Episode 1099: Damsel of the Damned

“You know, there’s enough weird stuff going around on this house without you two spookin’ around.”

The spirits that live in the rafters of Collinwood have been more uppity than usual lately. The children of this haunted house, possessed by the ghosts of previous children, have been conducting secret chalk-and-candle rituals in the small hours, trying to bring even more ghosts into the house, and then those ghosts are going to want a turn. This is why everybody talks about immigration reform.

“We could be so happy if Daphne was here with us,” says one of the dreamers. “This house is so different.”

“It’s the same house we once knew,” says the other.

“Oh, no, it’s so strange, so ugly,” says the first. “Do you remember how it used to be, with the candles, and the sound of the spinnet?”

So that’s where I draw the line, really. Nobody asked these people to move in. If they’re not interested in participating in our century, then they can feel free to go back to whatever hell realm they crawled out of.

The sound of the spinnet. I mean, honestly.

But I have to admit: these kids are good at summoning rituals. Out of a clear blue sky, they’ve reincarnated an entire human being, with arms and legs and a dress and a hairstyle and everything. They say that matter can’t be created or destroyed, so I suppose Heaven must be missing an angel.

This is Daphne Harridge, formerly the governess at Collinwood, back in 1840 when David and Hallie were called Tad and Carrie. Daphne was clearly a very efficient governess, and she instilled in her charges the kind of obsessive loyalty that you usually see in doomsday cults, violent dictatorships and Taylor Swift fan forums. Literally the only thing that these kids talk about is how much they want to see Daphne, and they have no other interests or concerns. Apparently their family members didn’t make much of an impression.

So the kids have essentially been doing a long-form public service announcement for the benefit of the audience about how great it’s going to be when Daphne shows up, and now we get to see if she lives up to her advance press.

Well, to start with, she loses a couple points on poise; she can hardly stand up or string a sentence together. The kids have to take her by the elbows and lead her offstage like she’s James Brown singing “Please, Please, Please”, except she just got here so I don’t know what she’s so tired for.

Collapsing into a chair, she says “No one must know” a bunch of times, with special emphasis when she looks at David Selby’s headshot, which someone’s artfully framed and placed on an occasional table for this very occasion. The kids start drifting into an E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial fantasy, where they’re going to hide her in the playroom and feed her Eggos and Reese’s Pieces until they think of a decent step two.

“Gerard will decide,” she explains, referring to her abusive deceased boyfriend who likes to violently punish women and children for imaginary slights and still gets to be in charge of the afterlife, because as far as she’s concerned it’s 1840 and there’s no such thing as hashtags.

Then they hear somebody coming in the front door, so the kids stuff Daphne behind the drapes and leave her there for the next five minutes, and if anybody thinks they have a better way to introduce a new character, then they’re welcome to start their own soap opera. This one has it handled.

So this is Kate Jackson! which is very exciting if you’re reading this post in the fall of 1976 or after, because she’s only regular cast member on Dark Shadows who becomes household-name famous after the show ends. For Joan Bennett, the show is post-Hollywood fame; for Jonathan Frid and David Selby, Dark Shadows is the peak; but for Kate Jackson, this is the humble beginning of a career that’s about to take off.

After Dark Shadows and the movie sequel, Kate moved to nighttime TV as a supporting cast member on The Rookies, an ABC cop show where she played Jill Danko, the wife of one of the cops. She was very well-liked in the role, and after a while they started doing Jill-centric episodes, where she gets shot or kidnapped or stalked by a former lover or taken hostage in a prison riot or taken hostage by a professional assassin or taken hostage at the hospital where she works. Jill got taken hostage a lot more than the national average; she was good at it.

Then Kate was cast in Charlie’s Angels, an ABC show about three beautiful female detectives who worked for a mysterious millionaire who only spoke to them over a speakerphone, for reasons that were never explained in any way. Each week, the “Angels” were sent to work undercover as cocktail waitresses, beauty pageant contestants, fashion models, showgirls, prostitutes, roller derby girls, massage parlor employees and so on — and they’d go undetected, because nobody would expect that these pretty young girls were actually skilled operatives. Also, they wore bikinis a lot.

Charlie’s Angels was the icon of a particularly silly strain of disposable seventies TV, and people loved it and hated it in equal measure. Critics invented the phrase “jiggle show” just to describe it, and if you ask anybody for another example of a jiggle show, they’ll hem and haw until you remind them about Baywatch, and then they’ll say right, Baywatch, and then they’ll start talking about something else. But it was crazy popular at the time, hitting the top 10 and staying there for the first three seasons, making Kate and her costars Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Ladd into instant worldwide TV stars.

Kate left the show after a few years and appeared in a string of not-very-memorable movies, but she had another hit in the mid-80s with Scarecrow and Mrs. King, another show about how nobody suspects that Kate Jackson would work in law enforcement.

The reason why I’m jumping ahead in her history like this is that it’s hard for me to step back and look at her objectively, without thinking about the star she’s about to become. I grew up in the 70s, when Charlie’s Angels was a big deal, and I didn’t get to actually see Kate on Dark Shadows until they started showing her episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel in the 90s. So for me, this feels like a Charlie’s Angels crossover, with Sabrina going undercover as a dead governess.

And oh, look how beautiful she is. All worried and menaced, with that hair and that dress, and a charming Alabama twang in her voice as she pleads with her invisible boyfriend to not fly off the handle and start burning things until she’s had a minute to try and execute their hairbrained plan. This is high-quality damsel in distress.

And she’s got a nice little love triangle all set up for her, right out of the box. She thinks she’s in love with Quentin, because she thinks he looks like his identical grand-uncle Quentin, who she used to know back in the day. But she’s also got these mob connections, and she thinks that if she appeases Gerard, then she can stop him from doing something terrible and destructive long enough to do whatever terrible and destructive thing she’d rather be doing instead. “Relationship status: it’s complicated” doesn’t even cover it; this is one more wrinkle away from incomprehensible.

But they look good together, you have to give them that. I mean, Quentin looks good with anyone, but even more so when he’s got a love interest who’s both pretty and an actual actress.

And it’s a doomed romance, which is great, because it’s been a while and we can always use another one. The tragedy here is that he doesn’t realize they’re on opposite sides of the war.

She tells him that she can’t be with him — well, first she kisses him for a while, and then she tells him — and he looks her in the eyes and says, “Why have you come back here, if not for me?” She just stands there and looks pained.

“Is it for the children?” he asks. “Did you come back for them?” And she tries to look him in the eye, because the answer to that question is yes, but not the children he’s talking about. “You’re going to help us? You’re going to release them, they’ll be David and Hallie again?”

And she can’t say it. She wants to, but how do you explain that your plan is exactly the opposite of that?

So she just goes upstairs to the kids’ room and instantly starts arming the bomb that will destroy Collinwood, and scatter the family to the winds.

Quentin thinks that this is an angel, working undercover to bring the bad guy to justice. She’s actually the fuse, the spark that will bring Gerard, and allow him to explode the show. They make it look pretty, so you’ll let it into your house.

Daphne is a crosstime governess, one of the most dangerous creatures in the universe, and you should not let her anywhere near your family history.

She may have soft brown hair and pretty girl parts, but she is a governess. You need to understand that. She is a governess, and she will destroy everything that you love.

Tomorrow: Gang Aft Agley.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the teaser, Carrie says, “Oh, no, David, it’s so strange, so ugly.” She should have called him Tad. This is a new reprise — she didn’t make that mistake at the end of yesterday’s episode.

In act 2, after Hallie yawns, something falls over in the studio. Then Willie says, “You can bet your bottom dollar I’m gonna tell Barnas about this.”

During the summoning ritual, you can hear someone talking and rustling paper in the studio.


Behind the Scenes:

My favorite prop, the Ralston-Purina lamp, is back on the show today, in the study. We last saw it in June, in the Parallel Time drawing room.

Tomorrow: Gang Aft Agley.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

103 thoughts on “Episode 1099: Damsel of the Damned

  1. THIS IS WHY I LIKE THE BLOG SO MUCH:

    “Daphne was clearly a very efficient governess, and she instilled in her charges the kind of obsessive loyalty that you usually see in doomsday cults, violent dictatorships and Taylor Swift fan forums.”

    Brilliant!

    +++

    Kate Jackson definitely had a lot of charisma. Because the role of Daphne, on paper, isn’t terrible, but it’s not that great either.

    I wonder how differently the course of the show would have gone if she had been cast as Beth. I think might have still been in drama school when that story line was going on.

    1. She should have been cast as Vicki when Alexandra Moltke left the show. (I know, I know – she was still in school, etc., but she would have made an excellent Vicki.)

  2. I vividly of course remember Kate Jackson on both “The Rookies” and “Charlie’s Angels.” I had no idea about how she got her start on DS, so it is a treat to actually see her arrival here and how her character developed. It would also have been so amazing had Jaclyn Smith been chosen as a replacement Vicki (or had Jaclyn chosen to accept the part) — with Jaclyn as Vicki, Vicki would have perhaps transformed and Vicki could have maybe lasted longer on the show or maybe even evolved.

    Kate Jackson has been quoted as saying that her time on DS was great acting training, to take an outlandish situation – i.e. being a ghost or being involved in some kind of supernatural situation – and to make it sound believable, credible. This is a great skill that almost any typical good soap actor will acquire, but DS took making the fantastic/incredible seem believable, credible to whole another realm!

  3. Here she’s saddled with a thankless storyline she’s only just got a speaking role in. There is no plan, just a series of events that in hindsight looks something like a plan if you squint at it. Better than what Barnabas usually comes up with at least. At least in 1840 she will have had a consistent speaking role.

  4. I frigging hated her in some TV Guide article when Charlie’s Angels hit where she said she’d done her time in soaps. Not soaps, bitch. Dark Shadows. Better than anything you’ve done since. Too bad about Kramer vs. Kramer falling through–your first part out of drama school turned out to be your best.

    she sure is purty, though

    1. She did come back for the Dark Shadows Reunion presented by the Museum of Television and Radio (now the Paley Center) at the Director’s Guild in Beverly Hills. I was there and it was a great evening.

      1. Oh, Bob, meant to ask you. Since you were there, Dan Curtis mentions that in addition to the compilation reel that Jim Pierson put together, they would also be showing the first episode “where Barney came out of the box”. Now that couldn’t have been 210 or 211, where it’s all Jason and so forth. So was it 212, when Barnabas presents himself to Elizabeth and as well Vicki, that is, “Miss Victoria”?

        1. Yes, it was the “Miss Victoria” episode.

          I t was great to be there and see everyone, especially Alexandra Moltke and Kate Jackson, who were the only two who stayed for a few minutes to sign autographs.

          The video presentation was way too long and ate up a lot of time that could have been used for Q&A.

          Ironically it was Dan Curtis who made the most factual errors while speaking. Still, it was a wonderful experience.

    2. Now when I got really mad at Kate Jackson was when she appeared as a celebrity contestant on the Dark Shadows replacement: Password!

  5. I have not seen NoDS since its original theatrical release, but at the time Kate Jackson struck me as one of the all-time great distressed damsels, a real strength for the film; of course, I can’t vouch for my teenaged taste–I thought Terry Crawford was moving, too. Now, of course, I’d prefer a feistier and more resilient heroine (paging Nancy Barrett), but Jackson made a career of being pretty and endangered and it never got old.

  6. Carrie sure whines as good as Hallie ever did. But on the upside, she says “David” a lot less. Do I have to start a “Tad” count now? And she pronounces “ugly” as “ugh-uh-lee”, was that a thing in 1840?

    Why is Gerard leaving all the detail work to the children? Usually he’s more of a “hands-on” sort of manager/ghost. But I will give the kids extra points, first try and they’re reconstituting people at a skill level previously only seen in Nicholas Blair. Got to use the right damned people for the right damned job, I guess.

    Oh my GOD!! Quentin did NOT REALLY just check behind ONE DRAPE and say, “No one back here.” I almost punched my screen. At that point he was so close to Daphne that the lilac scent would have knocked him over, and he doesn’t even turn his head?

    That Eau de Lilas perfume Daphne has must be some powerful stuff – 130 years in the grave and she smells springtime fresh. And she’s not a ghost any more, right? So why is that theremin still trailing her?

    Another near-punch on my screen; Quentin tells Daphne he won’t ask any more questions, then LITERALLY THE NEXT THING HE SAYS is a question. Is he not clear on what an interrogative IS?

    Quentin’s passionate grab of Daphne’s head and neck knocks the bow on the right side of her hair off its barrette – it hangs there for most of the scene, dropping lower as Quentin paws her, until Willie interrupts and someone has time to replace it while she’s off camera.

    And while I mention Willie: why did he come downstairs in this episode? I mean I know why dramatically, he had to create conflict and tension (and the script called for Willie to come downstairs, and it earned him a paycheck and his name in the end credits) – but it just seemed badly done. And his character seems to have taken a backward step to the surly “pre-Windcliff” Willie, too. If Barnabas finds out that Loomis left Maggie, even if Mrs. Johnson is there, Willie is in for an old-time cane thrashing…

    And here we are again, one o’clock in the morning, and everyone is up and roaming about Collinwood, every single light in the drawing room is switched on and there are fires blazing in there and in the study – at least the children are in their pa-jay-jays. And incredibly, Quentin does NOT have a booze glass cemented to his hand!

    How does Daphne know which room the children are in? I thought that a different wing of Collinwood was occupied in 1840. Maybe that’s why she was such a good governess. (And is CARRIE remembering the conversation about Victoria’s clothes, or HALLIE? If it’s Hallie, then do the children have access to David and Hallie’s memories? In which case it should be no problem for them to answer questions that only David and Hallie would know.)

    And last (until I think of something else to gripe about), that “magic star” effect appears to be a crumpled ball of aluminum foil. So we have to add Reynolds Wrap to the shopping list if we want to recompose the departed. (Hope Hannaford’s is still open this time of night.)

    1. Ugh uh lee, huh? I bet she also says nucular.
      I’ve smelled the residue in the bottom of a Windsong bottle purchased in the early 70’s that could still knock your socks off. It’s like age is intensifying the scent.

    2. And incredibly, Quentin does NOT have a booze glass cemented to his hand!

      Years ago, I saw the best YouTube DS fanvid ever. I haven’t been able to find it since. These four young people had written and acted out a new 1897 story about Quentin, Magda, Count Petofi,and Pansy Faye. It was brilliantly funny.

      One of the running gags was that Quentin always had a snifter of brandy in his hand, no matter what else he was doing. In one scene, there’s a knock at Petofi’s door; it’s Quentin, glass in hand. Petofi invites him in, shows him to a seat, and says,”Brandy, Mr. Collins?”

      “No thanks,” Quentin replies, “I always carry my own,” and takes a big swig.

  7. For years I could tell Dark Shadows fans that Kate Jackson was the only DS cast member ever to host Saturday Night Live, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt eventually did so, too.

    When I think of examples of 1970’s jiggle shows, ‘Flying High’ comes to mind.

      1. The jiggliest of all 1970’s jiggle shows was “Battle of the Network Stars.” Viewers could ogle jiggly babes from 3 networks (PBS wasn’t invited, it would seem) all in one show instead of spreading their voyeurism out over numerous programs. Even Kathryn Leigh Scott was included, courtesy of her role in “Big Shamus, Little Shamus.”

    1. I know I am weeks behind reading this, but you’ve hit my specialty area of research. 3 DS folks appeared on SNL. One was Harvey Keitel, who was a Blue Whale customer in eps 33-34, so before Danny’s blog. It was one of Harvey’s 1st TV appearances, 2nd only to Hogan’s Heroes. Abe Vigoda also has an uncredited appearance in SNL, Season 22, episode 5.

  8. Jiggle TV, or T&A shows, were most successful under the aegis of Aaron Spelling at the ABC network. The phrase was coined by NBC exec Paul Klein to criticize ABC’s “bad taste” in airing such softcore pornography (ABC was number one in ratings, while NBC was floundering desperately and just short of going off the air).
    I remember at the time that I was very disappointed – despite the glut of beauties in bikinis bouncing about our boob tubes, there was so little male jiggle being exploited. We had to wait for the 80s, with the likes of Tom Selleck and (tragically all too briefly) JonErik Hexum.

        1. I was in college, but the only reason I’d ever tune in to Three’s Company was for John Ritter. He had the combination of being a nice, funny guy plus sexiness.

    1. I never heard a spinet being played during the trip to 1840. Perhaps Barnabas and Julia’s presence altered history and the spinet disappeared. Also: I don’t know why Carrie is mentioning candles. There weren’t that many in 1840 Collinwood. (In fact, they even had electric lights at the beginning of 1840!)

        1. I didn’t mean that I thought electric lights existed in 1840. I meant that the show goofed in not replacing the electric lights at the beginning. In the first few episodes of 1840, they forgot to replace the candelabras on either side of the foyer doorway with candles; they were still the electric light bulbs from 1970. Same way with the chandelier in the foyer; they still had the electric lights burning. This was corrected a few episodes into 1840.

          1. Oh, I see. I didn’t notice those things, just the general studio lighting as regards electric lights. You know, if they had the Old House sets lit the way they were suggested to be, only by candlelight, and especially the Collinwood of 1795, then it really would have been Dark Shadows.

  9. I will note that David Selby did make a bit of a come back In Falcon Crest. He played the snarky, sarcastic, charismatic somewhat evil Richard Channing, who came back to FC to blow up the family for having wronged him i.e. original recipe Quentin in the 20th century. He did a great job and became the lead man in the series after a while.

    1. I never missed an episode of Falcon Crest once David Selby joined the cast. His character, Richard Channing, was the J.R. Ewing of the show. Matter of fact, in a Primetime Soaps Villain throw down, my money would be on Richard.

    2. I agree that David Selby became arguably more famous for Falcon Crest than for Dark Shadows. The viewing figures for successful prime-time shows are significantly higher than for daytime shows (which is one of the reasons it’s called “prime time”). And Falcon Crest was indeed successful. DS had a more devoted, even fanatical following, however, so from that perspective one can make a good case for DS being Selby’s peak. But I wouldn’t. 😉

  10. My sister and I were super into Charlie’s Angel’s,although I think it must have been in syndication by then. I remember my first dresser had Angels trading cards stuck to the fronts of the drawers. I’ve got to say, Sabrina was my least favorite. She was just as smart and beautiful as the others, but that hoarse voice of hers made my throat hurt just listening to it.

    1. I carried my wire notebook pads of Kate, Jaclyn & Farrah with me all through high school – still have them on a shelf someplace. I can’t actually remember a single episode’s plot, but I remember that wonderful soft purr of Jaclyn Smith’s voice; another reason I sat on the fence for as long as I did before, well, you know…and of course, the Farrah notebook was the iconic pinup shot that was everywhere at the time.
      And I liked Sabrina, she was the smart Angel (but had to drive the sensible car), Jaclyn was the beautiful one, and Cheryl Ladd was the cute one. And once Jaclyn left, I stopped watching. I remember there was a HUGE deal when Farrah came back to play Jill for an episode.

    1. I think it does. He was on Falcon Crest much longer than on Dark Shadows. As time has gone on, when I think of David Selby, I think of Richard Channing before I think of Quentin Collins.

  11. That’s an interesting question: Who is bigger in TV culturedom? Quentin Collins or Richard Channing?

    I might go with Quentin. While “Falcon Crest” was nighttime and the role of Richard lasted longer, “Falcon Crest” played fourth fiddle to “Dallas,” “Dynasty” and “Knot’s Landing.” I would venture a lot of people today really couldn’t tell you much about FC.

    I feel like FC doesn’t have the same “stickiness” that DS does.

    It’s really hard to say. I could go either way. But I think it’s easy to say Kate Jackson hit it BIG with “Charlie’s Angels.”

      1. Richard Channing was more like Quentin in 1897 before they neutered his character.

        I would guess that at the time Falcon Crest was originally airing, more people saw the show (and David Selby as Richard) than those who’d watched DS. Primetime has much larger numbers than daytime.

      2. We’ve gotten into the habit of saying Quentin had a hit record, but we mean it as a sort of joke, right? The version of Quentin’s Theme that was a hit was the instrumental version by the Charles Randolph Grean Sound on the Ranwood record label. It wasn’t like David Selby was appearing on American Bandstand, The Music Scene and The Mike Douglas Show, etc. performing his hit. The version on the DS Soundtrack LP rarely got airplay. I didn’t see David Selby perform the song anyplace but Dark Shadows until he did so years later on the Joan Rivers Show.

        I suspect most people hearing Quentin’s Theme on the radio were doing so out of context. There were certainly a lot of people who were familiar with Dark Shadows and knew who Quentin was. The majority just liked the pretty song and probably didn’t even know it had lyrics.

        As a comparable illustration, for 50+ years I’ve been hearing disc jockeys play and announce “Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago.” I’ve never seen that movie; nor do I have any idea who Lara was. I just know it’s a pretty, popular tune.

          1. Great movie. And Lara is certainly a tragic figure in a doomed romance. Tragic figures always make for the best musical themes. 🙂 In fact, before he was “rescued” by Barnabas, I think Quentin was something of a tragic figure.

  12. I think Donna McKechnie also qualifies as a Dark Shadows regular who became a bigger star because of her post-DS career than because of her DS work.

      1. Yeah, and don’t forget John Karlen’s Emmy Award winning turn as Harvey Lacey. Cute as Kate Jackson was on Charlie’s Angels, I just don’t think they are in the same league.

      1. Marsha Mason (whose one-day role on DS is negligible and hardly even counts) got some F&F for a while, too. Well, fame anyway – dunno about the fortune.

  13. Since leaving Dark Shadows, Mitch Ryan’s list of TV and film credits is huge and impressive, but as pointed out above only John Karlen among the regular Dark Shadows players ever won an Emmy post-DS.

    I’d like to weigh in on the Quentin Collins vs. Richard Channing discussion: Channing may have had more exposure, more viewers overall, but Quentin was a generational icon.

    It’s like comparing Lou Reed solo vs. his time in the sixties with the Velvet Underground. Sure, his 1989 album New York may have sold more than all the Velvet Underground albums combined, but if you wanted to introduce someone to Lou Reed’s work, to show what made him so iconic to begin with, you’d give them a listen to that sixties catalogue.

    Dark Shadows is, by far, more iconic for so many more viewers than, say, Falcon Crest because DS harkens back to a younger time for a great many viewers, and also because it was as a show groundbreaking in so many ways, an experiment that could never happen the same way twice; whereas a show like FC could happen anytime, again and again, and would also tend to have an older, more middle-aged audience — and what could possibly be so special, so iconic about middle age, where another night is, well, just another night?

    I mean, would people run home from the office every night just to watch Falcon Crest?

      1. That I don’t know. When I think of those soap names, I think of a Benny Hill skit at the time where he was doing a send-up of the genre and pronounced them as “Knuts Landing, Dall-ass, and Fucon Crest…” 🙂

        1. Should have Wikipedia-ed first; Falcon Crest (from writer Earl Hamner) was on CBS after Dallas, which brought great network ratings. The Dynasty spinoff was The Colbys.

          1. Knots Landing was the Dallas spin-off. Gary and Val, who made a few appearances on Dallas, moved to the new show.

            Falcon Crest was a standalone show. As far as I can recall, they never did crossovers with Dallas.

            And then there’s the already mentioned Colbys spin-off of Dynasty.

            The Colbys was to Dynasty what House of Dark Shadows was to TV Dark Shadows. Killed it.

            1. Knots Landing was a Dallas spin-off, although it was actually created first. The network wanted something featuring richer characters, and so Dallas was born. Gary and Val had very small parts on Dallas (he was the blacksheep brother whom JR had driven away years earlier; Gary and Val’s daughter, Lucy, was being raised by his family). Knots Landing began after Gary and Val reunited and, with an assist from Bobby and Miss Ellie, started life anew on the California cul-de-sac. The two shows would occasionally do crossovers… but that ended the day Pam Ewing woke up to find dead hubby Bobby alive and showering. When Dallas declared the previous disasterous year to have been a dream, Knots Landing separated itself and never really spoke of the Dallas branch of the Ewing family again. Why? Because they had set in motion several plots (including the naming of Valene’s twins, one of whom was named after Gary’s dead brother, Bobby) based on the “death” of Bobby Ewing.

              Falcon Crest had no connection to either of its CBS primetime soap siblings.

    1. I definitely agree on all points. I think I’m just considering Danny’s specific description of DS being the career start for Kate Jackson while a career peak for Selby. One could argue that just like DS is more iconic than Falcon Crest, DS is also more iconic than Charle’s Angels.

      Either way, I presume Selby made far more money during his time on FC than on DS. Same with Mitch Ryan and Dharma and Greg. Not that money’s everything but it pays the bills.

      1. I don’t doubt the money was better in the nighttime than the daytime. Joan Bennett got $333 per episode, because she was the star. In Kathryn Leigh Scott’s novel Dark Passages, the character who lands the job on the daytime soap is amazed and delighted to be getting $250 an episode.

        Then again, there have been all those years in syndication. Each time a syndication package is sold to a TV station or network, the actors get residuals. Then there were all those videotape and DVD releases and reissues. So, in effect, if you appeared in enough episodes, like Selby did, you’d never have to work too hard again, if at all.

        However, I did read somewhere, in one of the official DS books or cast bios, that one day someone from production went round to each cast member with a form to sign, agreeing to forgo any future foreseeable residual payments in the event of syndication, “for charity”. Reportedly, some signed it; some others weren’t there that day.

        So, maybe David Selby did have to work post-DS after all. 🙂

        1. As far as residuals go, I seriously doubt that any of the DS stars made much (if any) money. Back then, the idea of soaps being syndicated for reruns was unheard of, as were DVD/VHS/streaming releases.

          I know for a fact that when The Edge of Night began airing in reruns on the USA network back in ’85, an actor reported earning 7 cents per episode repeats on USA.
          Now the episodes that were syndicated were from started from 1981, ten years after DS had gone off the air. I cannot believe that the DS actors would have gotten a much better deal than the actors from Edge.

          As for the popularity of FC, I couldn’t wait for every Friday night broadcast of the show. For what it’s worth, FC also went south during its last two seasons. The final season was barely watchable.

          I do think that Dark Shadows has more of a cult following than the now-defunct prime time soaps, and probably more people remember DS today than FC. But don’t tell that to the FC fans.

          1. And to tie the whole thread in a nice bow;
            Susan Sullivan, who was on Falcon Crest,
            also appeared on Dharma And Greg with Mitch Ryan,
            and on It’s A Living‘s first season.
            (I tried to tie Kevin Bacon in but was unsuccessful.
            I leave it open for someone else to attempt.)

            1. Susan Sullivan was on Another World – but Kevin Bacon was on Guiding Light, right?
              David Selby and Jane Wyman were great together on FC. Richard Channing was a much more cerebral villain than J.R. It would have been fun to see Richard go up against Abby Ewing – mainly cause she’d try to control him with sex.

            2. Susan Sullivan was on Another World so was Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon’s wife. She went on to better things. They didn’t cross paths, but there is a connection.

          2. I really liked David Selby and Susan Sullivan on FC. The show went downhill after the killed her off. Big Finish reunited Selby and Sullivan in the DS audiobook Panic.

            1. And Susan Sullivan played an unnamed ghost (according to Kathryn Leigh Scott) in the first year. I’m guessing she was either one of the ghosts that terrorized Matthew Morgan in the Old House, or one of the widows haunting Liz.

              In addition to Another World, she also appeared on A World Apart and The Best of Everything, as far as daytime goes.

                1. Okay, I didn’t know exactly which role(s) she played on the show. I do know that Harding “Pete” Lemay, who was the head writer for Another World during its glory years, praised her work on that show.

                  1. Sharp: And that’s high praise. Harding Lemay was very clear about the actors he respected and the ones he didn’t. And he was often right, even if he wasn’t diplomatic.

                    His work on AW was probably the best work done on any soap.

                    I enjoyed reading his book “Eight Years in Another World.”

                    1. William, I enjoyed that book as well, and I never really watched Another World.

                      It amazes me that at the beginning of the book, he was talking about how he was having such financial difficulties, yet when he got a meeting with the execs from Procter & Gamble to give them feedback on all of their shows, he said they were all shit. I don’t know if that was bravery or stupidity. In the end, it worked out for him. I probably would have gone with, “The shows have potential and I think I can help Another World realize that potential.”

                    2. Robert Sharp: I can’t seem to reply to you again, but yeah, that was very interesting the way he just told it like it was. I admired him, but he probably would have been difficult to work with as a breakdown writer. Definitely a micromanager.

        2. I wonder if those agreements to give up residuals for charity would stand up in court. Given the money potentially involved, I would imagine a lawyer could take those apart. I also think the actors’ union would have something to say about that.

          At the only DS convention I attended, I asked the cast at a panel if they received compensation for the VHS releases – I can’t believe I’m that guy, but there it is – and they said yes.

          It wasn’t much (we might have differing views on “much,” but I’m sure it didn’t make anyone wealthy). I was mostly concerned about the fairness issue involved – nobody could have ever imagined in the ’60s owning an entire 5-year run of a TV series. Somebody had to be making money and it was good to know the cast got some of that.

    2. I’ve seen Mitch Ryan in and around LA several times. Once when I was at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. I said to him, “Well hello Mitch Ryan. I remember you as Burke Devlin on Dark Shadows.” I remembered that he didn’t have a happy parting from the show, so I quickly added, “And many, many other things.” But he was okay with it, he said, “Yeah, that’s (Dark Shadows) what started it all.” Nice guy.

      1. Interesting that he’d say it like that, since he’d already been around a few years in TV by the time he was on Dark Shadows. I have a DVD set for season 1 of The Defenders, where he attacks “Captain Kirk” in one episode. Also in that scene was the first Matthew Morgan, George Mitchell (as the judge).

        1. How cool. This ties together three of my favorite horror/sci-fi genre shows: Dark Shadows (Mitch Ryan), The Outer Limits (William Shatner), and Journey to the Unknown (Robert Reed).

        2. He was on the movie “Thunder Road”, w/Robert Mitchum, from what I have read! And that was in the late 50’s or early 60’s, a number of years before “Dark Shadows”!

  14. Danny mentioned seeing Kate Jackson’s DS episodes for the first time on Sci-FI & I’m reminded of how so many of those episodes hadn’t been seen since their original airing. I’m really grateful to Sci-Fi for airing the show in its entirety for the better part of a decade — and it only cost you a cable subscription.

    1. Stephen, I remember when Video West in Studio City (CA) stocked the shelves with the entire series, I was really happy to get to see the episodes being discussed now, as well as 1840. While I think the storyline choices made at this point were not the best, it was great to see the episodes again since the syndication packages had never included the last year of the show.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s