Dark Shadows: The Beginning

Watch Dark Shadows: The Beginning

  • TV-PG
  • 1966
  • 6 Seasons
  • 8.0  (5,412)

Dark Shadows: The Beginning is a gothic drama television series that aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. The show consists of the first 209 episodes of the supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows. Starring Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, and Alexandra Isles, Dark Shadows: The Beginning takes viewers back to the year 1795, where the origins of the Collins family curse are explored.

The show follows the turbulent life of Barnabas Collins, a 200-year-old vampire who is awakened from his coffin by the Collins family servant, Willie Loomis. Barnabas soon returns to Collinwood, the family estate in Collinsport, Maine, where he meets the beautiful young governess, Victoria Winters. But as Barnabas tries to adjust to the changes in the world since he was buried, he finds himself embroiled in a web of family secrets and supernatural occurrences.

The core of the show's narrative revolves around the Collins family, which is steeped in history and tradition. The matriarch of the family, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, has kept the family together since the death of her husband, Paul. Her brother, Roger Collins, is the black sheep of the family, who only cares about money and his own interests. David Collins, Elizabeth's young son, is traumatized by the disappearance of his mother's friend, Burke Devlin. Meanwhile, Victoria Winters searches for the truth about her birth and uncovers unexpected ties to the Collins family.

Barnabas Collins, the central figure of the show, is introduced in episode 210 of Dark Shadows, but his origins are explored in Dark Shadows: The Beginning. At the beginning of the series, Barnabas is sentenced to an eternal sleep by a jilted lover, Angelique. But when Willie Loomis breaks into the Collins family mausoleum, he inadvertently awakens Barnabas, who is determined to exact revenge on Angelique and the entire Collins family.

As the show progresses, Barnabas becomes entangled in the lives of the Collins family, particularly Victoria and his distant cousin, Josette. Barnabas's thirst for blood is portrayed as an addiction, which he struggles to control. He is alternately depicted as a villain, a victim, and a tragic hero. The show's exploration of Barnabas's character, as well as its depiction of his relationships with other characters, set it apart from other supernatural dramas of the time.

One of the hallmarks of Dark Shadows: The Beginning is its use of supernatural elements. The show features ghosts, witches, werewolves, and other creatures of the night. The characters encounter séances, spells, possession, and other supernatural phenomena. The show's use of moody lighting, eerie music, and suspenseful storytelling created an atmospheric and immersive viewing experience.

Dark Shadows: The Beginning was also notable for its use of time travel. Victoria is transported back to 1795, where she meets the original Barnabas, Josette, and a host of other characters from the past. The show's exploration of the Collins family's history through time travel added another layer of depth to the show's mythology.

In terms of production value, Dark Shadows: The Beginning was a low-budget show, which sometimes resulted in technical glitches and continuity errors. However, the show's creative and innovative storytelling, as well as its talented cast, overcame these limitations.

Overall, Dark Shadows: The Beginning was a groundbreaking and influential show that paved the way for future supernatural dramas. Its exploration of character, mythology, and the supernatural set it apart from other shows of its time, and its enduring legacy continues to captivate audiences today.

Dark Shadows: The Beginning is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (206 episodes). The series first aired on June 27, 1966.

Dark Shadows: The Beginning
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Episode 209
31. Episode 209
April 14, 1967
Willie goes to the Collins family mausoleum, where a heartbeat is heard coming from the tomb.
Episode 208
30. Episode 208
April 13, 1967
David tells Willie that the Collins jewels were buried with family members.
Episode 207
29. Episode 207
April 12, 1967
Burke and Willie fight at the Blue Whale. Willie tells Jason he won't leave town without money.
Episode 206
28. Episode 206
April 11, 1967
Burke makes an offer to Elizabeth to help her deal with Jason and Willie.
Episode 205
27. Episode 205
April 7, 1967
Willie becomes fascinated by the portrait of Barnabas Collins hanging in the Collinwood foyer.
Episode 204
26. Episode 204
April 6, 1967
Carolyn pulls a gun to scare off Willie. She and Victoria are disturbed by his violent behavior.
Episode 203
25. Episode 203
April 5, 1967
Victoria becomes frightened by the feeling that Elizabeth is powerless to control Jason and Willie.
Episode 202
24. Episode 202
April 4, 1967
Willie picks a fight with Joe at the Blue Whale. Willie joins Jason as an unwelcome house guest.
Episode 201
23. Episode 201
April 3, 1967
Roger admits that he was driving the car that killed a man and sent Burke to prison ten years ago.
Episode 200
22. Episode 200
March 31, 1967
Jason reminds Elizabeth of the secret they share. Burke and Sam confront Roger at Collinwood.
Episode 199
21. Episode 199
March 30, 1967
Drifter Willie Loomis meets his friend Jason at the Blue Whale. Sam makes a confession.
Episode 198
20. Episode 198
March 29, 1967
Maggie realizes Sam sold his paintings to Roger for a bribe during Burke's manslaughter case.
Episode 197
19. Episode 197
March 28, 1967
While searching for Sam's paintings, Roger finds Jason snooping around in the basement.
Episode 196
18. Episode 196
March 27, 1967
Elizabeth reveals that the visitor, Jason McGuire, was a friend of her husband, Paul Stoddard.
Episode 195
17. Episode 195
March 24, 1967
Victoria makes a promise to Elizabeth. A stranger arrives at Collinwood and asks for Elizabeth.
Episode 194
16. Episode 194
March 23, 1967
Elizabeth returns and demands the key to the locked room in the Collinwood basement.
Episode 193
15. Episode 193
March 22, 1967
An art dealer asks to buy Sam's older paintings. Sam tries to get them back from Roger.
Episode 192
14. Episode 192
March 21, 1967
Elizabeth has recovered from her attack. Roger tries to comfort David.
Episode 191
13. Episode 191
March 20, 1967
Victoria attempts to save David. In the hospital, Elizabeth starts to come out of her trance.
Episode 190
12. Episode 190
March 17, 1967
Laura secretly meets David at an abandoned fishing shack, which is soon engulfed by fire.
Episode 189
11. Episode 189
March 16, 1967
While Mrs. Johnson looks after David, he slips out of the house when she receives a phone call.
Episode 188
10. Episode 188
March 15, 1967
Laura tells David to be ready to go away with her. Victoria keeps watch over David.
Episode 187
9. Episode 187
March 14, 1967
Victoria learns that Laura Radcliffe died exactly one hundred years ago.
Episode 186
8. Episode 186
March 13, 1967
During the s©ance, the spirit of David Radcliffe speaks through David Collins.
Episode 185
7. Episode 185
March 10, 1967
Guthrie plans another seance at the Old House and Laura places a spell on him.
Episode 184
6. Episode 184
March 9, 1967
David receives a warning from the ghost of Josette to save Dr. Guthrie.
Episode 183
5. Episode 183
March 8, 1967
When Laura refuses to put out the fire in her fireplace, Dr. Guthrie makes a discovery.
Episode 182
4. Episode 182
March 7, 1967
David decides he wants to go away from Collinwood to live with his mother.
Episode 181
3. Episode 181
March 6, 1967
An old newspaper clipping tells of a boy named David who was consumed in flames.
Episode 180
2. Episode 180
March 3, 1967
Dr. Guthrie, Joe Haskell and Frank Garner discover the cemetery records are faded.
Episode 179
1. Episode 179
March 2, 1967
The caretaker at Eagle Hill Cemetery forbids the opening of Laura's coffin.
Where to Watch Dark Shadows: The Beginning
Dark Shadows: The Beginning is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Dark Shadows: The Beginning on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    June 27, 1966
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (5,412)