Thursday, May 10, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas

I stumbled upon Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas part of The Greatest Episodes Collection at my local Wal-Mart for under ten dollars. Dark Shadows aired from 1966 to 1971 normally in the late afternoons. At the time of it’s peek Dark Shadows had around twenty million viewers, which is an incredible number compared to the low ratings of today’s soap operas (Sadly, there are only four on the air.). And it was known for having errors, such as actors forgetting their lines; stagehands walking in the background; microphones where in the frame shot; etc, because of the tight filming schedule demanded by ABC.

There have been dozens of Dark Shadows sets released over the years. The complete series is coming out this summer but at a whopping $599.98 retail price tag. The show has become more popular due to Tim Burton’s remake starring Johnny Depp being released on Friday, resulting in MPI Home Video releasing The Best of Barnabas to DVD.

The episodes are:
  1. Episode 221 - May 2, 1967
  2. Episode 349 - October 26, 1967
  3. Episode 418 - January 31, 1968
  4. Episode 535 - July 12, 1968
  5. Episode 703 - March 5, 1969
  6. Episode 718 - March 26, 1969
  7. Episode 915 - December 29, 1969
  8. Episode 982 - March 31, 1970
  9. Episode 1133 - October 29, 1970

Each episode has an optional introduction by Lara Parker, who played Angelique, but the intros for episodes 703 and 718 are missing, instead the intro for 535 is repeated. The resolution on the episodes is not the best, which may have been caused by the cameras they used during production.

Obviously the remake is going to bring some new fans into the Dark Shadow world, which makes this DVD an affordable introduction to the soap opera. Some episode highlights are when Julia’s cure backfired aging Barnabas; Barnabas goes back to 1795; Barnabas introduces himself to the Collins family of 1897; and we get a glimpse of the parallel time arch. My favorite out of this DVD is the black-and-white episode 221 where Barnabas introduces himself to Maggie Evans at the Collinsport Inn.

Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas is one of two recently released DVDs, and I’m sure there are going to more. I wish MPI would bring out story arches instead of random episodes. Despite a few flaws, the DVD is a great way to introduce Dark Shadows to new fans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I adore reading reader feedback! I will, however, remove all spam and pointless comments.

Please take note that I have the right to delete comments from this site. Please only post constructive and respectful feedback.