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
  

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DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLINES: Started listening to the latest “season” (12 episodes) of Dark Shadows over our Thanksgiving trip: four episodes on the way down, four on the way back, four left to go. (Tracy’s listening to them now.) “Bloodlines” is like Dark Shadows on steroids. It’s got a little bit of everything. Each episode focuses on a different character (or set of characters) and, like the original, they all contribute to the central story.

Most of the audios are either set in the “present” (the early ‘80s) or the present of the TV show, or some historical era, but this is the first time in Dark Shadows audio history in which characters (three of them) time travel to take the place of people in the past. It’s interesting how they achieve that effect convincingly on audio.

There’s some talk of Vicki, but Alexandra Moltke has expressed no interest in returning to the role, and (so far) no other actress has been cast). Grayson Hall (who played Julia Hoffman on TV) passed away many years ago. When she was finally brought into the audios, Barbara Steele (who played Julia in the 1990 revial series) was cast. But now, for whatever reason, Barbara Steele is not involved in the third season. The writers have set up a situation in which Julia’s mind, like Barnabas’s, currently resides in a different body and she is now played by (wait for it)… Julie Newmar! Mitchell ryan had previously returned as Burke Devlin, but that must have been for a one-off appearance as the role is now played by a different actor. There is no supernatural explanation involved, he has simply been recast, but he does somehow instinctively recognize Barnabas in his new body when they meet for the first time. Barnabas’ role as a vampire is now known to the family.

DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLINES (continued): By the time I got “Bloodlines” back from Tracy I was in the middle of Doctor Who: Ravenous Pt. 4, so when I got back into “Bloodlines” I decided to start over at the beginning and am currently up to episode three. David and Amy are set to be married. The POV character for this set is Harry’s estranged mother, Viv, who makes a play for David. I was going to say more, but I forgot I had already posted two weeks ago. I’ll be back with more once I get caught up and finished.

DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLINES (conclusion): It took me a while to get through this “season”, but don’t think that’s a reflection of the quality. There’s a lot going on here, and some of it bears repeat listenings. (The more familiar one is with the television series the better.) As I mentioned above, “Bloodlines” is the first time travel story in Dark Shadows’ audio history, but more than just three people were sent to the past. Characters from the present kept disappearing one after another, and once they were gone, those who were left forgot about them.

Some of the time travelers ended up in time periods already dealt with in the show (Vicki Winters’ witch trial, the night of Paul Stoddard’s “murder,” etc.), but some went to “between” eras in which we get to see characters we already know but at different ages, or generations we never met. For example, we meet Quentin’s parents, Geoffrey and Anna, never before seen on TV. It’s David who travels to that era, and Anna falls in love with him. She’s already married to Geoffrey and pregnant with his child, but to make matters worse, she’s played (in true Dark Shadows fashion) by the same actress who plays David’s fiancé, Amy, in the present.

Sometimes, a new character from the past who meets one of the time travelers meets another 20 years later. Two of them travelled only one year into the past and revisited a scene from an earlier audio. All of the time travelers “arrive” in a cave beneath Widows’ Hill. The one sent back the furthest, to 1760, has a tape recorder with him. The one who arrives after that finds it, and sets ground rules for using it. The tape recorder itself is “drenched in magic” (we find out how and why in the last chapter) which keeps it functioning and keeps the batteries from running down.

The plot is really too complicated to go into in any more depth here, but I will say that once the cause of the mystery is revealed, it all makes logical sense.

R.I.P.

Karlen turned in some great performances as Willie in both the TV series and the first Dark Shadows movie. Willie was one of the few Dark Shadows characters that seemed truly dangerous.

I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!

I direct the attention of John Karlen fans to "The Night Whispers" (also starring Jonatnan Frid in the only Big finish audio he did). It is a character study of the Barnabas/Willie relationship, and is standalone, apart from from the main Dark Shadows audio series. It is out of print on CD, but the download is only five bucks.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

DARK SHADOWS PAPERBACK LIBRARY: Back in the ‘60s, at the height of Dark Shadows’ popularity, Paperback Library released a series of 32 paperback prose novels by Dan “Marylyn” Ross based on the hit gothic daytime soap opera. Now, Hermes Press will be re-releasing the entire set on a bi-monthly basis in larger-than-original 6” x 8” format *same as the Phantom reprints, if you’ve seen those). I spent months tracking these down years ago. The later ones were particularly hard to find due to smaller print runs. I’ve read the first six or seven of them. The first one is solicited to ship in January 2020, but Hermes Press generally ships six months later than the solicit date.


UPDATE: Both volumes one and two shipped this week. Originally, the early volumes featured painted artwork on their covers. Later printings switched to photos from the show. These new volumes ("Dark Shadows" and "Victoria Winters") use the original painting on the front covers, and small reproductions of the photo-covers on the back.

I double-checked my papaerbacks last night (the way I shelve them) and realized I actualy read the first ten before I petered out. I remember as I was reading I wished I had been taking notes because this series of books presents a consistent "alternate history" of the Collins family. My plan had been to re-read the reissues until caught up to where I left off, then continue on until the end. But do I really want to re-read ten of them? I pcked up the first last night, started reading and I was hooked. Some of the oroginal paperbacks in my collection are in pretty poor condition. I might as well go ahead with my plan. The worst that could happen is that I fall behind, but in any case I'll replace the ratty paperbacks with the slick, larger new editions.

Going to be re-watching Dark Shadows  (1990) soon.

Or not. The tape I had only had a fragment of the story.  The part it had was interesting, though.

The Baron said:

Going to be re-watching Dark Shadows  (1990) soon.

My latest stab at a rewatch (begun the first workday of January) is coming along nicely. Today Maggie is in Wyndcliffe, Elizabeth is listening to The Widows, and Jason is not long for this world. In a couple of weeks I'll be watching episodes I've only seen once before, and that before The Lad was born.

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