At the beginning of season 5 ("Buffy vs. Dracula") of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, main character, Buffy, encounters Dracula. Originally aired late September 2000, Joss Whedon establishes a conversation of a then-modern understanding of vampire characteristics to the tale of Dracula. Throughout the episode, viewers are forced to examine the then-modern portrayal of vampires to how they were portrayed in the past. Upon Buffy and Dracula's first encounter, Buffy is astonished that Dracula is not, in fact, a myth and responds in disbelief: "get out". Buffy compares the physical attributes of Dracula to a number of "pimply, overweight vamps" that she is most used to encountering. Buffy soon discovers that there are more differences, other than appearance, that separate her usual vampire suspects to Dracula. Similarly to Bram Stoker's Dracula, Whedon's Dracula stays in a gothic/eerie castle with The Three Sisters (the weird sisters), who Giles later falls victim to. Throughout the episode, Dracula is referred to as a type of celebrity- on multiple occasions Buffy reminices in the fact that he knew her name. In addition to influencing Buffy's dreams, Xandar, member of the Scooby gang, falls under Dracula's spell/influence and attempts to lure Buffy to Dracula. Having a soulful vampire and ex-demon among the group, the team is able to gather information and counter any illusions of Dracula's actual powers. Giles attempts to make sense of Dracula's unique powers by saying "there is a great bit go myth about Dracula. I imagine the trick to defeating him lies in separating the fact from the fiction". It is arguable that the seemingly obvious attempt to make Dracula seem overly serious and mysterious actually commented on the difference in how vampires were once portrayed and how they are portrayed today. While many of the female characters commented on the power of his seductive lure, his power and mystique was ultimately ruled ineffective. At the end of the episode, Buffy stakes Dracula but lingers in the castle, for having seen his movies, knows he will reappear.

This episode was also a crucial moment for Buffy's storyline. Introducing a character symbolizing the "original" vampire offered Buffy the chance to question the origin of the Slayer. Dracula noted that despite Buffy's perception of being "the good guy", her power was rooted in evil. This character and plot choice provided a more credible and reasonable reason for Buffy to reflect on her role. The well-known, and always expected, sarcasm utilized in the show also commented on the dated perception of Dracula and the "original" vampire.


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