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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Barnabas Joke of the Day: What type of girl does Barnabas like? One who brings out the beast in him.

 

My answer: "O positive."

Barnabas Joke of the Day: What kind of money do vampires use? Don't know, they're on the ghoul standard.

 

I assumed they used "blood money".

Barnabas Joke of the Day: What does Barnabas think of Fargo, North Dakota. He thinks it’s a one-hearse town.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Barnabas Joke of the Day: What does Barnabas think of Fargo, North Dakota. He thinks it’s a one-hearse town.

But it makes him feel chipper.

DARK SHADOWS by Dan “Marilyn” Ross

As I mentioned last week, the first Dark Shadows paperback presents a sort of alternate version of events in comparison to those depicted in the early weeks of the show (in much the same was the first Doctor Who novelization, Doctor Who and the Daleks, presented an “alternate version” of the events depicted in An Unearthly Child). I also opined last week that it would be “difficult to reconcile” the two Dark Shadows storylines (television and paperback books), but I’ve since changed my mind. For one thing, only 52 days pass for Victoria Winters on television between her arrival at Collinwood and the introduction of Barnabas Collins, and for another, eight months pass between the first and second paperbacks, leaving plenty of wiggle room.

I’ll leave it up to those reading this post as to whether or not to try to meld the two continuities into one, but the first novel takes place in October of 1966. The main characters of the TV show are present, but Ross concentrates his development on his own original characters. The most important of these is Ernest Collins, a concert violinist, cousin to Roger and Elizabeth, and a romantic interest for Vicki. Ernest is a sad and melancholy individual. His wife died under mysterious circumstances, as did his ladyfriend, after he returned to Collinwood to morn his wife’s death.

Also in the cast is Will Grant, a young lawyer who also plays the role of Victoria’s suitor (and pre-dates the similar Frank Garner on TV). Vicki is a little more amorous than she was on TV, playing kissy-face with both of them. Roger is a bit more of a lech. When odd things begin to happen and Vicki is the victim of a series of possible threats, everyone is a suspect. Because I’ve read this book before and knew who was to blame, I was better able to appreciate the red herrings the second time through.

Second Barnabas Joke of the Day: What is Barnabas’ favorite dessert? He likes ice scream or cherry smash. Sometimes he likes lemon harangue pie.

What is Barnabas’ favorite dessert?

 

Blood pudding, surely?

Doctor Hmmm? said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Barnabas Joke of the Day: What does Barnabas think of Fargo, North Dakota. He thinks it’s a one-hearse town.

But it makes him feel chipper.

Yes!
“Chipper”? I don’t get it.

“Blood pudding, surely?”

I think these jokes would be funnier (if that’s even possible) if they used essentially the same punchline for every joke whenever possible… something involving blood.

Barnabas Joke of the Day: What does he do when he has a cold? He takes coffin medicine.

"Chipper" is, I'm guessing, a reference to the "wood chipper" scene in the film Fargo.

It was.

Ah.

(Haven't seen it.)

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