And anyone who has, please advise on the following:
When MPI first released these episodes on VHS, the first 8 or 10 volumes didn't have the opening and closing of each episode intact; they were edited together like one two hour program (taking time out for commercials). PLEASE tell me they didn't do that again here. They wised up and did later episodes right so I'm expecting they did but would really like to verify that for certain before dropping the dollars.
The DARK SHADOWS set contains 40 sequential uncut shows. They are complete as aired, with no editing and nothing cobbled together. I ordered mine from DVD Planet, and I am very pleased, except with the choice of packaging MPI used. No biggie, definately recommended.
The 1991 NBC version was a lavishly produced remake of the old series. In just 13 hours, they covered storylines it took them 400 episodes to do in the 60s! Of course they combined characters, altered storylines and had some original things going on as well.
I loved it, but my biggest issue was that the earlier parts borrowed heavily and even outright copied elements from the HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS feature film, which itself was an outlandish rehash of some of the events of the early barnabas shows in the original series.
They really overdid the vampire stuff in the 1970 movie and to some extent in the 1991 revival, with the whole town out chasing vampires or becoming them.
In the original series, it was far more realistic and interesting, with just a few suspecting what was really going on. Of course it was dragged out in typical soap fashion.
Still, I wish the 1991 series had continued. It had started to get really good.
I thought the biggest difference between the two series was the production values. The original was shot without cuts and retakes as much as possible (as you would expect with a soap). The remake didn't suffer from that at all.
Also, each of the actors in the 1991 version was superior to their counterpart in the original (god, Lysette Anthony was a sexy Angelique!!).
John Berggren, thank you for bringing it up!
Harry, the descriptions given by everyone else in this thread match anything I can tell you. Steve Phillips is especially on-the-mark with his explanation.
Go ahead and check through my review, and if you have any questions afterward I'll happily do my best to answer them!