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THE TURNING and DARK SHADOWS

The new film THE TURNING is, as most of you doubtless know, the latest filmed version of the Henry James classic ghost story THE TURN OF THE SCREW. Released in 1898, THE TURN OF THE SCREW is James’s most famous work. Written in his patented English gentleman dictation, it’s one of those stories that literary scholars love to examine. It tells the story of a governess who comes to take care of two children, a brother and sister who are under the influence of two nasty ghosts, Miss Jessel and Peter Quint.

When DARK SHADOWS became a hit in the late 60s, perhaps series creator Dan Curtis, or the writers, or all of them, became aware of the precariousness of their situation, depending on one character, vampire Barnabas Collins—and thus depending on one actor, Jonathan Frid—to keep the show going. They wanted to introduce a new character, a villain who would eventually become the hero (or antihero) just as Barnabas the vampire had done. David Selby’s Quentin Collins would go on to become almost as integral to the show as Barnabas, but Quentin started out as a cruel ghost haunting Collinwood estate and menacing two children, David Collins and Amy Jennings. The writers never denied that they took the idea from James’s novel. They even named the character Quentin after Peter Quint.

TheCheezman • February 2, 2020


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