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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Not to be obstreperous, but my experience watching makes me feel that this breaks down after a while

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Oh, I wasn't really serious about that "spoiler." I figure if anyone knows anything at all about Dark Shadows it's that the vampire Barnabas Collins is far and away the series most popular character, and the one who saved the show. Your observations are interesting, but I'm going to refrain from commenting on them. (I will point out that Roger's wife's name is Laura, and... No, no... her name is Laura. that's it.) Also keep looking for the clues as to who Victoria's parents are. You've got an eye for detail (and red herrings) as demonstrated by your attention to Roger's car trouble), and I think there are enough clues to figure out the secret of Victoria's parents. (Alexandra Moltke once complained about how stupid her character Victoria was.) 

As already mentioned, Barnabas will be released from his coffin in episode 210, about one year into the show. But a close examination of the episode-to-episode transitions reveals that that happened on Victoria's 52nd day at Collinwood. If you are on episode 14, for example, you are in the middle of Victoria's second day (her first full day), in Collinsport. Here's how it breaks down:

Day 1: Episodes 1-4

Day 2: Episodes 5-20

Day 3: Episodes 21-37

Day 4: Episodes 38-47

Day 5: Episodes 48-52

Day 6: Episodes 53-66

Day 7: Episodes 67-70

Day 8: Episodes 71-78

Day 9: Episodes 79-87

Day 10: Episodes 88-91

Day 11:Episodes 92-96

Day 12: Episodes 97-98

Day 13: Episodes 99-103

Day 14: Episodes 104-105

Day 15: Episodes 106-113

Day 16: Episodes 113

Day 17: Episodes 114

Day 18: Episodes 115-119

Day 19: Episodes 120-127

Day 20: Episodes 128-129

Day 21: Episodes 129-132

Day 22: Episodes 132-139

Day 23: Episodes 139-140

Day 24: Episodes 141-143

Day 25: Episodes 143-144

Day 26: Episodes 145-146

Day 27: Episodes 147

Day 28: Episodes 148-150

Day 29: Episodes 151-154

Day 30: Episodes 155-156

Day 31: Episodes 157-159

Day 32: Episodes 160

Day 33: Episodes 161

Day 34: Episodes 162-163

Day 35: Episodes 164-165

Day 36: Episodes 166

Day 37: Episodes 167-171

Day 38: Episodes 172-173

Day 39: Episodes 174-176

Day 40: Episodes 177-181

Day 41: Episodes 181

Day 42: Episodes 182

Day 43: Episodes 183*188

Day 44: Episodes 189-193

Day 45: Episodes 193

Day 46: Episodes 194

Day 47: Episodes 195-196

Day 48: Episodes 197-203

Day 49: Episodes 204

Day 50: Episodes 205

Day 51: Episodes 206-207

Day 52: Episodes 208-210

We've had this disagreement before, but I don't know how you can say that, really. Certain episodes obviously carry on directly from the previous one, while other episodes (those which show the sunrise or breakfast, etc.) obviously show a new day.

Let's see what Rob thinks.

Mostly because I remember episodes where Elizabeth said something like, "Well, you've been here for a month now, Vickie", when, according to your schedule, she'd only been there a week

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to cite chapter and verse.  

Jeff of Earth-J said:

We've had this disagreement before, but I don't know how you can say that, really. Certain episodes obviously carry on directly from the previous one, while other episodes (those which show the sunrise or breakfast, etc.) obviously show a new day.

Let's see what Rob thinks.

"I remember episodes where Elizabeth said something like, 'Well, you've been here for a month now, Vickie', when, according to your schedule, she'd only been there a week."

Oh, yes, yes... there is some of that. that's what I meant yesterday when I posted, "You'll notice more examples in which the dialogue more closely resembles 'real time' than 'show time.'" But a strict observance of episode beginnings and endings reveals that episodes 5-10 (for example) all take place on the same day.

I think what it basically comes down to is that you have put more thought into Dark Shadows "continiuity" than Dan Curtis ever did.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I remember episodes where Elizabeth said something like, 'Well, you've been here for a month now, Vickie', when, according to your schedule, she'd only been there a week."

Oh, yes, yes... there is some of that. that's what I meant yesterday when I posted, "You'll notice more examples in which the dialogue more closely resembles 'real time' than 'show time.'" But a strict observance of episode beginnings and endings reveals that episodes 5-10 (for example) all take place on the same day.

That is 100% true, Bob. Dark Shadows is a living entity in our house. 

The Baron said:

I think what it basically comes down to is that you have put more thought into Dark Shadows "continiuity" than Dan Curtis ever did..

Hmmm... I'm at what looks like the tail end of Day 2, and given their love for the show, I have a lot of confidence in Tracy & Jeff's timeline (notwithstanding comments like the one Bob cites; I've already seen a few of them!). 

But...

I wonder if there's any evidence that some of the new days we see aren't consecutive from the night before? That's one of the things I'll be looking at, going forward -- if there's any ambiguity in the morning about how long it's been since the night before. (So far, though, Day 2 is definitely Day 2.)

And BTW, I've gone back and read some of Bob's recaps -- and "Uncle Femmycreepy" is a pretty apt nickname. (As is Glint Stoneface!) And as for Carolyn's obsession with him... well, let's just say I'm glad she's moved on to Glint!

(Which makes me think of Arrested Development, as they talk about George Sr.'s teeth:

"I remember his smile... It was that glisten."
"He swore by that glisten."
"I can still hear him now: 'Who left the cap off my f&#$% Glisten?!' " )

Just watched Episode 16. Everyone learns a bit more about Roger's accident (it was the brakes, Matt says they'd just been tuned two days ago, so it was definitely tampering), and Burke passive-aggressively drives Joe out of the Blue Whale and then leaves with Carolyn to go find him. But, more to the point of the timing, at the end of the episode, Elizabeth goes upstairs while the grandfather clock chimes. It gets to 11 before the sound cuts away, but it could also be chiming midnight. So episodes 17-20 apparently take place between 11pm and dawn!

(BTW: 17 years ago, Matt had a similar accident when his brakes failed. Probably just an accident, and has nothing to do with the 18-year shenanigans, but I'll keep that in my back pocket just the same. Ayuh.)

And when I went to fact-check Matthew's name, I learned that this is the third and last appearance of George Mitchell as Matthew Morgan. He'll be replaced by Thayer David on his next appearance, 20-some episodes from now.

In a weird coincidence, we watched George Mitchell in an early episode of Bonanza tonight.

Oh, rats! I left a long comment, and it got gobbled up -- probably by my shifting away before I clicked send. But let it be known that a) I'm now at episode 19, b) it's now midnight, as Elizabeth listened to the grandfather clock AGAIN at the beginning of the ep, and it wasn't ringing 1 or 2, and c) I want the over-under on how long Roger will be wearing that sling. He's been told to wear it for at least two days. That would be episode 47. I doubt it'll be sticking around that long.

"I think what it basically comes down to is that you have put more thought into Dark Shadows "continiuity" than Dan Curtis ever did."

Dan Curtis, maybe, but not Art Wallace. Art Wallace was Jack Kirby to Dan Curtis's Stan Lee. As the story goes, Dan Curtis had a dream of a young governess on a train to a small spooky town. That's it. He then took it to Wallace for "development." Wallace wrote the show's bible, plus all of the episodes for the first year or so. Some of his plans were pushed back a bit due to the introduction/insertion of supernatural elements (firs the ghost, then the phoenix, then the vampire), but most of them did eventually make it to the screen.

Back in the '50s, there was a weekly anthology TV titled The Web. Art Wallace wrote the episode "The House," which aired August 29, 1954. Wallace based much of the locked room plot (episodes #193-275) on this half hour show. I have it on the DVD Master of Dark Shadows -- The Gothic World of Dan Curtis. I couldn't find it on You Tube (after only an admittedely very brief search) except for someone who recorded a public showing from the audience. Here is a link.

Rob, don't watch this!

Regarding the timeline, I regard those bits of dialogue as slips of the tongue.

"Vicki, we've really enjoyed having you here at Collinwood these past two months."

"Days, Mrs. Stoddard... days."

Like the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

Or like Star Trek:The Search for Spock in which which Admiral Morrow explained to Admiral Kirk that the Enterprise was being decommissioned because it was 20 years old. Actually, it was closer to 40 in canon, but the reference was changed to reflect the era of the TV show so as not to confuse the "casual fan." I think Dark Shadows scripts were written to reflect the time the show had been on the air, not showtime. Undoubtedly, people watch television a lot differently today than they did 55 years ago.

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