AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Here we are again at hump day. Hump day in the middle of Dracula TV show week. Today we are going to look at Dracula’s appearance in one of my favorite shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Dracula would make his Buffy-verse debut in the first episode of Season 5 in Fall 2000. Why it took Whedon 5 seasons to get Dracula in this series is beyond me, but here he finally is. To me, having Dracula as the “big bad” for a season makes perfect sense. You make him evil like Angelus, but calculating and cold. AWESOME. In spades.
Anyway, Dracula travels to Sunnydale to meet the famous Buffy and make her one of his concubines (you and me both, Drac). After a nice battle in the cemetery between Buffy and a nameless vamp, we get a misty reveal of the Buffy-verse Dracula. And he looks like the living embodiment of nerd rage.
THAT’S Dracula. WHAT. THE. F**K, Whedon? He looks more like a douchey street magician than he does Dracula. Oh, Whedon, you sonova—-. Why? Why do this? It’s like you are mocking the entire idea…….wait, hold on, just…..(calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean) let’s talk about the episode, shall we?
Like I said, “Dracula” comes to Sunnydale to make the famous Buffy Summers one of his concubines. And to go along with that ridiculous outer appearance he also has a douchey Euro-trash accent. So, the writers are checking off ALL the boxes under Dracula Cliches. Vaguely European accent? Check. Long hair? Check. Red lined cloak? Check. Incite murderous rage in Pax for the lazy Dracula portrayal by the writers/producers of a show I love? Double check. But I digress. AGAIN.
So Buffy of course tries to stake him but he disappears into a mist and then transforms into a bat and flies off. Dracula later puts Xander under his telepathic control. This is a nice nod to the Dracula book. Xander begins acting like Renfield, eating flies, insects and such. Dracula sneaks into Buffy’s room in the middle of the night (Edward-style) and bites her. Buffy has to hide the bite marks from her friends with a tasteful scarf the next day.
Buffy’s boyfriend Riley exposes the puncture marks and Xander (still under Drac’s control) offers to hide Buffy at his place. When everyone else leaves to confront Dracula, Xander takes Buffy to “his master”. Giles and Riley are sidetracked by the “vampire sisters” and Buffy hesitantly takes a drink of Drac’s blood. This somehow triggers her will and she breaks from his control and Drac and Buffy fight a vicious battle throughout the castle. Buffy finally stakes Dracula, but he reforms and Buffy immediately stakes him again. Dracula tries to reform a third time and Buffy reminds him she is still here so Drac turns into mist and flies away. I guess stakes can’t kill him.
So, parts of this episode are good. The Xander as Renfield bit is a pretty cool homage. The three “vampire sisters” are another nod. This time to Dracula’s brides from the novel. I like what they were trying, but essentially it all boils down to a one episode throwaway appearance. I thought they were going to build Dracula up to be the big bad, but he does not return (well, see below). However, I’m also glad they didn’t build this ridiculous Dracula up to be the villain for the whole series. He was terrible.
So, no, Dracula did not return in any subsequent Buffy episode. However, Dracula would make a few more Buffy appearances.
Next, Dracula shows up in a 2006 mini-series called Spike vs Dracula.
This 5 issue series was written by one of my favorite authors, Peter David. The series would flesh out a previous history between Dracula and Spike. The history was based upon a dropped line in the original Dracula Buffy episode in which it’s revealed that Dracula owes Spike 20 quid. And Spike aims to collect.
Douche-ucla would next return in a story arc in the 2008 comic Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. The arc was called Wolves at the Gate. Below is the cover for the collected trade paperback.
Actually, I think he looks a little better in this comic than he did on the show. The toned down the douche factor a bit. Still not a great Dracula, but better than what we got in the episode. In this story, Dracula teams up with Buffy to battle a group of Japanese vampires who have stolen his powers.
All in all, I probably would have preferred Joss to stick with the original idea of having Dracula be a random vampire in the Season 5 opener. This Criss Angel Dracula does nothing for me.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.