1 9 7 9 (USA)
10 x 20 minute episodes
This Tuesday night NBC series – promoted with the tagline “Dracula is dead and living on the West Coast” – aired under the umbrella title Cliffhangers in 1979, sharing the same hour with Stop Susan Williams and The Secret Empire.
Michael Nouri starred as the titular Count, posing as a professor of European history at South Bay College in San Francisco (he only taught night classes, obviously).
One of the principal advantages of his teaching post was that it brought him in contact with attractive young students – Antoinette (Antoinette Stella), Christine (Bever-Leigh Banfield) and Darryl (Mark Montgomery) – who could be turned into vampires and join the legions of the undead.
Seeking to destroy the 512-year-old vampire were archaeologist Kurt Von Helsing (Stephen Johnson) – the grandson of Professor Von Helsing – and 21-year-old Mary Gibbons (Carol Baxter), whose mother, Amanda (Louise Sorel) had been turned into a vampire by Dracula years before.
Mary herself almost fell victim to the fatal charm of the count but was saved by the intervention of her vampire mother.
In the climactic episode, Mary drove a wooden stake through the heart of her mother, freeing her from the curse of the undead, and Kurt shot Dracula with a wooden arrow from a crossbow, destroying him . . . or so it seemed.
After the others had escaped the burning wax museum where the confrontation had taken place, Dracula was seen regaining consciousness, pulling the stake from his chest and fleeing the building.
Kurt Von Helsing