Dark Shadows is an American Gothic soap opera, which was broadcast by ABC from June 27, 1966 to april 2, 1971. The series was created by Dan Curtis and contains a total of 1225 episodes.

What the series apart from other soap operas so far was the fact that there are ghosts, vampires and all other kinds of supernatural beings came in for; something that was never done so far. From 1966 to 1967, the series included in black and white, then was switched to color. The series was especially great prominence when the character Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid, was introduced. He initially was a temporary character, but he proved so successful, that one him more and more as main character of the soap opera went use. He is still today the most memorable character of the soap opera. The success of the series led to the production of several films, a comic book series, books, and magazines.


[hide]*1 Story


The series revolves around the family Collins, who lives in a House called Collinwood on top of a hill called Widows ' Hill. At the start of the series comes Victoria Winters to Collinwood to learn more about her family and ancestry. In the House she is confronted with the dark past of the Collins, and with some of her ancestors as the vampire Barnabas Collins.

In the course of the series is the life of the Collins will be shown in different time periods, including 1795, 1840, and 1968.


The show was created by Dan Curtis. According to his own words, he got the idea thanks to a dream about a young woman in a train. He got from ABC green light to his idea work out to a television series, and hired Art Wallace in order to help him. Wallace figured out the primary story lines and backgrounds for all the characters. The series carried the working title production during the Shadows on the Wall. Lela Swift, John Sedgewick, and Henry Kaplan voted all in order to direct the series. Robert Campbell took the music for its account and Sy Thomashoff designed the sets.

Alexandra Moltke, then a young actress with little experience, was cast in the role of Victoria Winters. Joan Bennett, an already experienced film actress, got the role of Victoria's employer Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. The outside shooting of the series took place largely in EssexConnecticut. Virtually every scene in the series was recorded in a single take, making special effects often already during the shooting had to be realized.

The series got off to an awkward start. Critics called the series boring and criticized the fact that an unknown actress played the lead role. The first episodes only served to introduce to Victoria and contain none of the supernatural elements that the series would give her later fame. As the series progressed there was a trend to a large number of new, mysterious characters played by unknown actors introduce. Many of these actors played multiple roles. Because the series full use made of elements like ghosts and could time travel, characters who actually already had died yet in a later episode return.

Slowly improved the viewing figures, and together with Let's Make A Deal 'Dark Shadows grew to become one of ABC's most successful soap operas. The series, especially with teenagers. However, the show was discontinued In 1971 because of cuts that ABC as well because of the economic recession, despite protests by fans.

Dark Shadows is one of the few soap operas from the 1960s and 1970s that almost entirely preserved. Only 1 episode has been lost. Now it's a handful of older episodes only available in 16 mm kinescope format.



  • In 1991 produced a remake of the MGM Television series Dark Shadows , also called. This series ran only 1 season of 12 episodes, and was broadcast on NBC.
  • In 2004, a second attempt at making a remake, but beyond a pilot episode this came not.


There are two novel series based on Dark Shadows.

The first was released when the series itself was still running, and is written by Marilyn Ross (a pseudonym of Dan Ross).

The second series consists of three books: Angelique's Descent and The Salem Branch by Lara Parker, and Dreams of the Dark by Elizabeth Massie and Stephen Mark Rainey.

There are some loose books about Dark Shadows, including The Dark Shadows Almanac and The Dark Shadows Companion.



In 1970 and 1971 MGM brought two movies out that are directly based on the series: House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark ShadowsDan Curtis directed both films.

In 2012 appeared a new movie based on the series appear, entitled Dark Shadows. This film is directed by Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp in the role of Barnabas Collins, Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman and Michelle Pfeiffer as the matriarch of the Collins family.


Dark Shadows was a pioneer in the field of (soap) series with supernatural elements in it. This concept was soon picked up by other networks and producers. So followed in October 1969 the Canadian seriesStrange Paradise. Also series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are partly inspired by Dark Shadows

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