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
  

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Barnabas Joke of the Day: Barnabas has a slogan: May the beast man win.
Barnabas Joke of the Day: You heard of Cyrus McCormick? He invented the reaper. Well, Barnabas is a sort of Virus McCormick. He invented the grim reaper.
Barnabas Joke of the Day: When you sleep in Barnabas’ guest room, you don’t sleep on a bed of roses, you sleep on a bed of neurosis.
I'd have thought it would be a bed of nails ... or stakes.
Last week my wife and I began watching DS Collection 2. Barnabas is not treating Maggie very well these days! Unfortunately, a couple of the episodes have revolved around Carolyn's romance with the leather jacketed hipster Buzz. For me, those episodes are as cringe inducing as the ones set at the Blue Whale.
Unfortunately, a couple of the episodes have revolved around Carolyn's romance with the leather jacketed hipster Buzz. For me, those episodes are as cringe inducing as the ones set at the Blue Whale.

Yeah, Buzz was always a little too clean-cut to convincingly portray a motorcycle gang leader.

Barnabas Joke of the Day: Do you know how Barnabas travels when he can’t fly? He drives a bloodmobile.
In the episode we watched last night Buzz and Carolyn go out for the evening... to the Blue Whale!  I was squirming in my seat through that one.
Arrggh. I'm eager to catch up with you, but Green Hornet watching has bumped Dark Shadows watching back a couple of days in our house.
The Dark Shadows paperbacks are pretty quick reads, but sometimes I get hung up and I’ve discovered that if I don’t finish one over the course of a weekend, it sometimes takes me a while to get back to it. For example, I’ve been one chapter shy of finishing The Mystery of Collinwood for two weeks now! I need to get this one out of the way, though, because as of yesterday I acquired enough new books to keep me busy reading for the foreseeable future. (Thanks Bob and Tim!)

THE MYSTERY OF COLLINWOOD:

I’ve read this one before, but unlike the others I’m reading for a second time, the details aren’t coming back to me as I re-read. The only thing I remember from the first time through is that Collinwood houseguest “Professor Mark Veno” is secretly Elizabeth and Roger’s older brother (and that I picture him in my mind’s eye as being played by Boris Karloff). The time is September 1967, and most of the supporting cast has again been removed from the picture. Ernest Collins in on tour in Europe; Carolyn in Ellsworth finishing her last year of high school; David at boarding school in Augusta.

Margaret Lucas, a new character, is terminally ill and has rented Ernest’s cottage to spend her final days in peace. Carlos Marelli, quite an odd duck, is her hunchbacked servant. The mystery begins when Mark Veno, a mentalist, and his daughter Linda come to stay at Collinwood. Linda is in love Ernest and tells Vicki they plan to marry. Vicki is not quite sure what to make of Linda’s assertion, but decides to ignore it for the time being. Linda is a few years younger than Vicki but their resemblance to each other is unmistakable, leading Vicki to believe that Mark Collins may be her father. Soon after Professor “Veno” relates the legend of the “Phantom Mariner,” Vicki begins seeing a ghostly apparition around the grounds. She is attacked, and on another occasion Vicki believe Veno tried to hypnotize her into jumping off Widow’s Hill. Ernest returns and assures Vicki that it is she he loves, and that Linda’s feelings for him are simple infatuation. Still, he does little to discourage Linda’s advances.

I really must finish this soon because I’m eager to move on to the paperback which introduces Barnabas, which I have never read before.

Barnabas Joke of the Day: Barnabas likes to go to meetings and act as M.C. — Massacre of Ceremonies
My Dark Shadows viewing may slow down a bit - I just discovered Netflix is streaming X-Files. Since I have seen most of the episodes previously, my plan is to watch only the ones pertaining to the alien invasion conspiracy. Of course if my wife has anything to say about it, we will be watching 2 or 3 DS episodes for every one X-Files.
X-Files recently started running on BBC America. My wife and I are watching it there.
Barnabas Joke of the Day: Barnabas went to a restaurant and ordered corn on the sob.

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