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The Dark Compass
Season 1, Episode 3
Air date January 3, 2020
Written by Mark Gattis
Steven Moffat
Directed by Paul McGuigan
Episode guide
Blood Vessel

"The Dark Compass" is the third and final episode of the BBC drama Dracula. It aired on January 3, 2020.


Lucy Westenra seems to have it all. A beautiful and popular girl with no shortage of young men in her thrall. Yet Lucy seems to have an emptiness inside her, a longing for something else. Something dark and… other. One might almost say, ‘be careful what you wish for.’ For out of the shadows steps another suitor - with a familiar face!

England is an unfamiliar world pulsing with fresh blood and fresh possibilities. There are strange sights and sounds everywhere, and Dracula wastes no time in laying plans to spread his foul vampire contagion in this new larder. After landfall in Whitby, where else to head but the gleaming lights of London? But why does Dracula set his sights on the seemingly ordinary Lucy Westenra?

The legacy of Jonathan Harker’s stay in that far off Transylvanian castle comes back to haunt the Count as he finds himself unexpectedly checked by an alliance of formidable foes - one a steely scientist, another a callow young doctor in love with Lucy and determined to thwart the Prince of Darkness in his plans to dominate the world. As the adventure reaches its fevered climax, Dracula appears triumphant. Can anyone - living, dead or undead - stop him?[1]


The year is 2020, 123 years after Count Dracula departed for England. The Count returns home with a drunken man, and attempts to feed on her, however is stopped when he notices the crucifix around her neck. The woman is horrified when she finds out that the Count has stuffed her partner into an under-the-counter fridge. The Count watches the TV in awe of human technological advantages. We see a flashback to the coast, the day the Count arrived in England, he is confronted by Dr. Zoe Van Helsing, a descendant of Agatha Van Helsing who is identical in every way — this perplexes him at first, however Zoe reveals that he has been in the water for 123 years. The Count is able to steal a gun from a nearby camera woman, shooting her in the head and killing her instantly. He threatens Zoe, however does not kill her, and admits that he was quite fond of Sister Agatha. Back in 2020, the Count is further perplexed by what he sees as wealth surrounding him, however, he is unaware that Kathleen — the woman’s house he stands in — is not wealthy in modern society; the Count further mistakes the sound of a mobile as an Orchestra. Having tracked the Count, Zoe places a coffin for the Count in the upstairs of the house so that he may both sleep and be transported. She begins demolishing the house around him to ensure his only option is to get in the box.

The Count bites Zoe, initially transporting both herself and the Count into a mind palace, however the begins to vomit on the blood, and eventually passes out. Zoe puts him in the box, and he is transported to isolation with the Jonathan Harker Foundation. Jack receives a call from Lucy Westerna inviting him to a party later that night, to which he is initially weary of, but agrees to attending. Jack feels uncomfortable at the party, as Lucy begins dancing and kissing with an American boy named Quincey. Quincey and Jack later talk, with Quincey remarking that his future career path is unclear. Jack receives numerous calls from a “Jonathan Harker” throughout the night, which he ignores. When the party is over, he is picked up by the Jonathan Harker Foundation and taken to their headquarters. Jack talks with Zoe about withdrawing from their “programme” over Lucy, which he declines. They enter a lecture being given about The Demeter, the ship Count Dracula sailed to England on.

Dracula is seen in a large confined box, where he questions why he has been given a toilet, given he is a vampire. Zoe turns on the box, which allows sun into the box, making it safe for Zoe to enter the box. She instructs the Count to roll up his sleeve, giving her access to take blood from him. Dracula finds is difficult to understand the concept of humans, or otherwise, holding rights. Zoe explains that the Jonathan Harker Foundation is a foundation set up in Harker’s name by Mina Murray with the primary intention of medical research. Should they catch Dracula, however, he would be confined and studied. Dracula finds this hard to understand, as he notices the guards are mercenaries. With this, he questions who is funding the Foundation, but Zoe does not answer. Dracula reveals that “Blood is Lives” and all the answers she seek are in the blood, if only she knew how to read it. With this, Dracula realises that Zoe has cancer, and that is the reason her blood was poisonous to him. During their meeting, they are interrupted by Frank Renfield, a lawyer who reveals that Dracula is being held against his will and has a legal right to be released. Renfield further questions why a medical research facility would have access to mercenaries.

Zoe, reading an e-mail from Dracula, realises that the Count’s blood has something to do with understanding him, and with this, she drinks the blood. Dracula receives a call from Lucy Westerna, having stolen Jack’s cell phone. He arrives at the party that Lucy is at. Meanwhile, having ingested Dracula’s blood, Zoe begins having flashes of Agatha’s memories, including when the Count drank from her neck before their departure to England. Lucy and the Count keep in touch via text messages, and it becomes clear that the Count is feeding on Lucy. It is revealed that Dr. Zoe Van Helsing is no longer in charge of the Harker Foundation and has left their employment.

Lucy meets with the Count to offer him blood. The Count jokes that they meet in a graveyard as he likes to spend time with people his own age. Dracula explains that some people remain sentient whilst they rot, and the two listen. Lucy questions if the Count loves her, or will ever love her. He tells her no, however, and questions if she is afraid of him, to which she replies that she is not, as everybody must die. With this, Dracula feeds on Lucy, and leaves her in the cemetery alone. She is found by Zev, and becomes a social recluse, hiding away in her bedroom. When Jack visits her, he notices the scarring on her neck which are conclusive with abuse from Dracula. He calls the Harker Foundation, asking to speak with Dr. Van Helsing, however is informed that she no longer works for the foundation.

In the hospital, Zoe begins experiencing visions of a nun standing by the window. These visions disappear when she is interrupted by Jack, who informs her of Dracula’s return and the situation with Lucy. At home, she is haunted by ac child from the cemetery who refers to her as “Bloofer Lady”. She has no choice to invite Dracula into her home, allowing him to kill the child. Dracula bites Lucy again, this time draining her of all her blood. She is found dead the next morning by her mother. Whilst her body is dead, it seems as though Lucy’s spirit does not rest. Instead, she screams internally in pain. Her body is cremated shortly after, however staff are awoken later that night to find Lucy has escaped the furnace.

Zoe again suffers from visions of Agatha. In her visions — which are actually her memories synced with Agatha’s — they seek to find Dracula’s limitations. Zoe at first has difficulties understanding what Dracula’s intentions are, and who the woman is, however she eventually realises that the woman is Sister Agatha Van Helsing. She later calls Jack to pick her up from the hospital as she tells him she is discharging herself despite the fact that she is dying.

Jack and Zoe arrive at the Count’s apartment, citing that they wish to speak. Jack questions if he is expecting company, and it is revealed to be Lucy Westerna. The Count reveals that Lucy would’ve been conscious when she was cremated, able to feel every cell being burned. The doorbell rings, and when the Count opens it, it is revealed to be Lucy. When Zoe makes a statement eerily familiar of Agatha, Dracula realises that Zoe has ingested his blood. When Lucy takes a photograph of herself, she is disgusted in what she has become. Dracula is unable to comfort her, and after their embrace — with her permission — Jack stakes her, killing her instantly. Agatha/Zoe realises that there is only one thing that Dracula is afraid of, and dismisses Jack so that the two can have a personal conversation.

When Jack is gone, Zoe pulls down Dracula’s curtain, and it is revealed that the sun is not harmful to him. Dr. Zoe is almost completely taken over by Agatha, as she reveals that the sunlight, reflection and invitation are not weaknesses, but merely habits that the Count himself has become accustomed to believe are curses. Zoe/Agatha reveals that the one thing Dracula fears most is death, to which she is soon to be welcomed to. The two share an epiphany in the sunlight, where Dracula realises the majority of his life he has lived ashamed, alone and afraid. In his final moments, Dracula drinks Zoe’s blood — knowing it is poisonous for him — causing his death.


  1. In the book, Lucy is staked, has garlic shoved down her throat and is decapitated. In the BBC version, she's simply staked and disintegrates into ash.
  2. This episode takes place in the 21st century, while in the book, it is still the 19th century.




External link[]

Dracula (BBC)
The Rules of the Beast / Blood Vessel / The Dark Compass