I’d like to start this continuation of the Dark Shadows discussion from the old board with a look at some of the new and upcoming Dark Shadows audio stories from Big Finish Productions. There aren’t nearly as many Dark Shadows audio adventures as there are Doctor Who ones, but the Doctor Who series has been around longer. The Dark Shadows audios are a mixed bag. The first release was a full-cast sequel titled “Return to Collinwood”. Later they began to release a series of interconnected sequential stories grouped in short “seasons”. More recently they’ve been going back to the timeline of the original television show and telling interstitial one-shots. As the Dark Shadows series seems to be catching on, Big Finish seems to be ramping up their production schedule. “Curse of the Pharaoh” was released in September, and the next four are set for monthly release beginning in January at a special subscription rate.

CURSE OF THE PHARAOH:

“Curse of the Pharaoh” stars Nancy Barrett (reprising her role as Carolyn Stoddard) and Marie Wallace (perhaps best known as “Eve” on the TV show) in a new role, famed Egyptologist Dr. Gretchen Warwick. The story doesn’t specify, but I assume it takes place shortly after the end of the series original TV series, circa 1970 or so. Both actresses are kind of rusty and sound as old as they are, not as young as they (Caroline, anyway) are supposed to be. Barrett was always a better actress than Wallace, and that remains true. Wallace’s shortcomings are spotlighted in this “dramatic reading” in which she plays other bit parts, most of the male (Bob the bartender at The Blue Whale, Eliot Stokes on the telephone, Carolyn’s father in flashback), which she performs in a gruff kind of storybook voice as if reading aloud to a child. The story itself is a sequel to the unpopular “Leviathan” television storyline. If you’ve never heard a Dark Shadows audio and thinking of trying one out, there are better ones to start with than this.

KEY: OB = Old Board; UR = Un-Reviewed

Return to Collinwood - 169

SEASON ONE:
S1.1 The House of Despair - 1
S1.2 The Book of Temptation - OB
S1.3 The Christmas Presence - 264
S1.4 The Rage Beneath - 7

SEASON TWO: Kingdom of the Dead - 7

DRAMATIC READINGS:

1. Angelique’s Descent-Pt. 1 - OB
2. Angelique’s Descent-Pt. 2 - OB
3. Clothes of Sand - OB
4. The Ghost Walker - OB
5. The Skin Walkers - OB
6. The Path of Fate - OB
7. The Wicked & the Dead - OB
8. Echoes of Insanity - OB
9. Curse of the Pharaoh - 1
10. Final Judgment - 1
11. Blood Dance - 1
12. The Night Whispers - 1
13. London’s Burning - 2
14. The Doll House - 30
15. The Blind Painter - 87
16. The Death Mask - 88
17. The Creeping Fog - 89
18. The Carrion Queen - 89
19. The Poisoned Soul - 96
20. The Lost Girl - 96
21. The Crimson Pearl - 114
22. The Voodoo Amulet - 129
23. The House by the Sea - 170
24. Dress Me in Dark Dreams - 154
25. The Eternal Actress - 162
26. The Fall of House Trask - 163
27. Operation: Victor - 166
28. Speak No Evil - 166
29. The Last Stop - 166
30. Dreaming of the Water - 167
31. The Haunted Refrain - 167
32. A Collinwood Christmas - 167, 264
33. The Phantom Bride - 167
34. Beneath the Veil - 167
35. The Enemy Within - 167
36. The Lucifer Gambit - 167
37. The Flip Side - 167
38. Beyond the Grave - 168
39. Curtain Call - 168
40. The Harvest of Souls - 170
41. The Happier Dead - 168
42. The Carriage Damned - 168
43. The Devil Cat - 168
44. The Darkest Shadow - 173

SEASON THREE: Bloodlust - 170-172, 181, 269

45. Panic - 173
46. The Curse of Shurafa - 173
47. In the Twinkling of an Eye - 173
48. Deliver Us from Evil - 173
49. Tainted Love - 173
50. ...And Red All Over - 175

Echoes of the Past - 176

Blood & Fire - 176

Haunting Memories - 177

Phantom Melodies - 178

Dreams of Long Ago - 178

THE TONY & CASSANDRA MYSTERIES:
The Mystery at Crucifix Heights - 179
The Mystery of La Danse Macabre - 179
The Mystery of Flight 493 - 180
The Mystery of Karmina Sonata - 180

SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT:
Trio - 180
Honeymoon from Hell - 180
Retreat -180
1:53 AM - 180

MAGGIE & QUENTIN - THE LOVERS' REFRAIN:
The Girl Beneath the Water - 180
The Sand That Speaks HIs Name - 180
The Hollow Winds That Beckon
The Paper to the Flame


GOTHIC PAPERBACK LIBRARY

1. Dark Shadows - p183
2. Victoria Winters - p183
3. Strangers at Collins House - p183
4. The Mystery of Collinwood - p184
5. The Curse of Collinwood - p184
6. Barnabas Collins - p185
7. The Secret of BC - p185
8. The Demon of BC - p185
9. The Foe of BC - p185
10. The Phantom of BC - p185
11. BC vs. the Warlock - p186
12. The Peril of BC - p186
13. BC and the Mysterious Ghost - p187
14. BC and Quentin's Demon - p188
15. BC and the Gypsy Witch - p188
16. B, Q and the Mummy's Curse - p188
17. B, Q and the Avenging Ghost - p242
18. B, Q and the Nightmare Assassin - p244
19. B, Q and the Crystal Coffin
20. B, Q and the Witch's Curse
21. B, Q and the Haunted Cave
22. B, Q and the Frightened Bride
23. B, Q and the Scorpio Curse
24. B, Q and the Serpent
25. B, Q and the Magic Potion
26. B, Q and the Body Snatchers
27. B, Q and Dr. Jekyll's Son
28. B, Q and the Grave Robbers
29. B, Q and the Sea Ghost
30. B, Q and the Mad Magician
31. B, Q and the Hidden Tomb
32. B, Q and the Vampire Beauty
33. House of Dark Shadows - p241

ROB STAEGER: p189

NEWSPAPER STRIPS: p241

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Rob, I've been jumping about in continuity watching random episodes trying to decide whether or not (and at which point) to join you. I've recently watched all of "Day 20" (episodes #128-129), the beginning of the second major arc. 

"...she found a ledger entry to a 'B. Hanscomb'"

Ooh, good find! I had forgotten about that clue? But in which episode was it? I rewatched episode #90 and it wasn't that one. (Nevermind; I'll find it.) Please keep me informed of any further references to "B. Hanscome," please.

"Left for her by a ghost, I assume?"

See, this is why I enjoy "watching" this show through new eyes. That never occurred to me. If you remember back to one of the earliest episodes, Carolyn told Victoria of another Collinwood resident, a governess, who leapt from Widows' Hill, then hinted at the legend that a third person associated with Collinwood was predicted to leap from Widows' Hill. In episode #90, David mentions that he has seen only two ghosts. One is obviously Josette Collins. I always assumed the second was this other governess, but mentioned in such close proximity to "B. Hanscomb" I'll bet you're right. Here's another thing I'll just come right out and tell you: this mystery remains unresolved.

I think it's episode 91; it's the one where she goes back into the room with Carolyn, and demonstrates what she tried to do with the paper and the key. The page of the ledger is the paper she uses, and finding the name motivates her trip to Bangor. (A town name I will *never* tire of, since I'm 12.) There's nothing ghostly about her picking it up, but it just seems like such a lucky coincidence...

I've seen up through episode 92, where Victoria meets Elizabeth's lawyers, Garner and Garner -- Richard, the older one, who wants to keep things from her, and his earnest your son Frank, who's working to help her find out more about the ledger page where Hanscomb's name appeared. He looks like a possible new love interest, too! A good thing -- I feel like the show needs a little new blood to keep the pot stirring.

Come to think of it, where the hell is Mrs. Johnson, anyway? 

"He looks like a possible new love interest, too!"

That was the intention, but (here's another thing I'll just tell you) they never did anything with it.

"Come to think of it, where the hell is Mrs. Johnson, anyway?"

Oh, she's around, still at Collinwood, but she's shown less frequently after the shift to color. She not only stays for the remainder of the series, but is also featured in the 1995 "flash-forward." She eventually becomes quite loyal to Mrs. Stoddard. Clarice Blackburn also plays Abigail Collins in the 1795 flashback.

Made it up to Episode 98 last night. So:

Vicki knows that the pen she found at lookout point once was owned by Burke Devlin... but she doesn't realize it had changed hands, and was last seen with Roger before Bill Molloy's death. So she doesn't trust Burke... but trusts Roger, who tells her to keep any talk of the pen under her hat... and she declines to tell the sheriff about it when he rescues them from a shack in a rainstorm.

It's a shame the potential relationship with Frank will go nowhere... he seems nice and earnest.

Speaking of nice and earnest, the writers continue to fan the flames between Maggie and Joe. (And once they're together, Sam makes sure to leave the Blue Whale. Which is a HUGE sacrifice, as he'd just had a new drink poured for him.)

Sam has given Vicki the painting of Betty Hanscomb! Who is either the daughter or niece of their butler; Elizabeth can't remember. And despite Roger and Elizabeth pretending it looks nothing like her, Carolyn walks in and spoils their gaslighting.

David might be forming an uneasy alliance with Mrs. Johnson, since he intuits that she and Burke are working together. Also, Mrs. Johnson hears the sobbing in the basement!

I'm not watching every episode, but I've fallen into the following pattern. After you've checked in every couple of days and report what episode you're up to, I consult my list to find out which "day" you're on, then go to the "beginning" of that "day" and watch as episodes as I'm in the mood to. "Day 12" comprises episodes #97-98 (a short day), and I have just watched those. I'm trying to think of these episodes as "standalone," the same as I would with any half hour show, say "All in the Family." (Ha! I'd like to see the Bunkers living at Collinwood.)

I had forgotten all about Betty Hanscomb being either the daughter or the niece of "B. Hanscomb." It could well be that the former butler at Collinwood had both a daughter and a niece, and that the cousin came for a visit one summer. It's been 20 years since Betty modeled for him. He could have conflated the two in the fog of memory. Maybe it was the other girl (whichever one is not Betty) who moved away and died before Vicki was born. And Elizabeth, hell... she's obviously covering up something. Or, maybe Betty did have a baby after she died and Vicki is a ghost baby.

SPIN-OFF: The Adventures of Victoria Winters: Ghost Baby 

"Betty's real first name was 'Marilyn', as I recall, and 'Elizabeth' was her middle name.  We always called her 'Betty' when she was here, but when she went to live out West with her father's sister, she started going by her first name. She liked her uncle so much that she took his family name.  What was it, again? 'Minster', something like that?"

Was her uncle's first name "Herman" by any chance?

Could be.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Was her uncle's first name "Herman" by any chance?

But they don't look alike! Next, you'll tell me that "Marilyn's" appearance changed.... As if she'd been replaced by a doppelganger, or something like that. Muntrous.

The Baron said:

"Betty's real first name was 'Marilyn', as I recall, and 'Elizabeth' was her middle name.  We always called her 'Betty' when she was here, but when she went to live out West with her father's sister, she started going by her first name. She liked her uncle so much that she took his family name.  What was it, again? 'Minster', something like that?"

Well, obviously, Marilyn was a runaway Time Lord who went through her regenerations rather quickly.



JD DeLuzio said:

But they don't look alike! Next, you'll tell me that "Marilyn's" appearance changed.... As if she'd been replaced by a doppelganger, or something like that. Muntrous.

The Baron said:

"Betty's real first name was 'Marilyn', as I recall, and 'Elizabeth' was her middle name.  We always called her 'Betty' when she was here, but when she went to live out West with her father's sister, she started going by her first name. She liked her uncle so much that she took his family name.  What was it, again? 'Minster', something like that?"

I can't wait to hear about her adventures with her fellow Time Lord whom I recall being quite active in the 1960s, James Bond.

The Baron said:

Well, obviously, Marilyn was a runaway Time Lord who went through her regenerations rather quickly.

Finding the pace of Dark Shadows:The Beginning awfully... slow... are.. now... watching... every... other... episode. It doesn't seem as if we miss much following this schedule.

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