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


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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So I've sped through a bunch of Dark Shadows in these last few days... I've seen through episode 461! The 1795 storyline wraps up in a few ways I guessed it would -- in that the history book was deliberately written with false information. But at the same time, things really barrel to the conclusion: Naomi discovers Barnabas is a vampire, poisons herself, and confronts him. Barnabas threatens to kill Nathan, and then does so... but not before Nathan shoots a crossbow bolt to near his heart. And Joshua chains Barnabas into his coffin because he doesn't have the heart to kill him. (He also frees Ben of his servitude at Barnabas's request... possibly laying the foundation for the future Professor Stokes.)

Meanwhile, Nathan has turned Vicki in for the reward money, and she's confessed to killing Noah. Before she's hung, Peter tells her that wherever she goes in time, he'll find her. (I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of that actor.)

And then, in 1967, Miss Wick, the governess who appeared in Vicki's place, grabs her neck, chokes, and disappears... only to appear in 1795, hanged in Vicki's stead. And Vicki has returned to the present, surprised and without some of her memories. Does she remember that Barnabas was a vampire? (Did she ever know?) Barnabas want's to know for sure.

Barnabas has also enthralled Carolyn, a fact I'd completely forgotten in these past few months. 

I'm glad to be back in the present. I thought I'd be stopping now to watch the 1990s series, but that's dropped off of streaming for a while. So I think I'll watch the 2012 movie, and then press on.

"I've seen through episode 461!"

Holy crikey! You're actually more than an episode ahead of me, which hasn't been the case for months!

"The 1795 storyline wraps up"

I have been waiting to get to this point for a while now. We've already discussed many of the discrepancies between the original and the revised timeline. (I am going to proceed from my assertion that the 1795 arc is an alternate reality or "parallel time".) I think Nathan Forbes has gone through the most striking changes in his character arc. He started as a likeable scoundrel, roguish but still decent. The second most changed character would be Joshua, I think. 

Way back when I pointed out that it was possible to skip directly from episode 365 to 461. I have watched the episodes in that order before and it works surprisingly well. I don't think this is a spoiler, but Vicki is going to have flashes of memories from 1795 and the rest of the cast (except Barnabas) have no idea what she's talking about, just as a viewer wouldn't if he skipped 366-460. Of course, now the present day timeline is thrown hopelessly into disarray, as the seance began on November 17, 1967 and came to an end on April 1, 1968! 

Now I'm going to point out that it is possible to skip from 460 to 1112, when Barnabas is released from his coffin in 1840. Again, I am not suggesting you do so, Rob, as you are watching the series in broadcast order, but I submit it as further proof that an alternate timeline has been created. (When Willie Loomis released Barnabas from his coffin in 210 it was obviously intended to have been the first time that had happened.) Before we get to 1840, though, we're going to make more visits (yes, plural) to 1796, including an entire week in January of 1969.

"I think I'll watch the 2012 movie, and then press on."

Good to know. The 1990s revival series ends at exactly this point, but you can watch that at any time from here on out without fear of spoilers. Up next is the "Dream Curse" arc (which overlaps with another arc that begins in 486). You may remember I foreshadowed the Dream Curse some time ago when you were impressed by a dream sequence involving Maggie Evans, a coffin and a skull. Although I don't want to set negative expectations, I will mention that the Dream Curse is not among my favorite storylines (although it does have its moments). I generally like to watch along with you as best I can so my recollections are fresh, but it is my intention to "speed through" this arc (at the rate of an episode a day) just so I can get through it. I'll wait for you at 535.

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