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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Fair point. That certainly didn't turn out like he'd planned!

I've seen through episode 567 now. Joe has been bitten by Angelique, and is her thrall. She got him to leave the window open to his cousin's hospital room, and now she's made Tom Jennings into a vampire! And Tom has bitten Julia! But Barnabas knows Julia's been bitten, and is keeping her at the Old House until he can find and destroy Tom. Meanwhile, Vicki's memory comes back as Adam puts a beatdown on Jeff, and Jeff sneaks into the Old House to discover that Barnabas & Julia are making a new creature... but Barnabas confronts Jeff in the basement!

Oh, man, a LOT is happening. This ain't no Dream Curse anymore.

I agree. This part is much more interesting. 

Just as a sidebar: I'm about a season behind on Riverdale. But I wonder if it might be the closest thing TV has to Dark Shadows these days. What started out as a noir-styled high school soap opera has morphed a bit every season, incorporating serial killers, a magic-based spin-off, an alien abduction storyline,  ghosts and hauntings, and from what I've been hearing, recent episodes have been including not only super-powers, but time travel. I can't think of any other show that started out fairly grounded in the real world (albeit a very stylized version of it) and wound up veering into the supernatural. 

One of the problems with any revival of Dark Shadows, it seems to me, is that it starts out as what it evolved into -- whereas part of the fun of the show is watching it grow and change and get madder and madder as it goes along. That's not something you can capture under the Dark Shadows banner anymore; it's a trick that only works once per franchise. But right now, it seems to me that Riverdale is carrying that baton.

"I can't think of any other show that started out fairly grounded in the real world (albeit a very stylized version of it) and wound up veering into the supernatural."

What about Soap? That "started out fairly grounded in the real world (albeit a very stylized version of it)" and wound up veering into alien abduction, supernatural possession, etc. (I loved that show.) 

Oh, great call! I've got the complete series on DVD, but we haven't gotten too far into it yet. It's still pretty mundane (yet really funny) so far.

Comedies have a bit more leeway in this regard. I've heard that Family Matters got pretty wild with Urkel's inventions, but I never watched it, so I don't know. (I did watch a disturbing FM-inspired sketch on Key and Peele, though!) Even Happy Days eventually brought on an alien and an angel. Of course, that was after Fonzie literally jumped a shark.

Despite having been a fan of Soap in its early seasons (Grades 7-8, when the teachers at the Catholic school I attended roundly condemned our love of the show), I really feel like it lost something in the supernatural/SF episodes-- and I read comic books. But consider:

Happy Days also had Satan's nephew turn up to battle the Fonz for Chachi's soul.

(No, that's not the result of a drunken game of Mad Libs. The episode actually aired).

The Dukes of Hazzard had an episode with a stranded extra-terrestrial.

The Waltons had an episode where they find a Ouija board that might have actual supernatural powers.

And granting that The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman were never real-world, it still seems odd that they encountered Bigfoot who turned out to be a bionic robot built by visiting aliens.

I believe General Hospital introduced a freeze ray/weather machine at some point.

Much later, The Guiding Light introduced a superhero and briefly crossed over with Marvel:

I agree with you about the trajectory of Soap. the third season wasn't nearly as good as the first two, but I'm still hung up on a few of those cliffhangers. Jessica Tate was in front of a firing squad (freeze frame on the rifles firing), and an old man's personality was stuck in Jodie Dallas' body (two name two). "Who killed Peter Campbell?" was my "Who shot J.R.?" 

I got a couple more episodes in -- I'm up to episode 569 now. The big change is that Liz is back! She's escaped Windcliffe and has returned to Collinwood, but it still obsessed with death. Meanwhile, Barnabas has enlisted Jeff in grave-robbing again, and Julia keeps getting bitten by Tom (despite a trap laid for him by Barnabas). 

It's impossible to recognize that this is the same show that spent a week looking for a lost pen. 

Caught a few more -- I'm up through episode 574 now. Joe is under Angelique's thrall and fighting it, and Nicholas is making sowing doubt in Maggie and making moves of his own. And he just used his magic mirror to find out what's going on with the experiment in the Old House to make Adam a bride!

Now I've seen through episode 577. Jeff's been bitten by Angelique, who wants him to use her as the life force in the experiment creating a bride for Adam -- she thinks it will cure her vampirism. Also, Liz's morbid thoughts have morphed into an obsession with being buried alive. She fires her old lawyer, Garner (nice callback!) so she can hire Tony to rewrite her will.

Also, Tony rekindles a romance with Carolyn, and Adam takes offense and attacks him.

Funny you should mention Richard Garner. You will remember that when Vicki was dating his son, Frank, I gave you a "heads up" before Frank's last appearance so you'd take particular note of it. One episode he's there, then he's gone, never to be mentioned again. You are now on the cusp of another such departure. 578 will be the last appearance of Tony Peterson.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I was going to say something about "The Tony and Cassandra Mysteries" after the characters leave the show, but since you already know about them, they are...

16. The Death Mask

22. The Voodoo Amulet

29. The Last Stop

33. The Phantom Bride

43. The Devil Cat

After these five individual adventures, they were awarded their own series which lasted three sets. (See index above for discussion.) Tony and Cassandra play an unlikely team of paranormal investigators, partners who don't really like each other all that much... Frankly, I like "The Tony and Cassandra Mysteries" more than I do their actual appearances on TV.

I do not recall exactly how they write Cassandra back into the timeline. I'll have to re-listen to "The Death Mask" when I get a chance. 

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