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” 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

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


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

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 Mystery at Crucifix Heights - 179
The Mystery of La Danse Macabre - 179
The Mystery of Flight 493 - 180
The Mystery of Karmina Sonata - 180

Trio - 180
Honeymoon from Hell - 180
Retreat -180
1:53 AM - 180

The Girl Beneath the Water - 180
The Sand That Speaks HIs Name - 180
The Hollow Winds That Beckon
The Paper to the Flame


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



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Oh, definitely! The sheriff pretty much just waits around for someone else to tell him how to do his job.

Now I've seen up through episode 322. Since the trap for Barnabas has been sprung, there's been a lot of back-and-forth at the Old House about whether he should really kill Maggie, but he seems resolved to. Julia has threatened him with a letter held by a friend, to be delivered to the police in the event of either her death or the death of Maggie -- but she confides in Willie that the letter is a bluff. Meanwhile, Maggie is surrounded by a dozen armed policemen, probably pulled in from other towns, since there's no way this one-horse town has so many coppers on its payroll.

The episode ends with someone -- presumably Barnabas -- getting shot outside of Maggie's room, and then disappearing.

But oh...the voiceovers! I think this started in an earlier episode, but we get two big voice-over monologues this episode, from Barnabas and Willie, as they puzzle out their next moves on their own. Watching them, I just wished they'd trusted the actors to deliver them as soliloquies instead. Let them work things out while talking to themselves. I have a bad feeling we've got a lot more voiceovers to come. Maybe because of the recent change on the writing staff?


Yeah, they've used voiceovers before and, yeah, they're going to use a lot more of them going forward. 

I've seen episode 323 now... and it was Willie who was shot! (I'd normally see a few more episodes before posting, but that seems like a cat waiting to get out of the bag.) I'd actually was thinking it could have been Willie at the end of the previous episode, but Sam made it sound like the perp had disappeared -- which indicates Barnabas. But I guess Willie just dropped out of sight for a minute.

We get a bit of character examination about Willie, with people finally coming face to face with the fact that he pretty much changed overnight. 

Meanwhile, Barnabas learns that Maggie getting her memory back was a trap set for him, and so he turns his sights on the other main threat to him... cousin David!

I wonder if Dan Curtis has yet begun to realize that Barnabas is the star of the show. Not only is he still contemplating killing Maggie, but a ten-year-old boy as well. I'm not entirely certain why Maggie had to physically be there to spring the trap. After the trap was set, they could have put a cop wearing a wig in her bed, or at least stationed a cop in the room. 

Good question! I've always thought of Barnabas as a good guy, so I must've seen later episodes as a kid. (On a black-and-white TV, so I've always thought of the show in B/W.) I'm surprised he hasn't made a face turn by now.

I saw episode 324... where basically everyone tries to keep David from going outside. And Liz is back...wearing a mod paisley dress of psychedelic colors. I'd have expected that more on Carolyn!

I might actually be mid-way though episode 325 by now... the last thing I remember was Dr. Goodard suggesting to Julia that he thinks she's sticking around the Collinses because she's attracted to Barnabas -- and you can see her wheels start to turn, probably thinking that would be a great cover story to keep her around longer.

Ah,  a wrestling fan!

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I'm surprised he hasn't made a face turn by now.

Sorry to disappoint you, Baron, but I'm really not much of a wrestling fan* -- I just know the terms "heel turn" and "face turn" and think they're incredibly useful when talking about long-form storytelling.  

*Though I did have fun at the one live WWE event I went to, a match in Trenton, NJ, some 20 years ago. 


Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Sorry to disappoint you, Baron, but I'm really not much of a wrestling fan* -- I just know the terms "heel turn" and "face turn" and think they're incredibly useful when talking about long-form storytelling.  

*Though I did have fun at the one live WWE event I went to, a match in Trenton, NJ, some 20 years ago. 

Speaking of "heel turn" and "face turn"... there's a soap opera term that definitely applies to Dark Shadows: "backacting." that's when one character turns his or her back to the other actor or actors so they're all facing the camera, and the others have to "act" to the first actor's "back." Barnabas forces the rest of the cast to backact a lot

I intend to supplement this discussion from time to time with references to Big Finish audios as they become relevant to the episodes under discussion. I have already posted thoughts on most of these earlier in this discussion (see index, above), and I had planned to point them out to anyone interested. I didn't think the first of them would be coming up for a while, but Tracy has a long road trip ahead of her and asked to listen to some Dark Shadows and Doctor Who audios to pass the time as she drives. I had completely forgotten about this, so early in the series (#8) that I posted the review on the old board. Her's the summary.


"After being shot outside Maggie Evans' door, Willie Loomis is incarcerated at the Windcliff Institute. Fear and pain cloud his memory, until a golden angel appears and takes him on a journey through past exploits with his friend Jason. With Jason now gone, Willie must face the evils of collinwood alone, as he attempts to discover the truth about his old master, Barnabas Collins."

This is a "dramatic reading" (as opposed to a full cast recording) featuring John Karlin as willie Loomis and Lara Parker as Angelique (anticipating her introduction to TV continuity by a few months. About the story, writer D Lynn Smith says, "Writing this story gave me an opportunity to explore Willie's adventures with his friend Jason McGuire before they came to Collinsport. We get to see Willie in a different light, while exploring a past to which the original series only alluded." 

I finished the "Echoes of Insanity" story which ends (almost) with a distinctive laugh. I started "Dark Shadows - House of Despair" which starts with the same distinctive laugh. There is a train stopping in Collinsport and some coffee talk at the Inn.

This trip is off to a great start! 

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