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I’ve been watching both the original and 1991 version of Dark Shadows and wow, the character of Barnabas Collins has not aged well. I get it, he’s a vampire and is supposed to be evil, but even in the moments where he tries to be “human”, he comes across as narcissistic and controlling.  I actually started to wonder if Angelique was a victim of gaslighting. On the plus side, the 1991 version is full of eye candy and a young Joseph Gordon Levitt does great job playing what is essentially the world’s worst babysitting assignment  

I also rewatched both the original Dark Crystal, as well as the new Netflix series.  The Netflix series is probably the best thing the Henson Company has put out since Jim Henson died. The original movie freaked me out as a kid, especially that scene when they drained the Podling of his life essence and when the Skeksis emperor’s face caved in. In the new series, the Skeksis are more “alive” , but are still absolutely horrifying.  And I feel the horror comes from the fact that the way they act is all too similar to our leaders today.  Out of the stellar voice talent, the standouts for me were Simon Pegg, who perfectly mirrored the late Barry Dennen’s performance, right down to the infamous whimper, Nathalie Emmanuel, who just made you fall in love with her character, Andy Samberg and Bill Hader, nearly stealing the show with their absolutely bonkers exposition, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, whose character was infuriating yet heartbreaking at the same time (the puppeteer, Helena Smee, also deserves mention for the work in conveying all the conflicting emotions of the character). 

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5 hours ago, Deflope said:

I’ve been watching both the original and 1991 version of Dark Shadows and wow, the character of Barnabas Collins has not aged well. I get it, he’s a vampire and is supposed to be evil, but even in the moments where he tries to be “human”, he comes across as narcissistic and controlling.  I actually started to wonder if Angelique was a victim of gaslighting.

Watching Barnabas and his primary ally, Dr. Julia Hoffman, in their first months on the original show is a real eye-opener. You wonder how the characters became so popular because they do some horrible things -- like Barnabas killing Julia's medical school friend, Dr. Woodard, when he deduces Barnabas' secret, Julia hypnotizing the governess, Victoria Winters, to recoil from Barnabas, and Barnabas trying to gaslight the young boy, David Collins.

I do love the early episodes in black & white. The production staff were really able to make Collinwood look like a dark and foreboding place in black & white, especially whenever Collinwood lost power (which was all the time.)

 

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 2:09 PM, dirac said:

Barnabas and Dr. Hoffman gave the show some much-needed zip (sorry, Joan Bennett), and it helped that Jonathan Frid and Grayson Hall were so good. I imagine they were quite the contrast to the customary daytime drama fare at the time. Hall’s Dr. Hoffman is really amazing – so much for medical ethics.

The introduction of Barnabas in spring 1967 and Julia in summer 1967 definitely saved the show, which had been on the road to cancellation. But I do like the look and atmosphere of the pre- and early Barnabas episodes. You really did feel like you had been transported to this rambling mansion perched above the perpetually storm-tossed fishing village of Collinsport.

I adore Grayson Hall but she would be a strong contender for the title of 'Most Theatrical New York Actress Ever,' especially for her portrayal of the gypsy, Magda, during the 1897 time travel storyline.

Edited by miliosr

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On 10/26/2019 at 10:57 AM, Deflope said:

I’ve been watching both the original and 1991 version of Dark Shadows and wow, the character of Barnabas Collins has not aged well. I get it, he’s a vampire and is supposed to be evil, but even in the moments where he tries to be “human”, he comes across as narcissistic and controlling.  I actually started to wonder if Angelique was a victim of gaslighting. On the plus side, the 1991 version is full of eye candy and a young Joseph Gordon Levitt does great job playing what is essentially the world’s worst babysitting assignment 

I hurried home from school to watch the original version back in the day -- most of us were familiar with our mother's soap operas (long summer holidays and sick days from school) and we all thought that DS was ever so much more sophisticated!

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13 hours ago, sandik said:

I hurried home from school to watch the original version back in the day -- most of us were familiar with our mother's soap operas (long summer holidays and sick days from school) and we all thought that DS was ever so much more sophisticated!

The show was innovative in terms of both content and style. Miliosr might have more to say about that. It also attracted a different and younger audience from other soaps – kids could watch it when they came home from school, as you did. Eventually the plotlines got too far out for the show’s own good and also daytime advertisers realized that DS wasn’t helping them sell much laundry detergent. It was syndicated after its initial run ended, which likely saved the tapes from destruction by the network – many recordings of the soaps from that era have not survived.

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In my favorite moment, Angelique's terrified minion was trying to tell someone else who the witch was.  When he tried to speak, the witch caused him to choke, so he wrote the initial in the dust.  He made a "V", and the witness said "'V' for Victoria." (This may have been the Friday cliffhanger.). Then the minion put in the crossbar, and the witness exclaimed, "'A' for Angelique!!!"

Or at least that's the way I remember it.

 

I loved my mother's soaps, too.

 

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16 hours ago, dirac said:

It also attracted a different and younger audience from other soaps – kids could watch it when they came home from school, as you did. Eventually the plotlines got too far out for the show’s own good and also daytime advertisers realized that DS wasn’t helping them sell much laundry detergent. It was syndicated after its initial run ended, which likely saved the tapes from destruction by the network – many recordings of the soaps from that era have not survived.

What made Dark Shadows a pop culture sensation -- it's teenage and early twentysomething audience -- is also what killed it (haha - pun intended!). dirac is exactly right that the audience Dark Shadows had wasn't the audience advertisers were trying to reach. Advertisers of that era were trying to reach women who were at home during the daytime and were making the purchasing decisions for the home. (This was long before the all-important demos encompassing ages 16-24 had come into being.) The irony of it is that a show which had the kind of audience Dark Shadows had 50 years ago would run forever today.

Dark Shadows was very fortunate because producer Dan Curtis saw the value in maintaining the masters. It's possible to watch the entire run of the show, which is not the case for most other soaps of that era. For instance, ABC debuted All My Children in 1970 but didn't start preserving the masters until the mid-70s. So it's impossible to see much of a young Susan Lucci during her formative years on the show because very few episodes have survived. (Dark Shadows, in contrast, moved to network syndication, then to cable television, then to VHS, then to DVD and now to on-demand.)

One more thing: Dark Shadows died a quick death (in soap opera terms) because it became very repetitive. In 1968, the show had the ghosts of Quentin Collins and Beth Chavez possess the children, David Collins and Amy Jennings. In summer 1970, the ghosts of Gerard Stiles and Daphne Harridge (played by a very young Kate Jackson) possessed the children, David Collins and Hallie Stokes. It was the exact same story just with some name changes!

Edited by miliosr

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51 minutes ago, miliosr said:

What made Dark Shadows a pop culture sensation -- it's teenage and early twentysomething audience -- is also what killed it (haha - pun intended!). dirac is exactly right that the audience Dark Shadows had wasn't the audience advertisers were trying to reach. Advertisers of that era were trying to reach women who were at home during the daytime and were making the purchasing decisions for the home. (This was long before the all-important demos encompassing ages 16-24 had come into being.) The irony of it is that a show which today had the kind of audience Dark Shadows had 50 years ago would run forever.

Absolutely.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer reminded me of DS in an odd way, and look at the traction it had.

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On 10/29/2019 at 5:18 PM, miliosr said:

The introduction of Barnabas in spring 1967 and Julia in summer 1967 definitely saved the show, which had been on the road to cancellation. But I do like the look and atmosphere of the pre- and early Barnabas episodes. You really did feel like you had been transported to this rambling mansion perched above the perpetually storm-tossed fishing village of Collinsport.

I adore Grayson Hall but she would be a strong contender for the title of 'Most Theatrical New York Actress Ever,' especially for her portrayal of the gypsy, Magda, during the 1897 time travel storyline.

Oh, absolutely. Unfortunately they couldn't find storylines to match.

Hall is probably the most active actress I’ve ever seen. She has muscles in her face I didn’t know were there and boy does she ever use them. She’s awesome.

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 5:31 PM, dirac said:

Hall is probably the most active actress I’ve ever seen. She has muscles in her face I didn’t know were there and boy does she ever use them. She’s awesome.

I think she pioneered the 'clutch the throat' acting technique.

Here's a sample of how moody Dark Shadows looked in black and white:

I would direct people's attention to the 7:00-10:00 mark where Jonathan Frid (as Barnabas) recounts the death of Josette DuPres in 1795 to the governess Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) and Carolyn Stoddard (Nancy Barrett) in what is now known in Dark Shadows fandom as the 'Josette Soliloquy'. What really adds to Frid's performance is the tremendous job the production staff did in lighting the entire scene. The set-up for Barnabas' speech is that there has been a power failure at Collinwood and the only things lighting the drawing room are candles, the fireplace and the flashes of lightning from the storm raging overhead. The lighting and sound effects work the crew did on this episode is worthy of anything Universal Pictures did with its horror movies of the 30s and 40s.

Edited by miliosr

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Looks like they’re rebooting Dark Shadows  again. At least this time, it looks like it’s a sequel. 
 

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/dark-shadows-the-cw-1203329640/

CW attempted a reboot in 2004, that never got past the pilot phase.  Jessica Chastain was actually in it, as Carolyn.  It’s been screened at fan conventions and a low quality bootleg is floating around

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x70m1p9

 

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Interesting news, Deflope. Is there anything CW hasn't tried to reboot? :)  I may check it out. With the old series so readily available now in all its cheesy glory I don’t know why they bother, though.

I didn't know about the Chastain version. I will have to check out the clip.

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On 11/9/2019 at 4:34 PM, miliosr said:

I think she pioneered the 'clutch the throat' acting technique.

Here's a sample of how moody Dark Shadows looked in black and white:

I would direct people's attention to the 7:00-10:00 mark where Jonathan Frid (as Barnabas) recounts the death of Josette DuPres in 1795 to the governess Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) and Carolyn Stoddard (Nancy Barrett) in what is now known in Dark Shadows fandom as the 'Josette Soliloquy'. What really adds to Frid's performance is the tremendous job the production staff did in lighting the entire scene. The set-up for Barnabas' speech is that there has been a power failure at Collinwood and the only things lighting the drawing room are candles, the fireplace and the flashes of lightning from the storm raging overhead. The lighting and sound effects work the crew did on this episode is worthy of anything Universal Pictures did with its horror movies of the 30s and 40s.

It is very well done. I also like Frid's canny use of the teleprompter. :)

 

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 3:28 PM, dirac said:

It is very well done. I also like Frid's canny use of the teleprompter. :)

 

The cast members themselves have said that they were always amazed at how Frid's desperate search for the teleprompter during taping took on a different dimension when the shows actually aired. On the air, Frid forgetting his lines and looking for the teleprompter came across as Barnabas lost in melancholy reverie.

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There was also Joan Bennett's big Wedding Confession where she just seems to give up mid-scene and turns dramatically to look right at the prompter and read. Unsurprising, given that she had had to appear on every show that week (I assume it was a week).

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November 20th, 1967 was the first full episode set in 1795, which itself was the first of the show's multiple time travel storylines. (A séance held at Collinwood in 1967 hurls the governess, Vicky, back to the year 1795. a time when Barnabas was not yet a vampire, Josette was still alive , , , and a rather unusual maid servant named Angelique was about to arrive at the great estate.)

https://darkshadows.fandom.com/wiki/366

 

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Enough DS posts accumulated on the Halloween thread to justify a new one. I have moved them over. Talk about all things "Dark Shadows," past and present, here. Barnabas bids you welcome to the discussion:

barnabas6.jpg

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On 11/21/2019 at 4:59 PM, miliosr said:

November 20th, 1967 was the first full episode set in 1795, which itself was the first of the show's multiple time travel storylines. (A séance held at Collinwood in 1967 hurls the governess, Vicky, back to the year 1795. a time when Barnabas was not yet a vampire, Josette was still alive , , , and a rather unusual maid servant named Angelique was about to arrive at the great estate.)

https://darkshadows.fandom.com/wiki/366

This episode was a very big deal – hurtling the entire cast for months on end into a new storyline with characters that were either 2.0, with Barnabas now as our romantic hero, for the present anyway, or entirely new, generally for the better (Joel Crothers is liberated from playing Good Old Joe and is now naval hottie Nathan Forbes, complete with sideburns). Vicki doesn’t change much, true, but then what can you do with Vicki?

The episodes were now in color and while the creepy sequences were never as creepy as they were in black-and-white, advantage was taken to create a new color scheme for the new story; Collinwood the Old House is now bathed in a rosy glow. Think Pink!

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3 hours ago, dirac said:

Enough DS posts accumulated on the Halloween thread to justify a new one. I have moved them over. Talk about all things "Dark Shadows," past and present, here. Barnabas bids you welcome to the discussion...

 

Please no spoilers on the final...All Activity link has your post above Josette commenting on Balanchine Jewels [1967].  I watched DS very sporadically in the late '60's when Barnabas and Angelique were in the present.  B.A.'s inspired a binge watch.

Way back when while wandering in the library I found Angelique books, a French series.  DS casting had a physical resemblance to that character.  Anyone watch or read the Discovery of Witches series?

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On ‎11‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 7:10 PM, dirac said:

Vicki doesn’t change much, true, but then what can you do with Vicki?

The 1795 storyline is the beginning of the end for Vicky as a character. Vicky prior to and just after Barnabas' arrival still had a functioning brain. The clip I linked to above doesn't show it but there's additional dialogue after Barnabas finishes with the 'Josette Soliloquy. After an upset Carolyn flees the drawing room (with good reason given the content of Barnabas' story), Vicky begins peppering Barnabas with questions, particularly about his use of the word 'bloodless'. That is the Vicky I always liked -- the one who, early on, tended to be more perceptive than those around her. But the character of Vicky became more and more blanded out as the show became more and more supernatural; a fate which also plagued the characters of Carolyn Stoddard and Maggie Evans.

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On 11/23/2019 at 5:28 PM, miliosr said:

The 1795 storyline is the beginning of the end for Vicky as a character. Vicky prior to and just after Barnabas' arrival still had a functioning brain. The clip I linked to above doesn't show it but there's additional dialogue after Barnabas finishes with the 'Josette Soliloquy. After an upset Carolyn flees the drawing room (with good reason given the content of Barnabas' story), Vicky begins peppering Barnabas with questions, particularly about his use of the word 'bloodless'. That is the Vicky I always liked -- the one who, early on, tended to be more perceptive than those around her. But the character of Vicky became more and more blanded out as the show became more and more supernatural; a fate which also plagued the characters of Carolyn Stoddard and Maggie Evans.

That's right. And a couple of episodes before that, it's Vicki who twigs to the resemblance between the illnesses of Willie and Maggie. Even so, she was always a bit of a weenie IMO. (If they were going to update Jane Eyre, they could have given her a little more of the original's nerve and brains.) Then all the young female leads gradually lost agency, getting locked up, carried off, etc.

Of course, a certain amount of......obtuseness is helpful in soap opera characters, so that it's possible to wonder what's in the water. I remember Days of Our LIves fans calling it Salem Stupid Juice.

 

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Tubi is now showing the pre-Barnabas episodes of "Dark Shadows."

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