Dark Shadows Collection 2
DVD | Box Set
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Barnabas locks the kidnapped Maggie Evans in an Old House basement cell, hoping she will submit to becoming the recreation of his lost love, Josette. A strange young girl in old-fashioned clothing appears to Maggie and, later, to handyman Willie Loomis, who informs Barnabas she claims to live at the Old House. As Elizabeth Collins Stoddard prepares to marry blackmailer Jason McGuire, she reveals a dark secret to governess Victoria Winters. Posing as an historian, Dr. Julia Hoffman arrives at Collinwood to investigate Maggie's disappearance.
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This set begins as Maggie is still being held captive by Barnabus who has tried to turn her into his long lost Josette. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is planning to marry the conniving Jason and her daughter, Carolyn is totally not happy with that arrangement because she smells a rat, so she is going off the deep end by becoming engaged to a biker named Buzz who begins to hang around Collinwood. Things progress from there and get really dicey. Maggie, who is being kept in the dungeon is seeing the ghost of a little girl from the past as she tries to figure out a way out of the dungeon in the old house. Willie as usual, is trying to keep the peace and keep everyone out of harms way. There are lots of great twists and turns throughout-some of them even Shocking!
If you are a Dark Shadows fan and have a renewed interest in watching the show with the new Dark Shadows in the theaters, or if you are a new fan, this remastered version is first rate and makes watching the show a delight. With the clarity and great picture, you can watch for all the little goodies that make this show so refreshing and fun to watch compared with all the high tech perfection on TV today. This is good stuff and really fun to watch and it's still Spooky. Naturally, Barnabus is fabulous along with the rest of the cast.
Netflix is okay to check it out with, but it also shows a very limited selection of episodes from each season. The DVD sets are the way to go. My Mom also loves Dark Shadows and we are each buying some of the disc sets and then sharing them.
Each disc has 10 episodes so there are a total of 40 remastered shows for each collection set. In this set, Julia Hoffman also arrives and pretends to be an historian while she takes a gander around Collinwood to see if she can glean any clues regarding Maggie's disappearance. They've really done a good job revamping these old episodes and I am enjoying them a lot. The discs also contain interesting interviews that tell about the history of the show and of filming it back in the day. It's interesting to hear the actors reminisce about the show. From what I gather from most of the interviews - Willie was a hoot.
Barnabas Collins quickly turned into the biggest hit character on ABC since Batman (and one that would turn out to have far more staying power than the camped-up caped crusader then appearing twice a week on your bat-channel). This collection contains the historic episodes when Barnabas fully emerged from the shadows, to coin a phrase, and was firmly established as the creative centerpiece of the show, the character whom all others (and all major story lines) would revolve for the next four years.
As with the previous Dark Shadows collections, the episodes in Collection 2 are highly entertaining and addictive, if you are into the spirit of the show (unlike Megan Draper, who famously dismissed the show as "crap".) If you're not into the spirit of the show, you probably would not be reading reviews and considering purchasing this DVD to begin with. Plot-wise (and I'm not giving anything away that does not appear on the episode guide that comes with the DVD) the highlights in Volume 2 include Maggie's successful escape from Barnabas's efforts to convert her into Josette, his long lost love; and Maggie's concealment in a sanitarium under the care of Dr. Julia Hoffman, who would go on to become a major character on the show (at least in these episodes, Grayson Hall gives a classic hair-on-fire performance, with some of the most esoteric line-readings in afternoon TV history).
This Collection also contains the conclusion f the long-running Jason McQuire storyline, as his efforts to blackmail Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard reach a climax and the truth of what happened about Elizabeth's husband 18 years ago finally comes out. Unlike some other story arcs, here the Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard is more prominent, and Joan Bennett is able to deliver some her finest performances in the series up to now. Several episodes, where she is nearly driven mad by Jason's extortion and awakens some of the ghosts which haunt Collinwood are the highlight of the collection.
To be honest, the narrative drive does weaken a little in the final third or so of the episodes. Apparently Barnabas was originally was conceived as a close-ended storyline, like the Phoenix arc. When it became clear that Barnabas was now the heart of the show and would have to become a regular, the writers evidently did not have any story lines for him, so they essentially recycled the Barnabas/Maggie plot, with Victoria Winters now singled out by Barnabas to become Josette, and a certain amount of repetitiveness begins to creep in, not helped by other recycled plot ideas, such staging a seance. However, in this episodes Dr. Hoffman begins closing in on Barnabas's true identity, hinting at one of the major story lines to come, her efforts to cure Barnabas of his vampirism and restore his humanity, as the producers take Barnabas, and the show, in fresher, more original directions.
This package continues the Dark Shadows video tradition of containing several highly informative and entertaining interviews with the show's cast and crew (including Dan Curtis himself). The sound and picture quality, considering the fact the original broadcasts were nearly 50 years ago now, are fine; the original film for one episode, #260, was lost, and is presented here in kinescope (footage filmed directly off a TV broadcast), a fact mentioned in the DVD package. This package also contains brief episode summaries and original airdates.
Dark Shadows Collection 2 is highly recommended for all Dark Shadows fans and completists.
This is a fun dvd, but also a thought provoking one..
Collection 2 has an easy to understand episode guide with interviews at the end of every disc. Its also easy to advance through the end credits to get to the next episodes. The stories are gripping and pull you in. The subject matter more than makes up for the production mistakes. If your a Dark Shadows fan or just a fan of science fiction in general its the product for you.