Episode 926: The Shark, and How to Jump It

“I don’t want to know who you are!”

Did you ever have one of those days when nothing goes right? Well, this isn’t even one of those. Those are funny.


Girl governess Maggie Evans is trapped somewhere in the undercarriage of Collinwood, down among the dead men. Her exact location is difficult to pinpoint, because this is one of those conceptual Dark Shadows sets where they give the set designer exactly no information about what kind of place this is supposed to be. So they just throw together odds and ends — some brick, some paneling, maybe a third of a staircase, a bunch of cobwebs. If you look closely at the screenshot above, on the left side you can see a chunk of brick wall that’s just plopped down in front of a chunk of stone wall. That happens a lot with these random-ass patchwork sets.

So it’s no wonder Maggie can’t figure out where she is, or how to get out. They usually treat the secret passages like warp pipes in Super Mario Bros — you jump into the pipe in Maggie’s room, and it spits you out into the drawing room, with nothing in particular along the way.

But today, they’re actually showing us what it looks like in the secret passages, and now I understand why we’ve never seen it before. It sucks.


Meanwhile, there’s interesting things happening in the foyer, so let’s go look at that instead. This is Michael, the eight-week-old cosmic starbaby monster who arrived in Collinsport in a box, with some assembly required. He’s going to be some kind of demonic hotshot when he grows up, which should be any day now.

So this is the point where I have to talk about how much I like Michael. People have been talking in the comments about what an annoying brat he is, and how they can’t wait for him to get replaced by the next iteration, but I am seriously in love with this kid, and I wish he would stay forever.

Let’s start with David for a moment. He’s a productive character, with ties to pretty much every other person on the show. But the writers can’t ever say exactly who he is, or how he reacts to things. His personality tends to shift from day to day, depending on the story point he needs to pursue.

As a hypnotized member of the current conspiracy, David is supposed to have absolute faith in the Leviathan cause. He’s been bossing other characters around, reminding them of their duties and crushing their dissent. But now he’s the one who’s upset, and challenging Michael.


So let’s look at this scene, and see who comes off better in this interaction.

David:  Michael! What are you doing here?

Michael:  I forgot something.

David:  What?

Michael:  My book. I left it somewhere upstairs.

David:  Maybe you left it where Maggie is.

Do you see what I mean? Michael is being playful and mischievous, and David is being a dick. And even worse than that — he’s being a goldfish. He can’t remember what his character is supposed to be feeling from one episode to the next, and this is not an isolated incident. David was all over the place during Quentin’s haunting, too. He was cold and murderous in one episode, torn and confused the next.

In fact, at this point, I’m going to go ahead and say that David Collins is just not a very good character. I don’t believe in him, and I find him annoying.

And then there’s Michael.


David says they should go into the drawing room so his father won’t find them and ask difficult questions. Michael shrugs, and struts into the drawing room, pouting like a pre-teen rebel.


I mean, look at how awesome he is. This is a character with a specific point of view about the world, and his place in it. He’s got a consistent emotional throughline that could spin out story for months. And he’s a rebellious rock ‘n roll badass who’s planning to take over the world.

If all you knew about these two characters was this scene, and I told you that one of these characters is a core family member for the entire run of the show, and the other one will be off the show a week from now, it would be obvious that Michael is the core character, and David is an annoying day player.


Plus, Michael is so cute. If I was thirteen and in 1970 and imaginary, I would have such a crush on this guy. I would totally help him to psychologically torture governesses. Or go to a movie, or whatever.

Am I actually the only one who thinks that Michael is amazing? Well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.


Anyway, back to the strange desert otherworld hidden inside the walls of Collinwood. Maggie wanders around some more and can’t find her way out, which is hard to figure. She eventually ends up locked in a room that’s filled with stacks of old chairs and a dusty coatrack, so apparently they’ve created another random storage room prison space inside Collinwood, which already had plenty.

And maybe it’s because I’m not currently looking at Michael and it’s making me crabby, but this twisted little knot of plot logic is getting on my nerves.

Collinwood is a house that has secret passages, apparently. Those secret passages are not a secret from — at a minimum — David. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen Roger explicitly acknowledge that there’s an extra mini-house inside their house, but he grew up in Collinwood, too. Plus, somebody came and stacked up all these chairs. This is a known part of the house.

So if Roger is searching all over the house — as David says that he is — and he’s so upset about Maggie’s disappearance that he’s thinking of calling the police — as David says that he is — then why aren’t they walking through these hard-to-reach areas, calling her name?


So Maggie sits there in this closet of the damned, a pretty girl in peril once again. They have taken the key, and they have locked her up, locked her up, locked her up.

And she sits there, saying, “Where am I? What is this room?” while the rest of the world looks at her and asks, Why are you sitting? What is your plan?

I mean, she has some natural resources there, which she stubbornly refuses to utilise. The problem at the moment is a locked door. It’s not easy to physically break through a locked door, but it’s possible, and the time to start is now. You have some kind of wrought iron object, right in front of you. Start with that. I don’t expect miracles; this isn’t MacGyver. But you could try.

I know, I’m being nitpicky, but they’re giving me too much time to think about it. Maggie isn’t doing anything — she’s just standing up, listening at the door, and then sitting down — so I have all the time in the world to look at the furnishings, and wonder if maybe she could start a fire. Yes, I know it’s not a good idea to set fire to a room that you’re currently locked in, but it wasn’t a good idea to get locked in a room in the first place, so there. She started it.


And then there’s the breathing. The thing that’s really upsetting Maggie is that sometimes she hears somebody outside the door, breathing heavily into a microphone. That, according to Dark Shadows, is what a monster sounds like.

Michael thinks that this is scary, because he’s a teenage boy, and he’s having a hard time acting appropriately around girls. He tends to stare at them, which unnerves them. So this is basically the equivalent of calling Maggie up on the phone and then doing heavy breathing into the phone. I get why a teenager would think this is scary.

But this shouldn’t be that scary for Maggie. Things that breathe are not inherently terrifying. Almost everybody breathes; you can’t let yourself get upset over it.


The inspiration for this storyline is H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror, which is about an unearthly child who grows up too fast and plans to destroy the earth, along with his twin brother, an enormous invisible monster who lives in a barn and eats cows. Midway through the story, the monster breaks out and rampages through the countryside, killing people and flattening houses, and it’s quite scary — a creature that the townspeople can’t see and don’t understand, an existential threat that they have no idea how to fight or even contain.

But the unseen monster in Dunwich didn’t just stand there and breathe. It knocked stuff over. It left terrible tracks. There’s a moment when people notice that the creature flattened the grass on both sides of the road, which means it’s even bigger than they thought it was. It was not a monster who snuck around quietly through somebody else’s house, before making its presence known outside a specific door.

So I hate to be the guy who advocates for fidelity to the source material, because that in itself is not a problem. Dark Shadows should always deviate from the original text if they figure out something that’s more interesting. But here, it’s less interesting, and therefore a waste of time.

And then — the voice. Michael doesn’t just breathe outside the door, he also talks to Maggie, using a whispery voice that sounds like Peter Brady as Humphrey Bogart saying “porkchopsh and appleshausche”. And then he doeshn’t even shay anything shcary.

Michael:  Maggie, can you hear me?

Maggie:  Who are you?

Michael: You don’t have to be afraid, Maggie.

Seriously, that’s what he says. “You don’t have to be afraid.” The monster.

Maggie:  Michael, is that you?

Michael:  Soon — very soon — I’m coming in, Maggie.

Maggie:  Somebody let me out of here! Let me out!

Well, yeah, that’s what he’s saying. You don’t have to be afraid; he’s coming in. Everything’s going to be fine. What are you getting so upset about? This is day three of a four-day-long sequence about terrorizing a young woman by locking her up, and then reassuring her that you’re going to let her out.


Then Philip comes over, and seriously I cannot even with this.

Philip:  I’m looking for Michael. Is he here?

David:  I thought he went back to the antiques shop.

Philip:  He did. Has he come back since then?

David:  Not that I know of.

Except that he did. You just talked to him. You brought him into the drawing room and scolded him, and then he went upstairs to get the book that he said he left up there. That happened literally eight minutes ago. What are you even talking about?

And they just keep on going like this, for scene after scene, piling one dull irrelevancy on top of another. They have a sexy badass teenage monster who doesn’t live by anybody’s rules, and they’re wasting him on pointless goldfish runarounds.


So I’m going to call it; this is the moment where the Leviathan story jumps the shark. I’ve actually enjoyed a lot of this story so far, more than I expected to. I’ve had lots of good things to say about it. But this is where they need to show that the story has some teeth, and they fail, in every possible way.

The threat is mild to the point of nonexistent, and to facilitate it, every human in the story has to act like an idiot. Maggie stands there like an obedient peril monkey, Roger charges around the house doing nothing, and David apparently does a full Men in Black neuralyzer memory wipe every eight minutes.

And this is all happening because the Leviathan story does not actually have a monster.


They’ve built this story around a monster that you can’t see and never does anything. For the story to work, we have to believe that the thing on the other side of this door is terrifying, but it’s been weeks, and so far, the monster has not done a single scary thing.

The thing that’s really frustrating is that in The Dunwich Horror, the monster drinks cows. It rampages around the countryside, and afterward, people find cows that have been drained of blood. They’ve already used that trick on Dark Shadows before — in the early Barnabas episodes, the first sign that something was wrong was that people found empty cows on the side of the road. Later on, that technique evolved into “the strange attacks on women in town,” which went on in the background.

But the Leviathan monster isn’t even doing that. It doesn’t do anything. It just breathes.

So at this point, they really have to show us the monster. I know that that’s supposed to be the point, that we never see it, and therefore it’s even scarier in our imaginations than it would be if we ever saw it. That is a ridiculous cop-out. It’s the justification that people make when they’ve promised the audience more than they have any intention to deliver.

Dark Shadows actually has a great track record at creating scary things out of not that much money. The legendary hand of Count Petofi was incredibly cool and memorable — a Halloween decoration that they invested with real power. The scariest thing about the legendary hand was that it wasn’t under anybody’s control, even Petofi’s; it would fly around on its own, doing unexpected things. Not an expensive or difficult effect, just good writing, using what they have to tell an interesting story.

Television is a visual medium; we need to see the thing that the story is about. “It’s better in your imagination” is just a way to weasel out of coming up with a compelling visual. If you can’t actually show us the monster, then maybe you should consider a non-visual medium like print, or radio. Or not doing it at all.

Tomorrow: A Limited Number of Tomorrows.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Barnabas tells Megan, “You will I — you and I will talk later.”

A little retcon: In his thinks monologue, Barnabas says, “It began when I opened the box — the Leviathan box! When I opened the box, I surrendered my will!” Barnabas actually came under the influence of Oberon and Haza at the Leviathan altar; he never opened the box. He brought the box with him to 1969, and then Megan and Philip opened it.

Philip closes the drawing room doors so that he can talk to David, but they immediately swing open again.

Philip tells David, “You must tell me whatever you know, it might be all late — too late already!”

Tomorrow: A Limited Number of Tomorrows.


Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

51 thoughts on “Episode 926: The Shark, and How to Jump It

  1. I can certainly understand the desire to see the monster. I have it, too. I’m sure everyone does. But….there is an old wisdom in the horror world that “any monster we show you will be less than what you imagined” Once they start showing you things, they risk disappointing you.

    There have been a few miraculous exceptions: Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera, Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester as the Fabulous Flying Frankensteins, the shark in Jaws, and the last one I can think of is Alien.
    Alien pretty much blew the doors off everything, as far as movie monsters went. You could be more gross, but not more shocking. Or elegant. That cat is out of the bag.

    Dark Shadows managed to do a good werewolf, but I think that was about as far as they could go. The Leviathan really needed to be something different, something really other-worldly. Something they couldn’t afford, and for which the technology needed did not quite exist yet. They might not have had much choice.

    Maggie’s locked up? Well, it has been mentioned that everyone was super over-worked at this point. When writers are tired and over-worked, they quickly reach The Limits Of The Imagination! and Ron Sproat Things start happening.

    1. Well, that’s my point; that if they couldn’t show us the monster, then they should write about something that they can show. I just wrote a long-ish response here in the comments, and then decided that if the post wasn’t making that point clearly enough, then I should fix the post. So I just revised the last few paragraphs. See above for my reply. 🙂

      1. I’ll have to get back to you tomorrow on this, but for now, I have a different question: have you, Danny, or anyone here, pictured the Leviathan in your head? Can you describe it?

        I’m sort of working on something, I used to be an artist, maybe I should actually try to draw something. It sort of goes against my love of unseen things and unanswered question, but what the hell, I could use a project, and one I’d rather not do, might be perfect.
        Aldar said they didn’t have shapes, maybe that’s why they didn’t show it. It has occurred to me that, when it’s not holding human form, it might be shape-shifting uncontrollably, like a kaleidoscope of horrors.

          1. For disappointing monster reveals, one needs look no further than 1957’s The Giant Claw. That behemoth bird is so laughably bad that I have always wondered why the movie wasn’t just scrapped. Even the excuse that they ran out of money doesn’t cover SPFX that awful. (And they didn’t run out of money, they just went with a cheap effects company.)

        1. Well, the storyline is based on “The Dunwich Horror,” and there are a lot of interesting interpretations of that monster. Lovecraft sometimes gives detailed descriptions of the monsters, and that’s inspired a lot of fan art. Just do a Google image search for “dunwich horror” and you’ll see a bunch. I used one in my first Leviathan post, chosen because I thought it looked funny.


          But the Dunwich Horror monster is a lot bigger than the Leviathan is — it was knocking down houses after a while. It wouldn’t have been much good at sneaking around through hallways.

          1. Oh sure, I’ve been Googling Lovecraftian imagery ever since I got a computer. The one you posted seems like a reasonable candidate for the Leviathan.
            What I was really getting at was not using someone else’s idea, but putting yourself in the thought process of coming up with your own design, not for the purpose of actually coming up with a design, but merely for experiencing how hard this particular project could be.

            I’ve been going around in circles, just to get an idea that would have worked on DS. If I had been responsible for creating it, I couldn’t start by going to pen and paper, right away. First, there would have to be meetings, brain-wracking discussions of what it could, and could not, do. How big? How tall? What color? Nearly human, or totally different? Two legs? Four legs? Five legs? No legs? Can it turn invisible? Half man, half chicken? Werechicken? All of these things would need to be agreed upon, but before I could even start. I guess we can assume the budget would be small.

            Next would be the overwhelming fear that no matter how hard I try, no matter how much work, and research I put into it, people are going to say things like “What a joke!” or “This sucks!” or “They didn’t put any effort into it!”, when in fact, it could be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

            No wonder they went with “unseen”, the whole thing is a headache I’d rather not have.
            I’ve got it! Let’s make it Cousin Itt! Just a bunch of hair, seven feet tall.

  2. In spite of being straight, it’s so easy for me to imagine a crush on the Michael actor in that role, either female, male or a male “platonic crush.” As I said before, he reminds me a lot of Shane Bryant as Dorian Gray, and I would say the same thing about him.

    1. As an 11 year old at the time, i really found michael really attractive! He wasn’t on long enough for me. I put my David henesy crush on the back burner for a while. Now, as a cranky old parent, he is a child of nightmare. He did evil really well for a cute young boy though. Too bad he didn’t continue acting.

  3. I’ve been in bed all day today with one of the worst colds of my life, yet it is still a fantastic day because it’s given me the opportunity to mainline episodes of Dark Shadows and finally catch up with DS Every Day. The excitement is almost too much to bear.

    By the way, Danny (and everyone else), as Dark Shadows has now added an antique shop to its repertoire of spooky places, I wonder if you’re familiar with Acorn Antiques? In the unlikely event that you’re not, it’s a spoof by the peerless British comedian Victoria Wood (who sadly died this year) of the infamously shoddy (but immensely popular) UK soap Crossroads, and brilliantly recreates all the kinds of bloopers we love so much on Dark Shadows in painstaking detail. It’s so adored over here that there’s even been a West End musical based on it. Here’s the first instalment:

  4. I liked how the Leviathan “monster” was depicted, but the problem as I see it is that there was so little connection to its human form. Barnabas was more than just the “fangs,” which is why he was a compelling villain. Angelique as a vampire was more interesting than she was as Cassandra. Somehow, Cassandra controlling Tony Peterson with a cigarette lighter lacked the electricity of Angelique controlling Joe Haskell through her vampiric wiles. Chris and Quentin also had more going on than their periodic changes into Alex Stevens.

  5. Speaking of Tony Peterson, it’s hard to hear about a “Bogart” voice – let alone on a Dark Shadows blog – without thinking of Jerry Lacy. It’s almost surprising they didn’t bring him back for a cameo in this episode, doing that disembodied voice.

  6. It was hard to show monster damage in the town, as a decision had been made before the 1897 trip to abandon the town as a setting and concentrate in Colliwood, a decision made apparent when they got rid of Sam and Joe and trashed the Evans cottage, with Maggie moving in.

    1. One thing I like about the Leviathan storyline is that they actually DO return to some semblance of there being a Collinsport town beyond Collinwood. We have a lot of scenes in the Collinsport Inn, the hospital for awhile when Grant Douglas shows up, the return of the police/sheriff’s station for an episode or two, and the new location of the antique shop (and the multiple references to Brewster’s Department Store).

  7. Funnily enough, when the first governess went missing in 1966 courtesy of David locking her up in a room in the closed-off section of Collinwood (episodes 84 to 87, October 1966 — not Ron Sproat’s doing; the writing team that week was Art Wallace and Francis Swann), it was Roger who activated the secret panel in the drawing room to make his way through the hidden passages, a labyrinth of corridors, steps with landings, and even the spiraling metal stairwell later seen in Nicholas Blair’s house in 1968 where he conducts the ceremony to summon the spirit of Danielle Roget. Perhaps Roger doesn’t try this search method this time because he doesn’t suspect David.

    The mischievous young Maitland has already snuck a swear word past the censors and onto daytime broadcast television, so he’s a slick operator for sure. As a young actor he’s a first-rate agitator matched only by David Henesy’s edgy and disturbing performances as the patricidal and governessicidal David Collins in the first few months of the show.

    I, too, have always wondered what the Leviathan being in the box looks like. I always pictured a mummy-like creature, based on the traces of materials left on its victims. But that wouldn’t make sense. Based on the symbols we’ve been shown – the design on the box, the images in the book, Megan’s locket, and the tattoo that appears on Paul Stoddard’s arm and the “birth mark” on the Leviathan children – I’d guess the creature to be like the naga, a multi-headed snake, which would make sense given the different forms it takes as it grows from infant to adult, four in all, symbolizing the four heads of the serpent-like naga symbol.

    The portrayal of the Leviathan creature’s true form, though, is handled much the same way as the 1953 sci-fi film It Came from Outer Space, where instead of attempting to depict something of nonhuman form they rely instead on the terrified reactions of those who come face to face with it.

    Overall, I still like the Leviathan story for the way it makes Collinwood spooky again in a more subtle, but no less menacing way. Still lots of fun moments ahead, and I seem to be among the few here who like Chris Pennock as Jeb Hawkes.

    1. Prisoner, I very much liked Chris Pennock as Jeb. I thought he was quite sexy in the role. I didn’t care for the character of Gabriel, but that was only because of the annoying character, not because of Chris Pennock.

    2. Say what now? In IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, we DO eventually get to see what the creature looks like (it reveals itself to Richard Carlson’s character for a moment when it exits the mine).

      In fact, with each bump in the clarity of home video technology, we seem to see more and more of it!

      Re the Leviathans, it’s okay to take the “unseen” Val Lewton-approach when it’s a 90-minute movie. But for a daily soap with hours to fill? We get teased enough times with what their real monstrous form could look like. In the end, it just frustrates the audience – especially the kid audience – to cheat them continually and refuse to put a real… face? … to the beasty.

      1. My memory of having last seen this movie stretches back more than forty years on an analog TV set with no taping or playback capabilities, so I can’t speak to what a DVD might show.

        The moment in question at the mine entrance is more of a reveal for the Richard Carlson character than for the viewer. As I recall, we see the beginning of the transition to its true form, but the Richard Carlson character sees the full change, and we mainly watch the character reacting to this, after hearing the alien being explain that it would not be possible for a human to comprehend its true essence.

        Even I can’t describe the form that suggests itself to the viewer. When I was searching online for the above trailer I read it being described somewhere as a type of “jellyfish creature”, but all I remember is a huge quivering eye that shifts its shape into a steam vapor or fog to devour its victims.

        Oh, and I remember especially that Russell Johnson was in this film, given that I was a fan of Gilligan’s Island even as I was watching Dark Shadows in the last couple years of its original run on TV.

        The movie is still an example of “less is more”, and given the elusive nature of Lovecraft’s work, it probably made sense on Dark Shadows to save expenses for the necessary prop design, costuming, and special effects coordination and just allow the horrified expressions of the actors who come face to face with the Leviathan to help the audience project their own impressions into the story.

        1. Although I try not to, I can never quite escape seeing DS from the lens of an eight- to twelve-year-old child, which is when I first saw it. Even as a I watch today–and look at it with a more adult and critical eye–I am still in large part reliving my childhood. So as a boy of that age, what I always needed was to “see the monster.” Not necessarily every day, but what was important to me were the werewolf transformations and the vampire bites and the floating hand of Count Petofi and skulls and even seances…. Since I wasn’t one of the “run home from school to watch DS” kids because my school actually didn’t let out before DS came on, I missed nearly all of the Leviathan story on its first run, with probably the exception of what episodes were shown over Christmas break. But had I been able to see all the episodes, I know I would have grown frustrated with the “less is more” approach and would have become very impatient at not seeing the Leviathan monster.

    3. I grew to really love Jeb and his redemption. Overall, I enjoyed the latter half of the Leviathan much more than I thought I would. So much crossing and double crossing!

  8. If you look closely at the screenshot above, on the left side you can see a chunk of brick wall that’s just plopped down in front of a chunk of stone wall. That happens a lot with these random-ass patchwork sets.

    Is that a shuttered window I see to the right? I remember being puzzled by that when I watched it on SFC.

    1. No, it’s the back side of a lath-and-plaster wall, which would be quite easy to kick through if you were desperately trying to get out of wherever you are (unless, of course, someone had random-ass bricked over the plaster wall on the other side).

      Say, if Maggie is being a ‘peril monkey’, does that make Michael an ‘endangerment chimp’?

            1. I think it would have been funny if, while trapped in the walls, Maggie had come across a very old skeleton, wearing a maid’s outfit, and still clutching a feather duster in one hand.

          1. Apparently it’s totes okay to leave gas mains running in the secret passages under your mansion. Horrible explosions are for peasants.

  9. I will say that the idea that an unseen monster is better than one that you see harks back to some movies from the 1950s. The movie ‘Them’ is the classic example. Shot in black and white (because only high budget films could afford color) it starts with a little girl wandering out of the desert only able to say one word, Them. most of the film is scary and atmospheric with only glimpses of the monsters, which created a real sense of dread. Then the monsters turned out to be giant ants, in all the 1950s poorly designed effects and suddenly the movie was funny, not scary.

    DS probably shouldn’t have tackled a monster you can’t see, but it had good reason to think that not seeing is more frightening than seeing.

    1. A lot of 1960s Gothic horror was influenced by the movie “The Haunting.” It established tension and horror without ever showing a ghost, simply with sound, lighting, and cinematography. (And acting, of course.)

      1. Melissa – excellent movie. Still makes me uncomfortable. Julie Harris was magnificent. Many years later when she was appearing on Knots Landing, they did an episode that paid homage to The Haunting.

  10. Michael doesn’t say he’s going to let Maggie out–he says he’s going to come in. Maybe it’s being a woman, but for me, being locked up and told that whoever locked me up is coming in makes escaping through the door a questionable solution. I wouldn’t want to be locked up, but I also wouldn’t want to confront whoever locked me up–not without a decent weapon, anyway.

    When the storyline started, they were showing us what the Leviathan did–it turned our beloved characters into different people–and not for the good. The problem is, they’re reverting, which makes the Leviathan look weak and less frightening. The blood lust should be increasing. Barnabas and whichever-incarnation-of-the-thing-in-the-box should be telling Elizabeth and David and Amy and whoever (they need more in-house followers) not to kill people, the time is not right. That would scare us, watching characters we trust become monsters. (OK, not David. Besides getting possessed a lot, David has tendencies. But it’s been a while since we saw him try to kill someone except under orders.)

  11. I thought David told Phillip he didn’t know where Michael was is because he didn’t want to be interrupted while terrorizing Maggie.

  12. In David’s defense–that is, his personality changes in this and the Quentin’s ghost storyline–it seems to meet that the possession, in both instances, runs hot and cold. This is even happening with other characters in this storyline. Megan and Philip frequently turn murderous toward each other but then go through moments when it seems the possession subsides and they wonder what they’re doing. Isn’t that what’s going on with David?

  13. Count me in as one who’s enjoying Michael, though more because of the actor who’s playing him rather than for the character, himself. Though I s’pose that’s always the case,

    What I’m not liking is yet more of Damsel-in-Distress Maggie Evans. You’d think after years of dealing with Colliwood that she’d have become a little more resourceful. And her voice when she’s loud; could she be any more shrill!

  14. “I don’t know if we’ve ever seen Roger explicitly acknowledge that there’s an extra mini-house inside their house, but he grew up in Collinwood, too. ”

    This is what happens when you don’t watch the pre-Barnabas episodes. At one point when Vicki is on his sh*t-list for some Burke-and-the-freaking-pen related reason we see him use the secret panel in the Drawing Room to go to the West Wing for nastiness-to-Vicki related reasons.

  15. I don’t think there would be a point in showing the monster. If the monster had done anything really scary, our imaginations would be working overtime to frighten us. Any image they put on screen would let the steam out of our anxieties. And since it hasn’t done anything scary, we awon’t be worked up when we see it. Looking at it calmly, we’ll just be examining a costume or a prop or a visual effect or whatever.

    Now, you can show the audience a thing or a person that looks harmless, and then build up fear around it. That’s what they did with The Hand of Count Petofi, which Barnabas observes with utter contempt when Magda first shows it to him, but which then wreaks havoc. Or you can build up a fear, introduce a person, and suddenly connect the person with the fear in an unexpected way. That’s how they gave us Barnabas- Willie opens the box, there are vampire attacks, a pleasant man shows up wearing a hat and speaking with a mid-Atlantic accent, and then we see that man without his hat, waiting for Maggie in the cemetery. There are lots of ways to scare an audience, but showing a picture of something that’s supposed to be scary isn’t one of them.

  16. There’s a scene in the antique shop when Barnabas is telling Megan that they have to be more strict with Michael. Frid falls into some mild Fridspeak and I had the distinct impression that Marie Wallace was trying to stifle a giggle.

  17. The casting of the Leviathan kids has been great, all creepy talented youngsters. Michael Maitland is perhaps the best, a naturally gifted to youngster who could’ve played Damien well in The Omen if they decided to cast a teenager as the son of Satan.

    I don’t remember this period when I was a kid, but I was 8 going on 9 back then. But he is adorably evil here.

    Too bad he died so young in 2014 of cancer.

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