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Dark Shadows Collection 3
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Dr. Julia Hoffman promises Barnabas that his secret is safe if he will allows her to conduct experiments to cure him of his vampirism. Jealous of Victoria Winters' engagement to Burke Devlin, Barnabas plans revenge against Burke, who becomes suspicious of Barnabas and begins to investigate him. While trying to hide from Barnabas, David Collins becomes trapped in the secret room of the Collins Mausoleum. The frightened boy pleads with the ghost of Sarah Collins to rescue him. Barnabas realizes that David my hold the key to finding his late sister's spirit.
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It soon becomes apparent that Barnabas has become infatuated with Victoria and is seeking to recreate Josette in her. Burke Devlin, who also has a romantic interest in Victoria, begins to grow suspicious of Barnabas and initiates an investigation of him. Learning he is being investigated, Barnabas cleverly informs Victoria knowing that she will force Burke to put an end to his inquires.
While searching for Sarah, David Collins becomes trapped in the secret room of the Collins mausoleum. While the family desperately searches for David, Sarah appears in the secret room and helps him escape. Terrified, David runs out into the night and straight into the arms of Barnabas who soon realizes that the boy is on the verge of discovering his secret. Barnabas decides that he has no choice but to kill David but is once again stopped by Sarah's presence.
In order to capture Maggie's kidnapper, Dr. Woodard proposes pretending that Maggie's memory is beginning to return. Barnabas still does not believe Julia's repeated assurance that Maggie's memory is gone and once again plans on killing her. Willie attempts to warn Maggie of the danger but is shot by one of the polieman guarding her.
In an effort to incriminate Willie, Barnabas hides Maggie's ring in a lamp in Willie's room which is than discovered by Sheriff Patterson. When Willie regains consciousness in the hospital it is discovered that his mind is completely gone and plans are made to transfer him to an asylum. David goes to the Old House despite Sarah's warnings not to and upon retuning to Collinwood is attacked by a giant bat.
Although Dark Shadows Collection 3 has many intriguing storylines and plot twists perhaps the single biggest treat is episode 295-the first installment of Dark Shadows in color. Originally broadcast on August 11, 1967 the show features Victoria as the first cast member in color(and looking lovelier in color than she ever did in black and white). Still, some fans may lament the transition feeling that the show was spookier or had more atmosphere in black and white and they are not entirely wrong in this assessment but the show phtographed well in color with rich, deep hues making for a quite effective result.
Colection 3 also has interviews with Jonathan Frid, Sharon Smyth(who played Sarah Collins), Louis Edmonds, and director Lela Swift
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.
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The best collection in the entire series.
At this stage of the series the characters seem to dwell in a kind of innocence.Read more