Episode 630: Vicki Ruins Everything

“Oh, I know you’re going to say it’s none of my business, and it isn’t. Except that I’m making it my business!”

Recasts are always tricky on soap operas, by which I mean that they usually turn out to be an alien shapeshifter or some other kind of hoodoo from the notworld, feeding off the audience’s precious life essences for its own malign purposes. Recasts are not to be trusted, and should be handled with extreme caution.

So when we hear the announcement over the credits — “The part of Victoria Winters will be played by Miss Betsy Durkin” — we are on alert. Hackles are raised.

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The last major recast that we had on Dark Shadows was when the part of Burke Devlin was suddenly played by Mr. Anthony George. It didn’t work out that well, by which I mean that they eventually had to shoot him in the face just to get rid of him, and even then he wouldn’t stay dead.

You know, I forget if we ever got that dude to go back to his grave or not. Somebody should probably go and check.

630 dark shadows maggie vicki fight

The new Vicki has a tough road ahead — she has to make us believe that this is the same girl governess that we’ve grown accustomed to — so it’s refreshing to have her pick a fight the very first second that we see her.

Maggie has told Vicki some big news, and Vicki acts like she’s just been punched in the face.

Vicki:  Nicholas Blair asked you to marry him?

Maggie:  Yes!

Vicki:  Should you? Are you going to trust your life to a man, when the only thing you know about him is that he says that he’s Cassandra Collins’ brother? Oh, Maggie!

529 dark shadows cassandra questions smaller

Once again, you have to admire Dark Shadows for always refusing to play it safe.

They could have started the scene with Maggie coming into the room and saying, “Well, well, Vicki! How are you, dear Vicki?” just to give the audience a second to get accustomed to the newcomer before she launches into a petulant rant. Dark Shadows doesn’t bother with such formalities these days.

630 dark shadows maggie vicki dear

Instead, Vicki just digs in for a fight.

Maggie:  Vicki, do you know something about Nicholas that I don’t?

Vicki:  Oh, no one knows anything about him.

Maggie:  Well, I can tell a lot by the way that he’s treated me.

Vicki:  I wouldn’t trust him.

Maggie:  Vicki! I never knew you were so suspicious.

Vicki:  Maggie, please! Just begin thinking!

So there you go, it’s that easy. Maggie makes a couple more remarks on the theme of how offended she is, and then she walks out and slams the door.

630 dark shadows vicki growls

Left on her own, Vicki growls, “Nicholas Blair!” and then she marches to the phone to hate-dial the guy, and invite herself over.

I’m not sure what these girls were planning to do tonight, but whatever it was, Maggie is probably better off going stag. Vicki is having a super peeved evening.

630 dark shadows nicholas vicki talking

Now, personally, I happen to like aggressive characters running around and yelling at everyone, and it’s about time somebody talked sense to Maggie Evans. If this was Julia popping by for a late-night game of speaking truth to power, I’d be all over it, so Team Durkin is still in control of the board at the moment.

Let’s see how round two goes.

Vicki:  You cannot marry her. Oh, I know you’re going to say that it’s none of my business, and it isn’t. Except that I’m making it my business! She doesn’t know about you.

Nicholas:  About what, Miss Winters?

Vicki:  You’re not human.

Nicholas:  I thought the proof of humanity was the ability to love.

Vicki:  Cassandra Collins was a witch!

Nicholas:  And I am her brother, therefore I am a, uh — warlock?

630 dark shadows vicki girl

And damn, look at this. Girl is not having it tonight.

Vicki:  I knew Cassandra in the past, when she was Angelique, when she first came to this country. I was there — I was hanged for what she did! When she lived here as Cassandra, I watched what she did. And the very day she disappeared, you arrived — as if we had to have some eye of evil constantly staring at us! Well, I won’t let you marry Maggie. I won’t!

I have to give her points. I know she’s acting crazy right now, and this isn’t how Vicki usually behaves, but I don’t like the way that Vicki usually behaves. This is better.

Here stands a reborn Victoria Winters, staring the Devil right in the face, and daring him to start something. I could get used to this.

630 dark shadows nicholas vicki hurting

And then, sadly, it turns out that Sam Hall only wrote half a scene today.

Nicholas advances on Vicki, and she backs away, saying, “Don’t come near me!” And then pretty much nothing happens.

630 dark shadows nicholas vicki satisfy

He says that Maggie won’t believe Vicki’s preposterous story, which is true, because we just saw Vicki trying to warn Maggie, and it didn’t work. But this appears to be the extent of her plan.

Vicki:  You’re asking me to say nothing, aren’t you? Well, I can’t. I can’t!

Nicholas:  Then I should be very careful if I were you, Miss Winters.

Vicki:  I wasn’t afraid to come here!

Nicholas:  I mean, you may lose Maggie’s friendship.

Vicki:  That’s not what you meant, and you know it!

Nicholas:  Are you going to see her now?

Vicki:  I’m giving you the chance to break off with her before I do.

And then… wait, really?

630 dark shadows vicki nicholas plan

Yup, that’s it. She says that he’s an inhuman demon, and then she just says goodbye and leaves. He even helps her put her coat on.

It’s one of the more baffling scenes. Why did she even bother to come over?

630 dark shadows vicki barnabas foyer

But that’s nothing compared to what happens next. Vicki goes back to Collinwood, and there’s thunder and lightning going on, and they do a little sequence where she walks around the foyer and turns all the lights off.

Then the door blows open, and there’s a dark figure framed in the doorway, and it turns out to be Barnabas, and everyone is very relieved.

630 dark shadows barnabas vicki bad

Vicki gives Barnabas her sunniest smile, and gushes, “I haven’t seen you in so long! How are you?” It turns out he’s fine.

They have a little chat about why Barnabas came over — he’s here to talk to Julia, natch — and then the bad thing happens.

She takes his hand, and says, “Oh, Barnabas, it’s so good to see you. I’d like to see you tomorrow. Shall we have dinner? Please.”

630 dark shadows barnabas vicki course

He says, “Of course,” and she’s delighted, and that’s when I remember what’s actually going on in Vicki’s life right now.

The last time we saw her — just three days ago — she was left at the altar by her fiancee, who was then charged with murder.

Jeff is currently in jail for a crime that he didn’t commit. But Vicki doesn’t mention him once today, and now it looks like she’s arranging her social calendar for a post-Jeff future.

So I have to ask: Is it possible that this isn’t Vicki after all? Maybe the real Vicki is tied up in a closet somewhere — it wouldn’t be the first time — and this is actually some kind of ersatz dimension-hopping brood parasite from the Durkinverse.

Keep your eyes open, people. Stay vigilant. This is not a drill.

Monday: The Goat.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the teaser, Nicholas says that they must bring Eve back to life. Barnabas snorts, “Why? Because Adam can kill her again?” He should have said, “So that Adam can kill her again.”

For the close of the teaser, Barnabas should be staring at Nicholas, horrified. But they hold the shot longer than he expects, and we can see his eyes flicker to the camera, to see if they’re still going.

Nicholas asks Barnabas, “Do you envy me my powers, Mr. Collins? If you had the chance, would you have them, or does that idea disgust them — disgust you?”

Barnabas coughs in the middle of a line: “If you’re planning to bring — (cough) — a woman who is drugged or under a spell, we will not go through with it.”

In the middle of act 1, a stagehand moves the hands of the clock forward as the camera is focused on Nicholas looking out the window. Unfortunately, Nicholas can’t help peeking at the stagehand to make sure it’s happening.

In act 2, Nicholas tells Vicki, “I’ve heard — been described as a great many things by many people, I’d be most interested in hearing your description.”

When Nicholas removes the stake and wakes Tom up, he’s wearing a different shirt than he had when Barnabas staked him in episode 571.

Behind the Scenes:

The part of Victoria Winters will be played by Miss Betsy Durkin, a stage actress who’s on television for the first time today.

Betsy’s acting career started in 1961, in a touring production of the Broadway musical The Boy Friend. She appeared in a summer stock production of Bye Bye Birdie and a dinner theater Li’l Abner, and Off-Broadway in the 1964 flop The Athenian Touch, which closed after one night.

Betsy’s Broadway debut was in 1965, playing a minor role in Cactus Flower, a well-received farce starring Lauren Bacall. She stayed in Cactus Flower for three years, finally deciding to leave in late 1968, when another actress was cast to fill a larger part that she’d been hoping to get. She auditioned for Dark Shadows, and was cast as the new Vicki.

Betsy is naturally a redhead; she dyed her hair for Dark Shadows, to match Alexandra Moltke.

Also auditioning for the recast Vicki was Jaclyn Smith, who had just married Roger Davis (Peter/Jeff). I’ve seen conflicting stories for why Jaclyn didn’t get the role. Some sources say that the producers didn’t want real-life newlyweds on the show, some say that it was her Texas twang, and some say that she did get the offer, but turned it down. Jaclyn and Roger were married until 1975, and she became famous in 1976 as one of Charlie’s Angels.

One more note — if you don’t recognize the comic book panel above, it’s from the first issue of the Gold Key Dark Shadows comic, which we talked about in Episode 529: Missing Adventures.

Monday: The Goat.

630 dark shadows the real vicki

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

31 thoughts on “Episode 630: Vicki Ruins Everything

  1. The plot demands that Vicki is in some peril, so she carries the idiot ball past the goal line in today’s episode. It also amuses me that she and Maggie are so close yet she’s not already aware that Maggie’s dating Nicholas (shouldn’t that have concerned her prior to the engagement?).

    The scene with Barnabas makes no sense other than to remind the viewers that any threat to Vicki affects him. As Danny points out, Jeff’s still in jail for all we know and even if he’s not, it doesn’t seem like Vicki and her former fiance who is still in love with her would hang out much after she gets hitched.

    Julia always had a full hand when she faced off with Nicholas. Vicki didn’t even know she’s playing poker.

  2. Jaclyn Smith as Vicki–what a game changer that could have been! She might have worked with Kate Jackson on DS even.

    Heard a rumor once that Jaclyn kept a DS actress off Charlie’s Angels (people speculate Lara Parker but who knows) because of some Roger Davis escapade that ticked her off at the time.

    1. Kate Jackson herself would have made a great Vicki if she’d been available at the time. She looked and sounded similar to Moltke, although she’d have had to lose the accent.

  3. PS – and of course Thayer David and John Karlen both appeared on Charlie’s Angels eventually. (were there other DS ers on there?) Kris Munroe shot Karlen’s character, though apparently he survived.

  4. She’s a ringer for Monica Lewinsky – right down to the ‘blue dress’ – serves you right Dan Curtis for taking Alexandra Moltke for granted..

  5. Well, Vicki no longer looks like Betty Hanscombe. It seems the theory of some familial connection to Collinwood has gone out the window. With Alexandra Moltke, you really could believe that Vicki might have had some family connection to Liz Stoddard. There was a strong, warm chemistry between Joan Bennett and Moltke, as well as a passing resemblance and similar bearing. Moltke could have passed for Joan Bennett’s daughter in real life as well. Some characters just could not be recast. Victoria Winters is too fundamental a character. For Dark Shadows in the first year, she was the defining character, one that indicated what the show was originally about. In one fell swap, the Victoria Winters character goes from being Jane Eyre to Jane Doe.

  6. Agree–poor decision to recast. Vicki should have just quit her governess job and taken off for good after Jeff dumped her at the altar (or they could have run off together). Wonder if a different actress would have worked better, but some characters just can’t be recast. We knew Moltke’s Vicki too well. And this gal is nothing like her except for the dark hair. Even her personality has changed 180!
    Maybe she really is an imposter….some time ripple that Eve caused? (Did anyone see PRIMEVAL? The guy goes on a jaunt to dinosaur times and when he returns his girlfriend is a different person).

    1. The way the recast went, I don’t think they had that much warning. Yes, Moltke was pregnant, but lots of actresses get stuck behind potted plants and big purses while working until late in the pregnancy. This always struck me as being like the Anthony George recast of Burke. They needed a recast, they needed it now because scripts were written and Vicki had lines that, for whatever reason, couldn’t be shuffled off to someone else. They got rid of Durkin pretty quickly, so I think this was a case of having to deal with a recast they really didn’t have time to work around.

        1. That certainly fits with the suddenness of the recast. If she had been able to hold out, they could still have sent her back in time and written her out the way they did and people would have accepted it more.

        2. My thought, unconfirmed, is that Alexandra Molke did ask to leave the part once she knew she was pregnant, and would have been fine to continue on to early January 1969 when she would still not be showing, but began to have unforeseen complications and her doctor forced her to leave sooner than planned. Hence, the rather sudden recast of a character that they were already planning to write out within another six or seven weeks.

  7. It’s funny to hear folks describe Vicki as a character who can’t be recast when the past year or so of this blog has pointed out how watching Vicki is often like watching paint dry. I wonder if someone whose only familiarity with the show is post-Willie opening the magic box would have the same affection of for the character and especially Motlke’s performance? I’ve defended her by saying that Motlke in the early days and even pre-Julia Hoffman had something that worked for the show.

    And arguably Vicki was “recast” — KLS as Maggie the Governess fills the same function as Vicki, both during the Haunting of Collinwood and the Leviathan story line. Rachel Drummond sometimes feels like a “send-up” of Vicki Winters.

  8. FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS….. Anyone else notice the symbolism of the white design on said blue dress (male zodiacal)? Just askin’… Love all the ‘extra’ illus. adds. My idea of a book ‘from parallel time’ is ‘ARTIST’S APPRECIATION OF D.S.’ by Chas. Addams-R. Crumb-Jack Davis-Edw. Gorey-A. Hershfield-A. Warhol-etc(Note majority are deceased)! MIKE

  9. I have to admit I always liked Moltke/Vicki & didn’t find her boring. Yes, she is a ditz, esp in the past when she blurts out everything and anything that will make her look more guilty–no argument there. However when I first got into DS as a young teen I could easily identify with her (and with Julia too). This Vicki is too bold & brassy maybe. She doesn’t have Moltke’s vulnerability somehow.

  10. Yeah, I wonder why the crazy about-face on Vicky’s personality? Was it just that with Alexandra gone, Dan Curtis was like “Do whatever you want with her, I don’t care anymore.” I mean Betsy Durkin is not Addison Powell or Craig Slocum awful, but the “character” of Vicky is drastically different all of a sudden.

  11. After seeing it enough, I no longer have to adjust when Betsy Durkin takes over as Victoria Winters. I like Betsy, she’s very plucky. Very different from Alexandra Moltke, who had an ethereal “little girl, lost” quality. Maybe that’s why the ghosts liked her so much, she was like one of them.
    I was very fond of Alexandra, and like Betsy, a lot. I’ll save the word “love” for people like Angelique and Julia Hoffman.

    Humbert Allen Astredo does some great work today. When Maggie comes to visit, he offers to tell her fortune. She asks “Will I hear strange voices?”, he pauses, says “…I hope not.” His delivery is wonderful, making it obvious that Maggie might hear voices and that that would not be a good thing.
    When he reads her fortune, his countenance falls. “You will……….have a very long…..and happy life.”

    Nicholas said the cup was never wrong. He was pretending to kid, I think we know better. He’s telling us a bit of truth, but disguising it ever so slightly with a little jest. When Maggie asks him about the cute little unholy grail on his mantle, he says it was “supposed” to have belonged to Cleopatra’s favorite seer, which means it did belong to Cleopatra’s favorite seer, but he has to feign uncertainty for the sake of appearances.

    I have no doubt that Nicky saw a “long and happy life” for Maggie, which, at the very least, must mean he won’t be sacrificing her on any black altar, and taking her with him, anytime soon.
    I wonder what else he saw in the seer’s cup? Did he see that his plans were ruined? Evil not as exciting as it used to be? Big phone bill?

    “Nicholas! You sound as if that upsets you.” He plasters a smile over his frown and laughs the laughter of the damned, for her sake. Maybe he knows things are ruined and is just enjoying the moment, while he can.

    And then Betsy Durkin’s spunky new Victoria Winters saw Dr Julia Hoffman and said “I’ll have what she’s having!” and stormed off to scare Nicholas Blair. What a fun scene. This kitty has claws. Meow. But Nicholas is becoming so human. They have quite an intense little confrontation, and yet, it remains terribly polite. Neither party really loses it, and Nicholas, of course helps Vicky with her coat, when it’s time to go.
    The old days, when villains were charming, and enemies were terribly polite and formal.

    Soon as Vicky leaves, he hurls his glass into the fire, asking himself “Why?” Then the big confession: “Maggie Evans makes me human.”
    Uh, oh.
    Then, he get’s a hilarious idea.

      1. Oh, thanks. I like this episode a lot. Thanks to Danny for giving us this place to hang our ghostly electronic thoughts.

  12. I was part of the original DS audience, but I don’t remember even noticing Durkin had replaced Moltke! At 11, maybe I wasn’t old enough to notice re-castings.

    In the unlikely event no one else has noted this fact, back in the day soap operas tended to use older actors–older than modern viewers are used to seeing, anyway. Bennett was my age, for instance. Roger, Nicholas, and Barnabas more than filled the bill as attractive male soap leads for the time. Just saying. Pre-thirtysomethings were allowed a lot of representation in TV dramas and movies.

    Thus, DS looks increasingly “modern” as younger actors come to the fore.

  13. Anybody else ever see the “Red Dwarf” where some guy went around judging your life and if you didn’t measure up, he gave the chance to someone else who could have been born when you did. So the alternate “you” show up full grown and with memories of your life, but with the twists of how they would have lived it differently and they believe they are you. None of your friends would recognize you as you are because you are erased and your friends think the other guy is how “you” always looked.

    I mention it because that pretty much sounds like what happened to Vicki. Betty Hanscombe would therefore look like this Vicki as the guy fixed time and she remembers what she would have done. So maybe she did have a romance with Barnabas that wasn’t just in his head. Maybe she realizes that the heck with the episode breakdowns she doesn’t give a good gosh darn about Jeff/Peter who can’t act his way out of a paperbag anyway. Vicki may not have a plan (and not knowing what happens to me it would be more interesting if she does and just isn’t telling Nicholas until she springs it), but she should get full points for remembering Nicholas is the devil which is more than pretty much anybody else in the cast has come up with.

    Also, that would be a nice way to exit Nicholas. Angelique could have hexed him so as he got caught up with the humans he would slowly become more like them and lose his powers. He wouldn’t catch on until it was too late and he hadn’t looked for something like that because he was too arrogant. I’d watch that. 🙂

    One last thing, I always like when they do the “the part of x is now being played by” bit. I rather just be asked to accept it rather than having some stupid story of why they look totally differently especially because half the time they show up again a few years looking exactly like they used to without a word of explanation.

  14. As everyone seems to be weighing in on this, I shall too. I’m afraid I tend to be in complete agreement with the blogger, Mr. Horn, where Alexandra Moltke is concerned. This is not to say she isn’t a perfectly lovely human being and quite interesting in person, she is, and her later work with the Museum of Television and Radio and the National Endowment for the Humanities have shown that she is not without considerable talent; but I do not count acting among these, particularly insofar as her work on Dark Shadows is concerned.

    For an actor unknown to daytime television to be handed the plum role of Victoria Winters at the onset of Dark Shadows is like the world’s biggest Birthday and Christmas present all wrapped up in blinking psychedelic lights and dayglo paper. She was second only to Joan Bennett in billing, and even that was only due to Ms. Bennett’s status as a movie star, the Victoria Winters role was the larger and more important of the two. Nancy Barrett also originally auditioned for the Victoria role, and I think if she had been cast we’d be looking at something very different.

    In any event, what Ms. Moltke brought to this role is not much. Yes, she remembered her lines, she had to. She was too nearsighted to avail herself of the teleprompter. If she had gone up on her lines as frequently as the other actors bailed themselves out with the teleprompter, she wouldn’t have lasted a week. But this is not acting, it’s memorization. I memorized the names of all fifty states and their capitals when I was five, and the names of all the presidents of the United States when I was six; it didn’t make me a historian. The idea that, if I may quote my favorite of Mr. Horn’s expressions, “Vicki is an idiot”, cannot be blamed entirely on the writers. The flatness with which Ms. Moltke delivers her performance makes Vicki seem like a dullard, which lends the impression that every idiotic thing they have her doing is entirely her own fault. Vicki Winters is the embodiment of every teenage slasher film moron that goes off into the dark to investigate that creepy noise, you are rooting for the beheading that they have coming because they deserved it for being so stupid. If they had told her the calls were coming from inside the house, she would have gone upstairs to look. An accomplished actor could have played Vicki Winters without making it so obvious that she walks right into all the trouble that befalls her and is utterly blind to the numerous avenues of escape surrounding her.

    She may as well have arrived in l795 wearing a dunce cap that said “witch” on it. It’s l795! There is no telegraph, no telephone, no way to fax “Wanted” posters, no form of communication exists that you couldn’t outrun with a horse. She needed to give us some compelling reason to remain there and wait to be arrested, but she just plays it like a governess somehow completely ignorant of the historical context she finds herself in and thus has no reason to fear the accusations of witchcraft waged against her. A competent actor would find a way to make us believe this unbelievable material, and it usually appears Ms. Moltke doesn’t even try, she doesn’t even get it that this is on her to perform.

    Johnathan Frid took a l3-week role and turned it into the starring vehicle around which the remainder of the series was built. As the writers are making this show up as they go along, I’m certain if Ms. Moltke would have breathed some spark of life into Vicki Winters, the writers could have given us something besides “Vicki is an idiot”.

    1. Fine analysis of how Ms. Moltke helped sabotage the plum role of Vicky. IN my opnion, she had neither the needed acting talent for nor interest in the story she was supposed to help tell.

      In addition, she was saddled with what was to me a highly annoying voice. It quavered and cracked constantly and was anything but a pleasure to listen to. Granted, Maggie and sometimes Carolyn also .bring on the crack and the quaver, but they at least had a large supply of facial expressions, whereas Ms. M’s visage was almost expression-free.

  15. Coming to the conversation late, but loving the blog, Danny, and the chance to rethink teenaged memories. These are the episodes when I became hooked on DS; it was decades later that I got the Barnabas origin story and the like straight. But even as a teen, the drastic, heedless, where-are-we-going redirection of the plot, the soft-core-porn seductions by Angelique, and the endless victimization of pretty young women (as if it were the common coin of all Western storytelling) seemed extreme. But I did hang in!

    I’ve been thinking about Moltke and Durkin and Victoria; my current take is that Alexandra Moltke, a diplomat’s daughter without acting training or experience, was–maybe–a fair gamble for the series as originally conceived, but that she got completely overtaken by the change in the nature of the show. She was not so much an actress as a presence–earnest, serious, and what Dan Curtis called “innocent”–meaning she seemed incapable of guile or, god help her, subtext. As an insistently down-to-earth, frank heroine in a Gothic drama of shades and hooded-eyed aristocrats harboring sinister secrets, she might have stood a chance: she could protest against being imprisoned by lunatics and face off against a crazy soap villain who was threatening her or her young charge well enough.

    But once the complexity grew and we started perversely delighting in Barnabas’s always-on-the-edge deceptions of the living, let alone Angelique’s and Nathan Forbes’s and Nicholas Blair’s, they needed a heroine who could see through a deception, and, keeping her wits about her, could turn the lies and role-playing against her enemies: enter Julia Hoffmann, who can tell seven lies and confront two male opponents in thirty seconds, with five facial expressions to spare.

    In the new show, Vicki, as originally conceived, and as tailored to Moltke’s modest gifts, was increasingly a pale anachronism, shouldered aside by an onrush of stories she didn’t belong in; as such, she was pretty much destroyed by the 1795 storyline, where she literally couldn’t summon a little white lie to save her damn life. In this context, you’re right–Vicki really is an idiot, and she hung around far too long being one.

    (I’m not taking the writers–at this point, all male–off the hook here: it’s pretty obviousl that they they couldn’t conceive of a young, pretty girl who was both good and smart–look how Maggie loses all her working-class grit and vinegar as she gets shoehorned into the trusting heroine role; look how Carolyn, who begins the series wised-up and disillusioned, falls like a credulous child for every supernatural hunk they can throw at her. KItty Forbes was a step in the right direction, but all-in-all the boys writing the scripts have a girl problem that looks increasingly obvious as they move on.)

    So Betsy Durkin, who at least was an actress of some sort (and a stage actress new to the intimacy of the camera), is a kind of intriguing anomaly, catching a last-minute ride on the Vicki train just as it pulls into the finalTimothy Stokes’ Monacle terminal: pouring all this theatrical energy and directness and effusion into her scenes (where Moltke was dour and stubbornly earthbound, like the obstinate girl at the birthday party who didn’t want to play any of the games), we in the audience don’t quite know what to do with her. Why is she acting so much? Is that allowed? You can see the writers stumbling, too–asking themselves “What if Vicki had some oomph?” as if it were an earthshattering conception that kind of scares them. They’ll drop it soon enough, like a proto-feminist hot potato.

  16. Nope.
    Nope, nope, nope.
    Vicki 2.0 seems too much like Carolyn with black hair – and we already have a perfectly good Carolyn. I could see those scenes done with Nancy Barrett, and done even better.
    And anyhow, where’s Nicholas’ hypno-cigarette case? (Guess Diabolos confiscated it?) If he’d just given that big smooth grin and waved up a kung-fu bewitchin’ pose, he could have had the n00b going right along with his plot. Why is it that all the cool powers just get dropped by the wayside?

    But who cares? Tom’s been unstaked! (Destaked? Mistaked?)
    Does that mean that Julia is re-blood-slaved?
    And isn’t that Joe’s shirt that Tom is wearing?
    Or maybe they both had one.

    1. First time seeing this ep; either that or I’d forgotten it totally. The recast Vicki made me think almost immediately of bratty teen Carolyn with dark hair, the ends even flipped like Carolyn’s had been. I didn’t find new Vicki to be spunky but abrasive.

      I liked the seemingly feral Tom as he is released, then creepily crawling in Vicki’s window. But what the hell is Tom doing with his tongue as he bares his fangs? That squicked me.

      1. I think what Tom is doing with his tongue may be keeping the fangs in. Wouldn’t THAT make a classic DS blooper – the vampire hisses and his choppers go flying across the set! 😬

  17. Again, I find myself utterly staggered by this late-stage surge of support for Alexandra Moltke. Maybe it’s just easier to appreciate her in retrospect, when she’s not actually on screen to remind the audience what they’re missing?

    Vicki’s personality does seem entirely different today; she has one. The writing hasn’t changed – this is simply what happens when you have someone playing the emotion of a scene, rather than just standing there and letting the words tumble out of them. To that end, I sort of agree that if you like original Vicki, it’s a part that just can’t be recast – even a broom in a stick might accidentally show a smidge too much expression and change the character forever.

    It’s odd trying to view this from the perspective of a contemporary viewer. Obviously we know this is recast a la Burke Devlin, but there’s really nothing in this episode to suggest it’s anything more than a one-time thing, like Faux Carolyn a few weeks back. Did audiences of the day live in terror of that ominous announcement, “today the part of (person) will be played by…”, never knowing if it meant the end of a beloved star? That sounds both terrible and awesome.

  18. Vicki 2.0. Her change in both appearance and personality is shocking. They should’ve at least given her Alexandra’s long hair.

    I also find it funny that DS refers to male witches as “warlocks” like Bewitched does, when generally witches can be either male or female.

  19. I’d hoped that Nicholas would find a sunnier, sweeter life force for Eve this time around. Say, someone, like, Sandy Duncan.

  20. This is your “voice from the future” again. Why in the HELL is Tom still a viable character? HE WAS STAKED! Don’t vampires turn to dust, burn up, eyc, when that happens? That is the end of the road, usually, for vampires! WTF!?!

    So through with this horribly written garbage!

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