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” 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

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


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 Mystery at Crucifix Heights - 179
The Mystery of La Danse Macabre - 179
The Mystery of Flight 493 - 180
The Mystery of Karmina Sonata - 180

Trio - 180
Honeymoon from Hell - 180
Retreat -180
1:53 AM - 180

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're a couple of episodes ahead of you now. the last episode we watched was 161. I think I like being behind you better, We usually watch at least two episodes at a time and, by the time I post, I can't separate what I've seen by episode (unless I take notes). If I follow you, I may need to catch up to refresh my memory on a certain point, but there's less chance of me soiling something inadvertently. 

Here's a bit of "foreshadowing": 160 introduces an important new character.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I think I like being behind you better.

Hate to see me go, but love to watch me walk away, eh? ;)

Well, last night and this morning, I caught up through episode 161 -- and now we have a parapsychologist in the house! Dr. Guthrie -- when he was given a name before he showed up, I thought, He's on the list!! And Vickie's totally with him, Carolyn seems more with him as time goes on, and Roger's wholly against him. It'll be interesting to see how David reacts to him, presumably next episode. 

Also, Carolyn's in charge of the house AND the business? This is a big step for her...and maybe the exact right time for Burke to pounce!

I wonder if Elizabeth's trip to the hospital -- so she CAN leave the property after all! I was wondering...! --was arranged so she could take a vacation?

"Hate to see me go, but love to watch me walk away, eh? ;)"

Oh, ick.

"...now we have a parapsychologist in the house! Dr. Guthrie"

That's whose presence I was trying to foreshadow last week when Bob mentioned he watched some episodes circa 270 (but i was thinking 170). Regarding you speculation about Carolyn (and any others you have made or may make), I try to let those pass as I know what's going to happen and am really trying not to spoil anything.

"I wonder if Elizabeth's trip to the hospital... was arranged so she could take a vacation?"

I don't know about that one specifically, but a lot of the show's actors performed on stage, and Dan curtis and his writers were very accommodating about writing around their schedule. There is once sequence (which you won't get to for a long time yet) in which [mild spoiler here] Jonathan Frid wanted to take a vacation, so they had him staked in his coffin, presumably for good, for a more than a month.

Jeff of Earth-J said: 

Oh, ick.


Yeah, Elizabeth heading to the hospital reminded me more than anything of the Superman radio show inventing Kryptonite so that Bud Collyer could take some time off. He either recorded some groans, or someone else would just groan into a mic, whenever they cut to Superman, helpless in the presence of the rock.

Up to episode 164 now, with Dr. Guthrie poking around in everyone's business (currently Sam's), and Laura going full on supervillain at one point while talking to Roger -- "All I need is one night... and he will be MINE! FOREVER!" -- and Roger doesn't even blink.

Also, they talk about their marriage a little bit -- Laura saying Roger never really wanted her, he just wanted something Burke had, and Laura saying she never wanted him either... she just thought she wanted to be a Collins. I've said it before, but this is SUCH a strange custody battle storyline, with both parents on the same page but still somehow not managing to make it work. 

Oh, and the painting of Laura in flames showed up at the Old House, and only David saw it... and his face was on it now, in the place that was left empty! Did Josette show it to him? He smelled jasmine beforehand, so probably.

"Also, they talk about their marriage a little bit -- Laura saying Roger never really wanted her, he just wanted something Burke had, and Laura saying she never wanted him either... she just thought she wanted to be a Collins."

That was a good scene and this is a good episode. I really should stop "speculating" about various characters' motives and just pay attention. The last two times I watched I watched large swaths of Dark Shadows I skipped over the Phoenix story. I remember it mostly subconsciously, apparently. 

I don't know why - I guess because I had the tape out - I've re-watched Episodes 271-276 about four times in the last few days.  A favorite run for me.

Something for Rob to look forward to... about 100 episodes from now! :)

In the episode we watched last night, Sam's drink is specifically identified as Scotch. Also, David Ford fluffs one of his lines*, which actually works in the context of him pounding back drinks at the Blue Whale.

*The line is supposed to be "I'm in it up to my ears" but he says, "I'm up to it in my ears!" 

"My name is Victoria Winters. Do you want fries with that?"

Gotten up to episode 170, the séance! An eventful night, as Laura shows up at a dramatic moment, and then Josette starts speaking through Vicki! (Vicki! You spoke French! Though in the first part of the séance, Vicki's moaning seemed more like an "I'll have what she's having" moment.) 

I realize something about Dr. Guthrie: In 2020, I've been reacting to him from a 202 point of view rather than from a 1967 viewpoint. I'm seeing him as a charlatan, someone who's just being vague enough to string people along, for whatever his endgame is. But, of course, there's been 50 years of people exploiting "psychic phenomena" for fame and fortune since then (and there was certainly a history of that beforehand, too). But even moreso, there have been people debunking those claims in a more public way during this time. So I've found myself aligned, uncomfortably, with Roger of all people -- thinking, "Who is this fraud, and how is he planning to take advantage of us?"  Whereas the show is positioning him as knowledgeable, concerned, and sympathetic -- as shown in his recent conversation with Frank. So I have to recalibrate a little whenever he's onscreen, and take him more at face value.

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