I have Dark Shadows volume 1 & 2, went through a period of time for awhile when I was trying to tape them off the Sci-Fi Network but these dvds are the answer to a prayer – I canNOT wait for collection #3, and in all sincerity I am glad they are spacing them apart as they are – easier to afford each one as it’s released, as I buy a LOT of dvds as it is!!
The amazing thing about “DS” is that it is so addictive; no matter your opinion on soap operas, or horror yarns, there is NOTHING like “Dark Shadows” to keep you enthralled and always waiting for the next chapter – I know some have complained that the quality of the dvds isn’t prime, but to me the fact that each show looks as it did when it was on television adds to the sense of nostalgia and creepiness the show had for me as a child – but with the everlasting dvd quality! I applaud MPI and their WISE decision to bring us the best of all soaps in dvd form! My only “negative” is, I hope that, when done, MPI will go back and release the individual first 200 episodes, as well.
Oh, and to the person complaining that they’re only putting on two months per set – Good Lord, we are talking 40 episodes each, about 14 HOURS per set!! As someone with a busy schedule and tons of dvds and tapes, that’s plenty for me between sets – and the only way to keep the cost per set even as low as it is!
LONG LIVE BARNABAS!!
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This is another engaging “Dark Shadows” collection, with the added bonus of most of the episodes being in color. There IS a certain amount of wheel spinning in these episodes, however. To illustrate:
There are a handful of episodes where Burke Devlin gets a little too close to the truth about Barnabas Collins, leading Barnabas to announce, “Burke Devlin must die!”
Then there are a handful of episodes where the amnesiac Maggie Evans starts remembering the truth about Barnabas Collins, leading Barnabas to announce, “Maggie Evans must die!”
Then there are a handful of episodes where little cousin David gets too close to the truth about Barnabas Collins, leading Barnabas to announce, “Cousin David must die!”
Barnabas also intones the dreaded “… must die!” line about Julia Hoffman, Willie Loomis, and, if I remember, one or two others during the course of these forty episodes. So, yeah, there IS a certain amount of repetitiveness here.
In every case, of course, Barnabas is either talked out of killing the annoying supporting character in question (“But Barnabas, if you kill him there will be an investigation!”), or he figures out another way to throw said character off the scent. It must be said that Barnabas’ various solutions to these dilemmas are usually pretty interesting, which keeps this batch of episodes firmly in the “worthwhile” camp despite the repetitiveness of the plots this time out.
The color episodes start about five episodes into the set, and continue throughout, with an occasional black-and-white file episode rearing its head when an original color broadcast episode has been lost to the ages. Somewhat annoyingly, those black-and-white file copies seem to show up just when something visually interesting occurs in an episode, like a surreal dream sequence or an ambitious special effect, things that would have been great to see in color. Oh, well.
The writers must have also noticed that a certain sameness to the plots was creeping in at this point, because in the next batch of episodes- the ones conveniently packaged together in Dark Shadows Collection 4- some truly offbeat things start happening, including Barnabas actually making good on one of his threats to kill one of the series regulars, and a shift to the past so we can see firsthand the origin of Barnabas’ curse.
But these “Collection 3″ episodes are certainly worth watching, too. Though I’m glad the series eventually moved into more ambitious areas, it’s kind of fun this time out hearing Barnabas Collins repeatedly say that everybody and his sister “… must die!” Great stuff.
Here we go! Now things start cookin’! The storylines keep getting more and more interesting and this collection surpasses the last two. Jonathan Frid, now comfortably settled in his role as Barnabas Collins, looks and acts even more menacing than before. In this collection, the color episodes begin after the firstfew black & whites. There are many great graveyard scenes and the use of lighting is better, which casts an extra eerieness on Barnabas’ face. The plotline surrounding young David Collins’ suspicions of Barnabas begins here and you can’t stop watching until you’re through the whole box! Grayson Hall’s hambone overacting as Dr. Julia Hoffman is amusing. She, and some of the other actors, get a mild look of panic on their faces when they forget a line and look off-camera for the cue card. Frid occasionally needs to look at a cue card, but he’s so smooth about it and manages to stay in character when he does. The man never ceases to blow me away with his performances! Also look for two classic Dark Shadows bloopers: Willie hits his head coming out of the secret room in the mausoleum and a pesky fly keepslanding on Barnabas’ face. This collection features interviews with Frid, the stoic Louis Edmonds, director Lela Swift and Sharon Smyth, now 44, who played ghost-girl Sarah Collins. A terrific collector’s photo of Frid baring his fangs at David Henesy is included.