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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I haven't yet seen all of episode 312, but I wanted to mention this while it was fresh in my mind. At this point, the TV show seems to be taking the stance that it's the history that was wrong, not that Vicki was transported back to an alternate timeline. Here's the opening monologue (with emphasis added):

A séance has been held in the great house at Collinwood, a séance which has suspended time and space and sent one woman on an uncertain and frightening journey into the past, back to the year 1795. There, each of the Collins ancestors resembles a present day member of the Collins family, but the names and relationships have changed, and Victoria Winters finds herself a stranger in a sea of familiar faces. She has learned that history is not always written down as it actually happened. Thus far, two members of the Collins family have died under mysterious circumstances, and soon someone in the great house will attribute one of those deaths to Victoria Winters herself.

I expect this to change as things deviate further, but for now I think the writers look at this story as rooted in canon, with an added Vicki stirred in.

Oh, I absolutely agree that that's what the writers intended; I'm just not buying it, not entirely. Whereas I do like the idea of Joshua Collins rewriting history, I prefer the original backstory that Josette was the young wife of the middle aged Jeremiah and Barnabas was her young English tutor, etc. (There are also further revisions yet to be revealed.)  

Now that you've had a chance to meet Peter Bradford, you may remember Roger Davis from Alias Smith and Jones. I remember the show, just barely. I think my brother watched it, at least sometimes, when I may have been in the room at the time but not necessarily paying close attention. If you don't remember that, you may remember the trial of Claus von Bülow. If you do, Alexandra Moltke was his mistress.

I've seen through episode 415 now. Vicki steals the book back with Peter... but then Peter lies to Trask that she was in her cell all night, and Trask uses that as evidence that she was in two places at once, and intends to convince the town elders to move up her witch trial. Also, Vicki warns Naomi to keep Sarah indoors for the next few nights, so she won't die of exposure. However, when Naomi is getting this warning, Sarah sees Barnabas outside and rushes out to meet him, eventually getting trapped in the mausoleum, like David will do 170 years later. Kids, huh?

Also, Nathan and Millicent have watched an eclipse and then gotten engaged. Nathan intends to quit the Navy and get a job to be with her. Eventually. When he gets around to it. In the meantime, she's rich.

There's a search for Sarah once Naomi gets home, but they specifically don't look in the graveyard, thinking she'd be too scared of it and stay away.

In the meantime, Barnabas goes down to the docks, finds a prostitute named Ruby, and is about to get his Ripper on when she backs away from him, terrified, and falls into the water. But he's got blood on his face in the next scene, so he at least bit her a little before she hit the drink.

Finally, Barnabas goes back to the crypt and finds Sarah. She begs him to take her back to Collinwood, but it's nearing dawn, and he's got blood on his face, and Sarah recognizes immediately that whatever he is now, he's NOT Barnabas. She screams and runs off. Barnabas can't follow. 

That's EC Comics-level irony that Sarah's death is going to be caused by wanting to see Barnabas. I'd always assumed she'd died before Barnabas became a vampire. 

And I've never seen Alias Smith and Jones, but somewhere along the line I'd head that about Alexandra Moltke!

Triva books and episode guides often identify Ruby Tate as Barnabas' first victim, but she's not. He has attacked at least two villagers already. Tate is his first on screen victim, maybe, but she's not even really that because she fell off the dock. (I guess that makes her a victim, too, in a way.) this is also the first example of the "wide open mouth biting technique" frid hated so much but the directors insisted on.

While waiting for a few more episodes to comment upon, I thought I'd delve back into this...

"At this point, the TV show seems to be taking the stance that it's the history that was wrong, not that Vicki was transported back to an alternate timeline."

When I was watching Dark Shadows (wildly out of order) the first time through, I was impressed by how well it held together. Upon subsequent viewings, however, irreconcilable differences, which could not be accounted for by a change in history, became apparent. I was going to save this until the end of the 1795 arc, but here are a few such discrepancies we've encountered so far.

How does Barnabas recognize Phyllis Wicke when she appears in 1967? 

Why didn't Barnabas recognize Vicki Winters when her first met her in the 20th century?

What about the birth/death dates for Joshua, Naomi and Sarah as originally carved in stone when the mausoleum set was first used?

Explain Barnabas' reaction to Burke Devlin playing the role of Jeremiah Collins at the costume party.

Early on, it was clearly implied that the present day Collins family was descended from Jeremiah/Joshua. Although the lineage will later be retconned, it is by this point obvious that the 20th century Collins family descended from neither Jeremiah nor Joshua.

There will be many more such discrepancies to come, each one making it easier to postulate an alternate timeline.

Just some things to keep in mind if 1795 is canon. 

We saw Alternative Time a lot sooner than we thought we did.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

While waiting for a few more episodes to comment upon, I thought I'd delve back into this...

"At this point, the TV show seems to be taking the stance that it's the history that was wrong, not that Vicki was transported back to an alternate timeline."

When I was watching Dark Shadows (wildly out of order) the first time through, I was impressed by how well it held together. Upon subsequent viewings, however, irreconcilable differences, which could not be accounted for by a change in history, became apparent. I was going to save this until the end of the 1795 arc, but here are a few such discrepancies we've encountered so far.

How does Barnabas recognize Phyllis Wicke when she appears in 1967? 

Why didn't Barnabas recognize Vicki Winters when her first met her in the 20th century?

What about the birth/death dates for Joshua, Naomi and Sarah as originally carved in stone when the mausoleum set was first used?

Explain Barnabas' reaction to Burke Devlin playing the role of Jeremiah Collins at the costume party.

Early on, it was clearly implied that the present day Collins family was descended from Jeremiah/Joshua. Although the lineage will later be retconned, it is by this point obvious that the 20th century Collins family descended from neither Jeremiah nor Joshua.

There will be many more such discrepancies to come, each one making it easier to postulate an alternate timeline.

Just some things to keep in mind if 1795 is canon. 

"We saw Alternative Time* a lot sooner than we thought we did."

That is my thesis. 

*(Parallel Time)

Nice analysis! My memory almost always fails me on the discrepancies. If a show or comic makes a change in continuity and pretends that's how it's always been, I usually just take it as gospel and only discover the difference if I revisit the old stuff. It's probably a defense mechanism brought on by Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Anyway, I'm on vacation for a few days, so I probably won't see any more until later in the week. (Ironically, I'm in Avalon, NJ, the town where I first watched Dark Shadows on vacation as a kid.) But I did get to see episode 415 before I left... and Sarah's dead, dying in Barnabas's arms when he snuck into Collinwood to visit her. Her dying words were that she'd always love him. Awww...!

"Anyway, I'm on vacation for a few days..."

Thanks for letting us know. We're up to 419, so we'll take a break for a few days until you're back online.

"Sarah's dead"

This is the last we'll see of Sarah (as a kid ghost, she had a limited shelf life to begin with) and, for that matter, Sharon Smythe. 

Oh, wow! I figure she'd be back as a ghost for a while, in both timelines! Au revoir, Sarah!


Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Sarah's dead"

This is the last we'll see of Sarah (as a kid ghost, she had a limited shelf life to begin with) and, for that matter, Sharon Smythe. 

Yeah, it's not like this show ever replaces any of the actors. ;)

Which reminds me-- I'm sure this was discussed previously, we're far behind and just at the final Dr. Woodard replacement-- but, WTF? When they bring in the psychiatrist to treat David, he refers to Sarah as David's "imaginary friend." At this point, multiple people have seen and talked to Sarah and her existence is accepted. She's surrounded by mystery and somehow connected the the Maggie case, but people know she's real. Why does nobody mention at that point that there's an actual albeit mysterious Sarah?

I've seen through episode 417 now, and I think the show's really firing on all cylinders. There was a GREAT scene, full of anger and drama, between Naomi and Joshua at the top of 416, when Naomi tells Joshua that Sarah is dead. They really ripped into each other. 

And speaking of ripping into each other, Barnabas is full of grief, and asks Ben to stake him in the heart come dawn. (He's realized that turning himself in will disgrace the family further, and he doesn't want to put his mother through that.) But first, he wants to see Josette one last time. He appears in her room and watches her sleep, and then Natalie comes in and sees him, and decides they've gotta GTFO of Collinwood tout suite. But Josette refuses to leave, thinking Barnabas will come back for her...until Natalie, knowing Barnabas already has, says that the reason they need to leave is that she has foreseen her own doom in the tarot cards. It's a smart play, and she convinces Josette to leave with her to keep her safe.

Ben comes back to stake Barnabas.... but then the ghost of Angelique (!) arrives as a floating head to taunt Ben and tell him he'll ALWAYS be in her power! And after Ben hightails it, she tells the sleeping Barnabas he'll never escape her curse... nor will Josette.

Great stuff!

(Oh, and Joshua accused Vicki of being a witch for knowing the future, and will fight to have her executed. I'm still not sure how Natalie gets a pass for her tarot cards.)

 

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