“It’s impossible! I just saw him die!”
Today, Roger Collins opens a door in the east wing of Collinwood and discovers another world, filled with familiar people leading different lives at the exact same time. He’s fascinated by it, of course, and he spends the whole week talking about how desperate he is to see those exciting new stories. This turns out to be a tactical error.
Because there really is Another World — it airs on NBC at 3:00pm, and it’s doing so well that they’re creating a spinoff, which will compete directly with Dark Shadows.
Now, back in the good old days of September 1968, when Angelique was a vampire and Quentin was still a twinkle in Henry James’ eye, nobody would dare counter-program against Dark Shadows. It was a nationwide sensation, thirty minutes of thrills beamed every day to everyone who mattered.
The Columbia Broadcasting System was the big dog in the soap world, with chart-busters As the World Turns, Search for Tomorrow and Guiding Light at the top of the ratings for more than a decade. But in September ’68, CBS took stock of the situation and decided to turn tail and run, moving The Secret Storm from 4:00 to 3:00, where it was safer and the light was better anyway. They threw poor old Art Linkletter into the 4:00 spot, so the squares had something to do if they’d already finished their homework and folded all the socks. And so Art Linkletter’s House Party lived out the rest of its days, unwatched and unloved, a 25-year broadcasting giant felled by a show that at the time was mainly make-believe mad science experiments.
But Dark Shadows has spent the last four months telling a story that nobody really wanted to hear, and squandering the talents of their new werewolf superstar. There is movement in the shadows. The other wolves can smell weakness.
And next Monday, on March 30th — the same day that Barnabas changes channels to Parallel Time, and gives everybody who wasn’t excited about the Leviathans a natural jumping-off point — NBC premieres their brand new soap opera at 4:00pm. It’s not very good, and it doesn’t last that long, but it gets better ratings than Dark Shadows does, because sometimes the wrong people win.
At the time, NBC’s strongest show was Another World, which was five years old at this point, and starting to nip at CBS’ heels. Another World takes place in Bay City, which everyone refers to as fictional even though it’s sitting right there in Michigan, and there’s no use pretending that it isn’t.
The show started strong, with a controversial storyline about abortion in the first year. Pat and her boyfriend Tom traveled to New York so that she could get an illegal abortion, and while she was at it, she also developed an infection that left her unable to have children. When she heard the tragic diagnosis, she ran to Tom, who told her that it was all going to work out okay, because he didn’t love her and wasn’t planning on marrying her anyway. She shot him dead, of course, and was acquitted in her murder trial, because soap heroines are allowed to do basically anything.
By 1970, the hot story on Another World was the Rachel/Steve/Alice love triangle. Rachel was one of those bad-girl gold-diggers that soap towns are permanently afflicted with, who was already married but hoping to trade up. Steve was a self-made millionaire, a land developer and part-owner of the Bay City Bangles. Rachel wanted Steve, but Steve was dating her sister-in-law Alice. One night, Rachel managed to seduce Steve, and then she showed up at Steve and Alice’s engagement party to reveal that she was pregnant with Steve’s baby. Steve denied everything and married Alice anyway, so Rachel decided that maybe it was her husband Russ’ baby after all. Eventually Russ found out he wasn’t the father and divorced Rachel, so she went out and married Ted for a while, and finally landed Steve, until Steve went back to Alice and then died in a helicopter crash, and Rachel developed other interests.
Naturally, this is solid soap opera storytelling, just like mother used to make. NBC wanted to expand the 30-minute show to an hour, but Procter & Gamble didn’t think an hour-long soap opera would work, so they launched a spin-off instead. They took three popular characters from Another World — Sam Lucas, Lahoma Lucas and Missy Palmer Matthews, not that it matters — and moved them to another town, fifty miles away and an hour later in the schedule, just opposite Dark Shadows.
For the first year, they called the shows Another World in Bay City and Another World in Somerset, with one head writer working on both shows, and characters regularly crossing from one show to another. The idea was to entice the audience into sticking around for another half-hour of Another World, although why they didn’t air the shows back to back I have no idea. Instead, they put Bright Promise in the middle, a total dud about a college president that only lasted two and a half years. I’ve never really understood the mentality of 1970s daytime TV executives, and I suppose at this point I never will.
Anyway: Somerset. The initial focus was on the wealthy Delaney family, who owned Delaney Brands, the main employer in town. There was Jasper Delaney and Robert Delaney and Peter Delaney and Laura Delaney and India Delaney, which is too many Delaneys. There are only so many Delaneys that people are willing to put up with.
Eventually, somebody murdered Jasper Delaney, and Robert Delaney divorced India, married a casino singer and left town, and Laura Delaney was sent to a sanitarium. I’m not sure what happened to Peter Delaney. It probably doesn’t matter one way or the other.
For our purposes, the important one is India Delaney, who was played by Marie Wallace; this is what she did instead of playing Megan Collins or whatever in Parallel Time. As we’ve seen, Marie was a lot of fun and almost entirely out of her mind, and it sounds like they gave her a good part. I’ve seen India described as calculating, manipulative, and according to The Soap Opera Encyclopedia, “a fascinating demi-goddess,” so she got to take a little Dark Shadows with her when she left.
Like most of 1960s and 1970s daytime television, Somerset doesn’t really exist anymore; they just wiped all the master videotapes and used them for something else, probably more episodes of Somerset. There are just a few little bits of footage on YouTube, and happily, one of them is a ten-minute sequence of India Delaney having a breakdown.
This is from early 1972, when India had divorced Robert and married Chuck Hillman, a tennis pro from the country club. Obviously, Chuck was socially nowhere compared to the powerful Delaneys, but India has organized a lavish dinner party at a restaurant in order to re-introduce herself and Chuck to the Somerset social scene. In the scene, nobody’s shown up at the party except for India’s sister and brother-in-law, and she’s broken-hearted, running through the list of everyone’s excuses and swinging back and forth between various forms of hysterical. The sister and brother-in-law sit there in silence, as Chuck gets drunk and makes bitter jokes.
Halfway through, India gets up and does a Jenny-style madwoman monologue, pacing around the room.
Ben: Well, perhaps we should go now.
India: Yes, go! (She starts to sob.) Go!
Ellen: India, I just feel awful about this.
India: You do? Well, I don’t! I feel perfectly marvelous! I think it was a wonderful party, I had a marvelous time! I’m sorry that I sent the musicians home, I could have danced all night! I always feel that way after a perfectly marvelous, wonderful, gay party, don’t you?
Ellen: Please, please —
India: I said that this was going to be a memorable party, one that Somerset would never forget, well, it was, wasn’t it? I know I’ll never forget it, never!
Ellen: Please, India!
India: And this whole town won’t forget it either. This whole town won’t forget it, just hear me — they’re going to remember this party, I’m going to make them remember it!
And then Chuck pours some champagne into an ice bucket, and up with the organ music as we head into a commercial for probably Prell concentrate liquid shampoo or something. It’s a great scene.
But you can’t coast forever on Marie Wallace having breakdowns. The ratings weren’t very good in the first year — good enough to put a dent in Dark Shadows, but not what you’d call good, so they dropped the Another World part of the title, phased out the Delaneys, and brought in a new head writer, Henry Slesar, who was also the head writer for Edge of Night. Slesar ditched all the business intrigue and social climbing, and focused on crime and mystery stories.
So India’s husband Chuck decided to bludgeon her to death with a candlestick, which narrowly edged out the party as the new worst night of her life. She survived, but made for the exit anyway. Peter Delaney ankled as well, just pausing on his way out to sell Delaney Brands to an underworld syndicate, as you do.
Slesar replaced the Delaneys with a new wealthy and eccentric family, the Moores. There’s a surviving episode on YouTube that begins with Emily Moore’s stepson Carter admitting that he’s in love with her daughter Andrea. It quickly heads in a non-promising direction.
Emily: Carter — I’m sure you’re sincere, I have no doubt of that. But are you sure this isn’t the result of what you’ve just found out about Andrea — about her illness, I mean? Couldn’t this be some kind of over-reaction?
Carter: Yes, I’m sure it has a great deal to do with that. Because what I felt, when I first heard the news… the terrible sense of loss! It made me realize how I really need your daughter!
Emily: I, um… I don’t quite know what to say.
Carter: I guess that’s why I didn’t put up any kind of resistance when you first suggested that I date Andrea. It’s ironic, really. Something that you wanted me to do, I was already thinking about.
Emily: You’re not very good at displaying emotion. I suppose you know that.
So that’s a bad sign, when your characters start critiquing each other’s performance on screen. But just wait till you hear what’s causing Andrea’s illness.
This is Jingles the Clown. I’m just going to let that sink in for a moment.
In this clip, Jingles sneaks into Andrea’s bedroom in the middle of the night, tapping her on the shoulder to wake her up. Andrea screams, which is apparently not what Jingles was hoping for. He motions for her to pipe down, but Carter’s already on his way, so the clown hides behind the door as Carter rushes in to comfort Andrea. While they’re occupied, Jingles slips away.
Carter: What happened? Was it the nightmare?
Andrea: He was here!
Carter: Who was here?
Carter: What are you talking about?
Andrea: Jingles — isn’t he here now?
Carter: There’s no one here.
Andrea: But he was here! See, I thought it was that dream again, and it frightened me, Carter, and I screamed —
Carter: Of course you did. I don’t blame you.
Andrea: But no, I shouldn’t have, don’t you see, I had no right to scream! Jingles, I’m sorry — please come back!
So there you have it: Jingles, an actual story point from the show that got Dark Shadows cancelled. It turns out that Andrea’s getting sick because Jingles is slowly poisoning her each night with arsenic, so then there’s a lengthy mystery story where they try to figure out who’s dressing up as a clown and sneaking into Andrea’s room every night. It takes months.
Oh, and there’s Christopher Pennock; this was his next stop after Dark Shadows, too. He’s playing Dana Moore, Andrea’s older brother. I can’t really find any information about Dana; I guess you have to throw a party or dress up as a clown in order to get attention around here. All I can tell from his scene in this existing episode is that his relationship with his little sister is WAY too affectionate.
And then there’s Joel Crothers, as Julian Cannell. He’s part of this insane family too; he’s married to Zoe, who’s Philip’s sister, and Philip is married to Emily, the mother of Andrea and Dana, so that makes Julian their step-uncle-in-law. He’s a concert pianist who never plays the piano, because Zoe apparently didn’t want him to do it anymore. Zoe’s the one who turned out to be Jingles, by the way.
The show continued to struggle, and there were several more head writer changes, so the weird Moore family got pushed off the canvas, sooner or later. But Joel Crothers stayed, because he was gorgeous and awesome, and he became the main character of the show. Julian eventually gave up on being a pianist and became a newspaper editor for The Somerset Register, which put him at odds with all of the criminal syndicates in town.
After Zoe is sent to an asylum, Julian marries Chrystal, who’s secretly a gun moll from the syndicate. Zoe escapes from the nuthouse and murders Chrystal, so then Julian kind of bobbles romantically back and forth between Andrea and a woman named Eve, who I can’t quite figure out who she’s supposed to be. Eve keeps him coming and going for most of 1974, until she admits that she’s afraid of intimacy and isn’t sure if she knows how to make love anymore. He finally loses patience with her, and marries his publisher, Kate. But Kate has an abortion and tells Julian that it’s a miscarriage, so he divorces Kate and tries to get back together with Eve. But by then, Eve has married someone else, so he falls in love with Vicki, who’s the sister of Eve’s new husband.
So Julian basically spends the better part of four years falling into and out of love with a long sequence of random women, which is essentially what soap operas are for, and it turns out Joel Crothers is very good at doing it.
But Somerset never really got a handle on what it wanted to be. They went through a lot of producers and head writers and reboots and pivots, until they finally gave up on New Year’s Eve 1976, and NBC replaced it with Lovers and Friends, which tanked almost immediately and was cancelled after four months.
But Somerset did a lot better than the other two soap operas that premiered on the same day. ABC tried out a couple early-afternoon soaps — The Best of Everything, which is about four secretaries in a publishing firm and a mysterious villain named Squirrel, and A World Apart, which is about middle-aged people trying and failing to understand their children.
The Best of Everything lasted for six months, and A World Apart lasted for a little over a year, just a couple months past Dark Shadows’ last episode. The Best of Everything was replaced by Bewitched reruns, and A World Apart was replaced by Love American Style reruns, and Dark Shadows was replaced by a game show, and that is what happens to soap operas, if you wait long enough.
All of these little worlds, these parallel times, where everybody makes different choices, i.e., they choose to be on a different television show. Somewhere in the stratosphere, there’s a time band where Megan Todd throws a party, and Jeb Hawkes has a little sister, and Joe Haskell is a crusading newspaper editor who marries at least one woman per year. There’s a mystery behind every one of these doors, where people with familiar faces have new names and stories to spin. There’s Carolyn on Ryan’s Hope, and Roger on All My Children, and Julia on One Life to Live.
And Jingles the Clown sneaks into your bedroom every night, to feed you arsenic and tell you whether you’re any good at displaying emotion. You probably are.
Tomorrow: Things That I Already Like About Parallel Time.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
There’s a break in Roger’s conversation with Bruno, where they’re supposed to be interrupted by Chris’ anguished groans. But Chris is late, and Roger and Bruno spend seven seconds pretending that they’re listening to sounds that we can’t hear. Then they hold the shot on Roger’s face for another seventeen seconds, while he listens to an entire exchange between Chris and Carolyn without doing or saying anything.
When Roger and Carolyn hurry to the door after the werewolf has escaped, somebody in the studio coughs.
Liz tells Roger, “Whatever we found out — find out won’t do anyone any good.”
This is intentional, not a blooper, but it’s such a terrible scene I have to mention it here. Carolyn is in the woods, walking to the Carriage House, when suddenly Bruno appears. He’s already tried to harm her, earlier in the evening. She doesn’t run away. He tells her, “He isn’t going to see me, and you’re not going to see him!” — an obvious threat. Carolyn’s response: “What do you mean? What are you going to do?” He tells her that they want to get even with Jeb, and the best way to do that is through her. Without her, Jeb won’t have a reason to live. She says, “I don’t understand,” still not running away. He says, “I’m going to KILL you!” She doesn’t run away. She says, “You’re insane!” and she actually just stands there and looks at him while he slowly wraps his fingers around her throat. I like Bruno’s pantomime villainy, and I’m not a stickler for theatrical realism, but there are limits.
In the PT room, Bruno says, “My dear Elizabeth,” and pauses while the camera focuses on Roger. When the camera cuts to a close-up of Bruno, he looks offstage for his cue to say the rest of the line. They’ve been doing a lot of this sort of thing in the last week, where people stop talking while the camera focuses on someone else. It’s not a good technique. Even when it works correctly, which isn’t often, it doesn’t make sense.
The end credits are crooked.
Tomorrow: Things That I Already Like About Parallel Time.
— Danny Horn
61 thoughts on “Episode 976: Another Another World”
What’s weird is that “evil clown sightings” really are a thing these days. No one knows if it’s an urban legend, pranksters, or what. Just goes to prove these creepy clowns have been pulling this crap for decades! (Just be glad DS never tried that one, the “Barnabas at the Circus” fanfic notwithstanding.)
Dark Shadows in Parallel Time (not this Parallel Time, a different one), probably had a creepy clown – and look at that little Leviathan Spawn, standing behind the buffoon! This is indeed a disturbing universe…
PS I understand that Bozo The Clown has come out of retirement to try to counteract the negative image being spread by the creepy clown sightings. I wish him all the luck in the world; what he can do about the creepy clown that’s our current president-elect, I can’t imagine.
Well Home the Clown (In living color) “homie dont play that” and Stephen King’s Mr. Pennywise have given clowns a bad name.
Whether you call them urban legends or something else, those clown stories seem to come in waves. Even though the writers aren’t exactly trying to make some paranormal connection to them, the stories have shown up in places like Fate Magazine in the very early ‘ 80s, and maybe before.
SKEPTICAL INQUIRER magazine has an article about evil clowns in its current issue if anyone is interested.
I have clear memories of Marie Wallace in Somerset, so I must have played hooky from DS as the Leviathan storyline was staggering to its end: testifying in feigned innocence at the murder trial of was-it-her-husband(?), then gloating over the damage she’d done. It was pure Marie-Wallace-in-Eve-mode, perfection within soap convention.
It’s fun to speculate what the DS team might have found for Wallace in later stories (1840?), but she was clearly too over-the-top a presence for the 40s-movie Rebecca storyline that came next, so she left to rule another roost. And I can’t help regretting the loss of Joel Crothers, who might have made Cyrus Longworth or Morgan Collins his own. (Then again, Jerry Lacy might have done well with Morgan, too.) The show was beginning to leak talent . . .
It would’ve been so good if she was Samantha.
The Jingles the Clown story was absolutely terrifying, done with more finesse and nerve-wracking tension than about 90 percent of anything on DS ever.
Henry Slesar was a genius. His work on “Edge of Night” is legendary and I wish more of that survived, but this story delivered.
Yeah, I’m impressed with the crack-ass lunacy of Jingles. The scene that’s in the episode on YouTube is crazy and surprising. I showed it to my husband last night with no preparation other than “Andrea is sick, here’s why” and it knocked his eyes out.
But I have to say, the dialogue in that episode is really not very good. Each line appears to be a gift-wrapped postcard from the infinite; they don’t really connect to each other, or anything on this earth. The dialogue in the Marie Wallace scene from a year earlier is much more fun. I wish more 60s and 70s soap operas had survived, alas.
Yeah, this isn’t the best representation of Henry Slesar’s work (Jingles the Clown on Somerset). Why have a clown that makes noise (jingles) as it moves around? The idea is to be stealth. Still, it makes me curious and I’d want to see what happened next.
Mark, I couldn’t agree more about Henry Slesar being a genius. I didn’t watch Somerset, but The Edge of Night became my favorite soap when it moved to DS’s old 4 pm time slot on ABC in ’75. Sled are was the king of telling well thought out mysteries, and the show was much more suspenseful and terrifying than almost anything DS had to offer. Sled are also did an excellent job of having the conclusion of one storyline logically and seamlessly launch a new one. As I’ve said before, I wish Slesar had taken a crack at writing DS without Curtis’ interference. I think the show would have lasted longer. Edge was among the first soaps to take home an Emmy Award in the early 70s for its writing.
Slesar, not sled are. Damn autocorrect!
With you completely, Robert. I fell into Edge at about the same time and was completely enthralled with Nicole Drake’s return from the dead. It was a mystery that ran about 18 months and had a ferocious body count – including Michael Stroka’s kind, understanding psychiatrist Quentin, who was bludgeoned by someone who didn’t want Nicole to get her memories back. I received two lovely notes from actress Maeve McGuire that I prize to this day. Slesar had a magical way of crafting stories that pulled in the entire cast and then sent them spiraling out to deal with the repercussions. I wish more of Edge survived. It was such a rich show.
Mark, I also loved the murder mystery where Molly Sherwood was revealed as the killer. And what a great send-off they gave her: shooting Raven (or so we thought) and trying to hang April in the basement. And the next story was also one of my favorites: Nancy Karr being held captive at the Bryson clinic. Great suspenseful stories.
Those were excellent stories. The Molly story was exceptional as we all thought we were watching one story (the puppet murders) and it turned out to be something insanely different. Those eps are at least on YouTube so people can dig into how a well-plotted soap worked.
Edge of Night was excellent. I wish more of it were posted on You Tube.
Well, now I have to go search them out. One of my earliest soap opera memories is Mike Karr’s first wife being killed off-screen saving their toddler from being struck by a car. I was 6 at the time and was already a soap-watching veteran!
I remember Lahoma and India Delaney but I was never unfaithful to DS so maybe it was scheduled at a different time where I lived. By 1973 I was only watching Y&R and by 1976, none at all regularly. I regret I missed seeing so many DS actors in other roles.
I totally agree!! Jingles was the second scariest clown I’ve seen, (next to Pennywise from “IT”)
Anybody familiar with Michelle Stafford’s over the top performance as Phyllis on Y&R? I swear she is channeling Marie Wallace! I never realized how similar their acting styles are it til I read Danny’s summary of the India character’s meltdown on Somerset.
Hey Michelle – Marie did it first!
I agree — Michelle did the psycho bitch thing so well.
Lois Kibbee, who appeared on Somerset and Edge of Night, had a DS connection: She ghost-wrote The Bennett Playbill biography for Joan Bennett.
Six degrees! My late husband knew her brother, Jim.
Another World is called Another World because it was originally supposed to be a spin off of As the World Turns (no 1 soap at the time), but CBS wasn’t interested and so Irna Phillips and P&G took it over to NBC but weren’t allowed to take actual ATWT characters with them. (They also did a primetime spin off called My Private World around then. It was like a CSI or NCIS take over that never quite jelled).
I don’t know much about Another World except for the 2 characters that made it into the lifeboat to live on on As The World Turns after it was cancelled, so I could be wrong. (Making a fairly big diversion here – Our family were CBS soap people which meant a lot back when there were enough soaps for it to matter. Seriously even when I was younger you felt very resentful towards ABC and NBC soap people and it’s something I don’t think networks appreciated enough. You had CBS soap people who would therefore leave the channel on CBS all day from morning show through the evening news, but you don’t have CBS game show people who only watch CBS game shows or CBS sports people who only watch whatever sports happen to be on CBS. You just don’t get that kind of loyalty with any other genre of TV show.) But as I understand it, Bay City is actually supposed to be in IL near Chicago close to ATWT’s Oakdale and where they finally decided Guiding Light’s Springfield was (after letting it float around for a few decades).
Great point about soap-network loyalty in the day. My mom (and her mom and sisters) was an NBC soap person all the way, though she never cared for soaps before noon.
As I recall Another World also crossed over with Guiding Light; Mike and Hope Bauer relocated there early in its run. This ultimately connected AW, GL, and ATWT in a single “universe.” As far as I know, this is the only soap-verse that crosses networks.
Fascinating about people being loyal to a network for soaps. My mother watched another world but she also watched Days of Our Lives. All I remember about another world is Rachel and whoever’s boyfriend she stole. And then one day they got a new actress to be Rachel and that’s all I remember. Not that I remember a whole lot about Days of Our Lives which my mother watched a lot more for a lot longer. But I have this weird memory are coming home from school and my mother was crying because Bob Anderson is dead! And I thought it was one of my father’s friends. But it turned out to be someone from her show. But I finally looked it up and it seems he died in 82 and I graduated in 77 and my mother moved to Florida in 1981 so unless he died in August of 1982 while my mother was visiting because I had been in the hospital in Boston, then I don’t know how this could have ever happened. But then also ask for the network thing I don’t think my mother left the TV on all day. She went to visit the old people in the neighborhood except finally this one woman really got on her nerves and she stopped visiting her. But she still visited the other ones. And our other neighbor spent so much time visiting our next door neighbor that when our next door neighbor died she left her house to our other neighbor because she didn’t have anyone else. I don’t know what happened after that. Cuz I had moved away back when my parents moved away but in another Direction.
On ATWT’s final episode or final week of episodes, which I believe was September 2010, they showed an ATWT character getting into a car accident (maybe a car/train accident) in Bay City – so since Another World had long been canceled by that point (AW bit the dust in the 80’s) – it was less of a cross-over and more of a nod to the ATWT/AW /Irna Phillips connection in soap history. Regarding “Edge,” one of the things I loved about “Edge,” was that Henry Slesar’s mysteries would go months and months and just when you the audience and the show itself was somehow steered toward a dramatic conclusion, Slesar would repeatedly throw in a monkey wrench — no, whatever you thought was the resolution was wrong. The real dramatic resolution was actually X, instead of A. The twists in the storytelling were always so unexpected — Slesar was a genius — and “Edge” had a lot of male fans, including my dad and me.
“The Edge of Night” was unique for being “the murder mystery soap opera,” which undoubtedly explains its unusually large number of male fans. Did you know it was originally conceived as being “Perry Mason” (before the actual “Perry Mason” TV show) — that is, Perry Mason would have been the lead character on a weekday soap opera — except those plans fell through when the producers couldn’t come to a final agreement with Mason’s creator, Erle Stanley Gardner? So the producers retooled it with different characters.
Incidentally, don’t you think that Jingles the Clown was a blatant attempt to lure away DS fans with something at least borderline supernatural?
Wayne, I don’t think so. The Jingles storyline was airing in ’72, after DS was history.
In that case, perhaps it wasn’t so much to lure “away” DS fans as it was to lure them “back,” so to speak.
Yes, you’re right. During the last year they suddenly started talking about Bay City and Springfield quite a bit. They even set some scenes (inside hotel rooms for instance) in Bay City when they needed some place out of town. It was very nice of them. Although far from perfect the year long send-off of ATWT was great in a lot of ways.
Another World was canceled in 1999. The call with the bad news came in May 199, and the last episode was in June of that year. It jumped the shark when a serial killer murdered Frankie—in protest, the actor kept her eyes open even though she was directed to have her eyes closed to sanitize the murder.
Apparently, in the Cleveland market, DS and Somerset did not run at the same time because we never gave up DS and watched Somerset. My biggest memory was of Marie Wallace as India Delaney, raising hell! Typical soap vixen!
I taped AW, but I have yet to watch the end months because I got an earful from friends (that I still have) about how rotten and ridiculous it had become, deliberately to run loyal viewers away. There were a lot of smaller soaps that got canceled in the 70s and 80s, by AW was the first of the juggernauts to be sunk. It wasn’t the most expensive, but it was the most intellectual. TAHIC either has no idea about who their audience is was—or they did and used any means possible to drive them away. They were quite successful at that. Now there are shows like The Chew, and there are only four soaps left. Winning an Emmy now is like getting a participation trophy, lots of grade inflation.🤬
There was also a Dark Shadows reunion of sorts on One Life To Live. At one point Nancy Barrett was a sick woman in the hospital Anthony George was Dr Will Vernon and Grayson Hall was “eccentric” Euphemia Ralston They had a scene together wondering where they had met before
I saw that episode and was squeeing with delight. And Sam Hall was one of the writers, I believe. Nancy Barrett was Debbie van Druden (or something like that) on OLTL, the DA I believe.
The day Grayson appeared I jumped up and shouted, “It’s Grayson! It’s Grayson!” It was a total (happy) shock.
Alas, she was close to the end of her life then, wasn’t she? That was early 80s I believe?
Some of of the best posts are the most depressing.
Loved Edge of Night — I would watch it during summer vacation and would place bets with my mom about “who did it.”
I still remember Draper Scott’s amnesia, “crazy Kelly with his puppets” and Kim Hunter from Planet of the Apes playing a nasty film star who went around trying to have people kidnapped and killed. Good times. That show really tanked when Sky and Raven started going on spy adventures or whatever it was.
You know, all this talk about other soaps — Another World, The Edge of Night, One Life to Live, etc. — has made me realize once again (that is, re-realize) just now incredibly prescient Dan Curtis was to record and preserve all of the Dark Shadows episodes right from the get-go. It’s really quite astounding when you think about it. Unless I’m terribly mistaken, DS is the ONLY soap opera from the era that we can watch from beginning to end. And that, of course, is essentially what has enabled it to have the continual following that it has to this day.
I think, for instance, of the only other soap that I watched from that period, The Secret Storm, which I watched at first not so much because I was terribly interested in it but because my mother was. (It was my initial viewing of DS that got my mother hooked, and it was her viewing of The Secret Storm that got me hooked.) But nobody (or at least hardly anyone) talks about The Secret Storm anymore because it wasn’t preserved. (OK, yeah, it wasn’t nearly as interesting as DS, either, but that’s a secondary point. There are die-hard fans of anything as long as they’re ABLE to be die-hard fans of it.)
At any rate, how did Dan Curtis know that DS would be worth preserving? He must’ve suspected from the very beginning that he was doing something terribly special. Could it have been the fact that he snagged a “name actress,” Joan Bennett, as his star? I really think that may have been it. If he hadn’t gotten Joan Bennett (or at least some other actress with her name-recognition) to portray Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, we might not be able to watch DS today — at least not from the very start. Perhaps the huge popularity DS began to enjoy after Frid came onboard would have triggered preservation at that point, but even that is questionable if the infrastructure hadn’t already been in place.
Talk about a parallel universe….
Ryan’s Hope was also preserved in full; they ran the whole show in reruns on SoapNet. As far as I know, it was just having an executive producer who cared, and wanted to keep the tapes.
Procter & Gamble didn’t really care, as a company, whether they kept the old tapes or not. The shows were a way to sell products, and once they’d aired, they weren’t useful anymore. There wasn’t a sense of personal ownership.
But Dan Curtis owned Dark Shadows, and Claire Labine owned Ryan’s Hope, and they didn’t want their work to be destroyed. Dan’s ego was his greatest strength and his greatest weakness; in this case, it was definitely a strength.
Agnes Nixon also kept the tapes of One Life to Live and All My Children, but sadly, there was a fire in the warehouse, and they lost all the 1970s episodes. So they ended up destroyed as well.
Danny, I promise I’m not trying to be argumentative, but that’s an urban legend about Agnes Nixon having kept all the episode of AMC and OLTL and then the tapes being destroyed in a warehouse fire. That’s a rumor that’s been going on for quite awhile online.
Agnes Nixon herself said during an Emmy Legends interview that a man at ABC told her that they could not afford to keep the tapes of OLTL and later AMC, that the tapes needed to be reused for future episodes.
When AMC expanded to an hour in ’77, Agnes did not want it to happen, but she had already sold ownership over to ABC. She said that preserving the episodes from ’77 on was one of her bargaining points for going to an hour, otherwise she might have stepped down as head writer.
Nevertheless, it is weird that with all her power, and initially owning OLTL and AMC, that she could not pressure ABC into saving the early episodes, where as Dan Curtis and Claire Labine and Paul Mayer (original owners of Ryan’s Hope) were able to save all the episodes of their shows.
Oh, I didn’t know that — thanks for the correction! That’s interesting.
I watched OLTL, Another World, Guiding Light until I went into the military in 1979. After that only Guiding Light and General Hospital were available on Airforce Network while overseas. After I retired and came home in 2000, I have not watched any soap until now with Dark Shadows.
I tried to watch Somerset for a while when DS went off, because of Marie, but it didn’t take. Good thing, I guess, because in the summer of ’72 I started high school marching band, which would have interfered with anything coming on at 4:00. Now, I get to share some of my research! One of the documents I have put together includes a list of 54 soaps that have DS connections.
Somerset actually had 12 DS folks involved over time. Besides Marie, Joel, & Christopher, Dennis Patrick appeared as Mac in 1970 and James Storm was Sean Childers in ’71. Also, Humbert Allen Astredo supposedly made an appearance in an unknown role in ’70. If you watched the early episodes, you saw Frank Schofield as DS’s Bill Malloy; he plays Philip Matson in ’72-73. If you’re into the minor characters & extras like I am–and Danny does provide information about them a lot–here’s more: Dolph Sweet (DS’s Ezra Hern in ep 99) temporarily substitutes as Gerald Davis #2 in ’71. Jay Gregory (Blue Whale customer in ep 269) is Carter Matson in ’72-73. Stanley Grover, who will soon appear as Frank Paxton in ep 989, was Mark Mercer in ’74. Jane Rose (Mrs. Mitchell in ep1) played Betty Winkle in ’74-75. Finally, Joseph Julian (Wilbur Strake in 1st 2 eps), becomes Vic Kirby in ’75-76.
You know, with the number of attacks on young women in the greater Collinsport area, and the remarkably easy access to small firearms at Collinwood, one would think that Carolyn would be “packin’ heat” whenever she stepped out the front door – especially since Bruno had threatened her earlier! But no. She goes out into the woods, tra la la, like Red Riding Hood…c’mon, she was ‘carrying’ at her mother’s WEDDING, for Pete’s sake! Carolyn should never go anyplace without being ‘cocked, locked, and ready to rock’. Would have done my heart good to see her fill Bruno full of hot lead.
I agree. I’m pretty much for gun control, but if I lived in Collinsport, I would definitely pack some heat. I’d also wear a pentagram and crucifix all the time, even in the shower. Bruno was really stupid to hot have thought of that.
The Collinsport Survival Kit!
Vial of holy water
Pistol w\silver bullets
Extra silver bullets
Growing Up Collins by Carolyn Stoddard & David Collins
Ignoring The Supernatural By Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Rational Explanations by Roger Collins
Healthy Relationships With The Undead by Julia Hoffman
What To Do Until I Arrive by T. E. Stokes
Hex-A-Mania! by Angelique Bouchard Collins
So You’re A Blood Slave Now by Willie Loomis
The Reluctant Vampire by Barnabas Collins
* Collinsport After Dark – A Visitor’s Guide* by Maggie Evans & Joe Haskell
Make Your Next Diabolical Plot A Success! by Nicholas Blair
Remembering Simple Incantations by Bathia Mapes: foreword by Aunt Clara
Why Chicks Dig Werewolves by Quentin Collins and Chris Jennings
Half The Things I Seen Around Here by Sarah Johnson (author of Make Your Own Mayonnaise And Save!)
And a ROFL from me too!
Hilarious! Love it!
And Carolyn ain’t shy about her shootin’ irons, either! She held Early, Bad Wille at bay with a piece, and she meant it; she woulda blown him away. Her standing there while Bruno’s enormous hair threatens her was insulting.
Was Vicky an idiot? Let’s see…Bruno pulls a letter opener on a werewolf and the werewolf stands around sweatdropping. While there are heavy chairs all around. And the werewolf’s girlfriend joins him for a sweatdropping duet. And Bruno turns his back on them a dozen times. And they do nothing.
I was wondering about the werewolf’s character motivation during the scene in the woods. Before he attacks Bruno, he pulls Carolyn out of harm’s way. Was Wolf-Chris intentionally rescuing Carolyn from harm because he recognized her as someone he cares about and wants to protect?
Or was Wolf-Chis so determined to get back at Bruno for the beatings and chaining and abducting, that he was merely seeing Carolyn as an obstacle to his attack on Bruno and pulled her out of the way to gain easier access to his intended victim.
Look at Roger rocking a green sportcoat and green tie! I really don’t remember people wearing so much green in 1970. Especially guys. But I like it on him. I’m just happy to see Louis again.
I’m old enough to remember “Love of Life” and “Search For Tomorrow” when they lasted 15 minutes! Our day started with “Captain Kangaroo” and the tv stayed on until after the late news. I don’t know how I found DS because we never watched ABC soaps when I was little. Only CBS. All I can assume is that there was some storyline my mother didn’t like, so she changed the channel. Actually turning off the tv was never an option!
That sound you heard was my mind snapping back almost 50 years after viewing those Somerset clips. My mom was a loyal NBC soap viewer and I actually remember India Delaney though I didn’t remember that she was played by Marie Wallace. And Jingles the Clown, who scared the crap out of me! “He” was really Zoe, who was played by the great stage actress Lois Smith. And Edward Winter as India’s sleazy husband! And Lois Kibbe!
One correction: someone up above says Another World was canceled in the ’80s but it actually ran until the Summer of 1999. After Somerset was canceled they brought at least one character – Robert Delaney – over to AW and I think he was married to Iris Carrington for awhile.
AW gave birth to another spinoff called Texas in the early ’80s and there was a character named Stryker Bellman played by Robert Gerringer.
Anyway, back to the business at hand. This was a very sloppy episode from a directorial standpoint. During that interminable sequence where the camera is focused on a silent Roger I think the director was supposed to have cut to a different camera showing Chis and Carolyn in the other room.
Aside from DS, the only other soaps I watched regularly for any length of time were One Life to Live, General Hospital, and All My Children. OLTL I was really into for a couple of years but then lost interest in it due to my favorite character being recast. I can’t remember if Tina’s complete change in appearance in 1990 was explained or not but it didn’t matter. It was like when Vicki got replaced, it just wasn’t her anymore (sadly it turns out the reason for the recast was that Andrea Evans had to go into hiding due to a persistent stalker who was threatening to kill her, but I didn’t know that at the time either).
Then years later I started watching All My Children as a kind of research for a soap opera spoof I was working on called “All My Sims”, an early precursor to my current webcomic, “Courtley Manor”, except I never got past the planning stages with it. But AMC pulled me in and I ended up sticking with it almost up until it finally got cancelled. I started watching it around when the Zoe Luper storyline was introduced, which I believe was in 2006. So I ended up being a loyal viewer for around 4 years, a record broken only by my near-fanatical devotion to Dark Shadows from the late 90’s right up to the present day.
I remember when I used to watch OLTL, though, sometimes afterwards I would sit through an episode of General Hospital as well, but I never really got pulled into it like I did with OLTL back then or later with AMC. But talk about network loyalty–I now realize that all four of the soaps I ever watched with any regularity were ABC soaps (I didn’t realize DS was one until now because I didn’t start watching that until it re-aired on the Sci-Fi channel). Also, I know “Soap” was technically a sitcom, but it was what pretty much introduced me to the soap opera format as a child, and that aired on ABC as well!
Roger’s green suit and tie are FIRE! He almost looks like he should be a Batman villain. He would’ve been totally camouflaged in my parents’ kitchen lol
I noticed today how very long Nancy’s hair is! And so beautiful. Next season on Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery will adopt this style. (I also loved the mention of Bewitched in the above post)
Bruno’s death scene was humorous. Too bad it’s not the end of him.
Seeing Joel Crothers again, looking all Magnum PI, made me wish he was still on DS. He’s one of the most handsome men I have ever seen!
Do we know if Lara Parker kept that beautiful painting of Angelique from PT?
I saw a reading of A Christmas Carol in 2021 with cast members of DA on YouTube. After the Zoomed show Lara moved to another room that had the portrait!
Thanks for sharing that, Nick, it makes me happy! She’s SO good at being scary, but I just feel like she’s gotta be the sweetest person IRL and it sounds like some here who have met her concur.
Glad to see that someone is still keeping up on Danny’s blog, too!
Here is another video from 2021 that should be watched and shared. Called Dark Shadows and Beyond: The Jonathon Frid Story. I watched it on Amazon Prime. But available elsewhere. https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Shadows-Beyond-Jonathan-Story/dp/B09JLL87RY/ref=tmm_aiv_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=