Reader Joe Escobar has kindly shared some rare Dark Shadows production documents from 1968. These original script pages, featuring handwritten notes by the show's line producer Robert Costello, offer some fascinating insights into the day-to-day running of the show. Click on the images for a larger view.
Episode 584 (recorded on September 12 1968): A trying day for the Dark Shadows production team is recorded for posterity. This episode featured a flashback to an episode from 1967 which needed to be re-staged, as the show had since moved to colour broadcasts. A morning pre-taping session was rendered useless by cross-talk (interference picked up on the soundtrack), resulting in "much time lost". As a drastic solution, the episode's dress rehearsal ended up becoming the performance taped for broadcast.
Episode 632 (recorded on November 15 1968): The casting of Molly Jennings (the original name for Chris' little sister Amy) seems to have threatened to cause headaches for the production team. Costello's notes suggest deferring the taping of her debut scene in this episode until the morning of November 25 (the day before broadcast). In the event, the instalment was recorded with Amy present and correct, played by Denise Nickerson. The cast list notes that the character of the Nurse was originally earmarked for Natalie Norwich, a regular stand-in on the show. Bobbi Ann Woronko took over the role, having won the guest spot as part of a Miss Polish America promotion.
Episode 635 (recorded on November 21 1968): Scheduled director Sean Dhu Sullivan was replaced by Lela Swift, and the cast list notes that Victoria Winters will now be played by Betsy Durkin, as pregnant actress Alexandra Moltke had left the show earlier than originally anticipated.
Episode 641 (recorded on December 2 1968): Costello notes that Roger Shope replaces the assigned director, Lela Swift, and records planned script amendments.