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
Jeff of Earth-J said:
And don't forget to read the "Barnabas Joke of the Day"!
Fangs for the reminder!
I watched through episode 33 last night. Roger said out loud what I've been thinking for a while -- that David is every bit as likely to be Burke's kid as his own. The car accident case has been dropped, officially an accident, and David will go on living at Collinwood. And Joe gets hammered and comes up to the house to raise a ruckus and accuse Elizabeth of setting a bad example for Carolyn -- since her being abandoned by her husband devastated her (and has kept her housebound for 18 years), Joe theorizes that Carolyn won't marry him out of fear for that example of what marriage can do.
Joe, baby. Have you considered that you might just be a drag?
Cliffhanger -- Elizabeth meets Burke at the Blue Whale, taking him up on his offer to get his detective's full report on her.
I'm up to Episode 35 now, and the grandfather clock has struck 9 -- so it's 9pm on Day 3!
Carolyn chastises Joe for being a mean drunk, but recognizes that he believes what he said about her and her mother. Victoria's meeting with Burke moves to his hotel room, where he orders two steaks for them... she reads the report, learns nothing (aside from Burke's interest, and his offer to help), and leaves. But not before Joe spots them there, and suspects canoodling!
Then Joe calls Carolyn, which gets her upset & jealous. (David overhears because he's a snoop.) Vicki returns home, to Carolyn's accusations, but they make up. David gives her one last bedtime threat.
Meanwhile, we've got a new Sam, David Ford! I like him right off -- the original gave off more of a beachside artist vibe, but Ford (aided by his goatee) lets a little 50s beatnik peek through. He goes to see Burke to beg off painting his portrait, but Burke ups the price and gets him to reconsider. (He also offers him his second steak, now going cold because Vicki left.) Meanwhile, Sam & Joe talk about hangovers and the hazards of love, and how Joe should get Carolyn away from Collinwood ASAP.
A reply to a comment from the distant past....
Kathy & I had tickets for a stage -- well, back-of-bar -- production of Wild Women of Wongo in NYC the night after the last presidential election. We were devastated that day, and considered not going, but that combination of campy/saucy kitsch was just what the doctor ordered. Plus I won a t-shirt that says "MANLY MAN-SLAVE" that I've never worn anywhere, other than one stint tending bar at a women's bonspiel at our curling club.
The Baron said:
If you've never seen "The Wild Women of Wongo," that's the one Tracy and I would choose for us to watch together.
Can't say as I've seen that one.
I'm glad you like the new Sam.
Episode 36 -- Elizabeth tries to talk Vicki out of leaving, Sam calls the house looking for Roger, Roger's RIGHT THERE, Roger threatens Sam for painting Burke's portrait, and gives him 24 hours to get out of it, Sam hints that there might have been something between him and Elizabeth 18 years ago, and Roger displays more open contempt for his son. (Which I'm starting to find absolutely delicious.) Plus: Elizabeth places a call to Portland, to someone named Ned Calder...I guess we'll find out who he is next episode! (He can't get to the phone right now because he's putting a racecar driver's brain into a robot body...)
Now I'm up to episode 38...and Day 4! Vicki hears sobbing from the locked room in the basement, which Roger at first denies, but then acknowledges. Eventually, the new Matthew (so far, I like the OG Matthew better -- he felt like a more New Englandy type of crusty to me) puts a name to the sobbing -- Josette Collins.
Meanwhile, Burke is planning to go to Bangor, and Carolyn is trying to get him to take her, purposefully leaving her ring behind with him. And Burke suggests to Matthew that the Collinses might not be good people, and might deserve what's coming to them.
And: Breakfast! Coffee! A doughnut! Most Dark Shadows scenes either have food or a telephone. (Food being useful to give actors business while they talk; and phones being useful to move the plot along for actors who have a day off.)
And Ned Calder called! We still don't know who he is.
Rob's comments piqued my interest in Dark Shadows once again. Last night I watched Master of Dark Shadows a very good documentary on the career of Dan Curtis. My wife and I also watched the first three installments of Dark Shadows:The Beginning. Neither of us have ever seen these earlier episodes. When we did our DS watch/re-watch a few years ago we started with the intro of Barnabas. Not sure when we stopped episode-wise but we were to the point where Angelique's warlock partner had become a regular and I found the character intolerable and so ended that particular Dark Shadows run.
Oh, cool -- welcome to it, Doc!
I'm actually fascinated at the slow burn of these beginning episodes... using the idea of ghosts for mood and set dressing, but nothing more. (Though we've got what appears to be a haunting by Josette Collins now... we'll see how quickly that develops!)
Through episode 40, we see Bill Molloy take the fore as an investigator for Elizabeth -- he's working to get to the bottom of the Burke/Roger/Sam enmity, and even offers to help clear Burke's name if Burke stays away from the Collinses (or at least, every Collins but Roger, who he has no love for). Also: Molloy loves coffee, and is very pushy about getting some...and then gulping it down and getting some more.
I like Molloy. He's one of the actors that really sells the idea that this is a Maine fishing town, both with his accent and his attitude.
Roger, of course, is still pressuring Sam to not paint Burke's portrait -- and went so far as to hide in his bathroom eavesdropping while Burke st for his first session.
Meanwhile, Carolyn tries to weasel her way to a trip to Bangor with Burke. (The city name seems appropriate in this instance, at least from Carolyn's POV.)
Ned Calder, BTW, is the cannery's old business manager, whom Elizabeth is trying to hire back in an effort to deal with whatever Burke is planning.
Welcome back, Kevin!
Rob, I suspect the new Matthew will grow on you. I'm biting my lip here, but i can't see the original Matthew playing the role as it develops.
Enjoy the kitchen set while you can. It is used frequently during the first year of the show (real time), but then disappears forever.
Me, I've been watching shows in random order, skipping about here and there, fighting the urge to get ahead of the discussion. I will say this, though: "slow burn" is right. Despite being an episodic show, many of them make for supurb standalone viewing.
There was an article about the enduring appeal of Dark Shadows in the NY Times last week. One person interviewed called it "Star Trek for introverts."
It's behind the NYT paywall, so in case you've used up your free articles this month, here's one section I really liked.
The story arcs on “Dark Shadows” traversed the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and centered on the old-money Collins family at the Collinwood estate in small-town Collinsport, Maine. Wallace McBride, the curator of the Collinsport Historical Society, a “Dark Shadows” fan site, called the series “‘Star Trek’ for introverts.”
“If ‘Star Trek’ was about going new places and meeting new people, ‘Dark Shadows’ is about staying inside,” McBride said in an interview last month. “Characters travel to other dimensions without leaving the family house. It’s very personal and inward focused.”
In one of the interviews from one of the VHS tapes, Katheryn Leigh Scott compared Dark Shadows to Star Trek (both of which debuted the same year) on the basis that both fed viewers' imaginations.
I watched a couple more last night... up to episode 42, IIRC. Carolyn has tracked Burke to Bangor, and witnesses a secret meeting to undermine her family... but is out of earshot, and doesn't realize what Burke's planning....EVEN THOUGH HE TELLS HER (as a joke). He also gives her an expensive (and uncomfortable-looking) silver pen.
Meanwhile, Sam argues with Maggie, and then heads up to Collinwood to confess to Elizabeth.... but even after a couple drinks, can't bring himself to do it. (David Ford handles that first drink great -- he tries to drink calmly and politely, but takes the glass with both hands and goes all-in just the same.) Joe also comes up to the house, to apologize to Elizabeth, say he can't find Carolyn (but thinks she's in Bangor with Burke) and is pulled in to witness whatever Sam has to say before he loses his nerve.
We get reinforcement that Sam came to Collinwood once, and that he hasn't seen Elizabeth in over 18 years.
Also: No one can find Bill Molloy, last seen speaking with Sam, who's just hinted at the deep dark secret in his, Roger, and Burke's past.
Episode 41 also has Sam shouting at Maggie, "Go back to your fancy restaurant!" Fancy? Dude...you've BEEN there. You know it's barely a jumped-up diner. Maggie herself, just this episode, said she mostly just serves black coffee to drunks.