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
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
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
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
In one of her Dark Shadow books, Kathryn Leigh Scott related the time when two actors, whom she does not identify, began their scene together by reciting each others lines. At some point they realized what they were doing and managed to get the dialogue back on track to finish out the scene.
That could be any number of episodes, really.
"But this definitely raises the difficulty of Barnabas becoming a credible romantic hero."
One would think. Wait until next year at this time.
"I guess his adherents will call it self-defense, but he killed Woodward in cold blood."
This is the point at which Julia crossed a line, AFAIAC. A slick lawyer might be able to get Barnabas off using a defense that vampirism is a form of insanity but, as unethical as Julia has been up until now, she's stopped short of cold-blooded murder.
"Although the bat also showed up outside the Blue Whale, spying on Sam and the sheriff."
Are real real bats able to "hover" like that?
Up Next: "The Dress"
I would like to talk a little bit now about House of Dark Shadows and at what point you would be "safe" to watch it without spoiling the TV series. All along I've had a particular point in mind, but now, as we grow ever closer to that point, another option reveals itself to me. I'll briefly describe both of them far enough in advance to give you a little time to decide.
OPTION #1: Episode 350 is the point at which the show deviates once and for all from the originally planned ending of the vampire arc. 350 is not the end of the story, but it is a Friday episode, and if you watch House of Dark Shadows between 350 and 351, you can think of 351 on as a sort of "alternate ending" or a "what if...?" Otherwise...
OPTION #2: There is a natural break between arcs which occurs after 365, another Friday episode. That was my original thought, but it depends on how eager you are to watch House.
I recommend watching House of Dark Shadows either after 350 or after 365, whichever you decide.
Hmmmm.... I was planning on waiting till 365, but that's a pretty strong argument for doing it after 350. We'll see what my time looks like once I get there.
I took a little more time to watch tonight, and got through the next pivotal episode, 345... and man, the changes are coming fast and furious now! First Doc Woodard is killed, and now Burke Devlin dies in a plane crash! (Amazingly, seemingly without Barnabas's involvement.) Well, that clears the decks a little... and with Devlin gone, it feels like Dark Shadows is shedding the engine that drove much of its early plotlines. I'll miss him -- but honestly, I already did, as I only rarely warmed up to Anthony George. Still, I raise a Burke Devlin Special in his honor.
He had a really great, creepy send-off scene with David, who predicts his death -- the poor kid's loosing his best adult friend, and he knows it. David Henesy really did a great job with that scene. (David's also actually using the crystal ball Burke gave him... I was so happy when that popped up again a few episodes ago!)
Plus, Barnabas tells Julia the story of him and Josette, which seems like the plain, unvarnished truth, for the most part. Unless I'm wrong, though, we still don't know how he became a vampire... just that he did become one, and Josette was repelled by his generous offer that she join him.
Also, that's a super-cold move when Barnabas shunts Julia back to the Old House so he can be alone on Widow's Hill with Vicki. Barnabas is very aware Julia is crushing on him, and he slaps that emotion in the face every time it surfaces.
In other news, everyone seems to think Doc Woodard died of a heart attack... but Sam Evans still seems suspicious because he saw Julia's notebook on his desk, but it was missing when his body was found.
And we get another Mrs. Johnson appearance, and also another appearance of Carolyn, whom we hadn't seen a lot of, lately. It's old home week!
Burke-Related Note: Mitch Ryan turned up years later as Will Riker's dad in an early Star Trek: The Next Generation.
"Burke Devlin dies in a plane crash!"
It was all I could do last week when you speculated that the issue of the "Seaview" property would "probably be tabled until Burke gets back from South America." You seem to take the report of his plane crash at face value. The first time I saw this episode, I interpreted "plane crash in the Brazilian jungle" to be soap opera-speak for "will return when you least expect him." I don't know what the writers originally planned at that time, but Burk Devlin is, in fact, dead and gone... for the TV series, anyway. On audio, Big Finish brought back Mitch Ryan as Burke Devlin for the 50th anniversary of Dark Shadows in "...And Red All Over." I reviewed that story on page 175 of this discussion if you'd care to read it. I just read it and it's spoiler free (except one minor one... for the audios more than the TV series).
Tracy and I will catch up with you tonight; I may have more to say about 342-345 tomorrow.
I knew Burke would be on the way out, so I was more inclined to take it at face value than I might have been, otherwise.
I just read the first paragraph or two of your review of And Red All Over, and I might just download that and give it a listen! It'd be good to have a coda for Burke...and it'd be good to hear Mitch Ryan playing him again!
"I knew Burke would be on the way out, so I was more inclined to take it at face value than I might have been, otherwise."
Yeah, that makes sense.
"Up Next: 'The Dress'"
342: You didn't mention the "Amazing, Technicolor Dreamskirt" Maggie was wearing in this episode. It looks as if she was caught by unexpected guests and whipped the quilt off the bed to cover herself.
343: Why is Julia dropping chunks of dry ice in a pot? I have no idea but that's exactly the same kind of kettle my grandmother used to make applebutter.
"Barnabas tells Julia the story of him and Josette, which seems like the plain, unvarnished truth, for the most part."
This is canon AFAIAC, but it's difficult t rebrand Barnabas as Josette's tragic lover when he's just revealed himself to be her stalker. In a few weeks, this version of events will be completely contradicted.
"Also, that's a super-cold move when Barnabas shunts Julia back to the Old House so he can be alone on Widow's Hill with Vicki. Barnabas is very aware Julia is crushing on him, and he slaps that emotion in the face every time it surfaces."
Yeah, that was a great scene, too, back in 343 when Julia is dropping all these broad hints. With Burke out of the picture, the new triangle becomes Vicki/Barnabas/Julia.
Yeah, that dress was really something! I feel like in the year of episodes I've seen so far, fashion has moved ahead 4 or 5. Probably some of that is the move from black and white to color -- it's given the costumer more leeway to clothe people -- usually the women -- in patterns & styles that would just look muddy in B/W.
And I noticed the dry ice too... always on hand when you need mysterious misty bubbling!
I'm FASCINATED by how they're going to turn Barnabas from a creepy manipulative stalker into someone heroic. That's gonna be quite a swerve! I think I'm going to watch House after I get to 150, just so I can enjoy the main thrust of the story as it was initially intended to play out.
"I think I'm going to watch House after I get to 150 350"
I'm glad you made that choice. Several months ago, we got carried away and paid too much for a paperback adaptation of House by Dan Ross on eBay. (My reading of the series stalled with v19.) It's supposed to be pretty good. This'll give me the reason and opportunity to read it by the time we get to 350 , then watch the movie.
Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:
I'm FASCINATED by how they're going to turn Barnabas from a creepy manipulative stalker into someone heroic. That's gonna be quite a swerve! I think I'm going to watch House after I
I watched the show in 70s reruns, and I still cannot quite recall how they managed that. The notion that you could take an obvious criminal situation, with clear video documentation, and then claim it was something else entirely? It's astounding that, even in fiction, someone would try that and succeed.
It's a good question.
I could it up in two words, but let's get to 1795 and we'll discover the answer together.
COUNTDOWN TO THE PAST: 20 episodes.