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Alexandra Moltke


Malcolm Marmorstein


Lela Swift


July 20, 1967


June 30, 1967


Complete: Disc 31
Collection 2: Disc 3

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We have 2 images of Dark Shadows 279

As preparations continue for the costume party, Barnabas reluctantly agrees to Victoria's request to invite Burke but casts him as Jeremiah Collins, his old enemy.



The dark mantle of deception hangs heavily over Collinwood. There are those who are about to play a game that death has devised, a game that death cannot lose. They don the garments that will transform them into other people from another time, garments that will help forward a diabolical scheme.

Carolyn appears uneasy as she holds Millicent Collins' dress up to gaze at herself in the mirror. Victoria knocks on Carolyn's bedroom door and comes in, looking stunningly beautiful wearing Josette Collins' gown. It fits her perfectly, while Carolyn's dress needs a few alterations. When Carolyn remarks on the governess' resemblance to Josette, a strange feeling comes over Victoria.

Act I

Victoria feels as if she's actually worn Josette's dress before, and that she'd just lived through a familiar experience. Carolyn confesses to having felt a chill herself when she tried on Millicent's 130-year-old gown, as if she was intruding on her ancestor's life. She doesn't think she'll be able to go to the costume party if that feeling returns. Victoria intends to attend regardless, and is flattered that Carolyn found a resemblance between her and Josette. She believes the party is a brilliant way of bringing the Collins family together, giving them a feeling of history and tradition. Carolyn counters that there's too much of that in the air already. She respects the past but doesn't want to live in it. However, she is excited over the prospect of her mother attending a party for the first time in 18 years. Victoria vows to do everything she can to make the party an enormous success. She expresses how proud she's going to feel pretending to be a member of the Collins Family. Carolyn believes Victoria deserves to be a Collins. If she was, Victoria would want to be Josette.

Meanwhile, at the Old House, Barnabas checks on Willie's preparations for the costume party. He wants everything to be immaculate, and stresses that nothing should go wrong on what will be the most important night of his life. Willie obeys without question, although it is clear he is nervous about Barnabas' plans. Barnabas is certain everything will work out.

Act II

Burke arrives at Collinwood, and is greeted at the door by Carolyn. He inquires about her, and Carolyn laughs as she tells him she's gotten all of that motorcycle business out of her system. She expresses her gratitude for Burke having lent a helping hand during the family's recent crisis. Victoria enters the foyer and she and Burke retire to the Drawing room where he invites her on a dinner date set for tomorrow night. Victoria happily accepts, only to remember she already has plans: Barnabas' costume party. Burke is disturbed to learn that she will be masquerading as Josette.


Burke questions the reason why Barnabas selected Victoria to be Josette. Victoria tells him it's due to the fact Barnabas thinks she not only resembles Josette, but that she is also like her in many ways. Burke continues to be bothered by the idea, especially when he recalls the seance in which Josette spoke through Victoria. She chalks it up to coincidence, and Burke lightens his mood again. Victoria wonders if Barnabas might invite Burke to the party. He appreciates the thought, but doesn't feel as if he has any business being present at a Collins family gathering. However, Victoria's enthusiasm gets the best of him and Burke agrees to drive her to the Old House. There, Willie has finished polishing an antique candelabra when he is startled by a knock at the door. Trepidatiously, he allows Victoria inside to speak with Barnabas. She congratulates Willie on the hard work he's put in restoring the Old House. Her kindness sparks his guilty conscience and he begins to offer Victoria a veiled warning. However, Barnabas appears and welcomes Victoria by kissing her hand.

Act IV

Barnabas dismisses Willie, who leaves although he is hesitant to leave Victoria alone with the vampire. Barnabas is pleased to learn that Josette's dress fits Victoria perfectly, and that everyone will be attending. He is crestfallen, however, when she requests a party invitation for Burke. Upon learning how much it would mean to her, Barnabas acquiesces and has the perfect role for Burke to play: Jeremiah Collins. Victoria expresses her gratitude, and when Barnabas calls her "Josette" as she departs, she takes to the role like a fish to water. He promises her he shall play the part of the "first Barnabas" as believably as possible. After she has gone, Barnabas summons Willie and informs them of the extra party guest. He reveals to his servant that Burke will be attending as Jeremiah Collins, who was an object of hate--the worst enemy Barnabas had--and, if time had permitted, he would have destroyed him. Tomorrow night, he might have the opportunity to do exactly that.

Memorable quotes[]

Carolyn: Oh, Vicki, if I didn't know you, I'd swear you were Josette Collins.

Carolyn: I respect the past, Vicki, but I have no desire to live in it.

Carolyn: You should be a member of the family. If anyone deserves to be a Collins, it's you.
Victoria: Victoria Collins... Victoria Collins. No... Josette Collins. It has to be Josette Collins.

Barnabas: Everything is going very well. Tomorrow evening will be an occasion long remembered. That night must go... nothing wrong.

Victoria: You could do with some fun, Willie. You never smile. Do you know that?
Willie: I haven't got much to smile about, that's all.
Victoria: Oh, yes you do. Willie, you've done a fantastic job on this house. You should be very happy and very proud of it. You deserve to be.
Willie: Thank you, Vicki. Thank you very much for saying that. There's a lot of things we deserve we never get, and there's a lot of things we get and don't deserve.
Barnabas: That's an interesting philosophy, Willie...but I'm dedicated to seeing that people get what I think they deserve.

Victoria: I think tomorrow when you are in your costume, you will look very much like the other Barnabas Collins.
Barnabas: I'll do everything in my power to make that believable.

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 276.
  • Nancy Barrett is still wearing the hand/wrist bandage she has had on in recent appearances.


  • When relating his hatred for Jeremiah Collins to Willie, Barnabas claims that he would have destroyed his rival if time had permitted. This, however, will occur in the '1795' storyline, which like so many other issues concerning the series' original continuity can be seen as an altered timeline.
  • Again, a vague connection between Victoria and Josette is hinted at, but nothing will come of this idea until the 1991 revival series. There is also a suggestion that Victoria is Elizabeth's illegitimate daughter when Carolyn believes that Victoria deserves to be a Collins.
  • Carolyn claims that Millicent Collins' dress is from the 19th century when, in fact, it is likely to be from the 18th. [Addendum: At this point, the 1795 timeline has not been established. The mausoleum grave markers still note that the Collins members there died in the 19th century. Carolyn herself says in her conversation with Victoria that she will be wearing a dress "130 years old." So it seems the reference to the 19th century is correct in this episode.]
  • When Victoria tells Burke that Roger is going to the party dressed as Joshua Collins, she points to the portrait hanging close to the piano. However, it was established in an early episode to be the portrait of Isaac Collins.
  • Barnabas states that Jeremiah Collins built Collinwood; later in the '1795' storyline, it will be changed to Joshua, Jeremiah being shown to be Joshua's brother.
  • When Victoria is talking to Burke in the drawing room about the party, she says, "And so he came up with a brilliant idea of having us all come to his party dressed as one of our ancestors." As far as Victoria or any of us know, she is not a Collins, so they would not be her ancestors.
  • TIMELINE: Day 98 takes place. The costume party is tomorrow night.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • In Act I when Victoria and Carolyn are sitting and talking about the party after Victoria says "This is just a harmless masquerade..." someone in the studio snaps their fingers.
  • In Act I Jonathan Frid makes one of his most famous line flubs when speaking to Willie: "That night must go... nothing wrong".
  • In Act IV, when Victoria and Barnabas walk away from the window, the stage light on the floor to light Barnabas from underneath as usual is clearly visible, in a house lit only by candles.
  • The mirror and candles usually seen at the bottom of the Old House staircase--and which do appear earlier in this episode--are missing from the wall in the final scene when Barnabas tells Willie that Burke will be attending the party.

End credits announcements[]

External links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 279 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Everyday - Episode 279 - Party Animals

Dark Shadows Commentary- Episode 279: That Night Must Go Nothing Wrong

Dark Shadows Before I Die- Episode 279: 7/20/67