Sunday, April 17, 2022

A Dark Shadows Easter Surprise — our take on the unaired 2004 pilot!

Happy Easter!

If you thought we had exhausted all-things Dark Shadows, we've got a surprise for you. 

Check out our newly-posted review of the unaired Dark Shadows pilot from 2004!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021 - More Dark Shadows!

To celebrate the holidays, we're back once again, this time with a look at Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. Did we love it? Did we hate it? Did we get it?

Click here to find out what we thought of the feature film, and have a happy holiday!

John & Christine

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


We've long promised to do a post on the film, Night of Dark Shadows, which was released in 1971, several months after the show went off the air. We're pleased to report that we have added a page with our thoughts on the film. You can check it out at this link.

Thanks for your continued support! 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Dark Shadows: The Revival - Episode 12 (3/22/91)

My name is Victoria Winters. The threat of time is unraveling. The hours grow short and a young woman awaits her execution 200 years in the past. Her lifeline to the present lies helpless in the Great House of Collinwood, but an evil force plots to sever that lifeline, and the executioner stands waiting for his victim. 

Maggie attempts to exorcise the spirit of Angelique from Julia. Maggie struggles and sweats as Angelique screams through Julia, "Laissez-moi!" She stops fighting Maggie and then hugs her. As Julia rests, Maggie applies cool compresses to her forehead, but when she goes to the mirror, Angelique stares back at her and smiles. 

In 1790, Joshua tries to assure Victoria, telling her that he and Peter will ride to see the governor to have the decision overturned. 

Joshua leaves, and Peter tells her that he will have a stay in his hands the next time they meet. He kisses her and leaves her in her jail cell. 

Naomi is walking down the stairs when she hears Barnabas' voice calling her to help him. She looks at his portrait and she hears him tell her to hurry to the Old House because he needs her.

As she leaves, Angelique's spirit appears, laughing shrilly. 

Naomi arrives at the Old House and finds Barnabas sobbing in front of the fireplace. He assures her it is him and she faints in his arms. 

Daniel and Sarah run to their mother's room, upset that Naomi in not in her bed. Sarah tells Daniel she's at the manor house. Abigail enters and asks what's going on. Daniel tells her that Sarah had a dream about mama. Sarah says she's in danger and they need to help her. Abigail tries to tell her it was only a dream, but Sarah says that she really saw her, and Daniel says they should go there. Abigail tells them to go back to their beds. 

Abigail arrives at the Old House in her nightgown and finds Naomi sitting motionless in front of the fireplace. She asks what she's doing there and asks her to say something. 

Barnabas enters the room and Abigail is startled to see him. He calls to her, but she freaks out and runs away and he chases after her, telling her not to run from him. Naomi remains unresponsive in the chair.

Both Abigail and Barnabas are screaming as they run down the stairs. He catches up to her, yelling at her to stop, while she continues screeching about Satan. His fangs pop out as he says, "Why do you never listen?" and he bites her on the neck. 

A shrill scream causes him to look up, and he sees Sarah and Daniel are watching him. He calls to Sarah with blood dripping from his mouth, but both children run away screaming. 

Angelique appears in her floaty gown and asks if he remembers the curse. She reminds him that all who love him shall be lost. 

He runs out into a thunderstorm calling for Sarah and Daniel, who are running through the woods. He asks them not to run from him as they hide in the bushes. Daniel says she looks really sick and she complains about being cold. Daniel tries to warm her and comfort her, saying they'll be alright. 

In the morning, Ben finds the kids unconscious and huddled together. He calls to Joshua and Peter, saying he found them. Joshua feels that Sarah is burning up and asks Daniel if he's alright. Daniel rants feverishly about his mama, Aunt Abigail, and Barnabas. Joshua tells them to get the doctor, saying he's going to the manor. 

At the Old House, Joshua calls for Naomi and then finds Abigail dead on the floor. 

He hears humming and calls to Naomi. He finds her in the drawing room and she says she was wondering where he was. He asks if she's alright, and she says she's been tidying Josette's room. He asks her to tell him what happened to Abigail, but she says she's fine and asks if the children are with Miss Winters. He tells her that Abigail has been hurt badly. She tells him he said the same thing bout Barnabas, but he was wrong, and he's coming to dinner. She asks him if she should wear her gold brocade dress, and he appeases her by saying she always looked beautiful in that dress. He asks her to go look at the new house together.

The children are both in bed as a doctor examines a feverish, groaning Sarah. The doctor tells Joshua he's prescribed medicine, but there's not much more he can do. He asks Joshua if he's sure he wouldn't consider moving Naomi to a suitable facility, but Joshua says that Collinwood is her home. The doctor says he'll look in on the children later in the evening. 

Peter gives Victoria a cup of water in her cell. He says Joshua is certain that the governor will act. She asks when, and Peter says today. He says the rash of attacks proves there's some other force at work. They both agree that Angelique is at the root of it, but Peter admits that the Countess believed a vampire was responsible for Josette's attack. He says Josette kept repeating Barnabas' name in her delirium, as did Millicent and Daniel. Vicki realizes that vampires are immortal and says there is a man in her time that is very much like Barnabas, and that he said he was his descendant and was named for him. She said she thought he was falling in love with her. She wonders if she may truly be Josette's reincarnation 200 years from now, and understands why Angelique wants to destroy her. Peter says Barnabas is a vampire. 

Sarah tells her nurse that she's thirsty and the nurse leaves to get more water. Barnabas appears at the window and goes to Daniel's bedside. He calls to him, but he doesn't respond. Sarah whimpers and he goes to her side. She opens her eyes and says, "No." 

He tells her not to be frightened and says he won't hurt her. She says she loves him and he reciprocates. He asks her to promise that both he and Daniel will get well. She asks if he can hear the angels, and says they're calling her. He tells her he won't let her go and embraces her but she says she hears them calling. She tells him she will always love him and asks him not to forget her, as she dies in his arms. He lays her back on the bed and cries. He kisses her and leaves.

Vicki has tears in her eyes as Peter says they did everything they could for her, but they lost her early that morning. He says the damn book claims another victim. He tells her that Daniel is likely to follow, and the Collins family will die with him. She asks what he said, and he tells her that Daniel is the last male heir. 

She says she thought she was sent there to change things, but realizes it's Angelique who is trying to change things. She says if Daniel dies, all the people she knows in the future would cease to exist and there would be no place for her to go back to. Peter adds that it also would separate her from Barnabas so they could never meet. Vicki says Daniel is their last hope and asks what's being done for him. Peter says he's being given purgatives and warm blankets. She says they need to treat his fever with ice. She urges Peter to try it, hoping it's not too late. 

As Peter pours ice into a basin of water, the nurse protests to Joshua, saying it will make him worse. Joshua says the doctor has given up and he has already lost a daughter. He suggests she leave the room if she doesn't want to help. They begin wrapping Daniel in ice soaked sheets.

Peter tries to stop Joshua from going to the Old House, but he says he is going to close it once and for all. Peter offers to go with him, but Joshua asks him to wait with Daniel.

Joshua is in Josette's room at the Old House. He nails boards over the door. He goes down the stairs and hears Barnabas call to him. Barnabas appears and Joshua raises his rifle. 

He tells him to shoot if he must, but that it will do nothing. Joshua realizes he's the one responsible for killing Josette, Millicent and Abigail. He says he is what Angelique made him. He says she cursed his existence for all eternity, and cursed them all. Barnabas wishes he'd never been born. Joshua holds his arms out and embraces him. He says she'll have to be stopped, but Joshua says they have only until dawn because Victoria Winters will be hanged. He says the governor promised to intervene but he hasn't heard from him. Barnabas asks if Trask spoke against her and Joshua says yes. He says to find Ben Loomis and tell him everything.

Ben is leading Trask to the Old House, as Trask curses hysterical women and takes a swig from his liquor bottle. He asks why he has to meet Mistress Collins there, and Ben says Joshua doesn't want to see him around Collinwood. Trask is clearly inebriated as he tells Ben "the prophet is always scorned in his own time." 

He enters the house and calls to Abigail. The door slams behind him and Barnabas grabs him by the throat, smiling. 
He leads him to a desk and Trask asks him what he wants to write. Barnabas begins dictating a note to Judge Braithwaite that says Trask can't rest until a terrible wrong has been righted. 

Ben helps to chain Trask up as he begs and wails. Ben quickly constructs a brick wall, leaving one brick left as Trask continues to cry. Barnabas compliments Ben on his masonry. Trask says he'll make a full statement and go away, but Barnabas tells him he's already made a full statement, which Mr. Bradford is delivering to Judge Braithwaite. Trask says it's cold blooded murder. He says Barnabas will burn in hellfire for it, as Ben hands him the last stone to place. Barnabas says, "Goodbye...Reverend," and places seals up the wall as Trask screams, "NOOOO!"

Judge Braithwaite asks Peter if he can be certain it's Trask handwriting. Peter suggests he compare other documents in the courthouse. He asks where he is now, and Peter says he seems to have vanished, which doesn't surprise the judge. Peter confirms he will act on the statement, and the judge admits he always believed Trask was a charlatan. Peter thanks him, but once he's left, the writing on the paper disappears. 

Angelique appears in the room and says there is no letter. He asks how she got in there and what she wants. She says there is no Mr. Bradford and there was no visit and he has been sleeping. He says he doesn't know what she's talking about as she says he will have pleasant dreams, but he will remember nothing else. 

Barnabas and Ben meet Joshua in the woods. Barnabas asks if Miss Winters will be free, and Joshua says she will be and that Peter is with her. Barnabas thanks God. 

He begins walking to the mausoleum. Joshua calls him and he tells him the time has come. They go into the secret room of the mausoleum. Joshua asks how he will bring himself to do it and Barnabas says it's the only way. He says what he sees before him is not his son, that his son is gone, and what he sees before him must be destroyed. He asks him to promise to end his suffering, and holds up a stake and mallet. Joshua takes the tools but does not promise.

At daybreak, Barnabas lies in his coffin. Joshua places the stake on his chest and raises the mallet. 

Ben is waiting outside when Joshua exits the mausoleum. He admits he couldn't kill his son. Ben asks what they will do. Joshua asks him to help him. 

They work together to slide the heavy coffin lid over Barnabas and then wrap heavy chains around it, locking them in place. Joshua says, "Forgive me, son. May God have mercy on your soul."

Joshua feels Daniel's forehead, saying the fever is still on him, as ice continues to be applied to him. 

Peter is in Vicki's cell and she asks when they will release her. Peter says it will be soon. Judge Braithwaite arrives saying the news is not good, and that the governor turned down the petition without explanation. 

He is surprised, reminding him that he promised to stay the execution on the basis of Trask's letter. The judge doesn't know what he's talking about. Peter shakes him and accuses him of lying. He says he knows Victoria is innocent and that he assured him. 

The judge says his conduct is inexcusable and he will answer for it, as he leaves. Peter begs the bailiff, saying there's been a misunderstanding, but he says there's nothing he can do. Vicki sits down in shock.

The gallows are being prepared for the execution.

Peter tells Vicki it cannot be the end, and says he'll find her again someday. She says his name but is interrupted by the arrival of the bailiff. He tells her it's time to go. 

In 1991, Phyllis Wicke is on a ventilator as Maggie watches over her. She goes to the mirror, where Angelique's reflection says she will never return to this time. 

Vicki is led to the gallows. 

Angelique as Maggie turns off the ventilator. Phyllis Wicke begins struggling to breathe. 

Peter kisses Vicki. She stumbles as she is led to the steps of the gallows.

Phyllis Wicke stops breathing and flatlines.

The bailiff asks if Vicki has a last request and she shakes her head. 

Julia enters Phyllis Wicke's room and sees that there's no signs of life on the heart monitor as Maggie stares wide-eyed nearby. Julia begins chest compressions. Elizabeth and Roger enter the room.

The noose is placed around Vicki's neck. 

Peter runs up the gallows screaming, "NO!"

Julia takes out a syringe. 

Peter is trying to get to Vicki and gets shot. Vicki screams, and he falls down the steps. 

Julia draws medicine into the syringe. Barnabas appears at the door. 

A hood is placed over Vicki's head.

Julia administers the shot.


The lever is thrown and Vicki drops.

Phyllis Wicke gasps for air as lightning strikes. 

The room goes dark and suddenly Vicki appears in her place with her neck at an odd angle. 

Vicki wakes up choking and clutches her throat. She asks where she is and she sees Elizabeth and Julia, who tell her she's safe back in her own time.

The corpse is removed from the gallows, and the hood is removed to reveal Phyllis Wicke.

Daniel calls to his papa and Joshua says the fever is broken. 

Vicki hugs Elizabeth and Maggie appears dazed. Vicki sees Barnabas and recoils. Julia looks from Barnabas to Vicki. Barnabas stares at Vicki. 


Our thoughts:

Christine: Well, they certainly did check all the boxes on this storyline, and even managed to have Peter fall in love with Victoria and promise to find her someday. Too bad there was no second season to give him that chance. It would have been interesting for him to find Vicki and have everyone think he was Joe. 

John: Despite the breakneck pace of the revival series, that last bit seemed a little rushed, under the circumstances. An attorney making out with their client would probably be frowned upon today.

Christine: I was glad to see that Barnabas found time to exact revenge on Trask, though I feel it was out of character for him to involve Ben, making him responsible for the dirty work. 

John: I actually liked that they gave them that moment together. Particularly since Ben, also a pawn of Angelique, knew that Vicki wasn't a witch, and was basically being railroaded by Trask. Since they couldn't get back at Angelique, this was the next best thing.

Christine: I really enjoyed this series, and found it hard not to binge all the episodes at once. I think the show had a lot of potential, and it's unfortunate it wasn't given a chance to take off. Now we are left to wonder what might have been. Would we have seen Barnabas bite Vicki, run off to elope, and come across the reincarnation of Peter Bradford in the cemetery as he is harvesting corpse parts for Dr. Lang's experiment in the next season, or would it have gone in a different direction? It is evident that Dan Curtis was able to create a captivating story with interesting characters that continues to engage and entertain new generations of fans.  

John: I do recall on my initial viewing, 30 years ago, how disappointed I was that things were left hanging with Vicki's return to present day. Sure, it was a reasonable cliffhanger for a season finale, but not so much for a series finale. That said, I can't begin to imagine how they would have kept the same pace up into the second season and beyond. Angelique would surely loom large — perhaps so much so that we'd never get a chance to revisit a lot of the cool things from the original series like Adam, the Werewolf, Petofi and the Leviathans... Thought they did setup a potential storyline with David's mother. All in all, I'm glad we took the chance to revisit it!


And with that we close the book on another round of Dark Shadows! But we're not dead yet! Be sure to check back in the beginning of August when we revisit Night of Dark Shadows for its 50th anniversary!