It's both a time of sadness and a time of joy for fans of Dark Shadows, ABC's camp classic daytime serial that ran for five years in the late sixties to great cult acclaim. Joy because they can soon bask in the garish glow of king-of-kook director Tim Burton's gloriously ott re-imagining in just a few short weeks, and sadness because actor Jonathan Frid – the original Barnabus Collins – passed away just last week in an Ontario hospital at the age of eighty-seven.

Frid lived long enough, however, to know that the world would soon know his name – or, at the very least, his work. Speaking with TheWrap shortly after his death was announced, Frid's co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott claimed the late actor's proudest moment came during a meeting with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp when they traveled to England to shoot cameos for the upcoming feature, during which Depp told the actor: "We wouldn't be here without you."

Well they would not, as Frid's enigmatic, cursed anti-hero, a vampire awoken to live a life of comedic confusion in the modern day, gradually shifted over time from an odd curiosity on the fringes of the story to the show's principle protagonist. At the time it was unheard of for a daytime network serial, that never marketed itself as anything other than another daytime soap opera, to suddenly just drop wholesale supernatural elements – vampires, ghosts, werewolves – into the mix and then just carry on as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

It was an audacious movie, and one that could have easily backfired, but the audiences willingness to climb on board and just go with it paved the way for shows the likes of Twin Peaks to follow suit decades later and, while it is certainly a cult property, its influence is hard to overstate. Without Dark Shadows there would be no Passions, that's for sure.

For the truly devoted fan out there the entire Dark Shadows collection – all 1225 episodes, spanning almost five years – is available for a not inconsiderable RRP of $599.99. Those who perhaps find that a little cost prohibitive can dip their toe in the water with these Fan Favorite Collections, offering nine-episodes a piece. Seminal, silly, and soon to be another Burton/Depp box office smash, there is no better time to clamber into the coffin and have a rummage around.

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