There have been over 80 Dracula films made in the last 100 years but there have been relatively few adaptations of Bram Stoker’s most famous novel made for television. It’s not hard to see why: it’s a grand tale told on an epic scale, and few TV companies have the resources to lavish on such a production. But for those that did, what challenges did they face? What did they decide to focus on, and leave out? And why start in 1968?

In this talk Jon Dear will examine the social factors in play that make bringing Dracula to the small screen a viable option; what it means to bring horror out of the cinema, and its self-selecting audience, and into the intimacy of the family living room; and what Dracula really represents to audiences and how that has changed through time. What really happens when you invite the vampire into your home?


Jon Dear is a writer and critic on TV and film. He has written for the BFI, including their Flipside range, Horrified Magazine, Curious British Television and the Fortean Times. He also contributed to We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror and Royal Holloway University’s Forgotten Television Drama project. Jon is the co-host of the podcasts BERGCAST: The Nigel Kneale Podcast and Due Signori in Giallo. His recent work includes commentaries for the Blu Ray Releases of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954), Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) and A Warning to the Curious(1972). He is currently writing a book on the BBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas Series and is producing a live reading of The Quatermass Experiment at Alexandra Palace for its 70th anniversary. Twitter: @AccordingtoJonD

Your curator and host for this event will be the writer Edward Parnell, author of Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country. Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Ghostland (William Collins, 2019), a work of narrative non-fiction, is a moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – as well as the author’s own haunted past; it was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley 2020 prize, an award given to a literary autobiography of excellence. Edward’s first novel The Listeners (2014), won the Rethink New Novels Prize. For further info see: https://edwardparnell.com. Twitter: @edward_parnell

Don’t worry if you can’t make the live event on the night – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day.

[Image: © Gareth/Adobe Stock]

Date: Friday 19 January 2024. Time: 7.30pm – 9.00pm (London time)

£6 – £10, & by donation