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 heartily recommend it.
Julia Hoffman playing rim shots on a snare drum.
That image is funnier than any of the jokes.
My wife and I are up to episode 235 ( I think) in our Dark Shadows watch - Barnabas has brought Maggie Evans to the old house and is trying to convince her that she is Josette. Overall I am enjoying the series, though it is tough staying awake through certain episodes. I cringe when an opening scene is at the Blue Whale. Those shows are the worst - too much talk and not enough action.
I'm still watching an episode a day most days. Last night was #152, smack in the middle of the Phoenix saga. I must say I'm enjoying the Phonex saga maore than I ever have in the past. I always liked the development of the sub-plots and characterization during that period, but the exact nature of Laura's powers was always so ill-defined I couldn't get past it. But something I read by series writer Ron Sproat recently gave me a new way to look at it, and I've come to accept that arc as definitive of the first year as the introduction of the ghost of Josette.
I plan to watch through the introduction of Jason McGuire, then skip ahead a bit. I watched through the introduction of Barnabas several weeks ago when Bob was covering it. As soon as I finish the Phoenix storyline, I plan to skip ahead to episode #220 (Barnabas meets Maggie at the inn and leaves his cane) an watch through the sceance which sends Vicki back in time (to an alternate 1795, I am now convinced).
This Dark Shadows thread is intriguing to me. It's the only American show that you've dscussed that wasn't on the telly in Ireland when I was growing up. (60's repeats must have been a very cheap import.)
I'm fascinated that it seems to be a long-running Buffy-esque Vampire show that I'd never heard of! And it seems to have all these weird soap-opera and time-travel elements. I'm guessing that it was just too strange and thrown together to interest the buyers for mainstream Irish family television in the 70's/80's. And probably too Gothic horror for the early 'just-before-the-6pm-news' slot that 60's American genre shows were usually shown in. (Similarly, BBC would show them on the second channel BBC2 at 6pm as an alternative to watching the news). This 5.30 - 6.30pm was the only timeslot that old genre shows (and old comedies like "I love Lucy") would be shown. After the news was when the TV stations were expected to front up with recent home-produced fare or exciting well-made shows like Dallas, The Professionals and Starskey and Hutch. Weird messed up cult vampire soap operas wouldn't have cut the mustard, methinks!
I'm also guessing that the storylines were drawn out over several episodes unlike Star Trek and Time Tunnel which anyone could get into so long as they see the first 5 minutes.
And I'm getting the impression that the main characters would be played by different actors along the way, and sometimes this Barnabas chap was a vampire, and sometimes he wasn't!