Monday, April 5, 2021

Dark Shadows: The Wrap-Up

Looking back on 1225 episodes (1245 numbered episodes with 20 pre-emptions), there's a lot to unpack.

We've done our best to sift through the remains of Collinwood and identify some of our favorite bits over the last five years!

How we Rate the Storylines 
Victoria's Arrival     Episodes 1 to 6
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ****

The Revenge of Burke Devlin     Episodes 1 to 201
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

The Murder of Bill Malloy     Episodes 46 to 126
John's rating: ****
Christine's rating: ****

Laura the Phoenix     Episodes 123 to 191
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

The Blackmailing of Elizabeth     Episodes 193 to 275
John's rating:****
Christine's rating: ****

The Introduction of Barnabas     Episodes 202 to 220
John's rating: ****
Christine's rating: ****

The Kidnapping of Maggie     Episodes 221 to 261
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

The Introduction of Julia     Episodes 265 to 365
John's rating: ****
Christine's rating: ****

1795 Flashback and Barnabas' Curse     Episodes 365 to 461
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ****

The Dream Curse     Episodes 461 to 536
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

The Creation of Adam and Eve     Episodes 486 to 626
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: **

The Werewolf and the Ghost of Quentin     Episodes 627 to 700
John's rating: ****
Christine's rating: ***

Return to 1795 Flashback     Episodes 657 to 667
John's rating: **
Christine's rating: **

1897 Flashback     Episodes 700 to 884
John's rating: **
Christine's rating: ***

The Leviathans     Episodes 885 to 980
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: **

Quentin and Amanda     Episodes 904 to 934
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

1970 Parallel Time     Episodes 980 to 1060
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

1995     Episodes 1061 to 1070
John's rating: **
Christine's rating: ***

The Ghosts of Daphne and Gerard     Episodes 1070 to 1109
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

1840 Flashback     Episodes 1110 to 1198
John's rating: ***
Christine's rating: ***

1841 Parallel Time     Episodes 1186 to 1245
John's rating: *
Christine's rating:  **

Best Actor
John's Pick: Louis Edmonds

Christine's Pick: John Karlen, Thayer David (TIE)

Best Supporting Actor 
John's Pick: Dennis Patrick (Jason McGuire/Paul Stoddard), Mitchell Ryan (the original Burke Devlin) (TIE)

Christine's Pick: John Lasell (Dr. Peter Guthrie)

Best Actress
 John's Pick: Kathryn Leigh Scott

Christine's Pick: Joan Bennett, Grayson Hall (TIE)

Best Supporting Actress
 John's Pick: Donna McKechnie (Amanda Harris aka Olivia Corey)

Christine's Pick: Clarice Blackburn (Mrs. Johnson, Abigail Collins, Minerva Trask)

Best Villain
 John's Pick: Nicholas Blair

Christine's Pick: Reverend Trask

Best Surprise Appearance
John's Pick and Christine's Pick: Abe Vigoda (Ezra Braithwaite)

Best Babe
John's Pick: Julianka

Christine's Pick: Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott (TIE)

Best Hunk
John's Pick: Sky Rumson

Christine's Pick: Burke Devlin

Best 'Dead'
John's Pick: Bill Malloy

Christine's Pick: Gabriel Collins

Honorable Mention: Paul Stoddard

Best Monster
John's Pick: The Werewolf, John Yaeger (TIE)

Christine's Pick: Vampire Tom Jennings (he had such joie de mort)

Scariest Ghost
John's Pick: The Ghost of Quentin

Christine's Pick: The Ghost of Bill Malloy

Best Portrait
John's Pick: Barnabas Collins (the original) and Crusty Quentin by Charles Delaware Tate (TIE)

Best Seance
John and Christine's Pick: 
Episode 365: Roger conducts; Liz, Julia, Vicki, Carolyn, Barnabas participate; Sarah Collins speaks through Vicki after Carolyn pretends Sarah is speaking through her; Vicki is transferred to 1795; held in the drawing room at Collinwood 

Best Slap

Christine's Pick: Naomi slaps Reverend Trask

Best Bat
John and Christine's Pick: bat by Bil Baird (was there any other choice?)

Best Bar
John and Christine's Pick: The Blue Whale (best tunes on the jukebox)

Best Skeleton
John's Pick: The Wide-Eyed Skeleton from the dream curse

Christine's Pick: Wanda Paisley's Skeleton

 Best Dream Sequence

Most Over the Top Performance
John and Christine's Pick: Addison Powell as Dr. Eric Lang

Best Love Interest
 John's Pick: Quentin and Amanda

Christine's Pick: Barnabas and Julia

Bob Cobert's Best Tune
John and Christine's Pick: Josette's Music Box Theme

Special Achievement
John's Pick: Diabolos

Christine's Pick: Buzz Hackett

Most Grotesque Severed Part
John and Christine's Pick: Hand of Petofi chopped in half (so much inexplicable bone!)

Most Horrifying Make-Up Mistakes

Wildest Wardrobe

Monster Most Missing in Action
A Mummy

Christine's Closing Thoughts
I have a hard time picking best of anything in the lists above, because I think what makes this show timeless and endearing was the family atmosphere and the talented work of the entire cast that brought it together. Through ups and downs and crazy, convoluted storylines, they played their parts with the utmost seriousness and made us believe they were entirely different characters whenever they took on new roles. It was their joy in working together that made this show so fun to watch. So, while I have made the difficult choice of considering who was best at their part, owing mostly to the range and versatility demonstrated, I recognize the greatness of the whole cast in making this show the phenomenon that it is in creating characters that are likable and memorable. What brought it all together was Dan Curtis and his reverence for the Universal Monsters of his childhood that made the show entirely appealing for those of us who remain kids at heart. After spending every day for five years with these fine actors, it is hard not to feel a connection, and easy to understand why the show lives on.

John's Closing Thoughts
Christine is right. While it was fun reviewing past history to pull out some favorites, there's no way that a show of this scope can be boiled down to a handful of performances. We could have done superlatives for each time period (or band)... and many familiar names would have popped up along the way. And while I regularly chided the writers for making things up along the way, or ret-conning the Collins family history, it was all in the spirit of fun. Had they known where they were going when they had started, they probably never would have lasted as long as they did. They dipped their toes into every gothic tradition and horror trope imaginable (okay, except for the Mummy, which they surely would have gotten to eventually if the show had stayed on the air). Also worthy of pointing out was the fantastic score by Robert Cobert, which somehow manages to stay fresh and effective no matter how many times you hear a familiar needle-drop (and those of you who have traveled the road will know exactly what I mean when I say my wife and I would find ourselves anticipating some of the familiar musical cues at the sound of the first note). Dan Curtis went on to do several more amazing things after Dark Shadows (The Night Stalker films, Burnt Offerings), but I can't imagine any of that would have been possible without the foundation of this show. Looking back on the past five years, I'm pleased to report that even with the closing whimper 1841 Parallel Time, I have no regrets, and a greater fondness for Dark Shadows than I had when we started.

Over the past five years we've talked about what we would do once we reached the end of the original series run. We had discussed covering the revival series, and ultimately decided against it. But as we got closer to the end, the idea came back up... and revisiting the revival from the fresh perspective of having just watched the entire original series made more sense. And since 2021 was the 30th anniversary of the short-lived show, what better time to do it. So, starting this Friday, April 9th... we'll be back with the first of our weekly installments looking at the Dark Shadows revival series!

Finally, before we close out the original series, we wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have visited the site over the past five years. We truly appreciate it! As for those of you who have taken the time to share your comments, we want to thank you for your contributions.
To that end, special shout-outs to DSB4IDIE regulars Paul Haney, Grant, Dave Dykema, Jeff Baker, and Thingmaker, who kept popping up to remind us that we weren't on this long, strange trip alone!
Thanks also to SecondComingofBast, Kenn and D.Wor, Martin Parsons, Ksweatman, Sgspires68, John W, J, RJM, Gene Philips, Stephen Robinson, HGN 2001, Gem, Karen Van Hoek, Kevin Shelton, Gary, Matilda W, Scott Nesmith, Joey, Prisoner of the Night, JohnR.442, dave, davey wavey, John C, jaytf25, Andy Decker, Cathy, Billy Martin, Robert Sharp, Maureen, GoldUsher, Chase, Acilius, Billy, Los Thunderlads, Annette, William, Pamela Jaye, Rocksister, Unknown (you know who you all are!) and Rick! And anyone else that we may have inadvertently missed!


D.Wor said...

Sure thing! Looking forward to The Revival viewing. ^_^

William said...

Thanks again for all your hard work and insights.
I am looking forward to your your comments on the Revival, which I have not seen since it originally aired.
Are you also going to look at the film "Night of Dark Shadows"?

John Scoleri said...

Thanks, William! We are planning to cover NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS — most likely when the 50th anniversary rolls around later this year.

Grant said...

I'm afraid I've been away from here for a while, but I've really enjoyed it.
It's kind of sad to think of this and "Dark Shadows Every Day" wrapping up at the same time.

Jeff Baker said...

Thank you for your kind reference to me! We grabbed the 90s revival DVD a couple of years ago and binge-watched it! You will love it!