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
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 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
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
I've seen through episode 306 now. Sarah has shown David the secret room -- and empty coffin! -- in the Collins tomb. And Burke has really started investigating Barnabas in earnest, warning Vicki to stay away from him. Barnabas knows he has to get Burke out of the way, but decides against killing him. Instead, he's much more clever, telling Vicki that Burke has been investigating him, in the hope that she'll stop him, lest it cause a rift between them. (Vicki thinks it's totally out of line...even while acknowledging in the same breath that he was totally right to dig into Jason McGuire.)
Also: Barnabas is getting weaker as a result of Julia's injections. He's not happy about that, so we'll see how long that lasts.
And one thing that struck me as funny: Vicki told David that she'll have to tell his father how late he came home. Where has Roger been, anyway? The last time I remember seeing him, he was heading up to bed after the costume party.
It's nice to see that David has some limits. He's not very inquisitive, though. As interested as he is in his own family history, one would think he'd at least read the names in the family mausoleum. "Hey! This girl died when she was ten years old... and her name is Sarah, just like yours!"
Here's a book I don't have:
This one is a steal on Amazon for only $295.00!
I'll bet it's got some great recipes for coffee.
Holy cow, $295!
That better be some good fondue!
I've now seen through episode 309. People (by which I mean Sam, Joe, Maggie, Vicki, and perhaps Carolyn & David) have started to see Sarah as the key to Maggie getting her memory back and ID-ing her captor. Meanwhile, Julia and Barnabas discuss her as well -- she's the one person who knows Barnabas's secret that isn't under his or Julia's control.
Meanwhile Burke and Vicki have a falling out over Burke's suspicious about Barnabas, but Burke soon apologizes to her, and then to Barnabas, and seems to have put his suspicions behind him. (Though Burke, in his initial argument to Vicki, lays out some good reasons to be suspicious -- maybe she'll ruminate on them once some new evidence comes to light.)
As for Sarah, she leaves a doll in Maggie's room while she's sleeping, and then appears (though not visually) to Dr. Hoffman, eventually opening a book to a page with her picture on it.
3 episodes, no coffee. But Sam *does* order his "usual" at the Blue Whale. And in 307, the Blue Whale momentarily gets a new record -- a popular song from the 60s where the verses are "la la la, la-la-la-la-la, lalalalala." It's absolutely unGoogleable, but I recognize it! (Although I think it's a cover version from the one I know.)
And I downloaded Shazam onto my phone just to find it! It's "Un homme et une femme" by Francis Lai, from the 1966 movie of the same name.
And now I'm up to episode 311: David ran off to find Sarah, nearly got caught in the secret room of the Collins crypt by Barnabas and Willie, but hid in the empty coffin (and overheard them; he knows something's up, but they were vague the whole time)...but now that they've gone, he can't get out of the secret room because he doesn't know that moving the stone step will open the panel. (I think this is a detail they added to the room; I don't recall ever being in it with the panel door closed before.)
Meanwhile, Joe & Carolyn are searching the woods for David, and Barnabas is waiting with Vicki while she sits and cries. And as he's comforting her...THE FANGS COME OUT!
And that's the cliffhanger. Surely he'll regain his composure or something will stop him next episode...but what???
My, you're moving along at a steady clip... not that I'm complaining! Keep going!
"(Although I think it's a cover version from the one I know.)"
No doubt you are thinking of A Man and a Woman by Johnny Mathis.
...or maybe this one by Francis Lai.
There is one episode in particular I've been saving this comment for, but I'll go ahead and use it now: This is what the relationship between Barnabas and Julia should be. She should always be in danger of losing her life at the slightest misstep. At some point, Dan Curtis or the writers determined Barnabas needed a confidant (or an "assistant" or a "companion" or a "partner") and that, for good or ill, is what she became.
We left off as Barnabas was about to bite Vicki on the neck, and this is perhaps the first of the egregious "fang shots" that Jonathan Frid hated doing so much. They'll get worse, but he was directed to open his mouth wide for the camera and really "lean into it." If it had been me, I'd've probably objected to the numerous "up the nose" shots while lying in the coffin.
Another thing: where's the light source coming from in the mausoleum? It's awfully bright in there for a windowless tomb. There's even light inside the coffin! I guess we must make some concessions in order to willingly suspend our collective sense of disbelief, but how much more terrifying would it have been for David to be locked in the secret room in total darkness? And, yes, this is the first mention of a door release from inside, which only makes sense. (This isn't much of a spoiler, but the room was originally used to hide guns from the British during the Revolutionary War.)
And "Where's Louis Edmond?"? I don't know for certain, but I know Dan Curtis the writers were very friendly to actors who might have stage gigs that would conflict with filming. when that happened, their characters would simply be written out of the show for the duration of the play. Edmond was very likely performing elsewhere in NYC on the theater scene.
Here's something else I have mentioned before, but not since you started watching, Rob (I hope). I think I have mentioned that my sister was a big fan of the show (and once painted a picture of the "phoenix"). I remember her trying to explain to me what was going on around the time I was three or four years old, but I couldn't follow it. I remember certain sets: primarily the foyer and the mausoleum. I also remember her explaining that Barnabas was a vampire, and this character knew it but that character didn't. that became my focus. Every time a character came on screen I would ask, "Does he/she know Barnabas is a vampire?"
Who knows Barnabas is a vampire is pretty much the question of the show right now. But for this show (and perhaps all soap operas) information management is one of the main sources of drama. Who knows what, and when the interact with someone who knows something else, will they put two and two together? This is a show that spent two weeks having the characters figure out where a pen went... a vampire in their midst is essentially the same thing, but with much higher (ahem) stakes.
I've seen through episode 314 now. Joe and Roger (back from Boston!) almost found David in the crypt, but David was sleeping and didn't cry out for them. (And Roger also missed that Sarah's buried there... another information-management tease!)
Plus, Willie saw Sarah, but Julia convinces him to keep it from Barnabas, because she's afraid what Sarah told Willie will make Barnabas want to kill David! And Dr. Woodard confronts Julia about Sarah's doll, which is 150 years old!
But best of all is Louis Edmond delivering one of the all-time great line flubs, one in which he practically rolls his eyes at -- calling the prior generations of Collinses his "incestors... I mean, ancestors!" Suddenly we're in Game of Thrones territory!
"Incestors' would explain a number of things.
"But for this show (and perhaps all soap operas) information management is one of the main sources of drama."
Back in 311 (I think it was), Carolyn (or somebody) mentions that roger and Elizabeth are "in Boston," which is another soap opera trope. That trip was not mentioned before, but Roger (or someone) is always gone "to Boston" or "To Bangor" or somewhere so that, when they return, the rest of the cast can handily bring viewers who might have missed an episode or two up to speed.