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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Dark Shadows is like Doctor Who in that I'm sure that neither Dan Curtis nor Sydney Newman ever thought back in the day that people would be poring over their shows fifty years later.

That makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, if it were made today, there'd be more diversity all around, but Angelique is definitely an easy call in that regard. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"IF I DID DARK SHADOWS"...

...I would make Angelique of Haitian descent. They couldn't do that in the '60s, obviously. there is a later episode that retcons her as being from New England originally and just met Josette in Martinique, but I don't think that was done to explain her race so much as it was someone's "neat idea." Then there's Lara Parker's novel Angelique's Descent which explains her white skin and blonde hair as a genetic anomaly, but that's not how I'd cast it. 

Just watched episode 406. Barnabas is alive, but dying. Angelique is alive, weakened but recovering. And she wants Barnabas to rest so she can remove the curse on him. But he won't -- he wants to get to Josette, as he promised. (Josette is at the Three Bells, wanting to get back to Barnabas -- her neck is bleeding sympathetically! -- but Natalie has persuaded her to wait until morning.)

And this episode as maybe the single greatest bit of acting I've seen on this show: Barnabas is frantically packing, but he's obviously week, muttering that he needs to get to Josette. Angelique asks where she is, saying she'll send for her. She's desperate: The man she loves is dying. She shouts at him, "I'll bring her to you!!

...and Barnabas doesn't believe it. He confronts her, tells he she'll never be able to find Josette. 

But I believe her. In that moment, she doesn't want to harm Josette... she just wants her man to live. And if bringing Josette to him will do it, so be it. 

This is one of my favorite scenes in the show so far. 

Angelique is a complicated character. (I was going to say more but I'll leave it at that.)

It occurs to me we still haven't seen the Collinsport of 1795. (The "Three Bells" is somewhere on the road, several hours away.)

I'm picturing "Ye Blue Whale", where the minstrel only knows one tune,

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Angelique is a complicated character. (I was going to say more but I'll leave it at that.)

It occurs to me we still haven't seen the Collinsport of 1795. (The "Three Bells" is somewhere on the road, several hours away.)

I stated long ago that the backstory of the b&w episodes is canon and the 1795 arc is some sort of alternate reality. Consider Barnabas' words to the portrait of Josette when he first moved into the Old House in the 1966 and try to apply them to this sequence of episodes: "I was a Collins! Why didn't you protect me?"

Something else to keep in mind: Josette's relationship with Vicki. In the 20th century, Josette is Vicki's protector. If this is the same reality, how did that status quo evolve from the 1795 one as the arc progresses? 

Obviously, Collinwood was built over a spacetime nexus point, which is why so many otherwise ridiculous methods of time and interdimensional travel work there.

That idea will be further explored when we get to the "Leviathan" arc. I maintain [SPOILER] that the reason Quentin's "staircase through time" worked in the first place is that it was built from wood from a Leviathan forest.

"And this episode as maybe the single greatest bit of acting I've seen on this show...

This is one of my favorite scenes in the show so far."

I appreciate that, but wait until you get of 411. the show has finally learned to do Friday cliffhangers right, but the Monday payoffs aren't always rewarding. Not so with 411, my personal favorite of the "1795" arc so far. 

I've seen through episode 409 now. Barnabas falls ill... Angelique is trying to save him, while Josette rushes to his side. Natalie insists on calling for a doctor, who goes along with Angelique's story about the Plague. Angelique, the original anti-vaxxer, refuses to have him moved to a hospital. Naomi and Joshua arrive at his deathbed. And then, alone with Josette, Barnabas dies! Telling her to wait for him...

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL... Before he died, Josette ran to the jail, in a last-ditch attempt to save Barnabas. She met with Vicki, thinking Vicki was a witch who put a curse on him. Vicki insists she's not a witch, and tells Josette she needs to leave or she'll die (which Vicki knows from the future). As proof, she sends Josette to find her hidden 1965 History of the Collins Family...undoubtedly soon to be Exhibit A* in her witch trial. (She's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, our Vicki.)

Josette and Natalie find it, and discover Josette is slated to die by suicide in the next few months. But at least Barnabas will leave the country and live a long, prosperous life in England.

But then Barnabas dies, a shadowy bat visits the house -- definitely an effect made for 14-inch TVs -- and Joshua announces a plan... so not to worry anyone in the town, he's going to pretend that instead of dying, Barnabas left for England on business. 

ENGLAND? Where has Josette heard THAT before? Uh-oh...

*Notably, per Nathaniel Hawthorne, "exhibit A" is also a criminal sentence in early America.

In the 20th century, no mention had ever been made of Barnabas' wife Angelique (as in, "Barnabas and his new bride moved to England in 1795). It's not too much of a stretch to imagine that Joshua wrote Angelique out of the official family history, but there are other discrepancies more difficult to ignore. For example, remember when Barnabas met David for the first time in the old house and he waxed melancholy about "words in anger between father and son hurled down these stairs" (or something like that)? When did that happen? No, what we're seeing played out here is an alternate history. 

Right... we've seen angry words between them, but they happened by the stairway of Collinwood, not the Old House.

That said, they lived a lot of years in the Old House, and from what we saw at Barnabas's deathbed, he and Joshua didn't always have the easiest relationship. There might have been other words, for other reasons totally unrelated to the whole Josette/Angelique/Jeremiah mishegaas. 

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