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All Episodes Talk: Dan Curtis Did It First.

John Karlen was so young.  Barnabas was a real villain in these episodes, but Jonathan's acting made him more sympathetic. 

I think this show influenced the soaps that came later.   I don't want to spoil @peacheslatour about what she'll see in two hours.

I love the theme music.  I didn't care that much for these episodes when I first saw them.  Maggie Evans wasn't my favorite character.

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I'm up to where they switched Anthony George for Mitchell Ryan as Burke Devlin.

From Victoria's narration:   "the sound of the sea is a primeval whisper, tempting us to think the world will never change."

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Oh crap, are they skipping episodes?  Dr Julia Hoffman just showed up. 

Edited by atomationage. Reason: more later, oh crap!
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I started watching this show when the SciFi channel reran it several years ago and it was awesome.  I always had a deep love for Carolyn Stoddard and Nancy Barrett in particular.  I liked that the show wasn't afraid to show Carolyn in a less than flattering light--she was constantly screwing up and getting into trouble and her family always forgave her--that felt very realistic to me.  And I think her best story line was when Barnabas hypnotized her into being his spy--NB was extremely badass when she played Carolyn under Barnabas' control.

I also thought that Don Briscoe and David Selby were insanely good looking and I bet they has girls swooning into their arms left and right :):)

ETA:  I love how haunting little Sarah's version of "London Bridge is Falling Down" is and you can't help but feel bad for this little girl who died so tragically--her ghost does help a lot of people, but the poor thing deserves some peace.

Edited by kitmerlot1213.
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The episodes I'm watching now are in color.  David is trapped in the Collins mausoleum.  Roger says that several of his incenstors, ancestors are buried here.  Joel Crothers is featured.  He died quite young.  I haven't watched since early this morning, when Julia was taking a peak at Barnabas in his coffin.  

In the episode that started at 7:30 central time, Julia does the narration at the beginning. 

Edited by atomationage. Reason: next episode
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8 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

yay, blue candles.

I was wondering if they were going to show the 1795 episodes, because Victoria was talking about being so connected to the past after Barnabas gave her the music box.  The blue candles were transported back to 1795 with her.

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On 10/31/2016 at 11:13 AM, peacheslatour said:

And then the next episodes are in black and white. Weird. But, yay, blue candles.

Episodes past 295 that you're seeing in black and white are kinescopes of episode tapes that were lost, usually made by filming right off the television monitor. There were quite a few of them, although it's remarkable that almost all the original videotapes survived a period in broadcast history when most soap operas weren't archived. 

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I've been watching the episodes in order as they aired 50 years ago (i.e. I watched the August 18, 1967 episode on Friday). A couple of thoughts
 

  • At this point in the storyline, Julia is really unlikeable. Whether she's hypnotizing Maggie to forget about the kidnapping, manipulating Vicky to stay away from Barnabas or lying to Dr. Woodard. Julia is just unbearable. (That's no reflection on Grayson Hall, who is doing an admirable job portraying her. I do cringe, though, every time she starts smoking a cigarette.)
  • I find I'm missing the "My name is Victoria Winters" part of the intro once it's gone. I always loved how the opening narration was from Vicky's perspective.
  • Speaking of Vicky, it's amazing just how many episodes Alexandra Moltke actually appeared in. Moltke was only 20 in 1967 and she must have had exceptional stamina to put up with her workload.
  • I never love the transition to color when it comes. If any show should be filmed in B&W, it's Dark Shadows!
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I just finished (I assume) the Reverend Trask portion of the 1968 episodes and have to give kudos to the actor and his eyeliner.  Very good, sorry to see him go and be stuck with the yelling defense attorney.

Edited by funkopop.
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Watching the episodes from this week in 1967 (in which Barnabas is attempting to gaslight David) makes me question whether a network would ever approve a story like this today. It's easy to forget just how despicable Barnabas really was in the pre-1795 period until you see him manipulating events to make it look like David is disturbed and needs to be sent away.

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On 10/4/2017 at 4:16 PM, Jan Spears said:

Watching the episodes from this week in 1967 (in which Barnabas is attempting to gaslight David) makes me question whether a network would ever approve a story like this today. It's easy to forget just how despicable Barnabas really was in the pre-1795 period until you see him manipulating events to make it look like David is disturbed and needs to be sent away.

I never got past early Barnabas, and I honestly didn't feel like the writers did a good job of making me, if that was the intention. He was forever gaslighting, engaging in violence and coercion against women, and even outright setting women up for rape and beating. The only difference was he no longer was doing it to rich people named Collins. 

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50 years ago this week, the show was about ten episodes out from the first great time travel storyline (to 1795.) The show was firing on all cylinders at this point: Barnabas was obsessed with having Vicky as his bride, Julia was hypnotizing Vicky to recoil from Barnabas (because Julia was jealous of Barnabas' interest in Vicky), and Carolyn was completely under Barnabas' power and was working mightily against Julia. Nancy Barrett, in particular, was outstanding at this point. Carolyn was always written with an underlying streak of cruelty but, at this juncture, what had been an undercurrent had become a major current.

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I finished my chronological tour through the 1967 episodes with the November 17th, 1967 episode (#365). This is the episode in which Vicky was hurled back in time to 1795.

I've picked up with the November 17th, 1969 episode (#886), which was first episode in the Leviathans storyline. I've never seen this storyline before and it's often cited as one of the least favorite storylines of most viewers. But so far, through five episodes, I'm loving it. I like how the focus is on Julia: aware that something is definitely wrong with Barnabas after his return from the past, helping Chris Jennings with his werewolf curse and trying to find the portrait of Quentin (and, by extension, Quentin himself) from 1897. And, to me, the Leviathans are great fun with their altar in the woods surrounding Collinwood, the box with the Naga sign on it, etc.

One thing I've noticed with these later episodes is that the show was really using color to great effect by this point. I've always hated the initial change from B&W to color in 1967 but, by 1970, the show had taken on a lurid, Expressionistic look that really suits the material.

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To me, when Vicki leaves the show... the show loses an element of normalcy that it never gets back.  Julia/Barnabas were good, just like Angelique... but Vicki was the ingenue center of the show that future attempts to fulfill didn't quite work (Maggie, Roxanne, and Daphne).

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I don't know if you guys know about this site but I am addicted to it: darkshadowseveryday.com. BTW Jan Spears, the blogger agrees with everything you posted.

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 0:40 PM, peacheslatour said:

I don't know if you guys know about this site but I am addicted to it: darkshadowseveryday.com. BTW Jan Spears, the blogger agrees with everything you posted.

I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the head's up!

I'm now 30+ episodes into the Leviathans story and, I have to say, there's been no let up at all. What I would say by way of recommendation is that, if you go into it viewing the entire storyline as a showcase for Grayson Hall as Julia, Nancy Barrett as Carolyn and even Joan Bennett as (a possessed) Liz, you'll enjoy yourself tremendously. That being said, if you go into it expecting to see Barnabas in tortured but heroic mode, you'll be disappointed. (Jonathan Frid actually gave a great performance as a brainwashed and evil Barnabas and it's evident from the episodes that Frid himself relished the change of pace for his character.)

There are numerous twists and turns in the storyline all of which seem to revolve around Julia: being at odds with Barnabas about how to help Chris Jennings and definitely aware that something is wrong with Barnabas, trying to resolve the mystery of "Grant Douglas" (a.k.a. Quentin) so that she can help Chris, and figuring how out the succession of creepy kids (who are VERY creepy) at the antiques shop and Paul Stoddard's seemingly delusional behavior fit together. Grayson Hall was definitely earning her pay checks during these episodes as she, along with Nancy Barrett, we're really carrying the show.

To build on something I wrote earlier in this thread, not only did the show's creative staff  figure out to use color creatively by 1970 but they also figured out how to create 'dark shadows' in color by 1970. Episode 915 (the "Emergency Leviathans Episode," which explained again for viewers why Barnabas was behaving the way he was) has some of the best use of shadows since the B&W glory days in 1967.

The only thing I'm finding difficult about these episodes is watching Don Briscoe as Chris Jennings and knowing that, in about four months time from this point in the show's history, he would start to experience the health issues that would force him to leave the show. He's so handsome and full of life in these episodes. It's difficult knowing he would spend the remainder of his life ruled by a terrible health problem.

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At long last, I think I have found an active Dark Shadows message board! 

I started watching Dark Shadows a few months ago on my dad's recommendation, and I am absolutely hooked. I get through ten episodes a day if at all possible. I'm currently at the beginning of the 1840 storyline, and so far it's interesting but I'll reserve judgment until I see more. 

I have to agree with you, Jan Spears, I really liked the Leviathan storyline as well. It was definitely different, but it kept me guessing. I loved Jeb as a character, how he started out as arrogant, impulsive, and malicious but softened when he developed genuine feelings for Carolyn. Ultimately he gave up power for love and humanity, which I found to be quite beautiful. My heart broke for Carolyn after she lost him.

I'm also with you on Don Briscoe. Watching his last episodes was incredibly painful.  

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I just wish that out pf all the seemingly endless amount of cable channels one would run Dark Shadows in it's entirety.

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I've finished with the final 12 episodes of Collection 17 and the first 3 discs of Collection 18, which puts me just about at the half way mark of the Leviathans era. Here are my thoughts and grades for the major storylines:

Leviathans/Paul Stoddard's Return/The Antiques Shop

I've been pleasantly surprised to find that, contrary to legend, the Leviathans storyline is actually quite exciting and contains numerous twists and turns. The Leviathans themselves are like a disease that is slowly beginning to infect Collinsport. This was the perfect set-up to showcase Grayson Hall as Dr. Julia Hoffman, who is definitely aware that something strange is happening with Barnabas and at the antiques shop in town but can't quite "diagnose" the problem. This storyline also features a superb performance from Marie Wallace as Megan Todd, who becomes increasingly deranged and sadistic as the storyline progresses. (Wallace specialized in playing these kinds of characters, which included the supernatural Eve in 1968 and the insane Jenny Collins in 1897.) Matching Wallace along the way is child actor Michael Maitland who plays the Leviathan creature during one of its transformations. Maitland is very impressive and, as a child actor, he more than holds his own opposite Grayson Hall and Jonathan Frid.

Grade: A- (Dropped from an A because Dan Curtis & co. lost their nerve a bit regarding Barnabas' motivations. Barnabas starts out being completely under the control of the Leviathans. But then his motivation changes mid-story and he becomes a victim of blackmail by the Leviathans.)

Chris Jennings Werewolf Story

The werewolf story is actually quite compelling, and Don Briscoe and Grayson Hall are good in it. Unfortunately, the storyline is not sustained consistently. It takes center stage at times and then it -- and Don Briscoe -- disappear for long stretches.

Grade: B

Quentin's Return/The Portrait of Quentin/Quentin and Amanda

If there was one dud during this period, this storyline was it. At a certain point (and that point comes quickly), Quentin's amnesia and Julia trying to find the portrait of Quentin from 1897 become repetitive and tiresome. Also, the Quentin and Amanda love story isn't especially compelling and it's conclusion -- Quentin trying to rescue Amanda from the afterlife -- is too far-fetched even for this show. Points, though, for actor Emory Bass as "Mr. Best" (a.k.a. Death) who makes the most of his too brief appearances.

Grade: C+

Edited by Jan Spears.
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On 1/21/2018 at 7:50 PM, Jan Spears said:

Chris Jennings Werewolf Story

The werewolf story is actually quite compelling, and Don Briscoe and Grayson Hall are good in it. Unfortunately, the storyline is not sustained consistently. It takes center stage at times and then it -- and Don Briscoe -- disappear for long stretches.

Grade: B

I’m completely with you. Next to Vicki’s parentage, the Chris/werewolf story was one I really wish the creators had resolved, even if in an anticlimactic way. There was all this build up for it, but then it repeatedly got put on the back burner, and eventually the story was just dropped. I know that Don Briscoe had to leave the show due to his mental health, and that he was gone by the time Barnabas and Julia returned from 1995, but still, I think the creators could have worked around that and given his character closure. For example, I’ve read that Sam Hall’s TV Guide states that sometime after leaving Collinwood, Chris turns into a werewolf again, kills Sabrina, and then commits suicide. What the creators could have done, as an example, was have the Collins family receive a letter or phone call informing them of Chris’ death and then, for emotional value, have a scene where Quentin, Julia, and Barnabas lament over not finding a cure for him in time. It’s not a dramatic resolution, but it’s still something. :)   

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I really liked the way people, especially David, could just walk into the Old House at will. With all of his nefarious schemes and machinations, you'd think Barnabas would have had better security.

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Episode 967 is irritating in the extreme. In the run-up to the episode, there is a mysterious supernatural presence working against Jeb and the Leviathans. All signs point to the ghost of Paul Stoddard, who Jeb has killed and whose body Jeb has destroyed. In 967, however, the mysterious presence turns out not to be Paul Stoddard but, instead, is the ghost of Peter Bradford, who Vicky had joined permanently in the late-1790s. If that wasn't out-of-the blue enough, Peter Bradford then reveals that he's seeking revenge on Jeb for killing Vicky in the past!!!

The Peter-rather-than-Paul twist is understandable if Dennis Patrick wasn't available to play Paul and/or the show needed to utilize actor Roger Davis (as Peter) for contractual reasons. But it's a real kick in the teeth for fans of Victoria Winters (and her portrayer, Alexandra Moltke) to find out that she died offscreen at the hands of Jeb who, up to that point in the storyline, hadn't even been mentioned as being active in the 1790s.

Edited by Jan Spears.
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I'm now 15 episodes (981-995) into the Parallel Time storyline, which is one of my favorites.

I love Angelique's room in the East WIng both when it's in-phase and out-of-phase. The production staff worked wonders designing and lighting the room. I especially like how the room looks out-of-phase. It really makes you feel like you're in the deserted, desolate wing of an enormous mansion.

Dan Curtis and many of the cast members were off filming House of Dark Shadows during this period. Lara Parker, David Selby, Chris Pennock, Lisa RIchards and Michael Stroka definitely earned their keep during this period as they kept the show going while so many other cast members were unavailable.

Edited by Jan Spears.
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Episode 1001 -- Don Briscoe's last appearance on the show. Sigh!

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