The editor Peter Mayer said that there is no old story if there are still readers to discover it. That is to say, it does not matter the years that this story has circulated around the world if there is still someone who has not heard of it. Such a maxim is especially applicable to the classics, whose success is guaranteed. No matter the time in which you rescue, for example, Dracula. The ingredients that made it a success at the time are still there. The only thing that can be done with them is to mix them in a different way so that the aspect adjusts to the aspect of the new times. The adaptation of the classic thus fulfills a double function: it offers the viewer a mirror in which to look again and the creator, a guideline in which to play to be himself knowing that history will bear all the weight when its imprint stops do what.
In 2016, when television in streaming definitely took off, John Walsh signed an article for The guardian in which he affirmed that the adaptations of classics were not only assuring public to the platforms that offered them but that he had managed to increase the sales of the titles in question by 10%. The publishers relaunched them with a new aspect as in keeping with the times as they have their television adaptations and were a success. Is that the reason your presence does not stop growing on television? Just released on Netflix Draculaby Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss – who already delighted with a brilliant Sherlock-, and coincides with the recent recovery of Christmas story (from BBC and available on HBO Spain), and Ragnarok, an unorthodox look at Norse mythology and its infinite literary sagas, is about to be released on Netflix. New versions of Conan Y The Lord of the rings.
Chance or inevitable attempt to mark a new niche in which to ensure a massive audience in the increasingly varied television spectrum? When virtually every dream or aspiration has its own television series, why not try to rescue the general public by looking back? The function of the classic is to stand out because it is the opposite of the dozens of titles that are released every month on the platforms, that is, because everything is already known about it. It is a safe place to return to the viewer, and from which to leave, for the creator. Moffat and Gatiss remade Sherlock Holmes in 2010, relaunching the old character to a magical London today, and they just did the same with the most blatantly bisexual Dracula in history.
Experts in the art of rewriting classics, and not only in that —Moffat was responsible for the relaunch Doctor Who-, Gatiss and Moffat, on the one hand, ensure that everything they touch reflects today’s world and, on the other, they consolidate an increasingly unmistakably own style in which the sense of humor prevails above all else. In doing so, they demonstrate the importance that the classic has in the evolution of the narrative, also audiovisual: offer the scheme from which to test the creator and present itself as a mirror in which, in this case, the viewer can check to what extent society in which he lives is different from that in which the work was previously conceived or reinterpreted. Sister Agatha and her bright statements in the Dracula Netflix point in that direction.
“I am trapped in a marriage without love for keeping a roof over my head,” says the nun, a character invented by the creators, at a given time in the plot, referring to her relationship with a God she says she has sought “in all parties “without success. The uselessness of the cross that Jonathan Harker brandishes before the other vampires of the castle, as well as the jokes about his English status – “What is England?” Asks a vampire apprentice from an alleged 19th century who tries to throw a poisoned dart at him to England’s revolt idea of the 21st — and the eloquence of the dramatic nothing Mina, make it clear to what extent times have changed. “Terror must always be transgressive,” said the couple of scriptwriters in an interview granted shortly after the premiere of the series.
And if terror must be transgressive, the classic must worship its time, which is none other than the one who welcomes it, being as it is, timeless, and therefore, appetizingly moldable to the creator. All without forgetting its status as a beacon from which to reinterpret the always present convulse.