“It was the moon! I’m afraid of the moon, Barnabas, and I don’t know why!”
We’re in the dying days of the Great 1968 Wrap-Up, when all of the year’s dangling plot threads are finally resolved, and we can move on with our lives. Today’s episode aired on Christmas Eve 1968, and there’s just a couple more shoes to drop before the clock strikes midnight and we start a new year.
One of the last remaining storylines is the curse that Cassandra put on Elizabeth in a fit of pique, condemning her to do nothing but ruminate obsessively about her own death. This is an incidental story thread that’s been dragging on for more than six months, and for a while it seemed like they might forget all about it. But now Cassandra’s revenge is back with a vengeance, and we’re just going to have to deal with it.
When we left Liz yesterday, she’d wandered out of the house and walked to the graveyard, where she collapsed and pretended that she was dead for a minute. Barnabas went out to retrieve her, and now he’s scooped her up and brought her back home.
The interesting thing, as we close up these remaining story threads, is that Barnabas now appears to be in charge of everything. Liz’s collapse has left Collinwood with a bit of a power vacuum — Roger’s away on business, Vicki’s run off with her husband, and Carolyn has stepped off screen and won’t be back unti Friday. So Barnabas steps in, spending all of his time this week just fussing around and taking care of everybody.
This may be the point in the show when Barnabas the serial killer turns into the redeemed character that people remember — a cross between kindly uncle, butler and babysitter.
Barnabas hustles Liz up the stairs to her bedroom, and says that he’ll get Julia to give her a stronger sedative. Liz says, “I won’t take it. I didn’t take the first one she gave me earlier.”
Obviously, this comes as a shock to Barnabas, who believes — as we all do — that sedatives are the answer to every problem. If people refuse to take sedatives, then our health care system breaks down completely.
But Liz has something on her mind, which needs to be attended to right away. Now that Vicki’s disappeared, David and Amy need a new governess. Liz is afraid that if she dies so soon after Vicki’s departure, the kids will be traumatized. They need a companion, starting tonight.
This is the way that Liz’s condition works now — she fixates on something, and insists that the world shift around to support her new proclamation. It’s basically a blank check for any plot contrivance that the writers need to set up.
In this case, they want to get Maggie Evans installed at Collinwood as a replacement governess, and they want it right now, so Liz tells Barnabas to go and call Maggie, and get her to come over tonight.
Barnabas the butler basically says, “As you wish,” and heads for the phone. It’s another late-night involuntary emergency job offer, which is so common in this fast-paced modern world. I get these all the time.
Meanwhile, Amy’s stepped out onto the front porch so that she can stare at the full moon, and sob silently. Jesus, this girl.
I haven’t really gotten into it so far, but little orphan Amy has been taking steps to ensure her position on the show. She’s a brand-new character, and she doesn’t want to risk being pigeonholed, so she’s trying to involve herself in every storyline on the show. She’s front and center in the Quentin’s ghost story, her brother Chris is the werewolf, and this week she’s been following Liz around, hoping to become part of that plotline too. It’s working out great, actually.
So here comes Barnabas the butler, who rounds up the stray child and shoos her back into the house.
She asks, “Are you going to scold me for going out alone?”
“I should, you know,” Barnabas replies, because he’s an authority figure in her life for some reason.
But, oh, will you look at that face. Denise Nickerson is eleven years old, and she’s been acting since she was two. Denise’s parents are a monstrous stage family, who have relentlessly pushed her onto the stage so they can spend her money. She’s currently working on Dark Shadows during the day, and then performing on stage in The Music Man at night.
So Denise is terrifyingly professional, and she can basically nail any emotion you care to suggest at a moment’s notice. Barnabas is just there to serve up the straight lines.
Barnabas: You’ve been crying, haven’t you?
Amy: Because I’m afraid!
Barnabas: Of what?
Amy: I don’t know!
Barnabas: Because of what happened to Mrs. Stoddard tonight?
Barnabas: But then, what was it? Surely you know what caused you to cry. Can’t you tell me?
Amy: It was the moon! I’m afraid of the moon, Barnabas, and I don’t know why!
She throws herself into his arms and sobs, and Barnabas does a puzzled take to the camera. He’s basically saying, Jesus, what the hell have I gotten myself involved in now? I have got to stop asking people why they’re crying.
But now, finally, we return to Amy’s brother Chris, who’s also afraid of the moon and has taken steps to do something about it.
He’s downed some sleeping pills courtesy of you know who, in an attempt to keep from transforming under the light of the full moon. Now he’s lying in bed, having doggie dreams about chasing sticks and murdering barmaids.
Now, this is actually one of my favorite Dark Shadows scenes, so I’m going to walk through this in some detail. Check this out.
Chris opens his eyes, not sure what’s going on.
Then he looks down at his hands…
And he’s alarmed to discover that HE HAS WEREWOLF HANDS!
This may be the only werewolf scene in the history of the dramatic arts where the werewolf is just kind of surprised and pissed off about his transformation. He’s not so much a wild, savage beast; it’s more of a Jesus, my alarm didn’t go off and now I’m late for work.
So he tears up the bed for a minute, and then — unbelievably — he rushes to the mirror to check if he’s actually a werewolf.
I cannot express to you the depth of my feelings about this moment. It’s the silliest thing they’ve done on the show since Leona Eltridge, and therefore I love it more than anything. They’re essentially positing that Chris Jennings is the world’s first self-awarewolf.
Next, he heads straight for the door, as wolves so often do. His hands can’t operate the doorknob, obviously, so he sort of grunts and pulls at it until the door swings open, and he makes for the wide open spaces.
So once again, Dark Shadows has shifted the boundaries of acceptable broadcasting in such a gradual and skillful way that the audience can hardly tell this apart from normal television. It’s the one time that you can accurately say that you are literally watching lunacy.
This is critical to completing the Great 1968 Wrap-Up, because you can’t shutter all of the old stories without having something else to offer as an appealing substitute.
And here come Maggie and Joe, eager to tie up another loose end. They were engaged once upon a time, but their relationship fell apart over the last few months, thanks to a pair of seductive hypnotic spells that tied them romantically to Nicholas and Angelique, respectively.
They’ve both been released from their spells, and this is the scene where they’re either going to reconcile or just be friends. They land on friends, and that’s the end of that.
This is very convenient, because the writers have decided to bring Maggie over to Collinwood as Vicki’s replacement, whether it makes sense for the character or not.
Personally, I’m entirely in favor of this reboot. I like Maggie, mostly because she’s good at being angry at people, and she’s the only person in the cast who wears outfits that really acknowledge that the 1960s are happening.
But if they want to keep her on the show, then they need to get her into Collinwood before they close the drawbridge. Over the last year, they’ve systematically killed almost every character who lives outside the estate — Burke, Dr. Woodard, Sam, Dr. Lang, Nicholas, Jeff, Adam and Eve. By this point, the only people in the cast who don’t live at Collinwood are Magge, Joe, Chris and Professor Stokes, and pretty soon it’s going to be just Professor Stokes. If Maggie doesn’t take this opportunity, she’s going to be left behind.
So she says yes, and Liz makes her the new emergency governess.
Liz tells Maggie, “I suppose you can’t understand why I think this is so urgent that it can’t wait until tomorrow. If you don’t mind, I’ll have Barnabas explain it to you.” I guess now Barnabas is in charge of human resources, too.
Joe offers to go to Maggie’s house and come back with some things she’ll need, which is kind of odd behavior for a guy she just permanently broke up with, but really the point of this back and forth is to get Joe alone in the house for the big closing number.
As Joe enters the house, we see that the werewolf’s outside, peering in through the window. It’s not really clear why a werewolf would go around to people’s houses looking for somebody to beat the shit out of, but werewolves are fantastic, so pipe down.
Joe hears the growling outside, and sees the werewolf’s silhouette at the window, making spooky arm gestures for maximum effect.
And then Chris crashes through the window, snarling like an unholy beast as he gets to work slaughtering his cousin. This is what Dark Shadows considers an appropriate place to end its Christmas Eve broadcast, so we’ll be back for lots of confusion, regret and severe injuries in a couple of days. Merry Christmas, one and all!
Tomorrow: Time Travel, part 5: Consider Rhoda.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
Barnabas and Liz stumble through their lines at the beginning of act 1. First, Barnabas tells Liz, “I — we’re going to see that nothing will happen to you.” Then Liz follows up with “If what you say is so — that proves something is wrong with me. Something — beyond my being able to do anything about.” Growing agitated about the children, she says, “They mustn’t be fail — fai — feel that they’re left all alone.”
Barnabas tells Joe and Maggie about Vicki’s longing to see Jeff: “She talked about nothing — about wanting to see him, wherever he was.” He means “talked about nothing but wanting to see him.”
Right after that, Maggie says, “Well, she’s with him now.” And then Barnabas just stops being in the scene. Maggie’s waiting for a cue from him, but he’s facing away from the teleprompter, and she realizes that he’s not going to say his next line. She looks at the teleprompter, smacks her lips, and makes an effort to hide a smile. Then she looks up at Barnabas, and says, “Well…” Nothing. There’s actually an eight-second gap where she’s waiting for a cue, and it never happens. Finally, she just decides to say his line: “I think that maybe I should speak with Mrs. Stoddard.” Good move.
Behind the Scenes:
They do a very cute live-TV trick today, which is worth watching for. Towards the end of act 2, Maggie and Joe are talking in Maggie’s cottage, and she gets a phone call from Barnabas. They cut to a shot of Barnabas on the Collinwood set, on the phone with Maggie — who’s now represented by a pre-recorded voice.
The camera pulls in on Barnabas as he continues the conversation. The pre-recorded “Maggie” only has a couple of lines, and then there’s a long monologue from Barnabas, telling her all about what’s happened to Vicki. While he’s speaking, you can hear some rustling nearby, which is Joe and Maggie hurrying over to the drawing room set and getting themselves settled on the couch.
Then they play a sound cue and fade from Barnabas to a shot of Maggie and Joe on the couch, and they’ve just pretended that they can actually afford to edit scenes like this was a real television show. Ta-dah!
Tomorrow: Time Travel, part 5: Consider Rhoda.
— Danny Horn
42 thoughts on “Episode 652/653: Kill the Moon”
Yes, there is a great disconnect between the early Barnabas – the one who was supposed to be killed in 13 weeks, and the later one. And fan fiction writers have been trying to bridge the gap ever since, instead of going into the past, and hope no one remembers. In fact were it not that they have the same name and are played by the same actor, and if it was not a continuity driven series, we’d think of them as two different people. But then soap opera continuity is a mirage. The narrative is closer to a Markov chain than to a coherent story.
This is common in soap operas. Luke from GENERAL HOSPITAL goes from rapist to romantic leading man. Michael Baldwin from Y&R goes from psychopath to antihero and his relationship with a former victim is similar to the comfort between Maggie and Barnabas.
You can’t make sense of it all. This is the Earth One Barnabas and the crazed killer was the Earth Two Barnabas. Interestingly, the show even presented a concept of “parallel Earths” and the idea that pre-1795 Barnabas is from a parallel time to the one we’re seeing now is not that far-fetched. Even Julia is different. And it explains the softer relationship between the two, which just doesn’t track with what we saw prior to 1795.
Of course, in real life, DARK SHADOWS was an ever evolving story and went where the possibilities were. We’ll look at the 1991 revival and see more evidence of that show’s biggest challenge: You can’t reboot the characters the way daytime soap operas do. There is a ceiling on where you can go, so the Ben Cross Barnabas is mostly a jerk, and it is beyond the ability of a weekly series to suddenly present him as a “kindly uncle/butler” character.
That’s why I am doing the reboot where there is a smooth transition between the early Barnabas and the later (a transition that begins with Barnabas first as a scared animal who fears most being chained in the coffin again, and who is truly deluded into thinking that Maggie is Josette – and this happens because she is Phyllis Wick reincarnation and he awakens those memories when he bites her, and is brought back to his senses when Sarah chides him for being mean to her governess… and give Eric Lang the villain job..)
I love how they basically decide to go to town and totally trash Sam’s house since they’ll never use that set again.
Danny’s comment about Barnabas the Butler rings true. He behaves in this episode in ways you could never see Roger acting. Even if you are a first-time viewer, Louis Edmonds’s bearing and speech demands a certain cattiness, which I enjoy immensely.
Jonathan Frid’s elasticity could not have been forseen. In few cases, the guy you cast to scare the hell out people as your sinister vampire* will manage to make scenes like Frid’s with Nickerson work.
*Along with Frid’s performance, I think a lot can be said for the makeup job on early Barnabas. It’s subtle (more so than later in the series) but he really screams evil.
It’s terribly careless of Chris to continue to stay at the Collinsport Inn after he killed hotel manager Conrad Bain. I guess the police didn’t have any suspicions about the death of the innkeeper and the sudden appearance of an oddball guest who wants to stay in a hot cluttered attic cubbyhole. Also not to nitpick but couldn’t Carolyn have helped watch the kids for awhile. Before Liz insisted Maggie come to the house as governess she didn’t really know her from a hole in the ground – she was only the ‘LOCAL GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED’ as far as Liz was concerned. Liz and Barnabas apparently shook off the Vicki disappearance without a second thought as well. I think Maggie lost a lot of her vibrant personality when she moved into Collinwood. When you center a story around only one location (Collinwood) it may tend to feel a bit claustrophobic at times.
Exactly. We’d expect this to make sense in a weekly prime time drama. The bartender at the local dive where the doctors hang out at GREY’S ANATOMY can’t suddenly turn up at the hospital with just a few hand-waving explanations. But daytime soaps constant “reboot.” They’ll only mention Vicki again when there’s a relevant story point. But that’s it. Maggie becomes the governess and it’s as if she’s always the governess.
Maggie wears “Mod” clothes! I love her dresses and dressing gowns (robes?).
This episode. God, I love it. If there is ever a Top 10 DS episode list (ahem, Danny?), this would be one of my picks.
Denise Nickerson just brings such real anguish to her scenes, it hurts to watch her. What an actress. You just want to give her a hug. And a big teddy bear. Maybe all the money in your wallet. Whatever it will take to get her to feel better.
The decision to write Maggie into Collinwood is just brilliant. They need a governess for the story, and rather than bring in a new character we don’t know or care about, they just give an established character a new profession. Who knows, maybe Maggie has been taking education classes at night. Soaps have done stranger career swerves.
Maggie is terribly underrated as a heroine. As the coming months will show, she has intelligence, compassion and courage and will face off to protect the children from Ghost Quentin. She also is the only woman to survive Barnabas and she did so when he was at his most heinous. Neither Vicki nor Roxanne ever endured anything close to what Maggie did in his attempt to make a Josette 2.0.
Finally, the action sequence at the end of this episode is terrifying. What spectacle.
I agree, this episode is great. I especially love the Sacrificial Lamp during the werewolf attack in the Evans cottage, the one we see toppling over, on its way to a fatal encounter with the floor. We don’t see it hit the floor, but, boy, do we hear it.
Whenever I see this episode with Maggie arriving for the first time as the new governess I’m always amused when I think back to the debut episode, where a brassy, tough-talking waitress in a blonde wig warns Vicki about the Collins’ and how they’ve got the “biggest, darkest, gloomiest old house” and that “they’re kooks–every one’ve ’em.”
Then there’s the time during the Burke manslaughter storyline when Maggie shows up at Collinwood (episode 63) to talk to Roger on behalf of her father, but winds up talking to Liz instead. Though the Maggie character has softened up quite a bit and is more real, her initial suspicions of the Collins’ have not changed, as she circles the back of the sofa with Liz craning her neck to follow her while Maggie says “I’d always wondered what it was like in here. It seems so cold and dark on the outside. Well, Mrs. Stoddard, it’s no different than this room.”
The sudden change in Maggie’s wardrobe reflects the reboot in her character. Whereas she had been the most conservatively–and frankly unflatteringly–dressed female character on the show, with the sole exception of Mrs. Johnson, now she is the hippest and most attractively dressed. The show’s new contract with Junior Sophisticates is an excellent move.
Though, of course, one will have to wonder where Maggie acquired all this bookish knowledge and education, since at the cottage she was only seen to be flipping through fashion magazines and the like. But at least David and Amy will have an edge on their peers in terms of home economics. They’ll be able to flip their own burgers, brew their own coffee, and whip up a mean hot fudge sundae.
Funny point about the trashing of Sam’s cottage once they’re done with it. The same will happen to this set once they are finished with the part of the storyline that has Charles Delaware Tate staying there in 1897, when it is destroyed by fire. Perhaps it is a comment by the writers and producers on the dangerous instability of the bohemian artistic lifestyle.
Regarding Adam, he never actually died–because Barnabas never becomes a vampire again in the present time. They were just so anxious to drop this character, like a gangrene limb, that they simply ushered him into another room and just forgot about him, hoping the audience would do the same. But the significance of his relationship to Barnabas, as an astral twin and absorber of the dreaded vampire disease syndrome, cannot be overlooked, as they took the better part of the second half of 1968 establishing that point in viewers’ minds.
Maggie was alawys more savvy then given credit for. I was a college student waitress at Dennys. She may have been the same . And Adam did have a successful life. His scars were fixed, we went on to college. ..football all star yet. Then in todays terms became a successful businessman…man made yuppie. lol and as for Carolyn they remained the best of friends..Adam was offten consulted on business matters by the collins family. A truely Frankenstein success story…i read this follow years ago in a tv mag. I loved it.
I really don’t know where anyone gets this “idea” about Dark Shadows being anxious to get rid of Adam. The length of time he spent on the show certainly doesn’t point toward any hurry to get rid of him. His chapter simply ran its course and came to an end, just as it did with Eve and Nicholas and many other characters.
He was not ushered into another room and forgotten about. After starting his education with Stokes, he was distracted by Blair, but eventually “came home” to Stokes, who turned out to be his best friend in a time of need, who arranged for plastic surgery operations, and gave him a new shirt and a new start, in a new place. Arc completed.
The red plaid shirt was so different from what he had been wearing, definite symbolism of change, rebirth, another chance at life. They clearly gave Adam a somewhat happy ending and a new direction, and then Dark Shadows went on to a new chapter.
I think people find the Adam ending unsatisfying because it feels unearned. For one thing, Adam is completely psychotic. He’s broken man. I don’t think plastic surgery can fix all that’s wrong with him (and he was never really that ugly to begin with). And didn’t Stokes have plaid shirts and plastic surgeons on speed dial months earlier when Adam was an increasing threat?
Barnabas, after commenting on his inconvenient connection to Adam, never again behaves as it’s an issue, despite having no idea where he is.
Overall, I agree with you, the show moved on to another chapter, and no one really wanted to see these plot threads tied up anyway. But I do think that’s why fans believe that Adam was “brother Chucked.”
I guess I feel that Adam had a psychotic melt-down after Eve was turned extra-crispy, but I think all of that was due to outside forces. It was his reaction, but I don’t think that’s who he really was. I think the “real” Adam was the sweet innocent who was eager to absorb whatever Stokes could teach him, who read love poems to Carolyn, before Nicholas got involved.
Then, Nicholas took over and became the worst possible influence. I see Adam as one of the saddest victims on Dark Shadows. And then finding out from nasty Jeff Clarke that he was man-made was devastating for Adam. I think of the old saying about not judging someone until you have walked a mile in their moccasins, which, in Adam’s case, is impossible.
He definitely went off the deep end when he nearly strangled Carolyn and then nearly killed Vicky, but he didn’t do that because he was evil. He was desperate, angry, heart-broken, in a state of self-loathing, all brought on by other people. Adam didn’t just hit bottom, he was pushed there, and I believe he was capable of recovering from it, with just a tiny bit of love, understanding and plastic surgery.
Stokes was always willing to help, but Adam pushed him away, told him they were no longer friends, and Stokes didn’t fight it. Stokes admitted to dropping the ball with Adam. That’s why the new shirt and surgeries had to wait. It took Adam hitting bottom and getting shot to realize that Stokes was still his friend, after everything. When he finally came back to Stokes, it was a real “prodigal son” moment.
I think his last scenes with Stokes tell us everything we need to know about his future, although I understand the feeling of wanting to actually see what happened, to see Adam with no scars and a better life.
Adam’s story was complicated and contradictory, spinning out over time with no real plan, and getting mixed up with almost every other story thread on the show.
I think you could make a case for almost any interpretation you like — whether he’s inherently innocent or doomed to be violent, whether he makes genuine social connections, whether he really understands himself, or love, or friendship. Is he the poetry-reading, chess-playing grad student, or the tantrum-throwing toddler, or the oppressed minority, or the murderous supervillain in the making?
I would like to believe in the “Adam is innocent, but screwed up by Barnabas/Nicholas” story, because I liked him so much at the start. I definitely agree that his future involves being Professor Stokes’ new project, and that relationship is obviously sincere.
But there are some things that still trouble me about him, with strangling Carolyn as his darkest moment. I don’t think we ever really saw him take responsibility for his own actions, or apologize for any mistakes that he’d made.
I don’t think we ever really saw him take responsibility for his own actions, or apologize for any mistakes that he’d
Definitely a chip off the old Barnabas.
It helps to think of Adam as a baby, selfish and needy. Only, instead of being small, cute, and helpless, he is big, ugly, and powerful. But mentally, a baby…
If there is such a thing as temporary insanity, I think that’s what happened when he strangled Carolyn. If someone had told Adam, back when he was a guest at Collinwood, that he would eventually strangle Carolyn, I don’t think he would have believed it.
Adam was abused by life itself, and if there’s one thing I know about, it’s abuse. I was abused and abused and abused, until my sanity was forcibly ripped away from me when I was only 13. It’s sad, what abuse can do to someone who only wanted to be a good boy.
Of course, its hard to know the truth about Adam, because he’s fictional and his actions were often dictated by the needs of the story. Real people are contradictory enough, but a fictional character who was probably written in haste, and by more than one person, is even more so. If only Sam Hall were alive, maybe he could tell us who Adam really was.
We know Adam’s actions, and they are fairly awful. He’s cruel and vicious. You can only go so far with reading poetry to women, especially when you later try to strangle them.
Eve is considered one of the villains of DS, but most of this comes from her past as Danielle Roget. Once she is born again as Eve, she doesn’t go on the murder sprees we’d expect. She’s mostly just snotty and her biggest crime is to not return a man’s love, for which she’s murdered.
However, I think sometimes the fans can be a tad unfair to female villains — Samantha Collins and Angelique are good examples.
Barnabas does become a vampire in the present time when Jeb Hawkes turns him into one by having him bit by a bat.
Earlier as well Oberon uses his threat of a “vampire for a day” treatment as a lesson in Leviathan loyalty. But when transformed by Jeb’s bat as punishment for betrayal, Julia immediately proceeds with the injections, so there’s really no lasting threat or affliction of a curse involved. It merely represents another one of the obstacles Barnabas faces in fighting the Leviathans and does not represent a threat to others, as he is able to resist this time the temptation of biting Maggie. His character reboot regarding renewed compassion for others is thus not affected.
In fact the Parallel Time sequence can be seen as a reboot of 1967, when Barnabas moves to the Old House, and feeds so discreetly that there is no talk of any attacks, and when there is a “Maggie gets kidnapped” plot he is the rescuer…
We can believe this Barnabas becoming the combination kindly uncle/butler/babysitter of 1968
Oh yeah, the Barnabas from this point in the show on certainly has his flaws, but he also has an almost monomaniacal desire to aid the Collins family. He even chooses to remain in Parallel Time because of the threat Angelique poses to Quentin and Maggie.
There is simply no narrative bridge from the Barnabas of 1967 to this Barnabas. The series reboots him completely. There’s a scene a few months back that’s the official beginning of the Barnabas and Julia as BFFs. Dramatically, it ignores their previous relationship, which was tense at best and often overtly hostlie. That relationship was a dead-end. The BFF one is more interesting and a power couple is born. Frid and Hall play the scene beautifully, and whenever they are together again, they continue to “best friends” relationship.
This is why the 1991 reboot was doomed. People expected the later Barnabas, and instead they gave him the 1967 one, with no narrative bridge to get there. “Just go to the past and hope they forget what went on before” works if there have been moths between the two. Not when there are only three or four weeks. For a reboot to work, you have to see the 1968 Barnabas in the 1967 one. Which means, make him terrifying at time, but never vile.
After the Leviathans turned Barnabas back into a vampire, he did bite Sabrina and Quentin feared he was so out of control she would be turned into a vampire. Barnabas went to parallel time hoping to escape his renewed bloodlust.
Adam: “What’s happening? I can’t stand the sunlight! And I need… blood!”
They could of at least made Adam like Barnabas’ brother in some kind of way where Barnabas would take care of him in some kind of way. The fate of the characters says that Adam eventually becomes a “real successful man”, goes to college, etc. Why couldnt they portray that for him and keep him around? I just dont understand that.
As I implied in a reply to to comment above, Maggie’s “Mod” clothing was one of the reasons I watched this show in middle school.
As a kid viewer (11 in 1968), I was always disappointed when they cheated on the transformation scenes, as in this episode. I wanted the dissolve, not Briscoe wearing the werewolf glove. What I didn’t realize at that time was how complicated the whole thing was, since, to do a dissolve, Briscoe and Stevens had to be on two different sets. This meant either replacing Briscoe with Stevens off-camera prior to the dissolve, or otherwise disguising the fact that two sets were being used (by closing in on Briscoe’s mug as he changes). The other alternative for a live dissolve would be duplicate sets. On a show that could barely afford originals.
also, that would mean both Briscoe and Stevens have to be on, and paid, that day. In this case, they could avoid having Stevens come in until tomorrow.
Always remember: Amy Jennings’ great-aunt or whatever was Magda Rakosi, and her great-grandmother was Mad Jenny. So that’s why Amy’s so weird. Of COURSE she has Lunar Radar and acts like a homing missile when it comes to finding ghosts. Try thinking of her in your head as “Amy Rakosi” and you’ll see why Amy is so weird. (Although she’s not, because that’s Magda’s married name, and I don’t know Magda and Jenny’s maiden name, but you get the idea.)
The toppling of the Sacrificial Lamp actually makes me personally cringe. My mother had a lamp just like that, which she loved dearly, and I believe it may have been at least somewhat valuable (or at least valuable in the context of our not-well-to-do family). Throughout the first couple of years of DS episodes, I have always felt a kinship with that lamp, especially since it was fully intact. You see, one day, someone in our house (either me or one of my two brothers–I honestly don’t remember who, and we all three denied it) carelessly shot something through the air (I don’t even remember what) in the dining room where the lamp sat on the buffet. The flying object hit the bottom globe of the lamp and busted it. My mom was both angry and heartbroken. My dad cleaned up the remaining glass from the globe on the lamp, and my mom kept it on the buffet with only the top globe remaining, she loved it that much. That of course was always a reminder of one of our greatest childhood indiscretions, and I honestly still feel terrible about it at age 58. So whenever I saw Maggie and Sam’s lamp, I knew it existed intact in a parallel world–but, again, it also always reminded me of our childhood sin. So when the werewolf knocks it over, crashing it to the ground, that is the most traumatic part of the scene to me.
What you say about “Barnabas the Butler” is certainly true in a broad sense, but in the immediate narrative moment, there is a specific explanation. Roger did ask Barnabas to look after things before he left in the previous episode, so it’s not surprising that he’s hanging around Collinwood and (trying to) help out while lunacy abounds.
Barnabas could have rung David’s neck though. David’s smart ass stealing the medallion and the book, then acting like didnt do it. I am sure that irritated Barnabas to no end, because I am sure he didnt think he would have to deal with this nonsense.
re: Adam, the one thing no one ever did (and Stokes was the natural candidate here, if Julia passed on it to protect Barnabas) was make a scientific name for themselves by keeping Adam housed while studying him and introducing the science community to the first documented man-made man. Fame and fortune, or, judging by movie precedents, ridicule and obloquy awaited the person who proclaimed this wonder. But there is at least the potential for fame and fortune…
Of course, dead Dr. Lang would have been given all credit. But still, I like the idea of Stokes growing rich and famous off this serendipitous discovery.
I admit there is a huge potential downside, but would a man with Stokes thirst for knowledge simply give this historic creation a new shirt and send him out into the world unheralded?
Also, pertaining to Adam being “good” or “bad” as discussed in the comments above, wasn’t that the key part of the story? The original novel “Frankenstein” is all about the moral ramifications of the creation, and the moral “education” of the monster.
Nicholas, with his “will to power” speech, really marked the inspiration for most basic change in Adam, and is easily comparable to Satan and his role in bringing about sin (although in DS, we get Eve after the fall, not before). In fact, it is Adam’s quest for an Eve that leads him into so much evil. The whole business about threatening the lives of family members until a mate was provided was lifted from the original novel.
But recall that Adam (implicitly) raped Carolyn even before the overt threats of murdering the Collins family one by one. So lust and desire were already present in Adam, and capable of leading him to commit evil actions.
re: the title of this entry, may I guess you were alluding to this:
“A cry went up in the airy solitude of the high plains: ‘Let’s Murder the moonlight!’ Some ran to nearby cascades; gigantic wheels were raised, and turbines transformed the rushing waters into magnetic pulses that rushed up wires, up high poles, up to shining, humming globes.
So it was that three hundred electric moons canceled with their rays of blinding mineral whiteness the ancient green queen of loves.”
Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti
I thought he was referencing a Peter Capaldi Dr. Who episode by that name.
Occam’s Razor says you are right. After reading your response I looked up “Dr. Who” and the episode named “Kill the Moon”. I’ve heard of “Dr. Who” but have never seen an episode of it.
All they needed to do was to give Stokes a throwaway line, something like “I’ve sent Adam to a leper colony in Hawaii where he’ll learn the benefits of compassion.” Poof, problem solved. But the writers got lazy and/or sloppy and just left the subplot hanging.
A+ for Maggie’s groovy mini dress. And a shout out to whomever thought of showing her sewing at the beginning of the episode to explain the presence of the scissors later.
I love Maggie’s dress!! And I have to say this werewolf storyline is freaky! I love him crashing through the window! But not my beautiful Joe!!! Leave him alone!
oh, Danny, you will go and astonish me. passing by again all these years later, and it still does me in: “the world’s first self-awarewolf.” lololol.