When the original 1966 version of Dark Shadows
first came to DVD four years ago, it didn't start at the beginning of the program. The gothic soap opera's digital disc run began - as I explained in my 2002 review of DVD Collection 01
- with the events in episode 210, leading directly arrival of the character Barnabas (played by Jonathan Frid) in episode 211.
The show, when it first aired, had sagging ratings and (forgive the pun) not a lot of life in it, until the character of Barnabas was introduced. That's when the fans started flocking to the show, and MPI Home Video decided to release the show on DVD (and previously on VHS) with the episodes that caught everybody's attention. The only indication of the events which occurred prior to that was a 15-minute recap of the events of episodes 1-209.
Now MPI has scheduled DVD Collection 25
for release on July 25th
, and it is the next-to- last set of installments at the end of the show's run of 1225 episodes. With the close of the series in sight with the 26th collection, fans are wondering if they will get a chance to see the pre-Barnabas episodes on DVD afterward.
Yes, they will! There were 206 filmed episodes during the pre-Barnabas era (the reason they are labeled 1-209 is because three episode numbers were skipped, including ABC's 1966 pre-emptions for Thanksgiving and Christmas). MPI will begin presented these beginning with DVD Collection 27
, which is tentatively scheduled to ship in February 2007
Our thanks to reader Ann Hall, who first alerted us to this possibility over the weekend, and to Stuart at Collinwood.net, who told Ann that this was something he expected to see happen. Although MPI informs us that the schedule is for a bit later than Ann was told, the studio *did* quickly verify that this is on-the-way! Stay tuned for more info and updates on this.