My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning, a journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me and link my past with my future, a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea, high atop Widows' Hill, a house called Collinwood, a world I've never known, with people I've never met, people who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows.

Episode 1
Series Dark Shadows
Season 1966, Episode 1
DS 1 001.jpg
Air date June 27th, 1966
Writers Art Wallace
Director Lela Swift
Producers Robert Costello
Starring Alexandra Moltke; Joan Bennett; Mitchell Ryan; Louis Edmonds; Kathryn Leigh Scott
Episode guide
Episode 2

"Episode 1" is the pilot episode of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. The episode was directed by Lela Swift and written by Art Wallace and originally aired on ABC on Monday, June 27th, 1966. In this episode, a woman named Victoria Winters accepts a position as a governess from the mysterious Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. As she arrives in the New England town, Vicki finds that the Collins family have a strange and sordied reputation amongst the locals. She meets a man named Burke Devlin who expresses his own intimate familiarity with the family and is very vocal about the contempt he feels towards them.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Victoria Winters is a young passenger on a train from New York bound for Collinsport, Maine. She is anxious to meet her new employers, the Collins family, who have offered her the position of governess to ten-year-old David Collins. Her benefactor, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, stares wanly out the window of the family's mansion home, Collinwood, as her younger brother, Roger Collins, calls her a fool for bringing a stranger into the house. Elizabeth is committed to her decision however, and disregards Roger's concerns.

During the train ride, Vicki reflects upon her time at the Hammond Foundling Home where she grew up. Having never known her true parents, a small part of Vicki hopes that this mysterious port city might hold the secrets to her past.

The train lets out at the Collinsport station. Vicki meets another traveler named Burke Devlin. Burke is captivated by Vicki, but is also very elusive. When she mentions the Collins family, a look of recognition crosses Burke's face. He confesses to knowing the family extremely well, but restrains himself from offering forth any further opinion on them.

Burke offers Vicki a ride to the Collinsport Inn where he has a room waiting for him. When they arrive, he greets the innkeeper,Mister Wells, who remembers Burke from many years past. Burke tries to discourage Vicki from pursuing a career at the Collins family estate.

Working at the inn is waitress Maggie Evans. Upon meeting Vicki, Maggie jokingly refers to her as a "sucker" and gives her a quick traveler's guide view of Collinsport. She talks about the Collins family who live up at the Collinwood estate on Widows' Hill and she appears to harbor the same discouraging opinion of the family as that of Burke Devlin. She tells her that the Collins family controls practically every enterprise the town has to offer and thinks that working for them will quickly turn Vicki into a grey-haired old woman.

Meanwhile, Burke goes to a local bar called the Blue Whale and meets with a private investigator named Wilbur Strake. He has hired Strake to conduct a report on the activities of the Collins family. Wilbur brings him up to speed on the family as well as their business, the Collins Fishing Fleet and Cannery.

Vicki takes a taxicab to the Collinwood mansion. She knocks on the door and is greeted by the family patriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Uncredited cast[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Victoria's opening monologue is paraphrased at the opening of the first episode of the 1991 Dark Shadows revival series. The lines are spoken by actress Joanna Going who plays the role of Vicki in the series.

Allusions[edit | edit source]

  • Burke's enmity towards the Collins family becomes one of the driving sub-plots for the early episodes of the series.
  • When speaking about Vicki's pending arrival, Roger says, "Elizabeth, with all our ghosts we don't need any strangers in this house and you know it." Ghosts is likely meant as a metaphor referencing the numerous secrets of the Collins family, but little does Roger know that his words are somewhat prophetic as well as there are several ghosts who will make appearances at Collinwood over the years.

Bloopers[edit | edit source]

  • The glass that Roger crushes in his hand is obviously break-away plastic.

Quotes[edit | edit source]


  • Roger Collins: The little monster's asleep and I'm delighted. I choose my words with infinite precision.


  • Roger Collins: Look at you, standing at the window, looking out into the night. Waiting for someone who should have never been asked to come here in the first place.


  • Roger Collins: Elizabeth, with all our ghosts we don't need any strangers in this house and you know it.


  • Burke Devlin: Welcome to the beginning and end of the world, Miss Winters.


  • Maggie Evans: Take a good look in that mirror right now. Because in two months, that pretty hair of yours is going to be one glorious shade of grey.

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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