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, wow! I figured Tony was going to be a mainstay for a while, which was why Liz was throwing over the Garners, who hadn't appeared in ages. Strange that he's on his way out the door!

And now that I've seen (nearly) all the Tony & Cassandra appearances -- and that Cassandra's not even a real person, just an alias! -- I'm definitely curious about how (and why) they get together to solve mysteries... and also why that idea would occur to anyone. (Although I suppose part of that was, "Lara Parker and Jerry Lacy want to work with us... what can we do to make that happen?")

I've now seen through episode 580. My favorite thing was explaining to my wife, "Vicki broke off her engagement with Jeff because Jeff can't tell her he's building a lady Frankenstein." That's pretty much this show in a nutshell these days.

And oh, wow, a stand-in for Carolyn! Looks like she only stepped in for an episode, though... I'd hate to lose Nancy Barrett!

Don't worry, she's one and done. 

Oh, good! 

And yep, Nancy's back for episode 281. Angelique forces Jeff to start the experiment, and Carolyn gives Adam a sweater!

You went from 580 to 281? Did you and Kathy hold a seance which threw you into a frightening and uncertain journey into the past, or was that a typo?

Both!

Math is HARD.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

You went from 580 to 281? Did you and Kathy hold a seance which threw you into a frightening and uncertain journey into the past, or was that a typo?

Caught a few more, jumping ahead 300 episodes to eps 582 and 583. Barnabas discovers Jeff starting the experiment with Angelique, but Angelique disappears before Barnabas sees her, and Barnabas exiles Jeff from the team! Barnabas decides Maggie should be the one to give her life force to the Bride, but can't convince Julia to hypnotize her -- Willie overhears and tries to destroy the body at first, but then runs off with Maggie before Barnabas can get to her. 

Also, Maggie and Vicki have coffee in the Collinwood courtyard. Sherry and brandy are the official drinks of Dark Shadows unless Maggie's around -- then it's coffee all the way! She's still the most caffeinated girl in Maine.

Also: Adam lurks in his birthday sweater. Barnabas gives him a "Don't kill Vicki" look.

Keep going! Tracy and I stopped watching a while ago because we were getting too far ahead of you. (We left off on 587, but could get back into the habit quite easily.) Tracy's out of town this week so it's a good time for you to catch up. 

I watched episode 584 while making (and eating) breakfast. Willie's abducted Maggie and brought her to the mausoleum -- spurring Maggie to remember that Julia brought her there months ago (in the time she can't remember, when she'd been abducted by Barnabas and then confined to Windcliffe). I'm impressed that the show actually remembers its own continuity!

Meanwhile, being unable to abduct Maggie for the experiment, Barnabas heads to Collinwood, planning to kill Adam. 

"I know! I KNOW! I know what Barnabas Collins IS!"

That's what Maggie shouts at the end of episode 588, and frankly, it's about time. She lost her memory of the time Barnabas kidnapped her ages ago, but now Willie has kidnapped her and it's brought it all rushing back. She remembers Barnabas trying to remake her into Josette, and she remembers Barnabas is a vampire. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Also: Adam attacked Vicki, but Barnabas frightened him off. Nicholas has convinced Adam that Carolyn is the right person to offer her life force to the Lady Frankenstein, and Nicholas has also hypnotized Carolyn to do just that. (He's also hypnotized Willie to free Maggie.)

You are now an episode ahead of where we left off. 

Haven't made a lot of progress, but I saw episode 589 last night.

A lot of soap opera storytelling is about the dissemination of information: Who knows what, and when. And the most precious information in the DS universe is that Barnabas is/was a vampire. Only a handful of people know it, and they usually don't know if for long. Julia knows, and Willie knows. Angelique knows. Nicholas knows (I'm pretty sure). Dr. Woodard knew, and died. Dr. Lang knew, and died. A few women in Collinsport knew briefly, dying without ever being seen onscreen. Joe knows Angelique is a vampire, but not Barnabas. Carolyn knew... but was hypnotized to forget. (I think I'm remembering that right.)  And Maggie knew, was hypnotized into amnesia... but now remembers again!

And now the information that Maggie knows has gotten back to Barnabas. Just at the moment Maggie could probably leave the plot safely (since Carolyn is taking over as Life Force du Jour), this knowledge is keeping her tied to Barnabas & Co.

Also, it's interesting that even with that huge piece of the puzzle, Maggie still isn't up to speed. She suspects Willie of being a vampire too. And she doesn't realize Barnabas isn't a vampire at the moment (even though Willie told her so). 

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