Young Dracula is a British children's television series on CBBC, loosely based on the children's book by Michael Lawrence. It was directed by Joss Agnew. The first series was broadcast in 2006, and the second series, which started in late 2007, concluded in early 2008. After being cancelled and then uncancelled, the third series started in late 2011. The fourth season began on the 29th October 2012, and the fifth in January 2014.In the beginning, all 12-year-old Vlad wants is an ordinary life, and he's hoping that his family's move to Wales might be just the thing to provide it. Regrettably, the family is moving from Transylvania, where they've been chased out by an angry mob, and the family name is Dracula, so the chances of a normal adolescence in the Welsh 'burbs are slim.Vlad's dad, the Count, wants him to hunt "breathers" (that is, humans) with more enthusiasm and to take over the family business. Mum has run off with a werewolf and the family servant eats cockroaches. Vlad's philosophy, however, is "more blending, less biting". His older sister Ingrid, by contrast, wants to be a cruel and despotic vampire queen, but is constantly ignored by the Count (when he isn't belittling her).Down the road in the village, young Robin Branagh dreams of becoming a vampire and avoiding his family's camping holidays. Teaching at the local school is woodwork teacher and would-be vampire hunter Eric van Helsing, whose son Jonathan ("Jono") is just as embarrassed by his father as Vlad is by his.As of Season Three, the setting has changed somewhat. After the events of the previous series, and the castle burning down, the Dracula clan have been forced to relocated and to hide from the slayers in a school. Vlad learns how to master his powers from a private tutor, Bertrand. They are soon joined by their half-brother Wolfie and Erin, a young half-fang* really a human with slayer training who Vlad soon develops a crush on, whilst Ingrid continues in her thwarted quest for world domination.Season Four sees Vlad's enforced, uneasy peace between vampires and slayers threatened from all sides. Vlad is forced into an Arranged Marriage, a new vampire Malik is plotting something, and Erin is having doubts about her and Vlad's relationship. Skeletons fall out of the faily cupboard and it all gets very Shakespearean.Season Five continues the trend of getting Darker and Edgier, with revelations left right and centre, and the introduction of Wifi to the Vampire world.Has a character sheet which is desperately in need of Wiki Magic.
Young Dracula includes examples of:
Abusive Parents: Arguably the Count. He shows blatant favoritism for Vlad over Ingrid, even though Ingrid is the one who acts the way he keeps pressuring Vlad to act. It could be argued that he's also abusive to Vlad based on his inability to accept that Vlad isn't a younger copy of himself, but it's much less blatant than his abuse of Ingrid.
Renfield's father is another example. It's made quite clear that he hates his son, and he was even willing to let the Draculas drink his blood so that Renfield Sr. could become immortal.
Their mother isn't much of a prize either - just in her series three appearance, she manipulates and lies to Vlad to become his regent for fame, totally ignores Ingrid, and forgets about and leaves her youngest son behind, although arguably she left him behind on purpose like she tried to do in Series 2.
Van Helsing is arguablly worse than the count. It is clear in season one that Johnno doesn't want to be a slayer but he just keeps forcing him into it and trying to make him feel like he is nothing if he doesn't become a slayer.
Mina Van Helsing has moments of this. Like when she tricked Johnno into thinking Malik really had bitten him and he was turning into a vampire by swapping his blood for vampire blood to test it. Her plan to get Johnno to stop helping Vlad luckily backfired.
Affair Hair: Well, fake Affair Hair. When his mum comes back to live with the family, Vlad gets some hair from his stuffed hellhound, and pretends that its actually from his mother's werewolf boyfriend, Patrick.
It turns out she really is still sleeping with him, though. He's getting his back waxed specially...
Both played straight and subverted with Ingrid. She had a crush on Will who was if not strictly speaking bad a rebel and nonconformist (for example he appreciates her giving him rats as a present). However she outright laughs at Malik, criticising him for being a caricature of a bad boy, desperate to be thought of as edgy and dark.
Annoying Younger Sibling: Vlad fits the trope for Ingrid, just as she, though older, covers the "annoying" bit for him: he doesn't want to be a vampire but is still favoured by his father and she does want to be one but is ignored. Olga, although she is a cousin rather than a sibling of theirs, likewise fits the trope for Ingrid because of her competitive streak.
Vlad's friend Robin Branagh, due to his semi-gothic persona and obsession with vampires is something of an annoyance to his elder siblings Ian and Paul (and vice versa) and although his sister Chloe is younger, her brothers tend to fit this trope for her since she is generally more mature and academically bright.
Wolfie, on the other hand, seems to get along fine with his older half-siblings, preferring to annoy Renfield.
Anti Anti Christ: In the season/series 2 episode, Insomnia, Vlad is said to be this in a dreamworld (he's supposed to bring vampires back to their former glory-i.e. make vampires the rulers once more and knowing most vampires' preference of draining tens of peasants dry a day.
Arrowgram: The Count does this, tying a note proclaiming a blood fued to a flaming arrow and shooting it at the Branaghs. However, the burn damage the note sustains causes half the message to be unreadable and Graham Branagh thinks it's a note asking him to examine Dracula's drains. Hilarity Ensues.
Ax-Crazy: Sethius kills other vampires for no reason, and plans to turn all humans into vampires with the deliberate intention of removing their food supply so they fight amongst themselves.
Badass Longcoat: Not that he's exceptionally badass, but Eric Van Helsing does look quite impressive in his.
As does The Count, who wears one when he needs to blend in among breathers. So much so that a swarm of people mistake him for a rock star.
Bathroom Break-Out: Van Helsing does it in "Halloscream"; leaving behind a tape of himself whistling to convince Jono that he is still in there.
Cain and Abel: Ingrid and Vlad, respectively, from Series 3 onward - well, Ingrid didn't specifically kill him, but she left him for dead.
Then taken up to eleven in Bad Vlad: Ingrid finally attempts to murder Vlad out of jealousy at his new evil self, only for him to stop her stake with one finger before throwing her into the sunlight.
Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin': Ingrid pulls the fire alarm at school, setting off the sprinklers at the same time, in a deliberate attempt to get suspended so she can prove to father how evil she is. A horrified Vlad shows up and turns off the alarm; just in time to get blamed for setting it off.
Cerebus Syndrome: The second series has shades of this, what with multiple vampires actually getting slain, including one who had been a recurring sympathetic character, Vlad being revealed to the The Chosen One, and the series ending on what was probably meant to be a dramatic cliffhanger. Series three is continuing down this route.
The fourth season is by far the darkest yet.
Changeling Fantasy: One episode revolves around Robin theorizing that he and Vlad could have been Switched at Birth (during a rather unlikely Branagh family holiday in Transylvania). Matters aren't helped when Ingrid then fakes a diary of her mother's to prove that this is the case.
Clip Show: Episode 4 of series three - though it also provides Character Development as Vlad and Erin reminisce, and is actually quite helpful given the long gap between series two and three. And it's the nearest we'll get to seeing Robin back in the series.
Episode 9 of series 3 is a mild form of this, focusing on Ingrid. Does help her to get out of her Villainous BSOD. And it's the nearest we'll get to seeing Will back in the series.
Compulsory School Age: Lampshaded. The Count has no intention of sending either Vlad or Ingrid to school. That is, until the Headmistress of the school comes by, pointing out he will be taken to court if he doesn't place them in the school. We all know that the courts are the modern equivalent of an angry peasant mob, after all.
School isn't compulsory in the UK, anyway.
No, but education is. If you don't inform the local council of your home-schooling plans in detail, you can be arrested, which leads us back to the issue in the beginning.
Subverted with Season 3, which sees the Count forcing Ingrid to go back to school so he doesn't have to see her all day - despite her being twenty.
Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: Those born vampires gain their full powers at age sixteen. Powers start semi-developing before that point, but on a vampire's sixteenth birthday they are locked in a room with the family's blood mirror, where they meet their reflection, which is a pure evil version of themselves, and also an independent entity. A merge is required for the vampire to gain its full powers. "Only the most powerful" of the two personalities is allowed to continue after the merge, which means that the evil personality in the mirror will take over if the individual is not strong-willed enough. This is why Cousin Boris, who lost to his reflection, comes out of the room completely different, whereas Ingrid remains the same. If you try to run away, the reflection breaks through the mirror and chases after you. Which makes you wonder why the protagonist, Vlad, who just wants to be normal), just doesn't look in the mirror or even enter the room.
To be fair, though, Ivan and Ingrid are both shown to be able to overcome the evil and bloodlust aspects of their personalities. But Ivan reverts to his evil self after smelling the blood of a vampire slayer and Ingrid was pretty evil to begin with. Also, re: Vlad not just avoiding the mirror/room, it is implied in one episode (series two, episode 7, Insomnia for those interested) that his reflection may already be 'evil', or at least that he can't escape the change, something which is confirmed as of Blood Thief
Darker and Edgier: Series one is a light kids show about the angst of growing up. Series four is a Shakespearean tragedy about a ruler becoming corrupted by the desire to achieve order by any means necessary.
Deadpan Snarker: While all the Dracula family show this, it's easily Zoltan, the stuffed hellhound who has this role.
Vlad has it in spades in series 3, taking over from Zoltan.
Depending on the Writer: Ingrid varies between a bully with a hidden soft side and a bloodthirsty, power-mad lunatic.
Count Dracula: Lock up your daughters, look at you!
Enemy Mine: Sethius is so Ax-Crazy that everyone realises the need to put aside their differences and team up with Vlad to stop him.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Ingrid is excited to become evil incarnate by joining with her blood mirror self, but draws the line when it suggests she kill her boyfriend Will and decides to run off.
He may be the Prince of Darkness, but the Count isn't able to bring himself to hurt Magda or Vlad.
Evil Costume Switch: an interesting example in episode 3x01 has Vlad change from his school uniform into a black leather jumpsuit and black cape to go rescue Ingrid from the slayers. He's not actually turning evil but he is embracing the vampire side of himself.
Evil Gloating: Borris does this after his transformation into a vampire, "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!" included.
Femme Fatale: Ingrid in series 3. In her own words: "twice as beautiful, three times as evil. Make that four times as evil."
Finale Credits :The credits in the final episode The darkest hour has both Vlad and Talitha flies into the night as bats to the Himalayas
Gambit Pileup: In Series 4. Vlad wants the peace between Slayers and vampires to succeed, the Ramangas want Vlad to die, Malik wants to stop the ceasefire, something else is manipulating Malik, the Count wants the ceasefire to fail, Renfield wants the Count to bite him, Ingrid wants a place on the High Council, Mina will take any opportunity to stop the ceasefire, and Bertrand may or may not be plotting something else. Oh, and one of them killed Ryan.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In episode 3x03 when Vlad's tired of telepathy training, he's given a walky talky for practise and sarcastically says "Whisky Tango Foxtrot" (WTF). For a children's show on the BBC, fairly risky.
When the Count tries to get Vlad to practise his telepathy:
Vlad: I hope you can read this.
Count: ...Actually, I can. And in answer: I seriously doubt it would fit.
When the Count tells Renfield his plan to be Miss McCauley's secret admirer.
Count: Then I will reveal myself to her...
Renfield: Is that legal?
At the end of season three, Vlad challenges Sethius to a game to see "who has the bigger fireballs."
Historical In-Joke: Sort of blink and you'll miss it, but in series one, episode 10, there's a historical in joke which is quite amusing for those who know the history of Dracula.
Count Dracula: [reading from book] "The rugby players huddle together, toss the ball around, and pat each other on the back for being good sports." Good sports? I didn't impale half of Wallachia so you could be a good sport.
Hollywood Nerd: Borris, a solid Type 1. (Until his 16th birthday, that is...)
Horrible Judge of Character: In the series two episode Bad Reflection, Vlad's cousin Boris grows into a full vampire and undergoes a Face-Heel Turn. Vlad is completely oblivious to this, even after an Evil Monologue or two. Of course, he has his reasons, since he's very worried about turning evil when he becomes a full vampire, and desperately wanted to believe that his friend had gone through the transformation without any personality change, so it could have been more of a Willing Suspension of Disbelief on his part.
The Hunter: Eric van Helsing. Also Jonno in series 2, and later Kurt, from the Slayers Guild tactical division
Series 3 sets up the idea that the Chosen One is now the main target of the Slayers, while Erin is also a hunter pretending to be a half-fang, plotting to kill the clan Dracula to save her brother.
I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Vlad has touches of this at times, as he doesn't want to become a vampire as family tradition dictates. To be fair, most of his anger does seem to be more directed at his mum. Ingrid also suffers this, though it is mostly because the Count largely ignores her.
Vlad himself later fears that Erin will hate him if he turns her into a vampire, even to save her life. He does so anyway, and she swears to never forgive him.
Ignored Confession: Ingrid's therapist assumes that her references to 'sucking the life out of her friends', 'seeing nothing when she looks at herself in the mirror' and others being interesting metaphors. When it gets really obvious, the therapist just assumes that she's talking about her vampire fantasy.
Immortality Begins at Twenty: Born vampires age normally until they are 16. From the looks of the Count, and Krone and Attlia, it can be assumed that they do age after this, but at a much slower rate.
Though not really. To be clear, while the twins do fit the stereotype of 'jerk jock', they do seem to hold their young siblings in varying degrees of affection.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Renfield, at least in the opening in series 3,is still affected by the mind-wipe performed by Vlad in the last episode of series 2.
It's soon revealed that Vlad could have fixed him at any time, but just chose not to until he needed the old Renfield's knowledge to help Ingrid.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Vlad's status as the Chosen One. Revealed halfway through series 2, it wasn't really mentioned much. Come series 3, it's been mentioned every single episode, and was used in the advertisements for the new series as well. At this point, it's clear it's not considered a spoiler any more.
Line-of-Sight Name: When Robin pretending to be a vampire and being questioned by the Westenras, he is asked the name of his parents. Glancing around, his eye falls upon a certain kitchen implement and he says his father is "Count Spatula".
Count Dracula: They never want to donate, you fool. That's we have fangs.
Missing Mom: Vlad and Ingrid's mother ran off with a werewolf, and Jonathan's mother left because of van Helsing's vampire obsession. Magda shows up from time to time. Mina Van Helsing shows up in the latter half of series 2
Monster Misogyny: Averted. We only really see the Count prey on older females - such as the Headmistress of Stokley Grammar, Mrs Branagh, and Mina Van Helsing. The youngest person he ever preys on is Robin Branagh, and that was in an attempt to try to get Vlad to use his vampire powers.
Morality Pet: Wolfie to the Count. Somewhat tempered by the fact that he views him as an actual pet.
Muggle Power: the slayers are normal humans and they go after vampires.
Mythology Gag: Quite a few, mostly to in reference to the original Bram Stoker novel—Eric van Helsing and his son Jonathan are descendents of the Abraham van Helsing in the novel; likewise, Renfield is likely a descendant of his counterpart in the book. Jonathan is named for Jonathan Harker, and Eric's ex-wife (Jonno's mother) Mina is named for Mina Harker. (Odd, considering that Jonathan and Mina get married midway through the novel.) Aside from this, Vlad's pet stuffed wolf is called Zoltan, which is probably a reference to Zoltan: Hound of Dracula.
And the family hearse in which they arrive in Stokely has the name 'Demeter' painted on the back. The Demeter was the ship in which Dracula traveled to England in the original novel.
Stokely itself is probably named after after Bram Stoker, the author of the original book.
Nasty Party: The Hunt Ball. At least, it's meant to be if you happen to be a Breather and find yourself with an invitation...
the Carpathian Feast is this too. If you're the vampire intended to be thrown into the flames.
Not His Sled: In the books the kids were Switched at Birth. In the TV series Vlad and Robin look this way at first, each fitting into the other's family better. They're not, no matter how much Robin wishes they were.
Ominous Latin Chanting: In the episode Insomnia. It's there to show the serious nature of what Vlad is being told.
Only Sane Man: Chloe shows these tendencies at times. Within their family, both Ingrid and Vlad could also count as this at times.
Chloe eventually stops hanging out with them on the basis that strange and dangerous things keep happening when they're around. That's a degree of sense few fictional characters ever demonstrate.
Lampshaded again by Chloe in the episode Bodyswap
Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires can be born, receiving their full powers after passing Blood Tests, and merging with their reflections from the family Blood Mirror on their sixteenth birthday.
However, this can also happen on an earlier birthday, 13th at the earliest, if the child drinks the blood of a Translyvanian bat.
Pocket Protector: In The Hunt Ball, this happens. Van Helsing, frightened by a loud noise, shoots the Count in the chest with a crossbow bolt. Said bolt was stopped by a decanter of poisoned blood which Van Helsing had given the Count earlier in the evening.
Poke the Poodle: After an enormous build-up in the previous episode, the first 'evil' things we see 'Bad Vlad' do are... setting off the school fire alarm and turning Zoltan's head back to front. Rapidly averted, however: he goes on to torture his father, tries to murder Ingrid, and comes dangerously close to killing a schoolgirl.
Power Walk: A short one in season 4 with Vlad, Erin, Bertrand, and Jono
Puberty Superpower: Most of the classic traits of hereditary vampirism don't manifest until the sixteenth birthday). However, on the lead up to the 16th birthday, these will become apparent in the child vampire.
The Renfield: Renfield, obviously. Given the presence of his resurrected father in a later episode, very annoyed at not being transformed into an immortal vampire as was promised, it appears that the position is hereditary.
Revealing Hug: Erin pulls one of these on Vlad after promising him that there weren't any more secrets.
Then she gets one pulled right in front of her by Ingrid, who deliberately smirks at her to gloat that Vlad doesn't even trust Erin's warning that Ingrid has a team of half-fangs hunting him.
Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Vampires become such by merging with evil mirror-world versions of themselves at age sixteen, and how evil they turn depends on their strength of will. Ingrid, for example, is downright bloodthirsty, manipulating and evil before she changes, but when her mirror-self suggests she kill her boyfriend she flees from it. When she does merge, she does it of her own will and overcomes the urges associated with it. Compare with Boris, who is weaker willed. Boris becomes completely psychotic from the merge. Vampires can subsist on animals, but most would prefer not to.
Vlad, as the Chosen One doesn't have an evil reflection... he has a thousand.
Split Personality Takeover: A threat to all born vampires on merging with their reflection on their 16th birthdays. The stronger willed of the two will survive the merge.
Miss McCauley: Someone at this school has launched a hate campaign against me.
Switched at Birth: Robin's Changeling Fantasy centres around the idea that he and Vlad were swapped at birth. They weren't, but Ingrid fakes a diary to convince everyone that they were.
Funnily enough this was the entire plot of the original book the series was based on.
Take That: In "Faustian Slip" the Count is laughing uproariously as he reads a copy of Twilight. More as an affectionate poke than it seems, though, since he still expresses interest in reading the sequel. Although, he could just be interested in reading it to continue his amusement.
Tears of Blood: After the Count is poisoned by Elizabetta, Vlad, in an attempt to save his father's life, bites him to draw the poison out. Its effect seems to take an even harder toll on Vlad, who begins bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, and hands.
Tempting Fate: In "Halloscream", Robin says "It's just an old biscuit tin. What's the worst that could happen?". As it turns out, opening the tin unleashes an ancient curse that will turn the Dracula family human.
Title Drop: Executioner Morai in When Vampires Go Bad:
Morai:Don't get clever with me, young Dracula!
Torches and Pitchforks: The Draculas were driven out of Transylvania by an angry peasant mob. When we see the mob in the Count's nightmares and flasbacks, they are wielding the requisite torches and pitchforks.
Total Eclipse of the Plot: Shortly after Ingrid becomes a full vampire and is no longer able to go out in sunlight, there is an eclipse that lasts long enough for her to go out to the movies with her boyfriend and make it back home safely.
The eclipse ended while Ingrid was still in the movies. She probably just hung around in the shadows outside until it got dark before she went home.
Ungrateful Bastard: Ingrid again. She actually acknowledges that Erin saved her life - but only so that Vlad will think she has a reason to help save her in return. All the while, she's planning to have Erin killed.
Then she manages to take it even further in a later episode - she talks to Vlad in an attempt to distract him while one of her new minions stakes him from behind. Her chosen topic? Thanking Vlad for saving her life in the previous episode - she even says that she hopes for a chance to return the favour!
The Count is this way to Erin as well, given that she saved him at one point too. It's even lampshaded.
Erin: Doesn't he know I saved his life?
Vlad: He knows, he just doesn't care. It's a vampire thing.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Branaghs don't seem at all fazed when the Count fires a flaming arrow with a letter attached to it into their garden table. While they are seated eating lunch at it.
Vampires Are Sex Gods: The Count is gorgeous, Magda is The Vamp, and even Ivan is pretty handsome. The guests at the Hunt Ball aren't too hard on the eyes either. In fact, the only really unattractive vampires we see are the Westenras.
Also subverted When Vlad actually says the word 'vampire' to Mr Branagh, he realises what's been in front of him all the time.
Wham Episode: S4E07 Do The Bite Thing. Good grief. Malik is the Count's illegitimate eldest son, and the mysterious shapeshifter is his mother. Erin is dying, Vlad is going off the rails... and then he turns her into a vampire after she tells him not to, and she swears to never forgive him.
White Sheep: Vlad is an example of trying to fit in the evil family. The issue is that vampire kids have a Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday or the like and after that, go through Transhuman Treachery. Vlad wants to avoid this. Interestingly, his Fille Fatale sister Ingrid actually is evilish and she's the more rebellious of the two. However, this being a vampire family, that means that she's actually being what the family wants.
Given that Season 3 shows that Vlad's evil self would easily kill both Ingrid and the Count within a day, they may learn to be more accepting of the nicer Vlad.
Xanatos Gambit: Ingrid in S3 E11 Hit Chicks organizes an group to kill Vlad. If they succeed, she becomes the Chosen One. When they fail, she turns it on Erin and creates the beginning and ending of S3 E12 Blood Loyalties.
Your Vampires Suck: In show, pretty much Robin's reaction in the first episode after Vlad explains the situation for those born vampires.
You Will Be Spared: Ingrid, being totally serious, says this word-for-word to the therapist who helps her get past her Villainous BSOD. The therapist naturally assumes she's joking.
Zany Scheme: Just about every character is guilty of this at some stage.