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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Rob, from time to time as you watch Dark Shadows you will hear a running dialogue of voices in the background. for years I thought these voices were "bleeding in" from a local radio station at the time of recording, but i have since learned that they are voices from the control room. Dark Shadows had a female director, Lela Swifts, one of the few women directors at the time. Unlike the male directors who directed from the studio floor, Swift preferred to direct from the control booth over a PA system. Apparently, she was also something of a b*tch.

Speaking of George Mitchell, it was his relation ship with Lela Swift which caused him to leave the show and turn role over to Thayer David in episode #38. In a scene you have already watched, Victoria visits Matthew in his cottage as he is eating. The studio where the show was filmed was small and didn't have its own commissary, so whenever the script called for food to be eaten, someone went to the greasy spoon around the corner. the food there wasn't very good in the first place, and it also tended to get cold before taping was completed.

The scene in question calls for Matthew to be eating eggs, but George Mitchell didn't want to swallow them, so when Swift called "Cut!" Mitchell spit them out on his plate. Swift was revolted and said that he was disgusting... over the PA. Mitchell was mortified, especially with Joan Bennet on the set, whom he admired and respected. He tried to go to the booth but Swift wouldn't let him in, and there argument over the PA system can be heard in the background of a later scene. 

These conversations are barely audible, but there is a site on the web which transcribes them. Watching the episodes with transcript in hand, the dialogue becomes decipherable. It is the incident I have described which caused George Mitchell to leave the show.

One more thing about the timeline [Rob, don't read this!]: I do think it eventually becomes impossible to tell whether successive episodes take place on the same day as the previous ones or later, but I'm not really so concerned about keeping track of a strict timeline, especially after the second seance (the one which sent Victoria back in time to 1795, from episode #365 to #461). The other participants were "frozen in time" during the seance, which took place on a single night (story time), yet lasted from Nov 17, 1967 through April 1, 1968 (real time).

I'm sorry to hear she drove George Mitchell away; I really like his sourpuss caretaker. Here's hoping I like what Thayer David brings, too!

I really like George Mitchell's Matthew, too. Thayer David's Matthew is so different, it's almost as if they are two different characters. On the bright side, Thayer David excels at portraying the character Matthew evolved into. 

Sometime after I posted last night, I watched episode 20...and the first segment of Episode 21, just to make sure we were in a new day (and yes, it's definitely Day 3, right on the heels of Day 2).

Roger has confronted Burke, and had Victoria tell him she saw him in the garage. Burke denies tampering with Roger's car, and maintains he found the wrench on the front seat. (Which is probably where David left it.) 

David's been acting squirrelly, thinking Victoria's promise to call the cops on whoever did it is directed at him. Victoria doesn't quite believe Burke did it, despite seeing him in the garage. Carolyn & Joe might be breaking up, after midnight hamburgers. Maggie's been keeping tabs on her old man, who resents it, and plans to go up to Widow's Hill to paint in the morning. It looks like she's changed her hair, too, from a short blonde to a shoulder-length brunette. Am I misremembering? It's the same actress, right?

Yes, it's the same actress, Kathryn Leigh Scott. 

She wore a short, blonde wig only in the first episode.

You may have noticed a slight change in characterization, as well. Originally she was to have been somewhat rough around the edges, referring to Victoria as a "jerk" and so on. Almost immediately she became the sweet, girl next door type, and Vicki's best friend.

OK, now I've seen through episode 23. 

Good god, do they drink a lot of coffee on this show! Episode 22 was practically a Folgers commercial.

Vicki and Carolyn don't think Burke did it, though it's mostly hope on Carolyn's part. Plus, we get word from two directions on Wilbur Strake, the detective Burke hired; Vicki gets a letter saying that he's been asking about her at the orphanage, and Molloy questions Burke about him.

Then, Burke commissions a portrait from Norman Drunkwell -- who I like less every time he yells at Maggie -- and instructs Sam that it should be made so that it fits in among the Collins portraits -- right above the mantle. Sounds ominous!

And Roger takes off his sling immediately! I didn't have high hopes for it lasting through episode 47, but I thought it'd be on for at least a week of episodes! How long will the bandages last? They're an easy, less-cumbersome shorthand for "just in an accident," so maybe until this storyline resolves.

Plus, a constable comes to Collinwood to investigate, and Young Psychopath intentionally gets his prints all over a wrench that's evidence. (Likely because he knows his prints are already on them.)

"He's probably just impressed with the dignity of my badge." And the fact you're a complete sap.

Heh-heh-heh...

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Norman Drunkwell

"Norman Drunkwell -- who I like less every time he yells at Maggie..."

I'll just go ahead and tell you this now: David Ford replaces Mark Allen as Sam Evans in episode 35.

It's amazing how growing a beard can change one's entire face! (David Ford has a beard, Mark Allen doesn't.) Just as Thayer David becomes "THE" Matthew Morgan, so too does David ford become "THE" Sam Evans. Ford and Scott have great onscreen rapport, more than she ever developed with Allen. I don't know anyone who prefers Allen's Sam to Ford's.

Hearing  about all these actor changes to established characters gives me hope for Elongated Man in Flash.

Doctor Who has been successful with it. :) 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Hearing  about all these actor changes to established characters gives me hope for Elongated Man in Flash.

For me, some actor changes were improvements.

Others...weren't.

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