Episode 969: PTED

“Quentin! Husband?”

The guy has a suit and a tie, and a shocked expression. He’s holding a flashlight for some reason. He’s got dark eye makeup, and bangs that have been arranged into four little spikes on his forehead, and I have no idea who he is.

The doors of Angelique’s suite just fly open, and suddenly this guy is standing there, mouth agape. It looks like he’s trying to step forward into the room, but he doesn’t.

“I can’t get in!” he says, and looks around in panic. “Why? WHY?”

I don’t know, dude. Who are you? Have you been helped?

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But sure, why not? Half the cast has been off the show for the last six weeks, filming Mansion of Dark Shadows — Quentin, Angelique, Maggie, Hoffman, Carolyn, Will, Daniel and Chris — leaving a skeleton crew of secondary players to walk around and do basically nothing. So why not drag in this weird, goggle-eyed stranger who apparently has trouble walking into rooms?

He knows some of the characters, I have no idea how. He stares at the picture of Quentin and Daniel, and says, “Quentin! Husband?” because that’s a thing that you say, and then Elizabeth walks into the room and ignores him completely.

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It’s bizarre. Elizabeth enters, and the “Quentin husband” guy shouts, “Elizabeth!” to no avail. I don’t know why he doesn’t follow up with “Elizabeth! Cousin?” but maybe that phase of our lives is over.

The guy shouts, “Why can’t you hear me?” but she just goes on with the scene like he isn’t there. It’s possible that this is some confused guest wandering around in the studio, and he doesn’t realize the cameras are on.

We don’t need a new character to suddenly pop up out of a box somewhere; the show’s in enough trouble as it is. It’s no wonder Elizabeth gives him the silent treatment. He looks like a pain in the neck.

I probably shouldn’t be so hard on the guy, who might turn out to be interesting, once the other people on screen start acknowledging that he exists. I’m just frustrated that we’re here, instead of the antiques shop.

I’ve been saying for the last four months that Megan and Philip basically saved the show from cancellation — appealing, believable characters, who brought some much-needed passion and romance to the show after Angelique’s death — so obviously the thing to do is burn down the shop and write them out of the show, and then head back to Collinwood, where nothing interesting ever happens.

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But then, just when all seems lost — hooray, Hoffman is back! She’s the first cast member to come back from the Mansion shoot, and I have missed her terribly.

Elizabeth starts going through Angelique’s wardrobe, and suddenly: Hoffman. She’s standing there in the middle of the set, ice cold, clearly just beamed in from the transporter room on Wagon Train to the Stars.

“What are you doing?” she says, and shoots Elizabeth with that unshakeable thousand-yard stare. Then the guy at the door stage-whispers, “Julia!” which nobody ever calls her, and she ignores him too. Hoffman has no time for you, new dude.

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Hoffman’s return means that we’re finally going to get back to the supernatural Rebecca storyline that began when Angelique died, all those months ago. This is useful for a couple reasons. For one thing, it gives Hoffman a nice, juicy part to play again, and also maybe people will stop comparing her to Raxl from Strange Paradise.

I’m really sick of hearing that Dark Shadows was nothing but a ripoff of Strange Paradise, when they’re not even that much alike. Yeah, they both have portraits and housekeepers and magic spells, but besides that, Danny Curtis had his own unique vision for the show. But Strange Paradise was more popular, and it lasted longer, so that’s the show with an endless afterlife on DVD and chatterphone. People only talk about Dark Shadows as a comparison, rather than appreciating the show on its own terms.

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Elizabeth is trying to clean out the wardrobe so that Quentin and his new bride can use this room on their return, but Hoffman says no: “It is hers. It will always be hers.” Elizabeth protests that “she” is dead, but Hoffman promises, “She will be back!”

And that sounds good to me. If Angelique and Quentin come back, then maybe the show can get over losing the antiques shop.

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And I really want to see Quentin again, especially now, since it’s only a month until David Selby takes office. When I started this blog a couple years ago, it seemed like Governor Selby’s presidential campaign was a joke — a former soap opera actor, who’d already capitalized on the little bit of fame he had left to get elected in his home state of West Virginia. He couldn’t possibly go any farther than that.

But here we are, to everyone’s surprise, in President Selby’s America. His message of hope and inclusion, of breaking down walls and embracing the future, resonated with the American people. We have to stop closing doors in people’s faces, he said, instead of welcoming them in, and working together.

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But not on Dark Shadows, where they do the exact opposite. Elizabeth hisses at Hoffman to be quiet, which is terrible advice, and then she goes and shuts the doors on the weird hallway guy, who’s been standing there saying character names for the whole scene.

And then we don’t see him again — when Hoffman opens the doors and exits, the hallway is clear, and the weird stranger is gone. I don’t know if we ever find out who he was, or what he wanted. It’s probably nothing important anyway.

Tomorrow: A Less Rational Explanation.


Dark Shadows (Earth-Prime) bloopers to watch out for:

It takes Barnabas forever to light two candles, while Sky stands in the room, just waiting for him to notice. When Sky approaches, Barnabas tries to put out the match by shaking it. That doesn’t work, so he just drops it on the carpet and forgets about it.

When Jeb remembers Angelique casting the shadow spell on him, he thinks, “She was just trying to scare me, pressing that paper on my forehead!” She actually pressed it on his chest.

When Jeb carries Carolyn into their hotel room, there’s a gap in the wall, and you can see a tree.

When Jeb wakes Carolyn up, a boom mic appears overhead.


Behind the Scenes:

Reverend Brand was played by Donald Hotton, in his only episode. Hotton was on a couple of Broadway shows that didn’t last very long — Mother Courage and Her Children in 1963, and Malcolm in 1966 — before a long career of small parts in movies and television. Dark Shadows is his first screen credit, and then he appears in a lot of TV shows, including The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Airwolf, L.A. Law, Cheers, Falcon Crest and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Tomorrow: A Less Rational Explanation.

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Dark Shadows episode guide

— Daniel Horn-Kako

31 thoughts on “Episode 969: PTED

  1. Good job DH-K…this is why “Dark Shadows When I Get Around To It” is my favorite blog. Looking forward to the ’66 episodes…

  2. Clearly they need to bring back Sheriff Patterson to run this guy off. I prefer the police procedural episodes showing the efficiency of the Collinsport constabulary.

    Also, who cares about background info for actors? It’s the characters on screen that matter only.

    — Parallel Andrew

  3. It has taken me a year and 16 days, but I have finally caught up to you, Danny. Your blog has been invaluable in understanding this wacky world of Collinwood from episode 210 all the way to episode 969. But what will I do now? Wait to watch an episode until you write about it?
    And by the way, doesn’t Julia look stunning in this episode? God I love that woman.

      1. I’m already a couple of episodes ahead of you, and I can’t wait to read what you have to say about them! I can’t limit myself to just one episode a day, since there is always a crazy cliffhanger that makes me want to see what happens in the next episode.

    1. I agree on Grayson Hall’s looks here. There were several points in the series when it all came together for her. When she first showed up with her new ‘do after Vicku returned from 1796. But that striking haircut wasn’t well maintained towards the end of 1969 and beyond.At the beginning of the 1840 storyline she also was well coiffed. Here, it’s also her toned down lipstick color that works too.

    2. I did the same thing as you Holly! But the point where I caught up, was months ago. I chose to keep watching at the same pace, because I couldn’t stand not to watch all the way to the end. In some ways I regret it because the blog posts have come to seem like they are at a really random place in the story when they appear. Now that months have gone by though, I am feeling like I can just re-watch the episode the blog is about. It’s a hard decision, I feel your pain. If you choose to slow your pace to match the blog, the upside is that it will be a long time before you have to face the End Of All Things…

      1. I’ve thought about that, Coda. Do I slow down so that the end is put off as long as possible? I am sure not looking forward to that! But since I haven’t watched the first 209 episodes, I have something to look forward to after it is all over.

        1. I started with episode 1, so I didn’t have that. On the other hand, my daughter started at episode 1 when I was about two-thirds of the way through or something. So in theory I can just go back through it with her. But on the other other hand, she got all spooked about zombie Jeremiah and stopped watching for ages, then we got the Batman box set, so viewing time was taken up with that, and so all in all it’s been a bit of a Dark Shadows drought I’m trying to get her interested again, but she is up to 403, and she somehow found out that it’s Addison Powell and Roger Davis’ first episode, so she’s stalling – plus, she’s worried about seeing coming violence between Angelique and Barnabas…all in all I wish she’d stop poking around in the blog and just watch!

  4. Collinwood must be one huge stack of bricks if it’s big enough to contain an alternate universe. puts a whole new perspective on Mrs. Johnson’s cleaning duties – what was the minimum wage back in 1970?

  5. I love your clever take on this, writing it from the perspective of parallel time. This storyline still holds fascination for me because although I knew about Dark Shadows growing up I didn’t start watching it regularly until the tail end of the PT storyline. So when it went off the air I hadn’t gotten tired of it. And in those days there was scant info on what I had missed.So anything that happened my way to fill in the blanks was gold.

    1. I am also fascinated with Danny’s PTPOV, and am hoping to see more of it.
      Alternating with present day eps.

      And learning more about President Selby’s America.

      And Vice President Parker.

  6. With parallel time, Dan Curtis will do something unparalleled. In the same year when he adapts his TV show for a motion picture, he will use his TV show for an adaptation of one of his motion pictures. The Cyrus Longworth/John Yaeger story.is a verbatim retelling of his 1968 release The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Like Dark Shadows, this movie was also filmed on videotape.

    1. In my opinion neither version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde was memorable. In DS it was boring filler until the regular cast came back after filming House of Dark Shadows.

    2. I remember noticing the “Strange Case”/Yaeger parallel at the time. I also noticed the DS-style editing “jumps” in the Palance movie and couldn’t figure why edits would cause such an issue in videotape. (I also wondered about the black outlines around the Chromakeyed images.)

      I was astonished to hear Cobert’s music in the movie, even though I knew it was a Dan Curtis production. I didn’t realize that, whenever Dan Curtis produced, Cobert was there.

      1. I was astonished to hear Cobert’s music in Burnt Offerings as well. Man that movi is so creepy – I love it!
        I wish Dan had made more horror films.

    3. 1970pt will also spawn the PT Night Of Dark Shadows, where Hoffman is Calotta Drake, Will and Carolyn become Alex and Claire Jenkins, Maggie is replaced by Tracey, dead Angelique returns to recapture Quentin, the same Angelique portrait is there, Quentin wants to kill his new wife….and Barnabas isn’t there.

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