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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Harry Johnson? What a putz!

I watched episode 444 last night: Things go as planned for Nathan, and he gets back into Millicent's good graces -- and she even sneaks out of Collinwood to visit him in his apartment in Collinsport to beg him not to leave. Noah still wants to leave town.

I saw episode 445 at lunch. Millicent and Nathan are now engaged again! It's seems like its rare for a soap opera to not show a proposal, but I think it's the right call. We can easily imagine how Nathan influenced Millicent to renewing their engagement, since she has all the brains of vanilla pudding. 

Nathan wants to get Joshua's approval -- or rather, he wants to blackmail Joshua into giving his approval, because he knows his absent son Barnabas has instead been lurking around Collinwood as a criminal. But what Nathan doesn't know is that Barnabas is dead... and that Joshua has no idea he's still around, and at the old house. (Last he saw, he thought his body was stolen by grave robbers.) So Joshua goes to the Old House, sees Ben, goes into the basement... and sees Barnabas coming out of his coffin!

"MST3K short" featuring Craig Slocum (about four minutes in), Noah Gifford and Harry Johnson of Dark Shadows. Also of, uh... "interest" is "Sheryl's Craig Slocum Website."



Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

So Joshua goes to the Old House, sees Ben, goes into the basement... and sees Barnabas coming out of his coffin!

Whoa. There's no accounting for taste, I guess.

And I'm wondering if it'll turn out that way this time, Baron. We're nearing the end of the 1795/6 run, and we're already killing off characters willy-nilly, so that's certainly a possibility. But on the other hand... Barnabas winds up chained in his coffin, somewhere down the line. (Now, that's not necessarily in 1796, but it probably is, just to tie up a loose end before heading back...to the future.)

Last night I caught episode 446. Barnabas doesn't kill Joshua (although at one point he tries). Instead, he explains to his dad that he's a vampire, he can't help what he must do to survive, and they can't tell his mom because the shame would kill her. Between these two gay actors, it plays like a coming-out scene. In the end, Joshua shoots Barnabas, so things definitely could have gone better.

Also, an interesting detail that should drive the plot forward. Joshua accuses Barnabas of attacking Millicent, which he knows he didn't do. Barnabas denies it, but Jonathan doesn't believe him... yet. Sooner or later, their attention will turn back to that question.

And now I've seen episode 447. Barnabas survives, of course, and Joshua gets the crazy idea to lock Barnabas up in Collinwood's tower. And Millicent gets the crazy idea to put all of her money in a trust for Daniel, because she's certain Nathaniel doesn't love her for her money. (And considering that plan, he doesn't love her for her brains, either.)

"Sigh. I'll never get these names right, will I?"

"Barnabas denies it, but Jonathan doesn't believe him..."

Hmm... perhaps not. 

Never gonna get them right

Never gonna know their name

When the actors are the same

But different

Never gonna keep them straight

You can call it ShadowsGate

In every timeline I will make

A mix-up

I've seen through episode 449 now. In 448, Nathan and Millicent get married... and then Nathan discovers that Millicent has given all her money to Daniel. He storms off, but when he comes back, he decides to drive Millicent insane. (Daniel practically suggests this himself, explaining a) Millicent is still in charge of the money until he reaches adulthood, b) her mind is a fragile as a robin's egg, and c) if she's incapable, someone else will have to be in charge of the money, maybe you, Nathan!) So Nathan decides gaslighting is the way to go.

That continues into next episode, but he also tells Millicent she should go up into the tower since she sees lights up there. She does... and Barnabas attacks her, giving her a chance to save herself by saying she'd never tell what she saw up there... but she can't even do that. So, Barnabas gets to bitin'. Meanwhile, Natalie and Jonathan Jebediah Jumbotron Jerkface Joshua perform a ... maybe you'd call it a "living séance"? It's an attempt to summon someone who can remove a curse. And at the end of the episode, an older woman who looks like she might be a witch shows up at the door. 

Awesome

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Jonathan Jebediah Jumbotron Jerkface  

I'm not sure why Joshua didn't tell Barnabas not to douse that light after the first night. What's Barnabas doing in the tower room all night anyway? Catching up on his reading? Millicent says, No one ever goes to the tower room," but Tracy points out they've only been living in Collinwood for a matter of weeks at this point.

I'm not sure how I would describe that ritual performed by Natalie and Joshua, but I don't think I'd call it a séance. They didn't use that word, nor did they touch fingers or, indeed, even remain seated. Next episode you'll meet Bathia Mapes. 

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