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Dark Shadows: The Beginning


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#1 of 115 Richie C.

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Posted October 15 2006 - 07:56 PM

They're about to start selling these 6 box sets of pre-Barnabas episodes through the Dark Shadows DVD Club. Does anyone know if they will eventually be sold through retail or will they only ever be exclusive DVD Club items?

#2 of 115 Gregory V

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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:33 AM

The impression I got is that it will be offered FIRST at the DVD club and then later on at retail stores. A shame, since the club versions costs $15 MORE than others I bought at places online.

#3 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 08 2010 - 03:54 PM

This seemed as good a thread as any to continue discussing this excellent show. :)

My daughter and I the past two nights have watched episodes 98-105 (Dark Shadows: The Beginning, Collection 3, disc 4).  In retrospect, it is amazing to me that I wasn't able to figure out who killed Bill Malloy.  There are a couple of strong hints in these episodes; beyond this, the killer practically confesses to Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard back in episode #63.

These episodes deal with Victoria's suspicions of Roger, and also with the fountain pen that Roger took from Carolynn, and which Burke and the Sheriff -- with some shrewd seed-planting and lying on the part of Burke -- cleverly figure out Roger has hidden.  It really is such a great series.



#4 of 115 JohnMor

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Posted March 10 2010 - 02:09 PM

Scott, I envy you not knowing who the killer was.  I read a summary of the pre-Barnabas eps in a DS book years ago, never thinking I'd one day own the eps to watch myself.  I really would like to have had no idea as I watched them.  Now I'm into the Laura Collins storyline, and again, I know what happens and wish I didn't.  Oh well.  Still a great show. 

#5 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 10 2010 - 02:35 PM

John,

Yeah, well that only worked the first time for me.  Now I know who it was, of course.  But you're right -- still a great show.  I can't think of too many series where the music plays such an integral part in getting into the viewers' psyche.  And the overall theatrical feel of the series is quite a draw for me (and for my daughter, who loves the theater).

If you get a chance, have a peek at episode #63 sometime, and listen very carefully to what Matthew Morgan says during his conversation with Elizabeth.  It's astonishing, actually.  BTW, I am on episode #106 next.  So the Laura Collins storyline is right around the corner for me as well.

#6 of 115 Brian Himes

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Posted March 10 2010 - 03:50 PM

The Laura Collins storyline is one of my favorites of the entire series. Even knowing the ending didn't spoil it for me.

It still baffles me why MPI just didn't release the entire series in the correct order to begin with. While I understand the whole fascination with Barnabas, I think it is much more fun to watch the series from the beginning. You get a much better appreciation of what the show became if you watch the evolution of the show in the correct order.  

#7 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 13 2010 - 02:50 PM

Tonight, my daughter and I watched episodes 106-112 (Dark Shadows: The Beginning, Collection 4, Disc 1).  Matthew Morgan finally confesses to the murder (#110), and Victoria's life has been threatened at least twice, and maybe three times.  After Matthew leaves his cottage (once Elizabeth has intervened), the viewer is set up to think that Matthew is at least fifty miles from Collinwood (heading toward Coldwater), when in fact he's still on the immediate premises.  Even Frank Garner told Vicky everything would be all right now, especially since Matthew is nowhere near Collinwood.  Then the conclusion of #112 shows Matthew walking slowly into the Old House....

Thayer David is brilliant as usual.  Dana Elcar (Sheriff Patterson) is his usual no-nonsense self, and Roger Collins (Louis Edmonds) is superb and quite witty.  I think he played Roger beautifully, and provided some much-needed comic relief every now and then.  What a hoot it was to see Elizabeth pour brandy from the decanter on the mantle -- that's Roger's territory, and it was a bit startling to see someone other than he doing the honors.

#8 of 115 JohnMor

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Posted March 13 2010 - 02:52 PM

Speaking of the music, I just bought the "Complete Soundrack Collection" with all the music cues.  It's terrific.  Cobert really did am amazing job.  And God bless MPI for releasing it.  

#9 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 14 2010 - 10:46 AM

John,

I bought that collection a year or so ago, and you're right -- it's terrific.  My oldest daughter and I both love it.  The score is brilliant.  She and I will categorize the various 'ghost music' cues as being 'level one,' 'level two,' or 'level three' -- LOL.

This afternoon, we watched episodes 113-122.  I had forgotten how good the 'Matthew locks up Vicky in the secret room' arc was.  We had just begun episode #123 (a discussion between Joe Haskell and Maggie Evans at the Collinsport Inn's coffee shop), when in walks ... Laura Collins.  I didn't look ahead on my descriptive Dark Shadows: The Beginning sheets, so I completely forgot when she made her first physical appearance.  (BTW, Diana Millay as Laura actually makes her first appearance in an episode before this -- it's her voice that is speaking "Matthew!  Matthew!" when he is trying to get some sleep, and is awoken by the terror of what he is hearing.)

Addendum: We finished disc 2 (episodes 123-125) of Dark Shadows: The Beginning tonight.  The Laura Collins arc is starting off nicely (Maggie and Sam have seen her, although no one yet knows her name); we've heard some of the backstory regarding the mythological phoenix; Matthew Morgan has seen the ghost of Bill Malloy, and as a result is now calling Victoria "Mrs. Stoddard" for a time; David sees the ghost of Bill Malloy in the foyer at Collinwood; and David has left a message for Burke Devlin to make an urgent trip to Collinwood.  David says he has some important news regarding Victoria Winters.  Great stuff.

Neat tidbit: Episode #120 was a kinescope, and we also get to see some of the kitchen at Collinwood, which is a room we don't see all that often, relatively speaking.


#10 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 16 2010 - 02:49 PM

We watched episodes 125-127 tonight.  Matthew Morgan is frightened to death by Bill Malloy and about four other ghosts from a much earlier time than Malloy.

I never noticed this before, but episode #126 was a kinescope for part of the first scene after the opening music, but then changed to a 'normal' print while Elizabeth is in mid-sentence.  I thought that the editing was quite good.  But I never knew that there were partially-kinescoped episodes out there.  (And unlike #120 cited above, this one is not mentioned as being a kinescope in the insert.)

Sam gets Roger to go to the Blue Whale, and after he's quite drunk, finally tells Roger who has returned to Collinwood.

My family is making plans to visit some of our extended family this summer.  This means we will be returning to our place of birth, New England.  We will be going to Newport, R.I. to see Seaview Terrace (now Salve Regina University) as well as The Black Pearl (i.e., The Blue Whale).  My daughter is planning to take a lot of pictures. :)

#11 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 18 2010 - 03:05 PM

We watched the next two episodes tonight (nos. 128-129).  We're getting a bit more of the backstory on Laura (Murdoch) Collins.  And Sam is drinking heavily (more so than usual).  Although he doesn't know why, he began painting a picture of a woman in flames in episode #129.  Maggie thought the painting was quite odd, and Sam had no recollection of having painted it.

#12 of 115 GeorgeJA

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Posted March 18 2010 - 04:02 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem 

We watched the next two episodes tonight (nos. 128-129).  We're getting a bit more of the backstory on Laura (Murdoch) Collins.  And Sam is drinking heavily (more so than usual).  Although he doesn't know why, he began painting a picture of a woman in flames in episode #129.  Maggie thought the painting was quite odd, and Sam had no recollection of having painted it.
This is just too funny!  I've been have Netflixing this series for a while, and I'm about 2 episodes ahead of you.  I loved this series as a kid, but I only knew the Barnabas episodes.  This is the first time I'm seeing these early episodes, so I have no idea how this Laura Collins story is going to play out.  I'm been enjoying these quite a bit - it's been interesting how the stories have generally been grounded in reality and how the supernatural aspect of the show seems to be gradually ramping up.


#13 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 19 2010 - 02:04 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeJA 




This is just too funny!  I've been have Netflixing this series for a while, and I'm about 2 episodes ahead of you.  I loved this series as a kid, but I only knew the Barnabas episodes.  This is the first time I'm seeing these early episodes, so I have no idea how this Laura Collins story is going to play out.  I'm been enjoying these quite a bit - it's been interesting how the stories have generally been grounded in reality and how the supernatural aspect of the show seems to be gradually ramping up.
 
George,

Same here.  I watched the Barnabas episodes as a child first, and only later (through the initial VHS releases, which I recorded tape-to-tape back in the 1980s or early 1990s, I think) learned of the early days of the series.

Let me know if I should start putting spoilers here.  I've seen the entire arc a couple of times.  You're in for a treat!


#14 of 115 Tim Tucker

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Posted March 19 2010 - 06:23 AM

The Laura Collins story arc is one of my favorites, just for its sheer originality.  Plus you can see it as the model for what the original Barnabas arc was supposed to be, before the character took off.

As for the kinescope insert, perhaps the original videotape was damaged, and MPI used the film to fill the gap.
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#15 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 19 2010 - 06:41 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Tucker 

As for the kinescope insert, perhaps the original videotape was damaged, and MPI used the film to fill the gap.
Tim,

That was quite a surprise to me, seeing as I've been watching the show for nearly forty years and have never noticed a partially-kinescoped episode before.  The transfer to DVD has taken away some of the grain of the kinescopes, making it slightly more difficult to detect.  The audio track remains somewhat less than stellar, however.



#16 of 115 Charles Ellis

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Posted March 19 2010 - 11:44 AM

 Actually, it's been done before:  in a later episode during the 1897 storyline, there was a scene between Jerry Lacy and Nancy Barrett that switched to a sepia-tinted kinescope for about a minute or two, and then seamlessly back to the original color videotape.  
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#17 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 19 2010 - 03:25 PM

^^^

Thanks, Charles.  If there's a way for you (easily) to track down the episode number, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Then I can search through my library copy (VHS and DVD) and examine it for myself. :)

We watched episodes 130-133 (three episodes, as one numbering was pre-empted due to the 1966 Christmas holiday).  Roger, Elizabeth, and Mrs. Johnson meet Laura Collins, and Burke tries in vain (twice knocking on her door at the Collinsport Inn) to visit her.  Sam is becoming very protective of his painting, and practically every response to Maggie is barked -- and this without booze.  You can tell he isn't himself, and that some type of coersion has begun.

David is having nightmares, and he's calling out his mother's name even before he meets her.  It really is a fascinating storyline, and one that captivates me every time I see it.  I also like how they took their time with it, as IMO it never feels rushed.

#18 of 115 JamesSmith

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Posted March 20 2010 - 12:04 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Tucker 

The Laura Collins story arc is one of my favorites, just for its sheer originality.  Plus you can see it as the model for what the original Barnabas arc was supposed to be, before the character took off.

As for the kinescope insert, perhaps the original videotape was damaged, and MPI used the film to fill the gap.
Guys! Can you tell me a bit more about this Laura Collins/Phoenix storyline? I've never heard about it before. What is it, that has sheer originality as Tim above says?  Tell me more?

James


#19 of 115 Ockeghem

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Posted March 20 2010 - 03:04 PM

We watched two episodes (nos. 134-135) tonight.  One of the lines in the coffee shop, spoken by Laura in response to Burke, was chilling.  Burke was reminiscing about his days dating Laura, and of his fondness for David.  He said that David would have been the kind of kid he and Laura could have had.  And then Laura said, "Exactly the kind."  And another line that was wonderful was David's: "She's NOT my mother!"  Wow.

James,

The Laura Collins story concerns her being the mythological phoenix, and how much she desires to be near, around, and (eventually) consumed by fire.  She is supposed to be able to be reborn and live for another 500 years once she goes through this (I think repeated) transformation.  Much more can be found here:

http://www.collinwood.net/

Choose the episode guide (and then the 1966-67 box), or just search the site for the enjoyment of it.  Here is the direct link.  You'll then have to choose the episodes (123-138; I think it begins around 130 or so).

http://www.collinwoo...episodes/66.htm

It's one of the best on Dark Shadows out there.  I would have sent along the link from another site for the individual episodes, but that link has been dead for a few days.  I'm hoping it is restored soon.



#20 of 115 Brent S

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Posted March 20 2010 - 04:07 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesSmith 

Can you tell me a bit more about this Laura Collins/Phoenix storyline? I've never heard about it before.
 
Don't forget that Laura came back for the 1897 time travel storyline.  However, that was rushed, and Laura was too-soon written out so the writers could focus on Quentin as a werewolf, Count Petofi, and Barnabas revealed storylines.

The 1966 storyline established that Laura was married to Jeremiah in the 1770s before she "died" in a fire. Even though that preceeded the introduction of Barnabas... there is a fun moment in 1897 when Barnabas recognizes her as his Aunt Laura, back from the dead.