More like the old movie serials than a soap opera, this supernatural series was an unexpected hit. It managed to combine vampires, witches and werewolves into a continuing story that I remember rushing home from school each day to watch.
The acting wasn't always the best and the production values left something to be desired, but overall, this was an interesting concept and show. Nearly every member of the cast had two roles: their current self and someone (sometimes multiple someones) from the past (differing time periods). The constant was Barnabas Collins, a vampire who knew all the characters from all the periods the story covered. It gave the writers great leeway in building the story while managing to keep it together because of the supernatural elements.
...and I was prepared to swear they did. I watched this show as a really young kid after school. It scared the bejeebers out of me such that I remember being paralysed with fear when it was over. Not wanting to let my Mom see that, I would manage to fake my way out of the paralysis, and then come back for more the next day! At bedtime, I remember I used to turn on my light from the safety of the doorway, and then just KNOWING there were vampires and werewolves under my bed, I would leap from the doorway to my bed and then call my Dad to "kiss me goodnight" and turn out the light on his way out!
I can remember vividly, "Barnabas Collins"; the tortured figure, and remembering that despite my fear of him there was something I liked about him; felt sorry for him. I remember, albeit more vaguely, a pretty lady in black and a werewolf...boy, I dreaded the full moon episodes.
But can I tell you? Even though I have watched most vampire shows since this one, I wish there was a show on TV today that could similarly capture me, such that I felt the need to leap into my bed from the safety of the doorway...
If you ever seen this show and than watched Buffy or Angel, you would see where many of their ideas came from. Dark Shadows is a fore runner of modern day horror shows. Because of budget restraints, everything was done with one take, so you'll see flubbed lines, falling sets and even what TV cameras looked like in the late 1960s. The show was on daily at 4:30 in the afternoon and ran for 1225 episodes. With a five year run, dozens of memoriable charecters, and a stab at every classic horror story ever written, Dark shadows is a definitive classic of horror televion.
While some of today's soaps occassionally try to step into the paranormal (such as Passions and Days Of Our Lives) none has ever nor can I imagine any future attempt ever match the wit and charm of Dark Shadows.
I saw this program as a child and can still remember how much my mother loved watching it. It surprises me though that even with the resurgence and popularity of vampire movies in the 80s, as well as the prime time television runs of Buffy and Angel in the late 90s and beyond, no one has attempted to return something as daring as Dark Shadows to daytime television. Perhaps because it seems more appropriate to watch at night than during the day.
But hey, many of us use DVR's now ... there's still hope.
I was born roughly four months after Dark Shadows originally went off the air, so I came to the show only through the Sci-Fi Channel's re-airings of the show during the 1990s. When I first started watching it, it immediately felt comfortable--like a childhood memory. The more I watched, the more fun I had with it. It had all of the melodrama of a soap opera, all of the silly monsters of the horror genre of the 1960s, plus the camp and silliness that ensued from the lack of proper editing.
At times, the show felt like amateur hour, considering the fact that flubbed lines and other bloopers were often left in because of time and money constraints. This just added to my adoration, however. I love the drama and the storylines (well, most of the storylines, anyway), but I also love laughing at the obvious mistakes--bad line readings, people wandering on set when they shouldn't be, the omnipresent boom mic, even a fire burning on the set while the cast was forced to continue shooting a scene.
I have great admiration for the cast that was forced to work under such conditions. More than that, several of the performers were quite talented--including the beautiful Joan Bennet, an accomplished movie actress in the 1930s whose movie career ended after her husband shot one of her business managers, and the Oscar-nominated Grayson Hall. Dark Shadows will always have a special place in my heart. Now, if only we could get a new series. (Yes, I'm looking at YOU, the WB.)
DARK SHADOWS originally aired in the afternoon in 1966 as a half hour gothic soap opera, but as the shows progressed over the first few months from mystery gothic to supernatural suspense we are introduced to the character of Barnabas Collins played by Jonathan Frid. Mr. Collins represents himself to the family as a distant cousin who just arrived from England. Hanging in the entry hall of the manor house is a portrait of the original Barnabas Collins from the 1700s, which bears a striking resemblance to the new Mr. Collins. The Collins family live near the coastal town of Collinsport, somewhere on the coast of Maine. The Collins family has money, breeding, and position in the Collinsport community the show moves slowly and deliberately, and was in no hurry to move from storyline to storyline. Instead, it relied on shadows, ghosts, mysteries, lightening, vampires and anyone who sought love. Hollywood screen star Joan Bennett played the Collins matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard; Grayson Hall was Dr. Julia Hoffman who tried cure Barnabas. Lara Parker was Angelique, in the service of Josette Dupres (Kathryn Leigh Scott), Barnabas's true love, but Angelique was jealous of the love Barnabas had for Josette, and vowed both of them would suffer. The show is famous for the occasional slip-ups, goofs. Sometimes you could see the crew, or the ever-present Boom mike over someone’s head. Once I saw the shadow of a camera in a basement. DARK SHADOWS concentrated on plot and character rather than cheap thrills, and would deliver quality suspense and plenty of spooky moments.
Originally airing in the afternoon in 1966 as a half hour "gothic" soap opera then a few months later morphing into pure supernatural story telling, Dark Shadows is unique in American television. Though not 'run' live, the show was taped with almost no interruptions so it 'felt' live. Only the most catastrophic of events would cause producers to re-shoot a scene. The show is famous for the occasional slip-up: crew visible on screen, a boom-mike shown above the actors' heads, actors struggling to remember their lines or actors calling another character by their wrong name. Still , this only helped to give the show a theatrical feel, as if you were sitting in the audience watching a live piece of theatre which consequently endowed the show a certain prestige that typical soap operas never achieved. Former movie star Joan Bennett, headlined the show as the Collin's family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Ms. Bennett's 'old' Hollywood trained voice & poise gave the show glamour. Many of the jeweled baubles Ms. Bennett wore on the show were the real thing from Ms. Bennett's private collection. Closing credits of the shows always had.."Fashions by Orbachs.." The show is great for, if nothing else, a study in late 60s early 70s fashion sensibilities. From Ms. Bennett's upswept hairdos & flowing chiffon dresses or tailored skirt/blouse 'sets' to the younger womens' minis & long flip hair styles, the show's a veritable time capsule of retro chic. But the show is so much more than its fashion. The show is a true American Gothic original.
This show an envolope pusher in it's time and way ahead of it's time. People who watch Buffy and Angel now and have never seen Dark Shadows may think the WB was original in it's thinking, but veiw reruns of Shadows and you will see the truth in originality from thirty years before.
I ran home every day to see it! That\'s how so many people introduce themselves to the stars of \"Dark Shadows.\" I ran home from school every day to see my favorite TV show. I loved it! My girlfriend and I used to play \"Dark Shadows.\" Since she had dark hair she would be Maggie Evans. I, the blond, would be Angelique. I called my mom one afternoon in hysterics, demanding that she call the TV station and tell them to put my show back on. It had been interrupted \"because some guy named King got himself shot in Memphis.\" Many years later I had the great pleasure to attend the Dark Shadows Festival in Los Angeles and to meet many of the stars who were such a part of my life for so many years. How wonderful it was to shake Lara Parker\'s hand, to speak to David Selby, to talk to Denise Nickerson like we were old friends. I have some of the videotapes and might look into getting some of the DVDs.
I first saw this show after the Revival series came on. I rented a couple of the older volumes on VHS which took place before Barnabas was introduced, and didn't think much of it. Then saw it on the sc-fi channel in the mid 1990s and was hooked once the Laura Collins story arc was introduced. This serial started out in black and white, and then became in color about 2 years after it premiered. It started out slow and boring like other soaps, but slowly started getting freaky when Laura Collins the Phoenix arrived. After that, the supernatural became the focal point of the show, and it had some really wild moments. The costumes and set pieces were really fun to watch, and some of the visual effects and makeup must have been really mind-blowing for the late 1960s and early 1970s. The lighting on the show was spectacular and really helped to increase the eerie creepy atmosphere of many scenes. This show is probably a guilty pleasure to anyone who's seen it.
This show is not only a trendsetter but it is still unique today. We have not yet to duplicate all the componets of it in any other show. It was one of the first shows to make a villian three dimensional. Barnabas Collins is a villian that you understand and are compassionate about his issues. You can see things from his point of view. This show combines the elements of meladrama with supernatural, time travel, witches and vampires. Today, such shows could only be producted on nighttime television with serial plots. You can see componets of this show in night time television such as: Buffy, Angel, and Charmed. On a low budget with exceptional actors, it charmed and delighted fans. I use to run home after school to watch it. It is one of the only soap operas that was made into DVD. There is still nothing like it today.
I like Dark Shadows mostly because it was original and had a nice love story going on. Barnabos was fun to watch. I remember running home from school to watch the vampires and werewolves. And Angelique...she was one wicked hot witch. The light and setup of the show wasn't great, but just the originality of it makes it a classic.
When Dark Shadows first appeared in 1966, it set a new standard for the Horror genre on television. True, the staging was faulty, but the storyline and the fact that it was presented as a daytime soap opera was something brand new! No one had ever tried a gothic Horror romance for house wives and it became a cultural phenomenom. It may have been the times themselves that led to"Dark Shadows" being so beloved, but whatever the cause, it was a a true classic in the making for television. The time treading Collins family and all the supernatural creatures that joined them at Collinwood in pre-Stephen King Maine were a fun-filled fright fest that never seemed to end. Perhaps, the best reason to watch "Dark Shadows" was not because it was the"in" thing to do, but because it was television history in the making and just plain old good fun! Something that is truly lacking in television today!
Dark Shadows can be classified as a Classic, Ahead of its time, Cutting edge. In 1966 ABC was the New Kid on the Block and had to come up with programing to compete with CBS and NBC. A haunted Soap Opera? The Occult, on daytime TV? HOMERUN!
I first started watching Dark Shadows in Nov.1968. I had heard about it from kids at school, but was never able to see it until then. My first episode was one where Tom Jennings gets a stake driven through his heart. Then Adam kidnaps Victoria Winters and tries to bring Eve back to life, but Adam is killed and Victoria rescued by none other than, Barnabas Collins. My brother, best friend and I would never miss an episode. My Friend and I got our 3rd grade teacher to tune in and she was hooked. The first fifteen minutes of class was a review of what had happened the previous day. All in all, I was a total fan. However, the story lines could be long and drawn out. Sometimes it seemed as though it got lost within itself to the point of being boring. Compared to todays standards, especially in the area of special effects, Dark Shadows seems cheap and low budget, but it was the story lines that made the show a hit. The biggest problem I had with the story lines was that just when things got really interesting, intense to the point that you couldn't wait for the next episode, it change gears, slowed down. It almost seemed like the entire stoy line changed. Still, this was one of my all time favoite programs. I wish I still had those two sets of trading cards.
I've never liked soap operas. My grandmother used to watch them all the time and I thought they were awful. But then again they ARE mostly targeted for girls so maybe that's why.
But "Dark Shadows" has recently become a fascination of mine and I'm now a huge addict, which makes another accomplishment: I'm not usually into shows from the 60s.
"Dark Shadows" is a compelling, gothic, and moody daytime soap that aired for several years on ABC. After suffering low ratings, series creator Dan Curtis introduced supernatural elements to the show in a desperate effort to save it from cancelation. When this proved effective, the show switched into a full supernatural gothic tale that become a phenomenon.
Unlike many fans, I've had the luxury of seeing several episodes from the pre-vampire Barnabas days, and I think they were also very good. The characters are interesting and the writing is extremely good for a daytime soap.
Just the other day a couple of DVD collections came in the mail and I began watching immediately, and now I am more hooked than ever. Despite the fact the show can be corny just like every other soap opera, "Dark Shadows" manages to still be a fascinating piece of entertainment. Another interesting thing is that due to time and budget constraints all scenes were done in one take. Therefore there are several times in which the cast makes mistakes and stumbles over lines. However, this does two things. First of all, it shows how talented the cast actually was, as they always recover VERY quickly, when actors today mess up GOOD when they flubb a line. They'd never survive on "Dark Shadows". Secondly, it adds realism to the show. In reality people make pauses and mistakes in their speech all the time, yet in the big-budget TV shows and movies we see characters give long-winded speeches without a single mistake.
It's sad that no network is currently syndicating "Dark Shadows", but at least it is now available on DVD.
"Dark Shadows" is a must have for any fan of gothic tales of the supernatural.
Though the beginning of this series had its odd moments...who can forget David\'s mother the Phoenix. ? ? ? From the time that Barnabas makes his first appearance, you can tell this show is going to be unlike anything else of its period. In the vein of such gothic classics as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, Dark Shadows is set in an old house \'Collinwood\', that is as much a character in the series as any of the regulars. Though it seems campy at first glance, it is that campy quality that adds to the charm of the show. It is amazing to watch the actors and creators of this show mature as the show does, until it becomes something truly unique in the world of television. Many have tried to copy Dark Shadows, but none have been able to mimic its gothic feel and truly original development.
Any lovers of such modern classics as Buffy, Angel, Forever Knight, Kindred, or readers of Anne Rice, Sherrilyn Kenyon, or Amanda Ashley are incouraged to check out this one of a kind television show. Though at times it is very much a soap opera...it never leaves you disappointed.
I remember as a 11 year old watching Dark Shadows gothic soap opera and I was terrified. I'm Now watching the dvds of the show I 'm totally hooked on them again. I only saw the last couple of the seasons during the summer as a kid but, I saw the hole series on the sifi network in the 80's.It beings back special memory's for me.
It is a 10 in my book. I would watch everyday after school! It not like the soaps of today where everyone is sleeping with everybody and it was more entertainment then a soap.I really loved this show! I would love to see it come back and get away from who did what to who and who is cheating on who. It was more fantisy than anything.
This is the best American Gothic of all time DARK SHADOWS (KUDOS)! It is really great, with mixed of hilarious scenes and horror soap opera. I really adore Barnabas Collins for his terrific acting and also the rest of the actors from this show. It's a good thing it's available on video and DVD now. I bought this as an anniversary gift for my parents and they absolutely love the Dark Shadows complete collection which I purchased from memorylanedvd .com/ . It arrived with good packaging and the quality of the whole set is simply in its finest. This seller really provided me an awesome set with the complete episodes including "The Beginning"! Dark shadows will always be remembered and this is really immortal like the vampires. It simply rule in everyone's heart a true classic and legendary TV series ever made!
Unfortunately I was a baby when "Dark Shadows" came on during hits regular run. However, years later I got the opportunity to watch most of the reruns and fell in love with the show. I have always enjoyed the really cheesy horror films like "The Wolfman" etc. and Dark Shadows, though cheesy at times, was a lot of fun . The acting, by certain actors, could make you cringe at times but considering the show was basically filmed in one take (called live to tape), it wasn't bad . Some of the actors like David Selby and Thayer David were excellent in their craft and rarely made mistakes and women like Nancy Barrett and Lara Parker were absolutely stunning (Parker was also a great actress) The storylines were compelling and the show could be spooky at its best. Even if scary things aren't your cup of tea, I think you may enjoy this. I know have collected the series on DVD and I am getting a kick out of revisiting the Collins once again. Good stuff.
I was only 10 years old when the series started. I was an odd child but felt completely at home with Dark Shadows. I learned what a "Drawing Room" was....I tried to make my room resemble it, including some burgundy velvet and fake portraits I talked my grandparents into buying......they must have thought I was nuts but they obliged without a question or complaint. Now, my mother thought I had some screws loose....I lived and breathed it...I've seen some re-runs and long for the day I can buy the CD's.I WAS a Collins (I imagined)...good memories......
Now that I have grown up and have my own house. I have permitted myself to watch this show and get very addicted. I have watched every single episode, thanks to Netflix and now I am on my second time through all the episodes again. My favorite character has to be Barnabas. I also like Julia and I wish they could have got together and had a love relationship. My first time through this show, every episode was new to me. Even though it was 20 years after the end of the show. It was very very exciting and I am hooked.
Granted it was campy and replete with mistakes but given the technology of the time it was magical. The music was charming. The actors were superb, particularly playing multiple characters. The time periods were beautifully recreated. The best show ever!
Much has been said about the avant garde greatness of Dark Shadows. Granted it was campy and replete with mistakes but given the technology of the time it was magical. The music was charming. I still remember Quentin's theme and Josett's music box well enough to sing. The actors were superb, particularly playing multiple characters. The time periods were beautifully recreated and the story lines were imaginative. The production aspects are nothing short of miraculous, costumeing, set design and implementation. I am amazed at what they were able to accomplish with the material they had to work with. The best show ever!
I used to come home from school and while doing my homework I would watch Dark Shadows. I thought Lara Parker was beautiful and then when Kate Jackson joined the cast I went crazy again. Used to buy the Dark Shadows cards that came with the bubblegum. Recently got a chance to meet Lara Parker at a book signing and it was refreshing to see how nice and sincere the lady is. I missed going to the Dark Shadows festival in Brooklyn this year but plan on attending next year. Does anyone know if sci-fi will play the Dark Shadows series again. Defenitely it was such a cool show to watch, mistakes and all.
Dark Shadows is perhaps the first successful series that circled around a family living in a haunted house. What made it so interested was the Gothic atmosphere and typical soap opera fare, but it would nearly have been forgotten if not the ghosts and assorted other supernaturals became the stars. Their success led to various other entities, but most memorable was the reluctant vampire played by Shakespearean-trained Johnathan Frid, the future star of the series. Joined by a talented, family-knit cast of fine actors and actresses, each of whom bringing a range of whimsy and candor to their roles, Frid also became a reluctant TV star, but with the considerable cast, there was more than enough to pick your favorites. I always loved the beautiful and whimsical Nancy Barrett while the scores of love-lorn males who watched the show also had their choice of Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, Donna McKechnie, Kate Jackson and Alexandra Moltke. The girls had their choice of Frid, David Selby, Don Briscoe, Robert Rodan, John Karlen, Chris Pennock and a slew of others. Surpassed only by Star Trek as a cult hit, this series has inspired an endless parade of novels, collectibles and memoribilia. I guess you could say what Star Trek did for Sci-Fi, Dark Shadows did the same for Horror. Storylines were based on the horror-classics (and some not-so-classics), and actors often confusingly took on several roles, further abusing the whole soap opera cliches of multiple lookalikes. Unfortunately anything this good can't last, and toward the end, it was showing that even the on-air talent was getting tired in the series. Had the series creators bothered to let their characters mature and escape the sometimes claustrophobic setting, it might have lasted up to twelve years; at least, the spirit of this series lasts through the short stories of its fans.
This is the story of the mysterious Collins family living in Collinwood, Maine. This story touches on every corner of the Supernatural that you can imagine. Here at Collinwod you will find everything from vampires, ghosts, and werewolves to the I-Ching.
This was the first of its kind horror opera that turned a boring soap opera into an addicting mystery story that kept fans waiting until the next day to find out what was going to happen to their favorite stars from the show. The key to the show was Jonathan Frid playing a reluctant vampire, Barnnabas Collins. The introduction of Barnabas shot this show to the top of the ratings. Barnabas Collins was as creepy as he was romantic. Barnabas was a perfect gentleman vampire. Every guy wanted to be Barnabas and every girl wanted to be under his spell. This fantastic show ended to soon. Today this terrific soap is a cult classic to say the least.
This was a good soap opera. I can remember watching this as a kid. Don't remember what time or exactly when I watched it, but after the once time, I was hooked. This was a time, when I watched the good old horror movies by Alfred Hitchcock. This fight right in with my imagination. Sometimes I wished they could bring some of the old things back, but the remake they did of this wasn't good.
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