‘Dracula’ Episode 1 recap: What happened in ‘The Rules of the Beast’?

The BBC’s new Dracula series began in the UK tonight.

Based on Bram Stoker’s classic Gothic novel, the three new feature-length TV movies have been written by Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

Danish actor Claes Bang (Borgen) leads the cast as Count Dracula, alongside Joanna Scanlan (No Offence), Dolly Wells (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and John Heffernan (The Crown).

Here’s a plot recap for the first episode, which aired at 9pm on Wednesday 1st January 2020 on BBC One:

It’s 1897 and St Mary’s Convent, Budapest plays host to a desiccated husk of a human being, Jonathan Harker; an English lawyer with a strange and unsettling story to tell.

Listening in is the kind and inquisitive Sister Agatha, a nun with a more-than-ordinary-interest in the creatures of the night.

Invited to Transylvania to meet the reclusive Count Dracula, Harker finds himself trapped in an ancient, terrifying castle, a maze of mouldering corridors and vaults: a prison without locks.

It soon becomes clear that he and his client are the only things living in the echoing halls of the moulding pile: and that the Count himself isn’t living at all!

In fact, Dracula is a four hundred year old vampire who has grown weary of his own exhausted country and has set his sights on the new world.

As the shadows lengthen and Harker’s account unfolds it becomes clear that the remorseless vampire may have unfinished business with his erstwhile guest…

The complete Sherlock DVD box set is available on Amazon.