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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
Dracula
('Bram Stoker classic')
Plot:
The classic Bram Stoker tale retold. A young girl is progressively being drained of her life-force and must stake the responsible vampire to save herself.
Episode:
0085
Air Dates:
First Run - May 2, 1974
Repeat - July 27, 1974
Repeat - January 6, 1978
Repeat - May 26, 1979
Repeat - October 31, 1980
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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18 Responses to Episode 0085


A fairly pedestrian version of the classic horror story. For me it was distracting to have the 20-something Mina Harker character played by an older actress with a distinctively older-sounding, gravelly smoker's voice. The voice for the 20-something Lucy Westenra was a better match for the age; too bad she didn't play the lead female role of Mina. Would have made for better listening.

Interesting that this version of Dracula is so abridged that the character of Dracula himself is purely secondary. Even his defeat is only mentioned in passing by E.G. Marshall at the end! Vampire story.

I thought it was an effective Dracula story - even with the vampire overkill in entertainment of late (Abe Lincoln, anyone?). Flawed but Dracula's a classic character for a reason. Several chills thru-out...

When was this set? if it was in the 50s-90s Hungry was under communist rule adn they did not have coun ts! There is reference to automobiles in this episode.

I think it's set in an unspecified Eastern European country and purposefully kept vague. I like the actor p,saying Van Helsing in this - he's quite effective.

One must admit this is one of the most amazing casts that the Mystery Theater ever assembled. The cast consists of Mercedes McCambridge playing the main character: Mina Harker. Marion Seldes playing Lucy Westenra, Paul Hect playing Dr. Seward, Stefan Schnabel playing Dr. Van Helsing (Dracula\'s nemesis), and Michael Wager playing Count Dracula. All play their parts very well, but the main stand outs would have to be Michael Wager and Stefan Schnabel. Wager plays a magnificent yet charming Dracula while Schnabel plays a defiant yet learned Van Helsing. Wager\'s Dracula is, in my opinion, the epitomy of performances of Dracula. Not even Bella Lugosi played a better Dracula than Wager. The story was adapted from the 1897 novel by George Lowthar. While the adaptation does take seemingly HUGE liberties with Bram Stoker\'s orginal, such as: Dr. Seward and Lucy being married, the elimination of key characters such as, Jonathan Harker (Mina\'s husband and the main character in the original novel), Renfield, Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. The story is edited tastefully and intelligently. (Let\'s face it, we cant have the whole novel on Mystery Theater.) I won\'t get into the story too much, (as I\'m sure you know the story well enough) but the basic plot is that Mina Harker is driving to the estate of her friend Lucy Westenra and Lucy\'s fiance Dr. Seward. While driving she notices a large bat following her car and hears the howls of wolves. What will she discover when she reaches Lucy\'s estate? All I can tell you is that it is beyond the powers of Mina and Dr. Seward, who must employ the powers of Seward\'s teacher: Dr. Van Helsing of Amsterdam, Holland. The rest is for you to enjoy and discover. While nearly all of the music in Mystery Theater is taken from the scores for \"The Twilight Zone\", (Both franchises were owned by CBS who just carried the music over.) the music works very nicely in \"Dracula\". During the climax, the scores from the TZ episode \"The Invaders\" works very well with it\'s string tremolos and explosive timpani. The rest of the episode features the normal intro and ending music. A very good episode worthy of praise and repeated listenings. The good: Excellent Cast, Good music, and good story. The bad: A few continuity errors (but I\'m just nitpicking). \"Until next time, pleasant... dreams?\"

Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed critique Bob. While I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the episode as you are I think it is very strong overall and along with a few others like THE RAT and TILL DEATH DO US JOIN it holds up on repeat listening. One of the most depressing things about being obsessed with CBSRMT is how little is written about it on the net - even this terrific site is mostly dry info. I'd love to see more comments and analysis overall. I'm seriously considering starting a blog where I review each episode one by one!

Sex and vampirism are inextricably linked from the time of these stories (And the Byronic Lord Ruthven of "The Vampyre") so if anybody has any quibbles about it - They're here, they're Drear. Get used to it! Good episode!

A retelling of the Stoker tale of the undead. A young woman is terrorized by the Prince of Darkness. McCambridge McShines in her role as the damel and distress and lifts this retelling to another level. Recommended.

I thought this episode was quite well done, considering they’ve taken an 800 page narrative and crunched it down into 10 pages of pure dialogue. E.G. Marshall uses traditional conventions of gothic fiction warning the listener to beware, to turn away if faint of heart, and vouching for the veracity of the tale to come. I won’t bother describing the story because everyone knows it already. This rendition is well worth the listen and may even encourage some to pick up the original novel and give it a read. A challenging task, to be sure, but filled with memorable scenes. My wife watches Days of Our Lives… the character of Van Helsing reminded me of the Rolf character from Days. What kind of accent is that?!

I have been a longtime fan of CBSRMT since I was eight and now at 45, it still holds me. I love horror movies let alone I am always up for a great horror story. I enjoyed this particular DRACULA episode immensely. It is one of the best horror stories adapted by CBSRMT. It has a great creepy narrative with an eerie, haunting feel and like all the other radio drama episodes, always well acted. Play it on Halloween!

An adaptation of the original novel by Bram Stoker. Professor Van Helsing responds to an appeal from his friend John Seward to investigate his fiancee's strange affliction—she is slowly dying from blood depletion, apparently the victim of a vampire.

This adaptation of "Dracula" was great; I really enjoyed it. George Lowthar wrote and did something brilliant--he made Dracula a secondary character in this episode. He also developed the characters which drew me into the story. As always, the cast acted out the story fantastically. 5 stars.

Count Draculer!?! I actually heard Dr. Seward say "We had a visit from Draculer." See if you can catch it when you listen. WOW!

Interesting twist on the original by Bram Stroker

This show is perfect. It's its own version, and always sounds nice and creepy :) I've listened to it many times since I first heard it that spring night when it premiered on May 2, 1974 beginning at 10:30 pm on the local CBS station.....pleasant dreams???

To Horace Cordier - Thank you for listing some of your favorite episodes! I wish more folks would list theirs, especially ones that can be listened to repeatedly. For me these are MURDER PREFERRED, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, PRISONER OF THE MACHINES, THE HAND, and THE END OF THE RAINBOW. This site should have a special page where people can list their top favorites of all time. Pleasant dreams??? - JUROR #4

Dracula is a suspenseful and very gripping episode! This is a pretty grisly story and one I just discovered and like a lot, especially the ending. I love how dry the Professor is in taking on the morbid tasks presented to him. The score is great and almost seems written for the episode rather than the repeated (though good) music common to other episodes. AS AN ADDED BONUS there is a lot of fantastic contemporary news after the episode pertaining to President Nixon during the Watergate and White House tapes cases. I give Dracula five stars out of five - JUROR #4

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