As I recall, the flashbacks and parallel time lines, including time travel, didn't come into the show until after Barnabas was pretty well established. The first few months, pre-Barnabas, were non-supernatural, rather stodgy ladies' gothic stuff. I believe it was implied (if not explicitly stated, eventually) that Victoria Winters was Elizabeth Collins Stoddart's illegitimate daughter. Several cast members later had fairly prominent supporting roles in other shows and movies -- Mitch Ryan (two Clint Eastwood films), John Karlen (Cagney & Lacy), Roger Davis (Alias Smith and Jones), Jerry Lacy ("Bogie" in Play It Again Sam), etc. I always got a kick when one of the actors would unintentionally bump against a wall, and the wall shook.
And IMDB says that Abe Vigoda briefly had a supporting role in a later season (after I had gone off to college and didn't have time to watch the show anymore), and Harvey Keitel and Kenny McMillan had walk-ons in a couple of episodes.
Fred's memories of the shoddy sets echo my own. I was about 12 when the show really hit its stride and I would race off the school bus to get to the TV (before my brother claimed it for "Popeye and Pals"). The walls shook when doors slammed, shadows would fall on background scenery that was meant to represent faraway hills or meadows, actors would forget their lines and the others in the scene would gamely try to forge ahead. And could I just be imagining the episode that ended in a cliffhanger with Barnabas "dead" on the floor when suddenly Jonathan Frid casually stood up and walked off the set while the credits rolled?
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