Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat are back and are taking on an even bigger literary icon with the BBC/Netflix series Dracula.
Claes Bang chews both the scenery and many necks in a delicious performance as the "bloody legend" (the show's term, not ours) with a nice line in witty snark from Dolly Wells as his nemesis Sister Agatha Van Helsing. Across three feature-length episodes Gatiss and Moffat give us a bloody romp with twists, scares and quips aplenty, which, like its hero, only suffers a little from being not quite as clever as it thinks.
And, just like that smug clever hero, Gatiss and Moffat just can't help showing off. Which means that, like Sherlock, their Dracula absorbs the flavour of the character's whole bloodsucking cinematic career as well as just Bram Stoker's original novel. And that the show is as packed with references and Easter eggs as a crate packed full of Transylvanian dirt.
There are references to past Draculas, to the writers' other work, and to horror classics in general. Here are just a few you might have missed.
10. Dracula's Classic Castle
The new series's first episode, The Rules Of The Beast, begins in pretty standard Dracula fashion: with English lawyer Jonathan Harker travelling into the wilds of Transylvania and the remote, gothic Castle Dracula where his unsettling host assures him that he doesn't drink... blood (one of the classic lines from the book, recycled here in a way that suggests that Dracula might not like wine but is certainly partial to ham).
Eagle-eyed viewers who are also fans of classic German expressionist silent cinema may have found that towering fortress a little familiar, though.
The medieval clifftop castle which served as the location for the exteriors of Castle Dracula was Orava Castle in the north of Slovakia. It's a site that has been used as a filming location once before, way back in 1922, when it was used to play Count Orlok's castle in the film Nosferatu.
The first screen version of Dracula (albeit an unlicensed version, hence the Count's different name), Nosferatu remains arguably the best and most influential adaptation, adding several elements popular in later versions like the vampire being killed by sunlight. So it's nice to see the latest adaptation paying tribute back to that very first one.