Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Merchandise From The Dark Shadows Festival

The Dark Shadows Festival has released a 2014 Vampire Calendar. Measuring 8 1/2 x 10" and printed on thick coated paper stock, it features 15 rare and unseen full-page photographs from Dark Shadows, each reproduced directly from the original negatives.

To order the calendar, send payment of check or money order of $14.99 (price includes postage within the US) to the address below.

The Festival is also distributing the independent film Doctor Mabuse on DVD. Starring Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), this feature-length psychological thriller comes with bonus interviews and additional extra content. A sequel, Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar recently wrapped and will be released next year.

A preview trailer can be seen below. To order the Doctor Mabuse DVD, send a check or money order for $19.95 plus $3.00 postage to: Dark Shadows Festival, PO Box 92, Maplewood, NJ 07040.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lara Parker Goes On Tour

Wolf Moon Rising, the long-awaited new Dark Shadows novel from Angelique actress Lara Parker is released next week, and Lara is embarking on a tour to promote the book. Here's a list of confirmed dates and times.

Tuesday August 20 – 7.00pm Barnes & Noble at The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Suite K-30, Los Angeles, California. Telephone: (323) 525-0270.

Wednesday August 21 – 7.00pm
Mysterious Galaxy, 7051 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite 302, San Diego, California. Telephone: (858) 268-4747.

Friday August 23 – 7.00pm
Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California. Telephone: (415) 824-8203.

Sunday August 25 – 4.00pm
Barnes & Noble, 7227 South West Bridgeport Road, Tigard, Oregon (Portland/Bridgeport area). Telephone: (503) 431-7575.

Friday August 30 – Sunday September 1
DragonCon convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) will also be appearing. For more information on the event, click here.

Wednesday September 4 – 7.00pm
Barnes & Noble, 2416 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida. Telephone: (407) 894-6024.

Thursday September 5 – 6.00pm
Booksellers at Laurelwood, 387 Perkins Extended, Memphis, Tennessee. Telephone: (901) 683-9801.

Monday September 9 – 7:00pm Barnes & Noble, 150 East 86th St. New York City. Telephone: (212) 369-2180.  

Saturday September 14 – 2:00pm
Dark Delicacies, 3512 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, California. Telephone: (818) 556-6660 /1-888-DARKDEL.

Wolf Moon Rising can be ordered at a discount price by clicking here. UK readers can order the book by clicking here. And don't forget to check out our interview with Lara about the book, along with the novel's teaser Prologue.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wolf Moon Rising Preview Extract

Angelique actress Lara Parker has a Dark Shadows novel out next month, and we're delighted to be able to share a preview of the book's prologue. Wolf Moon Rising is an exciting new story stretching across a century, following on from 2006's The Salem Branch. You can also find out more about the book in our exclusive author interview with Lara from last year by clicking here.

Wolf Moon Rising: Prologue
The trees draw in their shadows, a violet stain seeps over the sky, and beneath the stone walls of a hundred year old mansion, the vampire stirs. Encased in a smothering blackness that smells faintly of blood, Barnabas can feel an unfamiliar surge of strength, but where he lies there is no space, no air, only his foul breath, and demon memories crawling beneath his eyelids like maggots. Panicked, he gasps to breathe, claws above his head. His fingernails rip his silken shroud, and wooden splinters dig into the quick. 

Then, in the midst of his struggling, a wave of sorrow washes over him and he lies back in his coffin with voices humming in his brain. Once again, he has died forever. Had he been royalty in the Elizabethan age, an effigy would have been carved to adorn his tomb. He is that figure of veined and polished marble, hands fixed, face motionless, and buried within, a scarred and blackened soul.

High in an upstairs bedroom of the Great House, another anguished immortal paces the floor. restless and loose-limbed as a caged carnivore. Head pounding from too much brandy, Quentin lurches toward the mirror of his bureau and grimaces at his loathsome reflection. He lifts a furred hand to blot it out, and a low growl rumbles in his chest. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Picture of the Week: Gypsy Denise

This week it's a ultra-rare photograph of a 10 year-old Denise Nickerson (Amy Jennings) in a Summer stock presentation of the Stephen Sondheim musical
Gypsy. Coincidentally, Dark Shadows' Marie Wallace (Eve) appeared as showgirl in the original Broadway production back in 1959. The picture comes courtesy of reader Dale Canter, who takes up the story:

"My neighbour allowed me to scan this photo to share it with you. Unfortunately, this photo is creased having been damaged in a drawer. Denise Nickerson is pictured at the left, circa 1967, in a summer stock presentation at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Denise played the role of Baby June. The leading lady in the production is Gisele MacKenzie, in the centre, as Gypsy Rose Lee. The girl at the right is my neighbour, Nancy Zdeněk, age 12, in the role of Baby Louise. The play was presented for a period of one week. This photo is courtesy of Nancy."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

News Digest

  • For the whole of July, Pomegranate Press are offering Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood in Kindle format for just $1.99. The book is a great illustrated guide to five decades of the show and can be ordered online by clicking here.
  • As we reported last week, actor John Karlen (Willie Loomis) is currently in hospital in Los Angeles. Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) reports, "Johnny and I had a great visit. He was warm, funny and in great spirits... he's a sweetheart and deserves all the love and encouragement we can give him." Fans are encouraged to send John letters and cards; For more information and a postal address, click here.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott also recently appeared on Variety as a guest writer, offering a response to the recent Mad Men storyline in which aspiring actress Megan Draper worked for a stint on a 1960s soap opera. To read Kathryn's essay, click here.
  • Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott and Christopher Pennock (Jeb Hawkes) have recently finished work on Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar, a sequel to the independent film Dr. Mabuse. Kathryn and Lara will be discussing the film with director Ansel Faraj at the upcoming San Diego ComicCon on Friday July 19 as part of the Famous Monsters of Filmland Stake of the Union panel.
  • And finally, Big Finish Productions have just released two new Dark Shadows audio stories, The Phantom Bride and Beneath the Veil, with more CDs due in the coming months. To order online, click on the hyperlinked titles.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Get Well Wishes For John Karlen

We are sorry to share the news that much-loved Dark Shadows actor John Karlen (Willie Loomis) is currently in hospital at the Studio City Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles.

Dark Shadows fan Marie Hentz Maginity reports that: "John's son Adam says our guy could use some major cheering up, so everyone please write a letter or send a card."

Get well messages can be sent to: John Karlen, Room 10, Studio City Rehabilitation Center, 11429 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604. Please do not make phone calls. On behalf of
Dark Shadows fans everywhere, we send John our very best wishes.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Picture of the Week Special: A Family Portrait

This week, as a special treat, here's a newly created version of the classic 1967 Dark Shadows cast photograph, presented in colour for the first time. I work as a graphic designer and digital illustrator, and have wanted to have a go at doing this for ages. I love this shoot and experimented with it a while back, unpicking the heavy fish-eye distortion on original. That tweaked frame was eventually used on the cover of the Return to Collinwood book.

Pictured are (L-R), David Henesy (David Collins), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), Sharon Smyth (Sarah Collins), Anthony George (Burke Devlin), Robert Gerringer (Dr. Woodard), Nancy Barrett (Carolyn Stoddard), Dennis Patrick (Jason McGuire), Alexandra Moltke (Victoria Winters), John Karlen (Willie Loomis), Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins), Grayson Hall (Dr. Julia Hoffman), Clarice Blackburn (Mrs Johnson), Dana Elcar (Sheriff Patterson), Louis Edmonds (Roger Collins) and Joan Bennett (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard).

In common with most other soaps of the era, formal photo sessions for
Dark Shadows were few and far between. During the five years of production, only two group photographs are thought to have been taken – this one in 1967, and a second the following year. Shot in June 1967, during the week of episodes that followed Elizabeth's shocking wedding day confession, the production team succeeded in gathering almost the entire cast – David Ford (Sam Evans) and Joel Crothers (Joe Haskell) were the only regulars absent.

Shot to mark the first anniversary of
Dark Shadows, amazingly the pictures remained unseen for over 30 years, languishing in ABC-TV's photo archives until they were uncovered in 1998. Since then, this shoot has become one of the most widely-seen from Dark Shadows, with Tim Burton even creating a version of his own to promote the recent feature film. A few other pictures taken on the same day were published at the time, including a shot of Barnabas looking menacingly over Elizabeth's shoulder and Barnabas alone peering through cobwebs in the Collinwood basement with his arms outstretched.

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Final Cover Art For Wolf Moon Rising

We're pleased to unveil final cover artwork for Wolf Moon Rising, the new Dark Shadows novel by Lara Parker (Angelique), which will be released in August. Click on the image for a larger view. From the publisher Tor:
When a portrait that has maintained Quentin Collins' youthful appearance for than a century – and has also kept his werewolf curse at bay – is lost, Quentin begins to dread the full moon.
Meanwhile, David, the sixteen-year-old heir to the Collins fortune, has fallen in love with Jacqueline, a young girl living at the Old House, who is the reincarnation of Angelique. David and Jacqueline are swept back in time to the Prohibition Era of the 1920s, where David uncovers dark secrets of Collins family history.
Most threatening of all, Dr. Nathaniel Blair, an expert in the paranormal, has come to Collinwood because he suspects it of harbouring a vampire. Fortunately, Barnabas Collins has returned to his coffin after a disastrous flirtation with life as a human, but what Blair discovers places the entire Collins family in jeopardy. 
Wolf Moon Rising can be pre-ordered at a discount price by clicking here. To read our interview with Lara Parker about the book, click here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Picture of the Week: Dan Gets Derailed

This week, it's a candid 1978 snapshot of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis on the set of NBC's costly failure Supertrain. Conceived as a rival to The Love Boat, the weekly show featured mystery and anthology-style drama on a futuristic luxury train, which came complete with its own gymnasium and disco. For its brief run it was the most expensive show on American television.

Before long, low ratings and backstage creative differences saw Dan Curtis abruptly leave the project to make way for a doomed mid-season revamp. Even before his departure, the cracks were beginning to show. "Put the train on with no scripts and no actors and see how long it lasts," he grumbled about NBC's decision to promote the train as the star of the show. "The train is terrific, but it's only the ambience."

By February 1979, the disgruntled now ex-producer was rather less diplomatic. "It was the biggest mistake I made," he told The St. Petersburg Times. "I directed it under the most insane conditions... With the money I was dealing with and the time, I'd love to see anyone duplicate that one." Signing off, he declared: "I don't care what anybody says about it. It wasn't f**king brain surgery... but that's what they wanted. They wanted a picture like that and I gave them one."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Picture of the Week: Joan Lights Up

This week, Joan Bennett (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) lights up in a 1942 advertisement for Chesterfield Cigarettes. During her 1940s heyday, Joan enjoyed a lucrative sideline endorsing products, including a long-term contract as the face of Lux soap. 

Here she's pictured in her American Voluntary Services uniform. During World War Two, Joan was an active member of the organisation, up until when she fell pregnant in early 1943.

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dark Shadows Summer Reunion

A Dark Shadows Reunion is to be held in Tarrytown, New York, this July, organised by the Friends of 1991 Dark Shadows fan group. The event will take place at the Lyndhurst Estate (Collinwood in the 1970s Dark Shadows movies) on July 13-14.

Announced guests from the original series include Marie Wallace (Eve), Sharon Smyth-Lentz (Sarah Collins), Donna Wandrey (Roxanne Drew), Donna McKechnie (Amanda Harris) and Michael Hadge (Buzz Hackett). Guests from the 1991 Dark Shadows revival include Roy Thinnes (Roger Collins), Jim Fyfe (Willie Loomis), Ely Pouget (Maggie Evans) and Rebecca Staab (Daphne Collins). Additionally, Monica Rich (Sarah Castle in Night of Dark Shadows) is also set to appear.

For more information, including pricing, registration details and local hotel guidance, visit the event's official Facebook page by clicking here. Please note that this event is not affiliated with the official Dark Shadows Festival gatherings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Picture of the Week: Louis' Worldly Ways

This week it's a rare press shot of Louis Edmonds (Roger Collins) in the 1954 New York revival of Restoration comedy The Way of the World. Louis played the lead role Mirabell and is pictured with his co-star Gerry Fleming as Millament. Dark Shadows' Thayer David (Professor Stokes) also appeared in the same production.

Writing in The New York Times, critic Brooks Atkinson suggested that: "Edmonds will make an excellent Mirabell when he speaks with more grace and clarity and relaxes a little bit." Meanwhile, The Herald Tribune's Walter Kerr was distinctly lukewarm about both the play's leads: "Neither lacks the hauteur or diction essential to this kind of verbal antic, but both... spend most of their time chasing musical notes uphill and down dale, letting humour lag."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2013 California Festival Event Photographs

The Dark Shadows Festival's weekend of events in Coronado, California took place last month, with over 300 fans congregating to enjoy the premiere screening of the new independent film Doctor Mabuse, along with a gala celebrity luncheon the following day, which included a music concert by David Selby (Quentin Collins).

The Festival's next Dark Shadows event is a cruise to Bermuda, taking place in October; For more information, click here. The Festival have also announced that they will be hosting a 2014 summer event at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. Lyndhurst was the location for Collinwood in the two 1970s Dark Shadows movies and today is a National Trust property. More details will be announced later in the year.

Courtesy of the Festival, we have some photographs from the California event, taken by Maria Barbosa. Pictured above are Christopher Pennock (Jeb Hawkes), Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), Lara Parker (Angelique) and David Selby. Seen below are Lara Parker; David Selby; and Jerry Lacy. Click on the thumbnails for larger views.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

California Dark Shadows Festival Update

The Dark Shadows Festival have released more information on their upcoming Dark Shadows Island Weekend, which takes place in Coronado Island, California on April 27-28. As previously announced, the event will comprise a gala screening of the new film Dr. Mabuse, with a celebrity luncheon taking place at the Marriott Coronado Hotel and resort the following day.

The Festival says: "In the spirit of Dark Shadows, fans in California and surrounding states may want to consider taking Amtrack train service to San Diego for the Dark Shadows Island Weekend on Coronado Island, a short taxi ride via bridge from downtown San Diego.

The Amtrack Pacific Surfliner Train from Los Angeles' Union Station to San Diego is just one of many train options for those who do not travel by air. For all train schedules to San Diego, go to the Amtrack website. Additionally, the Marriott Coronado Hotel & Resort has extended their special Dark Shadows discount sleeping room rate until April 10."

To receive discount
Dark Shadows sleeping room rates at the Marriott, use the online reservation form or call the Marriott toll-free reservations line at 1-888-236-2427. You must mention the Dark Shadows Group Code drkdrka to receive the discount room rate. For online reservations, you must type in the code into the online form when making your reservation.

Additionally, the Festival reports that: "David Selby (Quentin Collins) will perform a new musical concert he has written, Shadows and Light, including songs and poetry about Dark Shadows. Joining him will be his wife Chip on piano and James Storm (Gerard Stiles) on guitar. All attendees will receive a special gift bag of goodies, and all of the actors will participate in a question and answer panel with the fans followed by autographs, socializing and new Dark Shadows merchandise."

To view the event flyer, with full booking details and an itinerary for the weekend, click here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Joan Bennett: From Collinwood to Hollywood

We're delighted to share two recently-discovered images of Joan Bennett backstage on the set of NBC's Hollywood Squares, taken on September 13, 1970. Joan was appearing on the much-loved game show to promote the release of House of Dark Shadows.

Joan is seen pictured with panelist Bill Reynolds and her good friend, horror legend Vincent Price in the first image, and is seen alongside Hollywood Squares and Bewitched regular Paul Lynde in the second. Click on the images for a larger view.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Barnabas Makes Headlines

  • TV Guide have named Barnabas Collins one of TV's 60 Nastiest Villians of All Time. Barnabas placed at number eight: "The Dracula of daytime TV was a spooky and tragically romantic 200-year-old vampire who haunted Collinsport and pursued the local female population fangs first," says the magazine.
  • The Hamilton Spectator has published an update on the fan campaign to get Jonathan Frid immortalised on Canada's Walk of Fame. In the piece, Jonathan's nephew Dave Howitt reveals that the original Barnabas cane, which the actor kept until the end of his life, has now been donated to the Smithsonian Museum. To read more, click here.
  • And finally, original Dark Shadows writer Joe Caldwell was recently interviewed by Tor, discussing his involvement in the creation of Barnabas. "We never wanted to play to the metaphor, but instead, play the vampire straight," he explains. "The audience wouldn’t connect with Barnabas if he didn’t seem like a real person, with real problems... We almost wanted to make you forget he was a vampire sometimes." To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kathryn Leigh Scott's Novel Mystery

Dark Shadows actress Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) has written a new novel, Down and Out in Beverly Heels, which is released today. We caught up her to chat about the book's inspirations and her writing routine...

So Kathryn, what was your starting point for Down and Out in Beverly Heels?
I once saw a segment of 60 Minutes about women who were living homeless in affluent neighbourhoods in plain sight – what I call homeless and hiding it. I was intrigued by the idea of a woman who had it all and lost everything, and it doesn't take much. Illness, bad investments, career meltdown, divorce, mental health issues or natural disaster can destroy everything in short order. For me, writing and acting always begin with a what if? So I imagined not only what it would be to lose everything – home, friends, reputation, earning potential – but how to survive it and, most important, redemption and finding the road back. But I also write funny, so my story has an edgy humour.

You first published the story as Murder in Primetime, back in 2006. What made you decide to revisit the idea and how different is the new version from the original?
I printed a limited number of Murder in Prime Time paperbacks that were never sold in stores, but only available to fans of Dark Shadows at the festivals and on my website. I asked everyone who read the book to send me their suggestions to make it better. Well... I got so many really complimentary letters full of ideas... I used all those reviews and comments to rewrite the book, and even changed the name of the lead character. It's a far better book, and I am now almost finished with the sequel!

The theme of suddenly losing one's financial security seems more topical now than it was when the book was first published...
In truth, these days anyone can identify with this story because it's about people who have worked hard, found success through their own efforts and then see it all wiped out. Who doesn't understand that?

Meg, your central character, is an actress from a cult television show. Dare we ask how much of her is drawn from your own experiences?
I write like an actress. I write in scenes and imagine what I would do 'if'... Hollywood is a world I know and experience, so it's fun to write about, but also when something goes wrong, the public exposure is terrific! I know you can hear my voice in the writing, but Meg Barnes is quite different from me and what she experiences only exists in my imagination.

What's your approach to writing? Are you disciplined when working on a manuscript?
I make up a story and write it down in a few pages, that are full of what ifs. Then I write an outline and force myself to write 1,000 words or three pages a day and I don't get a glass of wine until I do. Sometimes I find an excuse to come up with less, but it has to be a really good excuse.

Who inspires you as a writer?
I've always been a fan of the great British women mystery writers, who create wonderful atmosphere, characters you care about and stories that pull you into their world...  Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, P.D. James, Josephine Tey... I love them and their use of language! And I'll never be their equal.

Nonetheless, is there a particular passage or scene in the book you're proud of?
There are some scenes where Meg is auditioning and working on set that I think really capture the behind-the-scenes experience... and I'm most proud of the scenes when Meg is very vulnerable as a homeless woman living in her car.

What are you working on next? Are there any more novels in the pipeline?
I have a screenplay based on Down and Out in Beverly Heels completed and another screenplay in the works. I'm almost finished with the sequel to Down and Out... I am half through a non-fiction book  and have the sequel to Dark Passages to write.

To order Down and Out from Beverly Heels in paperback and Kindle formats, click here.

Kathryn is also offering fans a bonus signed bookmark with proof of purchase from the book from Amazon. For more information, click here. Kathryn will be signing copies of the book at New York's Barnes & Noble store on 82nd Street and Broadway on Monday April 1 from 7.00pm. For full event details, click here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Glimpse Inside The Studio

Reader Ron Edens has written in to share some great shots of the original Dark Shadows studio, located on Manhattan's West 53rd Street. More than 40 years on, it's a still a working studio space, and until recently was the home of The Wendy Williams Show

"It was actually formerly a lumber yard before ABC took it over and although narrow, extends north from 53rd up to 54th, thus giving them a block's length to have multiple sets up at one time," explains Ron. "I rang the bell and a worker came to the door and I asked if I could take a peek. He said, unfortunately, no way. OK, I thought, fair enough, so I took a picture from the street and then went over to 54th Street to see the loading dock entrance. Lo and behold, the bay doors were open, so I took a couple of pictures! It's pretty exciting to see where the Collinwood drawing room and all of those other great sets were!" Click on the images for a larger view.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

March News Digest

  • A fan campaign is underway to get Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) commemorated on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2013. If you would like to submit a nomination for Jonathan, you can do so by clicking here.
  • Sharon Smyth Lentz (Sarah Collins) has just launched a new official website, offering signed photographs and other merchandise. To pay a visit, click here
  • Christopher Pennock (Jeb Hawkes) is one of the artists taking part in Hanged, a group art exhibit which runs at the JP Art Market until March 31. For more information, click here.
  • Bella Heathcote (Movie Victoria Winters) is to star in a new independent film, The Curse of Downers Grove. The movie is slated to begin production this spring.   
  • The Tim Burton Dark Shadows movie comes to Cinemax next month. The film will be seen daily on the channel, with screenings beginning on April 6.
  • And finally, visual effects house Buf have posted some of their work on Dark Shadows, demonstrating before and after versions of the digital effects shots they contributed. The video can be viewed in the window below.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pictures From a Scrapbook

It was with sadness that we recently learned about the death of Dark Shadows audio engineer Frank Bailey. His niece, Mary Spohn contacted us to give us her memories of Frank and his time on the show:

"Frank W. Bailey was my Uncle. I know very little about him but I will tell you what I can. Uncle Frank was born September 10, 1914 in Bradford, Philadelphia. He passed away May 19, 2012 in New York City and laid to rest at a Military Cemetery in Long Island NY. 

Frank Bailey had a younger brother and sister. His brother Lee died about 20 years ago and his sister – my Mom Alice – died 38 years ago. When I was in school I had to run home every afternoon to watch Dark Shadows. I loved watching that show and seeing Uncle Frank’s name under 'Audio'.

I felt I had a famous uncle. Recently I discovered he had a small part in the Ulysses adaptation by James Joyce in 1967. He also did sound for the soap One Life to Live and won an Emmy. He did some work at the Olympics and won an Emmy. He received an award for 25 years service for ABC."

Mary also shares some rare candid Dark Shadows shots from Frank's scrapbooks, taken by fellow audio engineer Henry Plimack in 1970. Shown above is Kate Jackson (Daphne Harridge); Below: Director Henry Kaplan oversees rehearsals on the Eagle bar set; Christopher Pennock (Gabriel Collins) on the drawing room set; Longtime series director and producer Lela Swift; Henry Kaplan conducts the actors with his trademark baton in the rehearsal room. Click on the images for a larger view.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

News In Brief

  • Dynamite have announced a new comic book miniseries, Dark Shadows: Year One, which will explore the origins of many of the show's familiar characters. Says the publisher: "How did Barnabas Collins become a bloodthirsty vampire? All it took was one night of weakness, and Barnabas cursed his family – and himself – forever! The twisted tale of one of pop culture's most iconic and enduring vampires begins here!" The series hits stores from April onwards.
  • James Storm (Gerard Stiles) can be heard in the new online radio drama Hothouse Bruiser, a hard-boiled dystopian detective series. To find out more and listen to excerpts online, visit the show's official website.
  • Elizabeth Wilson, who appeared in the very first episode of Dark Shadows as Mrs Hopewell, can be seen in the new Bill Murray movie Hyde Park on Hudson. Elizabeth is still acting at the grand age of 91 and plays Mrs. Roosevelt in the new film.
  • David Selby (Quentin Collins) has just filmed a guest appearance for TNT's drama series Rizzoli & Isles. He's also set to appear in You Are Here, a new film from Mad Men creator Matt Weiner. 
  • Marie Wallace (Eve) has been added to the guests sailing on Dark Shadows Festival's 2013 cruise to Bermuda, taking place from October 27. For information on the event, click here.
  • And finally, Sharon Smyth (Sarah Collins) and Kathleen Cody (Hallie Stokes) are to appear at Seaview Terrace, the original Collinwood, as part of a special event on May 18, which will include a ghost tour of the historic mansion. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

April California Shadows Events Announced

The Dark Shadows Festival have announced a weekend of special events for April, taking place in Coronado, California. Stars from the show will appear for a gala screening of the new independent film Doctor Mabuse and a celebrity fan luncheon. 

Saturday April 27 sees the official premiere of Doctor Mabuse with Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask) Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) appearing to sign autographs and discuss the project onstage. The event takes place at the historic Coronado Village Theatre. 

Sunday April 28 will see a celebrity luncheon held at the nearby Marriott Coronado Island Resort with guests in attendance. David Selby (Quentin Collins) will appear to give a dramatic performance with live music, followed by autographs and panel discussions. The Marriott is offering a discount price for rooms across the weekend; to receive the special price, use the code drkdrka when booking online.

The event flyer is shown below. To view it in high resolution, click here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dark Shadows Movie Artistry

  • Prosthetic make-up company BGFX have released some images of their work from the recent Dark Shadows feature film, including an unused design for an emaciated Barnabas. Check it out online by clicking here.
  • Concept artist James Carson has posted a gallery of Dark Shadows artwork on his website, including early designs for the interiors of the Collinwood mansion. To view it online, click here.
  • And finally, the Moving Picture Company have posted a video breakdown of their visual effects work on Dark Shadows, which can be viewed in the window below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Conrad Bain: 1923-2013

It is with sadness that we report the death of veteran actor Conrad Bain, who has succumbed to natural causes at the age of 89. Conrad died on Monday January 14 in his hometown of Livermore, California.

As a jobbing actor, he appeared in four episodes of Dark Shadows as innkeeper Mr Wells, beginning with the show's very first episode in 1966. Two years later, he returned for a final fatal encounter with werewolf Chris Jennings. 

To more recent generations, he is best remembered for his role as Phillip Drummond on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, along with film appearances in Bananas and Postcards From The Edge. Our condolances go out to Conrad's friends and family.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Picture of the Week: Mitchell Gives Chase

This week, it's a publicity still from Chase, the 1973 cop show that starred Mitchell Ryan (Burke Devlin). The brainchild of The A-Team creator Stephen J. Cannell, the high-octane drama cast Mitchell as the leader of a team of undercover Los Angeles cops and ran for one season on NBC.

Chase's short primetime reign was a disappointing experience for Mitchell, who dismissed the show as "badly cast... badly directed," when later reflecting on its troubled production. "When it started doing badly in the ratings, they cut the stunt budget," the actor told The Modesto Bee in 1976: "That was the one area – those chases – where the show was good."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Picture of the Week: Drawn-Out George

This week it's a great 1961 caricature of second Burke Devlin actor Anthony George, in his guise as one of the detectives of Checkmate. Anthony is pictured with his co-stars Sebastian Cabot and Doug McClure.

Offscreen, the pressure of heading the cast of primetime television show often placed a strain on Anthony, as he revealed in a 1962 interview with The Evening Independent. "I still haven't figured myself out yet... I'm now getting what I fought for – and, believe me, it wasn't an easy fight – I should be deliriously happy with myself, but I'm not." 

Anthony went on to explain the frustrations of Checkmate's fast turnaround. "Why do they keep rewriting scripts? Do you know what it's like to memorize a script at home with the feeling that no matter how letter-perfect you master your lines, they're going to change it anyway?" He concluded: "To me, it's like driving a car with faulty brakes!"

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.