Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love.
Kathryn Leigh Scott
The story of Dark Shadows begins with newly hired governess Victoria Winters arriving at Collinwood, the Collins' estate in Collinsport, Maine in search of her mysterious origins. She soon is caught up in the strange events and mysteries that seem to surround the Collins family. Eventually, the Collins' "cousin from England", Barnabas Collins, arrives and takes the show in a new direction; his vampire curse introduces a new history of the Collins family. Part of this revised history is the popular character of the witch Angelique whose jealously led to the tragic death of Barnabas' great love Josette and who placed the curse upon Barnabas. Written by
As a kid, I waited every day for 4pm for DARK SHADOWS to appear on TV. I watched in fascination all the going ons with Barnabas the vampire, time travel (I wanted that staircase that took you to the 19th century!) corpses rising from their graves. When the show came to an end in 1970, it was a sad day.
The show resurfaced in the early 1980's. As an adult, I could see all the flaws, all the signals that told us, this was live television, done on a very low budget. I appreciated Director/Creator Dan Curtis and company going against all odds.
As with all soap operas, the actors in DARK SHADOW had to stretch the material (Remember they had a collective 2 hours plus every week to cover.) Many actors would repeat what the other actor just said (Example BARNABAS: "This room was once filled the scent of lilacs." GIRL (in awe...) "....the scent of lilacs!" Flaws normally covered by alternate takes came up (much of this was live TV) We saw boom mikes, camera catching the edge of set, and the most celebrated goof- a pesty fly that won't leave vampire Barnabas Collins' (Jonathan Frid) nose, while Barnabas delivers a menacing monologue. But, all in all, it was fun. A thrill. It's always great to see this old soap opera once and a while.
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