Episode 362: The Day After

“Perhaps it will happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.”

Quiet, everybody; Dr. Julia Hoffman is on the phone. At the beginning of an episode, I usually try to give a little summary of what’s going on, to help orient you to where we are in the story. But, as we learned yesterday, recaps are for the weak. As far as Dark Shadows is concerned, you’re either on the bus or off the bus. Try to keep up.

Because this is the thing about Julia: she goes to eleven. And she doesn’t even work her way up to it — today, she starts at eleven, and continues from there. Twelve is an option.

362 dark shadows julia soon very soon

At the moment, she’s taking a call from Dave Woodard, who she co-murdered about a month ago.

Julia:  It can’t be! You’re dead!

Woodard:  Yes… and soon you will die!

Julia:  No!

Woodard:  Do you hear me, Julia? Soon, you will die… very, very soon. You… will die!

We take a quick break for the opening titles, and then we’re back on the phone.

Woodard:  Do you hear me, Julia? Soon — very, very soon — you will die, when you least expect it. And it isn’t far off. Perhaps it will happen tomorrow… or the day after. Or the day after that.

Or, presumably, the day after that, and so on. We’re familiar with how time works. Do you think we could wrap this call up? I’m getting a hurry-up signal from the producer.

362 dark shadows doorknob

After she hangs up, there’s about a minute and a half of her breathing heavily as the doorknob turns. This close-up of a slowly turning doorknob is a recent invention on the show — this might actually be the first example of it, but I’m not going to go back and check, because life is too short, and there are many more slow doorknobs ahead of us.

I’m also going to assume that this gimmick is unique to Dark Shadows, because I can’t imagine anyone else thinking that an audience would sit through it.

362 dark shadows julia barnabas character

Anyway, the door finally opens, and thank goodness, it’s another character.

Barnabas comes in and acts very calm and reassuring, like he’s thrilled to see her, and he has no idea why she’s so stressed out. It must be one of those things that’s funny for vampires. She tries to pull herself together and pretend that he’s not driving her crazy, but it’s a tough sell.

362 dark shadows barnabas carolyn insane

Then Barnabas goes outside, and he smirks as he tells Carolyn about the progress of his brilliant plan.

Carolyn:  I almost feel sorry for her. You’re being very cruel to her.

Barnabas:  She was cruel to me! She tried to turn Vicki against me. She deserves to be punished for that… and she will.

This is why Barnabas is still a problem. Even now, just days away from the big character reboot, he’s still acting like he’s the only one who has feelings.

But he still needs to get Julia’s notebook out of Tony Peterson’s safe, so he tells Carolyn to get to work.

362 dark shadows carolyn tony's apartment

So now we have another cute Carolyn/Tony date scene, where he’s charming and she’s scheming.

Tony:  Okay, we’re here. Next question.

Carolyn:  Surely you’re not going to ask me why I wanted to come here.

Tony:  Well, you asked me to take you to dinner. You asked me to bring you up here. Usually, the man issues both invitations.

Carolyn:  I was hungry, and I wanted to see your apartment. A man’s apartment says a lot about him.

Tony:  Mine says that I don’t have much money, and that I don’t empty cigarette butts out of ashtrays.

I love Tony. He was just introduced last week, but he has a real point of view. Jerry Lacy manages to make every line interesting, even in a Ron Sproat script, where the dialogue is almost entirely functional, rather than decorative.

The landlord must be a lunatic, by the way. There’s a huge wooden armoire in the apartment, plus a wooden screen and a grandfather clock. Who puts a grandfather clock in an apartment? I’ve been living in apartments for most of my life, and you can go a long time between grandfather clocks.

362 dark shadows tony carolyn date

The date comes to an abrupt halt; we spent all day yesterday making scary noises at Julia, so we’re making up time today. Carolyn steals Tony’s keys, makes an excuse, and skedaddles. Poor Tony — he’s baffled, and this isn’t even the weirdest conversation he’ll have tonight.

362 dark shadows julia roger calm

Back at Collinwood, things have calmed down significantly. Roger comes home, and Julia seems basically fine, so it seems like Barnabas has backed off a bit on the “spend the rest of her life in a home for the incurably insane” concept.

But like I said, this is a functional script today. We need Roger to tell Julia that Carolyn is out with Tony, so she’ll hurry over to Tony’s apartment and set up the next plot point. That’s not going to happen if she’s curled up in a fetal position next to the end table, so this is a case of plot-mandated sanity.

362 dark shadows tony julia notebook

The rest of the episode is basically just connecting the dots. Julia tells Tony that Carolyn is using him, to get her hands on the notebook. Tony tells her that she’s being ridiculous, but then he notices that his keys are gone. He goes to his office, catches Carolyn trying to open his safe, and that sets up a conflict for tomorrow.

It’s a whimper rather than a bang, really, but at least we’re off the phone and out of the house, and that feels like progress.

Tomorrow: Anyone But You.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the first scene, Julia stares at her bedroom door as it appears to stretch and squish. They’re using a reflection of the door to produce the effect, so the doorknob is on the wrong side.

Barnabas has a little trouble with his lines at the end of his conversation with Carolyn.

Barnabas:  No one will suspect how the notebook disappeared.

Carolyn:  But what if I’m caught?

Barnabas:  See that you don’t.

Behind the Scenes:

Tony’s apartment is a redressed version of the set used for Burke’s apartment. The number of Burke’s apartment was 42; Tony’s is 24. In an August 1968, we see Joe’s apartment, which is also #24.

Yesterday and today, Dr. Woodard’s voice on the telephone is played by Peter Turgeon, who played Woodard until the character’s death in October. The physical manifestation was played by fill-in actor Peter Murphy, who recently played the Caretaker and Burke’s corpse. He’ll be back in a couple weeks to play Dr. Thornton.

This is Turgeon’s last Dark Shadows episode. After this, he had an undistinguished career, with small parts in Airport and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and one-episode roles on The Jeffersons and L.A. Law. He did a lot of regional theater, and I suppose someone on this Earth must have loved him.

Tomorrow: Anyone But You.

362 dark shadows carolyn tony close

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

10 thoughts on “Episode 362: The Day After

  1. What I liked about the Hand of Petofi is that it was an actual, unique thing, as opposed to a red notebook containing information that its owner could write down anywhere else, multiple times.

    Unless this is suddenly a regional version of HEDDA GABLER is the notebook is Hoffman’s proto-Anne Rice manuscript and it’s all about the inspiration, which cannot be duplicated.

    Oh, and although post-reboot Barnabas is capable of empathy and concern for others, he is still remarkably self-obsessed.

    1. Yeah, about Barnabas self-obsession. I got to write down my fan fic in which Woodard shows up in the middle of another of Barnabas’ soliloquies, and tells him how annoying he is. He then makes him listen to Yankovic’s “Achy Breaky song” and tells him, “And you are more annoying than that.” and promises that each time that he starts on a solioqly he is going to have to listen to that song with lines like “Don’t mind a Yoko Ono marathon” as being less annoying, until he is cured of soliloquing “And next time you say that you regret killing me, you are REALLY mean it..” “You can clear the room by playing Debbie Boone, or crack your Abba records until dawn”

  2. wait a sec- carolyn had just gotten into tony’s office, and he shows up only a minute later. even if julia called him immediately after carolyn left his apartment, it took her up to 10 minutes to get there, and talk to him, and then he’d take time getting to his office. is this some sort of space time continuum? wibbly wobbly timey wimey? maybe carolyn just got lost on the way there 😉

  3. Regarding grandfather clocks: Back when I was a wee lad in the ’60s in the South, lots of folks had grandfather clocks and smaller, elaborate old clocks.

  4. I should have read your blog post on yesterday’s episode. It really would have made it a lot more fun than I was actually having watching it 🙂 but I was saving it to read to my friend today. We had a blast 🙂

    I should also add that if it wasn’t for my friend I wouldn’t be or have been watching all of Dark Shadows. I watched some of it back in 1969 when it was really popular and everyone around me was watching it and then I left the place I was in and I will watched some of it when I went home. And then my father caught me and made me stop. And then I had nightmares about the hand.

    But after that I never watched the show until one night my Scott Bakula friends were ostracizing me and I was feeling kind of depressed and lonely and missing our chats and I called my friend and she was doing a dark shadows sim on AOL – they wrote story outlines and then they acted them out – they had sound effects and I could hear them. It made me miss our old Scott chats, so she invited me in and I came and I stuck around because Graeme was funny. And eventually I ended up bringing all of the episodes summaries that used to be Judy Phillips and crew, and after that Syfy started their in 1998? Dark Shadows run just in time. And my friend actually taped it for me. The last couple of years she had to mail it to Florida. I have still only watched most of the episodes once.

    But even then, when I was watching it and I knew that they did it live there was a lot that I didn’t appreciate. Then in 2002 I started volunteering at our local cable access where we also shot live to tape. Except that we had three hours to make a half hour or so and we could stop the tape. But I had never seen anything that was shot live or actually shot at all and I didn’t know anything about technical directors or different cameras or switchers. So this time when I started watching it, I wondered how they were doing all the things they were doing. Now I really hope that WordPress does not eat this comment.

    While I’m at it I wanted to thank you for putting in all of the background that all of the Dark Shadows fans know that I do not know comma in its appropriate place. It’s fun to watch to begin with, but knowing all of the background is helpful and interesting. And of course you’re really funny 🙂
    I don’t know if any of your other readers call up their friends on the phone and read your blog over the phone to other fans…. but my friend and I are having a blast 🙂

  5. PS the first post I read to her was in 1897 episode about Dickens without poor people. I think that was it. And the second one probably the 1 about the four different Maggies.

    I think at this point a lot of people go and start teaching a class whatever pop culture television show they are writing about. It occurs to me that I have no idea where you live.

    1. Oh, that’s great — one of the things that I like about Dark Shadows fans is that we all have these ornate stories about how we saw the show, and how it fits into the larger story of our lives. It’s awesome that the show is a connection point between you and your friends.

      I live in San Francisco, and I work for the Wikimedia Foundation, which is the non-profit that runs Wikipedia. I’m not teaching a class, but I do have some future plans, once I’ve completed my four-year tour of duty on Dark Shadows.

  6. Stephen Robinson–absolutely LOVE your posts and really look forward to them as well!

    It’s kind of weird being part of this blog when it feels like the train left the station a loooooong time ago. Those of you that are, like, 1000 episodes ahead of me, well, I guess I will never be able to post contemporaneously with you, but still enjoy piggybacking onto your older comments. The blog has become very much a part of my daily DS experience as well since I am tackling an episode a day as well. So many awesome people and incredible insights throughout!

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