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


GOTHIC PAPERBACK LIBRARY

1. Dark Shadows - p183
2. Victoria Winters - p183
3. Strangers at Collins House - p183
4. The Mystery of Collinwood - p184
5. The Curse of Collinwood - p184
6. Barnabas Collins - p185
7. The Secret of BC - p185
8. The Demon of BC - p185
9. The Foe of BC - p185
10. The Phantom of BC - p185
11. BC vs. the Warlock - p186
12. The Peril of BC - p186
13. BC and the Mysterious Ghost - p187
14. BC and Quentin's Demon - p188
15. BC and the Gypsy Witch - p188
16. B, Q and the Mummy's Curse - p188
17. B, Q and the Avenging Ghost - p242
18. B, Q and the Nightmare Assassin - p244
19. B, Q and the Crystal Coffin
20. B, Q and the Witch's Curse
21. B, Q and the Haunted Cave
22. B, Q and the Frightened Bride
23. B, Q and the Scorpio Curse
24. B, Q and the Serpent
25. B, Q and the Magic Potion
26. B, Q and the Body Snatchers
27. B, Q and Dr. Jekyll's Son
28. B, Q and the Grave Robbers
29. B, Q and the Sea Ghost
30. B, Q and the Mad Magician
31. B, Q and the Hidden Tomb
32. B, Q and the Vampire Beauty
33. House of Dark Shadows - p241

ROB STAEGER: p189

NEWSPAPER STRIPS: p241

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I'm three chapters in to the House of Dark Shadows paperback. I'm not trying to talk you out of watching the movie after 350, but there is one caveat. You're going to be introduced to a character or two you haven't met yet, but seeing as this is an "alternate universe" Dark Shadows, that shouldn't make too much difference. One thing about this first movies is that practically every part is played by an actor associated with the TV show, although not necessarily in the same roles they played on TV. Some of those you haven't met yet, either, but again, that shouldn't make any difference. One final warning: Dark Shadows was a ground-breaking television show, but the movies is definitely B-list quality, so don't set your hopes too high. If you expect cheese (with more buckets of fake blood than you'll see on the TV show) you shouldn't be disappointed. 

Then there was the International House of Dark Shadows, in which the Collins family opened a pancake restaurant.

I've seen through episode 147 now. Barnabas forces Julia to rush his treatment, and he decides he'll wait a night, and try to see his first sunrise with Vicki. Meanwhile, Julia has gone to Vicki and hypnotizes her, then brings her down to the Old House, shows her Barnabas's coffin, then brings her BACK to Collinwood...all while Caroline is brewing a pot of coffee! (Which she's super-petulant about when she serves it.) Julia's plan seems to be that Vicki will not remember that Barnabas is a vampire, but still feel revulsion and unease around him. 

It seems to be working... Barnabas comes to Collinwood to visit her that night, and suggests they go to Widow's Point to watch the sunrise. Vicki is a little unnerved by him, but eventually agrees. But then she sees Barnabas's hand... which we later learn has aged extraordinarily fast, thanks to Dr. Hoffman's experiments!

That all sounds great to me. Bring on the bloooood!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I'm three chapters in to the House of Dark Shadows paperback. I'm not trying to talk you out of watching the movie after 350, but there is one caveat. You're going to be introduced to a character or two you haven't met yet, but seeing as this is an "alternate universe" Dark Shadows, that shouldn't make too much difference. One thing about this first movies is that practically every part is played by an actor associated with the TV show, although not necessarily in the same roles they played on TV. Some of those you haven't met yet, either, but again, that shouldn't make any difference. One final warning: Dark Shadows was a ground-breaking television show, but the movies is definitely B-list quality, so don't set your hopes too high. If you expect cheese (with more buckets of fake blood than you'll see on the TV show) you shouldn't be disappointed. 



The Baron said:

Then there was the International House of Dark Shadows, in which the Collins family opened a pancake restaurant.

Who could forget the delicious twist, when the owner of the rival stake-house with specialty garlic bread across the street turns out to be the long-missing Burke Devlin?

"Barnabas forces Julia to rush his treatment, and he decides he'll wait a night, and try to see his first sunrise with Vicki. Meanwhile, Julia has gone to Vicki and hypnotizes her, then brings her down to the Old House, shows her Barnabas's coffin, then brings her BACK to Collinwood...all while Caroline is brewing a pot of coffee!"

The crazy thing is, this in on daytime television playing mainly to an audience of schoolkids and housewives. That's brilliant!

"One thing about this first movies is that practically every part is played by an actor associated with the TV show..."

...all except the actors currently doing the TV show... and they will be in Night of Dark Shadows

I read the House of Dark Shadows novel back in the summer of 1971. I enjoyed it but I am not sure why I picked it up since I wasn't watching the show at the time. It would be many years before I finally saw the movie. I liken it to the better Hammer films from the late Fifties.

I've seen through episode 149 now!

We see Carolyn's room for the first time! And that nightgown! Did she grow up to be Mrs. Roper?

David thinks Carolyn's in danger, and gives her the toy soldier for protection. Carolyn's worried about him, and she convinces Liz to send David away. Then Carolyn meets Sarah, who now starts to believe David -- and she convinces Liz NOT to send him away (for a few days, at least). Lotta backtracking in this one, as Carolyn also returns to toy soldier. And David claims he's been lying the whole time, because the last person who believed him -- Doc Watson Woodrue Pomus Woodard -- died right after investigating. 

Meanwhile, Barnabas gets Julia to try to fix his old-hand problem, and he turns 100% ancient!

Next ep, Vicki visits while Julia and Barnabas argue, but Barnabas hides behind a chair and tells her to go away, because he's sick and he doesn't want her to catch it, but it's not serious and he's going on a business trip for a few days. Yeah, that tracks.

Carolyn voices some suspicions about Barnabas to Joe (whom she wants to take her to the cemetery to look for the secret room) and Vicki. Vicki won't hear it. Meanwhile, Julia wants Barnabas to drink Vicki's blood and turn her into a vampire, but Barnabas wants her to come to him of her own free will, as Josette. (Yeah, that tracks, too.) Eventually Barnabas sneaks into Vicki's room while she's sleeping, but can't bring himself to drink her blood, and then Carolyn comes in and he disappears, but they see a bat outside her window and they scream. Because bats are a lot scarier on horror shows than they are in real life.

One more episode until I shunt over to the movie!

Also: I listened to ...And Red All Over, the Big Finish audio that brings back Burke and Maggie! It's a fun little story, and a great production. I especially liked the explanation for how Burke survived the plane crash. And it touches on some of the other characters of the show without giving us too much information on them (aside from survival, I guess). One moment I liked was Burke calling Collinwood looking for Vicki, and Roger relishing the fact that she started seeing a new man, and then disappeared. You can always count on Roger to be the absolute worst.

And now I've seen episode 350... Carolyn's curiosity has gotten the better of her, and she snooped her way into the basement of the Old House.... and Old Man Barnabas is about to bite her!

Also in this episode -- David gives Carolyn the toy soldier again... but I'm not sure if she's taken it with her, or not. And Liz says David's mentally disturbed, and needs to be sent away...which he overhears. Poor kid's been having a rough time of it lately. And finally, Julia offers to give Barnabas her blood and become his thrall, but he rebuffs her, saying he'll still need her as a doctor in the days to come. 

Next up: House of Dark Shadows!

We watched through 350 last night, I will finish the HoDS paperback today and we'll watch the movie tonight. It's been a while since I've seen it; I'm really looking forward to it. I see from an earlier post that I bought the HoDS paperback exactly one year ago today (or that's when I posted about it, anyway). I'll bump that post up after Rob has seen the movie (it's somewhat spoilery). I look forward to discussing the differences between the movie and the TV show next week.

Speaking of "...And Red All Over," I may have to listen to that one again. (I don't recall, exactly, how Burke survived the airplane crash).

"We see Carolyn's room for the first time!"

Carolyn's room is anomaly. I'm sure it's the only room in Collinwood that looks more like a hotel room than a room in a mansion.

"Then Carolyn meets Sarah..."

Sarah said something I found interesting, something along the lines that she wouldn't be able to appear to her if Carolyn didn't believe in ghosts. I see that as a clue as to how ghosts manifest in the show. For example, even during seances, they cannot appear but only speak through others if there is even one disbeliever at the table. It's also an insight as to which characters believe in ghosts: David (obviously), Vicki. Sam, Willie, Maggie... now Carolyn.

"Meanwhile, Barnabas gets Julia to try to fix his old-hand problem..."

At the end of 148, all we saw of the aged Barnabas (other than his hand) was the back of his head. Although difficult to conceive by today's standards, that wasn't Jonathan Frid. Because video tape editing was so expensive, the director lingered on something else while a stand-in switched places with Frid in the "electric chair." Incidentally, the stand-in is the same guy who was recast as the caretaker when the first actor refused to cross the picket line. He also played the ghost of Dr. Woodard a couple of episodes back and the shrouded Burke Devlin lying in Josette's bed in Vicki's dream. Those are his only four acting credits. 

"Next up: House of Dark Shadows!"

I can hardly wait! 

I've finished the book now. Oddly, Ross referred to Willie's "ugly face" no fewer than four times. He also referred to Julia Hoffman as "attractive." so go figure. He tacked on three pages of epilogue beyond the point where I remember the movie ending.

Back to the TV show, you've already seen the great "old age" make-up they used for Barnabas. There will be other opportunities later in the series to show older versions of characters, but they don't always put that amount of effort into the make-up (and it really shows). 

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