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|Timothy Eliot Stokes|
|Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes|
|Aliases:||T. Eliot Stokes; Professor Stokes|
|1st appearance:||House of Dark Shadows (1970)|
Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes is a fictional occult scholar-turned-vampire featured in the 1970 film House of Dark Shadows. The character is based on his counterpart from the 1960s TV series Dark Shadows and is played by actor Thayer David.
Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes was a stout, serious-minded individual who considered himself to be a man-of-the-world. He was a well-educated writer, scholar, occultist and world traveler. He had spent many vacations in London, Paris, Rome and Venice.
In 1970 he had become close acquaintances with the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. He spent many evenings at the gothic Collinwood estate and aided houseguest, Doctor Julia Hoffman, in her historical research concerning the Collins family.
In June of that year, Professor Stokes became interested in a series of bizarre attacks that had been taking place in the Collinsport area. Daphne Budd – secretary to Collinwood's matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, had been found on the road leading towards the house with two large, gaping wounds in her neck. Stokes immediately concocted a theory concerning the origin of these wounds, but decided to keep silent until more conventional information could be gained.
Soon after, a woman named Nancy Hodiak was attacked in a similar fashion. Doctor Julia Hoffman analyzed samples of their blood and discovered an unidentifiable viral cell that had been destroying the platelets in their respective bloodstreams. It wasn't until a similar fate fell upon Elizabeth's daughter, Carolyn, that Stokes decided to voice his theory. He took Doctor Hoffman aside and told her that these women might have been the victims of a vampire. Julia was well schooled in vampire lore, but was not yet ready to take Stokes at his word. Not only was Stokes confident that a vampire was stalking Collinsport, but he also had an idea as to who the vampire was – a relative of the Collins family named Barnabas Collins.
Shortly after the death of Carolyn Stoddard, her young cousin David Collins, came bursting into the dining room of Collinwood claiming that he had just seen Carolyn, and that she was still alive. The rest of the family dismissed his claims as the byproduct of grief, but Professor Stokes was the only one to take the boy seriously. He questioned David at length, much to the regret of David's father, Roger. He announced at the dinner table that a vampire was responsible for killing Carolyn, and that she herself now walked as one of the living dead. Roger and Elizabeth were appalled by such a notion. Even Carolyn's fiancé, Todd Blake was greatly offended by the Professor's theory.
Todd soon learned the truth however, when he became a victim of Carolyn's vampire lust that same evening. Unlike the others fortunately, Todd survived. In the wake of Todd's attack, Stokes finally managed to convince Roger that Carolyn was a vampire. He encouraged Roger to contact the local sheriff's office and have them exhume Carolyn's remains. Roger did as Stokes advised, and with the aid of Sheriff George Patterson, they found Carolyn's tomb – empty.
Stokes convinced Sheriff Patterson that Carolyn was now a vampire and he advised the sheriff's deputies on the best way on how to deal with a vampire. He armed them all with hand-held crucifixes, and guns fitted with silver bullets. A search was conducted, and they eventually discovered Carolyn's resting place inside the old stables. While the deputies held Carolyn's body down, Professor Stokes pounded a wooden stake through her heart ending her nightmarish existence once and for all.
Soon after, Stokes discovered that Julia had made some remarkable discoveries in her hematological work. She had isolated the destructive vampire cell from the other blood samples and was convinced that she could concoct a serum that would actually cure vampirism. Now it was Stokes' turn to be the skeptical one. He chided Julia's research and reminded her that vampirism was not a disease. "Vampires are the living dead", he explained.
As the days passed, Stokes was absolutely certain that Barnabas Collins was the vampire. He took it upon himself to confront Barnabas directly. During the afternoon, he arrived at Barnabas' home at the Old House, with the intent of finding his coffin. He was amazed to find Barnabas himself, walking about in the daylight hours. Stokes refused to accept the notion that he might have been wrong about Barnabas' supernatural identity and he left the Old House in a flustered state.
It didn't take him long to realize how Barnabas was able to walk in the daylight when the very nature of a vampire's existence should have prohibited him from doing so. The answer was – Julia Hoffman. Julia had continued her research into curing the condition and had been secretly working with Barnabas towards that goal. Stokes confronted Julia and told her that curing a vampire was an absolutely impossible feat to accomplish.
Before long, Stokes conspired with Roger Collins to track the vampire down and destroy Barnabas Collins for good. They went to a chapel monastery within the ruins of a castle on St. Eustace Island. When they arrived however, they discovered that neither of them was a match for the vampire. Barnabas attacked Stokes and drank his blood until he died. In a matter of hours, Stokes rose as a vampire himself.
He stalked off into the night and confronted a man named Jeff Clark near the north cove of the island. He lunged at him prepared to bite his throat, but Jeff pushed him against a tree and fired a silver bullet into his heart, killing him.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The character of Professor Stokes was created by director Dan Curtis and writers Sam Hall and Gordon Russell.
- The character's name, Professor T. Eliot Stokes, is an amalgamation of two famous literary authors: the American poet, Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot and the Irish author of Dracula, Bram Stoker.
- Professor Stokes is loosely inspired by the character of Professor Van Helsing from the famous Bram Stoker novel, Dracula.
- The character of Professor Stokes is a re-imagining of a similar character featured on the original Dark Shadows. Like his movie counterpart, this version of Professor Stokes maintained a close relationship with Doctor Julia Hoffman and was an adversary of Barnabas Collins. Throughout the course of the series however, Professor Stokes found himself as a partial ally to the vampire.