Buffy, Edward, the Count and more bloodsuckers on the small screen
Back in the day, vampires were a rather ugly lot, wracked by vitamin D deficiency and emaciated through lack of fresh blood. But a lot has changed in the vampire world in recent years, most of which can be attributed to teen vampire franchise Twilight. No longer portrayed as deranged zombies parading around with crow-peak hairdos, vampires have evolved into dashing, brooding young men and women (although they could still do with a tan). Before you tune in to the fourth season of True Blood on OSN, take a history lesson on the bloodsuckers’ journey from Dracula to The Vampire Diaries.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) Irish author Bram Stoker may not have invented vampires, but his novel – a series of letters, diary entries and ship logs – was the first to explore the genre. Set in Romania in the 1800s, it’s believed the character of Count Dracula is actually based on the gruesome Vlad the Impaler, who ruled there from 1456 to 1462. In the book, Dracula is portrayed as a tall, unusually pale man with a white moustache, dressed in black. From Dhs12, www.amazon.com.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) This series was when we first began to see vampires take on more modern characteristics, such as the latest clothes, albeit with animal-esque zombie faces. Originally a 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson, butt-kicking high-school chick Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is the vampire-hunting protagonist in this long-running TV show, which was such a hit that it aired for seven seasons and created a spin off, Angel. From Dhs460 for box set series one to seven, www.amazon.com.
The Twilight Saga (2005-) The Harry Potter of vampire books, this four-part series written by American author Stephenie Meyer has sold millions of copies worldwide: in 2010, Forbes ranked her at number 59 on its most powerful celebrities list. Meyer claims the novel arose from a dream she had about a human girl and a vampire that was in love with her, but also thirsted for her blood. In the books, leading man Edward (played by Robert Pattinson in the films) is described as being an impossibly dreamy, chiselled man, with sparkling skin. From Dhs40 for the complete Twilight Saga collection, www.amazon.com.
True Blood (2008-) The hero of new-age vampire stories, HBO series True Blood is now in its fourth season and even has a Golden Globe under its belt, awarded to Anna Paquin in 2008 for her role as Sookie Stackhouse. The series is based on the co-existence of vampires and humans in a small southern town in Louisiana – the scene when Sookie and gruff-looking vampire Bill Compton first meet was awarded an Emmy for Best Breakthrough Performance. Dhs78 for season one, www.amazon.com.
The Vampire Diaries (2009-) This supernatural horror series is the story of high-school girl Elena, who finds herself torn between dashing vampire brothers Stefan and Damon. Set in Mystic Falls, a fictional town in the US state of Virginia, the TV series has caught attention for its similarities to Twilight. While Stefan is described as being classically handsome with green eyes, his bad-boy brother Damon has dark eyes and is always dressed in black. From Dhs62 for season one, www.amazon.com.