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 - OB
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
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

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
  

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I second what Jeff is saying. It's worth seeing after you've watched the first year or so of Barnabas, but large chunks of the movie are essentially just the original TV script retreaded, and characters sometimes wander in and  out with far too little context. 

I made the leap! I saw episode 107, 108....and then 111 last night! Leaping across the nonexistent episodes 109 & 110. Happy Thanksgiving! (Barnabas Joke of the Day: Fangsgiving!)

So at last we've gotten what appears to be the full story of what happened to Bill Molloy. Matthew confronted him & grabbed him at Lookout point to stop him from causing trouble for the Collins family. Molloy pulled away and slipped, falling off the cliff and down to the rocks below, and dying. Roger finds his body while Matthew hides; Roger loses Burke's pen. Then Roger goes to the meeting pretending he doesn't know Molloy's dead, and meanwhile Matthew pushes Molloy out to sea... and then he washes up at Widow's Hill, to be seen by Vickie & Carolyn.

Since then, Matthew has been trying to scare Vicki off -- entering her room, driving toward her, and dropping the urn on her... those first two, he says he was just trying to give her a scare, but that urn... well, he figured whether or not it hit, it was a win/win.

Meanwhile, Vickie tries to escape, since Matthew insists he has to kill her to keep her quiet. And when I left off, Elizabeth has just entered Matthew's cabin, and he's attempting to kill Vickie. 

I don't see how this goes well for him. 

And I have to say... even though Thayer David is a very menacing Matthew, especially with his size, I'd love to see what George Mitchell would have done with this material.  

Up through episode 114 today. Matthew's hiding in the Old House (with David's help), Mrs. Johnson is still willing to spy on the Collinses, Burke and Vickie share a liplock before Vickie decides she's never going to see him again, Frank's invited Vickie to Bangor for the weekend, and then Burke buys the Logan Cannery... Corporate War is On! 

And that's Day 16 and 17!

Tracy and I watched day 16 (113) and day 17 (114) last night. You're closing in on the end of the Bill Malloy murder arc. We saw George Mitchell on episodes of both Bonanza and Land of the Giants recently. In the Giants episode, Mitchell's hair was longish and wildly unkempt, making me wonder what he would have done with Matthew later in the role. The episode of Bonanza we watched last night featured Mark Allen (the original Sam Evans) as a gunslinger. 

Back to Dark Shadows, there was a scene in 113 in which Mitch ryan obviously forgot his lines and clarice Blackburn tried to help him out. there were a few bloopers in 114, too: the camera hit something as it was moving in on Burke, and Ryan picked his nose.

Tracy and I watched day 18 yesterday (episodes 115-119), but I'll wait until I know you're caught up before I comment. NOTE: Victoria's voice-over narration for 117 in which she mentions she came to Collinwood "months ago." No, dear, it only seems like months. It's actually been 17 days.

See, this is where we'll never agree.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Tracy and I watched day 18 yesterday (episodes 115-119), but I'll wait until I know you're caught up before I comment. NOTE: Victoria's voice-over narration for 117 in which she mentions she came to Collinwood "months ago." No, dear, it only seems like months. It's actually been 17 days.

Months real time; 17 days show time.

I grant you that Victoria is dumber than a box turtle, but I really think that even she would know whether she'd been at Collinwood for months or just weeks,

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Months real time; 17 days show time.

I'm up to episode 118 now... Burke and Joe have searched the Old House -- with shotguns! -- but not found Matthew and Vicki in the secret room. The cops are back, and searching the grounds. 

Previously, Burke and Carolyn were on a date, and several times Burke fails to disguise that he cares more about Vicki than Carolyn. I generally like Burke -- he's conniving, but his craving for revenge is legitimate, and how could you not like someone who's up against Roger? But god, every time he's on a date with Carolyn, it makes my skin crawl. Although it's very clear that he's moving a lot slower than she'd like to.

As for the dates, we're at a point where the calendar progression of events -- one thing follows immediately on another -- doesn't match the emotional truth of the events (Elizabeth and Vicki feel more warmly toward each other than knowing each other for  3 weeks might otherwise suggest, etc.). Emotionally, the show has to put its eggs in that basket, because that's where the viewers are: They've known these characters for nearly 6 months. It's a tightrope, and the only way to square that circle is the tried and true tradition of Soap Opera Time. Don't look too closely, except for fun. But the fun thing is to see how much activity has been crammed into such a short time! 

Here's something that would come up in a modern show -- when Burke and Joe grab the guns, there'd be some tension between them, and a "we may have our differences, but that doesn't mean I want to see you dead" conversation. Here, that all goes unspoken. We're meant to assume that these are two mature people who don't take taking a life lightly, or for mere convenience. Unlike, say, every character of Arrow, where that conversation happens about 10 times a season.

I think this is the first time we've seen guns on this show. How unusual is that on a drama these days?

When I watched Dark Shadows, one thing that struck me is how the prevalence of cellphones has changed things.

Definitely!

And the show really uses the telephone creatively -- it's always there to let the world be expansive, even if the budget limited the cast that could appear onscreen in any particular episode. There are a lot of conversations with unseen characters.

Saw episode 119 tonight. No movement on the Vicki front, but it looks like Joe & Carolyn are breaking up for good! Good for him!

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