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Dark Shadows Revival


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Updated to add that you can watch the Revival of DS for FREE on HULU: http://www.hulu.com/dark-shadows

For anyone interested, Netflix is streaming 'Dark Shadows Revival' (the complete failed series, of course). It's worth the watch to see some old soap stars who were major fan faves, and actors who were linked to daytime soaps - even if their roles were limited:

Julianna McCarthy (ex- Liz Foster, Young and the Restless) as Mrs. Johnson, the Collins family maid; Joanna Going (ex-Lisa Grady, Another World) as Victoria Winters; Roy Thinnes (ex- Sloan Carpenter, OLTL) as Roger Collins; Barbara Blackburn (Ex-Siobhan Ryan, Ryan's Hope) as Carolyn Stoddard / Millicent Collins; Michael T. Weiss (ex Mike Horton, Days of Our Lives) as Joe Haskell; Ellen Wheeler (GL killer... I KID, I KID (sorta). She was ex- Marly/Vicky Hudson, Another World) as Phyllis Wicke... and there are others.

I thought about a number of 'soap star heavy' casts in various films, as I was watching DS Revival - which is completely hammy even by 90s a standards. Jeff Trachta wrote and produced a couple of films that included several BnB and other daytime actors ("A Bold Affair" aka "Interlocked" and "Thy Neighbor's Wife" which was also marketed as "Poison"). Sean Kanan did the same ("Carpool Guy"; "Jack Rio"). Does anyone have a recommendation for soap star heavy films? Do you like them, or find them as tedious as films that have heavy primetime, or big screen casts?

By the way, hammy as it is, I'm still enjoying the DS revival. It's no where near as good as the original, but there's still something about it I like, even better the second time around.

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I really enjoyed the revival. I've heard it did well on NBC but then, what, the Gulf War preempted it and it was often re-scheduled and it was a case of "viewers losing interest" after being jerked around. It had the classic feel but with a modern take. I liked it a lot (not having watched originally but I've seen it since it was released on DVD and it often airs on Chiller).

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The show had some potential and I liked some of the cast, especially Julianna McCarthy (far better than Clarice Blackburn with the wooden acting and weird wig), Barbara Steele, and Joanna Going. Ben Cross was decent. Jim Fyfe did OK too although he was a bit too tic-cy and goofy. Roger and Liz were just not quite the same without the panache of Louis and Joan...and Maggie and Carolyn just did not work that well for me, Maggie was given silly stories and Carolyn had such bad crazy eyes and was taken too far away from what she should have been, which was a wilder ingenue to match Vicky's more earnest one. I think they made a mistake in not keeping Rebecca Staab's Daphne.

The last few episodes are a mess, it becomes almost a bad joke with the pointless slaughter.

I'm not a huge fan of the 1795 story under any circumstances, so I wish I could have seen how they adapted the phoenix story, as Diana Millay, nothing against her, is much easier to replace than Lara Parker.

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How many episodes were there? I didn't watch the show when it was on, but I do remember that SOD used to cover it along with the daytime soaps (and Knots) in its synopses section.

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Oh and my favorite thing about the show, besides Julianna McCarthy, was Barbara Steele as Natalie du Pres. I love Grayson Hall to bits and I know the daytime DS had a much tougher filming schedule than the nighttime version. but it just drove me crazy how Natalie du Pres somehow went from a French accent to Julia in a bad wig (as Magda eventually became Gypsy Julia). They did the same with Josette but really I expected Grayson Hall to have better accents than Kathryn Leigh Scott. Steele was very very good as Natalie, and she kept her French accent, or her attempt at one anyway, throughout. She was also fantastic as an extremely subdued (with flashes of anger underneath) version of Julia, making the character her own. It sucks that she didn't get more notice for her work in what in many circumstances would have been an unrecastable role.

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Thanks for the info. I don't know much about DS, I randomly caught episodes when it aired on Sci-Fi, excuse me, SyFy ( :rolleyes: ). I guess there's always dvd though, isn't the whole series save for a few lost episodes available?

I think some of Grayson Hall's OLTL episodes are on YouTube, HamiltonBernique's channel.

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I'll have to check those out I didn't know any of her OLTL stuff was online. Too bad her short run on AMC isn't around.

Yes, all of the Dark Shadows original run, aside from one episode near the end of the show, is available on DVD. Most of them are on Netflix. Sometimes it's a strange show to watch because I didn't care very much about the show's two main "hunks", David Selby and Jonathan Frid (I did enjoy Selby on Falcon Crest...). I mostly enjoyed the female characters and some of the supporting men. Dark Shadows has some of the best female characters anywhere -- even the ingenues are underrated. As the years go by the women carry more and more of the show.

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I'll have to check those out I didn't know any of her OLTL stuff was online. Too bad her short run on AMC isn't around.

Yes, all of the Dark Shadows original run, aside from one episode near the end of the show, is available on DVD. Most of them are on Netflix. Sometimes it's a strange show to watch because I didn't care very much about the show's two main "hunks", David Selby and Jonathan Frid (I did enjoy Selby on Falcon Crest...). I mostly enjoyed the female characters and some of the supporting men. Dark Shadows has some of the best female characters anywhere -- even the ingenues are underrated. As the years go by the women carry more and more of the show.

FLOVED Angelique and don't know why Laura Parker never did another soap role, (or did she.) Not to go on a tangent off topic, but my fan wank of the wretched, wasted potential of the "Phillip goes to Hell, takes SF with him and then is shot," was that my version was that Alan shot Phillip trying to wrestle the gun away from him (as Phillip was hell bent on dying, he tricked Alan into thinking he was actually going to use the gun on the knocked out Harley. ) Elizabeth Spaulding, keeping tabs on things from afar (she is a typical Spaulding, she has maids and doctors on her payroll..) has Phillip pronounced dead but spirited out of SF to her, you got it old dark mansion next to some cliffs on the east coast) where she can nurse him to health, both mentally and physically, while she plots her revenge on both Harley (who she thought was the real killer,) and Alan for turning Phillip into a monster. Eventually Harley and Gus would follow the clues to this old dark house and Elizabeth would trap them, only to discover the truth that Alan was the one who shot him. While keeping Phillip a secret, she returns to SF to exact revenge on both Alan and Alex (Alex discovered the truth much the same way that she did on the show, but is protecting Alan as it was an accident and she knows the truth would finally bring the outsing of the Spauldings from their own company. Of course, I thought Lara Parker would be a great Elizabeth, cool and calculating like Bev's Alex (never stomached Marj's cartoon version of Alex) but with a slight hint of "This chick is kinda nuts."

Anyway, my mom should have known I was a homo in training pants, as I LOVED DS, and while my siblings wanted to live on a boring family sitcom show, I wanted to live in Collinwood, and I always felt sorry for Angelique...all she did was love boring Barnabas and he choose women who were not fit to stir Angelique's cauldron.

The Dark Shadows remake was a hit, however, this was the years before demos, and it was pulling a great young "watching DS before we go out" demo, but not a large total audience. The show was on the bubble for awhile with people doing one of the first campaigns but NBC thought the show was just too expensive to produce.

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The only other soap role Lara did was the Showtime soap Susan Flannery and Doug Marland worked on, A New Day in Eden. I think she might have been involved with Capitol, but that just might be delusion, because she seems like the type of actress who would have fit in on Capitol.

Lara would have been a FANTASTIC Elizabeth Spaulding. That idea is great, a lot better than "Phillip wandered around the world for five years." She even could have worked as a Hope who was no longer going to let people push her over, but still had some tender reminders of the girl she used to be. It was bizarre that GL never tried to bring back Elizabeth or Hope and just ignored so much of Phillip's history and Alan-Michael's history. Yet again soaps being ashamed of their pasts.

I also loved Angelique. I always rooted for her and wanted her to find happiness, although that happiness always seemed to end up going back to Barnabas obsession. One of my favorite Angelique scenes was when she finally went back to witchcraft after her boring husband Sky (who went on to almost singlehandedly drive me away from GL in 1993-1994) tried to kill her. She just kicked so much a$$ in that story, whether it was moving back to the Old House, "her" house, and laughing to Josette, or putting that shadow on worthless Jeb and getting him to kill Nicholas Blair for her (boy did I love that).

I tend to pick sides with soaps but with Dark Shadows I often liked both Angelique and the women she tormented (Julia, Vicki, Maggie). I still wish the show had done what Alexandra Moltke wanted and given her another, darker character to play, because she always gave Victoria a backbone which salvaged some of the endless "I don't understand/old man Barnabas get away from Vicki/Vicki has amnesia/Vicki is saddled with horrific Roger Davis" material.

Something about the nature of Dark Shadows, in a way few soaps do, seemed to suit wild, OTT women, yet they still had a heart in there somewhere. In some ways I think Marie Wallace was a turning point, she was this drag queen Frankenstein's Bride who saw Adam for the loser he was, and she was so tough in what she wanted. Then she was crazy Jenny, such a great camp figure with a lot of tragedy in her.

The other key was when they let Nancy Barrett loose -- Pansy Faye was just brilliant. I loved Carolyn Loomis too. Nancy became a force of nature in those roles, she just seemed to be free in a way a lot of soap actors won't let themselves be.

All you have to do is watch enough scenes with Angelique, Julia, Samantha Collins, etc. and see why the show has such a following of gay men.

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The show had some potential and I liked some of the cast, especially Julianna McCarthy (far better than Clarice Blackburn with the wooden acting and weird wig), Barbara Steele, and Joanna Going. Ben Cross was decent. Jim Fyfe did OK too although he was a bit too tic-cy and goofy. Roger and Liz were just not quite the same without the panache of Louis and Joan...and Maggie and Carolyn just did not work that well for me, Maggie was given silly stories and Carolyn had such bad crazy eyes and was taken too far away from what she should have been, which was a wilder ingenue to match Vicky's more earnest one. I think they made a mistake in not keeping Rebecca Staab's Daphne.

The last few episodes are a mess, it becomes almost a bad joke with the pointless slaughter.

I'm not a huge fan of the 1795 story under any circumstances, so I wish I could have seen how they adapted the phoenix story, as Diana Millay, nothing against her, is much easier to replace than Lara Parker.

There are 12 eps all together. I thought Ben Cross got better in time - he was a little too campy at first. The biggest error, I think, was casting Lysette Anthony as Angelique. It was a horrible fail. I'd just read that a critic referring to her as the equivalent of rice sugar: sweet at first, nauseating after a while. That's pretty much on target.

It really is addicting and, BTW, there is a streaming collection of the original DS available. Enjoy all who are able to watch!

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I thought Lysette was OK - they did a good job of establishing Angelique as a threat without having to actually heavily rely on her, she was teased for several episodes before actually appearing - but of course the problem is with a role like Angelique you shouldn't just have OK. Lara Parker was a goddess and she pretty much changed the course of the original DS, as Frid and Selby did.

I'm not sure it says that my strongest memory of Lysette is as the homewrecker in Look Who's Talking Now. :unsure:

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