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 - 264
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, 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 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'm still partial to this one, from page 80, May 13.2011.  My quote and your response:

"No, we'd better stick together. No, no, we can't stick together."

That’s a great one. Have another drink, Mitch."

Oh, that's hilarious. That totally sailed by me. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"...until she's blackmailed out of it by Barnabas, who reminds her of the death of Dr. Woodard."

...with a little help from Lang, yeah. If you listen carefully, Jonathan Frid forgot his line and Addison Powell reminds him of it (which is something Dr. Lang wouldn't know about).

BARNABAS: Julia! I want you to remember someone!

DR. LANG: Dave Woodard!

BARNABAS: Remember Dave Woodard!

Classic. Personally, I'd've stopped taping for that one. 

Also, I just noticed that Jeff started this thread over 12 years ago - October 2009, to be precise. We must have long since passed the point where between us all we've put more thought into the writing of this show than Dan Curtis ever did.

...and the discussion thread on the old board was quite lengthy before we made the switch. 

OK, I've seen through episode 487 now. The dream curse has been making its way through the cast... from Maggie to Jeff to Dr. Lang to Julia. And we've seen doors open onto a floating skull, a guillotine, a headless person, and a skeleton bride. Supposedly Mrs. Johnson is next. (To have the dream, that is, not to be one of the scares,)

Meanwhile, they've attempted to animate Lang's experiment -- now called "Adam" -- once, but Cassandra walloped Lang with voodoo while the transfer was going on, and it didn't happen. And Lang died! RIP, Doctor Shouty. 

Also, I feel like the goalposts were moved a bit with the experiment. For a while, it seemed like Barnabas would be animating the corpse. Now it seems like Barnabas will transfer his vampirism into the corpse, and while they both are alive, Barnabas will be free of the vampirism (and Adam won't need to feed either, for some reason). It seems like someone at the show decided that giving their most popular actor a long hiatus was a bad idea.

Speaking of long hiatuses, Willie's back from the nuthouse! Julia arranged for him to return to be Barnabas's servant again. And Willie has gone to assure Maggie that he meant her no harm when he was caught (and shot) sneaking into her room that night. That encounter didn't go well. 

We haven't seen a lot of Maggie lately, but when we see her, coffee isn't far behind! Although she was shown drinking tea with Vicki a while back.. a strange character lapse.

By the way... we haven't seen Sam for a while, have we? Not since before our trip back in time. And it's been ages since we've seen the restaurant set, too.

Plus, we'

Oh, the Dream Curse...

I don't know if you remember, rob, but when you commented of the dream Maggie had when she was being stalked by Barnabas I said, "Wait until you get to the Dream Curse." I don't like to express an opinion in advance of a plotline, but you're far enough in by this point to have formed your own opinion. the boring and repetitious Dream Curse sequence is one of my least favorite storylines, and you already know why. If someone's not having the dream, he or she is telling someone else about the dream... over and over and over again. Add to that Lang's deathbed tape recording and you might as well watch Friday episodes only for the foreseeable future. We don't know how long the sequence is supposed to last, but we do know that it ends in a sudden death. Given that, why doesn't anyone suspect that Lang's death is the end of it? The show's most popular days are still ahead and it does get better, but not for a while yet. 

"It seems like someone at the show decided that giving their most popular actor a long hiatus was a bad idea."

There's one point where Jonathan Frid does take a couple of weeks off and Dan Curtis obliges. But as soon as ratings start to sag he brings his "big guns" back in.

"By the way... we haven't seen Sam for a while, have we?"

We'll see him again, but he won't be around forever. I can say no more!

"Plus, we'"

COVFEFE moment?

As best as I can figure, I originally intended to start my last paragraph with Plus, we, then switched up to By the way without deleting it. 

And the Dream Curse is definitely repetitive...but it's perfect for how I tend to watch these busy days, while cooking eggs or having one eye on something else.

You can probably afford to have both eyes on something else for awhile. 

A COLLINWOOD CHRISTMAS:

Jamison Collins is a lost and broken man. His wife has died, leaving him to bring up his children, Roger and Elizabeth, alone. Ivanka Romano lives in the Old House on the Collinwood estate. Abandoned by her gypsy tribe, she is also alone. But on this dark and stormy night, ghosts from the past are returning, and threatening to end the lives of these lost and broken people. It’s Christmas Eve, but the only present that the children of Collinwood will receive is death.

This story of Roger and Elizabeth's father (played as a boy by David Hennessy on TV) is the third to feature Ivanka Romano, who previously appeared on The Blind Painter and The Crimson Pearl. She never felt truly at home with her tribe. Previously, she met the artist Charles Delaware Tate and cured him of Count Petofi's curse (keep watching, Rob) in exchange for the crimson pearl. She later visited Collinwood and found herself in the mysterious room that led to Parallel Time (ibid) where she encountered a parallel version of herself. Now abandoned by her tribe, she has ensconced herself in the Old House on the Collinwood estate. (For more, see p. 167 of this discussion.) 

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENCE

As Christmas draws near, Quentin issues an arcane invitation into the unknown. Meanwhile, as children are reported missing across Collinsport, the festive season brings Collinwood new terrors, when a persuasive spirit seeks to divide and conquer.

This is one of Big Finish's earliest Dark Shadows audios, the third (of four) chapters of season one. This is the first time I have listened to it out of the context of the entire season, and the first time I have posted a reaction to it since the old board. The Collins family (Elizabeth, Roger, Carolyn and David) have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Now living at Collinwood are Barnabas. Willie, Angelique and Quentin (ibid). Quentin hosts a party for the townsfolk at Collinwood, but the only one who shows is Professor T. Eliot Stokes. (I could tell you more, but not without spoiling certain aspects of the TV series.) 

Watched a bit of DARK SHADOWS - A CHRISTMAS CAROL last night... as much as we could stand. Mainly we just wanted to see what the surviving actors look like these days... we fast-forwarded through quite a bit of it. Apparently this is the same version Orson Welles' players performed in the '30s. I was surprised to see that Alexandra Moltke-Isles participated; she declined to record anything for Big Finish. 

I've seen through episode 492 now. Adam is alive! Cassandra meets David! David can't speak, because he saw Cassandra kissing Tony! Roger is still the worst dad ever! Barnabas wants to kill Adam, but Julia talks him out of it...so they're moving him to the Old House! Mrs. Johnson finally falls asleep!

"Roger is still the worst dad ever!"

Barnabas is about to give Roger a run for his money. Both he and Julia liken Adam to a child, yet they keep him chained in the basement, alone most of the time, with little food and no stimulation except for a tape recorder. If the point of the "1795" arc was to "humanize" Barnabas and make him a more sympathetic character, it failed miserably. 

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