Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Read the screenplay to the DARK SHADOWS pilot

DARK SHADOWS just can't catch a break.

Back in 1989, Dan Curtis decided to revive the series, which had been his first success in scripted television. The pilot debuted in early 1991 and, thanks to a directive to the show's writers, had more in common with the 1970 feature film HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS than the original television series. The soapy elements were reconfigured to play off primetime dramas like FALCON CREST, the sex and violence were ramped up, and both audiences and critics mostly liked what they saw.

And then the Gulf War happened. As much as people seemed to like the new DARK SHADOWS, they didn't have much interest in chasing it around the dial. The ratings dropped and, 12 episodes later, NBC pulled the plug. Which is a shame, because the series was beginning to find its own voice during the second half of its short season. Given another go, the new DARK SHADOWS would undoubtedly have begun to generate storylines that weren't dependent on the original series. It certainly had enough talent on both sides of the camera to make things work.

If you're interested in reading the screenplay to the series pilot, I've got good news for you: You can download a PDF of the document HERE. This is a draft of the screenplay last revised Feb. 28, 1990, and will probably be a little different from what was broadcast. The script is credited to Steve Feke and Curtis.

If you're interested in watching the series, it's streaming on Hulu. Meanwhile, you can see Joanna Going, who played "Victoria Winters" and "Josette DePres," on the new series KINGDOM.

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