I love the Dark Shadows closing credits. At the end of each episode, the closing music would wheeze into life over a static shot of one of the studio sets, complete with reassuringly abstract shout-outs for "Miss Scott's Clothes by Junior Sophisticates", "Fashions by Ohrbachs" and "Bat by Bill Baird". Some of these tableaus are striking, some are humdrum, and very once in a while, comes a credits backdrop that stands out from the crowd, be it arty, surreal... or just a bit dodgy. Here's a countdown of five of my favourites:
5. Episode 903: One of the highlights of the Leviathan storyline is a particularly bizarre dream sequence from genius writer Violet Welles, which sees Elizabeth terrorized by fairground impresario David Collins and a pair of freaky robotic mannequins. Doubtless the Dark Shadows props buyer experienced no small measure of satisfaction when the mechanic marvels were given pride of place at the end of the show, cheerily waving goodbye to the viewers.
4. Episode 991: The Seventies had made it to Collinwood, and soon no dream sequence was complete without a spangly backdrop courtesy of the resident Dark Shadows disco ball, resulting in this closing credits trip into the subconscious. All that's missing is a funk remix of the theme tune.
3. Episode 1062: Barnabas and Julia have journeyed through a mysterious space-band-time-warp-disturbance (delete as applicable) to the faraway year of 1995, where Collinwood lies in ruins. Alas, this vision of the future proved to be a disappointingly conservative one, clothed exclusively in plaid shirts and nylon fibres. So, rejoice then, in the futuristic wonder of Victor Flagler's spacey table lamp, flashing in distress as the credits play us out.
2. Episode 928: Another corker from the Leviathan sequence sees one-shot supporting artiste Mrs. Hutchins' Budgie step into the limelight. Cue mild seasickness from the viewing nation, as the bird sits rocking on its perch looking distinctly nonplussed.
1. Episode 703: Clocking-off time at West 53rd Street, and first out of the door is man-about-town Jonathan Frid, sashaying into frame with some smart casuals folded over his arm. A bonus point too for the balletic 'oops' moment, as he realises his mistake and quickly tries to veer out of frame. Stunning.