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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"We get reinforcement that Sam came to Collinwood once, and that he hasn't seen Elizabeth in over 18 years."

Whereas both of those things may well be true, it's really conflating two events. That is, Sam my not have seen Elizabeth in 18 years, but the only time he came to Collinwood would have been ten years ago.

Ah, thanks!

I'm up to episode 46 now, and after much prodding (and snooping) from Bill Molloy, he's assembled Burke, Sam, and Roger in Roger's office for an 11pm meeting, intended to reveal that Roger was driving the car in the accident Burke went to jail for. It's 2 past 11 when the episode ends, and Molloy hasn't shown up yet...

(Also: I noticed a mention recently of Laura Collins, Roger's wife, being in the car during the accident as well. That might be a new detail, or it might be something I missed before.)

One other odd thing about the timeline: Molloy got Sam drunk and interrogated him earlier in the day, but there are a few times that's been mentioned, and it's been referred to as happening "last night" at least twice.

In fairness, "getting Sam drunk" is about as common as crossing the street in Collinsport, so it's easy to get confused about which time you're talking about.

It's episode 48, and Molloy isn't just late... he's missing.* (And, um... probably "late.") Burke mailed David a crystal ball, and David's looked into it and said that Molloy is dead -- which is likely -- and that Roger killed him. But David just hates his old man so much, he'd probably  blame him no matter what.

*Molloy was last seen by his housekeeper, getting a phone call at home at 10:30. He didn't show up for his 11 o'clock meeting. So that's a half hour we can narrow it down to. And Roger DID arrive at the meeting last... 

(David also predicts that Carolyn won't marry Joe. He needed a crystal ball for that?)

The fourth day was certainly an eventful one! Despite the "last night" reference, the writers strictly adhere to the timeline of events you outlined. I think you've noted all the pertinent clues (and red herrings). which is which? Keep watching.

I've seen up through episode 51 now... this day is moving quickly. Some more daytime searching for Bill Molloy that does nothing but ramp up tension in town (I lost count of how many cups of coffee were consumed)... and then at night, Victoria and Carolyn return to Widow's Hill to find Carolyn's missing watch and see a body in the waves down below! (We see it too; it looks like it could be Molloy.) They rush back to the house, get questioned on whether they really saw what they did, and then Matthew gets sent to see for himself. He comes back and reports that it was just a clump of seaweed. 


Later, he and Elizabeth go back, and she confirms the seaweed story. It seems the body, if it was there -- and we saw it there, too -- was moved. By Matthew? By the tides? Did it get up and walk away on its own?

And who wrote DEATH on Vicki's mirror? She thinks it was David, and says it's his handwriting, but he denies it. Was it the ghosts?

At the end of episode 51, Vicki tells Roger that David predicted Molloy's death, and that Roger killed him, using his crystal ball. 

I've been watching Elizabeth's reaction to all this, thinking she was a dark-horse suspect to have killed Molloy, via Matthew. But she seems genuinely distraught by his absence. Also, considering Molloy's loyalty to her, and protectiveness of her, I wonder if there wasn't an attempted romance between them at one time. 

You are asking all the right questions.

Must... bite... lip!

I think that a mistake most re-makes of Dark Shadows make is in bringing in the supernatural stuff from the start.  I think these early episodes where you don't know for sure whether anything supernatural is actually happening lay an important foundation for the spectral stuff when it does come along.

Episode 52. At last! WE HAVE A GHOST!

Maggie tries to get Sam to tell her what's bothering him... a conversation that largely goes nowhere (but reminds us that the story is told in a letter, and it's in a safe deposit box at the hotel.

Vicki and Carolyn hear bumps in the night, and it turns out to be a book that fell off the table in the drawing room... and landed several feet away from the table, open to a marked page. Vicki doesn't look at it and returns it, closed, to the table. But once they leave the room, it opens on its own! And then the bookmark slides down the page, of its own volition. It's a Collins family history of some sort, and it opens on the name Josette Collins, giving her birth and death dates in the 1800s. Spooooooky!

Also: Like me, Carolyn also thinks Bill Molloy had a crush on her mom. 

And in a bit of weird backtracking, Carolyn, who seemed to be talked very easily out of thinking they saw a body, now says nothing can convince her that she didn't! 

And Baron, I think it's a shame that later adaptations don't go that route... but when you're remaking Dark Shadows, I think it'd be hard to be coy about whether the supernatural elements exist, when that's what the show is known for. That, combined with an extremely short time for a show to find its audience, I think means that this kind of slow-burn reveal is more likely to be a course correction on a show that's not quite working than something that's planned from the start as a late-stage twist...especially on a remake of Dark Shadows, where the twist would be expected. I think this sort of magic can't be recaptured.

But, say... if the next season of Riverdale starts to incorporate actual werewolves and zombies, that'd be something cool and comparable. 

I agree, it would be hard. Viewers would be like "Get to the vampire!"

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

And Baron, I think it's a shame that later adaptations don't go that route... but when you're remaking Dark Shadows, I think it'd be hard to be coy about whether the supernatural elements exist, when that's what the show is known for. That, combined with an extremely short time for a show to find its audience, I think means that this kind of slow-burn reveal is more likely to be a course correction on a show that's not quite working than something that's planned from the start as a late-stage twist...especially on a remake of Dark Shadows, where the twist would be expected. I think this sort of magic can't be recaptured.

But, say... if the next season of Riverdale starts to incorporate actual werewolves and zombies, that'd be something cool and comparable. 

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