The focus is on Vlad Dracula Tepes, who isn't living effigy of pure evil that's enamored by the idea of decimating humanity for sport, but a victim of tragedy. In the pilot, Dracula (voiced by Graham McTavish) encounters a scientist named Lisa (Emily Swallow) whose assertiveness and passion for knowledge charms him to a greater extent. Their relationship flourishes and he eventually travels abroad to gain an appreciation for mankind. But while gallivanting, the local church declares Lisa Tepes a witch and burns her alive during his absence. Dracula returns, unaware of his wife's cries for him to "be better than them", and he immediately vows to destroy everything in his path in a year's time.
The tense and somewhat far-fetched introduction eases us into the hellish landscape that follows. Dracula's demon army ultimately descends on Wallachia and his cartoonish villainy transitions into graphic depictions of townspeople being torn apart. There's nothing PG about seeing the camera pivot to a child's severed head or a pool of blood leaking into a sewer grate, but it adds a considerable amount of weight to the story. In Warren Ellis' universe, Wallachia is doomed and there is no end in sight.