In 1991, a show premiered on NBC that captured my imagination. It opened with a governess on a train…
“My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is just beginning—a journey that I am hoping will somehow begin to reveal the mysteries of my past. It is a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place—to a house high atop a stormy cliff at the edge of the sea—to a house called Collinwood; to a world I’ve never known with people I’ve never met—people who tonight, are still only vague shadows in my mind, but will soon fill all of the days and nights of my tomorrows.”
Thus began Dark Shadows…
Or rather thus began its remake.
Dark Shadows originally aired as a daytime soap opera on ABC from 1966 to 1971. It was conceived as a gothic horror romance series that featured storylines involving ghosts, witches, werewolves, and vampires. The breakout storyline involved vampire Barnabas Collins. Barnabas was cursed by the scorned Angelique and became a vampire in the 1790s. He was locked away in a coffin in the Collins family crypt until his release by would-be treasure hunter Willie Loomis in the present day.
The 1991 revival quickly focused on this popular storyline. In fact the whole series—which was unfortunately short-lived—re-imagined the original and tightened up the plot and pacing. Not surprising as it was planned as a prime-time series. I was disappointed when the show was cancelled, but soon looked into its history. I guess you could say I became a fan of this show’s lore after the fact. I’ll touch on those experiences in future musings.
Around 2004, there were rumors of another reboot of the series for the WB network, but the show was never picked up. Now, I learn that Dark Shadows is rising once again. This time for the silver screen. The September 30th issue of Entertainment Weekly contained this teaser image of an upcoming 2012 film.
The original soap itself spawned two feature films, House of Dark Shadows in 1970 and Night of Dark Shadows in 1971. This new version, yet another collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, looks amazing. Depp as Barnabas Collins and Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman, in particular, have captured the look of their characters’ original portrayers, Jonathan Frid and Grayson Hall.
In fact, Frid and other original Dark Shadows stars, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, and David Shelby, appear to be attached to this 2012 film adaptation, at least according to IMDB. Even if this turns out not to be true, this is one film I’m looking forward to seeing.