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” 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 - 264
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, 264
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 Mystery at Crucifix Heights - 179
The Mystery of La Danse Macabre - 179
The Mystery of Flight 493 - 180
The Mystery of Karmina Sonata - 180

Trio - 180
Honeymoon from Hell - 180
Retreat -180
1:53 AM - 180

The Girl Beneath the Water - 180
The Sand That Speaks HIs Name - 180
The Hollow Winds That Beckon
The Paper to the Flame


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



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Dark Shadows has four "Big Guns." Two of them we've already met: Barnabas and Julia. This episode introduces the third: Angelique. Lara Parker has written four Dark Shadows novels, the first of which, Angelique's Descent, tells the story of Angelique's "origin" as well as the Josette/Barnabas/Angelique love triangle from her point of view. Big Finish turned it into a two-part audio book read by the author, the first two releases in the Dark Shadows range. I have read the book once and listened to the audio once and may soon do one or the other again.

Here's the thing about Barnabas. Dan Curtis and the writers are in the process of turning him into a "sympathetic vampire," but even in 1795 he's he's not so squeaky clean himself. Consider: while he was betrothed to Josette (in this version), he still was not above a dalliance with her maid. I was going to hold off on this comparison until [REDACTED], but are you familiar with Arthur Miller's play The Crucible? There is a scene in act one between Proctor and Abigail which is lifted almost verbatim for the scene between Barnabas and Angelique alone together in her room. 

Speaking of audios and trying to make Barnabas a more sympathetic character, one of my favorite stand-alone Big Finish audios is "The Night Whispers," starring Jonathan Frid (his only audio appearance and his last performance as Barnabas) and John Karlen in a two-man play exploring Barnabas' pre-vampire days as well as his relationship with Willie Loomis. If you liked "...And Red All Over" you should like "The Night Whispers." It is about as "spoilery" as the one with Burke Devlin and Maggie, so if you were okay with the one you should be okay with the other. 

What I like about "The Night Whispers" is that it paints a picture of a Barnabas who was not quite so "squeaky clean" even before he became a vampire, just as this episode does. Does the "1795" arc  on TV succeed in making Barnabas sympathetic? I have my own opinion regarding that, but we can discuss it further after you've seen the conclusion of the arc. I remember that you (and Kelvin) took exception to the main character murdering the man whose place he took on the Resident Alien TV show. the producers of that show, too, tried to "turn it around" in the final episode of the first season. 


From Page 19:

"Dark Shadows: "When Arrives...Angelique!"

1)Hey, it's in black-and-white!

2)Vicki, you idiot, don't let people know that you know the future!

3)Is this the first appearance of Angelique?

4)Edmonds plays a hardass real well.

5)Naomi's a drunk, apparently.

6)Julia is The Countess.

7)Joshua is a small-d democrat.

8)Barnabas and Angelique have a past together."


"Dark Shadows: "Barnabas Gets All Choked Up"

1)Let me guess - Angelique's going to put the voodoo on Barnabas, and Vicki's going to get blamed?

2)"You're the governess." "You arrived last night." Vicki and Angelique are narrating to each other.

3)Sounds like Jeremiah's got the hots for Vicki.

4)Barnabas, you idiot.

5)"I will always be much closer to you than you think."

6)The Evanses as the Duprees - At least, Vicki's learned not to shout out who she thinks everyone is.

7)Angelique put a chokehold on Barnabas!"

Nope. She's still an idiot! 

The Baron said:

"Dark Shadows: "Barnabas Gets All Choked Up"

The Evanses as the Duprees - At least, Vicki's learned not to shout out who she thinks everyone is.

"Nope. She's still an idiot!"

Tracy is referring to 372.

I've seen up through episode 370 now, so I've seen Angelique lay some hoodoo on Barnabas (choking him!), and also have seen the entrance of Josette and her father (finally -- a relationship that hasn't changed!). Angelique seems pretty merciless here, and I agree -- Barnabas isn't as lily-white as he's painted himself in the present. But Barnabas was betrothed to Josette, but thought that she didn't love him: Was their marriage arranged by their fathers? Joshua did say something about the Dupres's company (was it sugar) planning to ship exclusively on Collins vessels. 

I'm familiar with the Crucible, but it's been a couple decades since I've seen or read it, so I didn't recognize the passage lifted for Barnabas and Angelique. I'm assuming your redaction is because Angelique practices witchcraft, which wasn't revealed yet in 368?

So: witch, tarot card reader, girl from the future, and a vampire-to-be....all in the same house together.  What could go wrong?

Actually, that's one of the biggest unspoken changes in this past storyline: We haven't seen Collinsport at all! All the action is on the estate, largely in the Pink Old House,* but otherwise up at the new house, under construction.

And speaking of changes to the past... if Vicki's presence isn't causing the change -- and I agree, it isn't, since she arrived after things shifted -- than what IS causing them? I give us a 75% chance of finding out, and a 25% chance of the show leaving us hanging ... but if we do find out, I'd be surprised if Angelique's witchcraft isn't connected in some way.

*Seriously, did the Collinses win that MTV Party House contest, or what? 

"...the entrance of Josette and her father"

Why... without his beard David ford looks just like Mark Allen!

"I'm assuming your redaction is because Angelique practices witchcraft..."

No, it's because of a character who has not yet been introduced.

"...the Pink Old House"

This one?

(You can rent that house on Air B&B.)

Didn't you know? Everything in the past is pink. That's where the term "rose-colored glasses" comes from.

"And speaking of changes to the past... what IS causing them?"


"I give us a 75% chance of finding out..."

75%, eh? Wow, that's pretty generous. As Bob would say, we give more thought to how these things work than the writers ever did. Seriously, I wish we still had access to posts to the old board where I put forth any number of crackpot theories before I finally decided simply to deem it an alternate reality and be done with it. Having said that, though, there is a scene in episode 1140 which is set in 1692. 

In the discussion since you started watching, Rob, I have stated on more than one occasion that I consider what was revealed of the past in the b&w episodes (and some of the color episodes not too long ago) to be canon. In 370, Josette and Jeremiah meet for the first time! [Also, Barnabas and Jeremiah are approximately the same age (I think that might be revealed in 371), and Barnabas and Sarah aren't.]

CANON: Barnabas was tasked with teaching his middle-aged uncle's young bride to speak English. 


"Carolyn Stoddard is knocked unconscious when the sports car she and Barnabas are riding in skids on a patch of ice. She regains consciousness in Collinwood with Barnabas and quentin collins at her side--but the year is 1869! And Collinwood is being terrorized by a savage killer. Carolyn likes quentin and refuses to believe that even in werewolf form he could be the murderer. But even Quentin is convinced of his own guilt. The old family lawyer hires someone to kill him. Several days later, before he can reveal the assassin's name, the lawyer dies. Quentin has signed his own death sentence, marked for death by an unknown killer."

TIME: December 1969 (framing sequence); December 1869 (main story). It is rare that these paperbacks set the specific year in the present day; they always mention month or season, but this one specifically mentions 1969. That sets it only four months after the previous one, in which Barnabas confessed his history to Carolyn. To give you an example of how little continuity exists from book to book, Elizabeth has to explain to Carolyn about the portrait of the "original" Barnabas Collins hanging in the foyer.

Collinwood is preparing for Christmas in both eras, which in itself is an oddity for Dark Shadows. Christmas, nor any other holiday, was ever mentioned in the TV show, although two of the audios.were set against a Christmas backdrop.

This is the first of the paperbacks which involves time travel, although Barnabas mentions it has happened to him before. Although he is a vampire in 1969, he is not a vampire in 1869. He explains that, from time to time in the past, he has been able to rid himself of his curse for a short time, but it never lasts. We've never seen that in any book to date, but apparently 1869 is a time when he "wasn't a vampire."


ENOCH COLLINS: Head of the family, the great uncle of the Carolyn of the 19th century.


SABINA COLLINS: Enoch's ward, in love with Barnabas, sleepwalks

QUENTIN COLLINS: Nephew of Enoch, engaged to Carolyn, jealous of Barnabas, a werewolf

SALLY: A Collinwood maid

TOM BRANDON: Formen of the estate farm, a buily, a drunkard and a wife-beater

JEFF WILMER: Courting Sabina, drinks, gambles, no prospects

CAPTAIN TIMOTHY HENDRICKS: A retired slaver, friend to Wilmer, familiar with voodoo

SAMUAL CLIVE: Collins family lawyer. He (mistakenly) believed that Quentin wanted to kill himself but didn't have the guts to do it himself, so he arranged for an assassin to to the job, then died.He also arranged for Sabina to marry Jeff Wilmer.


DR. MOORE: The new doctor

HARE: Barnabas always has a servant named "Hare" whether in the 19th or 20th century, sometimes he's deaf, sometimes he's mute, sometimes he's a deaf/mute. I always assumed one was descended from the other, but carolyn seems to recognize the 1869 one as the same man. No explanation is given. 

The way these things are set up, nearly every character is a suspect, and the actual assassin is not revealed until the very end. None of the other suspects are actually eliminated; it really could have been any one of them. When the real culprit is revealed, it's never really much of a "revelation" because it could have been anyone. I usually think, "Oh, okay." In this case it's bit of a surprise because the assassin wasn't among the main suspect but was another werewolf. Nevertheless, I thought, "Oh, okay."

I've seen through episode 372 now...and we get the return of Thayer David, this time as Ben Stokes! I like him so far. Too bad he's doomed.

Angelique has taken an interest in him, and has made him drink a concoction which she claims will sap his will, and make him her slave. That's not going to end well for him. She's also collecting deadly nightshade, so she's likely planning to poison someone. Probably not Barnabas himself, as she's already had second thoughts after nearly choking him to death with post-Revolutionary War voodoo.

Oh, and cousins Millicent and Daniel will be arriving soon. If they're not Carolyn and David, I'll eat my hat.

It's funny how Dark Shadows plays with recasting -- when new people start playing existing roles, it's not mentioned at all. But Vicki is seeing so many people from her present-day life that she's got to be wondering if she's not in a Wizard of Oz-style dream.  

"...and we get the return of Thayer David, this time as Ben Stokes!"

Ha! I had hoped you would be as surprised by the return of Thayer David as you were by the return of Anthony George. There's an interesting dynamic at play in the relationship between Angelique and Ben.

The one thing I remember about 372 is that I saw it before I saw any of the b&w episodes, so when Vicki had such a strong reaction I thought to myself, "Who the hell is Matthew?" Not really (the Dark Shadows Almanac spoiled all the plot threads for me in advance) but it did give some indication of how Vicki's behavior looks to the Collinses et al

From page 19:

"Dark Shadows: "Breathless"

1)How long can you go without breathing?

2)Is the actor playing Dr. Thornton somebody else in 1970?

3)Vicki, you idiot, you're telling the future again.

4)Parker does malicious glee well.

5)Jeremiah is Barnabas' uncle - I thought he was his brother.

6)Barnabas must be able to breathe a little or he'd be dead by now.

7)Angelique doesn't want Barnabas to die? What did she think the effect of asphyxiating him would be?

8)"I shall be his." Yep, she's nuts."

Above is our set of Swiss Tarot Cards. I don't remember where I got these (or why), but they are exactly the same set of 78 cards used by Natalie duPres in Dark Shadows. The set consists of 22 Major Arcana cards (top) and 56 Minor Arcana Cards (sample bottom). Click to enlarge. The colloquial names of the suits are Swords, Coins, Cups and Sticks. Pictured are the Ace, King, Queen and Jack of each suit, as well as the 2. One could use the Minor Arcana (minus the four "Chevaliers" or the "Valets") in place of a standard 52 card deck. 

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