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


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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Now I've seen through episode 302. We've spent a little more time on the terrace -- the new set you mentioned -- and saw Burke celebrating at the Blue Whale, then facing off against Barnabas in either a card game or a duel. (I like that Burke doesn't recognize the stakes Barnabas is playing for; he's a life-or-death guy.) But Barnabas has already been convinced by Willie that killing Burke immediately could present a problem.

And then, in 302, Vicki accepts Burke's proposal, making Burke the happiest blob of mayonnaise in Collinsport. (Can you tell I have no investment in the two of them as a couple?) When Barnabas gets the news, he storms out, vows to be cured so he can ruin their marriage the old-fashioned way. I...guess that's growth?

"Can you tell I have no investment in the two of them as a couple?"

They are about the most passionless couple I can think of. ("Blob of mayonnaise" pretty much sums it up.) I'm not a big fan of today's TV kisses, where the couple looks as if they're trying to chew each other's face off, but the actors should at least look like they're enjoying it. You know who could really sell a TV kiss? Joanna Going, who played Vicki Winters in the Dark Shadows revival. In her kissing scenes she at least looked like she was having a good time.

I count 301 as "Barnabas vs. Burke: Round Three."

Have you gotten used to the color yet? When I was at this point back in the '90s, I had a TV set where I could turn off the color (and I often did).

The line that drove Tracy nuts was: "If I marry you I'll have an identity!" 

It's a truly horrible line. There's so much build up to it, too, and I was groaning all the way.

The color is still a novelty for me, but I like it more than I expected....though it's weird to me to see Barnabas in color, and I liked how Julia looked in B/W a little better too. In closeups, her eyelashes are so long and thick, her eyes would look just like dark pools. It suited her. But when Vicki's choosing between dresses, it's nice to be able to tell them apart.

Oh, and speaking of the 90s revival... am I at a point where I can watch that, or Night of Dark Shadows, or the Depp movie, without spoiling myself on the original series too badly? I've seen the Depp movie already, but I'm definitely more curious about it now that the original is fresh in my head.


"...am I at a point where I can watch [the revival series], or Night of Dark Shadows..."

Almost, almost... I am keeping all those things in mind. House of Dark Shadows will be first, the revival series next, Night probably not for quite some time after that, although that one's negotiable because it isn't an adaptation. I'd still wait until after you've met Quentin, though, in any case.

For House I advise waiting until at least after 350, but I would recommend between 365 & 366. I'll remind you again when we get there. For the revival series, not until after 461. there were more than 1200 episodes, after all!

My recollection is that there's only one major character in the Depp movie that you haven't encountered yet in the original series.

I found the Depp movie to be a disappointment. The production value was high, but I would have preferred a more serious treatment. What did you think of it, Rob?

They seem to have done that with a lot of movie adaptations of old shows.  I think they misunderstood the way that fans enjoyed them.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I found the Depp movie to be a disappointment. The production value was high, but I would have preferred a more serious treatment. What did you think of it, Rob?

Yeah, I think it's the attitude that today's audiences are too "sophisticated" to be entertained by an old show without making fun of it.

I thought it was a goofy bit of fluff. I don't think any of the actors I was familiar with was as good as I've seen them be in other movies -- but I thought one of the few actors I was unfamiliar with -- Eva Green -- kind of stole the show, IIRC. But that's a hazy memory. 

I didn't remember enough about the show to think too much of it as "Dark Shadows" one way or another, though. 

But yeah, The Brady Bunch Movie really changed the game in how old tv shows are revived for movies these days. And wow, that's more than 20 years old at this point. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I found the Depp movie to be a disappointment. The production value was high, but I would have preferred a more serious treatment. What did you think of it, Rob?

The Brady Bunch was a sitcom, but the movie was a parody of itself. The Dragnet movie would be another, even more egregious, example. The Dark Shadows movie featured a cameo appearance by (I think I've got this right) Jonathan Frid, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Selby (Quentin) and Lara Parker (Angelique). One review I read at the time was written by a fan of the show who completely missed the cameo. (HINT: It was when the audience spontaneously applauded for no apparent reason.) 

I think it is just as much the writers, directors and producers who think they are too sophisticated and approach the material with a dismissive attitude that ruins a project.

The Depp movie was okay as a light hearted horror movie but it was certainly not a good Dark Shadows adaption.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Yeah, I think it's the attitude that today's audiences are too "sophisticated" to be entertained by an old show without making fun of it.

Oh, I'd forgotten about Dragnet!

And now I've got "City of Crime" stuck in my head.

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