Josette DuPres: She’s Complicated

I wasn’t always fascinated by Josette DuPres, by the way. Quite the opposite in the beginning, particularly her name.

“Josette? What a dull name! Why is Barnabas, who has such a complicated name, in love with someone who has such a dull one?” Then I heard Alexandra Moltke pronounce it “Zho-zette” and I thought, “Okay! I can work with that.”

Then came her last name, which once was referred to as la Freniére, then DuPres, but how is it written? Many different ways! DuPres, Du Pres, du Pres, duPres, Dupres, and I’m likely missing others.

It’s been suggested, over time and even recently, that I am taking a simple character and growing her into something more.


I quote myself in response to the idea Barnabas Collins was my “main character”. I rejoined this with, “He is not my main character. He’s the darn shows‘ main character that everyone falls for. Josette stinkin’ I’m-going-to-reincarnate-myself-endlessly-and-detatch-myself-as-a-ghost-to-reach-my-spiky-banged-lucious is unfortunately as main character as I get because she’s such a pain in the tush to figure out!”

And she is, or perhaps was?

My own, and others, fascination with Josette DuPres can be summed up, simply, in these words:

“Don’t think of a pink elephant.”

This is also known as: ironic process theory.

You have just forbid a topic and, therefore, whom you forbade to think about it wishes to understand it TEN TIMES MORE! (Thanks, folks.)

Josette DuPres has been a puzzle, still is, but then I noticed all this hate/insecurity and dismissive regard over her character. This both confused me and, of course, got me that much more curious.


Similar occurrences in life came my way upon asking about other topics outside my experience, such as: blueberries, red grapes, Jonestown, World War One, Canadian History, the Irish language, punk rock, and many other topics. I’d ask people about them and they tended to do their best to not talk about the subject, or find a way to make it seem unimportant. This repeated behaviour always got my dander up or just made me far more curious!

The hate for Barnabas Collins and the dismissal about Josette DuPres from “fans” made no sense and drove me nuts. (Then I FOUND the fans who loved them both, HA HA!)


Long ago all I wanted was relief for most-to-all of the key players, so Barnabas and Josette wanting each other was no big shakes to me. I was looking at the bigger picture. Josette DuPres was merely part of that. When it became obvious the main romance of Dark Shadows was ‘taboo’, I did not care one iota. If outcast fans were the only ones interested in what I was doing? Fine! I wanted them. (And I found them too. ❤ )

Now, working with Josette? Well, she actually IS so complicated that a ton of fans just simplify her, really. It’s the easiest way to get around any complex subject as I learned by so many other topics I was curious about years ago.

Portrait of #JosetteCollins by Dave Shipley re-imagined …

The original series went all over the place with her ghost and then did more than hint at the reincarnation stuff, so I managed working with that to adapt and create more resolution, whereas on the soap-opera they stretched Josette out to be more confusing than resolving. (Later on the actress quit and one of the writers jacked-up the continuity dreadfully.)

They managed to fix this in the 1991 Revival of Dark Shadows, though. The reincarnation of Josette went back in time and met herself!

(Both played by Joanna Going; Episode Ten of that show.)
I’m STILL floored and stoked by that outcome! VERY resolved!


Alec Newman and Marley Shelton
“Her name was Josette…”

They do switch the reincarnation of Josette in 1991 DS and 2004 DS to be Victoria Winters instead of Maggie Evans, and this is likely why in the 2012 Dark Shadows film they started with her being Maggie and changing her name to Victoria for the governess job. (Yes, I am a geek! 🙂 )

Of course, it IS complicated, but then again so is “Star Trek” and so is “Doctor Who”, both of which we grew up on.

So my husband and I were watching the old “Dark Shadows” and cracking-up, “Oh- duh, reincarnation! Ha ha, very clever, guys.” It really was *too* obvious. That’s why I made jokes about it in The Pit (Ep#7), where Maggie refers to The Blue Whale as The Eagle Tavern, because her references get scrambled between the two lives.

The trouble is people don’t remember Josette very much due to her being subdued, minus the 1897 Kitty incarnation. THEN she gets feisty. She goes to throttle Angelique too, because Kitty, as Josette, is having flashbacks from the 1790’s and recognizes Angelique as always getting in her way.

It’s pretty intense. So? I just run with it and see what I can work with. I guess it’s from compartmentalizing. Probably, huh?

Maggie & Josette (DS 2012)

But they did great with Bella Heathcote’s Josette because they just had the ghost of Josette be visions to Maggie/Victoria of her previous life.

Josette & Victoria at Collinwood

It was more this echo from her own psyche reverberating to guide her toward her destiny. No one else saw the vision but herself.

The other component to Josette, be it from the original show, 1991, or 2012, is, somewhere in each, she gives Barnabas no choice but to share his vampirism with her. He doesn’t want to but she demands it or creates a situation where he can’t resist.

So, it’s not exactly ‘my world’, I’m just gathering the information too many people dismissed.

And yeah! When I found the fans that validated these characters? They’d play “nice” online with the non-canon topics, but when I talked to them on the telephone? Way different story! They were rip-roaring angry! They were getting tired of all the baloney about the couple and the dismissal, and mostly it came from watching other viewers put up totally inaccurate details. We were all faced with these “fans” that were actually phonies.

Of course, this makes sense because this is the only show I’ve seen where tons of people do everything in their power to avoid the narrative. They’d talk about nearly every non-essential aspect of “Dark Shadows”, but God-Forbid they discuss the story! W-E-I-R-D! (Star Trek & Star Wars fans live for chatting the narrative and the characters. And I grew up with that instead, as did the rest of us.)


So the Josette character grows further in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows from understanding who she is and being helped by other fans of DS along the way. (Many fans helped in big and small ways on my journey. Please forgive me for not listing everyone.) Osheen helped me with the astral-projection element, Lisa and Melissa helped me with the Kitty Soames 1897 part, all helped with the 1790’s period, as well as the 1960’s Maggie incarnation and who she is. Then providing more clues when Maggie would have memories she didn’t understand. Tons of bits that apply.

Kinda like playing Simon

or adjusting a Rubik’s Cube.

It’s complicated!


And this complexity in character-development of Josette DuPres, through four different versions of “Dark Shadows“, brings to mind something I’ve often heard about most televised series,

“Shhh-shhh! Don’t give me any spoilers!”

I’ve got news for you.

Unless you have a petabyte flash-drive wired to your brain… when it comes to Dark Shadows?


(Because having to keep that much continuity in one’s mind isn’t impossible, but it is extremely improbable.)

Bella Heathcote as Jane Bennet? (YES!)

I found out the chik who played Josette in “Dark Shadows” 2012 later played Jane Bennet in “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies”! I discovered that yesterday!

Gosh, Bella Heathcote, who played Josette DuPres, in another movie wearing regency dresses and fighting supernatural creatures?! Hot damn! Talk about inspiration! (Plus the guy who made that novel also wrote the screenplay for the DS movie.)

Now? I shall need to watch that movie, and my sweetheart says he’s interested! Let’s see if I can find a picture of her as Jane Bennet.


Thank you, Bella Heathcote! THANK YOU!