The Dark Shadows TV show was a fantasy/horror series with a "soap opera" twist about a Vampire and other supernatural characters who preyed on the poor residents of a town called Collinsport. Multiple and parallel time streams allowed the Cast to portray multiple roles. There were a total of 1225 episodes from 1966-1971.
Jonathan Frid .... Barnabas Collins / Bramwell Collins
Alexandra Isles .... Victoria Winters Clark #1
David Selby .... Quentin Collins / Grant Douglas
Joan Bennett .... Elizabeth Collins Stoddard / Naomi Collins / Judith Collins Trask / Flora Collins
Grayson Hall .... Dr. Julia Hoffman / Countess Natalie DuPres / Magda Rakosi / Julia Collins
In the beginning, Dark Shadows was not successful with viewing audiences. When a "Ghost Story" twist was added to the TV show, ratings picked up significantly. The producers realized that the audience wanted more supernatural plots and about nine months into the series, the vampire "Barnabas Collins" was released from his captivity in the Collins familie's mausoleum and the ratings really took off.
When Dark Shadows went on the air in 1966 it was Black & White. However, starting with episode #295 the program was videotaped in color. Now at this point you may be saying, "That's not true. I've seen later episodes and they're in Black and White!" What happened is that in addition to taping the series, kineoscope films were also made in black & white. Kineoscopes are films made by pointing the camera at a television screen. They did that because many of the affiliate stations didn't have videotape players as they were still very expensive. They could still broadcast the shows though using the kineoscopes. Well, many of the color videotapes are missing but the black & white films have survived. ABC stopped making the films in 1970 and one episode of the last season's run is totally missing.
At first, the Cast would refer to the Barnabas Collins character as "undead", "not alive" or some other such term. It was more than 1 1/2 seasons before the word "Vampire" was used.
There were 1225 episodes of Dark Shadows but they were numbered up to 1245. Twenty episodes were pre-empted and, for some reason, the producers decided to give those dates episode numbers!
There were two Dark Shadows movies. House of Dark Shadows" was released in 1970 and "Night of Dark Shadows" in 1971.
There was an attempt to bring Dark Shadows back to television as a new series. It only lasted from January 13th, 1991 to March 22nd of the same year.
The original shows returned to television in 1975 in syndication on local television stations and on PBS. Then in 1990 the SciFi Channel bought exclusive rights to the TV show.
"My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning-a journey that I hope will open the doors of life and link my past with my future. A journey that will bring me to a dark place to the edge of the sea high atop Widow's Hill; and a house called Collinwood. A world 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 tomorrow ..."
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