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Dark Shadows 1991

A relaunch of the classic series starring Ben Cross, Roy Thinnes, Barbara Steele and Jean Simmons.

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Great Reboot, Unfortunately It Ran Into a War

  • Mar 26, 2012
In 1991 one of the most popular television shows in daytime history was rebooted with an all-star cast.  Ben Cross, the acclaimed actor from Chariots of Fire was brought on to play Barnabas Collins.  Jeanne Simmons who played in such films as Spartacus was to be Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.  Roy Thinnes who gained fame from the tv series The Invaders was Roger Collins.  Barbara Steele star of many B movies was Julia Hoffman.  A stream of newcomers filled out the cast as well as a then unknown Michael Gordon Levitt as David Collins.

The story highlighted Barnabas being let of his imprisonment in the family mausoleum by Willie Loomis.  Barnabas pretended to be the descendent of the original Barnabas Collins (though he was one of the same) and took up residence on the Collins estate at the Old House.

Barnabas will later meet and be smitten with Victoria Winters, governess of David Collins who bears a striking resemblence to his long ago love, Josette DuPres.  Through a seance, Victoria is sent back in time to Collinwood in the late 1700's and we learn how Barnabas became a vampire and imprisoned in his coffin.

This series used great special effects as compared to the original series and the new cast seemed to spark a new energy into the series.  Unfortunately NBC refused to move it from its timeslot of Friday night (which had been a ratings deathslot for such shows as the original Star Trek) and the Gulf War broke out which interrupted several of the episodes.  The cost of an episode was extremely high at the time.  To top it off the president of NBC, Brandon Tartakov passed away and the executives that inherited the show didn't know its value.  So, ignoring the protests of the loyal fans (including yours truely) outside its offices, the clueless executives cancelled the show at the cliffhanger conclusion to the first season.

There was an attempt to continue the series through comic books but that too died after about 12 issues.  Overall this series was a glimpse as to what a great series could be and was quite enjoyable when it airred.  I wish it could have gone on for several more seasons as it was rumored that the second season would have introduced Quentin Collins.

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April 09, 2012
"Clueless" When they cancelled this one, I came up with much harsher words to call them. Thank you for the interesting reminder of a show that had terrific potential. Best wishes, Peter
April 09, 2012
Thanks Peter!
April 08, 2012
The movie might be popular with the public.
April 07, 2012
Great way to promote the upcoming movie! are you going to do some reviews of the classic series?
April 07, 2012
I have some posted in this community. Hope you can join.
April 08, 2012
on my way to join! thanks!
More Dark Shadows 1991 reviews
review by . April 01, 2012
posted in Dark Shadows
Dan Curtis' nighttime re-vamping of his original daytime soap forgoes the plot offered in the original's first 200 episodes and dives right into the introduction of Barnabas. This time, however, he had some big bucks to play around with, so he went for the best-looking DS ever.      The story is basically the same to its analogue in the soap, minus the fillers and plus some interesting alterations to the plot and a few of the characters. For instance, there is no Professor …
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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Also developed by Dan Curtis, it tells a streamlined version of the original storyline - the arrival of Governess Victoria Winters at Collinwood, vampire Barnabas Collins being released from his coffin, Dr. Hoffman's attempt to medically cure Barnabas' vampirism, and finally Victoria's time warp into the past to witness the still-human Barnabas' encounter with Angelique, and his transformation into an undead creature.


Dark Shadows (1991) Format Soap opera Created by Dan Curtis Starring Ben Cross
Joanna Going
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Michael T. Weiss
Lysette Anthony
Roy Thinnes
Jean Simmons
Barbara Steele
Barbara Blackburn
Jim Fyfe
Veronica Lauren
Julianna McCarthy
Ely Pouget
Eddie Jones
Stefan Gierasch
Adrian Paul
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