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Julia Hoffman is a fictional physician and one of the central characters from the 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Played by actress Grayson Hall, Doctor Hoffman was not introduced until episode 265, but remained a primary cast member throughout the remainder of the series.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Doctor Julia Hoffman was a physician at Windcliff Sanitarium, located one-hundred miles outside the town of Collinsport, Maine. She was a colleague of a Collinsport general practitioner named Doctor Dave Woodard. In the summer of 1967, Doctor Woodard was charged with caring for a patient named Maggie Evans, who demonstrated strange blood anomalies that Woodard could not understand. He referred Maggie to Doctor Hoffman's care at Windcliff. Julia was also mystified by the inexplicable enzymes found in Maggie's blood, but after further study, she determined that Maggie had been infected by something that defied all logic - a vampire.

Determined to find the root cause behind Maggie's condition, Julia took up residence in Collinsport. She eventually learned that the vampire responsible for Maggie's condition was a member of the august Collins family named Barnabas Collins. When Barnabas learned that Julia had discovered his secret, he threatened to kill her, but Julia kept him at bay, telling him that should anything happen to her, she left instructions with a friend to reveal everything she knows about Barnabas. Barnabas suspected that Julia was bluffing, but allowed her to live nonetheless. [citation needed]

In time, Julia believed that she could actually cure Barnabas' affliction. Barnabas scoffed at the notion, reminding her that his condition was the result of a curse, not some rare blood disorder. Regardless, Julia pressed on and developed a serum that temporarily abated Barnabas' need for blood. The process was a long and arduous one, requiring multiple injections of the serum over the span of many nights. Barnabas eventually grew impatient with Julia and urged her to complete the process. By this time, Julia had begun to fall in love with Barnabas, though she never expressed these feelings to him or anyone else. Barnabas announced that once he was cured, he would propose to another woman who lived at the estate of Collinwood named Victoria Winters. Julia grew immensely jealous and refused to let such a union take place. She deliberately increased the dosage on the injections, which instantly aged Barnabas into an old man. To save himself, he was forced to drink human blood once again. The consumption of blood reversed the effect and his appearance returned to normal. [citation needed]

House of Dark Shadows[edit | edit source]

Main article: Julia Hoffman (MGM)

This version of Doctor Hoffman was a general practitioner specializing in the field of hematology and alternative medicine. A graduate of Cornell, she took a sabbatical from her medical profession to spend time collating a comprehensive history of the prestigious Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. She moved into the great old, Collinwood estate and spent a great deal of time researching old diaries and letters.

In June of that year, Julia was forced to bring her medical expertise to the Collins family service. Her first in-house patient was Daphne Budd, the secretary to Collinwood matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Daphne had been walking home from work one evening when a vampire attacked her, leaving two gaping wounds upon her throat. Daphne was brought back to Collinwood where Julia administered care to her injuries. She discovered that a strange, unidentifiable cell had entered Daphne's bloodstream, slowly destroying her platelets. She described Daphne's condition to the county sheriff, George Patterson.

A few nights later, Elizabeth's daughter, Carolyn Stoddard, became another victim of a vampire attack. Julia examined her blood and discovered the presence of the same mysterious, destructive cell that she had found in Daphne's blood. She presented her results to a family friend named Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes. Stokes suspected that the one responsible for attacking Daphne and Carolyn was a vampire. Julia had difficulty accepting Stokes' theory, but knew the man well enough to know that he wasn't given to whimsical bouts of speculation.

Within a short while, Julia discovered that Stokes was correct. A distant relative of the Collins family – Barnabas Collins visited the venerable estate and Julia noticed that Barnabas failed to cast a reflection in the mirror of her compact. The following evening, Julia went to Barnabas' abode at the Old House. She told him that she knew that he was a vampire, and further – that she could possibly cure him. Barnabas was naturally skeptical and regarded Julia as a threat to his existence. However, she convinced him that through careful analysis of Daphne and Carolyn's blood samples, she could isolate and destroy the viral vampire cell. Julia prepared a serum and administered a series of injections to Barnabas over the course of several evenings.

Miraculously it worked. Barnabas' blood-cravings began to subside and in a matter of days, he gained the ability to walk in the daylight for the first time in almost two hundred years. He still had a long way to go however, and Barnabas began to grow impatient. He wanted to rush the process along so that he could continue with his plans to court the Collins family governess, Maggie Evans. This revelation devastated Julia. She had fallen in love with Barnabas and hearing him pine after Maggie Evans was more than Julia could bear to hear. She deliberately sabotaged her serum and gave Barnabas his final injection. The altered serum had a traumatic effect on Barnabas' physiology. He began rapidly aging until he was little more than a gruesome, bald old man. He lunged at Julia screaming in a raspy voice, "You betrayed me!" Grabbing her by the throat, he strangled Julia until she fell over, dead.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Originally, the character of Doctor Hoffman was intended to be male. Early script drafts identified the character simply as Dr. Hoffman. It was at the behest of writer Sam Hall that Grayson was awarded an audition for the role. [citation needed]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Date approximated based upon the age of actress Grayson Hall.

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