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"Dark Shadows" Episode #1.1 (1966)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Welcome to the Beginning and the End of the World"

Author: wes-connors from Earth
24 July 2011

On a train to the small coastal village of Collinsport, Maine, raven-haired Alexandra Moltke (as Victoria "Vicki" Winters, age 20) introduces herself and the series, "My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning. A journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me and link my past with my future. A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea high atop Widow's Hill. A house called Collinwood. A world I've never known, with people I've never met. People who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows..."

Awaiting Vicki's arrival from New York City are Collins family matriarch Joan Bennett (as Elizabeth "Liz" Collins Stoddard, age 56) and her younger brother Louis Edmonds (as Roger Collins, age 36). Sipping brandy, Roger is upset because his sister has hired a stranger to be his son's governess. While they quarrel, we return to the train and meet passenger Mitchell Ryan (as Burke Devlin, age 32). Burke is returning to Collinsport after serving five years for manslaughter; he's been released early, "for good behavior." Vicki talks with chatty Jane Rose (as Mrs. Mitchell), unaware of Burke's presence...

She doesn't know it, but Vicki could be connected to the man Burke supposedly killed...

In the series' first flashback, Vicki recalls speaking with Hammond Foundling Home director Elizabeth Wilson (as Mrs. Hopewell) about her job offer. Vicki thinks a monthly check for support might have some connection to Liz and Collinwood. The train arrives at Collinsport and Vicki meets Burke. Burke says, "Welcome to the beginning and the end of the world, Miss Winters," and advises Vicki people in town travel on "broomsticks and unicorns." This prescient phrase will turn out to be partially true. These accidental allusions, Moltke's performance, and Robert Cobert's soundtrack music are outstanding...

Burke gives Vicki a lift to the Collins Port Inn, where he is rude to friendly hotel clerk Conrad Bain (as Mr. Wells). Learning taxi driver Harry Jones has a flat tire, Vicki enters the adjoining coffee shop and meets waitress Kathryn Leigh Scott (as Margaret "Maggie" Evans, age 23). Serving her a rare roast beef sandwich, Maggie advises Vicki to leave town immediately. Meanwhile, at the Blue Whale tavern, private investigator Joseph Julian (as Wilbur Strake) shares information with Burke. In another flashback, Vicki tells New York roommate Katherine Bruce (as Sandy) she feels drawn to Collinwood...

******** Dark Shadows 1966 ABC #1 (6/27/66) Lela Swift ~ Alexandra Moltke, Mitchell Ryan, Joan Bennett, Louis Edmonds...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A good start to a fantastic Gothic opera

Author: movieman_kev from United States
6 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

New York transplant, Victoria Winters (Alexandra Isles), travels to Collinsport, Maine in order to be the live-in nanny of David Collins, the 10 year-old son of a wealthy secretive family (and hopefully shed some light on her own past) despite a few locals trying to dissuade her, chief amongst them, Burke Devlin, who has his own bone to pick with the family.

This premiere episode effectively sets the chilling atmosphere that the series strived for. It's well-acted and drew me into the series right away.

My Grade: B+

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