Episode 295: Nothing But Lies

“He’s some kind of a creature from the world of the dead!”

We pick up today at a pivotal plot point, as Maggie Evans — vampire abduction survivor and mental health facility refugee — stumbles into the Blue Whale, looks at Barnabas, and collapses onto the floor.

This comes as something of a shock to the Collinsport nightlife community, and especially to Barnabas, because he knows that at any moment she could expose him, and then…

Hold on, wait. Has that woman been wearing that orange dress this whole time?

295 dark shadows orange dress

Yes, the truly thrilling development today is that Dark Shadows is now being broadcast in beautiful, muddy, low-definition color. I’m very excited, I’ve been dreaming about reaching this episode for months.

Dark Shadows switched over to color in August 1967, which was actually early in the game for soap operas. Its lead-in, General Hospital, was still in black-and-white until the end of October.

As you’ll see in today’s screenshots, just because they’ve started taping in color doesn’t mean that they’re good at it yet. The close-ups look fine, but the long shots aren’t quite in focus. Still, it’s progress.

295 dark shadows maggie wakes

Maggie opens her eyes, and asks, “Who are you?”

Vicki says, “I’m Vicki. Don’t you recognize me?” which in my opinion is pretty insensitive. Way to break it to her gently.

By the way, I like that Maggie walked all the way into Collinsport, and the first thing that she did is go to a bar.

295 dark shadows maggie belongs

The rest of the Blue Whale clientele lose interest pretty quickly. This isn’t the first time somebody at the Blue Whale didn’t know who they were, or why they were there.

Maggie is still pretty hazy about recent events, but she says that she was in a hospital.

Burke:  How did you get here?

Maggie:  The little girl… she brought me here. She took me away from that place, and brought me here! I belong here!

Vicki:  Yes, Maggie, you do belong here.

Well, not here precisely. Not at this table.

295 dark shadows barnabas mind

During all of this excitement, Barnabas has been hanging out in the background and quietly losing his mind. Is Maggie going to recognize him, and denounce him as the local maniac? Cause he’s trying to get with Vicki these days, and that’s not going to help.

Desperate to be anywhere in the world but here, Barnabas says that he’ll go tell Maggie’s father the exciting news. He hurries away.

295 dark shadows woodard water

Vicki and Burke take Maggie to Dr. Woodard, who gives her a cup of water and a dose of good old-fashioned medical chiding.

Maggie says that she remembers them — meaning she has a vague sense that she’s seen them before — and Woodard announces that means she’s had a breakthrough. Obviously, if you run away from a hospital, then that means you’re all better; everybody knows that. That’s how health care works.

Woodard advises her to keep talking: “I have a feeling it’s important that you say anything and everything that comes into your mind.” Sure, just like everyone else in this town.

295 dark shadows barnabas you betrayed me

Meanwhile, Barnabas rushes over to Collinwood to confer with Julia, which is adorable. Just think, a couple weeks ago the only person he could talk to was Willie. Now he has a co-conspirator.

He leads with “You’ve betrayed me,” which is always a strong way to start a conversation. He breaks the news that Maggie is back, and she’s talking to Dr. Woodard and her friends right now.

“You told me that you represented security to me,” he growls. “I can see now that you represent nothing but lies.”

295 dark shadows julia phone

Julia protests, but they’re interrupted by a ringing telephone. Julia answers, and does that awesome Bob Newhart thing where you repeat everything the person on the other side of the phone is saying. It’s the way you talk on the phone if you’re being held at gunpoint, or if you’re on television. Julia is both.

Julia:  Hello? Yes, speaking. Yes, Dr. Woodard. Oh? Is that so. Tell me, doctor, has the patient said anything? I see. That’s all, just mumblings and fragments. Nothing specific about what happened to her? I see.

I love scenes like this, with looming vampires and one-sided telephone conversations. Every TV show should be like this.

Julia:  I’ll be down in a minute, but here’s what you must do. No one must question her. Not even you, I’m sorry to say. And I want everyone cleared out of your office. I don’t want anyone to see me come in or go out. Thank you. Goodbye.

And then she hangs up the phone, and tells the looming vampire that everything is under control. Hoffman out.

295 dark shadows woodard pills

At the hospital, Woodard is still trying to give Maggie little cups of things. But she’s on a roll; she has no time for cups.

Maggie:  I’m starting to remember an old house. I’m being held there like a prisoner. A very special room.

Woodard:  Maggie, you’ve got to take this.

Maggie:  People in there. Someone who hates me.

Woodard:  Please, Maggie —

Maggie:  Who doesn’t want me to live!

Woodard:  Take this, please!

Maggie:  Who wants me to die! A man! Coming closer — can’t make out his face, but he’s coming closer — I can see his eyes — burning eyes! His face! I know that face now! I know it!

295 dark shadows julia stop it

And suddenly Julia is at the door, barking: “Maggie — don’t say another word! Do you understand? Not another word.”

And if you can think of a more exciting countdown scene than that, then you’re welcome to it.

295 dark shadows woodard out

Julia bundles Woodard out of his own office, and he’s still holding the little paper cups. It makes you want to cry, doesn’t it?

295 dark shadows julia therapy

Maggie is ready to burst with all of her freshly-recalled secrets, but Julia has an important piece of medical technology that she wants to try first.

295 dark shadows julia medallion

It’s a medallion, which Julia is wearing around her neck. Apparently, it’s prescription strength, because Maggie snaps into a hypnotic state as soon as she sees it.

“That’s right,” Julia says. “Keep looking at it, and listen to my voice. Don’t listen to anything else, because in my voice you’ll find everything you’ve been seeking.”

295 dark shadows maggie is fixed

A few minutes later, Julia allows Dr. Woodard to come back into his own office. Maggie greets him with a smile.

Woodard:  Maggie, how are you?

Maggie:  I’m fine! Apparently there was something wrong with my memory, but everything’s all right now. I remember everything, everything about my whole life!

Woodard:  Oh, Maggie, that’s wonderful! Where were you, during the time you were gone?

Maggie:  What do you mean?

Woodard:  Well, the… the time you were gone!

Maggie:  Well, I don’t know how I got to your office, but I remember that I went to bed in my room, and I wasn’t feeling very well, and — suddenly I was here in your office, with Doctor Hoffman. So if you can tell me everything that happened in between, then I’m sure I’ll be all right.

295 dark shadows julia smile

And that’s gorgeous, a strong plot point with a comedy punchline. Julia allows herself a tight little smile, which turns instantly into a look of make-believe concern.

295 dark shadows julia concern

By the way, Barnabas never did get to Maggie’s father’s house to tell him the news, did he? He’ll probably have to read about it tomorrow in the newspaper, like everybody else.

Monday: United Stakes.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In an episode that’s all about remembering things, the characters seem to forget some important things.

In the Blue Whale, Barnabas forgets Dr. Woodard’s gender:

Burke:  We ought to get her to Dr. Woodard’s office right away.

Barnabas:  Yes, I think you ought to take her to her.

At one point, it sounds like Woodard’s forgotten what “contrary” means:

Maggie:  What is it about my memory? Will I ever be able to remember?

Woodard:  Oh, on the contrary, Maggie, I really think that your memory’s coming back very well now.

Then Burke takes Woodard out into the hall, and then forgets what he’s supposed to say:

Burke:  Why didn’t you tell us?

Woodard:  I couldn’t!

Burke:  (looks at teleprompter for a while)  Well, you know you could trust me, and Vicki. Does Sam know?

Monday: United Stakes.

295 dark shadows julia so there

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

20 thoughts on “Episode 295: Nothing But Lies

  1. “This isn’t the first time somebody at the Blue Whale didn’t know who they were, or why they were there.” Priceless.

  2. Way back in the day, my understanding is that, per old FCC requirements, TV shows and soaps were required to make something called a kinescope, a back-up of the episode. I guess if the FCC wanted to check out an old episode, they could by going through the archives of kinescopes. So yes, while eps were taped in color from 8/11/67 onward, apparently some of the color eps got lost. So for some of the color eps, all they had left was the B&W kinescope. My understanding of how they made a kinescope: the crew literally had a TV playing the actual episode. They plopped a B&W movie camera in front of the TV and made the kinescope. That’s why some of the post-color eps are B&W – we are seeing the only copy left, technically called a kinescope. Unfortunately, at some point, FCC requirements changed, kinescopes were not required, and there was an active practice of just re-using videotapes and keeping no archived back-ups. (Sometimes, Soapnet has aired early 1970 eps of “All My Children” and all they can show is a very young Susan Lucci on a B&W kinescope of that ep that just happened to have been saved!)

    1. It’s such a shame that most of the daytime shows didn’t realize there would be an audience for these shows decades later. I’d love to see some old “Another World” episodes, for instance.

      Thank goodness “Dark Shadows” saved theirs. So did “Ryan’s Hope.”

    2. There was another reason for kinescopes to be made. In the early days of TV, there were fewer television stations. ABC had fewer affiliated stations than did NBC or CBS. In many markets, the NBC or CBS affiliates aired ABC programming in the late afternoon (when NBC/CBS weren’t programming) and on the weekends or late night. Many of these stations didn’t have videotape machines at this point, or only one and it was used for local station breaks. So, the solution was for multiple copies of kinescopes to be made by the networks and mailed to the stations so that the shows could air from a 16 mm film projector. By the fall of 1970, ABC finally stopped making kinescopes for stations, because most stations had more than one videotape machine by that point. In the case of “Dark Shadows,” I watched the regular ABC feed from my local station, but I could also watch an out-of-town station that was three weeks behind the ABC broadcast. Right when the 1840 flashback began in October of that year, the station began airing the videotaped episodes. The quality was very good and the audio was actually better than from the original ABC broadcast.

  3. Naturally, Maggie doesn’t want Dr. Woodward’s little paper cups, they’re full of Collinsport Dumb Water and Goldfish Juice.

    But Robert Gerringer and Anthony George playing ‘Dialogue Chicken’…priceless!

  4. I’ve been watching Dark Shadows on the Decades channel for its usual Halloween binge and discovering this blog to read along with it is wonderful. I didn’t discover Dark Shadows in its original run until it was 4 years old and my junior high school boyfriend was running home every afternoon to watch it. I was in the 8th grade and simply didn’t get the attraction and couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to go home and watch soap operas.

    They didn’t have reruns back then so I never knew what exactly was going on. I only watched it sporadically. It seemed to have a lot of Quentin/Angelique and I could never tell exactly what was going on. I tried to watch it on Netflix a few years ago but the first year or so really bored me and I couldn’t get into it and could never figure out the charm of this series.

    This year I started watching when Willie Loomis unleashes Barnabas and I’m on this episode right now. I was also a Cagney & Lacey fan in the 80s so I’m thoroughly enjoying John Karlen, whom I’ve known only as Harv Lacey prior to now, as Willie Loomis.

    Anyway this blog is laugh out loud funny and I am so enjoying reading each recap after watching the episode. For the amount of work that has gone into this blog, I thought I would leave a detailed comment to say that I’m truly appreciating it. The humor is great and the observations are spot on. GREAT WORK!!! Thanks so much!

  5. Ooh, colour! The grading’s way off though- at the Blue Whale, Maggie Evans looks so yellow she might as well be Maggie Simpson. That said, it’s easy to forget how massive a transition it was – I remember reading about the BBC’s move to colour (specifically relating to Doctor Who), which included huge investments in time and money, with new technical equipment, retraining for all creative and crew departments, and development of new techniques and resources for things like sets, costume and make up, since everything was designed to pop in b&w which often didn’t translate into colour (e.g.the original TARDIS console, in order to read as pure white in b&w, had been painted a fetching mint green).

    So there’s that.

    Possibly a blooper – when Maggie appears in the Blue Whale at the top of the episode, everyone and everything falls silent, like an old-timey Western… including the jukebox, which inexplicably cuts out in the middle of a song.

  6. I think Woodard was supposed to turn around and face the camera as the closing shot of the whole episode fades out, but he didn’t do it.

  7. Discovered your page when I found out Hulu is missing several seasons and I wanted to stay caught up. So glad I did. You crack me up!

  8. The writing gets too stupid for my taste sometimes like when they stopped her from telling the attacker’s name…that was juts beyond dumb.
    Its funny as I watched the first 200 episodes hoping to get to the vampire episodes yet now I feel the show was much better before the whole Barnabas thing and does not help changing Devlin either.
    The first 200 episodes for the most part where great but now the writing is making me get annoyed by the show and I find myself watching less and less of it. :/
    BTW..I wish it was still in B&W cause the color versions looks horrible blurry and just plain bad.

  9. This is also the first episode where the words “Dark Shadows” moves around with the waves.

  10. So Barnabas rushes from the Blue Whale to Collinwood to confront Hoffman…does this mean Barnabas is driving now? If so, who taught him? Willie? That must’ve been an interesting experience.

    1. Hmmmm Good Point! …. what would he drive?
      Doesn’t he just turn into a bat and fly back to Collinwood?

  11. It appears the introductory scene is a different take than the last scene in #294. I was hoping the end would show Maggie’s beautiful legs in full color, but the camera shows less of her legs in episode #295. Two things made me laugh out loud—the quickness of the crowds’ dispersal and Julia’s quick smile. Barnabas’ attempts to hide his face from Maggie—first by looking for the little girl and second by volunteering to find Maggie’s dad—were also very amusing.

  12. “Julia has an important piece of medical technology that she wants to try first.

    Hey that medallion accomplished what she wanted it to do. Total mind wipe!
    Love the wisp of smug smile fade to concerned look on Julia’s face at the end.

    However, before Julia arrived Maggie dropped a few hints, music and scent , in front of Vicki.
    Is she smart enough to tie it back to our man Barnabas….

    Hmmmm, I’ve never seen these episodes before. Obviously, in the long run… no Barnabas is on the show far longer that Vicki, but in the short run I don’t know!!!

    It’s enough to keep me coming back.

  13. “I have a feeling it’s important that you say anything and everything that comes into your mind.” Sure, just like everyone else in this town.

    that’s our Danny, dashing off what needs to be said, shaded in panache.

  14. I noticed the first few color episodes, the lighting seems rather unflattering, especially to the gals like Alexandra. I think they went to a softer lighting after that, probably more appropriate for taping people in color.

  15. I really prefer it in black and white… it’s got so much more gothic atmosphere… but I do like watching the costume design and make up design change ever so slighlty, as theyre going crazy with directors yelling at them: why does she look so yellow? no one likes directors yelling at them! We’ve come a long way baby!

  16. I hate to say it, but I had that same orange dress with the blue strip. Except that mine was a short sleeved version size 6x
    I guess it was the thing back then….

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