My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning. A journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me and link my past with my future. A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea high atop Widows’ Hill – a house called Collinwood. A world I’ve never known, with people I’ve never met. People who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows.
These are the words of Victoria Winters, and the opening to Dark Shadows, one of the most memorable TV shows of all time. Today, vampire mania has sunken its fangs deep into popular culture. Shows like True Blood dominate television, while The Twilight Saga is one of the bestselling book series. But the Bill Comptons and Edward Cullens of the world owe their existence to a vampire named Barnabas Collins.
Dark Shadows is one of those old shows that makes you feel uncool if you’re unable to remember it when it was on TV. That’s totally me. I was born in 1981, 10 years after the last episode of Dark Shadows aired. Being drawn to all things horror, cult, and vintage, I discovered Dark Shadows some years ago during one of those casual “have you seen anything good lately?” conversations with my parents, whom I am grateful for having passed down their good taste in movies and TV shows to me. If there’s one true thing I can say about myself, it’s that I am never bored, because I always have a neverending list of interesting things to watch, read, or play—and never enough time to do it all. So somehow or another, through the fond secondhand recollections of my parents and at the recommendations of others, Dark Shadows found its way onto my list.
And a few months ago I begun the long and arduous (but highly enjoyable) task of watching all 1,225 episodes of Dark Shadows. Yeah, you read that correctly—ONE THOUSDAND TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE! For anyone else crazy enough to do the same, Netflix has the entire Dark Shadows collection on DVD. I think I’m somewhere in the early 300’s, but I can’t be sure. And I am loving every dark, shadowy, and weird moment of it!
So I am absolutely THRILLED to learn that Tim Burton has just confirmed to MTV News that he will begin shooting Dark Shadows next year, a feature film based on the TV series. And, shocking to no one, Johnny Depp will star as self-loathing vampire Barnabas Collins, confirming rumors that have been circulating amongst Dark Shadows & Burton fans for a long time now. Both Burton and Depp are known to be huge fans of the show, having grown up with the gothic soap opera. I think Johnny Depp will be amazing as Barnabas Collins, and Burton’s campy, gothic style is perfectly suited for the beloved TV show that was so deliciously strange. Now if we can just get Danny Elfman to score, I will be one happy (newly-initiated) Dark Shadows fangirl!