The 10 Best Dark Shadows Characters

Published: November 13, 2013

The ten best characters on the 60s soap opera "Dark Shadows" (aired from 1966 to 1971), judged by character depth, plot involvement, and honestly, my own personal opinion. Will probably be the only one of these lists to exclude Barnabas Collins, because he's a jerk.

  1. Victoria Winters

     

    Victoria Winters is the heart and soul of the show, at least for the first couple hundred episodes. Each episode started off with a voiceover that began, "My name is Victoria Winters..." For all of her naivety, and until the deterioration of the writing, she was a very strong-willed character in spite of her innocence, and probably one of the only characters to be inherently "good."

  2. Laura Collins

     

    Laura Collins was first introduced as David's mother, and Roger's estranged wife, who came back to town to gain custody of David. First imagined as an alcoholic, it was later decided that she would actually be a supernatural creature: a phoenix, and that her true motive was to burn alive with her son. Laura doesn't get enough credit as the first true supernatural villain of the show, when she was one of the original ones to steer the show in that direction.

  3. Angelique

    Angelique made herself known very quickly as the innocent-looking witch who had been scorned by Barnabas Collins, and set out to ruin his life. Angelique is manipulative and will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and does it with a side of vulnerability, as well, making her sympathetic.

  4. Roger Collins

     

    Roger Collins first appeared as the drunken, cowardly brother of matriarch Elizabeth, and the neglectful father of David. While seeming to be a genuinely horrible person for his first years on the show, Roger eventually mellowed into, basically, a crochety old man. He was rarely involved in the supernatural elements on the show, which led to someone actually having a sense of normalcy.

  5. Nicholas Blair

    Nicholas Blair wormed his way into our hearts as the evil warlock who first appeared to rescue Angelique from a plan gone awry - and basically stuck around to torment her. Also, he made frequent use of jazz hands and had a ridiculous amount of chemistry with every single character. A terrible person? Totally. Entertaining to watch? More than you know.

  6. Maggie Evans (1966)

    Once upon a time, before she was sentenced to nothing more than "Josette Protegee No. 1" and "Victoria Winters Expy," 

  7. Peter Guthrie

     

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the first paranormally-inclined doctor to grace the screen on Dark Shadows. Dr. Peter Guthrie was a doctor (...clearly) from Dartmouth who specialized in parapsychology. He came to Collinwood by request to investigate the strange trance that Elizabeth Collins Stoddard had fallen into, and, in addition to that, the motives of Laura Collins. He wound up killed, but he lives forever on in our hearts (or, at least, those of the people who know who he is).

  8. Julia Hoffman

    Julia Hoffman is a staple. She came to Collinwood to find out more about Maggie Evans' affliction (wondering if there was a connection between the place and the girl), and wound up staying to find out more about the vampire Barnabas Collins. The two of them posed an interesting dynamic, and she went on to become one of the core characters of the show.

  9. Carolyn Stoddard

    Originally portrayed as the flighty and rebellious daughter of Elizabeth, Carolyn soon grew into plots of her own (including one horrific one where she was sacrificed to be the bride of some fake Lovecraftian nonsense), becoming one of the only female characters to stick around from the beginning of the series to the end.

  10. Millicent Collins

     

    Also portrayed by Nancy Barrett, Millicent Collins is highly underrated as a tragic character from the show's 1795 plotline. Introduced as a potential love interest and fiancée for Jeremiah Collins, Millicent instead married the reckless and irreputable Nathan Forbes, which, among other things, led to her potential downfall. Also, irrelevant (but totally relevant): fantastic hair.

Personally, I have a lot of opinions on Dark Shadows. This list doesn't even begin to touch those other characters that I feel deserve recognition. I could make lists like this all day. But these are the characters that hit home most for me, always, with Victoria Winters and all of her gothic heroine glory topping the charts.