Commonwealth Journal

Columns

May 1, 2012

Long live Barnabas Collins

(Continued)

Somerset —

It will be grand to see my beloved show on the silver screen with such a tremendous cast breathing new life into the characters I followed as a child.
But it will be a little sad to see an elderly Frid, knowing it will be his final appearance in “Dark Shadows.”
I got to meet Frid back in 1990 and talk with him about the show and his unexpected popularity.
He didn’t get it. He just could not understand why a show that went off the air decades earlier could still have such a loyal following.
By pure accident, Frid and the “Dark Shadows” writers inadvertently changed the way vampires are portrayed in the media.
Frid’s Barnabas was a reluctant, self-loathing character and he ultimately became a hero.
Not that the “Dark Shadows” writing staff meant to change the image of bloodsuckers. They just wanted to extend a popular character who was generating ratings beyond the traditional 13 weeks of a soap contract.
But without Frid’s classic portrayal of Barnabas, we would have never had Angel, Spike, Edward Cullen, Bill from “True Blood” or the Salvatore brothers.
It’s a nice legacy for a little-known actor who simply wanted to make his TV monster a little “more human.”

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