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Thread: Dark Shadows

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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    Default Dark Shadows

    Lately, I've been marathoning Dark Shadows (1966-1971) in preparation for the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp/Helena Bonham Carter/Michelle Pfeiffer movie out next May.






    It's basically an old, low-budget, gothic/supernatural soap opera (before its time!) with vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, time travel, etc... It hit pay dirt when they introduced vampire Barnabas Collins and it went on to have two big screen original cast movies, a short-lived 1991 revival, a failed 2004 CW pilot (which contributed to getting AtS canceled) and now the 2012 movie.

    My favorite character is definitely Willie Loomis (played by John Karlen--the ultimate tortured woobie) so far. An amazing performance!

    Sadly, this is the one place where I'm really leery of the 2012 casting. Jackie Earle Haley is about 20 years older and they seem to have turned him into a Igor/Renfield-like henchman with a completely different backstory instead of John Karlen's lovable, pitiful James Dean-esque jewel thief delinquent who gets his comeuppance after unleashing Barnabas from his coffin and becomes a mousy, conflicted coward with a conscience. The 1991 revival Willie was similarly more of the loony, alcoholic henchman variety, which from spoilers, this is the case in the 2012 version. That's just not Karlen's brilliant character at all. I wouldn't have cared one bit, I'm sure, while watching the movie if I hadn't seen the original.

    Though, being that Barnabas at the start of the show was an absolute BASTARD (especially to poor Willie and Maggie), as he was originally intended to be the vanquished villain instead of an increasingly likable antihero who became the show, they probably felt the need to shift the sympathy to Barnabas instead. And of course, Maggie has completely been eliminated from the 2012 movie, with her role as the "Josette" figure blended into the Victoria Winters character.

    The gist of the early main characters:
    Spoiler:
    Elizabeth "Liz" Collins Stoddard - The matron of Collinwood mansion (in Collinsport, Maine just outside of Bangor) who hasn't left the house in 18 years because she believed she killed her husband, Paul Stoddard, and believes that Jason McGuire buried him in the basement. She threatens to become the 4th widow to jump from Widows' Hill. Played by early silver screen actress Joan Bennett (played Amy March in the Katharine Hepburn version of Little Women), whose film career got sidelined by sexual scandal. Also played Naomi Collins and others.

    Roger Collins - Liz's brother and father of the troubled David. His wife, Laura Collins, was an immortal phoenix who had married into several generations of the Collins family throughout the ages. Originally starts off high-strung about Burke Devlin coming to town, but is largely later a rather comical due to the very prissy, obviously gay and flamboyant Louis Edmonds. Sometimes jokes about his "incestors". Also played Joshua Collins and others.

    David Collins - Originally a very troubled 9-year-old boy who feels threatened that Victoria has been brought in to replace his mother and does things like stealing the bleeder valve from his father's car (causing him an accident, which is blamed on Burke, who hates the Collinses), as he believes his father hates him and wants to send him away. He spends much of his time talking to ghosts (he sees Josette and is befriended by Sarah Collins as a playmate) and the Old House is his playground (until Willie begins throwing him out to keep him safe). When Sarah tells him too much about her brother, he becomes a threat to Barnabas. He is repeatedly saved by Sarah. When he tells too much to Dr. Dave Woodard, who believes his tales (including the coffin in the basement of the Old House) which everybody else assumes are made up, the doctor is killed (with Julia as an accomplice to his murder). Barnabas destroys his credibility by doing things like attacking him in bat-form. David was played by David Henesy.

    Carolyn Stoddard - The wild teenage daughter of Liz and Paul who dates serially, likes to go dancing to stock muzak at the Blue Whale and likes to get back at her mother by dating bikers like Buzz. She's bored by life in Collinsport and is uninterested in her original all-American boyfriend, Joe Haskell. At one point, she is bitten by Barnabas and becomes his new minion (her alternate universe self in The House of Dark Shadows is bitten and turned into a vampire). Carolyn, often called "kitten" by Roger, was played by Nancy Barrett. Also played cousin Millicent Collins.

    Victoria "Vicky" Winters - Was raised in a foundling home until she is mysteriously requested to become David's new governess at Collinwood. She wishes to find out about her missing past (all she knows is that $50 was mysteriously sent to the orphanage each month from Bangor for 18 years, which insinuates that Liz might be her mother). After his failure with Maggie, Barnabas intends Victoria to be his next Josette, but she loves Burke (whom Barnabas compares to Jeremiah, the husband of Josette), who dies in an Amazon plane crash. Vicky's desire to find family and to belong, makes her very susceptible to wanting to be a Collins (and thus, Josette). She is dressed up in Josette's clothes at the family costume party and given her music box by Barnabas. Josette speaks through Vicky during séances on several occasions. Vicky refuses to believe any warnings she gets about Barnabas and is chronically slow on the uptake. Alexandra Moltke left the role due to lack of growth and the character's stupidity (she would have come back after her pregnancy on the condition that she'd get to play another character such as an evil one).

    Maggie Evans - Originally a spunky waitress at the Collinsport Inn and the daughter of alcoholic painter Sam Evans, who is hired to paint a second portrait of Barnabas. She is thought to be the reincarnation of Josette du Pres and Barnabas holds her captive, brainwashes her with Josette's music box and makes her wear Josette's wedding dress. She is visited by the ghost of 9-year-old Sarah Collins (Barnabas' sister) and saved by her. Her boyfriend is Joe Haskell and Willie Loomis has unrequited feelings for her. Maggie suffers amnesia after her trauma and her memory is kept wiped via hypnosis by Dr. Julia Hoffman. Barnabas is paranoid about her memory returning. She eventually replaces Vicky as David's governess. Both Maggie and Josette were played by Kathryn Leigh Scott.

    Barnabas Collins - Son of Joshua and Naomi Collins, brother of young Sarah (who knew all of his secrets and was mad about him hurting people), he was intended to marry Josette du Pres, but got into a lover's quarrel with a witch, Angélique, who makes Josette and his Uncle Jeremiah betray him. Barnabas is cursed into eternal life as a vampire by Angélique and he tries to turn Josette. Josette runs from him and throws herself off of Widows' Hill to escape him and hits the rocks upon the sea. After being released by Willie from the coffin which his father interred him in forever in a secret room in the mausoleum, he sets out to recreate his Josette (his obsession), starting first with Maggie and then Vicky (and many others). He introduces himself as a cousin from England, even though he is identical to the portrait of "his ancestor" in the foyer. The only woman who wants him, Julia, is the one he pays no attention to at all. Barnabas, who starts out villainous (originally intended to have his arc play out more like House of Dark Shadows), becomes increasingly sympathetic (even heroic) and was played by Jonathan Frid.

    Josette Collins - Barnabas' ill-fated paramour from France who lived in Martinique with her father, aunt and servant Angélique. She arrived in Collinsport, Maine to marry Barnabas in 1795. Barnabas had taught her English in Martinique and had fallen in love with her. Josette appeared as a ghost and in a séance prior to the show introducing Barnabas. Barnabas restored her room in the Old House (and removed her portrait from the parlor and put it back in her room) and kept Maggie Evans captive in it.

    Sarah Collins - The 9 (or 11)-year-old ghost girl (often called "little girl") who befriended Maggie and David, whom she wants as her playmates (also visiting Willie, Sam, Woodard, Burke, Carolyn, Julia, etc..., but refuses to visit Barnabas except once to tell him that she's mad at him for hurting people--she also becomes angry with Julia because she liked Dr. Woodard). She is usually heard playing London Bridge on her recorder or singing it. She often talks in riddles and rarely answers questions. She frequently gives gifts such as her ball, recorder, doll, Barnabas' childhood toy soldier, 18th century cap, etc... as protective tokens, but will steal them back (especially if someone has broken a promise to her by telling someone something she said). She died of pneumonia, but had learned the truth about her brother (she was the one person Barnabas had real affection for). Played by Sharon Smythe.

    Willie Loomis - The James Dean-esque juvenile delinquent who travels around with Jason and frightens the girls to the point of Carolyn pulling a gun on him, but gets his comeuppance and has a radical personality change (becomes utterly mousy, scared, crying, stuttering and broken--grows a conscience, even though he is often a coward) when he unleashes Barnabas Collins on Collinsport while looking to rob the Collins family jewels from the mausoleum. He is forced to slaughter calves, a few failed attempts to attack girls, keep Maggie thinking she's Josette (at one point stops her from screaming to her father and Joe downstairs, but also gives her poisoned milk that he can't follow through with to spare her from Barnabas' turning her) and do the dirty work for Barnabas, lest he be beaten by his master's cane (he is threatened to be killed and beaten constantly). He has a habit of betraying him and trying to warn the intended victims, including Maggie, Jason, David and Vicky. In one of these attempts to warn Maggie about Barnabas coming after her, he is shot 5 times in the back by police, goes into a coma and is sent to Julia's asylum (if he had awoken without amnesia, Barnabas was poised to kill him before he could tell the sheriff and Dr. Woodard everything). When he returns with his memories (he is needed to dig up graves to get an Eve for FrankenAdam), his unrequited crush is ramped up, but he's very mentally broken and inexplicably becomes loyal to good!Barnabas. He becomes a do-gooder, though he was scapegoated as Maggie's captor, which further makes him an outcast to the community (including getting beaten up a few times by boyfriend Joe when he comes to tell Maggie that he was just trying to warn her, not hurt her). James Hall was the original, creepier Willie for 5 episodes, before being replaced by John Karlen, who was more sympathetic.

    Jason McGuire - A slick, suave swindler with an Irish brogue who has dirt on Liz, as he 'buried' Paul in the basement (was Paul's friend and helped Paul leave his wife) and tries to blackmail Liz into marrying him (he wants her money). Jason knows Willie was at the mausoleum because he left his foreign cigarette butt and their relationship becomes strained when Willie becomes weak and ill with major blood loss (and a personality change where he even starts apologizing to the girls he threatened sexually--he also faints in front of Barnabas' portrait) and becomes beholden to Barnabas without explanation to Jason. Jason tries to get Willie to steal jewels from Barnabas, but Willie tries to send him off with a single jewel and warn him away from his master. Jason doesn't head Willie's warnings, breaks into the Old House for Barnabas' riches, discovers Barnabas in his coffin and meets a grisly end. Dennis Patrick played both Jason and Paul.

    Dr. Julia Hoffman - A middle-aged doctor and friend of Dr. Dave Woodard (and thus given care of Maggie while she was in her asylum, which Maggie escaped from with help from Sarah) who comes to Collinwood in the guise of a genealogist, but is really there to find out Barnabas' secrets and succeeds. Julia wishes to conduct tests on Barnabas, in order to cure him of his vampiric curse, but ends up turning him into a rapidly aging old man (he cures himself by biting Carolyn). Julia is accomplice to the murder of Dr. Woodard, who learns too much from David and Sarah and she is racked with guilt. Julia has unrequited feelings for Barnabas, but tries to keep him from killing off Woodard, David and Maggie. Julia's control over Barnabas allows him to grow out of being a villain, as she's his only hope for a cure and even the ability to be awake during the day (he wants to walk in the sunlight with his latest Josette figures), even though she wants to cure him for herself and the pride of scientific breakthrough. Played by the frequently bizarre Oscar-nominated Grayson Hall (who apparently inspired a lot of drag queens).

    Angélique Bouchard - The immortal witch who was in the guise of Josette's maid and had an affair with Barnabas. When Barnabas intends to marry Josette, she makes Josette and Jeremiah fall in love instead and curses Barnabas into a vampire (she wants him to be with her forever). She was played by Lara Parker.


    *UPDATE* A ghostly new Josette from the new movie (either that or it's her after she has jumped from Widows' Hill to her death, hitting the rocks on the sea):


    A few fanvids (focusing on the parts of the show I've seen and my favorites):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNgS9VtVK4Q&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxRHJrBd0ks&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I464YwfaDNQ&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4Zztx4Rqa4&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSnSdOCY2Ms&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5KF3lbCBCU&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juOXyWWFjjg&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3uFHyj_DSA&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-udGMajpH84&hd=1

    Anyone else familiar with this show?
    Last edited by NileQT87; 18-03-12 at 09:18 AM.

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    Slayer Reddygirl's Avatar
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    I love Dark Shadows; I used to rush home from school every day to watch it (yes, I'm that old!).

    I loved Maggie; and wasn't she also Rachel, who was killed and then came back as Josette?

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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    Maggie was a waitress at the inn (her father was Sam Evans, the painter hired for Barnabas' second portrait) when the show started and she ended up being held in captivity with Willie having a morality crisis and Barnabas dressing her up in Josette's clothes and brainwashing her with the music box. When the brainwashing started slipping and it was worried that she was going insane (she was talking to Sarah, Barnabas' little ghost sister), Barnabas started focusing his sights on Victoria as his next Josette. Her mental stability reaches its breaking point and she suffers amnesia. Barnabas is then in fear of her remembering anything, so he has Julia wipe her memory repeatedly. Willie tries to warn Maggie (he's in unrequited love with her) that Barnabas is going to kill her (but it's a trap) and that's when he gets shot 5 times in the back, loses his memory and is sent to the loony bin until he returns as a bit more deranged lackey (coinciding with Barnabas becoming a more heroic figure instead of a villain that was intended to be killed--Willie and Maggie were really pushed heavily in that arc as his ultimate victims).



    Josette was really an entirely separate character, but like all the other Collinses and friends, the actors played many different roles in various time periods and alternate realities.

    Rachel Drummond was another character she played (I haven't got that far). She was an 1897 governess, again a separate character with the same face.

    Maggie was around almost to the end of the show and ended up replacing Victoria as David's governess when Alexandra Moltke left (her character was quite dim--everyone suspected Barnabas BUT her--and wasn't going anywhere--they really needed to answer the question of whether Liz was her mother). But Kathryn Leigh Scott also did dual roles (and many more) as Josette, as she had been used as Josette's ghost in the pre-Barnabas episodes (the dummy doll looked really fake and Kathryn was around, so they stuck her in the wedding dress with a veil). Victoria was originally supposed to be the Josette figure (Willie, Julia, David and Sarah got in Barnabas' way so he didn't do to her what he did to Maggie), so when the 1991 remake was done, Maggie was basically reduced to nothing. The 2012 movie is going this route and removing Maggie entirely. Kathryn was a better actress/Maggie was a better character in the original show though.



    I was losing hope that anyone had seen anything of this show on this forum. My favorite characters are obviously Willie Loomis and Maggie Evans. Little Sarah Collins and Jason McGuire (Willie's pal who blackmails Liz and gets offed by Barnabas) are also big favorites. I do rather prefer the earlier 1960s characters so far (admittedly, I'm not too far yet).

    That's the one thing I'm a little bummed about concerning the new movie... Willie is being turned into an ugly henchman (frankly, John Karlen was the hottest guy on the original show), who is even having his opening of Barnabas' coffin taken away from him (terribly unnecessary!) and given to some construction workers (Jim Fyfe was made into a creepy drunkard weirdo in the 1991 version instead of the lecherous-jewel-thief/Rebel-Without-a-Cause-turned-shattered/cowardly-white-knight Karlen version). And of course, Maggie's character is basically being given to Victoria--so you can't quite have Barnabas breaking her. Johnny Depp's Barnabas, of course, is probably going to have most of the sympathy (but also with the character's obsessive, selfish false love). It'll be interesting how far they take him as the villain (fans of the later years of the show seem to think of him as the hero, which makes the Maggie abduction arc and the 1970 film a bit weird for them). Middle-aged Julia, of course, is in love with Barnabas, but he's too obsessed with turning the pretty, young things into his Josette. A bit of a repeat there for Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Lovett was similarly besotted with Sweeney--there's a rumor that Julia is going to get offed by Barnabas in the 2012 film).

    Willie is probably the character I'm most concerned about, as subsequent portrayals seem to keep moving towards the creepy, deformed Igor/Renfield henchman more and more, when that wasn't the original character at all (it was actually played against stereotype, which I found refreshing!). Speaking of vampire/creature-feature henchmen, Patrick Troughton (yeah, the Second Doctor), did a particularly nuanced version with his Klove against Christopher Lee's Dracula (Scars of Dracula), which also had the henchman unrequitedly protecting the girl from his master (very Willie-like).

    A condensed version of the early plotlines is in the 1970 House of Dark Shadows movie (except everybody dies instead and Barnabas is solidly the villain).
    Last edited by NileQT87; 23-02-12 at 01:53 AM.

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    Sunnydale High Student WhiteHat's Avatar
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    Where can one view the old show on the internet, if at all? I grew up hearing about it, but never saw it BITD.
    I may see the Burton film if the reviews are good.

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    Sunnydale High Student Touchofgrey's Avatar
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    I think you can watch this on youtube if not maybe you could try hulu, but other then those two sites i don't know unless you have the money you could try netflix, i hope this helps you out


    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteHat View Post
    Where can one view the old show on the internet, if at all? I grew up hearing about it, but never saw it BITD.
    I may see the Burton film if the reviews are good.
    How did you find me here?, If i was blind, I would see you.
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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    They used to be on YouTube. I heard they got pulled. A ton of episodes used to be there.

    Start at episode 210, as that's when Willie goes looking for the Collins' family jewels in the wrong coffin--that's when the show got famous (it was near cancellation until Barnabas showed up). Pre-210 is largely focused on orphan Victoria arriving in Collinsport as troubled 9-year-old David's new governess (David is a HORRIBLE, nearly murderous--patricidal--child in the early episodes! O_o No wonder nobody believed him about Barnabas! David, of course, talks to ghosts), Burke's vendetta against Roger (it took me ages to realize that Roger is supposed to be David's dad, as the actor was more than a little prissy and flamboyantly gay--LOL), Laura Collins being a phoenix who has been marrying the Collins men for centuries (Roger's wife and David's mother--Roger has a funny line about his "incestors"), the ghost of Josette appearing and finally Jason and Willie rolling into town with Jason planning to blackmail Liz Stoddard (who hasn't left the Collinwood mansion in 18 years) into marrying him to get her money (she thinks she killed her husband and Jason had helped 'bury' him in the cellar--he was actually in league with Paul Stoddard).

    There's a recap video that explains that.

    Actually, the whole blackmail arc is well into the Barnabas era. It's mostly just the arrival of those two that does feel a bit like you're coming in mid-story (Willie arrives with a different actor for 5 episodes in episode 199--he's a big lecherous creep with the other actor, but John Karlen's too sweet to hate, which made him perfect for the tortured character he soon becomes after his comeuppance--Barnabas turns him right!). I'd still start at 210 though. Barnabas is the main draw of the show. The show might turn you off if you start at episode 1, waiting for the big star to turn up.

    http://darkshadows.wikia.com/wiki/210

    Dark Shadows was originally more of a traditional soap opera (though Josette's ghostly crying and the haunting widows are there right from the start), but it ended up having ghosts, phoenixes, vampires, witches, Frankenstein monsters, werewolves, time-travel, alternate timelines, séances, curses, etc...

    It goes to color towards the end of the Maggie abduction arc's aftermath (after she comes back from the asylum--where Julia enters the show as her psychiatrist--and Dr. Woodard's finding-out-too-much-about-Barnabas stuff), though the black & white arguably works better for the tone of the show (the early episodes feel more like a creepy old horror movie than a soap!) and hides some of the technical sfx shortcomings. A lot of the humor of the show is that it is very melodramatic (sometimes it's hilarious because of how straight it's all played), had a lot of technical mishaps (it's jokingly called "Mic Shadows" because of how frequently boom mics are seen) and actor fluffs (similar to '60s Doctor Who, it was shot like a live play, so any fluffs couldn't be reshot). There's a handful of *intentionally* funny bits like the aforementioned "incestors" line and stuff like Willie teasing Franken!Adam with a chicken leg and failing to skedaddle fast enough out of the cell when the monster gets loose.

    After the Maggie arc is when you get to the "flashback" 1795 part of the show where you learn all about pathetic Barnabas and witchy Angélique's cursing him into a vampire because he's in love with Josette instead of her (they had an affair), little Sarah discovering what has happened to her brother and dying of pneumonia, Josette jumping off of the cliff to escape being turned, etc... Though the flashback has Victoria being transported back in time to witness the events (and being accused of witchcraft).

    They're all available at a certain... demonically torrential... place that we can't really talk about on an open forum. Note that there are 1,225 episodes (it ran practically 5 days a week from 1966 to 1971). It's going to take even me awhile, and I'm a marathon champion. I tried to watch the first episode of the 1991 revival, but the portrayal of Willie just pissed me off so much. There was also an attempt in 2004 to bring the show to the WB (coinciding with AtS getting canceled), but the pilot was by all accounts kind of terrible and was never picked up.

    The 1970 House of Dark Shadows movie might be your best bet if you have a particularly short attention span, but the show is so much better and has more time to develop everyone. One benefit of the movie is that it was allowed to be A LOT more bloody (the show wasn't allowed to show blood--or if they did, it was a terrible shade of magenta/purple--another benefit of b&w--another thing that censorship did was that Barnabas wasn't allowed to bite Willie's neck, so he bites his wrist instead) and Willie's beating by Barnabas' cane goes on for ages (also thrown down a flight of steps). The movie is also notable for Carolyn becoming a vampire and getting a very bloody staking, Willie getting staked in the back (poor woobie), but managing to off Barnabas before he dies, etc... The show didn't kill off so many regulars! Julia doing experiments on Barnabas to turn him human/allowing him to walk around during the day during his attempts to woo Maggie and recreate his Josette is a large part of the movie (and it similarly goes wrong and causes Barnabas to age into an anciently old man). Both the movie and the show also have the Collins family costume party where they dress in the clothes of their ancestors. The new film seems to also contain the costume party.

    Here's probably my favorite scene (a good example of the kind of drama the show had) I've seen on the show so far: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMgzlvoje4o&hd=1

    Here's an example of Barnabas and Willie bickering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyC80j-wUXk&hd=1

    Jason and Willie have a falling out right after Willie has a massive personality change as a result of major blood loss and terror: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARnIVM4Rm7E&hd=1

    Jason doesn't listen to Willie about not going to the Old House: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLJLxLEgS2s&hd=1

    Ah, I found most of an episode still on YouTube (the costume party from Hell): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7peYVL5pGs&hd=1 | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM87IX-b0X0&hd=1

    And here's Willie coming home from the asylum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKq4Kr0a7o4&hd=1

    Here's a fanvid with Barnabas' collection of Josettes throughout the centuries (a lot of the show is a parade of period costumes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJvnyziZjis&hd=1
    And the soapy romance part of the show (LOL @ Willie's one true love being jewels): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPUawNypJOE&hd=1

    Trailers about different early arc elements:
    pre-Barnabas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvOgT9UmLPo&hd=1
    Willie unleashes Barnabas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU-gLDm_q3s&hd=1
    Maggie is abducted and brainwashed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa_GILoVN0E&hd=1
    Julia arrives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4xy8GdDlbA&hd=1
    1795: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM53Xy-IbxQ&hd=1
    Last edited by NileQT87; 23-02-12 at 01:53 AM.

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    Sunnydale High Student WhiteHat's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'll start patrolling around to see if I can scare up any videos.
    I had no idea it had so many episodes!

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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't think I've ever been interested in a show with 1,225 half-hour episodes (not even Doctor Who is anywhere near that, although Dark Shadows is lucky to have its episodes thankfully intact except for #1219--sure beats DW's 106 missing). I was a bit stunned by that, too. You just don't think of genre shows ever making it to that kind of episode count (obviously, there was like zero budget with that much product--the period costumes seem to have been most of the budget)! Dark Shadows is one of the very few "soap operas" that has ever been released on DVD (grossly overpriced and not even restored--seriously, take my advice and go for the way I recommended), as everyone making it seemed to think they were making an ambitious genre show serial instead.

    It was apparently running on the Sci-Fi/Syfy channel a mere few years ago, so it's had some syndication.

    My Dark Shadows 'ship (if it isn't blooming obvious) is Willie/Maggie! There's so hopelessly little of them on the 'shipper front on the Web. I'm not really a Barnabas/Julia fan, which seems prominent. And I haven't gotten to fan-favorite Quentin yet. The movie might at least help out with getting more younger viewers to start doing fan activities concerning the show, though it the content will surely be Depp/Barnabas-centric. As stated before, the first half of episode 1 completely turned me off of the revival, though I'm sure I was comparing it too harshly with the original cast. I'm almost wishing I wasn't in love with the original cast, because it will be hard not to compare when I see the movie, which is coming out on May 11, 2012! There isn't even a trailer yet.

    One thing I do hope for is that Barnabas is more villain than antihero/hero. Seeing as though the plotline is Victoria-as-Josette makes that likely. Depp has talked about wanting to make vampires more evil and classic again (::cough:: Twilight ::cough::) in the vein of Nosferatu (he's certainly got the nails) and Dracula, but with Barnabas' transitional vampire attributes (right at the end of classic and coming into post-modern with the lonely vampire in love stuff--and of course, he's one of the earliest ones to turn into a hero--mostly due to Julia's influence). He's a real bastard at the beginning, though!

    Here's a half-decent copy of House of Dark Shadows (1970) on YouTube!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvANQALJutQ&hd=1 (unfortunately, pt. 4 is muted)

    My viewing of HoDS is that it's an alternate reality where Sarah Collins didn't intervene to save everybody and stop Barnabas (his love for and guilt over his sister is his weakness).



    Last edited by NileQT87; 23-02-12 at 01:53 AM.

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    Sunnydale High Student WhiteHat's Avatar
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    Since there are obviously a few Dark Shadows experts on this forum, perhaps someone can answer the question that has been rattling in my skull for a few years: to what extent did DS influence Joss in the creative process of making BtVS, with regard to setting, characterisation or some other components of the visual storytelling methodology?

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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    It's not clear, though they both have Frankenstein monsters named Adam (Dark Shadows stole from tons of literature and horror classics of every kind, too), but both probably just coincidentally got it from the Biblical source in that case.

    Certainly the fact that Joss Whedon's shows are partially soap operas is the biggie.

    Before Dark Shadows, the melodramatic soap which obsesses over interpersonal character stuff and the sci-fi/fantasy genre show stylings hadn't quite meshed yet (though most of the really old horror films are practically 90% drama and very little horror). Barnabas being a vampire protagonist/romantic figure is certainly close to the start of the post-modern vampire, but still with all the coffins, bats, physical appearance (Jonathan Frid is a fairly strange-looking man and *looks* like the Béla Lugosi sort of classic vampire), etc... of the classic vampire. Tragic, conflicted vampires have been around since the days of Varney the Vampire in the mid-19th century, but Barnabas is a fair bit different from the Nosferatu/Dracula "classic" in that regard. Anne Rice was basically the next big step after Dark Shadows on the route to Joss Whedon and the current crop (and Joss definitely took a lot from Anne Rice--look no further than the vampire quartet and their personality profiles).

    Certainly the fact that Dark Shadows pretty much threw anything they thought of up on screen (IE. Quentin was inspired by Dorian Gray, Franken!Adam, ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves, gypsies, oh, my!) and they had a small town that seemed to be filled to the brim with every creature feature known to man living in it--these are major similarities. Meanwhile, you also have little blonde teen rebel Carolyn Stoddard (very poor little rich girl) dating a werewolf, the Frankenstein monster and half the town (somewhat analogous to Buffy's love life there). Vicky Winters is basically Jane Eyre--she's the Plain Jane, Goody-Two-Shoes orphan governess who wants to know where she belongs.

    The fact that Willie subverts all the clichés about Renfield and Igor (he looks more like a James Dean '50s juvenile delinquent than a hunchbacked psycho--though certainly not the picture of mental health) and that he's not treated as a mere two-dimensional, dumb lackey (he does occasionally stand up for himself and definitely has a habit of getting in Barnabas' way) makes him a bit of a post-modern character.

    And you've also got the juxtaposition of the very modern waitress Maggie (she was quite sarcastic at the start) with the very old-fashioned, romanticized damsel in pretty dresses (Josette).

    As far as whether Joss has seen the show... No clue. I'm not aware of anyone ever asking him.
    Last edited by NileQT87; 20-02-12 at 06:11 AM.

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    Sunnydale High Student Touchofgrey's Avatar
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    Sorry if my advice was wrong or anything like that, i was hoping i was right cause i really wanted to help if i could, that really sucks, youtube seems to be patrolling the site pretty well i tried to upload a fan video i did but it had a copy write thing so i had to take it down, i was really bummed out to cause everyone else has there Buffy fan videos up on there youtube accounts, it seems to me that they like to pick on the people who have less viewers on there account, but any who i really hope you have found what your looking for WhiteHat
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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    YouTube is seriously barely functional these days for fandom people. A huge portion of Dark Shadows was uploaded for quite a long time, but only taken down within the last month. Fanvids, never mind whole episodes, are equally on the chopping block (possibly more so, as it's usually the music that gets them in trouble). Problem is, with a series this large, NOBODY is going to buy that many barely restored DVD sets without ever seeing an episode.

    *edit* Better news, the complete set is coming out and it's about 80% off buying the individual sets (32 of them at $60 full-price each... which is about $1,920 ::wince::). Instead it's now $420 for 1,225 episodes... Considerably less terrifying, even though that's still terrifyingly expensive (still, it's the longest thing anyone would ever try to watch). The movies are also coming out sometime soon (first time ever on DVD, as they're restoring them to their original cuts--apparently Night of Dark Shadows, in particular, was cut down horribly because of MGM wanting a 1.5-hour instead of 2-hour movie to fit in more cinema showings). I mean, I don't even have the money for Doctor Who, so this is purely wish list.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Shadows-C...9795176&sr=8-1

    On the subject of video quality, they are in desperate need of the sort of care that some other shows receive. Or maybe I'm just incredibly spoiled by the spiffy way the various TVLand American sitcom staples (I Love Lucy being a prime example of beautiful preservation due to Desi Arnaz's foresight in recording it all on film except for the pilot, so that the expensive videotapes weren't all wiped after first airing with only a kinescope/telerecording taped off a monitor left--go look up What's My Line? and a lot of early Elvis performances to see what those horrid things look like), original Star Trek and now even the much-plagued, much-destroyed Doctor Who are starting to all look after extensive clean-up. Speaking of which, it's amazing how far The Tomb of the Cybermen has been improved after it was found in very fragile condition in Hong Kong (I was just looking at the DVD extras today). Dark Shadows comparatively got off pretty easy (even Doctor Who was lucky in comparison to many British BBC shows, which are gone entirely!--they didn't change their junking policy until 1978, when they suddenly realized they had burned most of their broadcast history just to save space) with only one missing episode from the tail-end of the show. It's pretty obvious when you come across the kinescopes in Dark Shadows--and they do last well into the color era, where suddenly you're back to a particularly iffy monochrome for an episode here and there.

    Apparently, Dark Shadows holds the distinction of being the *ONLY* daytime soap opera to have every episode on DVD (obviously, the show has nerd appeal--one of the reasons advertisers weren't happy with it was because more kids were watching than housewives).

    Content-wise, the show was really, really strong early on, though you'll notice the continuity is all over the place, especially concerning the 1795 characters' birth and death years. And it might seem a little strange to see the main cast playing so many different roles with little acknowledgment that Liz is a deadringer for Naomi (Barnabas' mother), Roger for Joshua, etc... Then there's the weirdness with Vicky supposedly looking just like Josette (sort of an abandoned intention), when it ended up that Maggie was really the one that got that storyline (Kathryn Leigh Scott playing both roles). It really is the ultimate example of a show being written on the fly. It's actually remarkable that the continuity was as well done as it was when you realize the writers were trying to write 5 30-minute episodes a week year-round. Obviously, that means it's quite padded and repetitive (you'll start going insane along with Maggie after the dozenth episode of listening to that damn music box--I loved it at first--and hearing "I am Josette" again and again--not to mention Sarah's many variations of London Bridge--I must say that the music/soundscape is absolutely fantastic in this show--very haunting and moody--Quentin's Theme was actually Grammy-nominated and a top 10 single!), but obviously it wasn't written for you to watch several weeks of episodes in one sitting (LOL).

    From what I've heard, the show went downhill particularly during all sorts of parallel time/Leviathans arcs (not remotely close to there yet), and particularly when Jonathan Frid asked to play a different character other than Barnabas all the time like the rest of the cast got to. The problem was, nobody wanted him playing a role other than Barnabas. The show ended a bit abruptly.

    Soaps, of course, are notoriously written so that you can come in months later and half the episode is there to fill you in on what you've missed. House of Dark Shadows, while I do feel the pacing is perhaps a bit *too* compressed (some rather abrupt character introductions--Barnabas gets released in about the first 5 minutes), was basically an attempt to put an entire year's worth of storytelling in one movie. In some cases, like Willie and Carolyn, the characters are given something really unique to do that is a bit different from the show. I love that they still managed to retain Willie's crush on Maggie as his motivation for trying to warn her about Barnabas, which gets him a prompt caning. What was new for him was while he does clonk boyfriend Jeff (should have been Joe Haskell), it's actually him when he's thought to be dead with a stake in the back that ultimately tackles Barnabas and allows Jeff to push the stake the rest of the way in. I do like how the end of that movie was handled. Julia is basically a repeat of her vampirism cure storyline and Barnabas is a grimmer repeat of the Maggie abduction + vampirism cure arcs. Even though the show is padded beyond belief (it can take several episodes for David to be rescued from being locked inside the secret room in the mausoleum), it still did allow for characters to breathe. Sadly, characters like Liz and Roger, outside of the pre-Barnabas and early-Barnabas episodes (Liz's biggest story is definitely the one with Jason McGuire--it's amusing that the fabulously suave Dennis Patrick plays both Jason AND Paul, Liz's ex-husband--she desperately needed the storyline where it is answered if she's really Vicky's mother or not--that apparently was in the pipeline and heavily insinuated in the earliest episodes, but Alexandra Moltke left with her pregnancy, so it never came to pass), were greatly reduced to being wallpaper after a while. Vicky also got little to do. And it's rather telling that Burke was killed in a plane crash in South America (though the actor--well, the second actor to play Burke--later became Jeremiah).

    And that's the other thing... You'll notice rather a lot of abrupt actor changes. Some worked out for the better (see creepy, lecher Willie from Texas #1 vs. sweet, cowardly, jittery Willie from Brooklyn #2--the accent change is amusing) and others were trainwrecks like Dr. Woodard (right before he gets killed by Barnabas? really?), Burke and Vicky (they replaced her twice and both were dropped in quick succession). Rampant Darrin Stevens syndrome.

    Probably my biggest complaint about the storytelling is the way Willie's Windcliffe Sanitarium stuff was handled, as well as Maggie's continued amnesia and even further mindwipes to remove any memory of what Barnabas did to her (especially once the character was getting whitewashed into a hero). Willie accepted friendship way too easily upon coming back to Collinwood (he was very at-odds with Barnabas prior), though I did like that they didn't forget that he had a crush on Maggie (she and the rest of the town believes that he was her abductor). I do wish Maggie had remembered, simply because it would have made for an interesting drama--total missed opportunity. Willie's personality basically got even more insane after his shooting and stay in the asylum, as well. I've always thought that it would have been better to have Willie faking the amnesia (Barnabas came to the hospital when he was almost dead in order to kill him before Willie could tell Dr. Woodard and the sheriff everything he knew) in order to escape to the asylum (his loss of freedom, future and self-identity was the first thing you heard him ramble about when Barnabas was unleashed). That would have made so much more sense and been more interesting. Rather than being a self-preserving, terrified-of-his-own-shadow coward that acted as Barnabas' conscience (though had no power over him and got beaten frequently when he tried to get in the way--Sarah and Julia actually could control Barnabas), he basically got mentally shattered--though he eventually became a bit of a white knight (and he finally got a random girlfriend for a while with Roxanne). Julia basically replaced Willie. Barnabas should have gotten in some sort of trouble for what he did, but he never paid for anything concerning Maggie, the death of Dr. Woodard, etc... And Maggie certainly wouldn't be happy with Willie either, as he was very much guilty of leaving her to die (Sarah saved her), despite her begging for them to both run away (but he was basically trapped with Barnabas' thrall in his head). And of course, Liz should have had the question answered whether or not she was Vicky's mother. To me, these are the most irritatingly dropped storylines.

    As for SFX, there's some incredibly well-done stuff like Josette's painting going from pretty to decaying corpse back and forth (very Disneyland Haunted Mansion). I love that. Jeremiah as a zombie popping up and haunting Barnabas (he killed him in a duel) and then Jeremiah turning on Angélique (she had raised him from the dead to torment Barnabas) was actually really creepy. Ditto with the original ghost effect of Josette coming out of her painting. Less successful was Josette jumping off Widows' Hill (which was such a big moment that was talked about for several hundred episodes, but they ballsed it up with a less-than-convincing falling out of frame shot) and the hilarious bat on a string, which never fails to make me laugh. The show is rather known for its technical mishaps and bloopers.

    PM me if you would like to know where to find the series. ;)
    Last edited by NileQT87; 21-02-12 at 07:54 AM.

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    Sunnydale High Student WhiteHat's Avatar
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    A belated and well-deserved thanks to NileQT87 and Touchofgrey for the in-depth and very helpful comments. For a total neophyte to DS it can be very intimidating to get involved in without a primer or, in the least, an ample dramatis personae.

    On the E! Network's evening programme I just saw the trailer for the upcoming film with Depp. The clips were firmly in the comedic department, which leads me to wonder if the whole film will be one solely of humour and not of gothic drama. Has anyone else seen the trailer? First impressions? It's been 9 years since I was last in a cinema and if the reviews for this are favourable, I just might venture inside the local movie house to get a look at it on the big screen.
    "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do."

    (BtVS, ep 3x10, "Amends", 40:56)

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    Sunnydale High Student WhiteHat's Avatar
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    Update: Over the past 2-3 weeks I had been able to see the first 27 eps of DS, and, I hate to admit it, but I'm hooked. Sadly my source for watching them is now gone, and I will have to wait for the Deluxe version of the complete show to be released in July, as they have reportedly already sold out the Limited Edition of 2500 copies, even weeks before the release date! Has anyone here ordered the Limited Edition boxed set? I've heard early word that it's pretty nice.
    "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do."

    (BtVS, ep 3x10, "Amends", 40:56)

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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Jonathan Frid. He died on April 13 at the age of 87. He, of course, was the real star of Dark Shadows, playing Barnabas Collins. The show had been near cancellation when he came in and his initially-evil-but-soon-sympathetic vampire was an immediate success and a major shift in how vampires would be portrayed in the decades to come.


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    Parenting Ahm Shere's Avatar
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    I'm so excited for this film. If I am being honest, I never even heard of Dark Shadows until it was announced that Burton would be directing a new film, since I follow Tim Burton religiously. (As do I with HBC...and any Burton-HBC-JD film is a film I will enjoy for a fact). And although I love, love, LOVE HBC...I think I am more excited to see a bit of old-school Burton again in the way of casting, MICHELLE PFEIFFER IS BACK IN A BURTON FILM! Big yay!


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    Barnabas at the start of the show was an absolute BASTARD (especially to poor Willie and Maggie), as he was originally intended to be the vanquished villain instead of an increasingly likable antihero who became the show, they probably felt the need to shift the sympathy to Barnabas instead. And of course, Maggie has completely been eliminated from the 2012 movie, with her role as the "Josette" figure blended into the Victoria Winters character.
    waleeed

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