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 - 264
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, 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 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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The Baron said:

I always thought that in a world where magic and the supernatural were real, there would be more people ready to believe in it.

I've always had a bit of an issue with a good deal of urban fantasy for exactly that reason. If vampires, werewolves, aqrabuamelu, and so forth were real and if they existed in sufficient numbers, we'd know about them. At the very least, people would be open to the possibility that they were real. Vast tribes of the aforementioned couldn't exist for millennia in total secrecy.

I've seen episode 467 now -- sorry for the delays, work and some extracurriculars are clobbering me -- and got to enjoy Barnabas seeing sunlight, thanks to Dr. Lang! And also Roget get further entranced by Angelique's photo, so much so that he seems possessed by Joshua -- calling Liz "Naomi" -- and then takes Dr. Lang's head mirror and twists it, to give him voodoo headaches! 

When Roger's doing voodoo, you know the whole show's gone crazy.

"And also Roget get further entranced by Angelique's photo..."

Roger's French cousin...?

Ha -- throw the book at me!

I watched episode 468 last night -- an eventful one! We discover that both Vicki and Carolyn are free of Barnabas's influence (as he's been cured), and that Dr. Lang knows Jeff...and we get the impression Jeff's been in the booby hatch. Also, Vicki convinces Julia to come out to the mausoleum to look for the secret room -- which Julia wants to prevent her finding -- but when they get there, Jeff is there too. And as Vicki talks about not knowing how to open the secret room, Jeff walks over to the gargoyle and pulls the secret handle. The door opens, with all three of them looking inside.

And now episode 469! Vicki remembers more while she, Jeff, and Julia are in the secret room in the mausoleum -- and accuses Julia of knowing about the secret room all along, and wanting to withhold it from her. Barnabas has a partial relapse to vampirism, and Jeff & Dr. Lang argue about Jeff's secret job in a cemetery -- meant to be undertaken not in Eagle Hill, but the other one. Lang plans to keep Jeff in line by threatening to tell Vicki that he's a murderer (who'd been in an institute for the criminally insane) if he doesn't comply. 

I wonder how one has a "partial relapse" to vampirism.

Sorry for the radio silence. I've still been watching, and have seen up through episode 475!  Things have gotten nutty. Jeff is working for Lang, and has retrieved an arm from a graveyard for him ...which, from the looks of things at the end of 475, is going to be part of a Frankenstein-type monster that maybe Barnabas can put his consciousness into?

Roger disappeared for a while, and then came home married to Cassandra -- Angelique, reborn and in a wig. Vicki knows who she is, as does Barnabas, although when Barnabas confronts her, she pretends to not know what he's talking about. (Or is it a pretense? She might have selective memory of her past life, as she was pretty convincing in her denials, but we've also seen her plotting, alone, not to mention drugging Roger and putting the gris-gris on Dr. Lang. She might be selectively possessed by Angelique.) 

Also: One of my favorite podcasts, The Dana Gould Hour, devoted a recent segment of its "True Tales from Weirdsville" intermission to Dark Shadows. The whole show's a lot of fun, but the Dark Shadows segment starts at 1:07:55.

We've moved on but have hit a stall ourselves. At this point we're not that far ahead of you, but I don't remember specifically what happened in which episode unless you mention it. I know you don't want me to confirm or deny your guesses, but I will say that at least one of your assumptions is correct and at least one is wrong. As I have alluded to before, by this point Dark Shadows has fallen into the formula of "adapting" works of literature. You have correctly surmised that the show has moved into its version of Frankenstein, and it is on the cusp of moving to another which will run concurrently for a time. 

I've seen through episode 477 now. Dr. Lang (who must have gotten his degree from a shouty medical school) intends to put Barnabas's mind in his Frankenstein... and is ready to give him Jeff Clark's head! Meanwhile, Cassandra hypnotizes Tony with his cigarette lighter -- he has no memory of it, but will come back to do her bidding when she calls. (I've seen that there are audios of "The Tony and Cassandra Mysteries," so I imagine they get to be a popular pairing. They do have chemistry.) And Angelina invades Barnabas's mind, threatening him with a "dream curse" -- a sort of whisper-down-the-lane of nightmares that, when someone finally tells Barnabas their dream, will restore his vampirism. Seems complicated, but OK.

"...and is ready to give him Jeff Clark's head!"

Or "face" as everyone keeps saying.

"I've seen that there are audios of 'The Tony and Cassandra Mysteries, so I imagine they get to be a popular pairing."

Well, I guess so. Tony Peterson sticks around for a while yet, but Jerry Lacy is much better known for playing various members of the Trask family. I was going to say something about "The Tony and Cassandra Mysteries" after the characters leave the show, but since you already know about them, they are...

16. The Death Mask

22. The Voodoo Amulet

29. The Last Stop

33. The Phantom Bride

43. The Devil Cat

After these five individual adventures, they were awarded their own series which lasted three sets. (See index above for discussion.) Tony and Cassandra play an unlikely team of paranormal investigators, partners who don't really like each other all that much. This is one of several Dark Shadows "spin-off" series which I intend to deal with as we get to them during the course of this discussion. Big finish does as good of a job with these as they do the various Doctor Who audios. Frankly, I like "The tony and Cassandra Mysteries" more than I do their actual appearances on TV.

"And Angelina invades Barnabas's mind..."

"Angelina"? Jolie? ;)

"...threatening him with a 'dream curse'"

This is the next literary reference I alluded to above: "The Dream Deceivers" (author unknown).

I've seen through episode 481 now. Barnabas has confronted Lang about killing Jeff (and then Lang drew a gun on him!), and they seem to have reached an agreement not to do it... but also have brought Julia aboard to hypnotize him. Julia is disturbed by Lang's experiments and plans to report him to the police, until she's blackmailed out of it by Barnabas, who reminds her of the death of Dr. Woodard. Also, Cassandra uses her power over Tony to get him to break into Lang's house and steal the talisman that's protecting him from witchcraft. A couple things I really liked:

1) At one point, Tony says he can't keep meeting Cassandra in the woods like this, because she's married to Roger. It's a nice nod to the somewhat conventional soap opera this show started out as (and an element that I'm missing a little of, these days). 

2) When Cassandra has paralyzed Tony, she asks him a question... then waves her hand in front of his mouth, allowing him to move it so he can speak. A nice touch.

"...until she's blackmailed out of it by Barnabas, who reminds her of the death of Dr. Woodard."

...with a little help from Lang, yeah. If you listen carefully, Jonathan Frid forgot his line and Addison Powell reminds him of it (which is something Dr. Lang wouldn't know about).

BARNABAS: Julia! I want you to remember someone!

DR. LANG: Dave Woodard!

BARNABAS: Remember Dave Woodard!

Classic. Personally, I'd've stopped taping for that one. 

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