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251 Gallery





Alexandra Moltke
(as Victoria Winters)


Ron Sproat


John Sedwick


June 12, 1967


May 30, 1967


Complete: Disc 29
Collection 2: Disc 1

251 Gallery
We have 4 images of Dark Shadows 251

Willie makes an impassioned plea for Maggie's life, which placates Barnabas. Locking Maggie in a basement cell, Barnabas vows that she will become Josette, regardless of her attempts to resist.



My name is Victoria Winters. It is twilight, and a few fading rays of sunlight still cling to the walls of Collinwood. Not far away from the great house, the approach of nightfall strikes terror in the heart of one girl, for she must either submit to an unspeakable fate or kill, destroy in order not to be destroyed.

Willie escorts Maggie down to the Old House cellar, per Barnabas' instructions. He leaves her alone beside the marital coffins, ignoring her pleas for help. In a last ditch effort, Maggie recovers the spike she dropped in her earlier struggle with Willie; she opens Barnabas' coffin and prepares to stake him... but she loses her nerve and then he wakes and bares his fangs at her.

Act I

Barnabas has risen from his coffin and retrieves the spike; Maggie backs away from him, terrified. It is clear that she has broken his will, and he is enraged that Maggie not only defied him but also tried to destroy him. Barnabas starts to strangle her. Willie runs downstairs, yelling for Barnabas to stop. He flings himself in front of Maggie, determined to protect her from the vampire's wrath. Willie says he will die protecting Maggie and Barnabas moves to kill him, saying that this is no problem. Willie, seemingly seconds from death, tries to use logic to dissuade Barnabas, saying that everyone wants to speak with him about Maggie's disappearance and they would soon be searching for him as well as Maggie. Barnabas says that he feels everyone else are idiots who can be easily dealt with in any case. He moves to kill Willie and Maggie who is standing behind Willie. At that moment, Willie says "What's that noise" and soon one can hear knocking on the front door upstairs. Barnabas says that, whoever it is, they will go away and moves to proceed in killing Willie.

But Willie says "I forgot to lock the front door. Whoever it is will come right in now". Barnabas, in one of the more ironic moments of the series, says in all seriousness "I told you to keep that door locked at all times" (Willie would die if he had followed instructions). Barnabas then orders Willie to guard Maggie, and threatens to kill them both if she cries out or attempts to move. It is left unspoken that Barnabas would kill whoever the upstairs visitor would be if that person heard cries for help from below, then come down to finish them both off.

Act II

Barnabas answers the door. It is Victoria with a message from Elizabeth; Sheriff Patterson has placed a curfew on Collinsport. Barnabas feigns sympathy when he inquires about the search for Maggie. Victoria is certain Maggie is still alive and being held by the "madman" behind all the terrible recent events. Barnabas winces at being referred to, unknowingly by Victoria, as a madman.

Downstairs in the cellar, Maggie thanks Willie for saving her life, then goes on to tell him she tried to stake Barnabas in his coffin. Willie is not sure, but he thinks he can prevent Barnabas from harming Maggie. Back upstairs, Victoria notices Josette's music box on a table and Barnabas plays it for her. Victoria is immediately taken with the melody, and she tells Barnabas it reminds her of the past. Barnabas takes note of Victoria's strong reaction--as if she was almost transfixed--to the music. After she returns to Collinwood, Barnabas heads back down to the cellar where a frightened Willie and Maggie wait.


Barnabas confronts the pair and he decides that Maggie is no longer worthy of the name Josette. She will die for betraying him; indeed, Barnabas plans to drain her completely of blood and leave her lifeless. Willie, however, shields Maggie and pleads with Barnabas to give Maggie another chance to become Josette. After a moment of hesitation, Barnabas takes Maggie deeper into the cellar and locks her in an old, disused room.

Act IV

Later, Barnabas visits Collinwood and makes up an excuse in an attempt to see Victoria. He has brought Elizabeth a gift as an apology for not visiting more often: an handkerchief that once belonged to Josette. Victoria confesses how much she would appreciate such a gift, and Barnabas learns that Victoria's fascination with the past stems from the fact that she was raised an orphan. He invites her to the Old House and Victoria happily accepts. Meanwhile, Maggie is crying on an old cot in the locked room. Barnabas returns and informs her he has made his decision: he wants to kill her. Maggie screams at him to go ahead. However, Barnabas also wants her for his bride and she must come to him of her own free will--something that Josette never did. He intends to leave her in the locked room until he decides otherwise. Maggie pleads with him, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.

Memorable quotes[]

Barnabas: You're assuming I'm not capable enough to cope with idiots. Unfortunately for you, I am.

Barnabas: I'm close to killing you tonight. Only your beauty saves you.

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • During the opening title sequence, the announcer informs viewers that there will be a summary of the last few episodes after the commercial break. Indeed, the summary (spoken over a still frame of the Dark Shadows title card) appears but cuts into the first minute of Act I. The unaired portion of dialogue from the start of the scene follows:
Barnabas: What are you holding, Josette?
Maggie: (unable to get words out) I... I...
Barnabas: Isn't that one of Willie's tools? Let me see it. (He snatches it away from her) What were you planning to do with this? What’s the matter? Can’t you speak?
Maggie: Please
Barnabas: Please what? What are you asking to do?
Maggie: Don't...
Barnabas: Don't? Don't... what? I'm afraid you're not making sense, Josette.
Maggie: (a fleeting moment of hope) Yes, I... I am Josette.
Barnabas: Of course. My bride.
Maggie: Yes... your bride.
Barnabas: And we're going to be happy together.
Maggie: Yes...
Barnabas: To the end of time.
Maggie: Yes...
(On-air footage begins):
Barnabas: You still haven’t answered my question.
  • The ABC-TV Special Announcement was made after a week of United Nations hearings on the Vietnam War, which were carried on ABC stations instead of Dark Shadows in several time zones. To inform viewers of what they had missed, ABC gave storyline recap announcements over the opening credits of several episodes, as listed below. However, the announcement included at the start of 251 was too long, and to accommodate it, ABC had to delete the first 45 seconds of Act I. The special announcement is as follows:
    • For those who have missed the last few episodes of Dark Shadows: Elizabeth Collins, at Jason McGuire's insistance, has taken Vicki, Carolyn and Roger into the basement room and convinces them that it holds no mystery. They don't realize that beneath the flagstones on the floor is concealed the room's secret—the body of Elizabeth's husband, Paul. Elizabeth, now realizing that the secret can never be told, announces to the family that she and Jason will be married. Maggie Evans escaped from Barnabas and attempted to get to her father, but was recaptured and told by Barnabas that unless she assumes the identity of Josette Collins, she will die. Realizing that she can never escape, Maggie attempts to destroy Barnabas.
  • The announcement was read by Bill Rice, an ABC staff announcer best known for voicing the introductions to ABC News programs such as World News Tonight and Nightline. Rice also handled promotional announcements for ABC's New York City flagship station, WABC-TV.


  • This episode is the first in which Barnabas' feelings for Victoria begin to blossom.
  • Barnabas claims that Josette's handkerchief was given to her by the Queen of France.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • Willie says "That pounding, someone's at the door" before any pounding has happened. The pounding happens a moment later. It's possible that either the sound effect wasn't played or that Willie was only supposed to say that he heard someone at the door.
  • Victoria arrives alone at the Old House to let Barnabas know that the Sheriff doesn't want anyone out alone... [Since the Old House is on the estate and the attacks took place in town, Vicki probably felt it would be safe to walk between Collinwood and the Old House]
  • In the previous episode, Josette's music box was last seen in Josette's room. Here it is on a table in the foyer of the Old House.
  • As Barnabas confronts Maggie and Willie after Victoria has left the Old House, Willie protects Maggie, but John Karlen is gripping an area suspiciously below her waist, and Jonathan Frid can't refrain from smirking. Kathryn Leigh Scott looks appropriately terrified.
  • As Barnabas walks Maggie out of the basement coffin room, there follows the sound effect of a door being opened but is heard while Barnabas is still clutching Maggie with both hands.
  • When Barnabas closes the cell door after putting Maggie in, the actual door can be heard closing and it is clearly wooden even though it is constructed to appear to be metal (and the added sound effects are metal).
  • At Collinwood, when Barnabas opens one of the front doors to leave, the camera angle reveals the studio outside the foyer set, complete with a white metal wastebasket. The camera pulls quickly away, but another glimpse beyond the set is shown as Vicki closes the door after Barnabas has said goodnight.

End credits announcements[]

External links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 251 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Every Day - Episode 251 - Close to Killing You

The Dark Shadows Daybook - Episode 251

Dark Shadows Commentary- Episode 251: Madness preferable to sanity

Dark Shadows Before I Die- Episode 251: 6/12/67