Dark Shadows: Season 1, Episode 1

Episode #1.1 (13 Jan. 1991)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Horror, Romance
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Victoria Winters arrives at Collingwood, a Gothic mansion on a cliff overlooking the ocean near the small seaport Maine town of Collingsport, as the recently hired governess to the 10-... See full summary »



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Title: Episode #1.1 (13 Jan 1991)

Episode #1.1 (13 Jan 1991) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Blackburn ...
Jim Fyfe ...
Julianna McCarthy ...


Victoria Winters arrives at Collingwood, a Gothic mansion on a cliff overlooking the ocean near the small seaport Maine town of Collingsport, as the recently hired governess to the 10-year-old troubled David Collins. David's gruff father, Roger, distrusts Victoria from the start while his mysterious widow sister Elizabeth is more hospitable. When the simpleton and trouble making ground keeper Willie Loomis, the nephew of Collingwood housekeeper Mrs. Johnson, decides to break into the family crypt to look for and steal a stash of family jewels, he inadvertently opens a coffin and releases vampire Barnabas Collins who has been imprisoned inside the crypt for 200 years. Barnabas then drains part of Willie's blood and makes him his unwilling human slave and daytime protector. Barnabas then introduces himself as a "distant cousin from England" to the rest of the Collins family while plotting to prey on the population of the town. Daphne Collins, the cousin of Caroline Collins, is Barnabas'... Written by Larry B.

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Release Date:

13 January 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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[first lines]
Victoria Winters: [voice-over] My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is just the beginning. A journey that I am hoping will somehow begin to reveal the mysteries of my past. It is a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place... to a house high atop a stormy cliff at the edge of the sea... to a house called Collinwood. To a world I've never known, with people I've never met... people who tonight are only vague shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill all the days and nights of my ...
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Opens like coffin: rampaging vampire released while Collins family introduced to viewers, new governess Vicki, & visiting "cousin from England," the charming Barnabas.
29 June 2006 | by (New England, United States) – See all my reviews

Revival series pilot (1990) tastily serves up what is essentially a remake 20 years later of feature film titled House Of Dark Shadows (1970) which was itself based on original daytime serial "Dark Shadows" (1966- 1971) initial plot line introducing character of man-cursed-as-vampire Barnabas Collins who returns from involuntary exile in a coffin after nearly two centuries. Posing as his own descendant to at first ingratiate himself Barnabas is soon beyond the mounting murders necessitated merely by blood lust and into sometimes sadistic or at least Machiavellian intrigue involving his "cousins" at stately Collinwood mansion, tempted by his own achingly strong response to the governess Victoria Winters whom he sees as a reincarnation of his long lost love Josette. He thus variously and violently soon risks causing the gradual destruction of almost his entire family again 200 years later as when first cursed, condensing roughly 3 months of daily plot line into 90 minutes for HODS film, here doubled -- and told over first few episodes while laying the groundwork nicely for the rest of a season, and potentially a longer (should-have-been-renewed) series. So stormy episode #1.1 nicely starts off a story 'To Be Continued' and leaves us ready for whatever's next in classic soap style. Delightfully deadly déjà vu with more to come.

This nighttime version, like the big screen version, is filmed rather than taped, is considerably bloodier and more intense, but still strives to pack in, or build and maintain, respectively, the same richly deep well of character relationships and romantic tones of the slower, dreamlike Gothic suspense soap whose unique quality made daytime maverick "Dark Shadows" a mainstream phenomenon in its time and a cult classic in retrospect.

All three extant iterations were helmed and initially directed by series creator the late Dan Curtis, who here and for 12 episodes too briefly began well the road to his original (night) vision for the show before an untimely (but of its Gulf War time) cancellation interrupted a timeless fantasy in mid-flight. Reheating a landmark legend without the unintentional 'Golden Age'-of-Television charm the veteran TV producer takes on a return to the one that made him a director, the one property that would always become his legacy, with verve and more magic than most of his own now-dated exercises in this supposed (but as it turns out peerlessly genre-of-one) small-screen genre.

An even more recent remake was authorized by the WB in 2003; that pilot remains un-aired. This one led to a short but increasingly sweet season worth seeing and savoring as it goes along, with episodes continuing the story beyond ground covered by HODS and time-traveling into the Collins family's past for the origins of the vampire curse on Barnabas and his loves, all collected and now newly released in a 3-disc "Dark Shadows – The Revival" package on MGM DVD.

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