in the spirit of the Halloween season, I wanted to talk about a show long overdue for a proper reboot. Dark Shadows, the 1960s show about a 175 year old vampire named Barnabas Collins who returns to his home in fictional Collinsport, Maine in search of his long lost love Josette.
Here's his origin as recorded on Wiki:
Barnabas Collins was a member of the late 18th century Collins family, from the fictional town of Collinsport, Maine. He was the son of Joshua Collins (Louis Edmonds) and Naomi Collins. Barnabas' many cousins included Millicent and Daniel Collins. During the flashback, Barnabas intended to marry an heiress from Martinique named Josette du Pres (Kathryn Leigh Scott), but had a brief affair with Angelique Bouchard (Lara Parker), Josette's maidservant.
Upon Angelique's arrival in Collinsport for the wedding, Barnabas was determined not to resume his affair. The spurned Angelique Bouchard, a practitioner of witchcraft, used a number of spells to manipulate Barnabas and his family and force his agreement to marry her. Barnabas discovered Angelique's duplicity, and shot her. With what she believed to be her dying words, she took revenge on Barnabas by summoning a vampire bat from hell to attack him. Barnabas fell extremely ill and died. Angelique survived and attempted to rescind the curse, but was unsuccessful.
Barnabas shortly thereafter rose as a vampire.
The Original Barnabas Collins
Jonathan Frid (December 2, 1924 - April 14, 2012) was the Canadian actor who gave us the definitive version for Barnabas Collins. His portrayal of the tragic Vampire made us forget that other guy from Transylvania. His final appearance on film was a cameo in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows film along with fellow original cast members Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott and David Selby, where he portrayed a party guest.
Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins.
Of course, I have to mention the recent film starring Johnny Depp. Although I'm a huge fan of Johnny Depp movies, this version of Dark Shadows was more campy comedy rather than dark & gothic. It was entertaining and Eva Green as the witch Angelique added plenty of spice. Her take on the witch who originally placed the curse on Barnabas was sexually charged and divalicious!
Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins (1991).
The 1991 version starring the English actor Ben Cross tells of the arrival of governess Victoria Winters at Collinswood, with vampire Barnabas Collins being released from his coffin by Dr. Hoffman who attempts to cure Barnabas medically. There was also a storyline of Victoria time travelling back to 1790 to witness the events that transformed Barnabas into a vampire. The show was cancelled, much to the disappointment of 7000 fans who wrote letters voicing their displeasure with the decision and even protested at the studios.
So, WHO can revive this franchise on TV?
I've thought long and hard as to who can help revive the series on the small screen. Dark Shadows has too much positive story history to just fade away into the abyss of cancelled TV. The character of Barnabas Collins deserves a modern telling of his story, and it is my opinion that this actor can pull it off!
MADS MIKKELSEN as BARNABAS COLLINS.
The former Hannibal star can own this role, as he did with another rebooted character. Although the show was cancelled, it certainly was NOT due to his inability to portray Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He did a superb job, and playing Barnabas Collins would be a worthy reward. Mads embodies an evil sophistication that makes this casting a must, at least in my opinion. What do you think?