Long before Buffy the Vampire Slayer brought bloodsucking to prime time, daytime TV had a vampire legend of its own: Barnabas Collins, the 175-year-old, angst-ridden vampire who made Dark Shadows the subject of a considerable cult following. The program, which debuted on ABC in 1966 and ran for five years, blended gothic mystery and supernatural intrigue, bringing elements to the soap opera format that would remain mostly dormant until Passions appeared on NBC in 1999. Although ratings initially flagged for the show, which relied on traditional romance-centric plotlines, series creator Dan Curtis introduced Barnabas (a marvelous Jonathan Frid) in 1967 and steered Dark Shadows into the supernatural realm, where it found its stride. Highlights during this 40-episode collection (#413-453) include a desperate Barnabas begging family servant Ben Stokes to drive a stake through his heart, and Barnabas vowing revenge against Reverend Trask for persuading Nathan Forbes (Joel Crothers) to testify against a woman accused of witchcraft. This handsome four-DVD set also features interviews with actors Roger Davis, Lara Parker, and Louis Edmonds.