Episode 682: The Four Maggies

“We know you were destroyed by some evil force! Now is your chance to destroy it!”

It’s a situation that only happens in long-running serialized narrative. The main character has run away, never to return, and she didn’t even bother to make up a decent excuse. “I’m going to go and live with my husband’s past-life doppleganger,” Vicki said. “If you need to reach me, I’ll be in the 18th century.”

So what can you do? You hire a new governess, and you move on with your make-believe life. The Collins family has lost their lost princess, and to take her place, they’ve found Maggie Evans, a waitress with no experience in education, and a gaping hole in her LinkedIn profile that she can’t explain.

It hasn’t been an easy transition for Maggie, because the process of Vickification involves stripping away all ties to her old life. In fact, on the night that she was offered the governess job, both her fiancee and her house were torn to pieces by a wild animal. I don’t know how you arrange for an onboarding process like that, but it definitely made the point. Her father and her fiancee are gone, her home is destroyed, her memory is wiped clean, and she has become Vicki.

But that interpretation assumes that there’s only one Maggie, and one Vicki. It’s more complicated than that. There are actually four Maggies, and most of them are Vicki.

251 dark shadows vicki box

I can tell you exactly when all the trouble started — it was on June 12th, 1967, also known as episode 251.

Maggie is spending the summer in the Old House basement, while Barnabas tries to turn her into his dead fiancee, Josette. It isn’t going that well. In fact, Barnabas is about to lock her up in a dungeon cell and keep her there until she goes insane, which will take two weeks. And just at that moment, Vicki shows up at the Old House, and Barnabas suddenly decides that he likes her instead. He shows her Josette’s music box and everything, which for Barnabas is basically a marriage proposal.

So Maggie becoming the governess and turning into Vicki is not the original problem. The confusion started back in 251, when Barnabas turned Vicki into Maggie.

This may, in fact, be the moment when Dan and the writers realized that they weren’t going to kill the vampire after all. Barnabas is popular, which means he can’t just stay in the suburbs torturing secondary characters all day. He needs to hang out with the main character. So they make a hard left, and point him at Vicki instead.

As it turns out, the Barnabas/Josette relationship is the engine that powers the next year and a half worth of story, so this isn’t a minor detail. The midstream switch from Maggie to Vicki creates a disruption in the Dark Shadows narrative that spreads across five decades worth of reboots.

It’s like when you throw a stone into a lake, and the ripples spread outwards, except the stone is Vicki, and the lake is your ability to understand the rest of this blog post.

408 dark shadows yelling josette vicki

Anyway, they go back into the past, and what do you know? It turns out Josette really is Maggie after all, and Vicki is just Vicki.

That pretty much puts the kibosh on the purported Barnabas/Vicki romance. When Vicki gets back to 1968, Barnabas still thinks that he wants to make her into Josette, but it’s a half-hearted attempt at best, and nobody takes it seriously. Vicki being Josette is not going to happen and everybody knows it, including Barnabas, so eventually they just forget all about it.

682 dark shadows barnabas maggie friends

So now Maggie is the new Vicki — and to prove it, here’s a scene from today’s episode, where Maggie is actually saying Vicki type dialogue.

Vicki:  Barnabas, I know that you think it was just a dream.

Barnabas:  What do you think it was?

Vicki:  A warning! A warning to leave Collinwood!

Barnabas:  It might have been.

Vicki:  Barnabas… you actually think that?

Barnabas:  I think it’s possible.

Vicki:  Do you think that it’s possible that I actually saw that man?

Barnabas:  I think that you actually did see him.

Vicki:  Barnabas!

So, there you go. This is clearly a Barnabas and Vicki scene, with “Vicki” crossed out and “Maggie” written on top. I mean, it doesn’t help that Ron Sproat wrote this episode, which means that everybody sounds like everybody else, but never mind the dialogue — even as a general plot point, this is a Vicki thing to do.

682 dark shadows barnabas maggie list

Here’s a list of things that Earth-616 Maggie Evans does not do: confide in Barnabas, ask Barnabas for help, stand this close to Barnabas, remember that Barnabas even exists.

Maggie and Barnabas are not friends. They have never been friends. Until now, obviously, once they’ve stripped her personality clean and started giving her Vicki’s plot points.

628 dark shadows barnabas rachel

Pretty soon, Barnabas is going to travel to 1897, where he meets governess Rachel Drummond. Rachel is basically Vicki the Victorian, but she’s played by Maggie, which means that Barnabas thinks she’s Josette.

682 dark shadows barnabas kitty josette

And then Kitty comes along, and she’s played by Maggie too. Barnabas switches once again and decides that Kitty is Josette, which is a coincidence, because Kitty actually is Josette. I’m not sure who Rachel was. Maybe she was Vicki.

Anyway, after that, Barnabas moves on, and then Maggie is just Maggie and nobody is Josette.

682 dark shadows quentin daphne

Eventually, Maggie gives up and leaves the show too, and then there’s a new Vicki named Daphne, who’s basically Beth.

532 dark shadows maggie vicki phone

To review: Maggie is Maggie and Vicki is Vicki. Maggie is also Josette, but then Barnabas decides that Vicki is Josette, except Josette really is Maggie and Vicki is still Vicki. After Vicki leaves, Maggie becomes Vicki. Then Rachel (who is Vicki played by Maggie) could be Josette, but then Kitty (also Maggie) really is Josette. And finally there’s Daphne, who’s either Vicki, Maggie, Rachel, Beth or Sheriff Patterson. That last one is kind of a long shot.

So there you go, that’s Maggie #1. There are three more of these.

682 dark shadows barnabas maggie hods

Maggie #2 is the Maggie from House of Dark Shadows, a governess who happens to be a dead ringer for Josette. In HODS, they cut out the middleman, and just have Maggie be both Vicki and Josette. She’s even engaged to Jeff Clark, which is about as Vicki as you can get.

682 dark shadows hods liz daphne

But if Maggie is Vicki/Josette, then they need another Maggie, so they give Liz a secretary named Daphne.

Daphne is played by Sabrina from the show, which is a weird coincidence, because the real Daphne ends up playing Sabrina on Charlie’s Angels. I know, we’re kind of getting into theoretical physics here. Just do your best to keep up.

682 dark shadows barnabas carolyn hods

Barnabas kills Daphne, and then he also kills Carolyn and turns her into a vampire. Carolyn feeds on her boyfriend Chris, who they keep calling Todd for some reason, and then somebody pounds a stake into her, and Barnabas keeps going after the Josette-looking one.

1991 dark shadows vicki maggie witch

Okay, moving on to Maggie #3, from the 1991 Dark Shadows reboot. In this version, Vicki actually is Josette, and Maggie is somebody completely different. This is the only version of Maggie who isn’t Vicki, so it’s a shame that she’s so terrible, like everybody else on the show.

1991 dark shadows bloody daphne

They have a Daphne in this universe too, so that’s three Daphnes, and they’re all different people. The 1991 Daphne is a cross between the HODS Daphne and the HODS Carolyn. This Daphne’s Chris (aka Todd) is named Joe, who technically should be Maggie’s boyfriend, but he isn’t, because Maggie is somebody else.

578 dark shadows carolyn glitch

They also have a Carolyn in 1991, who is so utterly repellent that I think she may actually be the weird alien parasite recast Carolyn from episode 578, the one that killed Tony Peterson. Look, I’m just trying to be thorough.

682 dark shadows vicki burton

Then we get to Maggie #4, from the Dark Shadows movie. The very first thing she says is “My name is Maggie Evans,” and then she winces and comes up with an alias: “My name is Victoria Winters.”

So finally, we get a character who is explicitly Maggie, Vicki and Josette, rolled into one. There isn’t a Daphne this time, and Carolyn is Carolyn again, and that’s why the 2012 movie is the best version of Dark Shadows ever made. Yes, it is, I just proved it.

628 dark shadows gold key warlock

So those are the canonical Four Maggies. This post is running long, and it stopped being readable somewhere around paragraph six, so I won’t spend time here discussing the Dark Shadows Expanded Universe versions, including Parallel Time Maggie, Paperback Library Maggie, Big Finish Maggie, Earth-2 Maggie, Ultimate Maggie, Days of Future Past Maggie, Virgin New Adventures Maggie, Maggie 2099 or Dark Shadows comic strip Maggie, who does not exist. Maybe next time.

Tomorrow: The Very Last Ron Sproat Episode.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

At the end of the teaser, the west wing door opens, and we’re supposed to see Mr. Jughans, then pan over to a Quentin reveal. But the camera comes in at the wrong angle, and we see Quentin’s feet.

Tomorrow: The Very Last Ron Sproat Episode.

682 dark shadows vicki winters poster

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

69 thoughts on “Episode 682: The Four Maggies

  1. Long?

    Hell, no. It’s exactly what I wanted.

    And why I read DSED every day.

    And unlike lots of DS purists, I loved the 2012 movie. It rekindled an obsession with DS long since forgotten, because before the movie, I had no idea that the DVD set even existed, much less available at my local Library.

    At the time, I laughed hard when movie Maggie turned into Victoria in her first scene.

    And now, you have brought it all together.

    Yes, despite the Grayson Hall fans who hated the New Julia, and those who thought that the great and talented cast could have come closer to the original somehow, I bought it.

    And I watch it every six months or so.

    But until this post, I had never considered why they combined Maggie and Vicki, other than simple cost control. And a good joke.

    But it actually made sense. Thank you.

    1. I’m a fan of the Johnny Depp movie too. I have it on Blu-ray and I watch it every so often. However since I started watching the original series I’m going to wait until I get to the end to try it again.

  2. If Kathryn Leigh Scott read this post she might whine “Vicki! Vicki! Vicki!” (i.e., like Jan’s sibling rant on the ‘Brady Bunch’).

  3. Regarding the 2012 Depp Shadows movie, which I have not seen, and how I feel it compares to House of Dark Shadows, as well as how any remake would stand up to the original series….

    The show is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    It maketh me to lie down in Dark Shadows: it leadeth me beside the dry thunders.

    They restoreth my show: they leadeth me in the paths of DVDs for the show’s sake.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of time, I will view no reboot: for Frid art with me; thy wolf on thy cane, they comfort me.

    Thou preparest a DVD before me in the presence of mine evenings: thou anointest me with headphones; my beer runneth over.

    Surely viewings of my favorite show shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the House of Dark Shadows forever.

    1. That’s good.

      But what you haven’t seen will only get you pissed.

      Stick to your guns. You’re a purist, and I salute you.

      I came back from a different direction, another location.

      We still end up in the same place. It’s good.

    2. Not seeing Depp Shadows was a wise move.

      It’s not so much a movie, as it is a handful of scenes, and music videos, where the visuals of the original are extrapolated, and blown way up.
      Johnny Depp isn’t just Barnabas Collins, he’s Barnabas Collins, plus Max Shreck’s Nosferatu, plus Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, plus I’m going to throw up.

      A great deal of time was spent taking the folded-arm female figures from the grandfather clock in the foyer, and placing them on the wall, up the stairway, so they could come to life, and grab Johnny Depp, and be evil.
      They took harmless little fishies from the bas-relief tiles of the original Collinwood terrace, and turned them into bulbous creatures that wrap around the staircase banister, and then come to life to snarl at Elizabeth, before she blows their nasty heads off with a shot gun.
      “Nice shot, Liz” if Filter had done the soundtrack, with a more 90’s feel…

      Collinwood looks like a charcoal caricature of the itself. it doesn’t look like an actual house, so not as scary. The whole thing is a cartoon. The sad things is, there are brief flashes that show the potential it might have had.
      One scene worth seeing: Barnabas takes Elizabeth beneath the moving fireplace, to the Captain Jack Sparrow’s hidden treasure room, I mean the Collin’s family’s hidden treasure room. Yo ho ho.
      See that scene on You Tube, if you dare, but stop there.

      A great deal time and money was invested in visuals, and almost no attention paid to story, or script. Eva Green is great in Penny Dreadful, but as Angelique, it didn’t work for me. And our Beloved Dr Hoffman was treated with such disrespect.
      In the original Dark Shadows, it was as if they were in their own little world, no outside contemporary cultural references. You could mention Lucretia Borgia, but not The Beatles. Of course, Tim Burton’s version is the opposite, because that’s his biggest crutch. Without his groovy 60’s/70’s hipster soundtrack, Mr B would be up a C without a P. Seriously.

      It finally boils down to a fist-fight, between Barnabas and Angelique.
      Unfortunately, ever since Heath Ledger’s Joker said to Batman, in 2008, paraphrasing:
      “You didn’t really think I’d let this come down to a just fist fight between you and me, did you?”,
      it’s a little harder to respect a movie that just comes down to a fist fight. It almost seems out of date, and lazy.
      Of course, being a fan of acute directors like Hitchcock and Kubrick, Timmy is inevitably going to seem, what’s a nice way of putting it? Oh, I don’t know, is Tim Burton totally drunk and stoned ALL the time? Cause his movies start to make sense if you….yada yada yada…..be sure you don’t have to drive anywhere.

      1. I’ve never seen the movie, but your fourth paragraph describes my pet peeve about countless “period” stories (and even other things, like documentaries). When it comes to things like period music (and pop culture references and topical ones), they don’t seem to know “when to say when,” so they’re laid on so heavily. And the funny thing is, you don’t have to DISLIKE a single one of the songs (or other things) to get annoyed by it. You can be crazy about the songs, and STILL be annoyed by it.

      2. Richard…..Since Depp Shadows was my re-entry to DS, I’ve always looked at it differently than just about anyone, it seems.

        Dan Curtis’ two daughters were consultants on the film, and it’s interesting to see their influence in the script.

        One great scene is stolen from the b&w ep where Frid takes Vicki on an architectural tour of the dilapidated Old House.

        In the movie, there is no Old House.

        So Depp does this on his first present day visit to Collinwood, and it is fantastic.
        An example of some of the serious parts of the film which show great respect.
        Culminating in his reveal to Liz that he is the original Barnabas, opening the grand staircase to the Basement Of Old Joshua’s Jewelry Collection, and taking her down to visit the rats.

        Sure is better than NODS.

        1. I think the movie is kind of a postmodern avant-garde ritual with narrative collisions and I don’t like Ron Sproat

          ==This message was sent by the Auto-Danny Markov text generator==

        2. Sorry, I couldn’t agree less. I would advise Dan Curtis daughters to never ever ever mention to anyone as long as they live that they had anything to do with this mess. This “film” and it barely counts as that, shows nothing but contempt and utter disrespect towards it’s source material. I find it impossible to believe it was made by “fans” of the original.

          The movie should be held as evidence that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp murdered Jonathan Frid. I believe that Frid saw what they were doing and it killed him.
          Burton and Depp both pulled down their pants and shit all over Dark Shadows. The notion that is it better than Night Of Dark Shadows is sad, because it isn’t better than anything.
          With Dark Shadows, Tim Burton proved once and for all that he IS Edward D Wood Jr, film hack, extraordinaire, criminally untalented, and saddest of all, irrelevant.

          1. Robert Downey Jr should have played Barnabas, and it should have been directed by an actual film director, like the brilliant Darren Aronofsky.

      3. “Depp Shadows”. Heh. I think I’m going to use that!

        I never watched it in theatres b/c my enthusiasm waned but I managed to catch it on TV fairly recently. I have no idea what Depp and Burton were talking about them being fans of the show b/c it became obvious they had never watched it or were fans.

      4. Richard- Excellent review of that “film”. Best review I’ve read of it.

        I hated the movie. The high-speed vampire attacks weren’t scary or Gothic in the least.

  4. I was about to write that you forgot to add Bizzaro Maggie. But after this post I think our current 1969 Maggie is Bizarro Maggie (as well as taking the place of Earth 616 Vicky too, of course).

    She’s the opposite of the original Maggie. Instead of being Barnabas’ former victim and bitterest enemy, she’s his best pal and has fond feelings for him.

    1. Oh! I forgot all about Bizarro Maggie. I knew I was forgetting somebody. But it’s hard to keep track. Sometimes it feels like there are infinite Earths or something.

  5. Absolutely the WORST Maggie is the 1991 version who is having a sweat drenched fling with Roger (visualize the faces of Kathryn Leigh Scott and Louis Edmonds from the beloved DS in this situation and you’ll see what I mean 🙂

    1. One thought (sort of) about 1991:

      Vicki is the reincarnation of Josette (probably, although I think there was room to wiggle out of that) and looks exactly like her. When she goes back in time, she meets Josette/her previous self. This gives Joanna Going some much-needed screen time, admittedly. Still, I wonder what would have happened if she’d switched places in time with Josette instead of Phyllis Wick. That would be some serious timeline-changing time travel. Picture, if you will (because in this version, it isn’t one tick of the clock, even though Phyllis Wick is wasted again), Vicki dealing with everyone seeing her as Josette, modern-day Barnabas seeing actual Josette again. (I’m not sure why they thought they had to do the witch trial thing again, for that matter.) Okay, maybe that’s more than one thought.

  6. There were two major issues, I think, with DARK SHADOWS (2012): It wasted Julia Hoffman, who I think is the most important character on the show other than Barnabas. Frankly, it’s like making an X-FILES movie where Scully is sidelined and actually turns out to be a villain. Yes, HODS made a similar mistake. But that warrant repeating it. The other problem was tone, and I think that’s what alienated most longtime fans. DARK SHADOWS could be funny but it was never deliberately so. There was not a spark of Whedonism in DARK SHADOWS. Perhaps this is rooted in the soap opera tradition. Objectively, DAYS OF OUR LIVES and YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS are flat-out absurd but they work for their viewers because they play it straight.

    However, I will say that I think the 2012 film at least tried to make Barnabas an active protagonist and balanced the “family protector” with “serial killer” duality of the character well. Pity it got so much else wrong.

    1. Apparently they were originally going to do a serious adaptation of the TV show, but got scared by the Twilight films, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, and felt that their Dark Shadows film wasn’t bring anything new to the glutted Vampire table.

      So they decided (at the last minute) to do a comedic take instead. It’s too bad, because as others have said, you can see some affection for the original show come though at moments.

      1. I heard that, too. How embarrassing.
        A real artist does what he does, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. A real artist is impervious to the lesser works he must step over.

        1. That’s a wonderful sentiment. As someone who’s often running a across published/produced works with superficial similarities to what I have in my filing cabinet or on my flash drive and thinking, “Now people will think I’ve copied that,” what you say is comforting.

          I’m also not sure “Twilight” and “True Blood” are that serious.

    2. The big problem is everyone is played like they’re freaks – a common Burtonism and also something that’s wrong with the 1991 revival. What works on the original show is that the characters are played (mostly) straight – sure they have their quirks but for the most part they come across as normal people. Julia, Barnabas, Quentin – you can have normal conversations with them. Heck you may even be able to have a pleasant conversation with Angelique if you catch her on a good day.

      Depp’s Barnabas screams FREAK!!!!!!! from the get-go. So he looks like Michael Jackson and acts like Jack Sparrow. It’s similar for many of the other characters as well – they’re weird or kooky, like the Addams Family. But the Collinses weren’t the Addams Family. They had their secrets, but they were relatable, mostly down-to-Earth people.

      It also doesn’t help that Burton has thrown the old TV show under the bus as a means of excusing the pathetic reception of his film.

    3. What they did to Julia was probably the most painful part of that movie, the biggest disappointment. The “real” Julia Hoffman is, as Danny says, as Rock Star. I see exactly why he says that. Barnabas Collins met his match, with Julia.
      In this movie, she’s a drunk and a villain, and not in a good way.

      1. Both DS 1991 and the Burton film, as least as far as the Julia/Barnabas relationship, could have been made if all that existed of DS was 1967 and 1795 and HODS.

        Eva Green’s Angelique and whatever Lysette Anthony was doing both only seemed to stretch only within the dimensions of the 1795 version. I thought Angelique was at her best in 1897 — almost a recall of early Julia, who had her own agenda and was one step ahead of everyone. She could be your ally as long as you were all on the same side (“her side”).

    4. Oh, I’d say DS (1966) had its intentionally funny moments–but they were never “Haw, haw, guffaw” funny, they were more quiet little character moments made funny by an actor’s delivery of a line. I’m about 100 episodes behind DSED at the moment, and Stokes and Blair are both getting some delightfully funny little scenes.

      As for DS (2012) the best thing I can say about it was it got me back into the series. I’d seen some episodes back in the 90s, and as I sat in the cinema watching the movie I found myself thinking, “The original series was better even if the sets were wobbly and it was in black and white!” Shortly afterwards I hunted out the DVDs online and found I was right. I haven’t stopped watching since then!

      1. Oh, hey, Christine. That was my path as well, and I’m so glad that I’m not the only one here. 2012 has really pushed everyone’s button.

        For all the haters of 2012, I ask:

        Where’s your Suspension Of Disbelief?

        Did everyone expect a documentary?

        It’s a fantasy movie.

        I mean….look.

        HODS turned everyone it could into a vampire.

        Realism. That’s what we want. Realism.

      2. I think the funny moments in the original DS series were mostly due to Sam Hall. The spark and energy of his scripts often came from sarcastic, dry, ironic, etc. humorous comments that he would usually give to Roger or Prof. Stokes. Mrs. Johnson is occasionally good for humor with her batty fussiness.

    5. I thought Helena Bonham Carter was okay casting, but yeah, they wasted Julia. I hated Barnabas for what he did there (and I wasn’t supposed to hate him?).

  7. Oh, and to the topic of today’s post: I agree completely — Maggie is Vicki. KLS “replaces” Moltke but because she’s an established character with audience affection, she’s more successful than the previous Fake Vickis. The big question is whether a new to the series KLS or even Kate Jackson could have played the character of Vicki outright after Moltke left. I don’t think so.

    But ultimately, it’s Maggie who is written out of the series and Vicki/Maggie who remains.

    1. Sadly you are right. I do agree with Danny that KLS made Maggie as Vicki more interesting than Moltke’s Vicki. I just liked her better. I may have been because Original Recipe Vicki got dumbed down in order to keep Barnabas viable as a character, where Maggie become the governess after 1) her memory had been wiped twice, so she was a victim, not stupid and 2) Barnabas was no longer a vampire, so she didn’t have to be oblivious to… well just about everything. It may also be because Moltke’s Vicki was written as cool, collected and adult; while Maggie was more spunky and fun.

      I liked Maggie more than Vicki from the beginning, and I’m one who liked Vicki for quite a while. Maggie just caught me more than Vicki ever did, even when she played the same role.

  8. I think that the problem with HODS, 1991, 2012 and all the rest is that this is a story that can only be told once. The 1967/1795 story doesn’t follow the shape of a normal story that anyone would write if they thought about it from beginning to end. You either change it (and potentially miss important elements) or… well, there isn’t really any other option.

    1. I also think that DS worked as long form story telling. The daily soap opera setting allowed character development that can’t be done in movies and is only rarely done on nighttime TV. Maybe, maybe in today’s TV world where serialized story telling is accepted and character development is expected DS could work, but I think that too much has to be pared down for a movie and DS just doesn’t work that way.

      1. I agree. It could be done now, with the right people. I would give it a different title (or two–which I have in mind–I’ve given too much thought to this), because “Dark Shadows” was the original series. I think they should have called 2012 something else (maybe “The Return of Barnabas Collins”).

    1. Or you do what Big Finish has done successfully, and several comic book publishers have done to varying degrees of success. You say, the series is the series, we’re not retelling that story. Here are more stories that take place within that world, and continuing that story.

      Trying to reboot the show over again is like saying that you’re going to retell the story of Doctor Who, and arguing over whether you do the caveman story or go straight for the Daleks. You just keep doing the show.

    2. I like Night of Dark Shadows as well. In fact, I’m going to give it another viewing tomorrow night as part of my post-series ritual. I’ve just completed my third run-through of the series, and each time after I finish watching the series all the way through, every 9 or 10 months or so, I watch the movies. Just watched and enjoyed House of Dark Shadows, and so next is NODS.

      One has to wonder how it would have turned out if it had been made as originally written. The script had to be revised because of Jonathan Frid’s refusal to play Barnabas again.

      One also has to wonder if in fact it was House of Dark Shadows, which was a result of the show’s huge success, that paradoxically led to the show’s cancellation just a few months later. Because immediately after the theatrical run of the movie, the show’s ratings saw a steady decline despite the excellent 1840 storyline.

      The reason for this probably has to do with the fact that parents were finally getting wise to what their kids were watching in the afternoon. Parents and kids didn’t watch the TV series together, but parents did take their kids to the movie to see HODS, particularly given the popularity of drive-ins at the time. In terms of blood and gore, HODS is right up there with other vampire movies of the period, and must have given a number of parents pause to begin reconsidering what their kids should be allowed to watch on TV.

      1. I recently watched HODS and 2012 for the first time (I was initially excited about 2012, but the trailer put me off).

        It’s interesting that, even in HODS, where Barnabas is the Villain, there are scenes like the one where he’s walking with Maggie, so entranced to be in the sunlight. He tells her, rather shyly, how much he enjoys being with her, and you have to remind yourself all of the awful stuff he’s doing. What is it about Frid that he can pull that off?

      2. No doubt about HODS frightening the parents, who could only assume that the same gore was happening before the kids’ eyes, two hours before Dad gets home from work every day. Maybe they saw signs of kids acting out what they’ve just seen, and feared what the new little monsters might do next.

        For instance…the most benign but easy thing to do to your parents is to act like you’re possessed.

      3. I eagerly await your NODS re-review, POTN.
        I found the screenplay to be slow, not enough plot points, and totally dependent
        On that gorgeous mansion.

  9. I started a rewatch (or just a watch, as I’d never seen these episodes) of the show from the beginning on June 27, and I’m really enjoying it. David is like the bad seed. Vicki is charming, funny, and stands up to Roger. Carolyn is adorable, despite her creepy crush on her own uncle (what?). I like her with Joe. And Maggie and Roger have a couple of scenes together that make me see what they thought they could go for in 1991 (unfortunately, they had different actors and they didn’t build it up–it was just there). But these episodes are all by Art Wallace so far.

    1. I meant to make that comment under the Ron Sproat post, but it seems almost fitting that I screwed it up. Well, I do mention Maggie, so there’s that. And I loved her introduction. In blonde wig telling Vicki not to go to Collinwood.

    2. I’m just beginning my fourth run-through of the series and am up to episode 50 at the moment. Even on this fourth viewing, I discover further subtle nuances that allow me to be certain of a particular character’s guilt when someone is investigating his past and something happens as a result, but as you’re just seeing these for the first time, I’ll avoid discussing the storylines as they unfold.

      Instead, I’ll just say how much I enjoy the atmosphere of these episodes. I like how they blend the exterior footage with the studio sets. It helps in giving the impression of an actual fishing village, and is a reminder that the first few months of Dark Shadows is not just about Collinwood the house, but also Collinsport the town. It adds a certain New England charm as well as an extra layer of authenticity to make the stories and the characters more true to life. More than any other soap of the period, Dark Shadows really went all out in terms of set design, both interior and exterior.

      Viewers approaching these episodes retrospectively after having encountered the Barnabas era seem put off by the slow pacing, and mostly by the fact that there are no spooks and genuine thrills, at least not until the Phoenix storyline. But I look at it this way. Rather than a tale of ghosts and monsters and the like, though this period of the show does actually serve up a couple of ghosts before the arrival of the Phoenix, more than anything the first months of Dark Shadows plays like a mystery serial, well acted, well written, excellent set and scenic design, a top notch ongoing whodunnit layered with nuances that leave you wondering if there’s actually more to a given character’s part in how a story plays out than what is actually explained.

      All of this is driven home one episode (#46) when the show name checks itself for the first and only time as Vicki shows Roger the sketch of Collinwood done by David and Roger remarks, “Collinwood, with all its dark shadows. He’s captured it, alright.”

      Dark Shadows 1966 forever!

      1. It is very mystery serial (with possible ghosts), and everything you say, and I am loving it, but I was a big fan of “The Edge of Night” also. It is great to see the interconnectedness between Collinwood and Collinsport also, as you say.

        On a side note, I can actually see what Vicki sees in Burke Devlin!

      2. POTN……your silence about NODS is telling.

        Selby, Kate, Grayson, Lara, all great stars, but….

        The star of the film is the mansion.

        1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to give that impression. I gave the film another viewing late last night and after having slept in am just now gathering my thoughts.

          We’ll never know what the planned House of Dark Shadows sequel Curse of Dark Shadows would have been like, but what do you do when your reluctant vampire star is reluctant to even be a vampire anymore? Fortunately they were able to draw on other elements of the show, and more than anything I think Night of Dark Shadows is complementary to HODS and stands as a reminder that there was more to the so-called vampire soap than just a vampire story. I like the “light and shade” pacing of NODS, that is, in one moment the estate seems serene and comforting and then in the next there are these nightmarish, trippy sequences as the possession gradually takes hold, for instance, when time past and present merge unnervingly as Gerard in attack mode shows flashes of Gabriel, and Gabriel and Gerard flash back and forth, as he is about to assault Quentin/Charles, the tension punctuated by the incomparable Bob Cobert soundtrack–the true star, by the way, of the best of Dan Curtis’ work. Another star worth mentioning is stunt coordinator Alex Stevens. Seeing Gerard after he goes mad and gets shot by Claire, when she and Tracy go outside to look for him and then come back into the cottage and he’s lurking there inside the door all blood soaked as they enter, that’s a pretty spooky moment, and then the knife fight on the bridge, where we see the contribution of Alex Stevens at work. Nice also to see Diana Millay reprising her role as Laura Collins.

          In terms of style, story and setting, NODS reminds me of a film Dan Curtis made five years later, Burnt Offerings. In that movie as well, you could say that the house is the star, because in a way it is alive and it holds a mysterious force that gradually takes hold of and possesses its occupants. Finally they have it in mind to escape and just as they are leaving, in each film, the principal character who is keeping the spirit and the possession alive is compelled to make one last trip up to the top floor, after which the possession is complete and the other characters are killed off, having fallen into the hands of horror.

          I wonder what someone who hasn’t seen the original show would think of HODS and NODS. On their own they work, as Dan Curtis films. I’ve been meaning to have another look at Burnt Offerings. I should view NODS and Burnt Offerings back to back sometime. But more than anything, it’s just good to have the original cast working together one last time.

          1. Thank you. That is a great entry.

            So, maybe I will give it a re watch,

            And see if my opinion changes.

            My dislike has NOTHING to do with Frid.
            When he became Bramwell, I didn’t care, either.

              1. If not, then it’s probably in the top three. 🙂 The Time Travel 1991 pages get pretty long, especially the one where we argued about Barbara Steele.

            1. NODS. I actually like it now, after figuring out why the changed feel of a DS entry, and fell in love with Cobert’s love theme, “Joanna”, (an inside joke for those who watched the whole series), and I watched it three times this week.

              I just wish Angie could have been more witchly.

      3. way to go Prisoner. i only quite recently saw the early episodes for the first time, and you describe it so well. i was taken with the picture of the sixties, and small New England towns, it presents. and astonished when i saw Joan Bennett before her bad days took hold. now i see from whence came her reputation, the respect so many have for her, came. she was stunning. also, i saw Roger in a whole new light. i’m looking forward to seeing it again when next everything swings round.

  10. Okay, I just checked at the library, and it’s there.

    1.5 miles away, it owns the 26 Collections and NODS, but HODS it does not.

    If nothing else, I am hoping to be inspired by the score.

    Bob had a single entry in the 2012 movie.

    During Maggie/ Vicki’s stroll from the end of the driveway to the house, for the interview.

    That is the only crime I see from Depp/Burton there”…..

    sorry, I can’t rid of the quote mark.

  11. I know I’m coming very late to this party (over two years late), but I love all this. Maggie is Vicki but Vicki is Maggie who’s Daphne and Vicki and what’s on second….yep. Hysterical.

    My feeling has always been that, actually, making Maggie Josette was a huge mistake, and maybe Dan Curtis realized this tactical error too late. In terms of story structure, it just makes so so so so so much more sense for Vicki to be Josette from the get-go. I know there are endless arguments about who Vicki’s parents are, but one way or another, the idea seems to be that she really is part of the Collins family. That gives her a history–perhaps an unknown history to Vicki herself–that a ghost can latch onto that makes sense. Why would the ghost reincarnate herself–or even just resemble–a lower-class waitress in town with no ancestral connection to the Collins family, and probably no 18th-century ancestral connection to the town of Collinsport, either? That just doesn’t make a lot of sense storywise. At some point, Vicki realizing, at least in part (or suspecting) that she was in some way the ghost that she herself was encountering and that was inhabiting the estate–wow, that fits all right in with the kind of story DS was originally telling. Then when the vampire shows up, she’s actually his love from another time and is to become the bride of the vampire? That makes a lot of sense! (Vicki wanted to learn about her past and who she was–well, girl, be careful what you wish for.) That for some random reason Josette looks like–or “is”–a waitress in town, well, where would that come from?

    If Maggie would have just been left as Maggie rather than turning into Vicki, we could have had a more interesting character on the show for a longer time. Her character could have been developed beyond gum-cracking blonde Maggie from the first couple of episodes, sure, but she could have remained more of a clear-eyed, no-nonsense character who could see the Collinses for the weirdos they were. Of course, the way the show developed, there eventually wouldn’t have been a place for such a character anyway, as the Collinses were normalized for us as viewers, as the town of Collinsport blew out to sea in a mist, as everything started taking place in the mansion, and as monsters replaced character development.

    A subpoint in response to the mention above that in the 2012 movie (which I have not seen), the Collinses are portrayed as “kooky” like the Addams family–that’s also how the Addams family differed from the Munsters. I love both shows, but I have to admit as a kid, I liked the Munsters better and probably still do. The Addamses were indeed “kooky”–they would do things like have sword fights in the living room after breakfast, whereas the Munsters would do more “normal” things like sit down and read the newspaper after dinner. Of course, I realize many strange things were happening at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, but daily life in a lot of ways was pretty “normal” for them. They just happened to be monsters. You could go over to the Munsters’ house and have a neighborly chat if you could get past the fact that there was a dragon living under the staircase and Grandpa slept upside down in the basement in his lab. If you went over to the Addams house, it would be extremely entertaining but nothing like you had ever experienced in the normal world, which is a good thing too.

    One thing that has not at all been mentioned in the above discussion of the many Vickis and Maggies and Dark Shadowses–the 2004 WB pilot. I know some might argue if that’s “real” or not since the pilot itself wasn’t quite finished and it never went to series, but it’s out there, and you can catch it on YouTube for a while now and then until the copyright police take it down. There’s a lot of controversy as to whether or not that was any good or not (I basically thought it wasn’t), but it’s trying to retell the Vicki/Barnabas story YET AGAIN. Starts with the train and “My name is Victoria Winters” all over again. At least there’s no Maggie at all in that one to muddle everything.

    1. Thank you for your post, TD. I, too, am coming into these blog comments 2 years late, but I am engrossed in every single one of them! I decided to rewatching the series for the second time and I was lucky enough to happen upon this blog about 50 episodes back (too bad I didn’t find this blog at the very beginning of my re-watch phase, but that’s ok; I’ll save it for the next re-watch!)

    2. TD, i’m coming here even later, and yet enjoying it ever so much. i’m watching the whole series, in company with my dinners, on my DVDs for at least the third go (but the first complete, with the starting episodes) and i’m currently reading about a week after what i watched. Danny’s is wonderful, funny, warm, and constantly surprising. (actually Danny is adorable.) and he loves my favourite characters, and i have many favourites amoungst the commenters. i read once a week, seven or eight entries at a go. it’s nice to know someone else is tagging along latterly, even though you’re a whole year back in time from me. so now i’m wondering, is someone reading from some parallel place?

  12. Oh, Virgin New Adventures Maggie is my favourite. With the shades and the big-ass gun, blowing up werewolves and banging her way through the supporting cast…

  13. Prisoner, the 1840 storyline was excellent when it was first done in 1897. Maybe this shows that not even Dark Shadows can repeat Dark Shadows.
    I’m reminded of the Astaire and Rogers movies of the 1930s, which are perfection. When they teamed again later for The Barkleys of Broadway, it wasn’t the same. The stars aligned for Original Dark Shadows, as they had for Top Hat.
    You can’t repeat Dark Shadows because it was unique, growing wildly and organically and insanely from the madman Dan Curtis, who created it in spite of budget constraints and total inexperience. He gave fans what they wanted, pushing the limits of actors and special effects to create Thrills! Chills! And Spectacle! Yet, not even Dan could recreate Dark Shadows. Like Barkleys, the magic moment had passed.

    I like many of the Big Finish audios but I don’t have the same attachment to them that I do to the original series, even though many of the original actors reprise their roles and they try to continue in the same spirit as the original.

    I like the visuals in Tim Burton’s movies but the only one that I’m really a fan of is “Nightmare Before Christmas”. I see a lot of Julia in Sally, the sensible redhead who loves Jack (who only thinks of her as a friend) and who tries to stop his crazy plan and save him from himself. If there is any fondness for Original Dark Shadows in Burton’s work, it’s to be found in Nightmare.

    Finally, I enjoyed POTN’s Dark Shadows psalm and, as always, Danny’s writing is wonderful!

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