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, 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 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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I've seen through episode 748 now. Quentin and Barnabas try to lay a trap for Jenny, but it doesn't work. But when Quentin starts making romantic plans with Beth, good ol' Mad Jenny tries to stab him -- but Quentin disarms her and chokes her to death. Edward insists on a flimsy cover story (Jenny fell down the stairs and died), but when Magda and Sandor come to see her body, Magda finds one of Quentin's buttons in her hand and knows he killed her. She vows to put a curse on him to avenge her sister.

I've seen through episode 750 now. 749 is particularly fun -- Quentin has a guilt-ridden dream about Jenny and thinks Magda's curse is upon him. He signs a contract to leave Collinwood for good (and clear out Sandor and Magda), gets $10,000 and rushes off to give the 10 grand to Magda to call off the curse. Of course, Magda hasn't actually cursed him yet -- it's a potion he must drink. So she pretends to lift the curse, accepts the money, they drink to his departure, and then Magda throws his money back at him and tells him he was never cursed...until he drank to celebrate it being lifted!

Next episode, Quentin tries to leave town with the now fired Beth, but as night falls, he's struck down with incredible pain.

And now up through episode 752. Quentin has turned into a werewolf and killed a teacher at Trask's school, the amusingly named Dorcas. Then he stumbles back to Collinwood, disheveled, where he's found by Beth. No one knows what's going on yet. But Beth calls Evan, and he starts looking into it, and decides that since Magda is now wearing a pentagram necklace, the symbol might be able to protect Quentin from whatever is happening. (So Evan draws one on the carpet.) But when he transforms, he's not able to get inside the pentagram in time.  

And I've been churning along! I've seen through episode 761 now. Laura found out Barnabas was a vampire, Angelique stopped her from killing him, Laura wrote a letter to Judith and gave to Dirk* to pass it on, Barnabas damn near kills dirk to get it, Laura sets Angelique on fire in front of Quentin, but it was really a doppelganger and Angelique is fine, and as Laura makes a last-ditch bid to get Jamison and Nora to immolate themselves in the fire, Angelique uses her magic to age Laura into a hag, and the kids recoil in terror. Then Barnabas saves them from the fire.

And then, moving on, Quentin and Evan are summoning the devil, and at the end of the episode, it looks like they succeeded.

*What is it about Dirk, anyway? Everyone else dresses in 19th century period costumes, and somehow Dirk seems pure 70s, in a tweed blazer and leather gloves.

And now one more, to episode 762: It's not the devil Evan and Quentin summoned, but Reverend Hatch, who decides to blackmail Evan about his satanism...and elists him in a scheme to drug Tim (via the pages of a Latin text) in order to hypnotize him to kill someone. The intended victim isn't yet known. 

I've seen a few more episodes, up to episode 764: Evan is training Tim to kill (and nearly gets killed by him, himself), Beth has revealed to Magda that Quentin had kids, Magda can't undo the curse to save Quentin's boy, but recommends silver pentagrams, Beth orders one from the jeweler, and Barnabas realizes Beth knows what's up with Quentin, and he needs answers, so he cuts to the chase and bites her. Oh, and Judith wants to tell Quentin he has kids, not realizing it's the worst possible time for him to find out, because Werewolf.

I've seen up through episode 767. Barnabas has sent Magda to Boston to find the daughter of someone who cursed Count Petofi with lycanthropy, thinking she'd be able to reverse the curse if anyone could. Barnabas tells Quentin he knows what's up. And most important -- Jamison has just had a dream of David Collins, and we get to peep in on (a dream version) of the family in the future! Roger and Carolyn and hosting a birthday party for David (turning 12, with none to grow on), who's dying. Carolyn is particularly mean, playing with a puppet. The ghost of Quentin shows up, and prophesies 3 things that will lead to his death, the first of which being a silver bullet being found at Collinwood. 

After Jamison tells Barnabas all the details of this dream, Edward finds a silver bullet. 

Insterestingly, Quentin doesn't know of this prophesy yet, even though he was onscreen delivering it. That's his ghost, in the future (and a dream version of him). Only Barnabas and Jamison know so far.

I've seen through episode 769 now. Quentin is obsessing about the silver bullet, deciding someone wants to kill him (and to my surprise, Barnabas doesn't tell him the rest of the prophesy). Quentin focuses on Beth, accusing her and slapping her, calling her a liar. (And she was lying -- she was visiting Quentin's kids that he doesn't know about, so she made up a story about a former co-worker's mom, who Quentin knows has died because he "comforted" her daughter when it happened.) He also finds the bit marks on Beth's neck.

Barnabas enlists Beth to guard his coffin, but she falls asleep, and Crazy Dirk arrives, takes her gun, and shoots Barnabas in his coffin. (He gets better once the sun goes down.) Dirk also showed Judith a note about Barnabas from Laura (actually a blank piece of paper), and is generally crazypants. Barnabas bites him! Or prepares to. 

Meanwhile, Jamison finds Barnabas's coffin.

I've seen up through episode 773 now. Jamison's told Edward about the coffin, but Barnabas moves it. Edward still thinks there's a vampire around, so Barnabas decides to serve him up one in Dirk. Unfortunately Dirk dies too quickly, is reborn as a vamp, high-tails it away from the Old House, and is on the lam.

Meanwhile, Carl returns from an extended stay in Atlantic City. He brings home a singer and mentalist (and apparent gold-digger) named Pansy to be his new bride. She does a song and dance, does a little mentalism where she says "Dirk is dead and the murderer is in this room." She's killed by a bat before the end of the episode. (I'm gonna miss her.) This comes as a surprise to Barnabas, who finds her body, so it's probably Dirk that did it. Barnabas never gets the salt water taffy Carl offers.

Carl later hears Pansy's ghost singing in the Old House. Barnabas convinces him that Dirk is to blame for whatever happened (I think Carl thinks they ran off together). 

Meanwhile, Tim finally completes his hypno-homicide of Minerva Trask, after Charity breaks up with him at her mother's insistence. Evan shows up right after the murder, has Tim destroy the queen of spades card (a nice touch!) to forget everything about the incident. Then Evan turns on a confused Tim and accuses him of the murder; they fight and Tim knocks Evan out. He immediately turns to Rachel to hide him -- she tells him to go to an abandoned farmhouse near Collinwood. Evan wakes up, tells Charity about her mom's murder, and then manhandles Rachel to get info on Tim's whereabouts. 

Finally, we see Tim at the farmhouse, and there's a coffin there! It's gotta be Dirk's. I think we've got some wacky roommate hijinks in store!

A few more episodes now -- I'm up to episode 777.  Dirk went on a brief reign of terror, putitng Tim, Rachel, and Julia in his thrall, then extorting Barnabas to bring Laura back to life. Barnabas wouldn't (and couldn't), so Dirk sent a hypnotized Julia to kill Rachel with a gun. She did! Which snaps Tim out of it; he takes Rachel to the Old House, where she dies. Edward follows Julia back to the farmhouse basement when she's summoned a second time, and he kills Dirk with a stake to the heart. 

Back at Collinwood, Tim arranges a tenuous truce: He'll keep his mouth shut about Julia killing Rachel if Trask removes the suspicion from him for killing Minerva. Pretty much anyone who kills anyone lately is under mind control of some sort. Trask agrees, and Tim shoehorns himself into a job at Collinwood for good measure. Considering they lost a governess and a handyman the same day, I think there'll be an opening. 

After a three-month hiatus, Tracy and I resumed watching Dark Shadows last night with 741. We wanted you to get far enough ahead to lessen the chance of us getting too far ahead of you. (Tracy says you and Kathy have a more active social life than we do, which is why we watch faster.) It's hard to get back into after such a long hiatus, not only the story, but the habit as well. With the TV writers' strike, though, I imagine we'll be looking for something to watch soon enough. This time, though, we plan to watch all the way up to 884 before taking another break. 

Great! I'm not sure whether it's the active social life (which, I guess it is, yeah), the fact that Kathy & I don't watch these together (so I don't really see them while she's awake), or just a different attitude toward binging (a lot of people concentrate on one show at a time these days; I'm in the middle of fifteen or so). But yeah, you guys burn through these a lot more quickly than I do. 

That said, I've seen up through episode 780 now. And things are NUTS. Not only did Dirk tear his way through the cast, murdering Pansy (we hardly knew ye) and inderectly murdering Rachel (I'll miss ye) before being killed by Edward, but now Barnabas's secret is out, and Barnabas has killed Carl! And, hilariously, stood him up behind a curtain. Quentin also knows what Barnabas is, but they're on the same side, for now.  And Trask has confronted Barnabas with his greatest challenge yet: BREAKFAST! He's said, "if you're not a vampire, you can stay with me until the sun rises." And the rooster has crowed, so that sun's coming soon! That's the cliffhanger of the day.

Meanwhile, though, there's also the matter of the Hand of Count Petofi, which possibly can cure Quentin of his lycanthropy. Of course, Magda actually STOLE it from King Johnny Romano, so he could be sending goons after her once he realizes its missing. Sounds exciting!

But first...BREAKFAST!

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