark Gatiss as Dracula, Big Finish productions 2016 (3hrs 15mins)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Another Modern Update Failure

This is so disappointing. Take away the name David Suchet and we have soulless acting and the kind of modern slang language that does not fit in with the era nor the mood of the setting for this story.

David Suchet is set miles apart from the rest of the cast. He stands away from them instead of what the story is about. Bad writing. The
actresses are too amateur, more fitting for a sci fi drama than literature like this.

If you know nothing about the true Dracula written by Bram Stoker and only enjoy modern writing, this is right for you. If instead you enjoy true classics in all their form, you will be disappointed. Thank heavens for the wonderful David Suchet who saves the day, but it comes across too much like a true professional amongst a class of amateurs and that he is showing them how a true professional does the job.


1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

perfect performance

After all these vampire stories in our screens, books and minds, why should I recommend this one? First of all, it's Dracula! Then, there are David Suchet and sweet sweet Tom Babyhiddles With all the superb cast, music and sound effects. I bought it then listened it at one sitting. it's too intense to stop.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessie Q
  • 02-12-16

It's not the most faithful adaption out there...

What would have made Dracula better?

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).

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

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!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dracula?

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?

Any additional comments?

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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathon Horel
  • 25-07-17

Putting New Life in Dracula

If you are looking for a version faithful to the original, this is not it. Story elements and characters are cut and changed significantly. This is partly to streamline the story down to an acceptable length for a radio production, but also to enable a change in focus.

The original Dracula is a male-centric story; despite still following the expected conflict, this version shifts the spotlight to the female characters, giving them more backstory, presence, and connection to each other. Sexual, gender, and class anxieties threaded below the surface are made more explicit and explored at the forefront of the drama. Dracula is still a story of Good versus Evil, but the nature of both are suddenly less clear. Evil is more insidiously common, and Good more of a difficult, and occasionally thorny, path to follow.


I really enjoyed this version of Dracula as a short exploration of the story's underside. Seeing a more woman-centric version is uncommon enough to make it interesting, but it is also done well enough to keep my attention focused. There are a few loose threads I wish had been attended to, such as a character introduced into the story and left abruptly hanging, and Dracula himself was hardly fleshed out at all, but the production was still strong. Definitely recommend to fans.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 06-11-16

An okay adaptation

What did you like best about Dracula? What did you like least?

The best thing about this recording is David Suchet's performance as Dracula! That's really saying something considering I'm a hardcore hiddlestoner! suchet steals every scene he's in. The worst thing about this recording is that it is an adaptation and not the actual Bram Stoker book. It is very severely adapted and abridged.

What could Bram Stoker have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing! This is a severely adapted dramatization by somebody else. He didn't write it!

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

Could you see Dracula being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, because this is just a very commercialized version of the original book. Except for Suchet's and Hiddleston's performances the story is lifeless.

Any additional comments?

It's okay as a radio adaptation. Just be aware that's what it is!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous Beast
  • 16-03-18

Nostalgia Galore

Growing up, Dracula was one of my favorite books. At first when I hit play I was disappointed because this radio adaption does start before the novel does, but I actually ended up enjoying the extra scenes. A few of my favorite bits were shortened or removed altogether but seeing as this was adapted from the stage play I can understand why they had to be cut. Overall I absolutely loved this. Also Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Harker was amazing, I want to see him do it on the stage.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 10-03-18

Possibly the worst radio play of all time

I listened to this and rather wished that the Count himself had exsanguinated me before I had bought this tragic farce.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leanna
  • 29-12-17

Loved it!

Amazing and vivid, it brought life to this story! I have a new-found appreciation for this tale.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lowcountry Book Lover
  • 01-11-17

Disappointing

I love David Suchet and could listen to him read anything. This overdramatized adaptation just wasn’t very good. I was pretty disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • LIZZIE MO
  • 14-10-17

I LOVED IT!!

I've been wanting to hear this audio for a while especially because I like dracula movies. it was nice to just hear all of their voices and also use my imagination. The British accents always stand out and make the story more mysterious and dramatic. I LOVE TOM HIDDLESTON! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL VOICE , SO SATISFYING,SEXY AND SWEET. I WISH THAT THEY WOULD MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF THIS ONE WITH ALL THESE ACTORS AND ACTRESSES. ONE CAN ONLY DREAM.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 18-05-17

Loved it!! Love Tom Hiddleston ❤

Such a great story!! It's great to be able to listen to it! ❤❤ Great!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 24-10-16

Lovely voices

Story was way to short - very abridged and that was quite disappointing. Tom Hiddleston was, as always delicious.