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
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 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
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
I've seen through episode 664 now. Back in the past, Barnabas has terrified Nathan (in a great scene!) and gotten him to confess to perjury, which is enough to set Peter free, but not Vicki, so Barnabas is looking for plan B (and biting a prostitute) when Angelique shows up...purportedly to help him free Vicki, in exchange for him staying in the past with her. But Angelique's plan to make Vicki seem dead before she gets hanged doesn't happen, and Vicki gets hanged anyway. Also, we get a scene with Millicent and Nathan in jail, where Nathan has been mind-controlled and Millicent is just batty. You never see THAT on Days of Our Lives!
I've seen through episode 669. Vicki and Peter have run off together in the past (she was dead, but she got better), and Barnabas destroyed Angelique and eventually found a way back into the present, showing up in his old coffin (and managed to not come back as a vampire!). Ben Stokes went on a killing spree, killing Nathan Forbes, Natalie DuPres, and Angelique! And seeing Thayer David as Ben Stokes again made me really appreciate him as an actor -- so far, he seems to have the greatest range of his various characters and how he plays them.
Now, in the present, the kids are back to playing the Quentin game, but when Chris Jennings is invited to stay at Matthew Morgan's old cottage, Quentin actually shows up to scare Mrs. Johnson, who's cleaning the place up! So things are finally moving forward with his story.
It's also the end of the line for Harry Johnson, from what I hear... and Harry's played by a new actor today, who does an amazing job of replicating Craig Slocum's annoying whine.
We are a bit ahead of you, Rob, and there has been/will be another séance. Don't think of this so much as a "spoiler" but as a "preview" (or you can just skip reading this post), but I want to keep the scorecard up-to-date.
SEANCE #1: Episode 170
Participants: Guthrie, Roger, Carolyn & Vicki (+ Laura)
Purpose: To contact Josette
Results: Josettte speaks through Vicki (in French)
SEANCE #2: Episode 186
Participants: Vicki, Sam Evans & David
Purpose: To contact Josette
Results: David Radcliffe speaks through David
SEANCE #3: Episodes 280/281
Participants: Roger, Liz, Carolyn, Vicki, Burke & Barnabas
Purpose: To contact any spirit which will answer
Results: Josette speaks through Vicki (in English)
SEANCE #4: Episode 365(461)
Participants: Roger, Liz, Carolyn, Vicki, Julia & Barnabas
Purpose: To contact Sarah
Results: Vicki sent on a "uncertain and frightening journey into the past"
SEANCE #5: Episodes 511/512
Participants: Stokes, Julia & Tony
Purpose: To contact Trask
Results: Trask manifests in the present
SEANCE #6: Episode 600
Participants: Stokes, Julia & Barnabas
Purpose: To contact Philippe Cordier
Results: Philippe Cordier speaks through Barnabas (in an outrageous French accent)
SEANCE #7: Episode 640
Participants: David and Amy
Purpose: To contact Quentin Collins
Results: Interrupted by Vicki
SEANCE #8: Episode 642
Participants: Stokes, Chris Jennings, Liz, Carolyn and Vicki
Purpose: To contact Jeff Clark
Results: Magda Rakosi speaks through Carolyn
SEANCE #9: Episode 682
Participants: Stokes, Barnabas, Maggie and Mrs. Johnson
Purpose: To contact Janet Findley
Results: Janet Findley speaks through Mrs. Johnson
I'm always amazed at the progress I've made before I write a new entry here; this time I'm up to episode 675. We're back in the werewolf storyline. Chris Jennings has killed again -- Carolyn's friend and redshirt Donna Friedlander -- after he terrorized Carolyn at her mother's mausoleum, was held at bay by her silver bracelet, and then driven away by the silver head of Barnabas's cane. Barnabas went a-hunting for the werewolf, but came up empty.
Chris gets taken into police custody until Barnabas gives him an alibi -- he was blackout drunk with Barnabas all night! -- and then Barnabas tells Chris he knows he's a werewolf.
Meanwhile the kids still want to be creepy. One of the ghosts -- Beth, I think -- instructs Amy to go to Chris's cabin and burn his bloody shirt, destroying some evidence. But for the most part, the Quentin storyline was on a slow burn this week.
But also: Liz is back, woken up from her magic deathsleep when Carolyn was in danger right next to her. And with Angelique gone, hopefully that's the last we hear of her death terrors.
In general, the show seems to be getting some memory back. When Chris moves into the cabin, Matthew is mentioned, and also that the cabin has a bad history. Liz gives a detailed account of the history of her madness, starting out with her finding Cassandra kissing Tony Peterson. Plus, Sheriff Patterson has shown up again, and Carolyn called the family lawyers. Overall, the writing seems a little sharper than it did a few weeks ago.
"We're back in the werewolf storyline."
I haven't said this before but, to be perfectly honest, I'm not a big fan of the werewolf story. For one thing, I don't think they pull it off convincingly; for another, I think it's a little too over-the-top, even for Dark Shadows. the ratings are going up, though, and by the time we get to the next time travel story it will be the period of the show's highest ratings. Despite my (slight) reservations, we're still on the way up.
And now I've seen through the seance, episode 682. Stokes, Barnabas, Maggie and Mrs. Johnson contact the deceased medium, Janet Finley, who speaks through Mrs. J and says she was muuuuuurderrred!
In the werewolf storyline, Barnabas and Julia will be looking for a cure for Chris, and locking him in the mausoleum's secret room on the full moon. Presumably at least Julia has a day planner. Chris also drank some poisoned whiskey, thanks to Quentin.
David and Quentin have really been stepping up their game, and leaving Amy out of it for the most part (since she objects to Quentin trying to kill her brother). Quentin's also terrorized Maggie, and then David tries to gaslight her in front of Liz by saying she just saw a mannequin. He also recites poetry now.
And one more interesting thing about the David/Maggie relationship -- when David defies her, he really gives it an "I'm a rich kid, what are you going to do about it?" air of snottiness. I don't think that those class differences would've worked as well with Vicki -- she'd been there so long, and was considered one of the family. And while Maggie's being papered over as the new Vicki, we can still remember her as the diner waitress from the poor side of town. It's a scene meant for Vicki, but it works better with Maggie anyway.
"Presumably at least Julia has a day planner."
What I am about to say isn't much of a spoiler (because the writers were never very consistent about synching up Chris's transformation to when viewers could logically expect a full moon to occur), but soon they will establish that he transforms at random times, not full moon necessary.
"And one more interesting thing about the David/Maggie relationship..."
Maggie is also less inclined to put up with David's bull$#!t. She calls him out on his lies (and his "innocent" act) a couple of times.
Very happy to hear that about Chris's transformations. Carolyn had a line the other day about Chris moving in "about three weeks ago" and it had actually been about 3 days at most. Now they won't have to keep shuffling the timeline around to give us wolf attacks.
And now I've seen through episode 685. Beth has led Chris and Barnabas to the site of a child's coffin, in which they find a pentagram medallion. David steals the medallion for Quentin, but Banrabas contacts the ancient local jeweler (played by Abe Vigoda, in his 40s but playing a 90-year-old) and when the jeweler comes to Collinwood to tell Barnabas what he learned about it, Quentin intercedes and scares him to death -- as easy as shooting Fish in a barrel.
Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:
as easy as shooting Fish in a barrel.
A pun worthy of JD DeLuzio.
Dark Shadows theme played on a theremin. Groovy!