Dark Shadows

1966 NR 23 seasons

Dark Shadows

1966 NR 23 seasons
  • Overview
  • Seasons
  • Details
Set in an old mansion off the coast of Maine, this cult classic television series follows the bizarre exploits of the Collins family, who cross paths with ghosts, werewolves, witches and other supernatural beings over the course of several centuries. Originally conceived as a moody melodrama, this groundbreaking gothic soap found success following the introduction of tormented vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid).
Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Nancy Barrett, Joan Bennett, Alexandra Isles, Louis Edmonds, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Selby, David Henesy, Lara Parker, Thayer David, Kate Jackson, Denise Nickerson
  • SEASON  1
  • SEASON  3
  • SEASON  4
  • SEASON  5
  • SEASON  6
  • SEASON  7
  • SEASON  8
  • SEASON  9
  • SEASON  10
  • SEASON  13
  • SEASON  14
  • SEASON  15
  • SEASON  18
  • SEASON  19
  • SEASON  20
  • SEASON  21
  • SEASON  22
  • SEASON  23
  • SEASON  24
  • SEASON  26

Summary of Season BEG 1 (1966) - 4 discs

In these rarely seen early (pre-Barnabus Collins) episodes of the Gothic soap opera, viewers are introduced to the mysterious Collins clan, as orphan Victoria Winters (Alexandra Isles) arrives in Collinsport in search of her identity. Working as a governess for the Collins family, Victoria quickly learns that secrets (and spirits) abound in the spooky Collinwood mansion. Screen legend Joan Bennett plays the family matriarch.
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 10+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 10+
age 10+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that the vampires, witches, ghosts, and other supernatural characters on Dark Shadows probably aren't as scary as they remember from watching reruns of the 1960s soap opera on television. Also, it's much more serious than the silliness of the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp theatrical version. That said, there are shocks and possibly nightmare-inducing scenes, particularly when vampire Barnabas Collins is either stalking some young lovely or exacting revenge on his enemies. There is no gore or major violence onscreen, but the spooky goings on and strange music may still freak younger kids out, and characters do die. Romance and infidelity are central themes, though kissing is as much as we see. Some era-accurate smoking is visible onscreen as well. Tweens and teenagers will probably be more interested in the kitschy aspects of Dark Shadows. Fans of vampire fiction such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries may also enjoy seeing the vintage vampire action that scared their young parents.

Sexual Content

There are wall-to-wall romances, though rather chaste ones, confined to kisses, longing looks, and offscreen action that's referred to later in innuendo. Infidelity from main character Barnabas Collins sets one of the show's overarching plotlines into motion, and he pays heavily for his indiscretion.


The show centers on supernatural happenings and often features deaths, though many of the dead characters return as ghosts or vampires later.There is no gore or blood; the show's vampire never even actually bites his victims, just leers at them with fangs before a cutaway.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

As on most soaps, the characters are duplicitous and faithless, as well as often being violent and dangerous (though explicit violence occurs offscreen). Family ties and loyalty to one's family is a frequent theme, however.


After watching Dark Shadows, viewers may be interested in the 2012 Tim Burton feature film of the same name.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Some characters smoke cigarettes onscreen.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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