DARK SHADOWS is the tragic tale of Barnabas Collins, a maniac depressive vampire with anger management problems. This TV
series caught my attention in high school during the first half of 1991. Those 13 hours of the remake series kept me glued.
I never saw the original series (but I have seen the two 1970s DARK SHADOWS movies). This short-lived remake of the gothic
soap opera from 1960s was notable now for two actors who went on to star in their own TV series: Adrian Paul (highlander)
and Michael T. Weiss (The Pretender). I'm actually rooting for Barnabas (Ben Cross) to have a happy ending and not the tragedy
his life has become since he has become involved with the lady servant (Angelique) of his one true love (Josette) back in
For all that don't know the story of DARK SHADOWS, I will tell you quickly. Victoria Winters (Joanna Going) is sent to
Collinwood to be the governess of David Collins. Soon she and the Collins family meet Barnabas. She falls in love with the
tragic vampire while Doctor Julia Hoffman (Barbara Steele) seeks to cure Barnabas. The series is a horror soap opera that
has an ongoing storyline that even takes place back in 1790 during many episodes of the series (with a few scenes to show
what is happening in the present day). I love the actors involved in this series and the mood (and look) as DARK SHADOWS is
a very addictive series that I would have loved to have seen the resolution to the cliffhanger. I hoped they could have remounted
the series years ago to resolve the cliffhanger or even tell it in the comic books (from Innovation), but the fans will never
know. The one thing that could have corrected that is if MGM would have recorded an audio commentary with the people behind
the revival series.
VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
The fault with this DVD release is that the proper aspect ratio for the DARK SHADOWS revival series is 1.33:1. This release
has been cropped to be widescreen. It is further obvious when you see the title and end credit sequences in a window boxed
The other minor flaw I found is that it doesn't look like they cleaned up the episodes for this release as plenty of grain/video
noise do rear their ugly little head at times. Also signs of dirt pop up from time to time on a few episodes (mostly on disc
one). Then color saturation does vary while some scenes appear warmer than others (but it could be due to the way it was shot
AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: None- only close captioned
The dialogue is clear while the music (and sound) make full use of the Dolby Surround. I do wish they had an English subtitles
option for the episodes. It just seems to be one of the things never included for MGM TV on DVD releases.
SPECIAL FEATURES: only a trailer for the KINGDOM HOSPITAL DVD. I wish they recorded commentaries for some of the episodes
with the cast and crew. Also they ddin't include any deleted scenes (the fans who own the Revival series on VHS have seen
three of the episodes with more footage). It's a missed chance.
DISC ART/SLEEVE ART: It's fantastic looking. I only wish the art design for the FOREVER KNIGHT DVD sets were this good.
I love the discs being in thin cases.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I wish SPHE would have delayed this release to get the episodes presented in their proper OAR and cleaned
up the episodes when Sony acquired MGM. It's not a bad DVD set, but I wish the DARK SHADOWS revival series was more for such
a great short-lived series. I mjust hope SPHE issues a better set of DARK SHADOWS in the right OAR with extras soon
(or license it out to MPI).
this DVD Review is (c)10-31-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a
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