Her Name Was Maggie Evans

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  • It’s been a long process of letting go, but for the original cast of Dark Shadows, the time has finally come. Principal shooting for Tim Burton’s reimagining of the classic series has wrapped and Kathryn Leigh Scott was on hand at this weekend’s NYCC 2011 to discuss her cameo role in the film and the emotions that naturally follow passing a torch she has carried for nearly fifty years.

    Kathryn Leigh Scott has enjoyed a diverse career, but for many she will always be Maggie Evans. Past and present she has embraced the role, writing books reflecting on her time on set and her position as a cult icon, recognizable to fans who grew up rushing home every afternoon to watch the program, and now to their children, whose upbringing was contingent on learning the name Barnabas Collins.

    But the time has finally come.

    Scott’s voice betrayed a myriad of emotions as she spoke to an audience of about 75 on Saturday afternoon. Excitement, relief and resignation underlined her words as she described a bittersweet changing of the guard. She spoke glowingly of filming the original and the constraints of live studio recording, her lifelong connection with fellow cast members and her excitement for the potential of Dark Shadows reaching an entirely new audience. Yet all was punctuated by an understanding that new faces, new names will assume an ownership of the roles once believed by many to be perpetual.

    Although bound to strict confidentiality agreements, Scott beamed with the excitement she and her fellow actors felt at the sight of a new Collinwood and the departure Burton’s film will take from the two films from the ’70s. Despite a new identity, Scott appeared relieved that the sentiment of the original will remain intact and that a reimagined Dark Shadows does not entail a complete rebranding.

    And aural purists rest assured – the original theme may make an appearance.

    Dark Shadows seems to be gaining some much-needed strength leading up the May 2012 feature release. Hermes Press is accelerating its volumized reprinting of the Gold Key comic books and the 1970 film, House of Dark Shadows, is slated for a remastered release.

    But for Scott et al., the time has finally come to let go. The surviving cast is bidding Dark Shadows adieu. There were no tears, only the anticipation that perhaps in another fifty years the torch will still be bright enough to pass yet again.

    ———-

    Remember seeing Jonathan Frid and David Ford hide their scripts while Joel Crothers walked down the stairs in the Old House at Collinwood? Peter does.

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