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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And now I've seen episode 393. Naomi and Josette rush home, away from the grave, where Joshua & Andre do not believe them. (Naomi's been drinking.)

Plans are made to move to the Collinwood. Jeremiah's ghost appears a few times -- once to Naomi, out the window, where we get a good look at his bandaged face, with a displace dangling eye! He later shows up in Josette's room, beckoning for her to come with him.

Naomi and the Countess, Natalie, run down the list of suspects for witchcraft. Natalie doesn't believe it's Vicki, still in hiding... but she doesn't believe it's Angelique, either.

Angelique reveals to Josette that Barnabas has asked her to marry him. AWKWARD!

And finally, we hear the ghost of Jeremiah's laughter coming from a locked room in Collinwood!

Was anyone in the original series ever shown to be listening to a radio or watching a television, either in Collinwood, or in Collinsport in general?

Never. Although listening to a phonograph was sort of Quentin's schtick early on, and of course the jukebox remains popular at The Blue Whale. Nor did national holidays ever intrude in Collinwood or Collinsport. I can think of two example in which a newspaper headline is shown. 

I didn't think so.  I suppose having too much technology around might not fit in with the show's "Gothic" mise en scène.   


Jeff of Earth-J said:

Never. Although listening to a phonograph was sort of Quentin's schtick early on, and of course the jukebox remains popular at The Blue Whale. Nor did national holidays ever intrude in Collinwood or Collinsport. I can think of two example in which a newspaper headline is shown. 

Holy cats! I've seen up through episode 396 now, and a lot has happened!

Barnabas and Angelique are going to be married tonight. Joshua has disinherited Barnabas, but Naomi gives Barnabas the deed to the old house as a wedding gift, so they move in there. But Angelique is being haunted by the ghost of Jeremiah. And in one gruesome moment, she sees herself in the mirror as she's trying on her wedding dress, and she's covered in blood.

Meanwhile, Rev, Trask is getting closer to Vicki's hiding place in the stables, so Barnabas hides her in the Old House. Sensing she can trust him, Vicki confesses she's FROM THE FUTURE! Big news. (Also, it's here where I realize Vicki doesn't yet know that Barnabas is a vampire in the future, and the same person she's talking to here.) Barnabas says he believes her, but he's starting to think she really IS a witch.

Ben protests her innocence. He knows who the witch really is, but he's powerless to say.

Meanwhile, with the witch: Barnabas finds her voodoo supplies -- Sarah's doll and some pins. He's perplexed, but leaves when a presumable non-evil minister (i.e., Not Trask) arrives. The ghost of Jeremiah haunts Angelique again, and carries her to his grave, where he starts to bury her. She screams, and the episode ends. 

Really nicely done! And man, this show can COOK when it has a destination in mind.

This episode was eventful enough that I made a visit to the Dark Shadows Every Day blog... and while this episode's post was good, I was really taken by this video clip of a convention panel, in which Lara Parker explains the Dark Shadows acting style, using a line from this ep -- "Go back to your grave!" -- as illustration. 

I've now seen up through episode 398. 

Ben has a vision of Angelique, and manages to save her from being buried alive. Naomi helps her to get a new dress, and gives her a wedding token... and then Barnabas and Angelique are married! Once the minister's gone, Ben gets some champagne for a toast -- but when he pours it out, the champagne is blood!

So, there being no alcohol in sight, Naomi goes home.

Angelique discovers Barnabas is hiding Vicki in the Old House, and naturally assumes the worst -- that Barnabas is hiding another woman in the house. But Barnabas explains that she's being hidden from Rev Trask. Angelique decides to send Ben to Abigail's room in Collinwood to steal some ribbon that Angelique can use to give Abigail a dream letting her know that Vicki is in the Old House, so she can tell Rev. Trask... but Ben gets discovered in Abigail's room, and when he starts to explain that he was compelled to go there by the witch, Angelique Force-chokes him from afar.

Also: Angelique finds a familiar music box, which Barnabas had intended to give to Josette. There's no indication of how it was put out onto her dresser, though. Could it be Jeremiah's doing... or someone else's? The ghost of Josette from the future?

Also, it's been a while since I've heard Josette's music box... has the music changed slightly?

It's taken a bit longer than I had expected to get back into the swing of watching Dark Shadows. We left off with 397, but I'll try to respond to all of your comments through 398. First of all, in general, for decades, fans have been trying to "ship" (to use the vernacular) Barnabas and Julia. Uh uh, I don't see it. If anything, I would ship Julia with Professor Stokes. And Barnabas? Angelique. Not that I think they'd be a particularly good match. In fact, their relationship has undergone multiple iterations over the years and none of them has worked out particularly well for them. But, if nothing else, they deserve each other. 

I like that Angelique is not fully in control of the situation. It's as if she has tapped into powers beyond her ability and it's coming to bite her on the arse. And I've said before I appreciate the character dynamic between Angelique and Ben. He may be her slave, but he's not exactly subservient to her, as exemplified by his laughing at her in the cemetery in 397. 

I really like that Dark Shadows Every Day blog. Unfortunately, I didn't discover it until April of this year, just a week or two before it wrapped up. I would have enjoyed participating in the discussion all along.

Naomi provides a new wedding dress to replace the ruined one-dress-she-has-to-her-name, and Angelique replies, "It's so plain!" Tracy and I had pretty much the same reaction at the same time. Tracy remembers nothing of the 1795 storyline. We've watched it together only once, but for her, it's as if she's watching it for the first time.

I haven't yet watched 398 (Ben's "Force-choking" in front of Abigail), but he certainly did put on a fine performance in from of the Reverend Bland when Angelique was trying to contact him from the cemetery. When Ben gets there, Angelique is on the ground and the grave was filled in, whereas previously she had been buried alive. That makes me question how much of Angelique's power is simply illusion.

There are a lot of things in Dark Shadows, I am noticing, which are never explained or are left to the viewer's imagination, for example, the questions you raise about the music box. And yes, the tune has changed slightly. Good ear!

We're caught up to 399. Speaking of the Dark Shadows Every Day blog, I don't always agree with his assessments, but I do always laugh. That guy is funny! He has given me a new appreciation for the 1795 arc. I also like his explanation that it is Angelique's guilt that is causing her spells to go awry. 

Someone was watching television when he was tired:

" In the not-too-distant past, 1966 AD,

There was a guy named Barnabas, somewhat different from you or me.

He lived in the old house at Collinwood, sometimes doing bad, and sometimes good.
He fell afoul of a witch called Angelique, so she hit him with a curse so that blood he would seek!
He'll face weird situations - enough to blow his mind.
He'll have to take them as they come, and save himself and humankind!
Now keep in mind, he can't control when his adventures begin or end. He' ll have to keep his sanity with the help of his many friends!
Barnabas' friends roll call!
Willie!
Julia!
Eliot Stokes!
Croooooow!
If you're wondering how he feeds or sleeps, and other vampire facts, repeat to yourself 'It's just a show, I should really just relax' for Dark Mystery Science Shadows Theater 3000!"

Awesome.

Nice, Baron!

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