Video editing was very expensive when the episodes for the Dark Shadows TV series were being recorded. As a result, all of the episodes were recorded live-to-tape with no editing whatsoever. Even when the actors made a mistake or there was a prop or audio problem, the actors kept acting and the crew kept on recording. All of the mistakes that were recorded on tape were preserved because of the high costs of video editing and the production crew figured that the viewers will only see each episode once.
If you listen carefully, you will notice some audio problems in some of the episodes of Dark Shadows. Check out this list of the funniest audio problems in Dark Shadows and listen for these sounds the next time you re-watch the episodes of Dark Shadows on DVD or online.
Wall Display Falls
In an episode from the 1897 timeline of the show, Quentin challenges Barnabas by taking a sword from the wall display and then pointing it at Barnabas’ throat. Unfortunately, the wall display was not securely attached to the wall. When the camera pans away from the wall display, you will hear a loud clonk as the wall display falls. You also hear the loud crash of breaking glass as the wall display strikes and breaks the table lamp below it. You will notice the actors struggling to keep straight faces while they continue to deliver their lines.
Talking Crew Members
In a 1966 episode of the show, there is a scene where Burke Devlin is being grilled by Constable Carter. During the scene, you will hear some crew members talking loudly in the backstage area. Appearing annoyed, Burke Devlin raises his voice and almost shouts his next line.
In an episode from the 1840 timeline of Dark Shadows, there is a graveyard scene where you will hear village bells tolling the hour. However, a crew must have forgotten to turn off the sound effects tape. The village bells rung 16 times before someone finally turns off the sound effects tape.
During a scene in the foyer set from a 1967 episode of the show, an apparently miscued Burke Devlin enters through a door and then starts walking across the stair landing. In the background, you will hear the director of the show say, “Try it again”. So Devlin turns, goes out the door, and then comes back in again.
“Dying” Sam Evans Sits Up
In Sam Evans’ death scene, a cameraman accidentally knocked off the teleprompter (with a loud crash). The noise caused the supposedly dying Sam Evans to sit up and shout “Where is it?!” The outburst caused Maggie to ad lib, “Never mind, Pop. It is going to be okay.” Poor Sam then died without saying any emotional last words to his daughter.
There are plenty of other audio bloopers in other episodes of Dark Shadows. You can re-watch these episodes by purchasing a Dark Shadows TV Series DVD or by looking for Dark Shadows episodes on online streaming sites. Have fun!