Friday, March 6, 2009

Collingwood, The House Of Dark Shadows, Barnabas Arrives

Dark Shadows was the first soap opera to have a supernatural theme. Remember rushing home from school to watch it at 4:00? The show ran from 1966-1971. The supernatural in a daytime show was unheard of and ghosts weren't introduced until 6 months after the show began.
Barnabas Collins, played by Johnathan Frid, became a vampire cult figure. There were witches, monsters, zombies, time travel and a parallel universe. Some of the actors played several roles.
Victoria Winters arrives at the Collingwood Mansion as a governess for David Collins. There were strange happenings in the old mansion. Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has a secret and never leaves the estate. Her daughter Carolyn stays out all night and Roger Collins, David's father, is afraid someone is trying to kill him. The plot thickens during each episode.
The live to tape series demanded intense makeup, costumes and special effects. It could hardly keep up with it's daily schedule. Sometimes the actors struggled with their lines and the sets became wobbly. Once in awhile, a stagehand could been seen wandering in the back of the set. A microphone boom could been seen in the frames.
The soundtrack still ranks as the top selling TV soundtrack ever. It even hit the billboard charts.
Due to the economic recession in 1971 and the governments ban on cigarette commercials, advertising revenues took a sharp dip. Since the viewing audience was primarily the ages of 18-35, and really had no purchasing power, the series came to an end.
In 1971, Dark Shadows was replaced by the game show Password. The fans were so outraged, that they intended to disrupt the taping of Password in the Los Angeles studios. So, there you have it. Another great show bites the dust.

House of Dark Shadows 11"x17" Framed Poster
Dark Shadows: The Beginning, Vol. 6


studena said...

Hi Joyce,
thank you very, very much for your praise of my dog Borrego :)
and for comment of cours :)

Chameleon said...

Oh, my heavens! I remember racing home in sixth grade to catch the latest episode of Dark Shadows. I was in sixth grade, and the bus dropped me at the corner at 3:50... with ten minutes to get home and changed so I could settle down and watch Barnabas and Quentin. My mother was totally enamored of Angelique... if I'd been born a few years later, I'm quite certain she'd have named me after her! I'm glad you found me on BlogCatalog... I'm adding you to my bloglist and dropping by often!

The Minimalist said...

My sisters and I loved Dark Shadows! I was pretty young and they were teenagers. I remember being really afraid of vampires and slept with a cross next to my bed!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh yes, I, too, remember rushing home to watch Barnabas and company. My mother was as much into it as my sister and I, and she would fill us in on what we had missed already. Quentin Collins! Oh! be still, my heart!