Episode 690: Laugh Like a Man

“It was just me. I was pretending to laugh like a man.”

Dark Shadows lost one of their writers a couple weeks ago; I may have mentioned that before. Don’t worry, he wasn’t one of the good ones.

There’s a new writer who’s going to join the team in March, but meanwhile there are a couple extra scripts that need writing. They need a fill-in writer for the next two episodes, so Gordon Russell calls Ralph Ellis, who wrote ABC soap A Flame in the Wind with Gordon from 1964 to ’66.

Ralph is just at the beginning of a long and successful career as a soap opera writer. Pretty soon, he’s going to join NBC’s Another World, and then CBS’ Search For Tomorrow, and eventually he’ll be a head writer for The Doctors, As the World Turns, Loving, and General Hospital.

Right now, he’s doing a couple days on this weird little haunted house show. Let’s see what he comes up with.

690 dark shadows maggie real

Maggie:  David, Quentin is real, isn’t he? He’s somewhere in this house. It’s the man I saw that night, isn’t it?

690 dark shadows chris ned direct

Chris:  If you’re out to get me, I wish you’d be more direct about it than you were the other night.

690 dark shadows maggie david laugh

Maggie:  David, I know what I can see, but I also know what I heard, and I heard a man’s laughter. Now, please tell me.

David:  It was really just me! I was pretending to laugh like a man.

690 dark shadows maggie david monster

Maggie:  My god, David — what kind of a monster is he? What has he done to you?

690 dark shadows david amy maggie

Amy:  Boys just don’t like jigsaw puzzles.

690 dark shadows ned amy brother

Ned:  You know, Amy, I sort of have a puzzle too, and I’m just trying to put it together.

690 dark shadows maggie ned once

Ned:  Does he give you the slip about once a day?

Maggie:  That isn’t funny, Mr. Stuart.

690 dark shadows ned chris sister

Ned:  I know what it’s like to love a sister.

690 dark shadows david amy stupid

Amy:  Oh, David — what are we going to do?

David:  I don’t know.


David:  But there’s —

Amy:  Well, we can’t stay out here, because… well, it’s just stupid.

690 dark shadows chris poison

Chris:  Then it wasn’t you who poisoned me.

690 dark shadows maggie amy scare

Amy:  Does that scare you, Maggie?

690 dark shadows maggie lamp

Amy:  Come out into the hall, Maggie. There’s someone we want you to meet.

690 dark shadows maggie hurt

Amy:  Come on out, Maggie. He won’t hurt you.

Monday: The Bechdel Test.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

One of the cameras is crooked today; the scenes in the drawing room, David’s room and the study look like everything’s leaning to the left.

When David runs out of his room, he leaves his robe on the bed. In the next scene, when he runs past Ned, he’s wearing his robe.

Maggie misses a word when she questions Ned in the foyer: “Where did you see him? Go?”

Amy tells Ned, “I think I’d better go help David find Maggie.” She means help Maggie find David.

The scene fades with Ned holding Chris’ lapels. The fade is slower than expected, and you can see Ned loosen his grip and say something to Chris as the next scene fades in.

In the woods, when David says to Amy, “You don’t want to do that, do you?” you can see someone passing behind him — Quentin, getting into position for an upcoming shot.

In act 3, when Maggie comes into the drawing room, you can clearly see a stagehand standing on the right side of the screen, just next to the desk. The camera moves away quickly.

Monday: The Bechdel Test.

690 dark shadows maggie david leaning

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

16 thoughts on “Episode 690: Laugh Like a Man

  1. My, what groovy In-A-Gadda-Da-Go-Go colors. Am I having a flashback?
    I like the colors. Not sure what the dominant colors of 1969 were, but distinctly remember the main colors of 1970, because it was done with irony. The big, all-pervasive color scheme for 1970, was red, white and blue.

  2. Speaking of colors what’s up with the blog’s color/design theme — did it change recently?According to WordPress this particular theme (i.e., named 2013) is “colorful, opinionated, and ready to give your blog a warm, welcoming vibe.” DS Every Day needs a haunting, eerie vibe.

    1. Yes, like the big house as it appears at the close of the show’s intro–as if submerged under two hundred feet of murky water. All spectral green and foreboding.

  3. Danny, you have gone too far. You have married Fester, you have destroyed his spirit, you have taken him from us. All that I could forgive.

    But Danny …

    ,,, pastels?

    1. Over the weekend, some of the settings broke, removing my customization. I was putting it back the way I had it when I realized that there was a search icon on the top menu that I didn’t even realize was there — the icon is black and apparently doesn’t change to white when it’s on a dark background.

      That’s a really helpful feature, and I can’t believe that i kept it invisible all this time. I’m going to tinker some more with the colors, but I ought to keep search visible.

      Also, well done on the Addams line. 🙂

      1. As someone who also uses WP, I fully sympathize. I recently flipped a theme and found all sorts of weird twerks in the coding. WP is full of gifts, but sometimes you just get socks.

  4. wow, i was starting to get just as spooked as Maggie there at the end; the thunder defintely adds to the suspense

    1. Me, too. I am loving the build-up to 1897. I had never seen the any of the Chris/Quentin storyline. So much better than Nicholas’ magic mirror.

      They really are delivering — a spooky show focused on the family.

  5. David’s burning sensation seems to have switched arms from yesterday.

    What Ellis seems to come up is actual people doing (relatively) believable things, with clear emotional responses and decent dialogue. It’s all a bit of a shock, to be honest. I don’t know how I feel about it.

    If only he hadn’t been hampered with the dead-eyed albatross that is Ned Clarkford…

    1. Also, Chris’s line “it was poison… AND YOU KNOW IT!!!” brought back fond memories of my favourite pre-Barnabas Dark Shadows drinking game. I practically felt a Pavlovian twinge in my liver.

  6. I’m very surprised Danny didn’t mention that Amy sings “Inchworm” in this episode. It’s the best singing we’ve heard since the two early episodes when David Ford, as Sam Evans, does a bit of Broadway belting. Granted, the only other singing since then has been the ghosts of Bill Malloy and Sarah Collins rendering “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor” and “London Bridge” respectively, but you’ve gotta take your musical numbers where you can get them.

  7. David is grabbed on his left arm by Quentin but shows Amy that his right arm was hurt. Oops. The Ralston Purina lamp is here again. I wish I could find information on this lamp but since that’s not really its name, I’m striking out.

  8. Maggie says there’s just the three of them at home, since Mrs. Johnson and LIz have gone into town. What about Uncle Roger? Carolyn? Julia and Barnabus?” Guess the budget couldn’t afford even to mention them today.

    Boy, Maggie lets those kids play her like a flute. And she’s all of a sudden unnerved by thunder now?

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