Episode 400: Playing with Fire

“Victoria Winters, your name is now known to fire!”

So here’s a way that you could open your TV show: start with a long scene of a witch chatting with her homemade tarot deck, as she assembles a house of cards in real time.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it,” Angelique says, “since I’ve had work for you. You must see each other face to face, and watch that each of you obeys my least command.”

She’s always giving little pep talks to her props like this. It’s sweet, and it encourages them to stay engaged in the process. Also, she doesn’t have any friends.

400 dark shadows face angelique

Now, Dark Shadows was filmed “live-to-tape”, which means that the whole show was basically recorded in one take. Videotape editing was difficult and expensive in 1968, so they’d just turn the cameras on and tape a half hour of television, including breaks for the commercials. That’s why the show is known for its bloopers — moments when something goes wrong, and they just keep on going.

So it’s actually kind of remarkable that they felt confident that the card house wouldn’t just fall to pieces on camera. I think Lara Parker is channeling her anxiety about this into her performance.

400 dark shadows anxiety angelique

She continues briefing the cards with a ruthless smile. “You will hear the impotent cries and incantations of an idle fraud, who has come in search of a witch,” she says. “But he is a fake, and his worthless chant will never reach you.”

She stacks up another row of cards. “But with his help, and yours,” she says, “I will rid this house not only of an enemy — a young and beautiful enemy — but I will rid it of all suspicion that might in time be aimed at me.”

It’s increasingly becoming a challenge for me to keep an eye on how breathtakingly weird Dark Shadows has become in the last few months. Remember when the show was all about blackmailing Liz, over a murder that never even happened?

400 dark shadows hiding barnabas vicki

Meanwhile, Vicki is still hiding in the house from Reverend Trask, the Salem witch-hunter who’s determined to prove that she’s made a pact with the Devil. Barnabas has offered his protection, and he smiles as he tells her about his brilliant plan.

“I’ve decided to let him go through with his so-called rite of exorcism,” he says, which is not a sentence you hear on TV that often.

Barnabas:  I intend to give him free rein, knowing that he will go headlong to his own undoing. Let him perform his exorcism. Let him go through with this mumbo-jumbo from beginning to end, and when it fails to produce a witch, then this nonsense will be over with once and for all.

And I for one hope that isn’t true, because there’s nothing I like better than a good solid chunk of nonsense. Aficionados of mumbo-jumbo: today is your lucky day.

400 dark shadows threshold vicki barnabas

Vicki worries that Trask will find her in the house, but Barnabas reassures her.

Barnabas:  He will not come upstairs.

Vicki:  But if he has to perform this ritual —

Barnabas:  As I understand it, it is done at the threshold. According to the superstition, all witches are forced to cross the threshold at the climax of the exorcism.

Now, I have to say, that sounds kind of made-up to me. I mean, the whole idea of exorcism is made up, and the television show is made up, but that superstition feels even more made up than usual.

400 dark shadows chill vicki barnabas

Suddenly, Vicki shudders. Barnabas asks what’s wrong, and she says, “Didn’t you feel it? A sudden coldness in this room.”

So that’s how you know this is a Ron Sproat script today; he loves it when people get sudden chills. Sproat is a great believer in the dramatic potential of sudden-onset personalized climate change.

400 dark shadows update angelique

And now it’s back to Angelique for an update on the house of cards situation. She spends most of the episode sitting at this table facing the audience, like she’s the anchorwoman for Action News 1795.

Angelique:  First, the chilling cold, and then… the fire. That room is here, completely within my power!

400 dark shadows effect vicki

Then the camera pulls in for a tight close-up on the cards, and Vicki’s face is superimposed over the shot, indicating the control that Angelique has over her fate. They actually do this same effect twice in the episode. As a piece of symbolism, it’s super heavy-handed, but I like it; they don’t do non-mimetic camera moves like this very often.

400 dark shadows surrender barnabas trask

Coming back from commercial break, we’re dropped straight into the middle of a confrontation. Reverend Trask glares at Barnabas, and snaps, “Surrender the witch to me!”, which is a great example of why Trask is amazing. He is the living embodiment of zero to sixty; there’s never a dull moment.

Trask:  The rite of exorcism is a terrible and painful act. It is a direct encounter with evil itself. Now, for the last time — hand over the witch!

He’s maintaining a fiercely aggressive level of eye contact the whole time, and his volume goes up with every sentence.

Barnabas:  There is no witch —

Trask:  Then you leave me no choice!

It’s phenomenal. Jerry Lacy never disappoints.

400 dark shadows conjurer barnabas trask

Barnabas says that he won’t allow Trask any further into the house, but Trask dismisses him with a dramatic gesture.

Trask:  There is no need. From the doorway, my power touches the utmost reaches of this house.

And then he makes kind of an unfortunate gesture, unfurling his cape in a way that makes him look like The Amazing Trask. “I have never met you before, have I, sir?” he shouts. “I would like for you to choose a card. Any card! For the last time, I insist that you put your card back into the deck!”

400 dark shadows ritual trask

Trask walks to the door, and takes his position.

Trask:  The next mortal to cross this threshold shall be known to hold the power of evil.

This marks the beginning of a six and a half minute exorcism sequence. That’s at least twice the length of the average exorcism scene on daytime television in 1968, which just goes to show how much the Dark Shadows producers cared about their audience. They know that you have other entertainment options; that’s why they’re committed to bringing you more exorcism footage than any other soap opera on the air.

400 dark shadows forked trask

Trask picks up a forked stick, which he apparently brought with him.

Trask:  I give warning to the powers of darkness that the powers of light are at hand! Yield yourself to their command, and spare yourself their awesome force, which is about to strike your very soul!

I’m doing it again, just quoting huge chunks of Trask dialogue, but I can’t help it. There’s something about a Trask rant that I find endlessly compelling. You can’t help but pay attention, just to see what comes out of his mouth next.

400 dark shadows rant trask

Trask:  Victoria Winters! The powers of light have come to do battle with the powers of darkness. Your destruction is at hand.

400 dark shadows v for trask

And then he takes a piece of yellow chalk, and draws a circle on the ground with a V inside it. Like you do.

This routine has nothing to do with Salem, by the way. They’ve been name-dropping Salem for a while now, because we’re leading up to a witch trial story. But the Puritans didn’t do rituals like this during the witchcraft scare. They prayed over people, obviously, and they shouted at accused witches, but they didn’t use a ritual like a trap.

The evidence that they used to convict Salem witches was mostly the “spectral evidence” testimony of the afflicted victims. There was actually some tension around the idea of using special rituals, or countermagic devices like witch bottles, because they were seen as the Devil’s tools, a potentially corrupting influence on their own.

In Salem, the cathartic, noisy rituals happened at the examinations, trials and hangings. Apprehending and securing the accused witches was the subdued, thoughtful part of the process.

400 dark shadows noisy angelique

But Dark Shadows has recently discovered the dramatic value of a good, loud spell-casting, and today we get two opposing spells cast at the same time. That means there’s twice as much nonsense dialogue, which I appreciate.

Angelique:  I call upon the heart of fire that burns within the heart of ice. The fire that freezes, and does not consume itself.

Obviously, this means practically nothing, and she’s just getting started.

Angelique:  I summon the eye of fire that burns within the icy eye, that watches over all things evil.

She’s directly facing the teleprompter through this whole scene, so there’s good reason to think that that’s actually the way that line was written in the script.

“The eye of fire that burns within the icy eye”! You have to give Sproat credit for this one; this is some top shelf mumbo-jumbo.

400 dark shadows icy eye angelique

She lights a match.

Angelique:  Heart of fire! Heart of ice! Fiery eye of coldest evil! Burn! I command you to come — and burn! Burn! Burn!

400 dark shadows burn angelique

And then she starts burning the cards, which is amazing, because a house of cards is a common metaphor for “something that’s about to tumble down in an uncontrolled heap.” She’s got an actual house of cards in front of her, on live-to-tape TV, and now she’s setting it on fire.

It turns out Mad Men is right; in the late 60s, they really didn’t think about fire safety the way that we do now. They just burned stuff, and it usually worked out okay.

400 dark shadows fire vicki

And as we go to a commercial break, we see Vicki in her room, listening to Trask’s bonkers dialogue through the window — and then a fire breaks out behind her. They really believed in giving the audience value for money with the commercial breaks today.

400 dark shadows chalk trask

Coming back from break, Trask is still drawing on the ground.

Trask:  Victoria Winters! The dust now knows your name, and the Earth shall proclaim it to the sky!

You know, I should really just collect all of the awesome Trask dialogue, and have a special theme day where that’s all that I say to people. I wonder how long it would take for me to get tired of doing that. Off the top of my head, my estimate is that I could keep it up for approximately forever.

400 dark shadows dust trask

Trask:  Come forth to this threshold! Cross from darkness into light, before the burning fires of goodness drive you forth, in terror and in fear!

400 dark shadows lighter fluid angelique

Meanwhile, Angelique’s got her own burning fire of goodness going on. Just look at it go!

Angelique:  Eye of fire! Heart of fire! I summon you from the evil icy wastes of the world beyond!

400 dark shadows faster angelique

She’s speeding up a bit, because this card house has about three more seconds, tops.

This scene is actually mentioned in Kathryn Leigh Scott’s 1986 book My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows as one of the more harrowing on-screen moments.

“There was a lengthy commercial break… and an overly eager prop man continually popped in to add just another ‘spritz’ of lighter fluid to ensure that the pile of cards would burn on cue. Unfortunately, they blazed in one terrific ‘whoomph’ and, long before Lara had a chance to finish her long-winded incantation, she was left to work her magic over a few scraps of ash.”

400 dark shadows fire hazard

“Burn! BURN!” Angelique cries, as the towering inferno actually topples over onto the table, right in front of her. There’s a chance they might seriously injure somebody today.

400 dark shadows match trask

Soon, Trask has his own blaze going, lighting the ends of his stick with a match. “Victoria Winters!” he shouts, dropping the lit match onto the studio floor. “Victoria Winters, your name is now known to fire!”

400 dark shadows afghan vicki

And yeah, it sure is. There’s fire breaking out all over the place in Vicki’s room, and she uses the Collinsport Afghan to try to put it out. Fortunately, in this case it’s just Chromakey fire, or we’d be losing good props.

400 dark shadows burn barnabas

And as chaos breaks out all over the house, Barnabas walks past Angelique’s old room in the servant’s quarters, and hears her chanting over her pile of ash: “Heart of fire! Heart of fire that burns in the heart of ice!”

This is going to give Barnabas the clue he needs to figure out what’s really going on around here. That’s right — everything is going up in smoke today. These days, they take Friday cliffhangers seriously. We’re going to burn down the whole show.

400 dark shadows torch trask

At the door, Trask is still wielding his flaming stick.

Trask:  Evil — show thyself! The powers of darkness are conquered now! Come forth! Come forth! You are summoned by the forces of everlasting light!

400 dark shadows stamp trask

And then he just drops the burning branch on the studio floor, and stamps on it to put the fire out.

It’s amazing; this whole sequence is charged with a crazed intensity that just blows the viewers away. People complain that Dark Shadows is boring — and it is, sometimes, I know that it is, I complained about it for months and months — but right now, it’s a thrilling, emotionally charged inferno of nightmares and shouting and magic spells and dust and flame and perfection.

400 dark shadows darkness vicki trask

Fleeing for her life, Vicki bolts downstairs, screaming: “Fire! Fire! Somebody help! Everybody run! Help!” And she runs out the door, and straight into Trask’s clutches.

And he’s grinning like the crazy agent of destruction that he is, and always will be.

Trask:  The powers of darkness are conquered now! The powers of light are triumphant!

Vicki:  Please! Please let me go!

Trask:  Down, witch! Down on your knees!

400 dark shadows down vicki trask


Yes, he does. He has the witch, and he is triumphant, and we are changed, forever.

Now that you’ve seen this — how could you watch a normal TV show, ever again? But don’t worry, you won’t have to, because next week…

Oh, just wait until next week. You’ll see.

Monday: Bewitched.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the teaser, Angelique tells the house of cards, “You are the halls of her room. You are the place where she is lying now.” She means “the walls of her room.”

In Angelique’s last scene, there’s a script lying on the bed behind her.

Monday: Bewitched.

400 dark shadows script angelique

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

35 thoughts on “Episode 400: Playing with Fire

  1. On the other hand, notice that BARNABAS HAS A PLAN. That is a sure fire (ha!) way of things going South in no time.

    His parents should have really named him Baldric.

      1. I guess Barnabas’ plans are not cunning enough. It never stops him from making them…

        (I remember, back in the eighties, I had an idea of Barnabas being involved in the Watergate. I commented it to a friend and he said “Of course, with that amount of incompetence, Barnabas had to be involved!”)

  2. One of the more mesmerizing scenes from the show. One question though, as Barnabas passed by Angelique’s old room (what was he doing in the servants’ quarters anyway?) and overheard her chanting her spell, why didn’t he open the door and walk in?

    1. I think Barnabas was distracted by Vicki’s screams. That’s why he didn’t open the door and investigate.

  3. Danny, I hope someday you will compile a Top 10 list of your favorite DS episodes. This one is a personal favorite for me. I’ve never been able to get Angelique’s insane incantation out of my head. “Heart of fire that burns in the heart of ice!” What does that even mean?

    As for those people who think DS is boring? Oh, they are so not worth knowing. 🙂

  4. Angelique’s ‘Burn Burn Burn’ rant is similar to one of Christopher Lee’s in the early 1960’s movie Horror Hotel (aka City of the Dead). Lee played a professor in a New England College teaching a course in (what else) witchcraft. He winds up sending one of his favorite female students (a naive character much like Vicki) into the fog shrouded town of Whitewood MA to gather info for her witchcraft thesis. And of course she stumbles right into a coven of witches to become their ‘Candlemass Eve’ sacrifice.

    1. And let us not forget the classic “Burn, baby, burn” as Richard Benjamin shouts as he sets George Hamilton’s coffin on fire in “Love at First Bite” (first vampire with a great tan).

  5. Oh, yes. If I ever need an exorcism done, I’m getting a Trask to do it. g

    And Barnabas has A Clue… that’s always dangerous.

  6. Judging by your last screencap, the Ravioli Afghan has been in the Collins family’s possession since 1795! (It’s on Angelique’s bed, beneath Lara’s script…) 🙂

  7. Thank you for clarifying that the Massachusetts Puritans would have had no ritual like Trask’s batshit rain dance. Calvinist’s would never tolerate such Popery.

    But I also want to give a legitimate shout out to Sproat on this episode. I’ve paid so much more attention to the writers since following your blog and I agree with you that he’s often writing the weakest episodes. But I think he nailed this one. He’s clearly better at writing incantations than dialogue.

  8. Vicki is using the COLLINSPORT AFGHAN to put out the fire.
    I was willing to cut her some slack until now; but this is too much.

    Vicki is an idiot.
    Vicki ruins everything.

  9. I thought Trask was going to break out in a “power of Christ compels you” chant. That would have been cool if Friedkin had lifted that from DS.

    Typical Vicki move. She had an 18 room mansion with an attic and basement and she chooses to run out the front door into the arms of Trask to avoud a small fire. My God, couldn’t the writers have come up with another way to get her to go outside. No wonder AM wanted to leave, that is embarassing.

    1. She is specifically told that witch will “run to the threshold” of the house. Yet, she runs there anyway. Un-frickin-believable.

    2. It was as obvious to me as to everyone else how that was going to end, but, even so, when Vicki ran into Trask’s arms I said “Oh, for God’s sake!” aloud, much more in disgust at the writing than at ninny Vicki’s panic.

      I had a practical thought during the card burning, wondering how Angelique could breathe comfortably with that fire going on, because I imagine an actual unventilated room would have quickly become smokey as hell. Then I laughed at myself, remembering that I’m watching a TV witch use sorcery against a girl who traveled back through time via a séance and found she’d magically exchanged places with another girl who lived there in the past. It’s just silly to nitpick verisimilitude within a premise like that. Still, Vicki could just as easily have used the back way to escape the flames. I can’t surrender to the madness quite so completely that I’m able to uncritically accept a predictable, too-convenient setup like her wild charge directly towards Trask. But overall, a greatly enjoyable episode.

  10. Commenting from four years in the future, I just wanted to point out there is a large vase of water and basin on Vicki’s dresser that she could use to put out the fire. Although I’m not sure water has any effect on the supernatural chromakey variety of fire.

  11. Talk about a memorable 400th Episode! Wow! Fire and ice, brimstone and treacle, eye of newt, and hair of frog–there’s more going on in these 21 minutes than most shows see in a season.

    Jerry Lacy, again, brings the heat (and fire) and then some as Reverend Trask. He always delivers the goods. Gotta love the chalk-drawing circle with VW written in the middle of it. Considering that Volkswagens were probably just being rolled out at the time–yet another timely reminder of just how hip DS was and remains today.

    The fire that Angelique builds with the house of cards is simply unbelievable. It looks like they were about 5 seconds away from truly needing a fire extinguisher to keep the thing in check. And for a show that’s ALREADY had one fire on the set about 100 episodes ago, you would think they would be a little leery about things like this.

    The fact that Vicki throws the Collinsport Afghan on the fire to no avail is simply sublime.

    Lara Parker and Jerry Lacy are such amazing additions to the cast and they continue to wow and amaze with each and every episode.

    You had to think that they knew and wanted the 400th Episode to be something extra special and really pulled it off here. Is there anything in the books about the shows or interviews that indicates this?

  12. By the way, Jerry Lacy is still very much alive and with us. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have some of the surviving cast members come to our blog here and offer up some commentary? Has anyone ever reached out to them to let them know we are here?

    1. I was just looking at the post for episode 420, and saw that Jane Draper, who played Suki Forbes, had recently replied to some comments from people wondering whatever became of her. Not a main series regular, but still, a cast member!

  13. “Tune in tomorrow for another episode of General Hospital. Coming up next on most of these ABC stations, 22 minutes of batshit crazy.”

    Where to start?

    I’m pretty sure most of that house of cards was glued together. No way were they going to risk the whole thing falling apart on camera.

    It’s taking time but I’m warming up to Jerry Lacy. I think my original dislike of him was more related to his role as Tony Bogey Jr. than to the actor himself. You’ve got to be totally committed to a role like Trask to make it work and he is.

    BTW, I’m glad that none of the commenters has been so prurient as to note the Freudian symbolism of Rev. Trask’s “rod.” I of course would never do such a thing myself.

    Finally, kudos to Lela Swift for keeping the whole nutshow moving in the right direction. Her back and forth cuts between Trask and Angelique were very effective.

    1. Indeed, Straker, how edifying to find this post has not been sullied by the base mentality and coarse argot of the gutter, sparing one from crude, puerile, wholly unnecessary comments about the Reverend Trask’s “rod.” His “pole.” His “stick.” His “shaft.” His “wood.” His “branch.” His “wand.” His “limb.” His “staff.” His “lumber.” His “timber.” His “cane.” His “woody.” His “plank.” His “equipment.” His “tool.” His “long and hard bringer forth of the witch within these walls.” Down, down! Down into the dust with such tasteless innuendoes and the frivolous intellects they typify!

      While I’m certain that merely glimpsing the prominently displayed length of the Reverend’s stiff witch rouser could easily excite the interest of the more salaciously minded, I have to assume that the inclusion of the implement in today’s episode is a rather intentional, somewhat sinister bit of symbolism given its close resemblance to the matching three-pronged pitchfork symbols that appeared on Josette’s and Jermiah’s hands while under Angelique’s spell. Recall that the sublimely demanding Trask recently examined Josette’s mark, identifying it as a satanic brand that compelled an immediate exorcism beneath his firm hand. When the masterfully dominant Revered today applies fire to his scrumptiously thick instrument and holds it before him with its three points alight, it visually presents itself as a trident. But why would this manly witch master, whose commanding gaze seems to conjure so many mysterious, unbidden longings within one, wield a ritualistic instrument that now takes on the appearance of a burning pitchfork when there are so many other things that could be employed instead, unless the prop is specifically intended to signify something? Pondering that, I would imagine that the relentless Reverend’s tantalizingly girthy measure of flaming hardwood is a device the DS writers are using to telegraph something about the nature of the alluring Salemite, a possibility that provokes some most intriguing and suggestive thoughts, the sort of thoughts that simply demand to be considered at length as one further contemplates the bulgy circumference and abundant inches of the Reverend’s splendidly rigid apparatus.

  14. I absolutely LOVE this episode! Why was Trask using what looked like a dowsing rod, though? I thought he was exorcising a witch, not searching for water!

  15. You know, I should really just collect all of the awesome Trask dialogue, and have a special theme day where that’s all that I say to people. I wonder how long it would take for me to get tired of doing that.
    I wonder how long other people will put up with that before they call the men in the white coats…
    Not that I would; I would laugh and laugh.

    On another subject, I believe the chalk that Trask uses is the same chunk that’ll be used by Paul Stoddard and everyone else who draws mystic circles and symbols on floors throughout the run of the series.
    Boy, DS got serious mileage from props.

  16. About the chalk circle, I wondered how Trask was going to fit in the “W” of Vicki’s name when the “V” had already taken up more than half of it. But lo, when we came back from the break, the “circle” had miraculously turned into an oval! Consequently, providing more than enough room for Mr. “W.”

  17. Wow, what an interesting grab-bag of magical implements and symbolism… Angelique is not using Tarot cards. Those are German playing cards with the suits of the period; possibly cut out of a book and pasted on cardstock? They seem large. Symbol: house of cards, a structure that’s in peril. Chanting about an icy fire — creating a fire the opposite of the natural fire of Nature and God, Witchcraft is all about reversals and opposition to the natural order.

    Trask shows up with a huge three pronged stick, holding it as one would a dowsing rod. Also known as water witching, dowsing was a respectable and scientific means of finding water. He then uses it as a magic wand to draw an imaginary line across the threshold. Like vampires, some thought witches could not enter a dwelling without an invitation. Drawing a line across the threshold to draw somebody out is strange, but Task isn’t your usual Congregationalist minister, what with the exorcism and all.

    Angelique’s and Trask’s spells complement each other in their use of fire and their stated target of Victoria, foreshadowing her fate of burning tied to a stake. (Track’s forest bondage session also forshadows Victoria tied to a stake.) Speaking of the tree test, which was not traditional torture, Trask claimed the presence of a witch would blight the tree. Remember the bouquet of roses blighted by Barnabas’s vampire touch back (ahead?) In 1967?

    Trask draws a magic circle, or circle talisman, with Victoria’s initials. This is sigil magic, derived from Jewish medieval learned magic. oh, and all those “voodoo dolls”? Doll magic was performed as English traditional magic, they are called ” poppets”.

    phew It also occurred to me that both witches and suicides were thought to turn into vampires in Romanian lore if precautions were not taken in burial. Collinsport culture has an odd toleration of suicide, which was a sinful act akin to murder.

    Victoria could have saved herself a lot of trouble if she’d just recited The Lord’s Prayer in front of Trask or any Bible verse. It’s interesting to note that when Angelique feigned piety she avoided any specific religious verse, but spoke of her ecstatic feeling, both flattering Trask and using language with erotic subtext…similar to the ecstasy described by witch theorists offered women in celebrating with the Devil in their nocturnal revels.

    1. “Angelique’s and Trask’s spells complement each other in their use of fire and their stated target of Victoria, foreshadowing her fate of burning tied to a stake. (Track’s forest bondage session also forshadows Victoria tied to a stake.)” But ultimately Victoria is not sentenced to be burned at the stake but to be hanged (and is brought to the gallows).

  18. Isn’t it called a divining rod? Anyway, yes this is my favorite episode so far, and I’m new to DS, so you guys all have a lot more to compare it to. I don’t even know who Quentin is?!

    I agree with above that the house of cards is glued together. They probably had a few “models” ready to go at different stages that they could swap in there while the cameras were on other scenes.

    Lara Parker is so brilliant at keeping my eyes glued to her that I never saw the script on her bed until Danny’s screen shot!

    Poor Vicki is the weakest link. I wish they had a stronger actress to play her. She was ok when she was just protecting David from a Phoenix, but she doesn’t have the acting chops to stand with Frid and Parker and Lacy.

  19. After Angelique’s line, “I summon the eye of fire that burns within the icy eye, that watches over all things evil,” I was sorry to see that we didn’t get a cameo by the Eye of Sauron. But it convinced me that Ron Sproat had picked up those first Ballantine paperback editions of The Lord of the Rings.

    Sadly missing from the end credits: “Jerry Lacy’s suits from the Christopher Lee Count Dracula collection.Hair by Lugosi.”

  20. Angelique’s cards may have indeed been regular German-style playing cards of the period, but I bet the intention was for viewers to think that they were Tarot cards, and I’ll put even more down on that bet and say that almost all viewers probably did. Which, from my perspective, was a little lazy. Tarot cards have been established as the Countess’ tools of trade; I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering if Angelique was burning up Natalie’s most treasured possession. Angelique had never been shown using cards for anything; she should have been given a different prop to channel her sympathetic magical control over the rooms of the house, like a child’s toy dollhouse (too costly to burn up a faux-period dollhouse maybe?) or a crudely constructed cardboard or paper house of some kind. I’m starting to agree that Ron Sproat was perhaps not the most inspired or scrupulous writer for the show.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s