Top 10 Draculas

Dracula 'Count'-down: Ranking the Good, the Vlad and the Funny from Supernatural, Buffy and More!

Before Season 3 of Penny Dreadful got underway, we might have said that the character of Dracula had been done to death. But Showtime‘s monster mash (Sundays, 10/9c) has so artfully resurrected the blood-sucker that we have to admit that there’s still life — or at least undeath — in Bram Stoker’s infamous creation.

Christian Camargo, once Dexter‘s Ice Truck Killer, plays the legendary vampire with irresistible charm when he’s pretending to be mild-mannered zoologist Alexander Sweet — and bone-chilling menace when the mask drops, revealing his minions’ Master. (We’re so batty about the actor’s performance, we even singled him out for an Honorable Mention before we realized that we were seeing only half the picture.)

But how does Penny Dreadful‘s version of the fang favorite compare to his many (many!) predecessors? Considering that Vlad the Impaler has been depicted both comedically and dramatically, his various incarnations are tricky to rate. Nonetheless, your friends at TVLine sunk their teeth into the task and gave it a shot.

Below, you’ll find a gallery of small-screen Draculas, ranked from least scary to most terrifying. Scroll through with a clove of garlic, then hit the comments with the incarnations whose omission you think… sucks. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. niloofar says:

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers was really good.

    • Ray says:

      Yes, and I’m tired of critics dumping on the 2013 series. It was a bloody brilliant re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s classic.

      • silverpetticoatreview says:

        Totally agree! The 2013 series is way better than people give it credit for. Maybe people didn’t appreciate the steampunk twist to the story. I, however, really enjoyed it!

      • lechatnoir says:

        What killed it was the half assed character development .It was waaaay too slow . The one character who was interesting was the Posh irish girl who was his arch nemesis .I think he drank her. I got tired of the faux British accents . This was too much. And he had an african american servant . tsssk tsssk

      • niloofar says:

        YES, it had great potential. could have been great in a place like showtime.

    • Actually it’s pretty damn awful. Where should I begin? When he crawled back into bed with the woman holding the vampire prisoner, tears streaming down his face? When he needed a torch to see in the dark? The fact that he can’t shapeshift or walk in the sun when he could do that just fine in the novel? The constant whining? Van Helsing being a psychopath willing to mutilate and turn children into vampires? Or how about NBC having to withhold the lead actor’s pay because he constantly threatened to binge drink?

    • Oh, you mean that part where his diabolical revenge entailed standing up the vampire huntress for a date?

    • Katie_Mead says:

      I still wish that series had continued … it might have had it’s problems (nearly every female seemed miscast somehow), but JRM & Nonso Anozie were enough by far to make up for all of those!

  2. Aly says:

    I’m super excited about Penny Dreadful’s take on Dracula. With his first (offscreen) introduction, I was already really happy about how sinister he seemed. And last ep showed how even Lucifer himself is scared of his brother – although them being in Dracula’s domain did give him an advantage, I know. But more than that, I’m very happy they made his alter-ego Dr Sweets a nice, charming person. THIS version of Dracula is someone I can see women being drawn to and charmed by. Most of the time the character is played either campily or creepily/emo, and I do not understand why he’d be appealing to women. But I understand Vanessa with Dr Sweets, and I’m very pleased by the duality of the character.

  3. Cory says:

    The best Dracula on TV ever is JRM in the 2013 NBC series. Damn I miss that show. It actually ranks pretty close behind PD on my all time faves list. People seemed to find it boring but I was never bored.

    This is my second favorite Dracula.

    The one from Buffy might be my least favorite ever.

  4. The fact that Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Dracula is in the top three while the older Dracula series that lasted two seasons and respected the original novel, is at five, gives me absolutely NO respect for this list. Also it looks like this person is only familiar with a few TV Draculas… No Dracula / Alucard from Hellsing? No Dear Dracula? It’s a kid special but it’s no better or worse than The Halloween that almost wasn’t / The Night Dracula saved the world. No Monster Force? No Dracula in Super Friends? No Masterpiece Theatre Marc Warren as Dracula? This is more like a list of oldest to most recent Draculas as seen during the course of the author’s life.

    • Katie_Mead says:

      We get it, DM, you, unlike many, did not like Dracula (2013) or Mr Meyers in the lead role. Now go away and leave us all to pine for the excellence (and forgiveable excrescence) we still miss.

  5. You bash the 1990s Dracula series but did you even actually watch it? He had the powers and personality from the novel. It was witty for a kid’s show and lasted longer than that God-awful one you put at number 3. While we’re at it WHY is Cliffhangers on this list? You never saw it . I know you never saw it . It was never released to video, nor are the segments on Youtube, nor are there Torrents from it. Did you just Google Dracula and TV?! Again… What about Hellsing or the Masterpiece theatre version of Dracula?

    • I did see Cliffhangers back in the day (and can show you my high-school-newspaper review of the show to prove it) and I’d say Michael Nouri’s version of the character belongs on this list.

      Now if the list had included Henry Polic II’s version of the Count from the Saturday morning series Monster Squad, you might be able to argue that it was purely Googleriffic. Mind, I like Polic (see particularly When Things Were Rotten), and Monster Squad was amusing for what it was, but top-ten-Counts material it’s not — and thus is properly left off the list just as Cliffhangers is properly placed on it.

      • Sheldon W. says:

        Cliffhangers was, overall, a lot of fun. I remember enjoying the remake of The Phantom Empire and Stop Susan Williams (starring Susan Anton) almost as much, but Nouri’s Dracula (moonlighting as a university professor if memory serves) was amazing!

        Although it only ran for ten episodes, I wish someone would dig it up and release it on DVD (it might even work on Blu-ray – I believe it was shot on film).

        Hey, if Manimal and Automan can be resurrected…

  6. Also why say Dracula has been done to Death when Sherlock Holmes has had more TV and movie incarnations than him?

  7. Celeste says:

    You forgot:
    Louis Jourdain in the 1977 Dracula (made for TV Movie). He was pretty good.
    Also Marc Warren in the 2006 Dracula (Masterpiece Theatre TV Movie) was a little over the top.

  8. Znachki says:

    If miniseries count, then Louis Jordan’s Dracula portrayal from the 1970’s should be in the list.

  9. snazzyo says:

    Most entertaining: Supernatural
    Most number of Resurrections: Buffy the Vampire Slayer… And the character gets BETTER in the Comic series.
    Most ‘yum’: well, that guy in Penny Dreadful has a certain…. Oh wait, is that thrall?
    Warmest feels: Grandpa Munster

  10. Sheldon W. says:

    I am shocked (SHOCKED!) That you left out Louis Jourdan’s ominous Count from the BBC TV-movie Count Dracula!

    He was frakkin’ scary! (When he wasn’t being suave and charming.)

  11. Carrie says:

    I loved the Supernatural Dracula. He was hilarious, and that was an awesome episode.