Dark Shadows (2004 TV pilot)

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Dark Shadows
Directed by P. J. Hogan
Starring Alec Newman
Jessica Chastain
Marley Shelton
Production
Producer(s) The WB Television Network
Camera setup Single
Running time Approx. 1 hour
Release
Audio format Stereo

Dark Shadows is a one-hour pilot that was a remake of the 1966–1971 gothic soap opera television series Dark Shadows. The pilot was commissioned by The WB Television Network and produced in 2004. It was not picked up for a series.

Plot[edit]

The plot focused on Victoria Winters arriving by train to Collinsport. She is welcomed by Mrs. Stoddard, but experiences strange and disturbing dreams upon her first night in the house. She meets David Collins, who is constantly plagued by memories of his mother. Meanwhile, Willie Loomis and his girlfriend go to the Collinsport crypt in search of a treasure and open Barnabas's coffin. In the process, she cuts her hand and some blood falls upon the desiccated corpse, reviving him. Barnabas drains the girlfriend and attacks Willie. He later attacks Carolyn, walking home from a romantic encounter with Joe Haskell on his boat.

Barnabas Collins presents himself at Collinwood, and Victoria feels immediately drawn to him. He asks permission to restore the Old House, and although Roger cautions him against it, he is determined to proceed. David and Victoria visit the Old House and Barnabas shows Victoria a portrait of Josette DuPres, which greatly resembles her. This is in Josette's room, which had been walled up until now. Willie, now working for Barnabas, bears fang marks and cannot say enough about Barnabas. At night David wakes and goes into the wood, where he removes a dagger from the ground. What might be the spirit of Angelique is now apparently free. Meanwhile Dr. Julia Hoffman at the hospital confirms that Carolyn's wounds match those of the corpse of Willie's girlfriend, who washes up on shore completely drained of blood.

Victoria goes to the hospital with Mrs. Stoddard to visit Carolyn, currently on life support. Carolyn, late at night, wakes and looks longingly out the hospital window, murmuring "Come back." When Victoria drives back to Collinwood she seemingly hits Angelique with her car. Angelique, who has crashed through the windscreen, and Victoria both scream.

Cast[edit]

  • Alec Newman as Barnabas Collins: An undead vampire accidentally released after being locked away for 200 years. He is tormented by his curse.
  • Marley Shelton as Victoria Winters: Early 20's, beautiful, hired to tutor young David Collins, and an exact double of Barnabas' 1790's fiancée, Josette Dupres. For the first time, the character of Victoria Winters is portrayed as a blonde, while Angelique is portrayed is a brunette.
  • Jessica Chastain as Carolyn Stoddard: Elizabeth's 20-ish daughter, still living at home.
  • Alexander Gould as David Collins: A 9-year-old, troubled son of Roger Collins.
  • Martin Donovan as Roger Collins: David's father, a ruthless businessman.
  • Kelly Hu as Dr. Julia Hoffman: The Collins family physician, and a close friend to Roger and Elizabeth.
  • Ivana Miličević as Angelique: A beautiful, vindictive witch. She has come back from death to either reunite with Barnabas, or destroy him.
  • Matt Czuchry as Willie Loomis: Early 20's, former Collinsport high school football star, works as a handyman at Collinwood.
  • Jenna Dewan as Sophia Loomis: Willie's younger sister, a maid at Collinwood.
  • Blair Brown as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard: Roger's old sister. Her husband mysteriously absent, she lives a solitary life with Roger and Carolyn in Collinwood.
  • Alexis Thorpe as Kelly Vance

The pilot included new characters not previously shown in the original or the 1991 versions of the series. Those characters include Sophia Loomis (Willie Loomis' sister), and Kelly Vance (Willie Loomis' greedy girlfriend). Characters Maggie Evans, Sam Evans and Sarah Collins from the prior versions did not appear in the pilot (although Sarah was mentioned by David).

Production[edit]

Production began in 2004. The original director, Rob Bowman, had to back out of the project at the last minute due to other commitments, and the new director, P.J. Hogan, took the series in a different direction. Dan Curtis was not pleased with the result. Jim Pierson who served as an associate producer, was also not satisfied with the pilot, and said that should the series have continued, there would definitely have been some casting changes made.

It was filmed at the Greystone Mansion, which also served as the Collinwood Mansion for the previous 1991 remake.

The pilot was never quite finished — as some of the special effects still needed some work.

Release[edit]

The pilot never aired, as The WB passed on the series. However, it was screened at a 2005 Dark Shadows festival in Los Angeles, with subsequent showings at the 2006 Dark Shadows 40th Anniversary Festival in Brooklyn, New York, the 2008 Dark Shadows Festival in Burbank, California and the 2009 Dark Shadows Festival in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

References[edit]

External links[edit]