Victoria Winters embarks upon a journey that will change her life forever. At least, until the show goes supernatural, at which point, due to popular demand, the vampire Barnabas Collins will become the main character instead.
"Yes, I'm here, what do you want me to do? [pause.] I can't see the slate. [pause.] Dark Shadows number 1... VTR 6-13-66, air date 6-27-66... Take 3."
* * *
[Terrible black -and-white film of a train rushing through the night. Eerie theramin music begins. A pretty, conservatively dressed, very innocent-looking girl gazes curiously out of the train's window.]
"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. But if it never does, that's okay too. I'm sure the other characters all have their own story lines to follow, and I don't want to cause any trouble for them. A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place. To the edge of the sea, high atop Widow's Hill. A house called "Collinwood." A world I've never known, with people I've never met. People, who are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows."
[Fade to black. Zoom in to a dark, out-of-focus silhouette of a huge old-fashioned mansion with lights on in just one wing of the house. A woman-- evidently a wealthy woman by her luxurious apparel-- opens one of the elegant full-length windows and stares out into the night.]
- - -
"Come now, Liz!" said Roger demeaningly from the other side of the drawing room, as he poured himself a generous glass of sherry. "You don't really want that girl coming here, do you?" Roger spoke with a powerful, booming Shakespearean voice that suggested that these were the words he'd auditioned with.
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard sighed heavily without looking away from the window. "Roger, you're my brother. I may not be able to do anything to help you, but it is my duty as mistress of Collinwood to do whatever is necessary for your son. I should think you'd be grateful."
"David is beyond help, and you know it," said Roger. "He'd be better fit for a mental institute if you ask me." Roger rolled his eyes largely, and strode across the drawing room with his chin up and his shoulders firmly back-- his head bobbling pompously for emphasis when he said words like "beyond" and "mental institute."
"There's nothing wrong with your son except that his father ignores him," said Elizabeth, still without looking at him.
"Is David really the reason you hired that girl?" Roger pried. "Some inexperienced orphan girl, whose name you've never heard before? Miss Victoria Winters, all the way from New York, when there are plenty of perfectly qualified governesses here in Collinsport?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Roger. What other reason would I have for hiring her?"
"It just seems peculiar to me, and I daresay it will sound very peculiar to the rest of Collinsport when they find out. You haven't left this hill since Paul died. For God's sake, it's been 18 years, and no one other than family has lived here since then. And now, the Widow in the House on the Hill hires some strange girl that none of us know to come live at Collinwood. Spare us the gossip, Liz! Tell that girl when she gets here to turn right around and go back where she belongs."
"I will not take orders from you, and I don't care what the people of Collinsport say." Elizabeth turned away from the window just long enough to glare at Roger, and then walked deliberately past him. She paused at a seemingly arbitrary place in the room, glanced at the teleprompter, then returned her gaze to Roger.
"Besides," she said. "What other motive could I possibly have for hiring Miss Winters, other than to be a governess for my nephew and to help me around the house?"
[Zoom in to Roger's face. Zoom back out a little.]
Roger narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "I haven't the faintest idea."