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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High praise indeed! And that is one groovy theremin theme!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

A pun worthy of JD DeLuzio.

Went to Baltimore Comic Con this weekend, and I walked out with this beauty. I'll report on the contents once I have a chance to read it.

I look forward to hearing about it.

Last night we finished watching the nine-part The Haunting of Bly Manor, an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw (as is the story of the ghosts of Quentin and Beth, after a fashion). I can't help but think that the writer of Bly Manor must also be familiar with Dark Shadows, however, because Miles and Flora make continual references to "playing the game." That's not from The Turn of the Screw, but an ill-defined "game" it is very much a part of David and Amy's story on Dark Shadows. "The Game" on Bly Manor has a very definite purpose, however, one I wouldn't have minded seeing clarified on Dark Shadows. Not only is The Haunting of Bly Manor better than this sequence of Dark Shadows, it is in many ways better than The Turn of the Screw

I've seen through episode 691 now. Chris has suffered his first random transformation, but Barnabas locked him up the mausoleum in time (although David nearly let him out, as instructed by Quentin; it probably would have resulted in his death if he hadn't been stopped by Barnabas). Also, Roger Davis returns, this time as Ned Stuart, a man from Chris's past. Chris was engaged to Ned's sister, Sabrina, and Ned wants answers about what happened the last day Chris saw her. As they talk, Chris learns that a) he didn't kill Sabrina, and b) she's in Collinsport, at the hotel.

But then we switch to the ghost story, which kicks into high gear. The kids continue "playing their game" with Maggie, and the tension builds --and builds again, with a 5-minute recap at the top of episode 591! -- before Quentin appears, intending to strangle her in front of the protesting kids. Then Liz and Mrs. Johnson come in, and they try to figure out what's going on -- eventually landing on the kids are possessed by a ghost. Maggie is calling Professor Stokes for help, and Liz and Mrs. J are up in the kids room when the house go silent, the children collapse, and then are roused by Quentin's victrola music out of nowhere. And then David starts laughing like a maniac, his hair mussed in crazy angles, saying "It's too late to be afraid." And Quentin's laugh is heard behind him. 

Great episode, and I take back whatever bad things I said about Hennessy during the Phoenix storyline; he's great here. (Of course, he probably has triple the acting experience at this point than he did then.)

We are not at episode 700, the point at which I said we would stop and wait for Rob to catch up. I don't know if we can, though. We've got a good head of steam build up and we're heading into the show's most popular period.

Have you met Ned Stuart yet?

FreeVee ran out of Dark Shadows episodes for some reason. We are now watching on Pluto. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

We are now watching on Pluto. 

I'm surprised you can get service out there. Well, stay warm.

I'm at episode 696 now. I've met Ned Stuart -- no relation to anyone who looks exactly like him! -- who's the brother of Sabrina, the woman Chris thought he might have killed (but is instead uncommunicative since he wolfed out in front of her.

And Quentin has driven the Collinses from Collinwood, and into the Old House. Although the kids have gone back, and Barnabas, Willie, and Maggie, have gone inside to look for them. And Maggie now has dressed in a vintage dress and doesn't realize she's Maggie!

And Amy protests to Quentin that she doesn't want to play the "game" anymore, but then his theme music starts playing, and she relents. The kids these days just love their jams.

(I've been getting a little derailed with my Dark Shadows watching -- had a busy few weeks! But I'm going to at least try to time travel before Thanksgiving hits.)

"I've met Ned Stuart -- no relation to anyone who looks exactly like him!"

...but he's still just as "handsy." I don't know if you supplement your watching with the "Dark Shadows Every Day" blog, but here's what Danny Horn had to say about Mr. Stuart: "Ned wants justice. He wants answers. He also wants to give his sister an angry upper-body hate massage which I don’t want to be judgmental or anything, but it’s really quite troubling."

"I've been getting a little derailed with my Dark Shadows watching..."

No kidding! We're up to 710!

Oh, Stuart was TOTALLY handsy! It was pretty gross. 

I've been making progress -- I've seen through episode 704 now. I made my goal of seeing through episode 700 before I left for Thanksgiving, but I didn't make my goal of writing about it. 

So: David has been kidnapped by Ghost Quentin and Barnabas is desperate to get to him. So with Professor Stokes's help, he astrally projects back in time using the I Ching, landing in his coffinated vampire body. He's discovered by Sandor, a Romani charlatan who lives with his wife, Magda, in the Old House. Magda has the ear of the Collins matriarch, Edith Collins, who knows a family secret and wants to tell it to her eldest grandchild, Edward, before she dies. But Edward's not there, and only Julia Judith and the recently returned scoundrel Quentin are around. Quentin's determined to find out the secret, and at the end of episode 704, he's threatening to kill his grandmother. So that's cozy!

Barnabas has put Sandor under his thrall, and using his influence on Sandor, has coerced Magda to protect him during the day. He's also promising gems to her. He's introduced himself to Julia Judith and Quentin as their long-lost cousin Barnabas from England, but Quentin, recently returned from Jolly Old, doesn't believe him and threatens to kill him with a sword. Julia Judith stops him -- but he's also stopping Julia from contacting Edward to find out when he's coming home.

There's also Beth Chavez, a maid who has a surprising amount of money, who Quentin puts the moves on (to no avail). And there's someone living upstairs in the attic... maybe another child, one that Barnabas expects to be there but is not? (He names Edward's kids, Jamison and Nora, but thinks there should be another, who winds up dead.) It's tough to say, but we'll find out soon, I'm sure.

So... it looks like a promising timeline, full of backstabbing fun!

"Julia stops him..."

Judith.

"There's also Beth Chavez..."

Quentin is being totally disingenuous when he pretends not to know Beth's former mistress's name. "What was her name...? Jenny Collins?" For one thing, her last name is "Collins" so you know damned well he knows her first name is "Jenny." As you say, we'll find out about Jenny Collins soon enough (and Edward's wife, too). 

Arrrgh! Dammit! There are a MILLION characters on this show!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Julia stops him..."

Judith.

"There's also Beth Chavez..."

Quentin is being totally disingenuous when he pretends not to know Beth's former mistress's name. "What was her name...? Jenny Collins?" For one thing, her last name is "Collins" so you know damned well he knows her first name is "Jenny." As you say, we'll find out about Jenny Collins soon enough (and Edward's wife, too). 

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