Episode 518: In Memoriam


And now: a meditation on death, loss, renewal and teleprompters, with the help of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and the cast of Dark Shadows.

Strong son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou has made.

518 dark shadows joe maggie dust

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

518 dark shadows sam maggie memoriam

I held it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.

518 dark shadows sam cassandra raven

Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown’d,
Let darkness keep her raven gloss:
Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss,
To dance with death, to beat the ground,

Than that the victor Hours should scorn
The long result of love, and boast,
‘Behold the man that loved and lost,
But all he was is overworn.’

518 dark shadows sam cassandra sorrow

O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
O Priestess in the vaults of Death,

O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?

‘The stars,’ she whispers, ‘blindly run;
A web is wov’n across the sky;
From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun:

‘And all the phantom, Nature, stands —
With all the music in her tone,
A hollow echo of my own,–
A hollow form with empty hands.’

518 dark shadows sam blind

And shall I take a thing so blind,
Embrace her as my natural good;
Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
Upon the threshold of the mind?

518 dark shadows sam sleep

To Sleep I give my powers away;
My will is bondsman to the dark;
I sit within a helmless bark,
And with my heart I muse and say:

O heart, how fares it with thee now,
That thou should’st fail from thy desire,
Who scarcely darest to inquire,
‘What is it makes me beat so low?’

518 dark shadows sam vicki door

Dark house, by which once more I stand
Here in the long unlovely street,
Doors, where my heart was used to beat
So quickly, waiting for a hand,

A hand that can be clasp’d no more —
Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
And like a guilty thing I creep
At earliest morning to the door.

518 dark shadows sam dream

Tears of the widower, when he sees
A late-lost form that sleep reveals,
And moves his doubtful arms, and feels
Her place is empty, fall like these.

Come, Time, and teach me, many years,
I do not suffer in a dream;
For now so strange do these things seem,
Mine eyes have leisure for their tears.

518 dark shadows sam maggie grief

But where the path we walk’d began
To slant the fifth autumnal slope,
As we descended following Hope,
There sat the Shadow fear’d of man;

Who broke our fair companionship,
And spread his mantle dark and cold,
And wrapt thee formless in the fold,
And dull’d the murmur on thy lip,

518 dark shadows maggie coffin

And bore thee where I could not see
Nor follow, tho’ I walk in haste,
And think, that somewhere in the waste
The Shadow sits and waits for me.

518 dark shadows adam window

I envy not in any moods
The captive void of noble rage,
The linnet born within the cage,
That never knew the summer woods:

518 dark shadows adam enter

I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter’d by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;

518 dark shadows adam approach

Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.

518 dark shadows sam adam listen

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

518 dark shadows sam adam wisdom

Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.

518 dark shadows adam paintbrush

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.

Tomorrow: Ex Wife.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Professor Stokes says that nine people have had the Dream Curse. It’s ten, actually — Maggie, Jeff, Dr. Lang, Julia, Mrs. Johnson, David, Willie, Carolyn, Stokes and now Sam.

During Sam’s death scene, Maggie tells Vicki, “He’s talking about that riddle he had in the dream.”

When Professor Stokes drops his stickpin in the Evans cottage, it falls face down. It’s lying face up in a later shot.

Behind the Scenes:

Despite appearances, this is not actually David Ford’s last episode; he’ll appear one more time as Sam’s ghost, a couple weeks from now.

Kathryn Leigh Scott, in her book My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows, tells an amusing story about this episode:

“Both actors who played Pop had difficulty remembering lines and therefore relied heavily on the Teleprompter. Toward the end of his days, the second Pop became blind which necessitated wearing dark glasses, the better for the actor to read the Teleprompter undetected. Finally the episode came when Maggie stood at Pop’s hospital bedside, his death at hand. Ross Skipper, the big red-headed camera man, wheeled in closer and struck his camera base on the end of the hospital bed causing the Teleprompter to fall off and crash to the floor. Pop sat bolt upright in bed and hollered, ‘Where is it?’ Maggie just reached out a firm hand, gripped his shoulder and shoved him back against the pillows saying, ‘Never mind, Pop. It’s going to be OK.’ Pop expired without saying another word.”

Scrapbook Memories was written in 1986, several years before Dark Shadows episodes were sold on VHS, so we didn’t realize at the time that this anecdote was entirely made up. None of that happened.

 Tomorrow: Ex Wife.

518 dark shadows cassandra candle

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

19 thoughts on “Episode 518: In Memoriam

  1. Jason, Burke and now Sam – gone are the ‘glory’ days at the Blue Whale – tonight at happy hour I’ll raise my ‘martooni’ glass to you Sam, loving father, talented artist and one of the true Dark Shadows originals..

    1. Indeed. Few people survived unscathed Barnabas’s release from his chained coffin.

      Arguably, even Quentin’s ghost is only disturbed because Amy comes to live at Collinwood, which wouldn’t have happened if her brother Tom hadn’t been murdered by Angelique.

  2. The last time they created a storyline specifically for Sam Evans was in episode 193, where art dealer Portia Fitzsimmons shows up announced at Sam’s cottage saying that she’ll give him a gallery showing and make him famous if he can produce, within a week, a series of paintings he did 10 years earlier–which he can’t of course since he gave those away to Roger for $15,000, a payment that was really designed to keep him quiet about what he saw during the accident. In 1956, $15,000 was worth over $130,000 in 2014 money.

    I always wondered what happened to this storyline. Sam gives Roger 48 hours to recover the paintings or else he’ll go to Burke, but we never see Portia Fitzsimmons again and after a while the matter is dropped and forgotten. It appears this storyline was an “in betweener”–that is, the Phoenix storyline had just been resolved, and episode 193 also happened to have been Jason McGuire’s first appearance, so the writers brought back the manslaughter theme from the year before to keep some melodrama going until the Liz blackmail story could get moving.

    I liked David Ford’s portrayal of Sam Evans. The thoughtful way he would stroke his beard, the pose he would strike while standing before a canvas in progress. The previous actor playing Sam Evans, you could never imagine him in the act of painting, but David Ford made his portrayal of the artist believable. Ford’s voice and persona were as rustically charming as the Evans cottage set, though I prefer the Sam Evans of 1966 and 1967–this 1968 version was far more subdued and seemed hardly even there. But he had become a largely incidental character by this point.

    One of my favorite Sam Evans lines is when Maggie and Sam are at the Blue Whale: Maggie: “Pop, you must be loaded!” Sam [looks down at his glass chuckling to himself]: “Oh no, not yet, not yet.”

    Some think that Sam Evans missed his true calling….

    1. WONDERFUL!! David Ford seemed to get his mojo back for the John Hancock play. Another favorite scene of mine was when Sam and Burke got ‘feeling good’ at the Blue Whale and sang a sea shanty together in memory of Bill Malloy – I think it was ‘What do you do with a drunken sailor’?

    2. I think Portia Fitzsimmons – who I love by the way – was just a means of resolving the Burke/Roger/Sam storyline by bringing it to a head. At the end, Roger didn’t have Sam’s paintings so Sam had nothing to show and presumably lost out on the opportunity. Don’t think it was ever meant to be a Sam strikes it rich story – just a reason for him to go to Burke with the truth (finally).

  3. Thanks for writing about the comment Kathryn Leigh Scott made in the book about the teleprompter. I watched the scene a couple of times and wondered why I didn’t hear anything!

    1. Yeah. Although there is a whole lot of clattering in the first scene and then he gestures to someone frantically as they go to the commercial, when Sam is supposed to be sleeping. So there is something going on out of shot. And then when he is telling about the dream, he is really rambling. It is possible that something happened with the teleprompter and he couldn’t remember the dream sequence – although it’s not like Kathryn Leigh Scott remembered.

  4. I’m surprised that no one has commented on the fact that Sam’s supposed to be BLIND, even during the dream sequence. How did he know it was Vicky standing by his bedside, when she didn’t speak to him? Since she let go of him as she guided him to the next set, how did he not lose his way – how could he be so terrorized by what’s behind the doors when he can’t SEE what’s behind the doors – how did he even know that Maggie was THERE, much less in mourning for him?!

    I can forgive a LOT, and as a too-many-decades-long Dark Shadows fan, I’ve kind of signed on to perpetually suspending my disbelief, but sheesh! This is pushing it!

  5. I’m going to be kind, and think that perhaps KLS was remembering something that happened in rehearsal, since it obviously doesn’t happen in the show. And a good story is a good story.

    And I tremble with antici- – -pation at the new opportunities presented by Professor Stokes and Adam. (“…I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Rick Blaine, Casablanca)

  6. Things I liked:

    The way Vicki emerged from the shadows. (This is called “Dark Shadows” after all.) I liked the way she emerged so slowly that I kept thinking, “I know it’s Vicki, but is it maybe someone else?” Finally it is she. Not a “hooray,” but I liked the production/camera work here.

    That Sam’s own doorway that was added to the Dream was a vision of his own death. Finally a curse element that had meaning and was not ludicrous.

    Professor Stokes homburg hat. I noticed his hat all of a sudden. I can’t think of any other men on the show who wear hats. Maybe Barnabas wore a trilby hat or something similar the first time he came to Collinwood (?), but I’m not sure, and I haven’t seen him in a hat since. In the 1795-6 storyline, I can’t think of any men with hats there, either. Except Trask. Maybe Andre DuPres wore a hat the first time he appeared (?). I thought men of that era would not go anywhere without one. True, on DS they were indoors a lot, but sometimes they went out. Hatless.

    The way Danny juxtaposed the text of the poem with the pictures so that there is a kind of meaningful synchronicity between them. It’s poignant.

    Something I don’t like:

    I am just watching these episodes in order and not always remembering from way back when what’s going to happen next, but I am pretty sure this doesn’t happen (and it’s too bad): “Maggie, I am sorry about your father, but the good news is that now that he’s a dead artist his paintings are worth ten times what they were when he was alive. Sell some of them and you’ll have a bit of a nest egg.” Maggie would have deserved that.

  7. I think it’s funny that 1) Joe drove all the way out to Collinwood to bring Vicky to the hospital without having called first to make sure she was there let alone see if she’d be able to come with him and 2) that Stokes wants her to leave and she says she can’t but doesn’t say “because Joe is my ride and apparently he’s not here anymore.”

    I can’t believe we sat through the Dream TEN times! Cassandra deserved to go up in flames for just 1/2 that!

    I feel like Liz gave Vicky hair styling instructions today. She looks really pretty.

    RIP Sam. I really did enjoy his character up until the blindness and then my irritation with the actor overshadowed it.

  8. Sam being able to see in the dream makes sense to me. It’s the product of witchcraft for starters and he is only recently blinded so he knows what Victoria Winters looks like.
    A stray observation – did anyone else get a Sugar Daddy vibe in the scene with Stokes inviting Adam to his home to feed him and teach him things?

  9. I believe David Ford was motioning to his agent, requesting him to go to the producers of “1776” for a tryout.

  10. What was the point of Adam going into Sam’s hospital room? Very strange.

    “To die, to sleep – To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come.”
    – Hamlet

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