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Daniel Collins
DS 431 007.jpg
Daniel Collins
Continuity: Dark Shadows
Notability: Supporting character
Gender: Male
Location: Collinsport, Maine
Known relatives: Millicent Collins (sister); Nathan Forbes (ex-brother-in-law, deceased); Harriet Collins (wife, deceased); Quentin Collins (son); Gabriel Collins (son); Desmond Collins (son); See Collins family for extended family members.
Born: 1785 [1]
Died: 1840
1st appearance: Dark Shadows: 431
Final: Dark Shadows: 1160 [2]
Dark Shadows: 1191[3]
Actor: David Henesy
Louis Edmonds
Charles Rush

Daniel Collins was a supporting character featured in the 1960s television series Dark Shadows. Originally played by actor David Henesy, the character was introduced in a storyline known as the "1795 Flashback". During this storyline, Daniel was presented as a young boy and the sibling of Millicent Collins. Henesy's version of Daniel appeared in seven episodes of the series. The character was re-introduced during the "1840 Flashback", this time played by adult actor Louis Edmonds. The character's personality was adversely affected by things he had experienced while still a young child.

Biography[edit | edit source]

18th century[edit | edit source]

Daniel Collins was born in 1785 in New York City, New York. In 1795, his sister Millicent and he were orphaned when their parents died in an accident. Millicent inherited all of the family's real estate holdings and eventually left New York to live at the venerable mansion known as Collinwood where they stayed with their extended family. [4] Their visit coincided with the pending nuptials of their cousin Barnabas Collins to a French aristocrat named Josette du Prés.

As a child, Daniel developed a close bond with his cousin, Sarah Collins, but was devastated when the young girl died from Pneumonia (In truth, Sarah's illness was actually the result of a spiteful witch known as Angelique).

Shortly following his cousin's death, Daniel learned that his sister was marrying a naval lieutenant named Nathan Forbes. Millicent had reservations about the marriage and what Daniel had yet to realize was that Forbes was manipulating her into marrying him as well as slowly driving her insane. Before the wedding, Millicent signed over all of her financial instruments in Daniel's name to prevent Nathan from laying claim to her fortune. When Nathan learned of this, he conspired to have Daniel killed, at which point, all of his money would revert back to Millicent and would once again be under his control. He hired a petty criminal named Noah Gifford to abduct Daniel and kill him at sea. Noah kidnapped the boy and brought him to the old Collins fishing shack. Daniel managed to escape however and Noah chased him all the way to Eagle Hill Cemetery. He caught up with him just outside the Collins family mausoleum and likely would have killed Daniel had it not been for the timely arrival of fugitive Victoria Winters. Armed with a pistol, Vicki shot Noah in the back, saving Daniel. Daniel reciprocated her timely rescue by hiding her inside a study at Collinwood. [5]

Daniel's cousin, Naomi Collins, began to suspect Nathan's ill intentions towards Daniel and arranged for him to spend some time away from Collinwood so he would be safe. [citation needed]

19th century[edit | edit source]

As an adult, Daniel married a woman named Harriet and became the patriarch of Collinwood. He bore three sons, Quentin, Gabriel and Desmond. Some time prior to 1840, Harriet died under mysterious circumstances and it was ostensibly believed by many that Daniel may have even murdered her.

In late 1840, the Collins family was set upon by the spirit of centuries old warlock named Judah Zachery. Although dead, the head of Judah Zachery contained the warlock's malevolent spirit, and whomever took possession of the head became Judah's unwilling slave. The head passed through several hands but ultimately came into the possession of a seaman named Gerard Stiles (a friend of Quentin Collins). Zachery took complete possession of Stiles and used the younger man’s personality and charm to insinuate his way into the Collins family fortune.

Gerard framed Quentin for two murders and various acts of Satanism and convinced Daniel to alter his will leaving the Collins estate to Gerard rather than Quentin. Daniel's mental stability was greatly traumatized by the event and his health took a turn for the worse. Compounding the ailing Daniel's stress was the appearance of a woman named Valerie Collins. Valerie was in fact the reincarnated witch Angelique who terrorized Collinsport nearly fifty years earlier. Daniel recalled Angelique from his childhood memories and the shock of seeing her still alive and youthful drove him over the edge of sanity.

In the end, it was actually Daniel's second son, Gabriel, who ended his life. Upon learning that the family fortune was to be left to Gerard Stiles, Gabriel assaulted his father inducing a seizure which ultimately claimed his life.

Parallel Time[edit | edit source]

In 1970, the series writers began a storyline which focused on alternate realities. The character of Barnabas Collins discovered that the entranceway to a specific room at Collinwood led into a parallel dimension where characters and events played out in similar form to their mainstream counterparts, but with significant alterations. Daniel Collins (again played by Henesy) made several appearances during the 1970 Parallel Time story-arc.

Revival Series[edit | edit source]

In 1991 Dan Curtis Productions revived the Dark Shadows series as a one-hour night time soap opera for NBC. The series re-imagined the "1795 Flashback" storyline and cast child actor Joseph Gordon Levitt in the role of Daniel Collins. Levitt also played Daniel's modern day descendant David Collins throughout the series. This version of Daniel Collins also made cameo appearances in Dark Shadows comic book limited series by Innovation Comics.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Daniel Collins is referenced in the series as early as episode 372.
  • Charles Rush was an extra on the series who played the arm of Daniel Collins that begins strangling Julia Hoffman at the end of episode 1110.

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dark Shadows: 373
  2. As a living person.
  3. As a ghost; final appearance in total.
  4. Dark Shadows: 373
  5. Dark Shadows 453-455

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