Friday, October 24, 2014

A Classic Reborn: Dark Shadows (1991)

20 years after the original, daytime series had ended, Dark Shadows returned, this time as a primetime, midseason replacement series, not on ABC, mind you, but on NBC.

It began with a 2-part miniseries before shifting to a Friday night berth, where many a genre series had gone to die. Ben Cross was tasked with taking on the role of Barnabas Collins (played by Jonathan Frid in the original series), fronting a cast filled with veterans, like Roy Thinnes (ex-The Invaders) and horror legend Barbara Steele ("Black Sunday"), and future stars such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt (pre-Third Rock From The Sun) and Adrian Paul (before Highlander made him a household name for a time). Unfortunately, it didn't survive its only season, in contrast to the original series' 5 year run (1966-71).

Following is the intro:

It didn't have the magic of the original, or the mystique.

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

I've seen this version of DS and it wasn't bad, but it felt like a retread in many ways - not the least of which was repeating the Victoria Winters time travel storyline.

Ben Cross is a good actor so I bought him as Barnabas Collins, and I adored his relationship with his much younger siblings (including sister Sarah).

I didn't care for this show's version of Maggie Evans, but didn't mind that she wasn't the lookalike of Barnabas' long lost love, Josette.

Michael T. Weiss was also part of this cast - before joining "The Pretender" not long after the show ended. He played Joe Haskell and Peter Bradford.

hobbyfan said...

Actually, there was a few years between this version of Dark Shadows and Pretender.

Dan Curtis produced both versions of the series, but I don't think he'd have approved of the abomination that Johnny Depp put out.