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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Looking forward to it!

I've gotten to episode 381.  At Natalie's insistence, the wedding was rushed to that night, but Angelique convinced/guilted Josette into wearing a magic charm on her dress, supposedly for good luck, but actually to drive her away before the wedding, to go running after Jerimiah. 381 is mostly a search for Josette, with Barnabas and her dad, Andre, arguing about what Jeremiah's absence might mean in relation to it. 

And then we get to the scene I think you're mentioning -- while Barnabas is wandering in the woods looking for Josette, a spirit appears before Barnabas claiming he's Jeremiah (although he clearly is not), and says Josette is running off with him. Barnabas, angered, shoots him but his bullets go right through. This seems like Angelique's doing, somehow, but I'm not sure how or why the spirit wasn't actually made to look like Jeremiah. I almost feel like it might have been scripted to be Jeremiah, but Anthony George called in sick or something.

Andre finds Barnabas in the woods, and they head off toward Collinsport, where they find Josette's wedding veil along the road. Finally, back at Collinwood, Barnabas declares he still loves Josette, to Angelique's dismay.

Also, Joshua is still a cat, and Angelique threatens to turn Ben into a moth.

"While Barnabas is wandering in the woods looking for Josette, a spirit appears before Barnabas claiming he's Jeremiah"

Yeah, that's the scene I was alluding to. It just strikes me as so weird. Just what is going on in that scene? What is supposed to be going on? He is clearly not Jeremiah. Barnabas isn't fooled. What is the audience supposed to think. what was Angelique trying to accomplish? What did she think she was trying to accomplish? Did the writers even know? This is a prime example of just how off the wall Dark Shadows was at this point. 

382 has a great line of dialogue in it.

So that's why Joe could never afford to buy his own boat. He was spending all his $$$ on convertibles!

Joel's one of my favorite cast members -- good to see a shot of him enjoying life. 

Anyway, it's been a while, but I've seen up to episode 284 384. A lot has happened! Jeremiah and Josette have run off and gotten married! (And we've seen our first scene at the Collinsport Inn, or anywhere in town!) Then they got their heads on straight and came back! And then Barnabas challenged Jeremiah to a duel! And then  everyone tries to talk the two guys out of it! And Angelique gives Barnabas a protective charm to wear in the duel! And then Barnabas and Jeremiah can't resolve their differences with words! And then they meet in the courtyard to duel! And then they count to three! And then, just as Josette arrives, Barnabas doesn't throw away his shot! Jeremiah is wounded, perhaps mortally! And then Josette -- who's again hopped-up on Angelique's magic love-rosewater -- tells Barnabas Jeremiah was "the only man she ever loved!" 

And I'm guessing the great line you mention, Jeff, was Naomi's: "If the Devil has blinded me, Abigail, I consider it curious he lets you in on all his plans." That's a bon mot that could come in handy in many a facebook argument. Or, say, Footloose.


"I've seen up to episode 284."

384. We're up to 389. We generally watch an episode a night unless we fall behind, then we watch however many it takes to catch up.

You're about to encounter a new character in 385, the one whose name I "redacted" a week or so back when I was referring to The Crucible. I can hardly wait.

Oh, and you may say goodbye to Anthony George. He won't be back... as Burke Devlin, as Jeremiah Collins or in any other role.

"If the Devil has blinded me, Abigail, I consider it curious he lets you in on all his plans."

Great line. That's the "new guy," Sam Hall.

Oh, so long, Anthony! I liked you as Jeremiah, and whenever you sparred with Barnabas as Burke!

Tubi's writeup of the next episode mentions a witchfinding preacher, so I'm excited for that!

Just caught episode 385, the debut of Reverend Trask. As a few of the characters have recognized, he's a religious fanatic willing to go to extreme measures to prove witchcraft. I like that he was elusive about what church he belonged to.

I also liked how Nathan went to Vicki to try to get her out of the house before she was questioned. Vicki dismissed him, ignorant of the danger Trask poses, and feeling like it might have been another play from the womanizing lieutenant.  

But my favorite bit is that Vicki shows more backbone than ever, slapping Trask and saying "You're not a man of god, you're a fanatic! If anyone is possessed by the devil, you are!" Nice going, Vic!

Now, that course of action meant that she'd soon be tied to a tree overnight, but I don't doubt that's the way things were heading, slap or no slap.

I love that the real question, unacknowledged by every character (aside from Ben and Angelique), isn't whether or not there's a witch in the house, but simply that they've accused the wrong person. 

Also: Jeremiah is still at death's door, but it sounds like it's only a matter of time.

Jerry Lacy will eventually play three generations of the the Trask family. The various Trasks are much more relevant to the overall storyline than Tony Peterson, but although the Trasks have shown up from time to time in Big Finish audios, it is Tony Peterson who got his own sub-series (as a paranormal detective). 

I'm glad that Vicki has once again become the central character, or at least a central character (a "co-central character" if you will), at least for the time being. The thing I don't care for is that, by 1795, the infamous Salem witchcraft trials had been over for 100 years (more proof, AFAIAC, that Vicki is in an alternate past). I also question the historical accuracy of that "tie a witch to a tree overnight and see what happens" tactic. 

Much better to throw her in the water and ... see if she weighs more than a duck? I always get confused at that step.

I hadn't even realized Trask was the same actor as Tony. And it somehow slipped my mind that Tony was the Tony of Big Finish's Tony & Cassandra series. I'm learnin' a lot today!

As for the witch-hunter's tree test, the rhyme goes like this:

Kill a tree, a witch she be.
The arbor grows, that's a NOES.

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