Episode 262: Feelin’ Gloomy

“I just don’t care. I know that I should… but I just don’t.”

Up to this point, Dark Shadows has been one of the slower-paced soap operas, which is quite an achievement given the pace of the other shows in its weight class. But they’ve started experimenting recently with new storytelling techniques, including “creating interesting characters” and “having things happen”, and so far it’s working out okay.

So this episode plays kind of a mean trick on audience members who missed yesterday’s installment. The entire episode is about characters reacting to the news of Maggie’s death.

262 dark shadows glum

Now, you and I know that Maggie is still alive, but yesterday Dr. Woodard convinced Sam and Joe to tell everyone that she died in the hospital. It’s part of his irresponsible scheme to catch the madman who abducted Maggie, apparently without the assistance of law enforcement.

The plan is complex, but this is how I understand it:

Step #1: They send Maggie away to a sanitarium to recover.

Step #2: They tell everyone that Maggie died.

At this point, the kidnapper feels confident enough to abduct another girl. I’m a little foggy on step #3.

262 dark shadows vicki carolyn

So this episode is about Vicki telling people that Maggie is dead, individually and in slow motion. The abduction story doesn’t really have anything to do with anybody else’s storyline, so after a while the scenes just drift back to talking about what these characters are always talking about, but with extra gloomy facial expressions.

Honestly, you could watch this entire episode with the sound turned off, and it wouldn’t make any difference. You don’t even have to be in the room while it’s playing.

262 dark shadows new burke

To add insult to injury, here’s the new recast Burke. Two weeks ago, Mitchell Ryan showed up at the studio drunk, and they had to get another character to say his lines. Ryan was fired, and now we’ve got Anthony George, who happens to be one of the least charismatic living humans. This does not improve the situation.

Anyway, here’s Vicki and New-Burke, walking along the beach. They’ve never done this before, but yesterday Maggie needed a beach to collapse on, so they might as well get some more use out of it.

Unfortunately, this set doesn’t hold up very well to a second look. It doesn’t help that they’re using it for a Vicki/Burke scene, when the audience could really use something to look at that isn’t Vicki or Burke.

262 dark shadows vicki beach

Vicki stares out at the sea.

Vicki:  The tide’s coming in. Look at our footprints, they’re being washed away. Pretty soon, no one will even be able to tell that we’ve come this way.

Burke:  You don’t have to talk about Maggie if you don’t want to.

Who’s talking about Maggie? This is her classic beach routine. She did it on Carson three times.

262 dark shadows vicki conversation

Then they have the most maddening conversation. Burke says that he hopes they find the man who abducted Maggie, but Vicki says that sometimes people do terrible things that they can’t help.

Burke:  Compassion is one thing, but we can’t just turn the world over to madmen and killers. We’ve got to take some kind of a stand.

Vicki:  Well, what if you can’t take a stand?

Burke:  Why can’t we? If they find the man who killed Maggie, what do you want them to do, turn him loose?

Vicki:  Of course not.

Burke:  Then what are you talking about?

Yeah, good question. Can I help you guys with anything?

262 dark shadows buzz farewell

Okay, one more downer before we wrap up for the day. We see Carolyn and Buzz at Collinwood, and Buzz is annoyed.

Carolyn:  Buzz and I have decided to spend a quiet evening at home. Well, sort of quiet, anyway.

Buzz:  But I got plans. I don’t want to spend time in this mausoleum.

Liz:  If you two are going to be in the drawing room, I’ll go into the study.

Buzz:  You can’t make plans for a drawing room!

But Carolyn’s shaken up by the news about Maggie, and she promises Buzz that she’ll see him tomorrow. She won’t, really. This is Buzz’s last appearance on the show; he just rides off on his motorcycle, and we never see him again.

Then there’s a few more conversations until they finally just run out the clock and the episode is over.

Tomorrow: Don’t Say Anything.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

The boom mic peeks into the top right of the frame when Vicki approaches Carolyn in the foyer.

When Vicki and Burke enter the beach set, you can see the studio lights at the top of the frame.

Tomorrow: Don’t Say Anything.

262 dark shadows boom mic

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

12 thoughts on “Episode 262: Feelin’ Gloomy

  1. Okay, I just found this and I’m loving every recap. So you will be getting notes on episodes you covered eons ago. I am one of those kids who ran home to watch Dark Shadows. I was devastated when Mitch Ryan stopped being Burke Devlin. The man was a drunk, but he had charisma and chemistry with Viki (or at least 14 year old me thought he had). I have no idea why they cast Anthony George as Burke. I actually watched DS from the beginning. Burke was supposed to be the kid from the wrong side of town who got sent to jail for a crime he didn’t commit and then worked his way up to become rich and powerful so he could come back and screw the people who let him go to jail. Mitch Ryan looked like a guy from the wrong side of town. He looked like someone who had come up the hard way, even when he was in a fancy suit. Anthony George in his turtle neck under his jacket looked like a guy who came from money, who had gone to boarding school and had not had the hard knock like that Burke was supposed to have. Mitch Ryan being a drunk lost him his job, but while he was on, it made him look like the guy who had spent time in jail and who had been poor.

  2. Burke #2. Oh joy.

    I have to assume that in addition to all the other crazy goings on at Collinsport, the extraterrestrial seed-pods had finally arrived and started replacing the townsfolk with boring, soulless doppelgängers — only these were bargain-priced counterfeit knock-off seed-pods, which is why the pod-people don’t even look like the original people. Burke #2 must be a pod-person. There can be no other explanation. Anyway, that plane-crash in the Amazon jungle can’t happen soon enough.

  3. Apparently, Mitch Ryan’s Burke made so little impression on me that I didn’t recall there had been a Burke before George (but I knew him from Search for Tomorrow by the time I saw DS in syndication). I am planning a watch of the complete run starting June 27 (although starting from the very beginning, which I’ve never seen), so I’ll have a real basis for comparison somewhere down the line.

    1. Did you watch from episode 1. Burke was far more part of the plot in the first year of DS. Reruns of DS usually started with Opening Barnabas’ coffin. Ryan wasn’t around for too long after that and his charisma wasn’t showing. OTOH, Ryan may not have caught you as an actor. In any case Anthony George was a very different Burke and the change was a bit jarring for me.

  4. Now here is where I might depart from some of you. As a daytime drama fan (well, until around 2002), I really liked the “reaction” scenes. It’s watching characters react to news of deaths and such that emotional binds the show — and characters — together and makes murders, kidnappings and the like something more than a plot twist. I like witnessing the emotional fallout of loss.

    There’s a YouTube video of an entire Another World episode from 1979, and much of the episode is devoted to the one-by-one revelations to various family members and friends about the death of a main character in an arson fire. I just love it.

    If done well, it can make for compelling viewing. … I can’t say this is a high mark for DS or even done that well. But there are some nice moments: When Carolyn hears the news about Maggie, it softens her up for a bit and shows she’s not completely self-absorbed. That, in turn, actually yield a plot turn — and reason — to send Buzz packing. (Which I’m kind of sorry to see happen, but oh well …)

  5. I hate to hear that Buzz will be no more.

    He was an enjoyable part of that storyline and I was looking forward to a wacky double wedding. 😦

    I know I am going to miss the original Burke. I started on episode 1 and he was/is one of my favorite characters on the show…well, at least before he became the doctor’s shadow these last few weeks.

    I am going to miss all the Sam-fondling by Burke.

  6. It seems to me the announcer should have said “The role of Burke Devlin will be played by a piece of driftwood with appendages” over the opening credits, to prepare us for this episode. Say what you want about Mitch but he at least had personality and presence.

  7. Vicki’s speech about people doing terrible things they can’t help is presumably meant to be about Liz rather than Maggie’s killer, but it’s unusually subtle subtext for DS dialogue (as well as being a weird comparison, and just generally bad).

    Did Vicki actually call Burke by name in this scene? I might have missed it since I was distracted by the comparatively fascinating beach set, but I don’t think she did – and there’s no credits on this episode, so viewers at the time must’ve wondered who the hell this dude was…

  8. I watched every episode of Dark Shadows after school and all summer.I liked it.I thought Barnabas and Quentin were handsome.I liked the ghost of Barnabas’ s sister who played with David, and Victoria Winters.My high school typing teacher looked exactly like her. I preferred the original Burke.It was cool when many of the cast would be in The Blue Whale.The starting theme was cool, and the old English script of the title.I read many of the paperbacks based on that show when I was age 14.That show is a classic, and never on tv, but every episode is on dvd.My mom and her sister were crazy about that show.I didn’t like the remake with Ben Cross, and hated that silly movie of it with Johnny Depp.

  9. I watched this show when it was first on tv, back when I was 4-5 years old. I remember naming the 2 Burke Devlin actors “pointy nose Burke Devlin” and “wrinkly, scrinkly neck Burke Devlin.” 🙂

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