In Season 5 Episode 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled Buffy vs. Dracula, we see a new spin on the most famous and classical vampire story and legend of all time. In this episode, Buffy meets the famous Count Dracula. The original story, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is an iconic work of literature that has continued to enthrall and entrance readers throughout the generations. This new character of Count Dracula has almost all of the characteristics from the original story, as well as the many films and other representations that have been made over the years. Dracula, in addition to being a vampire, has the ability of mind control, the ability to turn himself into a bat, has the ability to seduce and charm as in the original novel, as well as other characteristics.
In this rendition however, a few of the Buffy characters take on the role of characters from the original novel. Xander turns into a Renfield-like character whom Dracula manipulates into being his servant and bringing Buffy to him. In addition he begins to eat bugs as the character Renfield does in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The other character in this episode of Buffy that takes on a Draculan (I’m not sure if that’s a word but it works I guess) twist is Giles. Once he and Riley enter the mansion they separate, and Giles falls into a pit in a trap room, where Dracula’s three wives are there to seduce him in an effort to drink his blood. In this scene Giles portrays the scene from the novel where Jonathan Harker is exploring Dracula’s castle and winds up in the room where these three vampires are, and they attempt to drink his blood. This scene is also portrayed in the 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, whereas in other versions it is not shown.
However, though this episode puts an interesting spin on the retelling of the story of Dracula, as Noel Murray says in her article Buffy: “Buffy Vs. Dracula” / “Real Me” / Angel: “Judgment” / “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been” on the site A.V. Club, “The main problem with “Buffy Vs. Dracula” is that if you’ve ever read or seen any version of the Dracula legend before, then just about everything that happens in the episode from the moment Dracula appears is fairly predictable, and throwing the Buffy gang into the mix doesn’t make a musty old story that much fresher.” I agree that for someone who has been a fan of both the show and the original story for a long time it may not be all that exciting, but for someone who just recently read the novel and began watching other versions, it was interesting to look at a completely modern perspective in bringing back essentially the original vampire.