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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"...perhaps is best to think of the various houses as synonyms of each other?"

Ugghh. That's a pun worthy of JD DeLuzio,

Hey! I've brought a quality cross-post with today's Cover a Day (the month's topic is "dogs"). Dog Shadows, anyone?

Not an April Fool's gag! This is an actual panel from within:

The way I heard it, Iron Butterfly frontman Doug Ingle was busy writing a new song titled "In the Garden of Eden" when one of his bandmates asked him waht he was working on. He slurred his speech, the name stuck and the rest is history.

(Now if someone could explain "Klactoveedsedstene" to me.)

I've seen through episode 295 now... and who knew Vicki was wearing red this whole time??

It's such a weird thing to see a show I've been experiencing in black and white this whole time suddenly be in color. It's like the one time I caught a Simpsons episode when I was on vacation in Quebec: Homer knows FRENCH?

But beyond that, after a little house-hunting at Seaview Terrace (and a whole lot more quibbling between Burke and Barnabas*), a bomb drops back at the Blue Whale: Maggie Evans has returned! Somehow she walked into Collinsport from 100 miles away in an evening, but maybe that's a little little-girl-ghost magic making that happen, as she was accompanied by Sarah.

But Maggie faints, then wakes up and sees everybody, but doesn't recognize them at first (to Barnabas's relief). But soon, at Doc Woodard's office, she starts to remember everything...including a scent and a particular music, which might raise some flags for Vicki. But Julia Hoffman races over ASAP to hypnotize her before she can breathe a word of Barnabas to anyone but her. And by the end of the episode, Maggie has all her memories back... except for anything to do with her abduction. 

Is this a permanent thing, allowing Barnabas to seem less of a villain when his does come out (as I'm sure it will)? Or is this a temporary speedbump on the way to his exposure as a kidnapper? I'm expecting the first, but I'm hoping for the second...even if he becomes more heroic through other means.

*And it's in his fights with and about Barnabas that I'm starting to like Anthony George as Burke. When he's dealing with Vicki alone, he doesn't hold a candle to Mitch. But I love how much Barnabas's affectations irritate him!

Seeing this show in color always weirds me out.  I find myself saying uncharacteristic things like "Liz, dear, that's not a good color for you!"

"But Julia Hoffman races over ASAP to hypnotize her before she can breathe a word of Barnabas to anyone but her... And by the end of the episode, Maggie has all her memories back... except for anything to do with her abduction."

It like a selective mindwipe. "Is this a permanent thing... or is this a temporary speedbump...?"

I'm going to take that as a rhetorical question.

Ha, no, I definitely didn't intend for you to answer that. I'll find out in the fullness of time.

And yeah, that Spawn cover is on point!

Oh, one thing I wanted to point out from a few episodes ago. Dark Shadows has really cut down on the coffee talk since Maggie went cookoo-bananas and stopped pouring it for everyone. But in episode 293, we get to see Burke and Victoria burn a good two minutes of screen time talking about it at Collinwood until Barnabas shows up and gets the fireworks started.

OK, now I've seen through episode 298. Looks like Maggie's amnesia is tenuous, at best -- Julia's already had to reinforce it once, after shooing Vicki out of the room before Maggie could spill the beans about Barnabas. 

Speaking of beans, now that Maggie's back, we're getting more coffee talk. 

Barnabas, on the other hand, had checked in on Maggie himself, and decided to take matters (and a pillow) into his own hands, intending to smother Maggie in her sleep...but then he heard his ghostly sister singing "London Bridge" and relented. (Sarah had visited Maggie earlier in the episode, and was miffed Maggie didn't remember her.)

Meanwhile, Burke, Elizabeth, and Carolyn go house-hunting to Seaview Terrace. The place is in better shape than expected, and Elizabeth is happy to sell it to Burke... but she has a bad feeling about the place. And the deed itself is marked NOT FOR SALE for reasons Elizabeth doesn't know. So there's definitely a secret in the old place!

I may have jumped the gun a bit when i mentioned Caleb Collins; I don't remember if that bit came from the TV show or the audio "The House by the Sea."

We're up to 299 now. No spoiler, but a new set is introduced we'll see from time-to-time throughout the rest of the series. One teaser: Julia announce the one line she will not cross in her effort to cure Barnabas. 

She mentioned in an earlier episode that she wouldn't allow the taking of a human life. I imagine that if they remain permanent allies, that'll go a great deal toward de-villainizing Barnabas.

I've seen through episode 300 now. Barnabas is still being creepy stalkerish with Vicki, slipping into her room and opening the music box while she sleeps. Meanwhile, Julia is determined to Drac-block him -- I love her motivation and where she draws the line; it gives her some great conflicting loyalties. And Burke finally puts a lip-lock on Vicki, and then asks her to marry him! Plus, it looks like Elizabeth is willing to sell him the house Vicki loves.  

Also, Burke -- basically a dab of mayonnaise at his most paternalistic -- insists to Julia that Vicki no longer work with her on her historical project. Julia, wanting to keep Vicki away from Barnabas, agrees. But now Barnabas has set his sights on killing Burke, since he's learned through Willie's spying that he's asked Vicki to marry him. 

Next episode promises a Burke/Banabas confrontation, so I'm looking forward to that. 

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