In the new episode of the Vampires & Slayers podcast, writer Mark B. Perry provides an exclusive preview of the currently-in-development television series Dark Shadows: Reincarnation, which, rather than being a remake or reboot, is actually a continuation of the original 1966 to 1971 daytime Gothic horror soap opera, all of which he considers canon. “Barnabas, Angelique and Josette is the greatest Gothic horror triangle, and it’s such a great origin story, but it’s been told and I want to move on from that,” he explains in the show. “There’s a whole generation of Collins I’m interested in. I had the opportunity to actually do an elevator pitch on the show. We were in a high-rise building and had to go up to the conference room to do the pitch. We got in the elevator with the executives that I was going to be pitching to, and one of them turned to me and said, ‘What’s the elevator pitch?’ And I said it’s a modern day Downton Abbey if it was written by Stephen King. That’s how I’m kind of picturing it, as this wealthy family with supernatural issues, but it’s a multi-generational show with a supernatural twist to it.
“It’s not a vampire show,” he adds. “Dark Shadows was not a vampire show. It had a lead character that was a vampire, and he certainly became one of the of the biggest presences on the show, but there were werewolves and witches and zombies and everything else. I envisioned the show continuing that tradition of being a Gothic horror romance ensemble show where the door is open for any kind of literary references, characters or creatures. Barnabas being the first vampire with a conscience, he let us see the human side of being a monster. I’m really intrigued by what makes monsters human and humans monsters, which is one of the things I’m exploring in the new series.”
The primary question on the minds of many is, given that Dark Shadows: Reincarnation is about a new generation of the Collins family, will Barnabas be a part of it? Perry comments, “In this day and age, can you imagine showing up at the mansion of a wealthy family and saying, ‘I’m a cousin from England?’ A quick Google search and you’re done. I don’t care what portrait you look like. I do want to be cagey about this, but there are Easter eggs in the pilot of the show. And ultimately I do not believe you can do Dark Shadows without Barnabas.”
For much more, please check out the podcast below, which also includes the second part of our classic interview with actor Jonathan Frid, who first played Barnabas on the original series.