*SPOILER ALERT* This episode contains plot details for Dracula, ‘The Rules of The Beast’.”
Many are familiar with the MCU, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe that links the Iron Man movies to the Captain America movies and the Guardians of the Galaxy films to the latest Spider-Man instalments. But it looks as if there’s a new version of the MCU in town - the Moffat Cinematic Universe.
Okay, it’s a stretch, but during the first episode of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s new Dracula series on BBC One last night (Wednesday 1 January), the showrunner managed to squeeze in nods to two shows he’s synonymous with, Sherlock and Doctor Who.
In an early scene, Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan), the solicitor who descends into madness while staying with Count Dracula at his remote Transylvanian castle, receives a letter from his fiancée Mina Murray (Morfydd Clark). In it, she mentions an “adorable barmaid” that works at a nearby pub called The Rose and Crown.
Now, Whovians’ ears will have likely perked up at the mere mention of the establishment as it shares its name with a place in which Doctor Who companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) poured pints during the time-hopping show’s 2012 Christmas special.
In it, Clara and the Doctor (Matt Smith) find themselves battling sentient snowmen in the Victorian era. Dracula is, of course, set in the late 1800s, which explicitly ties in with the festive favourite.
Elsewhere, Sister Agatha (Dolly Wells) - who is later revealed to share the same surname as famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing - explains to Jonathan during an interrogation sequence that she located Mina thanks to her “a detective acquaintance in London.”
“Having established your identity, it was not difficult to trace you back to England and find your worried fiancé,” she says. While she doesn’t specify that said sleuth lives down the capital’s Baker Street, Moffat confirmed Agatha met Dr. Watson’s pal as the premiere was airing.
Well played, sir, well played.
Dracula continues tonight (Thursday 2 January) at 9pm on BBC One.