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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Ew! Not Maggie!

But yeah, Roger seems definitely coded as gay to me. Not openly, of course, because it's 1966. But as Louis Edmonds plays him, it seems well within the realm of possibility -- which gives credence to you "Roger slept with Laura once" theory. And will make me consider his hatred for Burke in a different light. 

I mean, he, Burke, and Laura seem like they were close friends once...and Burke, if I understand correctly, was dating Laura, or at least had strong, unhidden feelings for her. Which leaves Roger as a third wheel, spurned not by Laura...but by Burke, perhaps? That Glinty McStoneface is a charismatic SOB, and who's to say its only women who fall under his spell?

And I've no plans to watch the 90s series anytime soon. I did just get a couple Gold Key comics, though... I'm reading the second of the two today!

"Ew! Not Maggie!"

That'd be like Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy!

"Which leaves Roger as a third wheel, spurned not by Laura...but by Burke, perhaps?"

Of course! That never occurred to me before, but it fits. (I see it more as an unrequited thing, though.)

"I did just get a couple Gold Key comics, though..."

Those are odd ducks...

Oh, I definitely see Roger's feelings for Burke as unrequited. To Burke, they were pals, that's all... and it might have come to a head if they hadn't killed someone when they were all out drunk-driving together.

Yeah, in one, Barnabas's werewolf pal is given a "cure" that makes him want to kill Barnabas. In another, Barnabas and (a fairly buff!) Roger get pulled back to Iceland in Viking times, and dragged into a feud between two warring clans -- one of which is named Collinsson. There's an evil wizard who wants Barnabas's ring. 


Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Ew! Not Maggie!"

That'd be like Nor,am Osborn and Gwen Stacy!

"Which leaves Roger as a third wheel, spurned not by Laura...but by Burke, perhaps?"

Of course! That never occurred to me before, but it fits. (I see it more as an unrequited thing, though.)

"I did just get a couple Gold Key comics, though..."

Those are odd ducks...

One might say that:

"Oh, I definitely see Roger's feelings for Burke as unrequited."

Yes, I see Roger's motives as being spurred by unrequited love, not spurned by Burke (which would imply Roger made his feelings known at some point and was rejected). Moving on...

"WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?"

That's a fairly common question asked of writers. In the case of Chris Claremont, I think he got a good deal of them at one point from Dark Shadows. (We've discussed this before, but not since Rob started watching.) Laura Collins is a fairly obvious inspiration for Claremont's transformation of Jean Grey into Phoenix. If you think that's a coincidence, consider also Sebastian Shaw, Black King of the Hellfire Club, is a Dark Shadows character. [The "Hellfire Club" itself was taken from The Avengers (Steed & Peel).] The "timeslips" Phoenix experienced in X-Men were quite similar to the method of "time travel" shown in Dark Sahdows. Finally, the N'Gari (X-Men #96 & #143) were taken from Dark Shadows' "Leviathan" arc (which were in turn taken from The Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft.).

In addition, here are some other works of classic literature Dark Shadows adapted or borrowed from over the years...

Charlotte Bonte's Jane Erye

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Premature Burial," "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulm"

The Dream Deceivers (unknown)

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

Henry James' The Turn of the Screw

Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby

Guy de Maupassant's "The Monkey's Paw"

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

"Orpheus in the Underworld" (mythology)

Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca

Robt. Louis Stephenson's The Strange Case of Dr, Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"

One of the reasons I've heard given for Dark shadows going off the air was that they ran out of things to adapt, but i don't believe it. (I think it was falling ratings.) True, the show had fallen into something of a rut in terms of adapting classic literature, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have come up with something original. The "Phoenix" story, for example, wile based on legend, is nowhere near the version as presented in Edith Hamilton's Mythology, and the first "Barnabas" arc isn't all that close to Dracula, either. 

Oh, wow -- that's cool...! I'm excited to get to these adaptations. And while I haven't seen too much of The Phoenix yet (and don't know how it shakes out), the name certainly made me wonder. What's funny is how everyone takes pains to explain the legend of the Phoenix to someone -- anyone can miss a show, and you've gotta reinforce the important information! Plus, the Phoenix apparently didn't have the cultural currency that it does today -- you can say "phoenix" and everyone knows, in general, what you mean. Thanks, in part, to Dark Shadows and X-Men. 

Oh, and I think we're eye to eye on Roger and Burke, Jeff. I might have been a little imprecise in what I first wrote. Not that a pass and a rebuff is impossible between them, but I doubt it happened. (But if I were writing fanfiction about that night 10 years ago, that's EXACTLY when it would have happened. It's a night everything changed between them -- so everything needs to be on the table!)

I'm up to episode 142... and apparently I'm not the only one who spotted the missing space on the bottom of the painting! It's intentional!

Plus, I love that everyone's talking about how grotesque the painting is when: a) it's not, and b) what's most unusual about it is unstated... that Laura is (at least suggested to be) nude in it. c) Which, OK, makes it REALLY weird that David wants it in his room. I can see why Laura would be upset, even if she weren't some otherworldly bird ghost lady who never eats.

Also: GIANT FLOATING HEAD OF MAMA!

AW!

Rob, I think I'm going to enjoy discussing the continuity ramifications of the 1795 arc with you. (Of course, that won't be for quite a while yet.) 

"I'm up to episode 142... and apparently I'm not the only one who spotted the missing space on the bottom of the painting! It's intentional!"

We're caught up to you, Rob. Believe it or not, this won't be the last time Victoria becomes obsessed with a painting and brings it back to Collinwood.

Significant things happen along the Dark Shadows timeline in 1949, 1956 and 1966 (not to mention 1795, 1840 and 1897). If DS ever were to return to TV (as a remake rather than a continuation), I would like to see a This Is Us approach, jumping back and forth among eras. I think today's audience would enbrace such storytelling.

That's her signature move!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I'm up to episode 142... and apparently I'm not the only one who spotted the missing space on the bottom of the painting! It's intentional!"

We're caught up to you, Rob. Believe it or not, this won't be the last time Victoria becomes obsessed with a painting and brings it back to Collinwood.

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