Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: A major character on Dark Shadows came into existence due to a typo!
In June 1966, the daily soap opera Dark Shadows began on ABC.
The series began with a young governess moving to the spooky Collins mansion, where all sorts of eerie things seem to be going on – however, until about six months into the run, the spooky stuff did not involve any actual supernatural dealings.
That changed six months in, when the first ghost appeared on the series.
Then, a year into the run, the whole show dramatically changed when a vampire named Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid, made his debut.
Collins, whose character was introduced mostly as a stunt, soon became the central focus of the show, as Hird played him beautifully as a conflicted, self-loathing vampire. He was the epitome of the tragic soap opera hero – the one who is sort of a “bad boy” but not so much so that the fans can’t still root for him.
After introducing Barnabas, the show wanted to introduce a doctor who specialized in vampirism, and that doctor was Dr. Julia Hoffman (played by Grayson Hall), who would soon became Barnabas’ love interest (although it was more a case of Hoffman wanting Barnabas than Barnabas wanting her – but she DID become a very close friend to Barnabas) on the series, and therefore one of the biggest characters on the show.
However, amusingly enough, her creation came down to a typo!
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