Dark Shadows 1991, Episode 1.1
The series opens with a passenger train winding its way around a hilly coastline, with the words Dark Shadows appearing in its familiar script. A young girl sits in a train, and the audience hears the following: "My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is just beginning, a journey that I am hoping will somehow reveal the mysteries of my life. It is a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to a house high atop a stormy cliff at the edge of the sea. To a house called Collinwood. To a world I've never known with people I've never met. People who, tonight, are still only vague shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill all the days and nights of my tomorrows."
At Collinwood the housekeeper prepares a bedroom for a new arrival. The housekeeper and Elizabeth Stoddard talk about the governess from New York, and the maid assures Mrs. Stoddard that she has made the right decision. Carolyn, Elizabeth's daughter, walks in and agrees with the housekeeper. Daphne joins them, saying that everything was ready and she was going to the Blue Whale to look over the books. The housekeeper finds a shoebox under the pillow; inside is a dead animal courtesy of David Collins.
Elizabeth talks to her brother Roger about his son leaving a rat in the governess's bed. Roger tells his sister that they don't need a governess, they need a psychiatrist. Elizabeth has faith in the governess, who Roger points out was hired by their lawyer and was 25 years old. David is highly traumatized, but by what? Roger still insists on boarding school or enrolling him in the town school. Liz says the town school won't take him back "after what happened."
The train arrives at a dark and deserted train depot. Victoria is the only one to depart. No one is there to greet her, and the train rumbles off. She walks to the Blue Whale, where she runs into Daphne. Daphne calls Mrs. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson informs Mrs. Stoddard and Roger about the governess' arrival, and all three talk about Willie Loomis, an undependable menial who neglected to pick Vikki up.
Willie Loomis is in his small apartment, reading a poem and drinking. Roger confronts him, telling him to straighten out his act, then sends him to pick up Vikki.
Willie goes to the Blue Whale, where he attempts to buy a drink. Daphne confronts him, telling him to do his job. The barkeep, Sam, tells Willie to leave. He refuses, and Joe Haskell threatens to throw him out. He offers to drive Vikki up to Collinwood, but she leaves with Willie.
Liz meets Vikki at the front door and introduces her to Carolyn. She offers Vikki a cup of tea. Willie goes to see his aunt, Mrs. Johnson. She lectures him about his behavior. He says he's "figured it out" about the jewels. She tells him to give up his crazy ideas, but he is insistent that the jewels are hidden in a secret room in the tomb.
Willie leaves the house and heads for the tomb. He opens the door and walks down into the catacombs. He uncovers the clues and finds a secret door. Bats fly out at him, but he presses on. He finds a chained coffin, certain this is his buried treasure.
Vikki is given a tour of the house and the schedule. Carolyn leads Vikki upstairs.
Willie is able to break the chains on the coffin. He pries open the lid and finds his treasure--a hand pops up out of the box to strangle him.
Vikki unpacks her belongings. She walks into a connecting bathroom, opens the bath curtain, and David Collins pops out to scare her. He tells her he doesn't want her here. She doesn't let him leave, telling him she doesn't want to hurt him. Vikki walks him back to his room and puts him to bed. She tells him she wants to be his friend.
Daphne is at the Blue Whale, going over the books for Sam. She gladly tells him that the government owes him money back, and he is thankful. She leaves and walks back towards her car. A dog howls off in the distance. She walks faster, then begins to run. Shemakes it to her car, closes the door, but the passenger side opens and she is attacked.
The cops arrive, as do Maggie and Sam. Daphne lost a lot of blood and looks as if an animal attacked her. The sheriff wonders where all her blood went.
Elizabeth and Carolyn arrive at the hospital, where the doctors are attempting to pump blood back into her.
Willie comes to on the floor of the tomb. A man in old-fashioned clothing enters and pulls out the jewelry Willie sought. All we see are his hands.
The doctor tells the sheriff he can stop looking for an animal. Traces of human saliva were in the wound. The Sheriff drives to Professor Woodards' home. He asks the professor for his opinion, and they go over the case together. The professor says it could possibly be a vampire.
Mrs. Johnson opens the door. A stranger is at the door asking for Mrs. Stoddard. He says he is Barnbas Collins, a cousin from England. Mrs. Johnson invites him inside. Mr. Collins walks around the front hall, taking in the family portraits. He moves towrds the staircase, where his eyes fall on an old portrait. Mrs. Stoddard sees him and welcomes him to Collinwood. Carolyn says he looks exactly like the man in the portrait. Barnabas says he is fascinated by the resemblance between him and his ancestor. He is in the States for business. Roger asks him if he met the Dunberry's, who lived in Cadogan Square. Barnabas says no. Roger remains suspicious of Barnabas' intimate knowledge of Collinwood. He expresses interest in restoring the Old House, which Roger says is a complete wreck. Elizabeth has no objections. Barnabas meets David and Victoria. David is upset that he can no longer play at the Old House, and Barnabas asks David to tell him the story of Sarah. David shows him a picture of a young girl.
Barnabas walks back to the Old House and says, "Father, I have come home."
Victoria attempts to teach David the state capitals. He is having none of it and scares Victoria with a nasty spider in his desk. The lesson is over. She and Carolyn discuss David’s pranks. Vikki goes horseback riding and meets Willie at the stables. Victoria asks if he had anything to do with Daphne’s attack. She notices a wound on his neck. Willie looks scared. Roger arrives and takes Willie back to Collinwood to talk to the police. At Collinwood Willie claims to have returned home after dropping Vikki off the night of the attack and says he got drunk back at his apartment. He then says he was working. Barnabas arrives to save Willie, saying that Willie was in his employ and was telling the truth.
Collinwood at night. Victoria overhears David talking to a young girl. David is alone is his room and reading a magazine. David says he was talking to Sarah. Vikki asks David where Sarah goes. Vikki suggests that they go over to the Old House the next day. David says Sarah told him Barnabas was evil.
The next day Vikki and David walk over to the Old House. Willie is inside the house and says that Barnabas is in Portland. David wanders around the house. He heads towards the basement but is stopped by Willie. They leave, but the viewer sees a lone coffin sitting a few yards away from where David stood.
Carolyn heads out to a roadhouse that night, where she provokes a fight between a couple when she dances with the man. His girlfriend runs out, only to meet Barnabas in the parking lot. They flirt, he acts charming, then he attacks her. The boyfriend hears her screams and attempts to rescue her, but he is also attacked.
The cops arrive at the scene to discover an accident scene much like that of Daphne’s. The difference is that Barnabas killed the couple. The doctor finds the same traces of human saliva in the wounds. He also mentions that there is a very strange cell in the blood samples that he had never seen it before. The lab in Boston is also clueless. He tells the sheriff he doesn’t know what attacked the people. The professor suggests calling Dr. Julia Hoffman.
Dr. Hoffman arrives at the Collinwood Depot, where she is met by the professor. The next morning she sees Daphne, who has made a miraculous recovery—only she has no memory of her attacker. The Collins are intent on Daphne returning home, and Elizabeth invites Dr. Hoffman to stay at the house. The doctor says Daphne can go home tomorrow.
Dr. Hoffman interrupts an amorous Daphne and Joe in order to give Daphne her injections. Vikki heads back to the Old House and begins to explore on her own. Willie runs up from the basement to greet her and tells her that David is not in the house when she asks. Willie wonders if this is a good time for her to be visiting. Barnabas emerges from his coffin. Vikki asks where Barnabas was busy, and Willie tries to get her to leave. Barnabas arrives upstairs to greet Vikki. Barnabas shows Victoria the bedroom of Josette Dupres, the fiancé of the first Barnabas Collins. On the wall hangs Josette’s portrait, and the young lady has a striking resemblance to Vikki. Barnabas tells the story of Josette, who came from Martinique to marry Barnabas. (Cue music box music.) She died tragically when fell from the nearby Widow’s Hill. Vikki leaves and Barnabas throws Willie down the stairs for warning Vikki away from the Old House. Barnabas returns to Josette’s room, where he tells her portrait that they will be together. Forever.
Another woman’s body is found on the beach below Widow’s Hill. She had the same wounds as the other victims. Daphne is questioned again but remembers nothing. Dr. Hoffman suggests hypnosis. Daphne becomes hysterical, but cannot identify her attacker. All she remembers is his red eyes and teeth.
David and Vikki are studying in the garden. Willie arrives. Vikki asks if he’s okay, as he’s limping and his face is bruised. He says he fell. He hands Vikki an old-fashioned parchment envelope to pull out an old-fashioned parchment envelope with an old-fashioned message, asking her to have dinner with him at the Old House. She accepts the invitation.
Elizabeth oversees the movement of furniture to the Old House. She introduces Barnabas and Dr. Hoffman. Daphne awakens, almost trance-like, and walks downstairs. She sees Barnabas and faints. Dr. Hoffman notices Daphne’s reaction to Barnabas.
At dinner, Barnabas gives Vikki a music box that was once Josette’s. Barnabas talks of Josette as if he knew her first hand. Barnabas walks Vikki home. He comments on the resemblance between him and the original Barnabas, and Vicki with Josette. The ghostly figure of a young girl watches them. Barnabas kisses her on her hand as he leaves her at the Old House. He walks back to the Old House and notices that Vikki has left her bedroom window open. His need for blood grows strong, but he hears a familiar voice calling his name. He sees his sister Sarah in the shadows. She tells him he must stop. He walks towards her, but she turns from him. He yells that he cannot help himself.