Episode 1084: 100 Things That I Would Like David and Hallie to See When They Open the Playroom Door, in No Particular Order

“If he himself can transcend time mentally, he should be willing to accept the fact that it can be transcended physically.”

To be honest, there’s not a huge hell of a lot happening on the show right now. Two kids are inching their way towards being supernaturally swapped for two other kids, one of the romantic leads is being catfished by a ghost, and there are two independent story threads about a main character hoping that a secondary character will turn out to be a dead person that they used to know. None of these storylines are particularly compelling, and they don’t cross over with each other at all. It feels like the writers have gotten into a rut, and decided to stay there.

Usually, the thing that extricates us from this kind of morass is the show’s insistence on having an exciting cliffhanger at the end of every episode, but even that has failed us. This week, there are four episodes in a row that end in exactly the same way — David and Hallie open the playroom door, and then gape in open-mouthed astonishment at whatever they see.

In episode 1082, they open the door and see a dollhouse, with little dolls inside that they recognize from their shared dream. In episode 1083, they open the door and see that the dolls that they burned in the fireplace are back in the dollhouse. In episode 1084, they open the door and see Tad and Carrie, reading from David’s notebook. And in episode 1085, they open the door and see Tad and Carrie again, standing on a staircase.

And that doesn’t even count episode 1074, where they open the door and see the linen closet; episode 1075, where they open the door and see the playroom for the first time; and episode 1080, where Hallie opens the door and sees Tad, and then turns around and opens the door and sees David.

It’s possible that they’re going to keep doing this from now until the end of time, and there’s nothing I can do but try to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Here is my list of 100 things I would like David and Hallie to see when they open the playroom door.

When David and Hallie open the playroom door, they see…

1. A flappy bat, they’re all vampires now

2. Phyllis Wick

3. Another, smaller door

4. Hallie’s mom and dad, they’ve come back to life, this was all a big misunderstanding, and now Hallie can leave

5. A fast-forward button

6. Night of Dark Shadows, might as well get it over with

7. Dinosaurs wrestling

8. A million more wishes

9. Laura Palmer and The Man From Another Place

10. Animal, after eating a whole bottle of Insta-Grow pills

11. Claude North

12. The guy who played Claude North, in a different role

13. Acting classes

14. Movie sign!

15. A Busby Berkeley dance number

16. The answer to life, the universe and everything

17. The Lindbergh baby

18. Godot

19. David and Hallie, opening the door from the other direction

20. Desmond pushing a button every 108 minutes

21. Violet Welles and Robert Costello, they’re back and they’re sorry and they won’t leave us ever again

22. Diagon Alley

23. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind

24. They

25. Ed McMahon, they’ve won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes

26. Michigan J. Frog, singing “Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal”

27. A missing 1897 episode that’s really amazing, and I’ve never seen it before

28. Lady Gaga

29. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

30. A black hole

31. The Statue of Liberty buried in the sand

32. Pee-wee’s Playhouse

33. Puppies!

34. The Land Before Time

35. Roger Davis (just kidding)

36. The night Rose Cottage burned, the murder, and the night I sang my song, all at once, total head fake

37. An oncoming train

38. Marion, don’t look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion. Don’t look at it, no matter what happens!

39. Today’s winning Lotto numbers

40. Dramatic Chipmunk

41. The Glenbrook Shopping Mall in Fort Wayne

42. David Selby, with his shirt off

43. David Selby, with his shirt on

44. Honestly, just David Selby, it doesn’t matter what he’s wearing. I just really like David Selby.

45. A room filled with hundreds of ping-pong balls

46. A secret warp pipe to the boss castle

47. It’s Christmas Day. I haven’t missed it! The Spirits have done it all in one night!

48. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

49. Pig weasel

50. The Cross Bronx Expressway

51. Laser Floyd

52. Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory

53. The room with all the doors from the Dream Curse (just kidding)

54. You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!

55. World peace

56. The Rockettes

57. The room from The Room

58. The Glow Cloud, all hail the Glow Cloud

59. Christmas Town

60. Lumiere singing “Be Our Guest”

61. Pismo Beach, and all the clams we can eat

62. Jonathan Frid, asking us to support public television

63. Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

64. Boo’s bedroom

65. [redacted]

66. Bathia Mapes

67. A surprise party

68. Not the playroom, anything but the playroom

69. Raggedy Ann, getting down with the sexy lion plush

70. A world I’ve never known, with people I’ve never met

71. Back to 1995

72. The Upside Down

73. The trash compactor from Star Wars

74. A logical explanation

75. Schrödinger’s cat

76. Fraggle Rock

77. Just a room, no big deal

78. Tad and Carrie, reading a notebook (again)

79. Mrs. Doubtfire

80. He turns around, and they’re all wearing eyepatches

81. John and Yoko, staying in bed for two weeks to protest the Vietnam War

82. Gerard. Is that too much to ask?

83. A room full of Tribbles

84. Another band of time, where this storyline is going somewhere

85. A lady in the bathtub who screams, and they slam the door

86. The Great Unwinding

87. An elevator shaft

88. Episode 1219

89. The playroom, but it’s upside down and they’re standing on the ceiling

90. The Big Bang

91. Pansy Faye

92. The interior of a submarine

93. Scrooge McDuck’s money bin

94. A Dark Shadows convention

95. Metebelis 3

96. A Japanese game show

97. Doctor Sam Beckett, hoping that his next leap will be the leap home

98. A big stack of blog posts for the whole rest of this storyline, already written so I don’t have to think about this anymore

99. A social worker to find a new home for these kids where they don’t get attacked by spirits all the time

100. Six more weeks of winter

Tomorrow: Our Ignorance and Folly.

P.S. Cody Schell went and put together an amazing video of alternate endings for this episode. Thanks, Cody!

Also, if you like the new Twin Peaks, you should check out his incredible Twin Peaks: Once in a Lifetime video.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Sebastian makes some mistakes when he’s playing the carousel theme on the piano — he hits a lot of wrong notes at the end of act 3, when Julia thinks, “It’s the same music that Barnabas and I heard in 1995!” It’s hard to know how she can tell.

Julia rattles a cup when she’s trying to pour tea for Sebastian.

In act 4, when the scene changes from Julia and Stokes in the foyer to David’s room, we can hear David and Hallie running from one set to the other. When they enter, they’re both a little out of breath.

Tomorrow: Our Ignorance and Folly.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

86 thoughts on “Episode 1084: 100 Things That I Would Like David and Hallie to See When They Open the Playroom Door, in No Particular Order

  1. Tuxedoed Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, exchanging the following quips:
    Dick: You bet your sweet Bippy!
    Dan: I’ve been meaning to ask you, what’s a Bippy?
    Dick: A baby Bip!
    Dan: What’s a Bip?
    Dick: A big Bippy!

  2. “Violet Welles and Robert Costello, they’re back and they’re sorry and they won’t leave us ever again.”

    That’s the one I’d really like to happen.

    1. Except that I’d make it more than ELEVEN months, and I’d hear it from President Sanders.
      Or maybe even President Stein.

  3. A staircase to Llanfair, 1970. In the next Dark Shadows to Live arc, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard becomes Mrs. Victor Lord. Larry Wolek gets a job at Wyncliff Sanitarium, questions Julia Hoffman’s medical competence and thereby gets her medical license revoked. Niki Smith becomes David and Hallie’s new governess after Maggie is carted off to be cared for by Larry at the aforementioned Wyncliff and Niki seduces both Roger Collins and Willie Loomis. Mrs. Johnson, tired of being the Collinwood doormat, moves into Ina Hopkins boarding house and starts a romance with kindly Dr. Jim Craig. Llanview Hospital resident Dorian Cramer becomes enamored with Barnabas and she becomes his new lovelorn sidekick with medical expertise after Julia becomes disgraced. They travel to the year 1620 to stop Count Petofi from preventing Collinwood from ever being built by Isaac Collins. Carolyn Stoddard gets a job as an actress on the soap Fraternity Row but incurs the wrath of Megan Gordon and Spring Skye who are very jealous of her immediate popularity. Julia and Maggie at Wyncliff go deeper and deeper into psychoses as they keep mistaking their physician Dr. Larry Wolek for the ghost Gerard Stiles. It is discovered that Chris Jennings has been cured of his lycanthropy and has been working at the Llanview Banner for the past 18 months, saner and hotter than ever. Quentin Collins rescues Karen Wolek from the clutches of Marco Dane’s ring of prostitution and they fall in love. Hallie gets trapped in Eterna and is never seen again. Wanda Wolek gets a job at the Collinsport Diner.

    1. I promise this is the truth: I was about to post that when they open the door, they see Victoria Lord! LOL.

    2. I love this! I so wanted Dark Shadows to be saved from cancellation, and truly felt that becoming more of a traditional soap opera might have worked. Look at the wonderful characters with great possibilities.

      1. They were actually going in that direction with 1841 PT. They really dialed the supernatural back — just ghosts and a curse. No vampires, witches, werewolves, zombies, phoenixes.

        The biggest storyline was a classic regular soap one with the Morgan/Catherine/Bramwell/Daphne romance triangles. And someone even died of natural causes!

        I know a lot of people said and will say on this blog that it was terrible, but there were moments that worked very well for me.

        1. For me, the “terrible” thing about 1841 PT is that it had absolutely no connection to the anchor characters of the present time. Not even any relation to those in real time 1840. Now, if they’d taken that story and played it out with real time characters, and maybe in the present time – not easy, I know – I probably would have liked it.

          1. This was when, for me anyway, Dark Shadows stopped being Dark Shadows. Without the “anchor” characters, (Barnabas, Angelique, and third in line, Julia) it felt like Dr. Who without Dr. Who. I only recently saw these episodes, when they originally aired, I was in high school and had gotten an after school job. I hated not being able to watch DS any more at the time, it was cancelled a few months later. Now, having finally seen them, my reaction is that I really didn’t miss much. This was a sad end for a series that was so popular at its peak-and no wonder it ended. The last episode was completely lame too.

        2. I liked 1841 PT, too. I especially admired Jonathan’s new hairstyle. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

        3. 1841 sucked. There is only one episode where Julia cracks on Catherine and Bramwell with their selfish asses. I wont even watch re-runs of 1841.

      2. DARK SHADOWS was at its best when it balanced traditional soap opera tropes (character-driven stories) with its “Spook Show” plots. With the arguable exception of the Quentin’s ghost storyline, they only achieved this with their stories set in the past (1795, 1897, and 1840), which are the ones I rewatch the most.

  4. A device that switches off the disguise Hallie is wearing, revealing her to be Amy instead. Puberty happens and teenage David gets a storyline befitting a teenager, love.

    Kathy really got the short end of the stake, one possession storyline (distress and idiot ball alert!), and bit roles in 1840 and 1841 PT. At least Amy was introduced independently of Collinwood and had the touching sibling relationship with Chris. She even found her way to Collinwood by herself and triggered the Quentin’s Ghost storyline. Meanwhile Hallie is just there and there’s no perceptible trigger for Gerard. It could at least have been a retroactive in story thing, where Barnabas and Julia do 1995, 1840 and 1971 instead of 1995, 1970 and 1840. They fail in 1840 to stop Gerard but hinder him, setting up his final destruction in 1971. The family curse is broken and we don’t have negated timelines other than 1995 to worry about. We get the trigger for Gerard in 1970 and no Roxanne in 1971, win win win

    1. Or the Jeb & Carolyn Hawkes Revue – complete with their back up dancers, the Jebettes.
      Okay – who would be in the Jebettes? Maggie, Vicky and…Julia?

        1. Good call! But, I’d love to see Dr. Lang, Roger and Adam as Julia’s back up dancers. Sandor could play the tambourine when she does “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”

    2. Hi, Prisoner. Or try this: Drink about 8 cups of coffee. Then imagine Carolyn (or Nancy Barrett) singing “Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Cheap” (~1971) written by Lally Stott with lyrics of “… Where’s your mama gone? … Where’s your poppa gone?” which we can dedicate of course to orphan Hallie Stokes (link below).

    3. Hi, Prisoner. Or try this: Drink about 8 cups of coffee. Then imagine Carolyn (or Nancy Barrett) singing “Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Cheap” (~1971) written by Lally Stott with lyrics of “… Where’s your mama gone? … Where’s your poppa gone?” which we can dedicate of course to orphan Hallie Stokes (link below).

  5. In (an admittedly feeble) defense of Kathy Cody;
    She is quite pretty, when she isn’t making actyfaces –
    She (and David Henesy) are being given absolutely DREADFUL lines, and doing the best possible job with that. Unfortunately, she’s coming off as “one-note” (and Henesy is coming off as whining). In an odd way, it seems like the writers are making lines that Sabrina should be reading…
    But she needs to STOP using David’s name in every other line!

    The playroom is becoming a sort of “Dream Curse”, as each time the door is opened we see some new (but not all that frightening) thing. But as an inverse, the children CAN’T seem to tell anyone about it. (I had actually hoped that Rose Cottage would be a kind of “Geezenstacks” plot, but guess not.)

    1. Her first episode with dialogue (#1071) was crashingly awful, but after that she adapts to the Dark Shadows house style of acting. She isn’t great and suffers by comparison with Denise Nickerson, but she’s no worse than any number of others.

    2. I’ve said earlier that her main problem is she’s being asked to act at least six years younger than her clear, chronological age. She’s not nine!

      If they were both allowed to be scared young teens rather than scared kids the storyline would be a lot better–just like how with Quentin it was a metaphor for child abuse and how you feel you won’t be believed, this one could be kids who are just starting to grasp grown up love and sexuality becoming embroiled as witnesses in a toxic love relationship that they don’t have the years or emotional strength to handle.

  6. #46 would work better with walnuts, à la The Dick van Dyke Show. Carolyn could come sliding out on them like Mary Tyler Moore.

    1. When they burned the dolls I was expecting David to say, hang on, we’ll call my mom. She’ll know what to do!

  7. Off the subject but on tonight’s episode of Outlander set in December 1968 one of the characters is enthralled watching Dark Shadows. It’s the episode in which Vickie has returned with Peter back to the past and Julia is is trying to get Barnabas out of his funk. The character also mentions the other plotlines of that time including Elizabeth’s fear of being buried alive and the werewolf.

    1. I saw that, too. One time traveling show mentioned inside another time traveling show. I have read the Outlander books, and Dark Shadows was never mentioned in it. It took me quite by surprise.

      1. It’s funny but Vicki’s time travelling is coincidentally similar to that of the Claire’s. I like the fact that the screen writer was very accurate with the episode’s original airing.

          1. Kind of the same thing here: I’ve been watching “Gilmore Girls” at the same time as “Dark Shadows.”

            On one episode, the character of Sukie St. James was sneaking off into one of the rooms every day to take a “Dark Shadows” break. She was watching it during the Maggie kidnapping.

            Too bad they didn’t make a Sukie Forbes comment!

    2. That reminds me of the section in Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice where they’re all sitting around stoned, mesmerized by a 1970 PT episode of Dark Shadows. Even the DOG is enthralled!

    3. Nerdy me looked up the episode number: 651 and its original air date was Dec. 23, 1968. This Outlander episode took place in 1968 during the Christmas season, so Roger and Breanna were actually watching this DS episode on the date that it originally aired. How wicked awesome is that?

        1. I was just watching on of my favorite MST3Ks, THE DEVIL DOLL. About 2/3 of the way in, the movie cuts to the exterior of a big house with a stone facade. The heckle track says, “Meanwhile, on the set of DARK SHADOWS…”

  8. Then the reason why Julia doesn’t feel Gerard’s presence very strongly is because he’s very, very tiny and living in a dollhouse?
    Julia comes into the drawing room with the tea, and gets totally “forthright” (as she puts it) that Sebastian knows something he’s not telling because he’s plinking the carousel tune on the piano (well, almost). I’ll guess that Tiny Gerard is affecting her – Our Julia would have been more subtle:

    1) Appealing to him again in the name of the children and their safety.
    2) “I understand that crystals are often used in your work, Mr. Shaw; I have one here that I’d like you to see. Lovely, isn’t it? Look how it refracts the light, keep looking…”
    3) “Do you take anything in your tea, Mr. Shaw?” (Close up of Julia’s hand as she drops a sodium pentathol tablet into the teacup.) “I think you’ll enjoy this blend. A bit bitter at first, but very soothing.”

    No wonder she’s not going to figure this out until too late.

  9. –Amadeus Collins! “You MUST testify!”
    –Oscar Collins!!!
    –Count Petofi, crawling around on the floor, feeling around for his glasses
    –The secret magic number of the universe!!!
    –“…Uh, hello, children… Carl Kolchak, INS news service… I’ve been hearing rumors about…”
    –Raxl and Quito!!!
    –Allen Ludden and Password!!!

    And, finally:

    –Dr. Julius Hoffman!!!

    1. …I forgot Sapphire and Steel. My wife says that’s silly because practically no one knows who Sapphire and Steel are, but I have faith that someone else might know… and they specialize in houses like Collinwood…

  10. Carol Anne’s room from Poltergeist, with all the toys flying around (AND Raggedy Ann and the clown doll gettin’ bizzay over by the closet door). None of that “carousel and dollhouse with ghosts quietly reading a book” garbage. If there’s gonna be a haunted playroom, let’s see a haunted playroom!

  11. “there’s two independent story threads”

    That should be “There are” or “there’re”

    I’ve noticed this grammatical problem often on the blog, so I figured I’d point it out. 🙂

  12. My preferences:

    #31 – Hallie falls to her knees and screams “Damn them all to Hell!’

    #89 – Fred Astaire is dancing up the wall and across the ceiling.

    #94 – Roger Davis is doing something he thinks is funny but nobody is laughing except Lara Parker.

    #101 – Barnabas, sporting a goatee, holds out his hand and says “David, your agonizer please.”

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