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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25 DAYS OF THE PHOENIX

Roger’s wife Laura arrives in Collinsport on Vicki’s 19th Day at Collinwood.

Spoilers: Days 24 and 25 give away the ending of the story.

Day 1 [#128-129]: Roger and Elizabeth are stunned to learn that Laura has returned.

Day 2 [#129-132]: Laura visits Collinwood and reveals she has come back for David.

Day 3 [#132-139]: Against his will, Sam is compelled to paint a woman in flames.

Day 4 [#139-140]: Laura is finally accepted by David and tells him the story of the phoenix.

Day 5 [#141-143]: David knows he must have Sam’s painting of Laura in flames, but it terrifies him.

Day 6 [#143-144]: A detective from Phoenix questions Laura about the fire in her apartment.

Day 7 [#145-146]: Sam’s hands are burned in a fire caused by Laura’s spell.

Day 8 [#147]: As his anger melts away, Burke rekindles his love for Laura.

Day 9 [#148-150]: after seeing the completed painting, Roger throws it into the fire.

Day 10 [#151-154]: Drawn to the cemetery, Vicki discovers a Laura who died by fire in 1767.

Day 11 [#155-156]: After a challenge by Elizabeth, Laura causes her to collapse.

Day 12 [#157-159]:After Elizabeth falls into a trance, Frank suggests a doctor who may help.

Day 13 [#160]: Dr. Peter Guthrie insists Elizabeth must be moved from the evil influence at Collinwood.

Day 14 [#161]: Dr. Guthrie begins his investigation of the psychic disturbance at Collinwood.

Day 15 [#162-163]: At the old house, Dr. Guthrie talks to David about the painting.

Day 16 [#164-165]: Victoria learns Elizabeth was with Laura shortly before her collapse.

Day 17 [#166]: Carolyn tells Joe she is free again, but he is not free now.

Day 18 [#167-171]: In a séance, Victoria speaks in French saying a boy is in danger.

Day 19 [#172-173: Burke encourages David to leave with Laura, but then begins to doubt her.

Day 20 [#174-176]: Laura causes Dr. Guthrie to collapse, but David breaks the spell.

Day 21 [#177-181]: Dr. Guthrie and Joe open a grave and find it is empty.

Day 22 [#181]: An old newspaper reports the death of a Laura and her son David killed in a fire.

Day 23 [#182]: David decides he wants to go away with his mother.

Day 24 [#183-188]: On his way to a séance, Dr. Guthrie is killed in a car crash.

Day 25 [#189-193]: Laura lures David to join her in a fire, but Victoria rescues him.

That is Vicki’s 44th day at Collinwood. On Day 47, Jason McGuire arrives.

Barnabas Joke of the Day: When Barnabas’ fans meet, what do they say? Let’s shake.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Barnabas Joke of the Day: When Barnabas’ fans meet, what do they say? Let’s shake.

I don't get it.
You may not believe it, but I'm actually editing out some of the cornier and/or (entirely) unfunny ones. This one made the cut, but only barely. I think it means "let's shake [in fear]."

Alternate Barnabas Joke of the Day: Why does Barnabas take Geritol? Because he’s been drinking tired blood.
Ah.
Barnabas Joke of the Day: When Barnabas was young he wanted to be a tree surgeon but he couldn’t stand the sight of sap.

(Frankly there are a whole lot of these “jokes” that seem to be stolen borrowed from Bazooka Joe.)
THE DOLL HOUSE

[Spoilers for the 1897 storyline.]

I’m a lazy reviewer, so if I can “jump start” a review by transcribing the product copy, I’ll go for it.

Jenny Collins was once a beautiful singer, married into a rich family. Now she lives locked in a tower at Collinwood. Her husband has left here, her children have been taken away, and the horror and isolation have driven her mad. The only person she ever sees is Beth, the maid who brings her food. Together they play their game — recreating the past, reliving everything that poor mad Jenny has lost. They’ve played the game before… but tonight something’s different. Tonight, something’s got into the game…

The liner notes of this most recent Dark Shadows “dramatic reading” are written by the author, James Goss.

“Poor Jenny. She has a terrible life, but such is the relentless pace of Dark Shadows that we never really get a chance to dwell on it. No sooner is she out of the tower than she’s lying dead at the hands of the only man she’s ever loved. And Dark Shadows moves on and largely forgets about her — because, of course, that’s what a soap opera has to do to keep going.

“But this is for Jenny. This is the story of her life, kind of. This is the story of everything that went wrong, sort of. It’s the story of an unlikely friendship between two people, perhaps. It’s a terrible story — the story of someone who had everything, and then had it uniquely, horribly taken away from her. Jenny goes wonderfully, dreadfully mad — not through a gypsy curse or a spell, or anything supernatural, but just a woman who goes mad because a succession of utterly appalling things happen to her. It’s a sad story, but it does have a song in it.”

Jenny Collins is Quentin Collins wife, abandoned pregnant when he eloped with Edward’s wife, Laura. Beth Chavez came to Collinwood as a servant where she, too, caught the attention of Quentin. The two had an affair, but after Quentin ran away with Laura, Edward began paying Beth to secretly work as the caretaker of Jenny, who began a downward spiral of madness and eventually was confined to the tower at Collinwood. The reason for the “kind of”/ “sort of”/”perhaps” equivocation in Goss’s liner notes is because Jenny and Beth engage in a role playing game in which the two of them act out scenes which occurred prior to the 1897 storyline on TV. These scenes may not be exactly the way they happened, but they reveal how both Jenny and Beth perceive the respective “characters” they each play. I generally prefer the full-cast dramas, but this is one of the better dramatic readings.

Barnabas Joke of the Day: What kind of drink does Barnabas order when he’s in a fright club? A zombie.

NOTE: I actually rejected ten jokes lamer than this one before posting!
Awesome.
Barnabas Joke of the Day: Why did Barnabas take the job on Dark shadows? Because he was told he could drink on the job.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Barnabas Joke of the Day: Why did Barnabas take the job on Dark shadows? Because he was told he could drink on the job.


There's a Mitch Ryan joke in there, somewhere...
Jeff of Earth-J said:
What kind of drink does Barnabas order when he’s in a fright club? A zombie.

A Bloody Mary, surely.
That's a good one, but don't call me "Shirley."


PowerBook Pete said:
That's a good one, but don't call me "Shirley."

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