Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows
Title: Dark Shadows
Format: Live-action
Genres: Soap Opera
Supernatural fantasy
Running time: 30 min.
country: USA
Network: ABC
Seasons: 5 (years)
Episodes: 1,245
Production company: Dan Curtis Productions, Inc.
Executive producers: Dan Curtis
Producers: Robert Costello; Lela Swift; George DiCenzo; Sy Tomashoff
Principal cast: Alexandra Moltke; Jonathan Frid; Joan Bennett; Nancy Barrett; John Karlen; Kathryn Leigh Scott; Louis Edmonds; David Henesy; David Selby; David Ford; Joel Crothers; Roger Davis; Thayer David; Christopher Pennock; Mitchell Ryan; Kate Jackson; Diana Millay; Marie Wallace; James Storm; Denise Nickerson; Don Briscoe
Air dates
First aired: June 27th, 1966
Last aired: April 2nd, 1971

Dark Shadows is a television soap opera that aired on ABC from June of 1966 to April of 1971 spanning a total of 1,245 episodes. Created by Dan Curtis, the series proved to be extremely popular owing primarily to its gothic atmosphere and subject matter. The series centered around the Collins family of the fictional town known as Collinsport in Northern Maine. The early episodes were shown from the perspective of a young woman named Victoria Winters, who comes to Collinsport, hoping to find clues to her mysterious past. In the beginning, the series followed the plot conventions of a traditional soap opera, but slowly began to infuse elements of the supernatural into it, such as ghosts and mythological creatures like the Phoenix. In 1967, the series paved the way for its future cult status with the introduction of a 175-year-old vampire named Barnabas Collins. Originally intended as a villain, Barnabas Collins proved to be extremely popular with viewers, and the production crew decided to steer him away from the role of adversary and evolve him into the central figure of the series. In addition to vampires and ghosts, Dark Shadows showcased many other supernatural creatures including werewolves, witches, zombies and demons. Many of the plot threads from the series were inspired by famous literary works including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and even elements of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The show also made use of certain science fiction elements including time travel and parallel dimensions. Due to budgetary restraints and restricted shooting schedules, most of the shots filmed for the series were done in one take. Aired episodes included a variety of mistakes including actors mis-speaking their lines or visible production crew members and equipment. In 1991, a revival series of Dark Shadows was produced and aired on NBC. This series did not enjoy the longevity of its predecessor and only lasted twelve episodes.

Characters Edit

Main article: Dark Shadows/Character list

Episodes Edit

Main article: Dark Shadows/Episode list

Storylines Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Two full-length feature films were developed from the Dark Shadows franchise. The first was the 1970 film House of Dark Shadows, which loosely adapted the first major story-arc involving Barnabas Collins. The second was the 1971 sequel, Night of Dark Shadows, which featured an original story that had little connection to the previous film or the series from which it was based.
  • Dark Shadows is the first daytime soap opera to use special effects. [1]
  • Dark Shadows was ABC's first colored soap opera. [1]
  • Episode 295 is the first color episode of Dark Shadows.
  • Episode 1198 is a pivotal episode in the Dark Shadows series. In addition to it being the conclusion to the "1840 Flashback" story-arc, it is also the final appearance of Collinsport, its environs and all of the main characters from the present day era.
  • Episode 874 was the final episode of Dark Shadows with Robert Costello as producer. With his departure, production duties fell to series director Lela Swift. Costello later went on to work as a producer on the soap opera Ryan's Hope (which Swift likewise would work on).
  • The infamous "Aged Barnabas" episode is episode #348. For this scene, actor Peter Murphy played the role of Barnabas Collins. The special effects were provided by makeup artist Dick Smith.

Home Video Edit

See also Edit

The World of Dark Shadows

Gallery of Shadows


External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dark Shadows: America's Love Affair With a Vampire

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