Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back into the “Shadows” at Collinwood

The 2012 big screen remake of Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton & starring Johnny Depp wasn’t as successful as many fans had hoped, but the original show & its various spinoffs still have a legion of loyal followers. The Gothic horror soap originally ran from 1966-71; two feature films were released during the 1970s, as well as a short-lived primetime revival in the 1990s that starred Ben Cross, Roy Thinnes & Jean Simmons. There are still various conventions & fan gatherings devoted to the series, and novels, comic books & audio dramas featuring the characters continue to be published. One of the best books devoted to the history of Dark Shadows is Return To Collinwood by Kathyrn Leigh Scott & Jim Pierson. Scott portrayed Maggie Evans & Josette DuPres in the original series & the film House of Dark Shadows. Scott has written several previous books about the show, but this is the first volume that covers all the different versions of the series to date.

Return To Collinwood was published to tie in with the release of the Burton/Depp movie, and begins with a section by Scott relating her experiences filming a cameo for that production, along with co-stars Lara Parker, David Selby & Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins. The book also features Scott’s memories of shooting the original series, as well as an in-depth chapter by Darren Gross about 1970’s House of Dark Shadows & 1971’s Night of Dark Shadows, the two movie spinoffs of the series. There is also coverage of NBC's 1991 prime-time version; a reminisce by Parker, who played Angelique on the show, and information about the creation & production of the original audio dramas based on the series. Also included is a touching introduction by Frid, who passed away in 2012, and a poem by Selby, who played Quentin on the original show.

The many rare & behind the scenes photos from the various incarnations of the show provide a treasure trove for fans. The pictures include some wonderful shots of Lyndhurst Mansion in New York & Seaview Terrace in Rhode Island, the houses that stood in for the Collins family homes during the run of the original show & 1970s movies. Return To Collinwood is published by Pomegranate Press, an imprint that was started by Scott back in the 1990s to publish books about the series. Their output has since expanded to include some non Dark Shadows titles as well. If you’re even a casual fan, this lavish, well produced book offers the best overall coverage of the Dark Shadows phenomenon. It's an informative, enjoyable read and an affectionate tribute to creator/producer Dan Curtis' classic & fondly remembered series. You can order Return To Collinwood online at amazon and other retailers or go directly to the Pomegranate Press at http://pompress.com, where you can also find info on other books related to the series.

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