MovieChat Forums > Berkeley Square (1933) Discussion > Surprising Connection to old Dark Shadow...

Surprising Connection to old Dark Shadows Storyline


Dark Shadows is still remembered as a one-of-a-kind, iconic soap that featured the supernatural. It ran from 1966 to 1971, and its writers plagiarized all the classic horror motifs from Dracula to Dorian Gray. Interestingly enough, one storyline in particular was based, if somewhat loosely, on Berkeley Square...

In Dark Shadows, modern-day heroine Victoria Winters becomes obsessed with the past. She researches the history of the eighteenth-century Collins family, whom she romanticizes in her own mind. And then, during a seance, she is somehow transported back in time to 1795, where she meets the very people that she has been reading and thinking about! However, she soon finds the 18th century to be a dangerous place. She makes ill-advised statements about future events, just as Peter did in Berkeley Square, and is charged with witchcraft! In every respect Vicki's situation is a lot worse than Leslie Howard's for she's in danger of losing her very life....years before she has even been born!

To further complicate matters she falls in love with her lawyer, a man named Peter...surely a nod to the "Peter" of Berkeley Square. And just as in Berkeley Square, the lovers are ultimately torn apart. Vicki, who's condemned to be hanged--- who's literally at the end of her rope!---finds herself whisked back to her own time, while a heart-broken Peter shouts "I'll find you, Vicki!I 'll find you again!" And the Dark Shadows Peter DOES follow her into the future, where they ALMOST live happily ever after. However, the romance has a sad ending for on their wedding day he just fades away, returning to his own century. :(

Dark Shadows was wild and campy, and I remember this storyline as just a parody of Berkeley Square. But after viewing the original movie I can see where DS producer Dan Curtis got some of his ideas.

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I was thinking the exact same thing as I watched this film last night! The one edge I will give Dark Shadows is that there was an actual "vehicle" for the time transport- the seance - whereas in this film the protagonist simply "wills" himself back into the past! In another "DS" time travel episode, the I-Ching provides a way back. Then there was Quentin's "stairway through time"!

Time-travel plots always fascinate me; the "obsessed student of the past simply wills himself back" plot does get used, along with more science fiction solutions such as time machines. While I loved "Berkeley Square", I felt the mechanism (or lack thereof) for time transport was the weakest point.

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Time-travel plots always fascinate me, as well. I've heard a lot about Dark Shadows. It's great to learn there's a connection between this film and that series.

The "wills himself back" plot reminds me of a theory regarding time-travel in which the vehicle is a person's consciousness. The TV show Eureka used this at the end of Season 1, but if I recall correctly a device someone invented assisted with the time travel.

The soap One Life To Live (ABC, ended Jan. 2012) used time travel storylines a couple of times during the past few years. I wonder if they did that as an homage to Dark Shadows. It was actually pretty well done. Humor was incorporated into the storylines, as was often the case in recent years on that show.



Cheese fries...next time.

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