SUPPORTING GREAT TELEVISION

Dark Shadows Rises from the Dead

In Flashbacks on January 13, 2011 at 12:00 am

Joanna Going, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Ben Cross in “Dark Shadows.” (Screen cap)

On January 13, 1991, NBC introduced a prime time version of Dark Shadows, the gothic soap opera that ABC aired weekday afternoons in the 1960s.

The new series, a loose remake, starred Ben Cross as reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins, the role Jonathan Frid immortalized on the original.

The cast also featured Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, then 9.

Critics liked the new Dark Shadows, praising it for using vampirism as a metaphor for addiction.

Unlike the low-rent production values that made the original Dark Shadows high camp, NBC spent big bucks on the new show (even using costumes from 1988’s Dangerous Liaisons), but the show finished the season in 95th place.

You can’t keep a good vampire down: a big-screen version of Dark Shadows – starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas – will begin filming in April.

See for yourself: The 1991 version of Dark Shadows is on DVD and can be streamed at Hulu.

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