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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House of Dark Shadows is an entertaining monster movie and can be enjoyed even if you are not a Dark Shadows fan. On the other hand, Night of Dark Shadows is reminiscent of the weakest 1970's drive-in or made for TV horror films.

Rob - you may want to watch it just from a completest stand point but otherwise it is not worth the time.

That's good to know; I'll keep it on my Tivo for when I'm in the mood, but I won't get my hopes up. 

Meanwhile, I've seen through episode 259 now, with Julia fearing for her life, starting to lose her mind with Barnabas's "ghost of Doc Woodard" mind games, and then confronting Barnabas about it -- at which point Barnabas says what's so far the most convincing lie of the whole show -- that he's being haunted by Woodard, too! I truly didn't see that coming. Julia doesn't quite buy it, but then Barnabas follows up with a lot of syrup about how he's developing a conscience and that he realizes he hasn't been valuing Julia as much as he should have, going so far as to kiss her hand. And it seems like she buys it... though she's aware that he could turn on her again the next day.

Carolyn, who was secretly listening in, stands up for Julia, telling Barnabas that playing with her emotions is cruel. (I didn't expect to see this backbone from her; then again, we saw how far it got Willie.) Barnabas tells her she's sleepy with his hypnotic gaze, and suddenly Carolyn is more compliant. All the same, though, I think this storyline is doing wonders for Carolyn, who's more compelling that she has been in ages.

A lot of hypnotism in this show! I love how Julia just carries shiny things around with her so she can hypnotize anyone she wants at the drop of a hat.

Someday, when you're in the mood for a night of really BAD television, you can queue up a double-feature of Night of Dark Shadows and the unaired 2004 Dark Shadows pilot.

Regarding the clock, it's not so unusual that a clock of that type would tick but not chime because the works and the chime run on two different springs. It's a bit unusual that whoever winds it (Mrs. Johnson, probably) would wind one spring and not the other, but it could have been that the chime spring simply had run down.

You didn't mention the first appearance of Jerry Lacy as Tony Peterson in 357. They're not to have the opportunity to do much with Tony Peterson before the jump to 1795 (seven episodes away!), but I'll have more to say about that character after the storyline returns to the present day. Lacy is much better remembered for his roles playing several generations of the Trask family. You've already seen him (as the minister at the graveside at Carolyn's funeral in House), but probably didn't make note of it.

Also, 357-359 are the first three scripts written by new writer Sam Hall. Many feel that Hall is the show's best writer. You may have already noticed a certain "punch" to the dialogue, especially that of his character Tony Peterson. You did mention how unexpected Barnabas' new ploy against Julia was; credit Sam Hall with that. Despite not coming to the show until 357, he ended up writing more episodes that any writer other than Gordon Russell. (Stats below.) No other writer even broke into the triple digets.

Gordon Russell - 366

Sam Hall - 316

Ron Sproat - 214

Sam Hall is also Grayson Hall's husband. He met Dan Curtis at a party hosted by his wife. Jerry Lacy was brought into the show by Nancy Barrett and David Ford, who all did a play together. Dark Shadows is his first television work. 

BARNABAS, QUENTIN AND THE AVENGING GHOST - #17 in a series

"When the jury of which Roger Collins is chairman finds Harriet Barnes guilty of murder, she swears vengeance on the entire Collins family, then kills herself.

"Son Celia Dalton, a guest at Collinwood, starts suffering strange spells. Each time she does, someone at Collinwood is violently attacked. Has Harriet Barnes taken over her spirit, making the innocent girl a bloodthirsty killer? Can Barnabas and quentin save Celia--and the Collins family--from this menace out of the crypt?"

CHARACTERS:

ALICE DALTON: An old friend of Elizabeth.

EDWARD DALTON: Alice's husband, a spiritualist.

CELIA DALTON: Their daughter and Edward's reluctant medium.

HARRIET BARNES: Convicted murderess and suicide victim, now haunting Collinwood...?

MARTIN WAINWRIGHT: Celia's boyfriend (actually Quentin Collins).

DR. MOORE: Testified at the trial on Barnes' behalf; now treating Celia.

MARIE BELL: Dr. Moore's nurse, charged with Celia's care.

Maggie, David and Amy are all out of town, making Carolyn the POV character. It's pretty clear Dan Ross doesn't have a good handle on Quentin. I suspect Ross was told to begin including the popular Quentin Collins in every book from here one out, and he simply layered "Quentin" on top of another supporting character he was planning to use anyway. In the previous book, Quentin was "Herb Price"; in this one he's "Martin Wainwright." Neither character is integral to the final outcome, and both disappear before the end. They are just devices to muddy the waters in terms of possible suspects.

Speaking of which, the suspect pool is not very deep in any of these books and is pretty easy to figure out. "Martin Wainwright" is really Quentin Collins, so he's out. Edward Dalton is thoroughly unlikeable and exploits his daughter to the detriment of her health throughout. He insists on holding a seance and profiting from books and articles later, despite the objections of his hosts. He was also on the scene for each of the attacks. He has motive and opportunity and is the obvious suspect, so I eliminate him on that basis. 

Speaking of those attacks, Elizabeth and Carolyn and Roger are all attacked in turn. Their attacker is never actually seen, but Celia is standing over them cackling maniacally each time. And yet, for some reason, the Collinses let them continue to stay on! After each incident, the attacker leaves behind something with the monogram "H.B.": a scarf, a locket, a knife. 

[SPOILER] Edward finally gets his seance in the last chapter, and Barnabas reveals that the real killer is (wait for it)... Nurse Bell acting on the orders of Dr. Moore! Harriet Barnes killed each of her three husbands with poison, then later poisoned herself. It was from Dr, Moore she got the poison in the first place. Moore was in love with her (for some reason), but his testimony failed to exonerate her. It wasn't Celia (or even Edward) who attacked the Collinses; it was Nurse Bell, after drugging Celia with LSD. [END SPOILER]

By this point in the series, all of the townsfolk believe Barnabas is a vampire, descended from "the original Barnabas Collins." Despite that suspicion, and the fact that attacks on the local girls only happen during his periodic visits, no one really does anything about it. Roger suspects, too, but he's more concerned about how it would look socially, rather than, y'know, Barnabas committing criminal assault. Barnabas does confess to Carolyn that he's a vampire, but she doesn't believe him. He leaves Collinsport (again) at the end of the story, but he'll be back.

By the way, if anyone cares, I've added an index to the Paperback Library series to the initial post. 

Oh, nice! Sounds like we're in for a good run!

I've seen up through episode 361 now. I definitely should have mentioned Tony Peterson. I like him -- with his hatred of the Collinses (but attraction to Carolyn) he seems like he's being set up as the new Burke Devlin -- bring back the harder edge that character used to have. I'm all for it. 

In 359/360, we get Julia increasingly paranoid about Dave Woodard haunting her. She goes to Tony Peterson's office to make sure her notebook is still in his safe, accuses him of stealing from her when the notebook isn't immediately apparent, and then says he's the only person she can trust. So Tony definitely feels like he's dealing with a kook. Then she goes and visits Maggie and Joe for help in tracking down Sarah, then finally goes to the mausoleum to find her... and when Sara appears, she accuses Julia of killing Doc Woodard! So she probably won't have any help from that quarter. I loved that turn of events.

Episode 361 is "Julia Hoffman's Long, Loud Night of the Soul." It's basically just Grayson Hall, reacting to scary prop changes and screaming that she's not afraid. Ghosts seem to close in on her, but whether it's Barnabas, Sarah, Doc Woodard, or the seed that Barnabas planted in her brain is an open question. I'll be really curious how she survives all of this -- even the narration has been hinting she's going to die! (Or someone is, at least.)

"Julia Hoffman's Long, Loud Night of the Soul"... I love it. This is the episode, BTW, I've been alluding to all along about what her relationship to Barnabas should be, but I wasn't certain which one it was. Actually, there were quite a few episodes leading up to it that came close. Anytime he's got his hands around her neck or she's in mortal fear for her life is good, but when she's being terrorized in a mausoleum with the walls dripping blood, that's the epitome. 

Dark Shadows has always been a mash-up... a soap opera with Jane Eyre, with Dracula... but all this pulp detective, voodoo, "secret magic number of the universe" stuff... that's pure Sam Hall... (although 361 was written by Ron Sproat; he be crazy, too). 

Oh, man, I *loved* the secret magic number of the universe! It felt for a moment like J.M. DeMatteis had taken the reins!

As for Julia in 361, I see what you mean... but to me, it's only as a piece in the larger context of the story that this is the right relationship. What I love about Julia is that she always seems to have a way to counter Barnabas's plans to do away with her -- and in this episode, at least, she's simply being terrorized. She's trying to think her way out of it, but coming up empty. But I'm sure she'll rally soon.

I've seen through episode 363 now, and I'm really enjoy this new run by Sam Hall. It has some clever call-backs (a mention that Carolyn's attracted to bad boys), a wink at the genre conventions (Roger complains about how its always raining and cold at Collinsport), and some nice back-and-forth with Tony Peterson. Carolyn's blackmail explanation for why she wants the notebook is a really believable lie, in how it implicates her family and motivates her theft, rather than fighting things above board. But eventually, Julia convinces Tony that Carolyn's still not being truthful.

And David (and presumably Vicki) are back from Boston. So we also see Sarah again... setting her up for her confrontation with Barnabas at the end of the episode!

By the time you return to this discussion, Rob, I'm going to assume you've seen through 265, the fourth seance. Time for a review:

SEANCE #1: Episode 170

Participants: Guthrie, Roger, Carolyn & Vicki (+ Laura)

Purpose: To contact Josette

Results: Josettte speaks through Vicki (in French)

SEANCE #2: Episode 186

Participants: Vicki, Sam Evans & David

Purpose: To contact Josette

Results: David Radcliffe speaks through David

SEANCE #3: Episodes 280/281

Participants: Roger, Liz, Carolyn, Vicki, Burke & Barnabas

Purpose: To contact any spirit which will answer

Results: Josette speaks through Vicki (in English)

SEANCE #4: Episode 265

Participants: Roger, Liz, Carolyn, Vicki, Julia & Barnabas

Purpose: To contact Sarah

Results: ????

I actually checked in to see if you'd made a comment before I watched more last night (up to episode 366), but no worries, I knew a seance was coming. And, in broad strokes, what it would lead to. 

I really love that Roger's had a change of heart on seances, and that he acknowledges it. 

I loved that Carolyn tried to fake being Sarah, and Barnabas's suggestion, but that Sarah/Vicki called her on her lies. I hope there are repercussions for this. (Gonna be a while before we get to them, I suppose!)

I did NOT expect the actual governess, Phyllis Wick, to appear in modern Collinwood! I'm definitely curious to see where that goes. But for now, we're back in time with Vicki. 

Vicki, in the past, arrives in 1795. She knows Barnabas, but he doesn't know her. She also knows Sarah, who's alive. And claims, in one of the funniest gags I've seen on the show, that she knows Vicki is her governess, because she drew a picture and it looks just like her! I'd expected the uncanny likeness of a Sam Evans painting, and instead, when we finally see it, it's a typical little girl's drawing -- it could represent anyone with long hair.

We also meet a few members of the household: Naval lieutenant Nathan Forbes (Joel Crothers) looks just like Joe (but is considerably more sexually aggressive with women), and Joan Bennet plays Naomi Collins, Barnabas's mother. When Vicki learns the year is 1795, and that Barnabas is set to marry Josette in a month (something she knows wasn't planned in the history she learned), and that somehow she's replaced the real governess, Phyllis Wick, who was in a carriage accident, she faints. 

"I actually checked in to see if you'd made a comment before I watched more last night (up to episode 366), but no worries, I knew a seance was coming. And, in broad strokes, what it would lead to."

Yeah, it wasn't the seance that was the spoiler...

"I did NOT expect ..."

We were watching this and Tracy said, "Rob's going to freak!

"(Gonna be a while before we get to them, I suppose!)"

The "1795" arc last for 19 weeks.

"But for now, we're back in time with Vicki."

I don't know if you noticed, but after the arrival of Phyllis Wick, the camera pulled back and the action froze. The freeze frame indicates that the present day action is essentially "frozen in time" while Vicki's trip to the past plays out.

I have a LOT to say about this development that I have been holding for a LONG time, but for now we left off with 365. I'll be posting more in the days to come. You can count on it. 

This sounds familiar. I wonder if it's on "Adventures of a Time-Traveling Vampire" tape?

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