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

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

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Like Jeremiah promising to protect Victoria then never appearing again.

I was going through old tapes the other day and spotted ones that were marked "Dark Shadows" but it turned out to be a few of the episodes from the 1990 series.

They must have suspected it wouldn't last long, the way they rushed in Barnabas, and, I believe, even had Adam in the show the brief time it ran. The show needed to be well established before you bring in that storyline.

Pity back then they didn't decide to give the old show a real ending when most of the original cast was still alive.

I think it would have run better if hadn't premiered at the same time Gulf War 1 was starting.

Flash would have probably lasted a lot longer if they hadn't kept preempting it. By the time Mark Hamil showed up most people probably thought it was already cancelled.

There was no Adam in the '90s revival series, although they had set up Laura (the Phoenix). The series ended on a cliffhanger: vicki had returned from 1795 and Barnabas was aparantly aware she had learned his secret... and she knew that he knew. I've seen some footage of some sort of Q&A session after the cancellation was announced during which one of the actors confirmed that he had been cast as Quentin.

HAUNTING MEMORIES - Four tales of horror, romance and intrigue

“HELL WIND” - written by Marcy Robin; read by Kathryn Leigh Scott

“A young Josette Du Pres is terrified for her life as a deadly hurricane smashes into the island of Martinique. She rushes for shelter but she’s not the only one fighting to survive…”

In the storm shelter of her family’s plantation, a seven-year-old Josette Du Pres meets Angelique for the first time. Later, she discovers her mother’s dead body. Not so much supernatural as atmospheric; a good character study. Not so important to the overall story as it is a (hitherto known) important development in a main character’s life. It might just as easily been titled “Whatever Happened to Josette’s Mother?” As always, Kathryn Leigh Scott delivers an excellent reading.

CONTINUED…

Did Josette know Angelique in the show when she showed up? I don't remember anyone but Barnabas knowing her.

Dark Shadows is a Dan Curtis production...

"Did Josette know Angelique in the show when she showed up?"

Yes, they showed up together in the 1795 storyline. Angelique was Josette's personal servant. "1795" is a good example of an "Everything You Know is Wrong" story. All along we had been told that Josette was the wife of Jeremiah Collins, the man who built Collinwood (the Great House, not the original). We find out in the flasback that it was actually Barnabas to whom she was betrothed. Frankly, I consider that development to have taken place in an alternate timeline. Every time they travelled in time created an alternate timeline, AFAIAC. Continuity was not the show's strong suit. Then again, the writers probably never anticipated the enire run to be available for fans to own.

It's like 60's Doctor Who: "Continuity was what the writer could remember on a given day."

HAUNTING MEMORIES - Continuing…

“COMMUNION” - written by Adam Usden; read by Jerry Lacy

“1861 and War rages across America. The preacher Elias Trask and his young son Gregory, are hiding from men who wish to kill them. But something else is already in their hiding place…”

I don’t usually enjoy Reverend Trask stories. Jerry Lacy tends to play them all the same… whichever generation of Trask he’s doing at the time. I much prefer his Tony Peterson, especially paired with Angelique. But I digress. This time around though, the Trask story is played for laughs. At least it starts that way. The reading is a series of prayers, but his hypocrisy is highlighted by the tinny piano playing in the background.

He is obviously obsessed with the madam of the local brothel, who he refers to as “old Marge of the heaving bosom.” He becomes smitten with a young prostitute in Marge’s employ named Chastity. He uses the money from the collection plate to pay for her time in order to save her soul. He doesn’t have sex with her, but he does have her remove all of her clothes so that he may confirm that she is as pure and chaste as her name implies.

He runs afoul of the local gambler who chases him out of town and shoots his young son Gregory. Trask has visions of curing his son through the power of the Lord, then touring the countryside with proof of the Almighty’s power. But Gregory is more grievously wounded than his father’s prayers can cure.

The story is told through a series of prayers, addressed to the Lord, in which Elias repeatedly refers to himself as being “in the dark.” The first words of the audio are, “In the dark, Lord, I am never alone,” which sounds suspiciously close to, “In the Dark Lord, I am never alone.” Eventually his prayers conjure a demon, and the Dark Lord demands the sacrifice of Chastity to save Gregory’s life.

CONTINUED…

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