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Lord Arthur Holmwood proposes to his sweetheart, Lucy Westenra. Later, summoned to his father's deathbed in Whitby, the family physician tells Arthur that his father has syphilis, and that Holmwood himself has inherited the condition. Arthur is aware that he could infect Lucy. In desperation he goes to the Chelsea home of Alfred Singleton, the leader of an occult group. Singleton tells him of a legendary being with extraordinary powers who lives in Transylvania -- Count Dracula. Arthur is told that if Dracula could be persuaded to come to England, he could cleanse Arthur of his corrupted blood ...

Mina, Lucy's best friend from childhood, is engaged to Jonathan Harker, a recently qualified solicitor. As part of Arthur's pact with Singleton he needs to arrange for property to be bought for Dracula in London. Harker is sent to Transylvania, not telling Mina the nature of his business there, due to a confidentiality clause in the contract. Arriving at Dracula's castle in the dead of night, Harker is disconcerted to meet the sinister and ancient Transylvanian nobleman. Dracula imprisons Harker in his home and feasts on him. Harker dies, and Dracula is rejuvenated into a young man. Dracula uses Harker's return passage to to England on the ship the Demeter...

Arthur chooses to honeymoon in Whitby so that Lucy is unaware of Dracula's arrival in London. But Dracula uses his power to change the Demeter's course to Whitby. Mina and Lucy meet Dracula and are mesmerized by his seductive charm, leading Lucy to invite him to dine at the Holmwood estate. Dracula shows his contempt for Arthur, and sucks Lucy's blood in her marital bed.

Lucy becomes ill and feverish, drained of blood. Arthur's friend Dr. John Seward arrives in an attempt to save Lucy, but can find no medical explanation for her condition. Lucy dies and this motivates John to find out what part Arthur played in her death, and his connection to Singleton.

John discovers Abraham Van Helsing in Singleton's cellar, where he has been kept prisoner. He's a tormented soul, petrified of Dracula and the Brotherhood of the Undead, but his knowledge of vampire lore might prove useful. Now in London, Dracula preys on Mina, as Van Helsing persuades John and Arthur to visit the crypt where Lucy is buried. Lucy is revealed to have herself become a vampire, and Van Helsing begs Arthur to stake her through the heart.

Mina is finally convinced of Dracula's evil and joins Arthur, John and Van Helsing in their search for Dracula. At Singleton's house, they discover Dracula in the cellar. Dracula beheads Arthur and is about to feast on Mina when he is staked by John.

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Masterpiece Theatre Dracula

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