On The Subject of Victoria Winters

This has been coming up rather frequently with new friends in my endeavour so I wanted to relay what I am sharing with them in recent letters.

 
I can see how many fans would look at Victoria Winters as the likely marriage partner for Barnabas on the grounds that Barnabas longed for her and often. For some elder fans that longing could have really stuck, as well as the strong person Victoria showed herself to be from The First Year of Dark Shadows.

 
I also expected that, in the 1960’s soap-opera, this relationship would develop naturally into a romance. As I continued to view the program, it was hedging in that direction via Barnabas’ bite on Victoria that had an hypnotic effect. Then she sees someone, who to her, is Peter Bradford from her time-travel period into the 1790’s. It then turns out to be some schmoe named Jeff Clark instead.

 
After many, many, many episodes Jeff Clark discovers that he is INDEED Peter Bradford. Victoria and Jeff finally get married, supernatural weirdness happens to Jeff to take him back to the 1790’s (along with wacky stuff of him being involved in Eve’s previous life filling up some prior episodes).

 
Victoria then endlessly bemoans the loss of her husband. Barnabas proposes marriage to her quite a few times and with that she declines, at first politely but in stronger terms with each successive proposal. (Yes, the actresses changed but I rather doubt the writers would have gone in another direction with Victoria if her role was still portrayed by the original actress.)

 
I was also extremely touched that when Victoria returned to the past to find Peter again, Barnabas went back as well to help the both of them through the struggle. It showed he loved her in a very selfless way, which was part of his own personal growth. (And then FINALLY one couple could live happily ever after on this bloody show!)

 


 
Now there are other productions of Dark Shadows. In the original I found evidence, as many others did, that Maggie Evans was the reincarnation of Josette duPres, Barnabas’ long-lost love.
Newer versions switch the reincarnation of Josette duPres to be Victoria Winters.

 
This is known as condensing.

 
Other productions of Dark Shadows are much shorter.

 
One good example of condensing a story is taking the book Anne of Green Gables and making it into a film as was done in 1934. The film was 78 minutes in length and didn’t provide an enormous amount that was in the book for the sake of time. Rachel Lynde and Mrs. Barry, Diana Barry’s mother, became a single character. Other components of the original story were changed for a faster pace, as well.

 
With the Revival of Dark Shadows in the early 1990’s, Victoria Winters is the reincarnation of Josette duPres. (Maggie Evans gets the shocking role of being Roger’s cheap affair girl. Ewl…)

 
In the unaired 2004 WB pilot, that many more of us have been able to watch, Victoria Winters is shown to be that reincarnation of Josette duPres yet again. (And there is no untoward version of Maggie Evans in our midst. Thank you!)

 
For the Dark Shadows motion picture that was released in 2012, there is a merge where Maggie Evans changes her name to Victoria Winters for the sake of covering up a tragic past, and for which I was very grateful! Again, she is the reincarnation of Josette duPres.

 
(Yes, I mentioned the movie. If you have just suffered a heart-attack because of this please dial 911 on your telephone to get some help and, after you recover, seek a good therapist. Some of us aren’t so sensitive to entertainment we don’t like. We simply turn it off.)

 
There is also “House of Dark Shadows”, released in 1970, giving Maggie Evans the role as the reincarnation of Josette duPres once again. Although it was definitely more horror than romance however much some enjoy the photos to get a sense of romance from it. (I am included in this fun, if startling, group of people.) Barnabas maintained his sense of villainy throughout much of it, which was an original intention on the television show that changed when the audience got hot for the guy.

 
So the pattern just keeps coming up to the point I stroke my chin when viewing “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) or even “Love At First Bite” (1979).

 
In any case, the big reason in the switch from Maggie Evans to Victoria Winters to merging the two characters is condensing a very long story into a much shorter one. And I am grateful I have reached the sanity, along with others, to be able to actually have these conversations as we might have had ten years ago.

 
In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows we are focusing on the original 1960’s characters from Dark Shadows. Within that show Victoria Winters briefly agreed to marry Barnabas Collins and changed her mind upon seeing her own long-lost love from 1795. Later Victoria was determinedly devoted to Peter (Jeff). His disappearance led her to almost jumping off of Widows Hill to die and be with him again. (Much repeating of Professor Stokes words on the topic echoing throughout these episodes.)

 
This is why I often express that I ask the characters what they want and do my best to provide that. Our 1960’s Victoria Winters didn’t reciprocate Barnabas’ romantic affection minus a very brief spell. I can see the allure of it and I’m also grateful that it exists.

 
However, with Victoria Winters of the 1960’s program I saw a lot more unveiling in her own personal needs, choices and desires. It’s just that Barnabas Collins wasn’t one of them. Believe it or not I have even heard long complaints when Barnabas pines for Victoria to which I respond, “Cut the guy a break. He’s in love. It does that stuff to a person.”

 
So, in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, that is why it is not a Victoria/Barnabas story. I know many fans cling to that for the 1960’s original. Part of it might be those long ago memories that faded and are now coming back in finally re-watching the series. Emotions linger, for humans they can be memory keepers. Another part might be due to the newer productions of Dark Shadows that are more geared toward Victoria Winters with Barnabas Collins, whether she has changed her name or hasn’t.

 
With this in mind I felt it was important to finally write up a log entry about it. Hopefully it will help those who read it.

 
Take care,

 

Daryl

 

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Awesome Review From The Birthday Girl! (The laughs are finally returned!)

This is a post I crafted for a review that gave me many of the joys I’ve been looking for by sharing The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. It is for my 3rd Episode which can be found here:

Episode Three Link


Man, I was busting up when I found this to approve! SHITDAMN! I  will respond to your comments as I applauded them with enthusiastic laughter!

A chuckle and a sigh for poor Willie and his jigsaw puzzle joy.

MILLIGAN: … Meanwhile at Wyndcliff, Willie Loomis is completely absorbed in his new 666 piece jigsaw puzzle of a cloud.

Willie robed

WILLIE: YES! YES! YES! I have completed it! I rule the Sanatorium.

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A snort for Dorothy and her complicated cheesecake.

DOROTHY: Ma! We’ve gone through half of the blueberry, pumpkin, chocolate, raspberry, rhubarb cheesecake. Were you going to get to your story or NOT? 

A warm smile for Sophia calling the Collins family what they are- rich snobs.

Sophia God I'm hot tonight

Your Mrs Johnson is lovely.

mrs johnson bitching

A haha to Madame Slick, brought home, loud clothes and all, by dear Roger.

1968 12

[Damn, I couldn’t find a photo of Cassandra’s crazy butterfly moo-moo because I wanted this photo to follow that one:]

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And I had forgotten the bladed glove fellow and the knitted sweater part! Cute. What a cat! 😉

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Now, I did not care for Adam, in Dark Shadows, but it was good of you to make use of him, here. 

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Sophia’s every line was gold!

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lara parker looking up

Many kudos for the Laura Palmer/Twin Peaks/Lara Parker,

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and for Sophia sending the newly weds to Jack’s Fry House.

Mere Review 3

Lady, it’s your birthday and you just gave me the biggest gift! AT LAST!

Final Scene in Episode 13… Picking out lines…

Yet again I got the misguided response from someone, “It sounds like you’re having fun.”

The wonderful part of this comment was the word “sounds”. Yes, the person who typed this is aware this is audio. Hallelujah! I sometimes think a number of fellow creators are intending to drive me insane by only referring to readership. Hmm! Yeah! Sure… I only have readers. Yep. That iTunes link over there… it doesn’t exist. Let’s just completely invalidate it. This is worse than someone assuming this is fun. It could be fun! That was the original purpose, after all. But upon recognizing there are hundreds of complete strangers listening in that might be friends who could discuss The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows with me and make it fun again, but choose not to, well, the fellow seemed to understand why I referred to this process as giving me the 3AM jitters. Oh, and he’s Addams Family. I let him know, “Um… Dark Shadows folks? Many are quite difficult to handle.”

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Thank Heavens I’m a listener. In my original plan Victoria and Peter were on a road trip to escape the madness of Collinsport. Peter didn’t disappear into the past, and because he had the Jeff Clark persona the paperwork for their wedding is as Elizabeth states: “…so hazy.” They dabbled in a time travel accident leading them to Twin Peaks and staying at The Great Northern Lodge. Twin Peaks being in Washington State, Victoria was able to get a postcard to Elizabeth, and Roger made fun of the idea they were investigating The Space Needle in Seattle. I double checked to make sure The Space Needle was up in that time frame. I was pretty sure it was as I have an issue of National Geographic from the event of it’s inception. Fascinating stuff.

Next Victoria and Peter, somehow back in the late 1960s, arrive at The Bates Motel, roughly the same time period. Already they’ve hit two stops that they’d run away screaming from. The upshot was to keep encountering places that were just as bad as Collinsport. When they reach this new location, though, I saw The Addams Family were loving in a spooky way. Ah, yes. They can help and from what I’ve gathered from The Addams Family and its fans? I’ve got to hang on to them and find more ways they can remain in The Pit of…

As for today and days prior, the climactic scene for my 13th Episode is still without music or sound effects. Julia Hoffman was rough to pick which inflection was the best, Professor Stokes was the same. There are times the first one is best but when I perform the lines I’m not sure so I give it a few runs while recording so that I can pick later. 3 to 5 different choices, sometimes more.

Maggie Evans was very rough to figure out as it is a climactic scene and I’ve been trying to get her down better. Kathryn Leigh Scott’s performance of Maggie Evans, etc. has a pitch in her voice, opening the throat, and working through the nose to create something fuller in scope than most actresses. It’s a rich and unique sound.

Then working with Barnabas Collins, as per usual… change pitch… amplify, change speed, amplify, change pitch again, oops too deep, undo change pitch, try changing the speed yet again. All right. Next sentence fragment? Phew…

Also trying to get the best of how Jonathan Frid would naturally say it as Barnabas… Would he pause before a word like in this line? Would he say it strait like this other choice I recorded? Would it be a combination?

Maggie Evans, now incorporating bits of Josette Dupres. How much more firmly would she state this now? Pick this one without a contraction? Or where it sounds less like a contraction… (Meanwhile she’s having physical contractions while giving birth in Margaret Josette Dupres… weirder and weirder…)

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And the other invalidation I’ve had to deal with: doing a relief series, “Well, I don’t get that. Isn’t the point of storytelling conflict?”

Will the people listening to this talk to the people that aren’t and let them know there is a TON of conflict, please? Thank you. Not to mention I had to pick out which slap I performed to throw on Barnabas. Months ago Magical Irish Dolphin got a little excited about that. ^_^

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After all this and him still boo-hooing? Of course she’s gonna slap him.

As Milligan explains in the following episode, “Not that we encourage such behaviour. This is a story after all…”

And as I’ve gone through this process I’ve watched the fanfiction pile online grow and expand to the point The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows in text might not be on the first page anymore. But what does it matter? Derivatives of it are, people looking for something different can still find it. Search engines for Barnabas/Josette, Barnabas/Kitty, Barnabas/Maggie are still tapped out every so often and then they discover this blog so they can find it. And like I often say, if anyone wants all of this produced faster get in touch with me and discuss the project. That’s the whole purpose of putting it online, to find the people who prefer it or want it, as well as all of the rest, and hopefully build a small community from it.

Oh dear, but what of that slap? Well, beyond Osheen’s Bill Malloy chapters, I’ve been doing this all far too long to take an interest in much else. I’m sure in the Dark Shadows pile there is plenty of domestic violence placed on Barnabas Collins from other characters since folks seem to both adore him and enjoy sending him pain. Fans can get-off on that.

When it comes to the obvious moaning and groaning over the woman he actually loves? She’s slapped him, chained him, poured ice on him and strangled him to relieve her own torture and kidnapping by him. On one hand he endures it. On the other hand: It is Josette Dupres… Who gets-off on that?

Barnabas Collins. ^_^

I’ve said it in Margaret Josette Dupres: Yep, that’s a happy man… finally.

laughing again