I have heard some hemming and hawing about the costumes in NBC’s Dracula because they aren’t “period” enough. Personally, I think that is part of what makes it steampunk rather than a period drama and therefore way more interesting. I watched a special about the making of the Tudors and I think the costumers on Dracula are taking the same approach: It’s not about historical accuracy, it is about making the audience look at clothes and get an impression about the person wearing them. For instance, records about the real Anne Boleyn show that she was on the forefront of fashion in her day, but how do you capture that for an audience that doesn’t know the difference between silk and satin?
So the costume designers made a compromise between authenticity and modern designs to appeal to the audience and give the impression of her changing status as her look evolved. The same goes for music in movies like Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, these aren’t the original songs or even the original genre of music, but the point is to capture the excitement of the time and place and draw the audience into the world of the film.
And the same goes for NBC’s Dracula. The men’s clothing is absolutely gorgeous and connotes the huge wealth that Dracula and the Order Draco control. Except for during the occasional ball, Mina’s clothes are much plainer than Lucy’s, which brings their different social statuses into focus. Here are some costumes and sets for you to drool over.
I have been seeing Steampunk pop up lately on mainstream networks like ABC and CBS. For instance, the clip above is from the show Castle starring the oh so talented Nathan Fillion (who first came to my attention in Joss Whedon’s space western Firefly) checking out a Steampunk bar in NYC. (Check out this article for more info: http://www.alterna-tv.com/castle/steampunk.htm)
I also found out right after I wrote my Time Machine post that The Big Bang Theory has an episode where they get a hold of a replica of the movie prop.
But, I think the best new Steampunk TV is NBC’s Dracula. In this “punked” version of Bram Stoker’s classic novel the count we all know and love (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is posing as an American entrepreneur in Victorian England. His business? Taking out a secret society of wealthy lords through the miracle of scientific innovation and of course, biting people and smoldering. Episode 3 airs tonight at 10/9c on NBC. (http://www.nbc.com/dracula/)