Dracula episode 2 shows secret gay London in A Whiff of Sulphur

Not a week after Dracula premiered and I contemplated how nice it would be to see some gay action, then we were rewarded with a second episode featuring several males kissing, including Dracula himself. Of course this could have an a one-off or it could hint to a greater subplot emerging in the Dracula series.

Victorian London was not free of gays, and as we know now and thanks for learning of famous people of the time like Oscar Wilde, there were secret clubs for men to socialise together. As provocative as Bram Stoker’s novel was, it did not illuminate every aspect of Victorian sexual oppression. Like all modern interpretations of Dracula there’s a hint of reflection through hindsight, like the display of the moving pictures machine in Francis Ford Coppola film which at the time might have been a novelty no one expected to catch on. What might have been missed by Stoker is fair game for Dracula’s writers.

In the second episode Greyson hires Harker to assist his business affairs. Harker’s previous insightful knowledge of some businessmen’s dark sides were used to Greyson’s advantage against the Order of the Dragon. Now in his employ Harker sends Greyson to a secret club and we discover a business partner (some might say adversary) Lord Laurent (played by Anthony Howell) prefers the company of men, which Greyson uses for blackmail, though he also notes he doesn’t care. Greyson comes in as Lord Laurent and the handsome Daniel Davenport (Lewis Rainer) are in a passionate kiss which Greyson interrupts then takes the opportunity to kiss Daniel himself before delivering his blackmail. Greyson’s kissing of Daniel is more out of politeness than passion, but delivered on the lips would have been quite a bold display for a reserved Englishman (even if the vampire is posing as an American).

The plot point helps serve Greyson’s interests, giving him key leverage in his business dealings. It does also illustrate how in Victorian society such knowledge would have been ruinous, yet even now should a married man be having an affair that would still be scandalous. The only question will be if this will continue throughout the series or if it was a one off. We’ll see as the series quickly unfolds. Of course let’s not get excited that Greyson is even bisexual, though when he’s hungry he might be less picky, he does have his eye on Mina.

Dracula / Alexander Greyson kissing Daniel Davenport

Of course this was only a small part of the episode. Greyson had offered Lord Laurent a considerable sum for the remaining shares that would give Greyson full control over British Empire Coolant. But the Order of the Dragon doesn’t want to allow Greyson’s new form of electricity to disrupt their business interests. The Order now without a hunter also grows concerned with the vampire attacks therefore Lady Jayne takes up the challenge. Mina is worried about her medical exam but is encouraged by Greyson who draws close, while Harker frets about his lack of wealth then becomes suspicious when Greyson offers him the lucrative job which includes a grand townhouse. The reporter takes the position but manages to upset Mina.

Leave a Reply