- My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning, a journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me and link my past with my future, a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea, high atop Widows' Hill, a house called Collinwood, a world I've never known, with people I've never met, people who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows.
Victoria Winters heads towards Collinsport on a train. At Collinwood, matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard defends her hiring practices to her brother, Roger. Roger believes it's a mistake to invite a stranger into their home and that she should send the girl back to New York with a month's pay. Elizabeth tells Roger the only mistake she's invited is he. Roger fumes and breaks a goblet.
An old lady passenger named Mrs. Mitchell tells Victoria about how little significance a town like Collinsport, Maine holds. She asks Vicki what she plans to do there since she's used to the big city and Vicki tells her she's got a job. Victoria flashes back to the day she received a letter from Mrs. Stoddard, offering her the job as governess to David Collins. She showed the letter to her boss Mrs. Hopewell, but she's never heard of Mrs. Stoddard either. Vicki is intrigued by the mysteriousness of the offer and the fact that Collinsport is only fifty miles from Bangor. Vicki comes out of her reverie on the train just as it arrives in Collinsport. Mrs. Mitchell wishes her well as she steps onto the Collinsport train station platform.
As the train pulls away, Victoria approaches a man who got off the train with her and asks him if he knows whether or not they have any taxis here. His chauffeured car arrives and he offers her a ride to the hotel where she can catch a taxi. He introduces himself as Burke Devlin and she asks if he knows of Collinwood. He says he knows it very well and they climb into the car. At the Collinsport Inn, Burke recommends that Vicki return to New York immediately rather than go to Collinwood. Mr. Wells greets Burke and gives him a note that was left for him an hour ago. He explains that Harry Jones, their cab driver, has a flat and Vicki will have to wait in the coffee shop for a while. Burke is cold to Mr. Wells and rudely claims he doesn't remember anyone in town before storming off to the Blue Whale pub. Burke meets his private detective Wilbur Strake, who has been posing as a real estate agent to gather information about the residents of Collinwood and everyone they associate with.
Maggie Evans, a waitress at the inn, chastises Victoria for going up to work at Collinwood. She tells her the Collins family owns most of the town and every one of them is crazy, warning Vicki that her hair will be gray in two months. She offers Vicki a free piece of pie and Vicki remembers her friend Sandy questioning her departure earlier that morning. Vicki told Sandy that accepting the job was something important that she had to do. Maggie catches Vicki drifting off and suggests that maybe she does belong in Collinwood. Vicki concurs that maybe she does.
Strake tells Burke about Mrs. Stoddard, who still runs the business, but hasn't left her home in eighteen years. His report has a number of theories on that, but none of them make any sense. Burke suggests she's getting a keeper, who doesn't know what she's getting into. Maggie tells Victoria to stay over night and make up her mind about the job in the morning. Mr. Wells informs Vicki that her taxi has arrived. She asks Maggie if she is serious about her warnings and she nervously tells her she wasn't. Vicki leaves the Collinsport Inn.
Vicki arrives at Collinwood and knocks on the door. Elizabeth greets her and invites her in.
Memorable quotes Edit
- Elizabeth: Don't you think you ought to look in on your son?
- Roger: The little monster's asleep and I'm delighted.
- Roger: With all of our ghosts, we don't need any strangers in this house, and you know it!
- Victoria: Doesn't sound like much of a place, does it?
- Mrs. Mitchell: This train hasn't made a regular stop there in maybe five years. That's what kind of a place it is. What are you going to Collinsport for anyway?
- Victoria: A job.
- Mrs. Mitchell: Now what kind of a job would bring a girl like you all the way from New York? Let me tell you something. I've been living in this part of the country all my life and I've only been in Collinsport once, just once. That was more than enough for me.
- Burke: Welcome to the beginning and the end of the world, Miss Winters.
- Victoria: I'm afraid I'm not going that far. Only to a house called Collinwood. Do you know it?
- Burke: Yes, I do. Very well.
- Maggie: It's like this. A chauffeur tells a desk clerk, who tells a housekeeper, who tells me that you're going to work up in Collinwood. That makes you a jerk.
- Victoria: But why?
- Maggie: Listen, honey. The Collins family is the biggest thing in this town. They own the biggest cannery, the biggest fishing fleet and the biggest, darkest, gloomiest old house. And they're kooks, every one of 'em.
- Victoria: I don't believe that.
- Maggie: Okay. Move in there. But take a good look in that mirror right now. Because in two months, that pretty hair of yours is going to be one glorious shade of grey.
- Sandy: But a nowhere place like Collinsport, Maine?
Dramatis personae Edit
- Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard →
- Mitchell Ryan as Burke Devlin →
- Louis Edmonds as Roger Collins →
- Joseph Julian as Wilbur Strake →
- Elizabeth Wilson as Mrs. Hopewell →
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as Maggie Evans →
- Jane Rose as Mrs. Mitchell
- Conrad Bain as Mr. Wells →
- Katherine Bruce as Sandy
- Alfred Hinckley as Train Conductor
- Alexandra Moltke as Victoria Winters →
- Bob O'Connell as Bob Rooney → (uncredited)
- chauffeur (uncredited)
- Blue Whale customers → (uncredited)
- train passengers (uncredited)
Background information and notes Edit
- The first episode of the series.
- The first shot of the series features both Victoria Winters and Burke Devlin. Burke's reflection can be seen in the window of the train.
- This is one of only two episodes that don't open with a shot of Collinwood. The other is 20.
- This episode uses the most film footage by far of any episode of the series.
- The brandy snifter Roger breaks has a frosty appearance, whereas the rest are clear. This will always be the case when a glass is meant to be broken.
- Mr. Wells is not referred to by name until 11. David Collins is not named until 2. Carolyn is not mentioned at all. The name of the foundling home is given in 6.
- The following characters make their first appearance on the show: Roger Collins, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Burke Devlin, Maggie Evans, Mrs. Hopewell, Bob Rooney, Wilbur Strake, Mr. Wells and Victoria Winters
Bloopers and continuity errors Edit
- The jukebox at the Blue Whale is located on the left instead of the right, where it remains for the rest of the series.
- Despite actress Kathyrn Leigh Scott having long reddish-brown hair, Maggie Evans wears a short blonde wig for her first few appearances.
- The mirror behind the counter at the Collinsport Inn coffee shop will be soaped over for subsequent episodes.
- Passenger rail service to Maine had been discontinued in 1965. It would not be restored for 36 years.