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David T. Cole

Dark Shadows

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On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 5:27 PM, peacheslatour said:

Read what Danny Horn says:

At its core, Dark Shadows is actually the story of an over-worked, under-resourced team of lunatics who spend five years desperately struggling to make a daily television show.

Nancy Barrett would agree with him. In Kathryn Leigh Scott's second book, The Dark Shadows Companion (1990), Barrett had this to say:

"Frankly, I was getting tired of Dark Shadows. I've always had ambivalent feelings about it. It was too ambitious. When it was good, it was brilliant. But we had some real disaster days when everything went bad -- from costumes to hair, lines to sets. Too much was required in a medium where getting shows on quickly is of the essence. It was too involved technically and too exhausting physically. Too much was asked of people -- technicians, writers, actors -- for a half-hour show. If it had been about 25% less ambitious, it could have been great. And it might still be on the air."

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Lots of excuses for the shitty behavior of men. Like I said, I don't buy it. Shitty men are shitty men, no matter what excuses their society gives them. There is a reason that women started to fight back against this kind of behavior. It was always wrong. If they just threw their hands up and made excuses, nothing would ever change. 

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I like the pre-Barnabas episodes. I liked the conflict between Liz, Roger and Burke. I liked Matthew. It was much more gothic, less supernatural and monster movie. That was compelling to me, because I liked gothic novels at one time. 

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10 hours ago, azshadowwalker said:

I like the pre-Barnabas episodes. I liked the conflict between Liz, Roger and Burke. I liked Matthew. It was much more gothic, less supernatural and monster movie. That was compelling to me, because I liked gothic novels at one time. 

I totally get this. I too was/am a gothic novel fan. When Dark Shadows came out I was in my Victoria Holt phase. The house by the sea was a staple, it's still my happy place.

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 12:28 PM, JAYJAY1979 said:

and the focus on just a few characters at the expense of everyone (Barnbas, Quentin, Angelique... other characters became cardboard and weren't developed after the first year or so).

I finished watching the Parallel Time storyline yesterday - 48 years to the day from when the last episode of the storyline aired (July 17, 1970). I kept a running tally of character appearances from the first Parallel Time episode (969) to the last (1060). That tally really hit home for me how overused certain characters were:

Actor/Character(s)/# of Appearances

Lara Parker (Alexis Stokes/Angelique Stokes Collins) - 57

David Selby (Quentin Collins) - 51

Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) - 47*

Grayson Hall (Hoffman/Dr, Julia Hoffman) - 39*

Chris Pennock (Dr. Cyrus Longworth/John Yaeger) - 39

Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans Collins) - 38*

*These numbers are all the more extraordinary when you consider that Frid, Hall and Scott were absent from the show for six weeks while they were filming House of Dark Shadows.

No other actor had more than 20 appearances. (Joan Bennett came in seventh with 19.)

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 11:24 AM, peacheslatour said:

She was a ghost, she would just walk through the walls.

I have laughed so much over this !  'This thread is a blast - even if we only post once a year - LOL

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I’m currently watching the 1795 storyline. Roger Davis just showed up. I had always heard and read about the 1795 storyline but I was always under the impression that they went back and forth between both times. I had no idea that they were in 1795 alone. It was such a great idea. The actors got to play different characters (except for Moltke) and, got to dress in period pieces. I do have one question though. Is it true 1795 went on much longer then projected? Is it true TPTB didn’t know 1795 would enthrall viewers and kept it going? Also, it’s great watching a soap without commercials. It’s so seemelss without them. 

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13 hours ago, ByaNose said:

I’m currently watching the 1795 storyline. Roger Davis just showed up. I had always heard and read about the 1795 storyline but I was always under the impression that they went back and forth between both times. I had no idea that they were in 1795 alone. It was such a great idea. The actors got to play different characters (except for Moltke) and, got to dress in period pieces. I do have one question though. Is it true 1795 went on much longer then projected? Is it true TPTB didn’t know 1795 would enthrall viewers and kept it going? Also, it’s great watching a soap without commercials. It’s so seemelss without them. 

I don't know if they planned on it lasting that long but I do know that later on they do go back and forth. At least Barnabas and Peter/Jeff do.

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 10:59 PM, ByaNose said:

I do have one question though. Is it true 1795 went on much longer then projected? Is it true TPTB didn’t know 1795 would enthrall viewers and kept it going?

I've never read anything stating that Dan Curtis and the production and writing staffs kept the 1795 storyline going longer than initially projected. 1795 is very "tight" in terms of its tremendous forward progression. There aren't many discursions from the Barnabas/Josette/Angelique triangle and Vicky's experiences in the past.

1897 is the storyline where all concerned may have kept the storyline going a lot longer than anticipated due to the tremendous ratings success. The 1897 storyline went on for a long time -- 8 1/2 months in 1969. (It's even longer when the introduction of Quentin and Beth and the haunting of Collinwood in 1968-69 are factored in.) Personally, I think 1897 lasted too long. I always lose track of why Barnabas projected his spirit into the past by the time the storyline concludes in November 1969.

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1 minute ago, Jan Spears said:

I've never read anything stating that Dan Curtis and the production and writing staffs kept the 1795 storyline going longer than initially projected. 1795 is very "tight" in terms of its tremendous forward progression. There aren't many discursions from the Barnabas/Josette/Angelique triangle and Vicky's experiences in the past.

1897 is the storyline where all concerned may have kept the storyline going a lot longer than anticipated due to the tremendous ratings success. The 1897 storyline went on for a long time -- 8 1/2 months in 1969. (It's even longer when the introduction of Quentin and Beth and the haunting of Collinwood in 1968-69 are factored in.) Personally, I think 1897 lasted too long. I always lose track of why Barnabas projected his spirit into the past by the time the storyline concludes in November 1969.

I’m 53 & I don’t even think I knew about 1897. At least, it will be new to me. I might have been confusing the two storylines on the length of time. I know I read somewhere that one of them went longer then initially anticipated. It’s been great catching up. It rained all day Saturday in Philadelphia so it was a Dark Shadows binge day. 

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27 minutes ago, ByaNose said:

I’m 53 & I don’t even think I knew about 1897. At least, it will be new to me. I might have been confusing the two storylines on the length of time. I know I read somewhere that one of them went longer then initially anticipated. It’s been great catching up. It rained all day Saturday in Philadelphia so it was a Dark Shadows binge day. 

Oh, perfect!

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12 hours ago, ByaNose said:

I’m 53 & I don’t even think I knew about 1897. At least, it will be new to me.

You're in for a treat if you keep watching. Over the 5 year course of the show, there were 5 great time travel storylines:

1795 (1967-68) -- A séance at Collinwood hurls Vicky back in time.

1897 (1969) -- Barnabas projects his spirit into his body in 1897 to find out why the ghost of Quentin Collins is haunting Collinwood in the future.

Parallel Time (1970) -- Barnabas discovers a room in the deserted East Wing of Collinwood which is a portal to an alternate Collinwood. He manages to cross over to this world.

1995 (1970) -- Barnabas and Julia are unexpectedly thrown into the future via the Parallel Time room.

1840 (1970-71) -- Julia uses a mysterious stairway through time in the West Wing of Collinwood to travel to 1840. 

Edited by Jan Spears
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I started watching this show on Hulu but that started with the Barnabas stuff. Now I see Amazon Prime has the show from the beginning ... so here I am watching at the very start! I'm only about 10 minutes in and already this show is 1000 times better than any soap remaining on the air today. The mysterious music is cracking me up though!!

Edited by hypnotoad
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12 hours ago, hypnotoad said:

I started watching this show on Hulu but that started with the Barnabas stuff. Now I see Amazon Prime has the show from the beginning ... so here I am watching at the very start! I'm only about 10 minutes in and already this show is 1000 times better than any soap remaining on the air today. The mysterious music is cracking me up though!!

Isn't it great? They were doing special effects on a half hour soap that other tv shows wouldn't do until years later. And the sets! That's what happens when a bunch of crazy New York theater people get together and make magic at 4:00 in the afternoon 5 days  a week.

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On 7/16/2018 at 12:30 AM, azshadowwalker said:

Lots of excuses for the shitty behavior of men. Like I said, I don't buy it. Shitty men are shitty men, no matter what excuses their society gives them. There is a reason that women started to fight back against this kind of behavior. It was always wrong. If they just threw their hands up and made excuses, nothing would ever change. 

No one is making excuses. Nowhere did anyone say Barnabas'--or any man's--shitty behavior was okay. All anyone did was put it in historical context. Whether you like Barnabas or not (that is beside the point), his attitudes and actions are, in general, consistent with wealthy men of his time period.

As a side note, on the topic of shitty behavior, let's say that Barnabas did kick Angelique to the curb once the rich girl became available (which is just an assumption since we don't know the details of Barnabas' and Angelique's relationship). Does that excuse what she did to little Sarah, magically causing her pain to manipulate Barnabas into marrying her? Does that excuse her enslaving Ben? Does that excuse her putting a spell on Josette and Jeremiah? What did any of these people do to her? It's one thing to sympathize with Angelique (and being a person who can understand someone's behavior while not agreeing with it, I am one of those people), but I definitely wouldn't call her innocent either.    

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 11:59 PM, ByaNose said:

I’m currently watching the 1795 storyline. Roger Davis just showed up. I had always heard and read about the 1795 storyline but I was always under the impression that they went back and forth between both times. I had no idea that they were in 1795 alone. It was such a great idea. The actors got to play different characters (except for Moltke) and, got to dress in period pieces. I do have one question though. Is it true 1795 went on much longer then projected? Is it true TPTB didn’t know 1795 would enthrall viewers and kept it going? Also, it’s great watching a soap without commercials. It’s so seemelss without them. 

I don't recall the 1795 storyline being extended either, but I am pretty they did that for the 1897 one, considered the high point of the series.

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3 hours ago, Tom Holmberg said:

"Master of Dark Shadows" a documentary about the show:

That looks fabulous! When is it coming to theaters?

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23 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

When is it coming to theaters?

There's a release date of April 16, but whether this will go into wide release or play at festivals or go to streaming etc., it doesn't say on IMDB. It would be nice if PBS would pick it up, or even TCM.

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2 hours ago, Tom Holmberg said:

There's a release date of April 16, but whether this will go into wide release or play at festivals or go to streaming etc., it doesn't say on IMDB. It would be nice if PBS would pick it up, or even TCM.

Oh, that would be awesome. That was how we got to see Won't You Be My Neighbor without having to see it in theaters.

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On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 5:20 PM, peacheslatour said:

That was how we got to see Won't You Be My Neighbor without having to see it in theaters.

Apparently the documentary is now available for purchase on DVD.  

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On 7/25/2018 at 11:32 AM, peacheslatour said:

Isn't it great? They were doing special effects on a half hour soap that other tv shows wouldn't do until years later. And the sets! That's what happens when a bunch of crazy New York theater people get together and make magic at 4:00 in the afternoon 5 days  a week.

And wasn't there always thunder & lightning? I can still hear the music for the opening credits. 

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14 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

And wasn't there always thunder & lightning? I can still hear the music for the opening credits. 

And the waves crashing on the cliffs. I lived in a lakefront village at the time and when we had stormy weather the waves would crash against the retaining rock walls and I would imagine I was at Collinwood.

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Amazon prime has most if not all of the Dark Shadows episodes.  Last weekend, I was browsing the Amazon episodes and I saw a Dark Shadows title called "The Haunting of Collinswood".  So I watched it.  Essentially, it was a "readers digest version" of the Quentin's ghost meets David and Amy and attempts to possess them.  This title basically edited down multiple DS episodes keeping only scenes that related directly to that story line.  The overall flow was a bit choppy in the telling of the story but it distills it down from several months of episodes down to a 3.5 hours movie. The ending was rather odd - everyone leaves the estate because Quentin's ghost drives them out of the house.  It ends with Quentin's ghost on the staircase laughing.

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1 hour ago, HighMaintenance said:

Amazon prime has most if not all of the Dark Shadows episodes.  Last weekend, I was browsing the Amazon episodes and I saw a Dark Shadows title called "The Haunting of Collinswood".  So I watched it.  Essentially, it was a "readers digest version" of the Quentin's ghost meets David and Amy and attempts to possess them.  This title basically edited down multiple DS episodes keeping only scenes that related directly to that story line.  The overall flow was a bit choppy in the telling of the story but it distills it down from several months of episodes down to a 3.5 hours movie. The ending was rather odd - everyone leaves the estate because Quentin's ghost drives them out of the house.  It ends with Quentin's ghost on the staircase laughing.

Ah yes, that was Dan Curtis' Turn Of The Screw phase.

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...or The Innocents. 

I vaguely remember this story line from some 50ish years ago.  The one thing it reminded me, was that even as a kid, any appearances by David Collins bugged the hell out of me.  I didn't like the character or the actor's wooden acting. 

On the other hand, I really liked Angelique's character, even though she was a villain.  She seemed to take such glee from tormenting the Collins family.

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I watched my favorite episode -- 233 -- again tonight on the 52nd anniversary of its original air date in 1967.  This is the episode where Carolyn and Vicky are sheltering uneasily in the darkened drawing room at Collinwood while a massive storm rages outside. Barnabas arrives and delivers what is now known as the 'Josette soliloquy,' in which he recounts the night of Josette's suicide.

Frid is spot-on with his performance and the mood of these scenes is incredible. The production staff manage to sustain the illusion of a powerless Collinwood lit only by a few candles, the fire in the fireplace and the flashes of lightning. Vicky still has her brain at this point in the storyline and Barnabas has to think fast when she makes a connection between his story and current events in Collinsport (i.e. Maggie's mysterious illness). Dark Shadows at its best!

Edited by Jan Spears
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