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Dark Shadows Collection 22
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2006
Format: DVD
This box set kicks off the last truly great story arc in the five years of this incredible series --- the best daytime drama ever made!

With only about 10 months left before Dark Shadows was cancelled in 1971, the writers returned to its roots with a fabulous story that featured plenty of supernatural twists and turns along with love, murder and madness!

Reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) and Dr. Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall) escaped parallel time but overshoot 1970 and end up in the Collinwood of 1995 --- which has been almost destroyed! The Great House is in ruins (it is actually heart wrenching to see the magnificent interior sets of Collinwood converted to rubble) and the majority of the proud Collins family are missing, young David Collins (David Henesy) is dead, and Carolyn (Nancy Barrett) and Quentin (David Selby) have gone mad. (Special kudos go to actress Barrett for her bravura performance as the aged and demented Carolyn.)

A sinister ghost who causes others to connect with the dark side lurking within them and who controls minds, took over the estate 25 years earlier, in 1970, and brought about its demise. The estate has remained uninhabited but violently haunted in the succeeding years.

A distraught Barnabas and Julia manage to get back to 1970 but they try in vain to avert the coming catastrophe, which does result in the death of David Collins as well as Hallie Stokes (Cathy Cody), the young niece of Professor Eliot Stokes (Thayer David)!

Eventually, they learn that the evil spirit, Gerard Stiles (James Storm), and the ghost of a kindly governess, Daphne Harridge, had lived in the Collinwood of 1840, so the duo manage to travel back to that era via Quentin's "stairway in time" to try to prevent Stiles from returning as an obsessed ghost more than a century later to destroy Collinwood and all of its inhabitants.

Special effects are terrific, including the "head" of Judas Zachary, which is possessed of evil, supernatural powers, Rose Cottage, and ghosts, ghosts, ghosts!

(The introductory story, captured on this boxed set, is similar to the introduction of Quentin Collins as a non-speaking, menacing spirit who threatens the young children of Collinwood, as well as the ghost of Governess Beth Chavez (Terri Crawford), who was a non-speaking, beckoning presence of good. In that story, Barnabas and Julia also travel back in time to unravel the mystery and save the children.)

Of special note: Daphne is portrayed by Kate Jackson in her first professional role. It is also the last time that the core ensemble repertory cast portrays their original characters, as the final story arc (which is a couple of boxed sets away) of the series has some cast changes and focuses on a different Collins family, not the Collins family lead into TV immortality by the fabulous Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Joan Bennet).

Let us hope that MPI Home Video makes good on its promise to release the pre-Barnabas episodes on DVD after the primary series has been released. These 200-plus episodes are wonderfully compelling and a must have for all Dark Shadows fans --- past, present and future!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2006
Format: DVD
With the "Gerard Stiles" storyline, Dark Shadows finally got back on track after the disappointing "Parallel Time" arc. After leaving parallel time, vampire Barnabas Collins and Dr. Julia Hoffman find themselves in Collinwood in the year 1995. Most of the Collins Family is dead, except for Carolyn and Quentin, who are both insane, and Collinwood is in ruins. Professor Stokes is also alive, but of little help. One of the biggest nuisances in the Dark Shadows-verse was how much of the dialogue was "I can't tell you", or out and out withholding the truth to prolong the plot! It made you want to shake the character and say "SPIT IT OUT, Dagnabbit!!". Anyway, Barnabas and Julia are able to return to 1970 with a handful of clues that will foreshadow the disaster at Collinwood.

The plot is a bit similar to the "Quentin as a Ghost" one, with a malevolent spirit taking over the house's children as a means of taking over Collinwood. In fact, it makes one wonder why Quentin is so hard to convince that a catastrophe is brewing, when he did the exact same thing once as a ghost in the "1897" storyline. Gerard Stiles is the evil ghost this time out, and Daphne Harridge is his unwilling accomplice (a la Quentin and Beth Chavez from the 1897 arc). Despite their best efforts, Barnabas and Julia fail to save Collinwood, and have to resort to time travelling to stop Gerard (again like in the 1897 storyline).

The writers however, threw in quite a few twists along the way that really added to the story- the mystery of current time's Roxanne Drew (who was Barnabas's love interest in parallel time), the premature release of Barnabas from his coffin in 1840, and the warlock Judah Zachary being the one behind all the machinations. Throw in Angelique for good measure, and you're set for a nice story.

One drawback is that unfortunately a lot of the focus is on the kids- David Collins and Hallie Stokes- who are dull, dull, dull. Continuity is spotty- Quentin tells Elizabeth that the 1840 Quentin is his great grand uncle, which is true since Quentin originally lived in 1897, however Elizabeth doesn't know that he's the original Quentin from the turn of the century. So this uncle should have a few more "greats" in front of his name for a Quentin living in 1970, yet Elizabeth doesn't notice.

Kate Jackson makes her first professional appearance on TV, which led to her getting the role of Tracey Collins in the movie "Night of Dark Shadows". "Charlie's Angels" came her way about five years later, and the rest is history.

It's hard to believe that this show is over 30 years old now, and that Jonathan Frid is in his 80s! Maybe the reason the Dark Shadows revivals (2 so far) have not caught on is that you can't catch lightning in a bottle twice. There's a certain magic around the original Dark Shadows that's hard to re-capture.

So sit back in front of the fire, pour yourself a brandy, and pop in Dark Shadows's last great storyline. Wait, is that a bat outside the window? Do I hear the floorboards creaking?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2008
Format: DVD
This volume of Dark Shadows takes us from the conclusion of the 1970 Parallel Time sequence to the beginning of the 1840 sequence. The style and pace of the earlier episodes is gone; once Barnabas and Julia return to 1970 the plot starts to drag.

Most of the episodes focus on the ghosts of Gerard and Daphne, and their plot to possess David and Hallie. This is basically a rerun of the original Quentin storyline that it wears thin quickly. Kathy Cody, who replaced Denise Nickerson as David's female counterpart, is a less able actress, and her dialogue is even worse. ("What's going to happen?? What??!!") These episodes feel padded and are livened only a trifle by the introduction of a new vampire who threatens Maggie ... itself a reprise of the early Barnabas episodes, although this time there's the mystery of the new vampire's identity.

I'm a few episodes into the next volume, in which the story goes back in time once more, this time to 1840. For me Dark Shadows has always worked best as a period piece, so I'm hoping that once we're back in time again things will pick up, with new characters and relationships.

I love the series, but sometimes the hammy acting and silly dialogue can be a bit cloying. This set of episodes took a little patience to get through.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Finally the ultra-dull 1970PT story is over and we viewers are flung to the future (1995) for much too short a time. There, Nancy Barrett and David Selby give wonderful performances--full of energy without being campy. When we return to 1970 we get a semi-boring retread of the 'Quentin/Beth' story and an more-than-usual awful 'performance' by poor Grayson Hall as she becomes a tool for Gerard's evil plans. The other big drawback is the introduction of the talent-free Kathy Cody as 'Hallie'. She's so bad it as if John Karlen is giving her 'acting' lessons on the side. Other than those 2 facts this is a fun, short little ride to 1840. It is obvious that this story is just an excuse to get to 1840 where the real fun begins. Also, these discs introduce the great, natural acting of Kate Jackson--a very truthful actor who, like Bennett and Selby, refuses to lower herself to the level of 'canned ham' acting that several "D.S." actors do. Ms. Jackson once said in an interview she would go to the studio on her days off to watch Joan Bennett and Jon Frid just to learn. And--learn she did. But--I digress, this set is good. It takes a little while for the show to recover from the disasterous 1970PT but it soon gets back on track and begins the last 2 major storylines of this wonderful series. If you almost or even DID give up on "D.S." during 1970pt, come back now, the show is good again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
Format: DVD
Can anyone please tell me why this collection (22) is at least twice as much as any other collection in this series? I have purchased all of the other collections for as little as $19.00 up to about $30.00. Every time I check, the price seems to increase, I never see the price drop. Even the "used" price from other sellers is up in the $60 dollar range. Any ideas on this or am I missing something?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
Format: DVD
All the Dark Shadows DVD's are still enjoyable. This original vampire soap made many episodes. I have others and glad they are available on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Now here's an soap opera that needs no introducing if you ever seen this soap opera before than you know what I mean.This show is an classic all by it self and reminds me of another great soap opera show Passions except passions didn't have an one hundred and seventy five year old vampire or an werewolf or an frankenstein like dark shadows this soap is just as good now then it was back in the 60's. So if you are an old or new fan of this classic soap than you must go out and grab all 26 collections and keep dark shadows going strong.

Rondall Banks
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's great seeing this collection. All my usual Dark Shadows favorites PLUS Kate Jackson. All these old shows are terrific. Looking forward to seeing all the rest.
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VINE VOICEon October 23, 2011
Format: DVD
Barnabas and Julia manage to escape from parallel time before putting their audience to sleep (it was boring), but instead of landing back in 1970 they find themselves in 1995 with Collinwood in ruins. Something terrible happened in 1970 that led to the death of young David, the destruction of Collinwood and turned Carolyn and Quentin insane. Barnabas and Julia pick up a few clues, and through a mysterious hidden staircase find their way back to 1970 just prior to the disaster. Ghosts are haunting Collinwood and threatening to possess the children (sound familiar?), there's a mysterious playroom that only some can see - for anyone else it's merely an old storage closet - and Barnabas, Julia and Quentin are in a race against time to solve the clues and save the day. There's also a new vampire in town, and Maggie is once again the victim.

Yes, there's a lot more to it than that but I won't spoil (I believe there's another review that gives it all away). Despite the strong similarity to the Quentin/Beth/ghosts haunting the house and trying to take possession of the children, this one does have a lot of twists and turns and sets things up for another trip to the past (1840 this time) for Barnabas and Julia in order to save the children.

The Cons. While I did enjoy this and had a hard time walking away until it was over, this is slow at times, especially with the focus on the children - they are annoying as all get-out (especially Hallie). I was really scratching my head when neither David, Carolyn or Elizabeth recognized the beginnings of a haunting and possession considering they'd already been through it once. Seriously, once you go through a hellish experience wouldn't you recognize the signs and do your darndest to get away? Stick your hands up and yell to the world that you don't want to go through this all over again? But no, the kids just *know* that they can't tell anyone and Elizabeth can't see the forest through the trees. Carolyn would have been a bit smarter, but she got a bit possessed herself (leading to another great bit from a wonderful actress)

The Pros. Loved loved loved seeing Carolyn (Nancy Barrett) and Quentin (David Selby) playing at being mad as hatters in 1995 - do not miss it. Willie Loomis (John Karlan) makes an appearance in the last DVD in this set and what a treat to see someone not bow down to those spoiled children. And yes, in this set we finally see Kate Jackson join the cast in her first professional role, and there's an interview with her at the end of DVD #1. She was a class act then and she's a class act now. Loved her story about the "rap" party.
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on January 21, 2013
Format: DVD
I loved the first 10 collections, and tolerated the show through "The Leviathans" plot, but Parallel Time was endless, awful & obtuse, & then things got worse...

This collection mostly features child actors David & Hallie. They must have been related to one of the producers, as they are terrible actors. They either shout, or look frightened & pout. I fast-forwarded through their endless scenes. Kate Jackson and "Gerard" have non-speaking roles, so they get boring pretty fast. They lurk or glower in the dark, & it seems silly after a while. The once huge cast seems reduced to about eight actors, while everything seems to be filmed in the main house, so it gets claustraphobic. What happened to the old house, the bar in town, the guest houses, , the gardens, the crypt? There must have been budget restrictions. And child actors probably work cheaper. Quentin appears confused & ineffective. The grand dame (Mrs. Stoddard) of the house acts drugged & disoriented. Barnabas shows up on occasion, then disappears so we can get back to... David & Hallie !!!

I'm surprised the show wasn't cancelled sooner. The writers really let the actors down. I will buy the initial 10 collections.
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