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, 269

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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Could be! We'll see...

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I can't see how it's the end of the Adam & Eve arc."

I'm got that from 30-year-old notes. 626 maybe...?

Well, the story HALF ends in 626, as Adam strangles Eve and leaves her in Jeff's closet! Now Jeff has been taken in by the police, Vicki has gone to see if Roger can do anything about it, and Julia has gone to the House By the Sea to tell Adam she knows he did it. Nicholas has found out Eve's dead, but before he can figure out what his next steps are, Maggie shows up and collapses and his Evil Boss speaks through her and tells him his performance review will be at midnight -- all because Angelique lit a candle and burned up to get to the boss's office and then tattled on Nicholas for neglecting his duties and falling in love. 

The boss is great, by the way. He sounds foreboding, but also petulant, He speaks with a Snaggletooth kind of cadence, but with a lot of reverb and without the speech impediment. 

Oh, also Joe Haskell has a lot of relatives. Jim's Tom's brother Chris has shown up -- I'll probably be calling him Sexy Charles Grodin because that's the initial impression he made on me -- and he has everyone freaking out because the last time this actor showed up (playing his brother) he was a vampire and biting on people. But, new character, with a mysterious past that makes him travel around a lot. He wants to get to the bottom of Jim's Tom's death. Also, his has a sister, Molly, who had a mental breakdown when their brother Jim Tom died. 

I've seen through episode 628, by the way.

Adam's last appearance will be 636. (I looked it up.)

Chris's vampire brother is Tom, BTW.

We're at 609.

Ah, thanks!

Since we are dealing with Barnabas and Angelique, I found this funny and timely. 

That's awesome, Tracy!

I've now seen through episode 630 now. Nicholas has been instructed to sacrifice Maggie at a Black Mass. Maggie's planning to marry Nicholas. Vicki -- now recast as Betsy Durkin -- is having none of it. She tells Maggie she's crazy for marrying the mystery man, and then she goes over to Nicholas's house and tells him he's a warlock and he should break it off with Maggie...because it's the decent thing to do, I guess. But, well, he's a warlock, so he's got different ethical priorities, presumably. So once she goes, he resurrects Tom Jennings and sics him on Vicki when she's asleep back in Collinwood. Things are cookin'!


On first glance, I like Betsy, though I'm going to miss Alexandra Moltke. She plays a different kind of Vicki, more proactive and energetic, and the character really needs that to keep up with all the madness around her. I know it won't last, but I'll enjoy her while she's here. 

To me, Alexandra Moltke, with her "A turtle stole my lunch again!" level of befuddlement, will always be Victoria Winters

Betsy Durkin is to Victoria Winters as George Lazenby is to James Bond. She's also the second of three actresses to assay the role on the original show. “Victoria is so dumb,” Alexandre Moltke once said in an interview. “All I do is stand around saying, ‘I don’t understand what’s happening.’ Jonathan has hypnotized me into eloping with him, tried to cut off my boyfriend’s head to stick on that goofy monster they made, even sent me hundreds of years into the past during a seance. And I still haven’t figured out that he may not be quite normal.”

She was released from her contract when she became pregnant. Dan Curtis and the writers wanted to do a "Rosemary's Baby" scenario, but Moltke objected. She has said that she tried to watch the show after she left, but couldn't follow it. they approached her about resuming her role and she would have done it, too, but she wanted to play an evil character and Curtis wouldn't allow it. 

Alexandra Moltke playing an evil character? I would have liked to have seen that. 

I really wish they'd given Vicki a bit more moxie, all along. For a while, she was investigating her parentage, and I really enjoyed her. A plucky, Nancy Drew-style heroine would have been really interesting at the center of Dark Shadows... but in order for her to keep any credibility for having the smarts needed for that role, she'd have to find out Barnabas was a vampire... and have to have a reason to keep the secret. 

In a way, Julia serves that purpose now, but she doesn't have the ingenue charm of Vicki or Maggie. 

I've seen up through episode 631 now, as Barnabas confronts Nicholas to keep Vicki and Maggie safe, and then destroys Tom Jennings with a pair of crossed candlesticks. You'd think he's just start carrying a cross around at this point. Also, Nicholas and Harry dig up Eve's grave. 

In the last week or so, we've gotten a little Jesus-y with our vampires and Satanists. Barnabas has defended himself with a cross twice now, something I don't think we've seen before. And Nicholas, while explaining how old a chalice is to Maggie, says it was made "years before the life of your Christ," or something to that effect. I don't expect Dark Shadows to go all Spire Comics on us, but it's interesting that Christianity is starting to be referenced as a counterpoint to all this evil going around. 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

TCM just showed Scarlet Street on Noir Alley this weekend. Scarlet Street is a 1945 film noir by Fritz Lang starring Joan Bennet...  I watched the first half of it last night. It's a real treat, watching Joan Bennet as a vamp, wrapping poor Edward G. Robinson around her little finger... Scarlet Street was a blast! The best moment is when Edward G Robinson asks Joan Bennet if he can paint her, and she flops onto her bed and points her foot at him. She gives him some nail polish, and says, "I was going to do it myself, but if you insist..." And then, as he's happily painting her nails, she says to herself, "They'll be masterpieces!"

Watched Scarlet Street last night. Joan Bennett was quite the vixen in her glamour days!

I was pleased to see that a painted portrait of her was integral to the plot and thought it would have been cool if they had somehow worked it into Dark Shadows somehow. Granted, the style was inappropriate for Collinwood, however, here's how I see it playing out. Back when they were engaged, Paul Stoddard commissioned it as a wedding present (using Liz's money, of course). After she discovered his infidelity and "killed" him, she could bear to look at it anymore and had it locked away somewhere in the west wing. Years later, when Portia Fitzsimmons became interested in Sam Evans' paintings and Roger scoured Collinwood looking for the ones he bought to pay for Sam's silence, he could have found "Liz's" portrait.

A missing scene to add to my head canon!

Here's that scene Rob described...

Oh, that's a great tie-in! Way to go! And glad you enjoyed the movie.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I was pleased to see that a painted portrait of her was integral to the plot and thought it would have been cool if they had somehow worked it into Dark Shadows somehow. Granted, the style was inappropriate for Collinwood, however, here's how I see it playing out. Back when they were engaged, Paul Stoddard commissioned it as a wedding present (using Liz's money, of course). After she discovered his infidelity and "killed" him, she could bear to look at it anymore and had it locked away somewhere in the west wing. Years later, when Portia Fitzsimmons became interested in Sam Evans' paintings and Roger scoured Collinwood looking for the ones he bought to pay for Sam's silence, he could have found "Liz's" portrait.

A missing scene to add to my head canon!

I've seen through episode 636 now. The new experiment failed, Eve was skeletonized, Nicholas begged for more time but was dragged to hell, Adam kidnapped Vicki to torture her on the machines Barnabas broke, Barnabas shoots Adam after learning that doing so will turn him back to a vampire, Adam runs to Professor Stokes, Stokes promises Adam plastic surgery but hides him for now so he can put Jeff Clark in a trance so he can see his life in 1795.

Also: Chris Jennings is a werewolf and killed Mr. Drummond!

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