“I can’t put together the parts of a body into a human, with life or breath.”
Sexy vampire Tom Jennings approaches his victim, Julia. As Tom bares his fangs to bite her, he crosses his eyes.
There’s a green stripe on the left side of the image. One of the three cameras developed a fault on Monday, and it’s been doing this all week.
Barnabas: Adam may come here tonight. He may demand to find out what — how far we’ve gone with the experiment. What can I say?
There’s an edit in the middle of Willie’s line. There are two tape edits today, which is very unusual. One can only imagine what could possibly have happened that was so bad that these were the two mistakes they considered not up to broadcast standard.
Willie: The one you don’t mention much is Julia, and she’s the one you need the most!
Barnabas: Obviously. I can’t put together the parts of a body into a human, with life or breath.
Willie: You’re acting like some man whose secretary is missin’, and I know that’s how you don’t feel!
Willie: Wait, where are you gonna go?
Barnabas: Through the woods again!
Willie: Well, he’s not there, she’s not there, how could they be?
Barnabas: Well, we can’t stop at anything — with — with nothing done.
Barnabas: But where could they be? Where could he be? Where could he be at this time of night, so late? Yes, the docks. I remember the docks at night.
A quick cut to Willie, who’s standing there with his mouth open for no particular reason. Three seconds later, cut back to Barnabas.
Barnabas: All I know is that you ran away from Windcliff. Now, Roger would do nothing that wasn’t in your best interest.
Liz: It means they’re going to let me be buried alive. You — you don’t believe me?
Barnabas: I don’t believe that could have happened.
Liz: Yes. Yes, it could happen.
Barnabas: I’ll be perfectly willing to let you stay, if I thought it was — well, for the best.
Liz insists that Julia is dead. Julia is clearly breathing.
There’s a stain on one of the armchairs.
The second tape edit.
Barnabas: Will that end it, Willie? Or will he suddenly appear in the middle of the night, at the hospital bed? No, Willie. We must settle him.
Barnabas puts his left arm through the wrong hole in his cape.
Liz checks the teleprompter several times as she delivers a monologue to a sleeping Julia. There’s a lot of studio noise, with people shuffling around and bumping into things. At 17:33, you can hear someone in the studio say, “Sssh!”
When Barnabas opens the lid of Tom’s coffin, there’s a blinding glare reflected from the studio lights.
Tom is still making funny faces.
Barnabas pushes Tom away, and Tom slips a bit on the smooth floor.
More of this.
As the struggle continues, Tom pushes Barnabas up against the coffin. You can actually see the panic in Don Briscoe’s eyes, as he realizes that Jonathan Frid has forgotten that he’s the one who’s supposed to be strangling right now, and he doesn’t know how to go on with the scene.
Oh, will you look at that. Grown men, ladies and gentlemen.
There’s a scream, and a crash, and the camera goes out of focus, and Tom opens his mouth, and the episode is over.
Next: The British Invasion.
Behind the Scenes:
Time Magazine had an article about Dark Shadows — “Ship of Ghouls” — in the issue dated Aug 30, 1968. Here are a few excerpts:
Only ABC’s Dark Shadows tapes as if every day were Friday. The 30-minute show is TV’s first gothic soaper, and the first to star a vampire. Explains one of the directors: “If the characters sat around and talked to each other about vampires, you would turn people off. It’s the actual vampirizing that makes the show.”
As for the plot, even Frid himself concedes, “There are times when I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. I’m sure people get together to speculate on what the show is all about.”
“The whole essence of my character,” says Frid earnestly, “is guilt over my hang-up — vampirism — and my bites suffer. I envy the bites of the two other vampires. They are positively erotic.”
Dark Shadows also has a recorded repertory of 3,000 sound effects and a few tricks that go back to radio days. The werewolf calls are authentic lobo cries, but for the squeak of bats in the night, a technician rubs a cork on the side of a bottle. The bats themselves are plastic and wired for flight. Coffins, cakes of dry ice (for eerie ground fog) and quarts of stage blood litter the studio. To spook up the manor with cobwebs, the crew flings chunks of latex into an electric fan, which scatters them authentically over the walls.
Next: The British Invasion.
— Danny Horn