Dark Shadows -- How The Events Of 1840 Should Have Changed Present-Day Collinwood

I decided to transfer some old videos I taped of Dark Shadows episodes from videos to DVDs before the tapes went bad, and I ended up watching the Quentin and Daphne storyline for 1970 and 1840. Quentin and Daphne were my favorite Dark Shadows’ couple. Watching the end of the 1840 story where Daphne and Quentin leave to get married and Barnabus, Julia and Professor Stokes return to the present, reminded me of the way I wish the show had ended.

When the threesome returned to 1970, they were greeted by Elizabeth who acted like they hadn’t been missing for any time at all. Then the four walk off to go meet Quinten and Caroline, and that was the end for all purposes of the show. After that the show was inhabited by a bunch of strangers in the 1840 parallel time story. That would have been the perfect ending for the show.

Unfortunately, the whole scene also doesn’t ring true because of the events that took place in 1840. Angelique lifted Barnabus’ vampire curse and Roxanne Drew, Angelique and Gerard Stiles all died. Because of those events, in particular Barnabus being cured in 1840, the threesome should have returned to a very different Collinwood.

In short, when Elizabeth saw Barnabus upon his return from 1840 in the foyer of Collinwood, that should have been the first time she’d met him in that time, and she should have had no idea who he was. Barnabus being cured in 1840 made it impossible for him to be chained up in his coffin in 1966, where Willie Loomis released him and he arrived at Collinwood pretending to be Elizabeth’s cousin for England. Because Barnabus was made mortal with a normal lifespan the only way he could be still alive in 1970 was time traveling from 1840. So everything between 1840 and his arrival from 1840 to 1970 should have effectively been erased.

That means Barnabus was never there to time travel to 1897 when Ghost Quentin was haunting Collinwood and David’s life was in danger. Would that mean that Barnabus’ attempts to save David and Hallie, actually resulted in David dying, because Barnabus was no longer there to journey into 1897 and stop Quentin from dying and becoming a malevolent spirit causing David’s death?

Wouldn’t that also mean that since Barnabus wasn’t there to travel to 1897, that Quentin was dead? The fact Quentin was a ghost haunting Collinwood would indicate if Barnabas hadn’t traveled back to 1897 and changed events, then Quentin would be dead. So it’s possible the Quentin that Elizabeth mentioned was not 1897 cursed Quentin, but a descendant of that Quentin.

Other changed events from the 1970 that Barnabus and Julie fled from are: The vampire Roxanne Drew who lived in 1840 and was killed by her brother Randall was the same vampire that had been feeding on Maggie. Since she died in 1840, her coffin would have vanished from the secret room in The Old House and she would have never victimized Maggie, which means Maggie would have never been sent away to Windcliff to recover. Barnabus would have never told Elizabeth the disaster that would befall Collinwood so she would have never had her horoscope done by Sebastian Shaw, so Maggie and Sebastian would have never met. Of course a bigger question is since Barnabus had never come to Collinwood until 1970, would Victoria Winters still be the governess there instead of Maggie Evans?

Julia would also be a stranger to Elizabeth. Julia came to town because of the vampire attacks on Maggie Evans. Since Barnabus wouldn’t have arrived in Collinsport until 1970, Julia would have never come to town and lived at Collinwood. Although Julia would remember all the events that transpired to create her deep friendship with Barnabus, in the new present that had been created by the events of 1840, none of that would have ever happened.

So when Barnabus and Julia arrived back in the present from 1840, they would have arrived in a present that had been radically altered from the present they left behind. They would be strangers to everyone at Collinwood with the exception of Elliott Stokes.

Barnabus would have a clean slate with Maggie Evans and since he was no longer a vampire there would be no reason they couldn’t be together. However, since Barnabus just realized he’s always loved Angelique, would that have changed his feelings towards Maggie? Or if Victoria Winters was still living in Collinwood and had never traveled to the past, would Barnabus become interested in her, again.

It would have been interesting if the writers had played out the consequences to the present by changing things in the past. Yes, by saving 1840 Quentin from being beheaded for being a warlock and exposing Gerard Stiles as the true warlock, it stopped him from destroying Collinwood in 1970. But the other events their presence in the past changed would have ripped apart the fabric of the lives they had led in the present. The show never really addressed how the present was changed by going into the past and changing the events by their mere presence there. They only ever showed that by going into the past the problems the past was causing the present were magically solved without any other consequences occurring to the present timeline.

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