Episode 702: The Vampire Strikes Back

“Don’t touch me! Your grandmother knows how easily I bruise.”

It always starts with a box.

The malicious spirit of Quentin Collins has taken over present-day Collinwood, and he’s in the process of slowly murdering young David. Desperate to save the boy and unable to think of anything else, Barnabas turns to the I Ching, an ancient Chinese secret that has transported his soul back to the late 19th century. There, his astral body meets up with his physical body, which is trapped in a chained-up coffin.

And like any travel experience, it takes forever, there’s hardly any leg room, there’s nothing to eat, and he doesn’t even know where he’s landed. This is why you should never try to check yourself in as luggage.

702 dark shadows sandor barnabas choke

Finally, somebody comes along and offers him a snack. This is Sandor Rakosi, a helpful gypsy who’s come to Collinsport, Maine directly from a Universal Monsters film set. Sandor’s dream is to travel around in a caravan, selling fake elixir and throwing knives at people. There must be another Carpathian Mountains in New Hampshire somewhere, that’s the best I can figure.

702 dark shadows barnabas sandor briefing

It’s Barnabas’ habit, when he travels back in time, to become a vampire again — it’s kind of like ex-smokers who still smoke when they go on vacation. So he drinks some of Sandor’s blood, which takes the edge off his hunger, plus now he has a new friend.

He finds out that Sandor is living in the Old House, and it’s 1897. It’s super convenient that he immediately gets a native guide on this trip, although he may want to wipe the guy’s body fluids off his lips before they get involved in a conversation. It’s kind of insensitive.

702 dark shadows barnabas thinks

Stupefied, Barnabas whips up some helpful thinks, to explain today’s lunatic plot contrivance to himself. Amazingly, at this point the writers have total faith that we’ll just go along with anything they throw at us.

Barnabas:  (thinks):  1897! What did Julia and Stokes think? Is my body still there? Is this happening in my mind? Yet — I am here! Here, as I was when I was put in that coffin, when the coffin was chained! (out loud): I must find out all I can — about Quentin! — about Beth!

Sandor:  Beth? What do you know about Beth?

Barnabas:  What do you know?

Sandor:  She works in the big house, that’s all.

Barnabas:  She’s in love with Quentin!

Sandor:  Where’d you get that idea?

And that’s an excellent question. Where did Barnabas get that idea? He didn’t even know Quentin’s name last week, and all he knows about Beth is from a couple of hauntings where her ghost was actually working against Quentin’s. But now Barnabas is receiving psychic messages direct from the writers, just to speed things along.

702 dark shadows barnabas eyes

Barnabas is also executing a series of dramatic eye movements, because he’s got dark vampire eye liner again and he might as well use it.

Sandor:  How do you even know about them?

Barnabas:  A trick of time.

Sandor:  You’re always talking about time. There’s only one time, now!

Barnabas:  You are wrong, Sandor. There are many times; you only have to find them.

In a flash, the huggable butler personality that Barnabas has adopted lately is gone, and he is mysterious and dangerous once more.

And it’s not a moment too soon, because the battle that’s shaping up between Barnabas and Quentin is obviously going to be a competition over which of them is more interesting. Quentin’s got the home field advantage, coming with a full set of factory-installed secrets, so Barnabas needs to step up. Turning into a blood-soaked philosopher king again is pure strategy.

702 dark shadows quentin magda neck

Over at Collinwood, Sandor’s wife Magda comes over to read tarot cards for Miss Edith, the dotty old matriarch who runs the great estate from her deathbed.

As Magda enters, Quentin sneaks up on her and puts her in a headlock. It’s just a tough night overall for gypsies and their necks.

Quentin wants Magda to help him win his grandmother’s trust. The choking is apparently part of his recruitment process. He must realize that he’s going to be competing with Barnabas soon; they’re both staffing up.

702 dark shadows magda quentin money

He releases her, and says that he wants her to do something for him. She holds out a palm for payment.

“You haven’t changed, Magda,” he chuckles. “There will be money.”

Her eyes narrow. “There is none now.”

This is all standard-issue ethnic casting. White people always think that every other race is unscrupulous and sneaky, because I guess none of us own mirrors.

702 dark shadows quentin magda bannister

He struts over to the bannister, to set up a really quite marvelous two-shot. He leans in like he’s going to kiss her, which is basically his approach to anything in his line of sight, and she stands there and does acting faces, because that is what Grayson Hall is for.

Quentin:  Don’t forget that I know you haven’t had an honest thought in your entire life. You’re after the same thing I am — money. And you’ll do anything to get it, and so will I. Now, I’ll give you one-tenth after Grandmama dies.

Magda:  What do I have to do?

Quentin: It’s so simple, I almost hestitate to ask you.

Magda:  Tell me!

Quentin:  Impress upon her how much I’ve changed.

Magda:  (chuckles)  Not even my cards could lie that much.

This is a Sam Hall script, by the way. That’s why everybody’s all witty and cynical. I can’t get enough of it.

702 dark shadows magda quentin bruise

He grabs her by the arm, and she spits, “Don’t touch me! Your grandmother knows how easily I bruise.”

That’s another one of those Sam Hall lines that I first heard in high school, and it’s never left me; I will take it with me to my grave. It’s possible that somebody said a better line than that on another daytime show on March 4th, 1969, but I doubt it. I bet the other soap writers just go home at the end of the day and sob.

702 dark shadows magda quentin door

Once Magda’s done with her lobbying session with Edith, Quentin shows up for a further sales pitch. He’s still alternately seducing and threatening, which means it’s time for another installment of the long-overdue national conversation about race.

Quentin:  What did you tell her?

Magda:  What the cards say.

Quentin:  I should have liked to have heard that. Did the cards suggest a sum of money for the gypsies? (She turns away.) When she dies, you’re going to need a friend around here. I have no prejudices against your kind. If she should die tonight, which she may, you would be forced to leave here by morning. You know that.

This is pretty much the only time that Dark Shadows really touches on the subject of anybody being “your kind”, unless you count witches, werewolves, Frankensteins and unseen horrors, which I occasionally do.

In that respect, there’s another ABC soap in 1969 that’s more daring than the time-traveling vampire show. One Life to Live, which started airing in Dark Shadows’ old timeslot in July 1968, was specifically created to take on social issues, particularly racial, ethnic and class differences. When the show started, the cast included a Jewish family, a middle-class Polish family, an African-American family and a wealthy WASP family. By this point, OLTL has already started a controversial interracial-dating storyline.

702 dark shadows quentin your kind

Meanwhile, Dark Shadows has been going in the opposite direction. Over the last year, the show has basically killed off every character who lives outside the Collinwood estate, getting more and more insular, to the point where the show is pretty much only about a wealthy family and their servants.

As the 1897 cast takes the stage, it looks like they’ll be following a similar pattern — a world inhabited by the Collinses, their servants, and the weird ethnic family squatting in an abandoned building next door.

Quentin’s line about having “no prejudices against your kind” is a dark moment, especially considering what we find out later about Quentin’s choice in life partners. With the West Virginia twang in David Selby’s voice, there’s an ugly undercurrent hidden under Quentin’s tolerance for the brown people.

But Quentin is a villain, and villains do villainous things. In 1897, everyone in the family is terribly flawed, and their failings have a lot to do with how they handle money and power.

Edward, Judith, Quentin and Carl treat the gypsies like trash, but I don’t think we’re supposed to admire or sympathize with them. If the 1969 family acted like this — Elizabeth, let’s say, or Carolyn — that would be intolerable.

702 dark shadows magda quentin secret

But there’s at least one way that Quentin’s motivations are completely aligned with ours — he’s desperate to know “the secret”, which Edith is supposed to pass on to Edward, the eldest son, before she dies.

“The secret” is a brilliant narrative trick. Quentin wants the Collins family money — at least, a healthy share of it — but for us, that’s not very interesting. Quentin is already living at Collinwood, which is where we want him to be, so we don’t really care if he has money or not. The money is just a MacGuffin that heats up family conflicts.

But we want the secret, too. If we’re shadowing Quentin right now — which it seems like we are — then he’s the one who needs to get it.

702 dark shadows judith magda script

Keeping with the plantation melodrama theme, here comes Judith, dressed as Scarlett O’Horror. She makes a grand entrance down the stairs, and snaps at the gypsy.

Magda says, “I was just leaving, Miss Collins,” which is another little piece of economical scriptwriting. Judith’s attitude, and the phrase “Miss Collins,” tells us pretty much everything we need to know about her.

702 dark shadows quentin judith hippie

She summons her younger brother for a conference, and closes the drawing room doors.

Judith:  I don’t want Beth to hear. She listens. They all do. They’re all determined to find something out — what, I don’t know. Everyone in this house is against each other.

Quentin:  Or are you simply against yourself, sister?

Judith:  What do you mean? What a silly thing to say.

That’s a little taste of the generation gap for you; in 1969, people used to say little hippie zen koans like that all the time. It’s another bit of scenecraft that aligns Quentin with the counter-culture teens in the audience.

702 dark shadows quentin judith chair

I’m not actually going to go through this whole episode line by line; it’s just fantastic and that’s all there is to it. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the three-sided chair, a new piece of set dressing that gives the actors a whole new way to have a conversation without looking at each other. I love it.

702 dark shadows quentin jamison hug

But there’s one more scene that’s very important for Quentin — his reunion with his nephew, Jamison. When the boy comes in the room, Quentin’s hiding, and Jamison calls out, “Quentin, I know you’re hiding in here. Really, I’m much too grown-up for this kind of game.”

Then Quentin jumps out from behind the door, laughing.

Jamison:  You scared me!

Quentin:  Then you aren’t too grown-up at all! (He hugs Jamison.) Although you are bigger. Tell me — have I grown?

Jamison:  Of course not!

Quentin:  I have! Two inches!

Jamison:  You’re crazy.

Quentin:  You’re right. Who else would have you awakened in the middle of the night, to give you —

Jamison:  You brought me something!

Quentin:  I promised I would, and I did. It’s to take you away with.

Jamison:  Honest?

Quentin:  Mm hm, any time you want to go. All you have to do is shrink — (he takes a model ship from behind a curtain) — and set sail!

702 dark shadows quentin jamison boat

The boat is called “the Jamison Collins”, which proves that this isn’t just another con. Quentin really was thinking about Jamison while he was away; he didn’t steal the model from somebody during his walk up from the docks.

As you know, there are three steps to getting the audience to like a character — make a joke, make a friend, and make a plot point happen. Two of those have been no problem at all. Quentin is jokes and plot points incarnate; he does nothing else. But it looks like friends are going to be harder to come by — he’s more the “make an enemy” type.

But his relationship with Jamison is entirely sincere. All of the cynicism melts away; he really loves this kid.

And the thing that I like most about this is that it’s actually there to explain the plot contrivances that they built up during the “haunting of Collinwood” story. When that story started a few months ago, Quentin didn’t necessarily have a specific interest in David. Amy was actually the one that initiated contact with the ghost, and for a while, he seemed interested in both kids.

That dynamic changed when the writers decided to connect the ghost story and the werewolf story, making Quentin suddenly target Chris for no readily apparent reason. That gave Amy a reason to back off from Quentin, which created some more story-productive conflict, so they kept going. So then the story was that Quentin was specifically interested in David, and all they had to figure out was why.

Eventually, they hit on the idea that Quentin loved Jamison — originally mentioned as his younger brother, now his nephew — and Quentin wants David to join him, and become Jamison.

Naturally, by the time they get to 1897, they can’t ignore that, so that’s why we have Quentin bonding with his nephew. It’s one of those moments of accidental depth, where the haphazard nature of Dark Shadows planning create little contradictions that make a character more interesting.

702 dark shadows barnabas magda sandor

So now both sides in the oncoming conflict have at least one ally — Quentin has Jamison, and Barnabas has Sandor — with Magda as the wildest of wild cards. It looks like this is going to be an interesting ride.

For the viewers, this whole story is a mystery box — we don’t really know what the shape of this will be. With 1795, we knew some established facts before the time trip — Josette married Jeremiah, Barnabas became a vampire, Josette jumped off Widow’s Hill, Sarah died. But 1897 is almost entirely closed to us.

We know that Quentin dies and gets sealed up in his room, and there’s a child buried in the woods. That’s it. We are Barnabas now, exploring this new world, looking for answers to questions that we don’t know enough to even ask yet.

Tomorrow: The Problem of Beth.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

When Sandor opens the gate and enters the mausoleum, the camera pulls back slightly too far, and you can briefly see the edge of the set. When he reaches for the ring in the lion’s mouth, the sound effect starts too early, and the lion’s head moves slightly as he pulls.

When Barnabas advances on Sandor at the beginning of act 1, you can see through the secret room door and the mausoleum gate to the rest of the studio and the adjacent set.

When Barnabas is talking to Sandor in the secret room, he wonders, “How can I find David, if I’m back in another time?” He means, “How can I help David”.

Quentin asks Magda, “Does Grandmamama like me more now?”

Quentin says, “A thousand dollars?” Judith replies, “It’s not enough for you, I suppoe — I suppose.”

Barnabas looks around the Old House, and moans, “It was… it was…” It takes a while for the camera to cut to Collinwood, so Barnabas mutters a third, “It was…”

Jamison says, “I’m much too grown-up for these — this type of game.”


Footnote:

If anyone’s interested in more info about One Life to Live’s groundbreaking social issue stories in the late 60s, Wikipedia has a very comprehensive article on Carla Gray.

Carla was introduced in October 1968 as “Carla Benari”, an Italian-American woman who worked as a receptionist at Llanview Hospital. She started dating an intern, Dr. Price Trainor, who was African-American. OLTL got some angry letters from viewers objecting to the interracial dating storyline. About six months in, the story came out that Carla was actually Carla Gray, a light-skinned African-American woman who’s been passing for white, and the daughter of Sadie Gray, who lived next to the Woleks. It was a whole thing. One Life to Live was cool like that. The show’s commitment to diversity and social issues waxed and waned over the decades, because long-running serialized narrative is complicated, but they did some really important stories about racism, drug abuse, mental illness,  homosexuality and HIV that meant a lot to people at the time.

Tomorrow: The Problem of Beth.

702 dark shadows quentin judith chair 2

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

34 thoughts on “Episode 702: The Vampire Strikes Back

  1. The first two 1897 episodes are Sam Hall scripts, and I wonder if 1897 DS is Hall’s idealized vision of the show. When we think of DS at its worst (usually in the present day), we criticize the characters as being “dumb” or “clueless” (think Vicki Winters). Dumb characters are also notoriously humorless. Wit and smarts go hand in hand. And all the 1897 characters are sharp and wily. It’s far more entertaining to watch.

    Barnabas’s arrival in 1897 is more compelling and tense because the family is too smart to be accepting, too suspicious, and it puts Barnabas more on edge than when the biggest threat to him in 1967 was a meddlesome kid.

    Some other quick thoughts:

    1) The opening narration for ep. 701 refers to Collinwood being ruled by two malevolent spirits. Either that’s just writer confusion or Hall is trying to enhance Beth’s importance in the haunting storyline.

    2) Quentin’s relationship with Jamison is wonderful and humanizing. It reminds us of Barnabas and Sara, but because there’s less of an age difference, Quentin comes off as a fun older brother and you get the sense that’s just what Jamison needs.

    3) 1897 is my favorite storyline, and there’s no Julia. Even when she shows up temporarily, I find myself missing Magda. Is Magda a good Julia replacement as the “trickster” character or is she just fun to watch because of the awesomeness of Grayson Hall?

  2. This is without a doubt my favorite era as well.
    Though sadly there are the dumb characters waiting in the wood works. I for one wish Amanda Harris and Charlse Delaware state would fall into a time vortex and be gone.

    I don’t get the “your grandmother knows how easily I bruise” line-
    What does it mean?

    Also have to say this is my favorite era for Angelique. Is characters were soufflés -this is the time they remembered not to slam the oven door! She’s perfected and fully formed- finally stepping out of her whimpering pleading phase and into the full blossom of her confident witty treachery.

    1. I don’t get the “your grandmother knows how easily I bruise” line-
      What does it mean?

      I think Magda is letting Quentin know that if he continues to manhandle her and leaves marks, then Edith will know that Magda was coerced into saying nice things about Quentin. She’s getting him to back off by reminding him that Edith may be dying, but she’s still observant and no fool, to boot.

    2. I for one could watch Amanda’s eyelashes every day.

      But Magda’s eyelashes are a big part of the funny in that character.

      Makeup and wardrobe were such a huge part of 1897’s appeal.

      And if somebody wanted to write a new DS movie, 1897 is chock full of material, characters, charm, comedy, you name it.

      But……who would be in the cast?

      Just who could be Grayson in any lifetime? Quentin is surely the lead role,
      But Magda is the female lead. Who could pull that off?

    3. Angelique is flat-out awesome in 1897. She sums it up well: “We’re all on the same side — my side.” This makes her dangerous and unpredictable — someone who might align herself with Barnabas against a mutual enemy, but might also betray him if it served her interests. She has moved beyond her obsession with Barnabas (or at least she’s no longer defined by it).

      Tangentially, Steven Moffat has hinted at developments in The Doctor and the (now female) Master’s relationship in the coming season that reminds me a bit of Angelique in 1897. THAT would be great to see.

      1. Lara, in most every case, gives an off-camera glance, when she is confronted with
        A decision that affects people other than Angelique.

        That is subtlety.

        At its best.

  3. It’s not good to judge DS’s racial stereotyping by 2015 sensibilities. I think they tread fairly lightly on the “your kind” attitude, especially when you consider that Magda and Sandor make no secret of the fact that they’re at Collinwood to bilk as much money out of the rich white family as they can. In scene one, Magda was telling Sandor about the ruby ring she planned to score off Grandmama Edith’s dead cold hand.
    The Collins’ aren’t hesitant to treat their non-ethnic servants as SERVANTS, either. Dirk (roger Davis) and Beth are both ordered around like they’re insignificant nobody’s – Dirk makes quite a show of pointing out to “Miss Judith” later that she treated him like dirt.

    1. I don’t think it’s judging the racial stereotyping by 2015 sensibilities but by 1969 TV sensibilities. At the time, if minorities were acknowledged, it was in a post-racial (!) everyone likes each other manner that didn’t necessarily reflect the way people interacted in reality. This was a slight progression from the 1940s or 1950s — minorities were treated more as equals (I SPY) than sidekicks (CASABLANCA) — but even as condescending as the 1940s/1950s race relations were they were never intended as insulting. That I think was what was innovative about ALL IN THE FAMILY — we actually saw an avowed, non-apologetic racist.

      So, in that way DARK SHADOWS in this period stands out. Normally, the TV world was like 1969 Collinsport: Everyone is nice and friendly to the black nurse. Everyone is even nice and friendly to the servants (regardless of race). 1897 is not afraid to depict people as unsympathetic — the Collins in how they refer to and treat their servants (impossible to imagine, as Danny points out, Elizabeth or Carolyn behaving like Judith or Charity). And even the servants/gypsies (the folks “below the stairs”) are fleshed out enough to have agendas. They aren’t content to just serve their “betters” (think of Mrs. Johnson or even Ben Stokes, who’d later have the portrait of his former master in his bedroom). TV/film in the 1960s, when they showed people in service professions, made a point of demonstrating how happy they were with their position. Dirk hates the Collins and isn’t afraid to say so (if not outright to their faces), and even the Collins are acutely aware of the tenuous “peace/control” they maintain. Judith and Edward talk about the servants “gossiping” about them or otherwise thinking ill of them. This contrasts with the remarkably clueless Josette in 1795, who was oblivious to her personal maid’s clear loathing of her. (And as I mentioned, when a character is clueless, they usually aren’t smart enough to be funny — even pious Judith has more wit than dull Josette).

      The 1969 Collins family — much like any other TV show of the period that had a household staff — depicted them all as one happy family. 1897 establishes very quickly and never makes you forget that there’s a caste system. Elizabeth and governess Vicki’s relationship is certainly a far cry from Judith and governess Rachel’s!

      1. Speaking of Liz and Vicki, I just bought the first two months of the show, in part to see Original Victoria when she was likable as Hell. Black and white, exteriors that were real, with cars, even, and Henesy blowing every third line? Hope so.

        1. A week in, 1966, and I’m actually impressed. Henesy does well. Mitchell Ryan, too.
          Nancy Barrett steals the show. Moltke is lovable. KLS is somebody we never remember somehow, and Joan Bennett is invested in the role, as is Louis Edmonds…….but I am shocked by the accounts which state that it was a normal soap which turned to the supernatural…….

          The scripts hinted at the supernatural from the beginning, from mentions of ghosts to referring to Collinwood as a “tomb”, and Josette and Widow’s Hill.

          The glaring artifact being, referring repeatedly to Jeremiah as the one who built the place, makes me wonder why they changed that.

          Well…I suppose that 1795 wouldn’t make a lick of sense with Barnabas vying with the head of the family for Josette……

          It did surprise me that Josette’s name got in the first script and was central to the plot.

      2. Mrs. Johnson was originally a spy for Burke Devlin when she first came to the family as their maid. She didn’t too highly of them at all, though that changed in time.

        1. Yes, all traces of conflict from the pre-Barnabas episodes are squeezed out of the characters by the middle of 1967, when the regular Collins family becomes goldfish — barely good for recaps because they know so little of what’s going on.

        2. Haven’t got to Mrs. Johnson yet….but what IS funny is, Mathew Morgan is the ONLY servant they employ at the time of Victoria’s arrival to Collinwood, meaning they all cook and clean and do laundry, as MM does just the heavy stuff.

          A family this rich and they answer the door themselves.

          The horror.

          1. Yes, this was a result of Liz’s paranoia. However, the family in those came off as well-off but struggling (maybe the Depression had hit them harder than they let on). By Barnabas’s time, they are depicted as American aristocracy.

            1. It does not surprise me that the family came upon hard times. In Joshua’s time they were into shipbuilding, and they took advantage of the abundant timber. But sometime at the second middle of the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th ships were built of metal, not wood. Shipbuilding was no longer confined to heavily wooded areas. The Collins shipbuilding must have taken a nosedive, and they had to switch to canning sardines.

  4. I don’t know if they’re still trying to pass Barnabas off as a romantic lead for the housewives watching but the blood dripping from his mouth does not strengthen this position. I always found it distasteful (?) to see him in all of his ‘post feeding’ glory – he had much more dignity when they didn’t show this disgusting sight.

    1. Perhaps it’s because the “kids” are watching, and there’s a balance between providing the Barnabas the housewives might pine over while folding laundry and the vampire the kids want to see attack people. There is perhaps still that battle being waged now — the boys of all ages who like their vampires grotesque like Count Orlok or Bela Lugosi at best and the ladies who like their vampires brooding and seductive like Lestat and he who sparkles but shall not be named.

  5. You answered this for me….why, in1795, Barnabas with realistic blood on his face was only shown maybe twice, then they stopped.

    Censors? No.

    People like Joanne.

    Ratings fear.

    I’m a guy. We love the blood, see.

  6. Seeing the blood on barnabas’ mouth gives you a jolt – reminds you of what he really is and what he really does. I don’t think they over do the gore – it’s just enough to give us a little thrill of horror. I thought the image of Josette the vampire was really terrifying though.

      1. No Chris, I’m American (south eastern US born and raised). I’m a Brit in my heart though – if you thought I might be Brit, I consider that the highest praise!

  7. By the way — sorry the rest of this week is so late. Monday and Tuesday’s posts were extra long, and this weekend I’m at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. But my astral body is writing blog posts while the blog is frozen in time. I will catch up.

  8. I’m sure One Life To Live gets almost no credit for the storylines you mention, not just because of the usual attitudes towards soap operas but for another reason. People have a real habit of “post-dating” the first time ANYTHING big ever happened. So I’m sure that when it comes to anything that happened on that show, you’ll hear from someone that it “first” happened on some later show, and from someone else that it first happened on some later show than that one, and so on.

    1. I think OLTL is generally recognized as being groundbreaking on a bunch of social issues, at least among people who care about soaps. The interracial dating storyline was a big deal in early 1969; some Southern affiliates pulled the show. OLTL was also known early on for a big story about a teenage character going to drug rehab in summer 1970. It was a very right-on show.

      I’ll add a couple links in Behind the Scenes if anybody’s interested in the late 60s OLTL storylines (but obviously everybody is, who wouldn’t be). 🙂

  9. love seeing B again as the gothic aristocrat with a secret, Magda is a scene stealer, Quentin’s complexity is astonishing (and part of the seduction…not to mention the devilment in his eyes and the curve of his lip) the costumes are fab and i’m basically in heaven about the whole thing…thank you, 1897!

    I’m pretty sure this era is what i remember as a child from the original run. Danny pointed it out the other day: it’s the foyer and stairway that echo through the years, the room in your mind, the carved wood and stained glass, with Barnabas, Quentin and Angelique in period garb creating wistful memories

  10. Some random thoughts:

    The introduction to 1897 is nothing less than fabulous.
    I’m trying hard not to miss the build-up to this back in 1969. I had never seen the Quentin Ghost/Chris Werewolf storyline before. I loved it. I actually wish it had been stretched out a month or longer. And I thought Sabrina Stuart was effective.
    I’m trying hard not to think about how 1897 goes on months too long. The first half is so strong.
    I’m trying even harder to think about the Leviathan storyline coming up after 1897. The haunting of Collinwood was the last good storyline with the “present-day” Collins family in the regular timeline.
    That Edith Collins is quite a firecracker. Sorry she’s not long for this world.
    Joan Bennett and David Selby had good chemistry.

  11. The Quentin/David relationship always had a hint of intimacy in it because of its indebtedness to “Turn of the Screw.” Seeing that intimacy in 1897 is a natural step. And in some ways that intimacy is what DS borrows most from James: it’s not the plot of TOTS, it’s the homoeroticism.

    The end of 1967 on DS felt like it was really deep into gay metaphor. Obviously much of the metaphoric language of horror maps onto our metaphors of homosexuality. But between David and Quentin’s “Call Me By Name (On An Antique Telephone)”, every werewolf “I’ve got a secret night life which is why I can’t commit to a beautiful woman” scene, and a cast filled with gay men, the last days of 1967 felt also overloaded with gay allusions. It was the only thing keeping me going during some of those drab episodes.

    Since I’m watching the show for the first time and trying not to spoil too much, I hope the show keeps it up. I’m happy to see David Selby leer at the men on the show too.

    I’m also realizing now that the 1897 episodes are the only ones I had seen of the show prior to this deep dive. That was on the SciFi network in the late 90s. I would come home after class in college one semester and watch the 11:30 episode.

  12. Danny, i am so quoting your white people line. and while i’m commenting, yesterday’s share about taping your favourite episode quite did me in. you’ve gone and made me fall in love with you, Danny. i simply couldn’t help it.

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