Monday, November 7, 2011

Into Dark Shadows!

I never watched Dark Shadows when I was a youth, because mostly my beloved Mother was a fan of the NBC soap operas and so ABC was out as an option. But of course I've been aware of Barnabas Collins and the uproar he ignited in the fan community. I tried to get a glimmer of the Dark Shadows thing when I checked out a volume of episodes from the the local library. I found it dull, and that's not a criticism necessarily, because after all an episodic soap is paced differently and can't really be judged by other standards of pacing. But slow it was and I gave up on it.

A few days ago, I chanced upon Dark Shadows - The Curse of the Vampire and Dark Shadows - The Haunting of Collinwood at the local Half-Price Bookstore for small money and after a bit of research I took a gamble these might be a great entree into the Dark Shadows phenomenon.

It worked.

These are compilations of key scenes from specific story lines and eschew the normal interweave of a soap opera. This makes for a more coherent viewing, and the ability to focus on specific themes and characters.

The Curse of the Vampire tells the story of Barnabas Collins and how he fell victim to a witch's spell and so became the iconic vampire we know today. It's a rather tragic story after all and I can see why this 60's version of the classic undead captured the imagination.

I haven't fully watched the second volume, but it concerns the children of Collinwood and a ghost or two.

So I doubt I'll ever watch Dark Shadows in its original form, but I am grateful to have a taste of what is a very memorable show.

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  1. The 1990s prime-time revival starring Ben Cross as Barnabas condensed the first year's plotlines into 13 episodes.
    The revival is also available in a DVD box set.
    I covered basics about the show in a two-part posting of the Innovation comic based on the revival near Halloween...

  2. I must've been living in a bubble back then. I have no memory of the revival. Sheesh!

    Rip Off


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