Episode 928: Another Day in the Uncanny Valley

“I suppose I’d better pay a visit on the antique shop which specializes in a succession of strange, disposable little boys.”

Scene One: Grave, Indeed

EXT. PHOTOGRAPH OF COLLINWOOD — DAY

PROFESSOR STOKES (O.S.)

For Maggie Evans, a time of terror at Collinwood has ended, and the source of her torment has been identified as Michael, the boy who lives with Megan and Philip Todd at the antique shop.

FADE IN:

INT. ANTIQUE SHOP BEDROOM — DAY

Michael stares directly into the camera, waiting for his cue to begin acting.

PROFESSOR STOKES (CONT’D)

And now Michael faces his own time of terror. For with shocking swiftness, he has fallen ill, and as she examines him, Julia Hoffman knows his illness is grave indeed.

Having received his cue, Michael shuts his eyes and rolls around on the bed. Julia positions a stethoscope somewhere in the vicinity of his heart.

JULIA (THINKS)

Come on come onnnnnn when do I get to inject him with something

928-dark-shadows-julia-philip-megan-quickly

Scene Two: It’s Almost Classic, Actually

INT. ANTIQUE SHOP — DAY

MEGAN

I couldn’t lie there anymore. There’s too much to be done. Philip, I want the funeral quickly.

JULIA

Perhaps it can’t be done quickly.

Megan looks directly into the camera, and makes confused faces.

MEGAN

What do you mean?

JULIA

Well, there are things about the boy’s death that trouble me. Classically, it’s — it’s, it’s, it’s almost classic, actually. But I would really rather — having some discussions with my colleagues at the hospital, and perhaps have one of them examine him.

MEGAN

Colleagues — oh, you’re really SOMETHING!

928-dark-shadows-julia-megan-philip-classic

PHILIP

Megan, she’s trying to do the thing, think, she thinks best.

MEGAN

Yes, for WHOM? For HIM? Oh, you want to talk about Michael, Dr. Hoffman, well, then discuss him with ME! I’ll tell you everything you need to know!

JULIA

Well, actually, I was just asking Philip if he had ever been sick.

MEGAN

Yes! Yes, he was, when he was very SMALL! His parents, they gave him so much LOVE! They willed him to be healthy and, and strong, and — when they were killed, that will was taken away from him! He was all alone! Well, we all tried to help him — first, Mrs. Hutchins —

JULIA

Who is that?

PHILIP

She’s the neighbor in Colleyville that Michael stayed with after the accident.

MEGAN

Oh, God, she was crazy about that boy. She tried — well, we certainly tried, but — but without them to lean on, Bert…

Megan breaks into sobs, and leans on Philip’s chest.

PHILIP

Evelyn was Megan’s favorite cousin. The deaths were a terrible shock to her, too.

JULIA

I’m sure they were.

928-dark-shadows-megan-philip-hair

Megan comes up for air, and brushes the crazy hair out of her crazy face.

MEGAN

Oh, you talk about your classic cases! Well, THIS was one, all right. That boy DIED because he didn’t want to LIVE anymore! His heart stopped BEATING, because — he didn’t WANT it, it was BROKEN!

Megan runs through the door, at escape velocity.

928-dark-shadows-michael-megan-philip-funeral

Scene Three: The Funeral, Quickly

INT. FUNERAL HOME — DAY

PHILIP

Megan, it’s time to go.

Megan keeps staring at Michael, laid out on his ice-cold bier.

PHILIP (CONT’D)
(whining)

Megan, we’ve got to LEAVE!

MEGAN

I want to look at him a little while longer.

PHILIP
(still whining)

Megan, be REASONABLE!

928-dark-shadows-stokes-biscuits

Scene Four: The Lady Vanishes

INT. STOKES’ HOUSE — DAY

Professor Stokes enters with a plate of English biscuits.

STOKES

I’ll tell Osmund we’re coming, but first, you and I must have a serious talk —

Stokes notices that Julia is gone.

STOKES

Julia?

He walks to the center of the room, abandoned, with biscuits.

STOKES

Julia?

928-dark-shadows-hutchins-philip-useful

Scene Five: The Weird Woman and Her Parakeet

INT. MRS HUTCHINS’ HOUSE — DAY

As soon as Julia leaves, Philip enters the room.

PHILIP

You did very well, Mrs. Hutchins! You were very convincing!

MRS. HUTCHINS

I still don’t understand how you found out about me.

PHILIP

Oh, I know a number of people who, at the proper time, could prove very useful. And YOU have proved very useful.

Mrs. Hutchins frowns, trying to figure out what the hell he’s talking about. He hands her an envelope. She opens it, and counts her money.

PHILIP

Oh, it’s all there, just as we had agreed. Enough for bottle after bottle.

MRS. HUTCHINS

I’m not well!

PHILIP
(whining again)

Oh, PLEASE! Mrs. Hutchins, you fooled Dr. Hoffman. Don’t try and fool ME.

928-dark-shadows-hutchins-philip-parakeet

Mrs. Hutchins crosses to the birdcage, and shows the money to her parakeet.

HUTCHINS
(to the parakeet)

Nnnnnn! Such a nice lady? OHHhhh! I don’t think I wonder it was right that I fool her.

PHILIP

You did! That’s all you need to know.

MRS. HUTCHINS

But why would you fool —

PHILIP

No more questions! That was part of our arrangement. And the other part is that you forget all of it. Forget ME, forget Dr. HOFFMAN, forget the BOY. It’s all something you DREAMED, after too much whiskey.

928-dark-shadows-hutchins-philip-weird

MRS. HUTCHINS

One thing.

PHILIP

What is it?

MRS. HUTCHINS

That I can’t remember — I can’t think — I’ve, I’ve got to know.

928-dark-shadows-hutchins-philip-whiskey

Mrs. Hutchins turns to the camera.

MRS. HUTCHINS

Was there really a little boy, who died? Did he really exist? Or did you make him up too, like Bert and Evelyn? Please, tell me that!

PHILIP
(whining)

We’ve just been THROUGH all of that. For your own good, FORGET it!

Philip leaves, and Mrs. Hutchins plays with her money. It turns out this really is for her own good. She wins the lottery, and lives to be a hundred and thirty years old. Viva Hutchins!

928-dark-shadows-julia-stokes-upstage

Part Six: It’s Almost Classic, Actually (Reprise)

INT. STOKES’ HOUSE — DAY

JULIA

Now, listen, earlier today you said you wanted me to talk to you. Well, I need to talk to you now, I need your help, desperately!

STOKES

What do you mean?

JULIA

I’m not sure.

928-dark-shadows-julia-stokes-classic

JULIA

Today, the oldest and the latest of these little boys died.

STOKES

Died?

JULIA

Yes.

STOKES

Then, it was his funeral you attended this morning.

JULIA

Yes. I pronounced that boy dead. It was a classic — thing.

928-dark-shadows-julia-stokes-teleprompter

STOKES

The whole story raises a great many questions.

JULIA

It does.

Everybody looks at the teleprompter.

JULIA (CONT’D)

But I’m positive that Barnabas could answer all those questions — but he would.

STOKES

Paul Stoddard is another person who knows something.

JULIA

Yes, but he’s so frightened.

STOKES

I think you could win his confidence.

JULIA
(thoughtfully)

Yes, I believe I could.

STOKES

I suppose I’d better pay a visit on the antique shop which specializes in a succession of strange, disposable little boys.

928-dark-shadows-megan-philip-stokes-quilts

Scene Seven: Patchwork Quilts and Colonial Silver

INT. ANTIQUE SHOP — LATE AFTERNOON

STOKES

Carolyn said you had a charming shop, and you do.

PHILIP

Thank you.

STOKES

I’m glad you have something besides patchwork quilts and colonial silver.

MEGAN

What do you mean?

STOKES

I was admiring your locket. That doesn’t come from this part of the world, does it?

928-dark-shadows-megan-locket

MEGAN

I, um… I don’t know.

PHILIP
(whining)

Megan, PLEASE! A dealer is not supposed to admit ignorance.

The camera pans down, for a shot of Megan’s locket.

SOUND: DRAMATIC STING

928-dark-shadows-stokes-megan-money

MEGAN

Well, I — I just took it, because I thought it was pretty.

STOKES

So it is. And so is this.

He selects an item from the table, at random.

STOKES (CONT’D)

And perfect for the dear old lady who’s invited me to dinner.

PHILIP

I’ll wrap it for you, if you’d like to browse while I do it.

STOKES

I’m afraid I haven’t time. I’d like to come back later, and look things over more carefully.

MEGAN

Oh, well, we’d like that too, Professor.

Stokes hands Megan a haphazard fistful of money, which she deposits in a cashbox.

STOKES

I’m particularly interested in old New England prints, if you run across any.

MEGAN

Okay, we’ll keep our eyes open.

928-dark-shadows-philip-ring

Philip hands Stokes his package.

PHILIP

Your package, Professor.

STOKES

Thank you.

Cut to: shot of Philip’s ring, which we’ve never seen before. In fact, we’re not even seeing it now.

SOUND: DRAMATIC STING

928-dark-shadows-philip-megan-pretending

Scene Seven: We Are Not Like Other People

INT. ANTIQUE SHOP — CONT’D

PHILIP

Perhaps I shouldn’t have worn the ring. I’m sure he noticed it.

MEGAN

Oh, what’s the difference? Married people often like the same things!

She crosses, to him.

MEGAN (CONT’D)

Oh, Philip, Philip! I’m tired of waiting — tired of hiding — and tired of PRETENDING that we are like other people. We are NOT!

Megan looks up, towards the second floor.

MEGAN (CONT’D)

If we were, I — I couldn’t have given up Michael. I couldn’t have seen him lying there, dead.

PHILIP
(whining)

I told you to stop THINKING about him! It only UPSETS you!

928-dark-shadows-megan-philip-whining

MEGAN

Oh, yes.

Megan crosses to the window, and closes the shutters.

MEGAN (CONT’D)

Goodbye for NOW, Professor STOKES!

PHILIP

I hadn’t realized how dark it had gotten.

MEGAN

Or — or how quiet it’s become… without Michael.

Philip grabs Megan by the arms.

PHILIP
(whining)

Megan, I told you to FORGET about him! Michael is DEAD!

928-dark-shadows-megan-philip-hear-something

PHILIP (CONT’D)

I’ll turn on the lights.

MEGAN

No! No, Philip! Do you hear something?

They turn toward the stairs, and adopt their “do you hear something” pose.

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS

928-dark-shadows-michael-stairs

Michael appears at the top of the stairs, dressed in his funeral suit.

MICHAEL

I’ve decided not to go through with it.

928-dark-shadows-michael-face

Megan and Philip stare at the resurrected boy, with alarm.

Michael stares back at them. He appears for the last time tomorrow, but that episode was taped more than a week earlier. This episode is the last one that Michael Maitland shot, and the goofy face that he’s making is his parting gift to the Dark Shadows audience.

Tomorrow: Les Disposables.


More Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

The door at Stokes’ place makes a weird scraping sound when Julia opens and closes it.

When Julia notices the painting, someone walks in front of the camera.

After Stokes leaves the shop, Megan trips on her way to the door.


Behind the Scenes:

Mrs. Hutchins is played by Camila Ashland, who appears in three episodes in 1970: Mrs. Hutchins today, Minnie Duval in 1970PT, and Mrs. Purdy in 1840. She also appears as an uncredited extra in House of Dark Shadows, as a party guest.

After Dark Shadows, Hutchins appeared on General Hospital as Heather Webber’s mother Alice, and then popped up in guest roles on a variety of shows, including Taxi, Lou Grant, St. Elsewhere, Fantasy Island, Cheers, The Golden Girls and The Munsters Today. She’s apparently billed as Camilla Ashlend for some of these appearances.

Stokes’ place has the Smith Brothers mustache portrait on the wall, and the unreadable dirty globe that’s usually in David’s room. We also see the toy soldier that Sarah’s ghost gave to David, and that Angelique used to choke Barnabas in 1795 and Aristede in 1897.

That’s a live parakeet in Mrs. Hutchins’ house, so there’s another item on your checklist of live animals on Dark Shadows, along with the fish at Windcliff and the cat that Joshua turned into. The credits roll over a shot of the parakeet.

Tomorrow: Les Disposables.

dark-shadows-929-michael-goodbye

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

23 thoughts on “Episode 928: Another Day in the Uncanny Valley

  1. Funny how Phillip takes advantage of the opportunity to make snarky comments to Mrs. Hutchins about her alcoholism when he’s completely brow beaten and p – whipped by that harpy of a wife of his, Megan. She controls him more than the Leviathans could ever hope to.

    1. Yeah, since Phillip is weaker than Megan, he needs someone weaker than himself to take it out on, like decrepit Mrs Hutchins.
      Megan seems to be in charge of everything, and losing her mind, all at the same time.

  2. Party at Mrs. Hutchins house!

    Once a week, a motley crew of blue haired spinsters gather at Mrs. Hutchins house for a Parakeet Party. Everyone brings their own, in its little cage.
    After about an hour of passing around Mrs. Hutchins antique bong collection, and a big swig of medicine, all the parakeets are let out of their cages at once. Feathery fun ensues. It’s more avian mayhem, than an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Except for that one time when befuddled Mr Lynthicum left the bay window open.

    1. An evening with Mrs. Hutchins sounds like way more fun than any time spent with that psycho Megan. Phillip would have been better off to have brought her a case of whiskey and helped her drink it up.
      “me and Mrs. Hutchins…we got a thing…goin ‘on…”

  3. Philip is so terrible in these scenes, he’s no heavy.

    And yet his portrayer went on to play a major heavy role on GUIDING LIGHT, and quite well by all accounts. I’ve seen clips and he’s almost not recognisable.

    Was the actor too green? Or was it just a product of the crazy show’s schedule, coupled with the disorganised Leviathan story?

    1. I just think they couldn’t decide if he was evil or not. He goes along with the villainous plot, he seems to fight against it, he wants to punish Leviathan Boy, it all gets muddied up more with each episode. How do you “play” that as an actor, when the motivations change from one script to the next?

    2. That’s why Phillip is so high on the list of awful DS characters, and Bernau made him 5 times worse. Starting with his very first scene……ick! Ick! Ick!

      He was miscast badly.

      Don’t know what he played elsewhere, but I’m thinking Doctor.

      Maybe he should have played Eric Lang.

  4. I haven’t posted in a while, but I do want to stick up for Chris Bernau who is excellent as an actor. I’m not sure what happened here, but it can’t be the fault of his acting abilities. Where Bernau went on to great success was “Guiding Light” where he played complex businessman Alan Spaulding. Alan and Hope Bauer were my second soap couple chronologically and still rank second in my all time great couples list.

    I do a blog on my all time favorite couple (Michelle Bauer and Danny Santos) and about Guiding Light in general – somebody has to remind people how great it is. Anyway I decided to share one of my posts about Alan and Hope in case anyone is interested.

    It doesn’t seem to want to let me copy the quote I wanted to right now, but take a look if you’re interested in what he went on to play. Hope and Alan were a supercouple and even though they were eventually blown apart, their story – particularly Hope and Alan on the Island – is an incredibly great soap story that is still referenced by people talking about soaps to this day.

    https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/alan-spaulding-and-hope-bauer/

    1. I agree with you on Chris Bernau. I think he may not have been suited for this particular role. He did a good job with Alan, who was a complex. There wasn’t a lot of complexity to play with Phillip. The role didn’t play to his strengths and was poorly written so he didn’t have anything to work with. It’s a shame, but he did go on to GL, where he did great work.

  5. i completely jumped out of my skin when that kid walked down the stairs, goofy look and all. Especially after the chilling scene at the funeral home.

    1. Yes, Vanessa! … same here. And the episode a couple days before this (927), when the Michael kid was, with barely repressed desire, shivering and moaning Caroline’s name and then writing it inside that heart on the mirror with Mrs. Todd’s lipstick (still shivering and gasping a bit while she looked on) … my jaw seriously dropped in disbelief and horror, or fascinated disgust and awe.

      Just … wow. Wow, wow, wow, holy freaking oh my no, wow. One of the craziest scenes i have ever seen in any show or movie, seriously.

      In fact .. Yeah. I just had to look up that kid actor’s name– Michael Maitland– so, in case his loved ones (aww, bummer; Maitland himself passed away in 2014) ever Google his name along with any of all of these keywords (“dark shadows + episode 927 + Michael + Caroline + mirror + heart”), they might find Danny’s awesome blog and know that his acting in that role was awesome enough to make us jump out of our skin 50 years later.

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