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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You know, it's too bad nobody thought to give Frid a guest spot on Buffy.

Wow, I had no idea that the 1991 Dark Shadows revival hewed so closely to the original series (aside from pacing). Those are all characters I recognize -- not a Poochie in the bunch!

And now I've seen through Episode 281. We've seen the costume party... an episode with 8 cast members, including the partygoers, plus Willie and Sarah. There's a seance (Roger suddenly became an expert on them!), and Josette takes over Vicki's body again -- and has apparently learned English!

Plus, in the "small business" section, Carolyn tells Vicki she's not jealous of her for dating Burke. ("Especially since it's new Burke" goes unsaid.)

And finally, Barnabas gives Vicki the music box!

Yes, Roger has certainly changed his tone since Guthrie's seance. I think it's in character, though. He was the big skeptic then, but the center of attention now.

This is the episode I had been waiting for (yet wasn't sure even existed) which marks a seas change in Carolyn's featuring toward Burke (and Vicki). 

Got a little further today -- episode 284. So we've had a close call at the cemetery, with Maggie and Vicki nearly seeing each other, and Maggie is back in Collinsport (temporarily). And then Julia does some undercover digging around Collinwood, and then, after questioning Maggie, gets a VERY strong negative reaction to the name "Barnabas Collins."

I hadn't remembered that Julia went to Collinwood without meeting Elizabeth and to the Old House without meeting Barnabas. 

Here's a little preview of 285: I call it "Burke vs. Barnabas, Round 1." There is an episode of the two sparring verbally which I hold as one of my favorites, but this isn't it. I had forgotten about this one until we watched it last night. I don't know if there will be others between 285 and the one I'm thinking of, which is 301.

I've gotten to episode 285 now, and that's a nice argument Burke and Barnabas have. I hate to say it, though -- Anthony George isn't growing on me as Burke Devlin. I really miss Mitch Ryan.

I'd also really love it if Barnabas stopped being such a creeper. You'd think that would be a step up from ruthless murderer, but it really feels like a step down. The end of the episode felt like all the classic complaints about "Baby It's Cold Outside" without any of that song's wit and charm. 

"Anthony George isn't growing on me as Burke Devlin."

I doubt he will any more than he already has, so you can stop holding your breath.

They do have a couple more good arguments, though.

LIES VAMPIRES TELL:

Also in 285, Barnabas again tells the story of Josette's death adding details, but when Vicki asks who was chasing her, he lies and says it was Jeremiah when it was obviously him. That scene had an obvious but subtle effect on Barnabas that Jonathan Frid pulled off quite well. Barnabas knows that if he approaches Vicki the same way he approached Josette, Vicki will have the same reaction. 

287 (Okay to read before you watch the episode):

This is an important episode. As I indicated on Tuesday, I had forgotten that Julia had visited both Collinwood and the Old House without meeting either Elizabeth or Barnabas. I couldn't remember just quite how Julia inserted herself into Collinwood. (Oh, I remembered her cover story, but not really ghow she presented it.) 287 is the episode in which Julia meets Liz for the first time, but we aren't shown their actual introduction to each other. Similarly, Vicki is in the background, but the two women are actually introduced to each other during the commercial break. 

When she meets Barnabas, OTOH, we are shown a proper first meeting, that's why this is such an important episode. He initial interaction with Willie in this episode is well played. If Julia were around today, I'm sure she'd proudly wear a "Nasty Woman" t-shirt.

"Wow, I had no idea that the 1991 Dark Shadows revival hewed so closely to the original series"

The producers of that series cherry-picked what elements of the original show they wanted to emphasize in the initial dozen episodes. There was no Burke Devlin, no Jason McGuire.

I've caught up to episode 287, so Vicki's had her sleepover in Josette's room, Barnabas has considered biting her, but decided not to at the last minute, and Vicki had a REALLY uncomfortable conversation with Willie about whether HE was slipping into her bedroom while she slept. (And considering how Willie was introduced, that's not surprising -- if a bit unfair to the character as John Karlen plays him. 

And then Julia! She talks to Liz, and eventually gets what she wants through Vicki -- but then confronts Barnabas directly, and acts like she knows more about him than he wants her to. I'm very curious to see what conclusions she's drawn so far. Great scene.

Plus, Barnabas is getting more and more frazzled that Sarah could be haunting him.


I just looked up when the Ghost of Sneery-Face first shows up, and wow, he's a ways off.

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