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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Oh, and a blooper I haven't seen on any DS sites: In episode 286, in the pre-title scene, there's a moment when the score of the scene-ending ominous theremin tone kicks in -- and is swiftly stopped, because the scene isn't over yet!

You're looking at DS sites? Had anything spoiled yet?

Speaking of bloopers, there's one coming up but I'm not sure when. (You'll have to look for it.) You know how they show an empty set as the end credits role? One time they used the Collinwood foyer and, walking from his dressing room after the day's shooting was done, here comes Jonathan Frid cutting across the set. I saw one recently I hadn't noticed before (maybe you saw it, too.) The end credit set was Josette's room when all of a sudden a grip or a stage hand walks into shot behind those drapes in the back to the left of the fireplace.

Probably I have, but nothing too major; I try not to peek ahead. I know about the upcoming time travel )or maybe it's just a parallel story in the past), but that's a pretty vague thing to know about. I've got no idea who Barnabas is welcomed as a good guy in all of this -- especially considering Maggie.

I haven't noticed the end credits bloopers -- I'll have to make sure I keep playing them rather than just letting Tubi roll right into the next episode!

Hey, I just purchased Doctor Strange #5... For five dollars! Now all I need is Dark Shadows #34, and I'll have both halves of the notorious unlicensed Marvel Dr. Strange/ Gold Key Dark Shadows crossover created sub rosa by the writers and artists.

I've seen through episode 290 now! BIG things happening all of a sudden! Julia got a glimpse of Barnabas in her compact makeup mirror, and he didn't appear. Then, she waited till Willie had left the house and found Barnabas sleeping in his coffin during the day. And finally, she waited in her room at night for Barnabas to come to bite her...and when he arrives, she confronts him straight out, saying she's been  waiting for this moment for a long time...! 

The cat and mouse game between these two, as Julia and Barnabas planned for an interview the next day -- with Julia asking him for daytime hours, and Barnabas consistently pushing it back -- was just delicious.

"I've seen through episode 290 now!"

Ah. That's exactly where we left off. You hit all the major beats so there's no need for me to repeat them, but this is the rune of episodes I was alluding to last week when I said there's a good run coming after Maggie escapes. I am ambivalent about Julia as a character. that is, I like her in this sequence when she is clearly Barnabas' antagonist, but when she transitions to his ally she becomes tiresome. I said there was something that turned me against her character coming up in about 50 episodes or so, but if you've seen through episode 290 you've already seen foreshadowings of what I'm alluding to. Dr. Woodard brought it up, and he's not wrong. Her medical ethics are called into question because she doesn't have her patient's best interest at heart. Instead, she's 100 miles away pretending to research a book. 

Here's a little tidbit: before Jonathan Frid was hired to play Barnabas, game show host Bert Convey was up for the role. 

Well, I've seen through episode 291 now... and Julia turns things around on Barnabas, and by the end of the episode, basically reveals that taking on Maggie Evans's case was a means to an end -- she wanted to find a vampire all along. So Barnabas is her patient now, and it sounds like Julia doesn't care whether Maggie will be collateral damage. She'll keep her an amnesiac as long as it allows her to study Barnabas.

She's ruthless. I respect that in a character.  

I'll say one thing for Julia: she's ballsy. To lure a vampire into one's bedroom at 2:00 AM to confront him displays a reckless self-confidence bordering on insanity. When I say I like her character, I'm referring to the function she serves in a fictional story, not that I admire her as a human being. At this point in Dark Shadows, I really like her character. 

Did you notice the scene-stealing fly on Jonathan Frid's forehead as he threatened Julia? 

I did! It was like a Vice Presidential debate! Later, in the two-shot, he takes a moment to shoo it away.

By the way, there's someone Jonathan Frid reminds me of that I can't quite shake. I don't know if it's his jawline, or around the ears, something in his mannerisms, or what, but for some reason his face really reminds me of Armin Shimmerman. (Without the Quark makeup, of course!) 

At least it's not Bert Convey!

Thanks, Baron -- those are great pictures for comparison, and they make me feel like I'm not insane.

And thanks for the pic of Convey, too, Jeff! That would have been **weird**.

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