Convinced of an old Collins family legend of buried treasure, Handyman Willie Loomis accidentally releases vampire Barnabas Collins from his tomb. Barnabas introduces himself as a distant relative from England and begins to romance Victoria Winters, the new governess at Collinwood Manor. At the same time, the town of Collinsport is being upset by a series of deadly attacks.
- Victoria Winters:
- "My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is just beginning—a journey that I am hoping will somehow begin to reveal the mysteries of my past. It is a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place—to a house high atop a stormy cliff at the edge of the sea—to a house called Collinwood; to a world I've never known with people I've never met—people who tonight, are still only vague shadows in my mind, but will soon fill all of the days and nights of my tomorrows."
Twenty-five year old Victoria Winters accepts a job as a governess, working for a man named Roger Collins. She takes a train from New York to the fishing village of Collinsport, Maine to begin her new life. An orphan, Vicki hopes that the nuances of the mysterious Collins family may hold the key towards discovering her own family heritage.
At the Gothic mansion known as Collinwood, Roger Collins instructs a bumbling stable-hand named Willie Loomis to go into town to pick up Vicki. Willie has little interest in following Roger's orders and is more concerned about discovering the secret location of the legendary lost Collins family jewels. Regardless, Willie does as instructed, and drives into town.
He finds Vicki at a bar called the Blue Whale. After sharing a few biting remarks with bartender Sam Evans, he drives Vicki back to Collinwood. Vicki meets her charge, the irascible, David Collins. David is a troubled young boy who has no desire to have a governess looking after him. He boldly confronts Vicki declaring, "I don't want you here!"
Later that night, Willie Loomis goes to the Collins family mausoleum. He unlocks the key to a secret antechamber below the crypt. Here, he believes he will find the coveted missing jewels. Instead, what he discovers is a sealed coffin wrapped in heavy iron chains. He pries the chains loose only to discover that its occupant is a vampire named Barnabas Collins. Barnabas attacks Willie and turns him into his unwilling servant.
Several nights later, Barnabas arrives at Collinwood. He introduces himself to the family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, under the guise of a cousin from England. After meeting the extended family, including Elizabeth's daughter, Carolyn, Barnabas asks permission to move into the original Collins family estate – a gloomy, dilapidated mansion commonly referred to as the Old House. Barnabas expresses a desire to restore the crumbling mansion to its original condition. Elizabeth, excited by the proposal, agrees to let him move in. Barnabas hires Willie Loomis to work as his personal handyman.
That evening, Barnabas stalks the night claiming victims to slake his vampiric thirst. The first is Daphne Collins, a distant cousin and accountant for Elizabeth Stoddard. Fortunately, Daphne survives the attack but has no recollection of her attacker's identity. Sam Evans and his daughter, Maggie, find Daphne and rush her to the hospital. Barnabas' next victims are a young woman named Gloria and her boyfriend. They however, are not so lucky as Daphne.
It does not take long before news of the attacks reaches the local public. Sheriff George Patterson begins investigating the crimes and is shocked to discover that the attacker has somehow drained massive amounts of blood from his victims' bodies - yet there is no sign of where that massive amount of blood has gone. Stymied by the mystery of it all, he consults with a local scholar named Doctor Michael Woodard. Woodard immediately suspects that a vampire may be loose in Collinwood, aided by the fact that traces of human saliva were found in the victims' wounds. He calls in a specialist from New York University – Dr. Julia Hoffman.
Dr. Hoffman arrives in Collinsport and examines Daphne. Amazingly, Daphne seems to be recovering rather quickly. At the request of Mrs. Stoddard, Daphne is moved to a special room at Collinwood, where Julia continues her treatment. Dr. Hoffman tries using hypnosis on the young woman in an effort to get Daphne to identify her attacker, but this procedure yields unsatisfying results.
Some time later, Vicki visits Barnabas at the Old House. Willie meets her downstairs and subtly encourages her to leave. Barnabas arrives before she can exit however and spends the evening with Vicki. He shows her a room in the Old House that once belonged to a woman named Josette DuPres. Inside the room is a portrait hung upon the mantle. The portrait is of Josette, who bears an uncanny likeness to Vicki. Barnabas romanticizes the possibility that Vicki might be Josette reincarnated. After Vicki leaves, Barnabas accuses Willie of trying to warn Vicki away. He accosts him, savagely beating him with the end of his cane.
That night, Barnabas stands outside of Vicki's window at Collinwood. The vampire blood-lust begins to consume him and he gnashes his fangs. Suddenly, the ghostly apparition of a young girl appears in the woods behind him and begins calling his name. Barnabas turns and follows the eerie spirit into the woods behind Collinwood. He recognizes the young girl as the ghost of his sister, Sarah, howling "I cannot help myself!!!".
Special Expanded VersionEdit
- Roger Collins tells Elizabeth Collins Stoddard of a walk he took with David Collins during which David asked if his father liked him. Despite Elizabeth's feelings that Roger and David will get to know each other, Roger explains that he resents David's life. Roger adds that he would have left the boy to die in a burning room to save the sanity of a woman he does not identify.
- Joe Haskell walks out of The Blue Whale to watch Victoria Winters leave with Willie Loomis. Willie bids him goodnight, calling him "lover boy" again and laughing. Joe returns to the bar and carries Daphne Collins out to his car for a romantic moment.
- Elizabeth tells Victoria that David has been without his father for about six years, and that she brought the boy back from England after his mother became ill. Victoria meets Roger, who prevents Elizabeth from revealing the identity of the artist who painted the Seurat painting in the drawing room. Victoria and Roger discuss teaching art, and Roger claims that David will be as much of a challenge as Victoria can handle.
- While Victoria unpacks, Carolyn Stoddard visits her room. Dogs howl outside, and Victoria sees Barnabas Collins from the window, but he is gone by the time Carolyn looks. Carolyn suggests that Victoria take a bath and get some rest.
- Although Dr. Fischer tells him to get some coffee, Joe refuses to leave Daphne's side in the hospital.
- Elizabeth and Carolyn come into Daphne's room at the hospital. Carolyn kisses Joe's cheek and comforts him while Elizabeth looks at Daphne.
- At breakfast, Victoria and Roger discuss David again, and Victoria suggests not to expect too much too soon from the boy. Roger states that he never expects anything to avoid disappointment. Sheriff Patterson comes to Collinwood and meets Victoria. He reveals that the investigation is no longer looking for an animal, and that he wishes to speak with Willie because of his behaviour at The Blue Whale. Roger and the sheriff go to the stables to look for Willie, but find that he is not there.
- Carolyn drives Victoria to the stables, telling her that she has recently come back to Collinwood after beginning a career in photography. Victoria suggests that Carolyn can now go back since she has arrived to take care of David, but Carolyn says that it would be hard to leave at the present time. Carolyn recommends that Victoria ride the chestnut mare, also named Carolyn.
Memorable quotes Edit
Carolyn: I hope she brings a whip and a chair. It's about the only thing I haven't tried with David.
Willie: Three graces spin high above. Lion looks at the dove.
Willie: Hope ya like this freak palace, Miss Winters.
Vicki: We're going to be really good friends, David.
David (about Willie): Nut-ball. A total nut-ball.
Mrs. Johnson: All I can say is—Barnabas Collins is a wonderful man.
Barnabas (as Willie stays with him and Vicki): That will be all, Willie!
Barnabas: I cannot help myself!!!
This episode takes place in late winter pf 1990.
Dramatis Personae Edit
|Previous Episode||Character (Actor)||Next Episode|
|—||Barnabas Collins (Ben Cross)||2|
|—||Victoria Winters (Joanna Going)||2|
|—||Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Jean Simmons)||2|
|—||Roger Collins (Roy Thinnes)||2|
|—||David Collins (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)||2|
|—||Willie Loomis (Jim Fyfe)||2|
|—||Julia Hoffman (Barbara Steele)||2|
|—||Mrs. Sarah Loomis-Johnson (Julianna McCarthy)||2|
|—||Sheriff George Patterson (Michael Cavanaugh)||2|
|—||Joe Haskell (Michael T. Weiss)||2|
|—||Maggie Evans (Ely Pouget)||2|
|—||Sam Evans (Eddie Jones)||2|
|—||Daphne Collins (Rebecca Staab)||2|
|—||Hiram Fischer (Wayne Tippit)||—|
|—||Sarah Collins (Veronica Lauren) (as a ghost)||—|
|—||Gloria (Hope North)||—|
|—||Professor Woodard (Stefan Gierasch)||2|
|—||Jonathan Harker (Steve Fletcher)||2|
|Previous Episode||Location||Next Episode|
|—||Collins family mausoleum||2|
|—||Collinsport railway station||—|
|—||Dr. Fischer’s office||—|
|—||Dr. Woodard's home||2|
|—||Eagle Hill Cemetery||2|
Other Items Edit
|Previous Episode||Location||Next Episode|
|—||Barnabas' wolf's-head cane||2|
|—||Bust of Isaac Collins||—|
|—||Collins family jewels||—|
|—||Josette's music box||—|
|—||Portrait of Barnabas Collins||—|
|—||Portrait of Josette DuPres||—|
- Ben Cross
- Joanna Going
- Jim Fyfe
- Barbara Blackburn
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Roy Thinnes
- Michael T. Weiss
- Barbara Steele
- And Jean Simmons as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
- Stefan Gierasch
- Julianna McCarthy
- Michael Cavanaugh
- Ely Pouget
- Eddie Jones
- Rebecca Staab
- Wayne Tippit
And also... (Closing credits)
- Hope North as Gloria
- Michael Buice as Local Tough
- Rif Hutton as Paramedic #1
- Steve Fletcher as Paramedic #2
- Georg Olden as Gardener
- J.B. and the Niteshift as the Roadhouse Band
- Music composed & conducted by Bob Cobert
- Editor – Bill Blunden
- Production designer – Fred Harpman
- Director of photography – Dietrich Lohmann
- Supervising producer –Steve Feke
- Certain characters developed by Art Wallace
- Series created by Dan Curtis
- Teleplay by Hall Powell & Bill Taub
- And Steve Feke & Dan Curtis
- Story by Hall Powell & Bill Taub
- Directed by Dan Curtis
- Executive producer –Dan Curtis
- Line producer – Norman Henry
- Associate producer – Bill Blunden
- Creative consultant – Sam Hall
- Unit production manager – Norman Henry
- First assistant director – Bob Della Santina
- Second assistant director – Carl Dubliclay
- Technical advisor – Matthew Hall
- Executive assistant to Mr. Curtis – Ruth E. Kennedy
- Production associate – DeAnn Heline
- Art director – Janet Stokes
- Set decorator – Jeannie Gunn
- Property master – Lance Dodson
- Sound mixer – Pat Mitchell
- Special effects – John Gray
- Women's costumer – Shirley Cunningham
- Men's costumer – Paul Dafelmair
- Makeup artists – Mony Monsano and Dee Monsano
- Hairstylists – Laura Lee Grubich and Gus Leper
- Location manager – John Farrow
- Script supervisor – Steve Dorsch
- Production coordinator – Marcia Warwick
- Chief lighting technician – Chuck Sefton
- Key grip – Bill Witthans
- Assistant editor – Steve Butler
- Music editor – Chris Ledesma
- Supervising sound editor – Michael O’Corrigan
- Sound effects editorial – Stephen J. Cannell Productions
- Re-recording mixer – B. Tennyson
- Re-recording mixer – Sebastian II
- Re-recording mixer – John Boyd
- Re-recording mixer – Dan Hilan
- Casting by Robert W. Harbin, C.S.A.
- Casting assistant – Wendi Matthews
- New York casting by Deborah Aqiula
- London casting by Rose Tobias Shaw
- Color by CFI
- Filmed on location and at Warner Hollywood studios in Hollywood
- Dan Curtis Productions, inc. copyright © 1990
Background information and notes Edit
- This series is a re-imagining of the original Dark Shadows television series, and as such takes place in a completely alternate continuity.
- Many of the lines of dialogue and camera shots were directly inspired by the Barnabas Collins introductory story in episodes 210-212 of the original series, as well as the script from the MGM film, House of Dark Shadows.
- Victoria's opening monologue is a paraphrased version of the first passage spoken by Alexandra Moltke's character, Victoria Winters, in the original ABC Dark Shadows television series.
- The poem that Willie Loomis recites is a paraphrased version of the riddle recited by John Karlen's character in House of Dark Shadows. The original piece was written by Sam Hall (who did not receive screen credit in this episode, despite the fact that many scenes were liberally adapted from his work).
- Composer, Robert Cobert, is credited as Bob Cobert in this episode.
- It has been said on other sites that when Willy opens the tomb that holds Barnabas bats shouldn't be flying out because it's a sealed room (tomb) and therefore no bats would be in there in the first place. However, if you see episode 10 at 9:45 as Joshua, Peter and Willy lay Barnabas to rest (for the first time) you see plenty of large lightening flashes even when the tomb is sealed indicating there are holes/cracks/windows in the tomb. If so then bats would have no problem finding their way in.
Bloopers and continuity errors Edit
- This episode does not include the opening credits that would begin all other episodes of the series. The title is displayed over the first scene, with the credits shown over the first few minutes of the episode.
- Ely Pouget is credited as a guest star in the pilot episode, but is included with the primary cast beginning with Episode 2.
- At the time this Episode was fillmed, AMTRAK was not offering any passenger train service to Maine. Service along the Maine coast (From Boston,MA to Portland,Maine) was restored in December,2001 after a gap of 36 years.
- 2:35 Continuity problems with Daphne's hair under and then over her scarf.
- 20:00 Notice the car on the corner as Daphne walks up the street.
- 20:17 As Daphne continues to walk you can see a shadow on a house in the background of the camera crew.
- 20:25 Notice Daphne as she continues to walk but this time passes a car in a driveway.
- 20:58 Daphne runs to her car and you can see the entire length of the street. Notice the car at the corner again but there is no car in any driveway because the driveway is no longer there. They shot this scene with Daphne on two different streets.
- 21:35 Daphne lies on the street with the paramedics. Notice there is very little blood on her neck or anywhere else but at 22:10 Daphne's neck is covered in blood.
- 31:19 You can see the 'boom microphone' behind Barnabas in the mirror.
- 32:30 Again, you can see the microphone behind Barnabas in the mirror.
- 39:08 Continuity problems with Victoria holding the head of the horse.