Episode 1121: Quentuplets

“There was one night I concentrated very hard, and tried to reach you.”

So Quentin is still on Dark Shadows, which is a huge surprise to everyone except the people who watch Dark Shadows. There’s always a Quentin, and there always will be, even after there isn’t a Barnabas anymore. And decades later, when the show turns into an audio download, you click play, and what do you hear? Quentin. The guy has a portrait; there’s nothing you can do.

So this I guess is Quentin number three, who’s the identical great-uncle of the original Quentin, or the other way around, if you want to be strictly chronological about it. Number two was the Parallel Time Quentin, and number four is the Parallel Time Quentin of number three, and then there’s Quentin number five in Night of Dark Shadows, and on and on, tumbling through time in endless iterations. It’s Quentins, all the way down.

It’s an awkward time to see him again, of course, especially for ill-fated fortune hunter Gerard Stiles, the man of a thousand sneers, who just married Quentin’s rich widow about fifteen minutes before it turned out she wasn’t a widow anymore. Quentin’s great-uncle Quentin was lost at sea, but apparently they found him again, and he walked all the way home from Brazil, which is more than four thousand miles away if you don’t mind swimming a lot of the time.

So Gerard and Samantha are post-nuptially preening when the door opens, and all of a sudden there’s Quentin, out of a clear blue sky and too late to make a difference. Ta-dah!

The ta-dah! moment is usually the province of Angelique, who comes back from the dead at least a couple times a year, but really any of the four major characters can create a stir just by opening the door and walking into the room unexpectedly. It’s part of the job description for the kaiju.

Startled and emotionally confused, Samantha runs for cover, and Quentin charges after her, harrying her halfway up the stairs. “Oh, so that’s how you looked forward to my homecoming!” he shouts petulantly, so great, it’s one of those. I was worried about that.

I was hoping this would be one of the fun Quentins, like the real Quentin from 1897, who drinks and flirts and schemes to get the family money, the charming con artist we fell in love with eighteen months ago. But it turns out that he’s the other kind of Quentin, the kind that already has all the family money, so he spends his time stomping around and being impatient with women.

We first ran into this subgenus in Parallel Time, and overall they’re depressing. The bossy Quentins are nice to look at, cause they’re David Selby, and every once in a while they relax and you get a little romance moment that you can add to your internal collection of Quentin fantasy scenes, but mostly they just scowl and jump to conclusions, which is unhelpful.

There’s one nice Quentinish moment in this episode, when Gerard admits that he just married Samantha this afternoon, and instead of exploding or smacking the guy in the face, Quentin bursts into a delighted laugh.

“Quentin!” Gerard cries, astonished, and that’s exactly what Quentin should be like all the time, astonishing. Having surprising reactions to things is one of Quentin’s major assets.

He follows it by vaulting up the stairs two at a time, and declaring, “It has become a comedy! I thought when the storm came, it would all end up in a great tragedy, but no, fooled again.” He offers Gerard a cheery “Congratulations!” and then he’s gone, off to locate his wanton wife.

So that’s a lot of fun, but it also underlines a major flaw with these sub-Quentins: they’re not very good at being in love with people. The original Quentin was a three-ring tragic romance flea circus; he could have scenes with several different girlfriends in the same episode, and each of those relationships would be epic and iconic. Each one was the one, and if you wanted to follow along, you had to accept that a guy like Quentin could have multiple simultaneous destinies. Not that there are a lot of guys like Quentin, unfortunately, including this one.

“You must hate me,” Samantha says, and he just shakes his head and says no. “Don’t pretend, Quentin,” she continues, and he sighs, he actually looks her in the face and sighs. “I never pretend,” he says, and then he looks at her like he’s trying to figure out how to extricate himself and get back downstairs to put a dent in the brandy.

“I can’t believe it, why didn’t you write?” she asks.

“I did,” he says, and sighs again. “From Brazil, Chile — if the letters didn’t get here, then you can blame the towns I was passing through.”

“There must have been some way you could have let us know!” she cries, and all of a sudden, we’re discussing the South American postal service. Also, if you’re heading from Brazil to the United States, then Chile is in exactly the wrong direction. What were they playing at, down there? Did nobody in the party hablo Brazilian, or were they just too embarassed to ask for directions?

He says some words about how one night he tried to contact her via thought transference, and he thought he had, but apparently he connected with the aura of the lady next door, because Samantha didn’t feel a thing.

“You always fall back on the occult, don’t you?” she says, which doesn’t really mean anything, and by the way, look how badly this shot is framed. It looks like the set dresser just got a new four-poster bed, and they asked the director to make sure to feature it. The director couldn’t think of anything better to point the camera at, so she said sure, as long as the actors are in the shot somewhere, and now it’s on television.

But you have to spice up a scene with Samantha somehow, because she’s super bland and kind of a drip. She’s been on the show for three weeks now, and I can’t remember a single interesting acting choice. She’s fine, and she does whatever’s on the page, but Gerard and Gabriel have been doing all the heavy lifting when they’ve had scenes with her.

So it’s not surprising that Quentin is so nonchalant about whether they’re still married; he hardly seems to care one way or the other, and neither do I. If the show wants me to invest in this relationship, then they need to make the first move; I can’t do it all from this direction.

“Are you ready to talk about us?” Quentin asks, and she replies, “Are you?” And then he sighs, and turns away, and starts talking about something else.

So I know this is just my personal taste, but I think Quentin has way more of a spark with Gerard than he has with his wife. If this was a normal soap opera chemistry test, where they put a male character next to a female character to see if it’s interesting, then this would be an unenthusiastic dud.

“You married Gerard,” he sighs. “You must have a feeling for him.”

“But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a feeling for you,” she counters, and he says, “I know that,” and then they just look at each other, and as for me, I don’t have a feeling for either of them.

So I don’t know, call me old-fashioned, but I liked Quentin better when he wanted to have sex with everybody in the world, including me. If he’s finally run up against the one woman in Christendom who bores him so much that he runs out of energy halfway through a conversation, then I say let’s cut our losses, get him back downstairs, give him the keys to the drinks cabinet, and keep him occupied while we dash out for a couple of gypsies and a treasure map. I mean, the guy’s a Quentin, there’s got to be something we can do with him.

Tomorrow: The Lost World.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

When Quentin reaches Samantha in the upstairs hall, she says, “Quentin! Where is Tad? Something’s happened! You lied to me!” What is she talking about?

Gerard cries, “What happened to those psychic — psychic — why didn’t I have a premonition?”


Behind the Scenes:

A very exciting thing (for me) in this episode: in Trask’s chapel, we see the Ralston-Purina lampshade on a lamp hanging from the ceiling. It was last seen in September, in the Collinwood study.


Footnote:

Great news for folks who have Amazon Prime: every episode of Dark Shadows is now available for streaming, free with your Prime subscription!

Tomorrow: The Lost World.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

70 thoughts on “Episode 1121: Quentuplets

  1. 1) 1897 Quentin. He’s funny, charming and witty, and is just a well written character.
    2) 1840 Quentin. His interest in the occult was the driving force of the storyline, including building the Stairway Through Time. When he wasn’t angry he was a decent character.
    3) 1970 Quentin (Grant Douglas onward). Didn’t do much.
    4) 1970 PT Quentin. Unless angry he’s emotionally absent and waits until the very end to talk things out with Parallel Maggie.
    5) 1841 PT Quentin. Just isn’t memorable for any reason.

    1. I tend to think of 1969 Ghost Quentin as a separate character from 1897 Quentin. Maybe it’s just because he didn’t talk, but it always felt to me like he had his own, distinct personality.

      1. And should there be a(n unseen) Quentin who fathered 1897 Quentin?
        In the ‘lost generation’ after 1840s but before 1890s?

        (It is absolutely AMAZING how closely each succeeding
        group of Collinses resemble the last, n’est-ce-pas?)

    2. I was around for the original broadcast of the 1841 PT storyline, but I honestly don’t remember Quentin being part of it. Also bought and watched the 1841 PT videotapes back in the mid-90s but STILL don’t recall Quentin from that storyline. Weird.

      1. I don’t remember him being in it at all either, so you are definitely not alone. So I checked Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia David Selby didn’t appear during the last 3 weeks of DS. His last episode is 1230, the show ended with episode 1245. The full switch to 1841 PT was in episode 1186. Selby wasn’t in almost half of the storyline and he missed the whole back half of it.

        1. He was largely there for the Lottery, easily the most boring part of 1841 PT (ages spent deciding who would spend a night in the Room).

          1. And ending for the show.
            Pregnant Catherine Harriage sleeps in the room.
            Is visited by Diablos in a dream, which reveals to us that everyone in the cast has wronged her, and he gives her The Power.
            She comes out looking better than ever. But her pregnancy is accelerated.
            Her power is the Kiss of Death. She cuts through the cast like a buzz saw.
            As each cast member gets kissed, they fall asleep to have the dream of how they wronged her, then die horrifically in the dream, and never wake again.
            She gets bigger by the day, and Clarice Blackburn is her only friend.

            At the end, Clarice delivers the baby, and Catherine kisses the baby, but Catherine dies instead. In her dream, Diablos thanks her.

            Clarice sees the dream, awake, and picks up the baby, the first time we see an actual baby on the show.

            And it is smiling.

            Fade to

            Credits.

          1. That explains a LOT. I remember thinking that Quentin just kind of dropped off the face of the earth in 1841PT. I couldn’t figure out why, but being sick explains it. I had an appendicitis operation and I was out for a couple of weeks, so it tracks with the time he was off.

          1. I can remember Morgan falling off the roof. I know back in 1970 PT Parangaleique pushed Will out the window. 1841 PT Quentin wasn’t in the final episode as David Shelby has taken ill and the show was finished by the time he’d recovered.

  2. It happens so often, the creators don’t remember what they did. ” What’s Quentin like? Oh he’s Mr. Darcy, sometimes nice, but mostly a dick.”

    I wonder if Violet Well’s was mostly responsible for 1897 Quentin, and when she left so did the Quentin we all loved.

  3. I found your blog while searching for descriptions of Series 25 (which is not available on Netflix) and was thrilled to discover that the episodes were available on Amazon, so thanks for that. And then I started reading . . . I began watching DS in 1966–a morose teen-ager running home from junior high to faithfully watch a moody Gothic soap opera (even the early stuff). It’s been wonderful to revisit the episodes through your entertaining blog. Thanks for your wit and diligence!

  4. 5) 1841 PT Quentin. Just isn’t memorable for any reason.

    Perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly, but isn’t 1841 PT Quentin an ex-convict? He spent time in prison after killing a dude in a bar fight for daring to talk trash about the Collins family. A Quentin who belongs in a Johnny Cash song is a pretty cool concept.

  5. I do think that losing KLS shows in this storyline. If, as posited, she was slated for the role of Samantha, I think Samantha have worked better as a character. The audience would have had a predisposed bias toward her, since they knew an liked previous KLS characters. I don’t know what spin KLS would have put on Samantha, but it might have given her more oomph. Mostly I remember Samantha being unmemorable and mostly being a big old stumbling block to the romance of Quentin and Daphne. IIR, she also loses points when she finds the witchcraft charges against Quentin to be believable, although when you’re dealing with a guy who tells you he tried to let you know he was alive through mental telepathy, it wasn’t that much of a stretch on her part.

    1. Scott is a good actress, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to accept her as the mother of a thirteen-year-old. Most of the characters she played on DS look barely out of their own teen years.

      1. That’s a good point. She probably would have looked like Tad’s older sister. I have to squint to believe that Quentin is old enough to be Tad’s father. A KLS Samantha may have been a step too far.

    2. I like the Samantha character and enjoy Virginia Vestoff in the role. Much as I’d love to have KLS stay on the show, I don’t know if I could stand to watch Quentin kick her around again.

  6. Violet Welles was responsible for writing into character…..the rest were writing into the show, as in blocking, angles, actors. Scenes.

    She was not technical in her imagining.

    She brought life.

    Too bad that she couldn’t stay, certainly for any kid actor, because the old guy writers
    didn’t have a clue about us 11 year-olds.

    Witness how they wrote David and Amy, Hallie and David…..the writers were awful, at best, and we needed something that didn’t make us throw a shoe at the TV.

    I did.

    The David of pre-Barnabas was an actual person, in any kid’s eyes.

    No wonder, he left the show. Notice how he’s not really there in 1840.
    Oh, he’s mentioned a lot, but…….

  7. The moment where Samantha says she has feelings for Quentin, too and he says “I know” is very insightful for me. It communicates – in very few words and intense eye contact – that Quentin and Samantha had a complicated, adult relationship, with all that entails. That exchange makes the emotional explosion that passes between them next completely believeable.
    I do feel sorry for ol’ Samantha that her wedding night has been disrupted!
    Couldn’t Quentin come back from the dead TOMORROW??

    1. It’s easy to see things from Samantha’s perspective. She thinks she’s lost her husband and son, and the survivor of that capsizing is the only person to offer her any sympathy (Flora doesn’t see that deep, Daniel is beyond understanding, Gabriel is being a dick who tried to have her killed and Edith is a doormat). Gerard is the only one to remember her birthday. So she falls for Gerard and just as they’ve married Quentin shows up like a gooseberry. Any repressed feelings of anguish and annoyance come back up and are directed at Quentin. You can see why she wants Tad away from Quentin and Collinwood. As most Quentin’s are likely to do, this one falls for a younger prettier woman (who is hired by Quentin to tutor Tad). Unfortunately Samantha loses sympathy when she goes all Abigail during the witch trial part of the storyline.

  8. OMG Danny – I’m a community college student and I have Amazon Prime so I can get the textbook rentals! Maybe now I CAN actually see all the DS eps! The only problem is, my internet is a bit shaky — being at the “end of the line,” so the AT&T folks tell us, but maybe I can watch a 20-minute ep on the school computers? YAY! Now I can maybe actually see what you are blogging about! There goes my GPA … 😉

    1. I teach at a community college, Tim. More than likely you can watch DS on the computers. There have been occasional breaks that i’ve spent skimming through an episode. Just watch the GPA 🙂

  9. I’ve been reading (and loving) this blog for years, but I haven’t posted in ages. But I’m intrigued by the generally “meh” reaction to Samantha and to Virginia Vestoff’s performance–which I think is one of the strongest in the entire series.

    Of course, everybody reacts to stories and characters differently, but “bland” is about the last word I’d use to describe Samantha, even now, when her character is still being defined. What about her scenes with Gabriel? I LOVE the scene when he comes upon her by the fire and taunts her about early widowhood, and loneliness, and Gerard, and she snaps back that he should basically shut up and remember that he is at her mercy.

    Samantha wasn’t a villain (though later they make a one-dimensional stumbling block for Quentin/Daphne), not really, but she had rage and bitterness, and bite. Other than Julia, multi-faceted, non-supernatural female characters aren’t the norm on DS. And characters of either sex do not have to resort to histrionics to express emotion.

    Quentin & Samantha’s bedroom discussion (not accidentally situated by a bed, if you ask me) is not only powerful but a GREAT example of the kind of soapy, romantic interactions that Danny was lamenting the lack of at the beginning of the 1840 storyline. Quentin isn’t avoiding looking at Samantha because he doesn’t want to have to sex with her, he’s avoiding looking at her because he does want to, but is mature and jaded enough to understand that that doesn’t mean their marriage has somehow fixed itself. Samantha is pissed about Quentin’s mind-reading comment because this is the millionth time she’s heard something like this, and is frustrated and hurt that he reads more meaning into her inability to “feel him” from four thousand miles away than her plaintive and vulnerable request that he tell her that he loves her.

    I love Gerard, in large part because James Storm had SUCH a sexy voice, and think he’s a fun character and story engine, but there’s nothing very complex about him, either now or later. The same can be said, alas, for 1840 Quentin, whom I think would be pretty forgettable if not for being played by David Selby. Obviously just my two cents.

    Hmmm, guess I had a lot to say. Maybe I should post for more often. 😉

    Caroline

    1. Completely agree about Vestoff’s Samantha – she’s very strong and she fights Quentin as an equal. KLS wouldn’t have been one half as compeling in the Samantha role, mainly because we’d already seen Quentin demolish her in 1970 PT.
      I am just so sorry we didn’t get more of those great Quentin & Samantha scenes.

  10. You’re very close with the idea that the rich Quentins are dull and/or annoying while the poor Quentin is charming and fun. But I don’t think it’s the money so much as The Collins Family Name. He’s great as the black sheep, but Quentin makes a terrible upstanding pillar of the community. He’s so bland in 1970 because he’s not doing either, he has no purpose at all. (I always wondered why Quentin couldn’t have been the one to guard Barnabas during the daytime; it’s not like he was doing anything else!)

    1. You’d think Quentin would be busy guarding his own portrait. Where was that thing kept in 1970, anyway? The broom closet?

      1. It was in the Old House attic, wasn’t it? When Quentin gets buried (AGAIN), we get another look at what the old guy should look like. (So if the portrait gets destroyed, THAT’S what Quentin would look like? THAT’D be a killer for his love life…)

        So Quentin could have ‘killed two birds’ by spending days guarding all the secrets in the mansion, and I’m sure if Barnabas had kept a reasonably good supply of brandy, everything would have worked out! (Dependent, of course, on what Quentin’s definition IS of ‘reasonably good’. Perhaps a tank in the cellar?)

        But I’m forgetting dear Daphne’s charms – Quentin was hopelessly mired, he’d never have left Collinwood except to go to Rose Cottage.
        Once you go ghost, your whole life is toast.

        1. Yeah, just so Quentin sticks to daytime guarding – don’t want him swilling brandy around those flaming candelabras or else they’d all be toast!
          I bet Daphne would have followed Quentin to the old house – and so would Ivan Miller and his deconstruction crew. Damn, so many Collins mansions, so few zombie pirates.

          1. Well, if Gerard’s (Ivan’s – er, Zachery – it’s all so confusing) ghost could get to the Old House, I guess Daphne’s ghost could, too. Really, ALL of them need to get out more often. When was the last time Carolyn partied down over at The Blue Whale? Comes to it, when’s the last time we SAW The Blue Whale? Or the Collinsport Inn Coffee Shop? Guess we probably never will again, will we? Now we’re in 1840, then it’ll be PT, then closing time; lots of ‘last time’ coming up. 😦

            1. Too bad there wasn’t a final episode where the actors gathered at the Blue Whale in their most fun incarnation to party like it was 1979! Let’s see, there’d be 1897 Quentin, Pansy Fay, Carl Collins, Nathan Forbes, Magda & Sandor, Roger Collins, Gabriel Collins, Naomi Collins, Jason McGuire, Gerard Stiles (the living, unpossessed version), Nicholas Blair, Mitch Ryan’s Burke Devlin, Angelique from any era. Oh and Lamar Trask – I know that boy could party his ass off after one beer! Those 2 wet blankets Barnabas and Vicky could just stay at the old house, talkin’ about the past.

              1. Just my opinion but I think Judith was Joan Bennett’s best. Fiery, devious, sarcastic. Naomi was just melodrama. And I can’t stand Flora. That voice!

                1. Oh Lord, I meant to say Flora, not Naomi, mainly because Flora was so light hearted and had a taste for sherry. But you’re right Will, Judith would have been the better party guest, snarkily commenting on all the others with spot on accuracy.

                1. I don’t think we should let Jenny have any booze. She’s already crazy enough sober. Don’t want her going after Quentin with the corkscrew.
                  Count Petofi – yes, but I’d prefer him in his guise as possessed Jamison Collins! That was one funny kid!
                  Aristede – he’s got to come, too,for his contagious laugh and smile – he’ll get that party started!

    2. The challenge that Barnabas was always our Barnabas and there could never be PT or past time Barnabas.. es? Barnabasi? Anyway, a version of Barnabas who was human and had grown up in the 20th Century would have been interesting as the “head” of PT Collinwood, with Quentin as the RT transplant who was attempting to solve the larger mysteries going on. Same with 1840. But, alas…

      1. We sort of, kind of did get a Barnabas who wasn’t our Barnabas when we got Bramwell in 1840 PT. I can’t say that went well. It did allow Frid and Lara Parker to explore the actual chemistry between them, without making ME want to throw things at the TV, but other than that, a “normal” Barnabas/Frid as a normal Collins didn’t work in practice, although it sounded good in theory. Or maybe I just don’t like reworks of Wuthering Heights.

        1. The problem is that Frid isn’t believable as Bramwell. Selby, for instance, would have been perfect in the Bramwell/Heathcliff type role.

          Frid’s natural orbit would be closer to the type of roles Louis Edmonds played but once Barnabas broke out as the star of the show, it became impossible to cast Frid as anything but a leading man.

          The dynamic of 1970 PT for instance would make sense more with Frid as an alternate Barnabas, who was master of Collinwood, because that would play more to his strengths. It’s also frankly more believable that he’d have a son Daniel’s age.

          1. That scenario never occurred to me, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense. That would have been awesome, and would have kept Frid from getting bored.

  11. Back in the day, I rooted for Virginia Vestoff just out of musical-comedy fanboy investment in her portrayal of Abigail Adams in 1776. She obviously has intelligence and some gravity. But she’s an odd fit for DS, and I think a lot of the trouble is in the writing.

    To follow the Horn Protocol, Samantha doesn’t make jokes or friends, and plot points are only visited on her–the most telling character trait is that she over-adores and infantilizes her teenage son (which explains the playroom), which isn’t an attractive feature. Stuck between two husbands, she temporizes, but weakly. She shows no real active concern for the feelings of the men, including how Quentin, returning from death, must be taking this unintended betrayal. We don’t even see a glint of mischief or glee in the power she gains over the family or a husband she couldn’t control. She’s an ill-defined and indeterminate character and the actress doesn’t push the role this way or that–In soap opera and romantic-novel terms, she’s a letdown. (And, for what it’s worth, I think KLS could have Kitty Soamesed her way through the role, suggesting some theatricality and subtextual drive. Ah, well.)

    But the problem also lies with the conception of the 1840 story: when DS works best, the supernatural is a heightened expression of character–Angelique’s obsession with Barnabas becomes voodoo magic, Barnabas’s frustration at having lost Josette becomes his Vertigo-like search to recreate her through vampiric thought-control, Quentin’s dog-like irresponsible seductions lead to Magda’s curse and his becoming a literal animal–the soap opera story and supernatural borrowings are one. Here, you’ve got, on one hand, an improbable early romantic novel situation (the lost husband returns from sea to find his wife wed to a fortune-hunter) and, on the other, an out-of-the-blue severed head that’s going to impose itself on the plot for no clear reason. The story lacks a supernatural intensification, and the spooky stuff lacks the added investment of expressing characters we care about. This makes the Samantha triangle feel all the more mired and unpromising. (And Barnabas and Roxane feels like a replay of a song nobody asked for. He’s trying to save the family from Gerard–why doesn’t he bite him? Or kill him? )

    What if the head had possessed Gabriel, become the expression of his jealousies? Or if Gerard, rejected by Samantha, had turned to the head for power to revenge his social-climbing obsessions on the Collinses? It coulda worked.

    1. Or it’s Gerard who brings the head to Collinwood to put the inhabitants under his influence because he’s on the run from someone. Maybe he uses it to stop one of the Collinses, who is investigating his indiscretions and he bites off more than he can chew with it. After Gabriel blackmails Gerard the sordid background is never brought up again, so why not use it for Gerard’s motivations? He uses the head to hide Quentin and Tad away somewhere, get into Collinwood on that sympathy and influence Samantha into marrying him. Quentin shakes off the conditioning and returns, so he has to be disposed of and what better tools to use than Quentin’s occult interests and Samantha’s relationship with Quentin? Bring in Daphne, heighten the latter and there’s revenge.

  12. Now that the Amazon Prime episodes are free, I’ve gone back and started watching 1840 for the first time in at least 10 years. I had forgotten just how good 1840 looked on the male characters! The coats with their wide shoulders and nipped in waists accentuated or created that ideal V shape, and the ruffled shirts send it to expand the chest. I know anyone with hair long enough had those full, lustrous curls. It got me to wondering if Don briscoe’s fine, straight, flyaway hair would have taken a curl. Chris and Tim both had permanent bed-head.

      1. The meaning is clear, and I heartily agree. Typos schmypos.*

        *I’m an editor, so I don’t throw that phrase around lightly!

    1. They probably would have given Don that silly, dorky center-part. But I hope he would have had more ‘pirate-shirt’ type costuming, have him as a Lord Byron type. Or perhaps a rough workingman; hmmn, no, sensitive artist or poet works better, and he could have been Flora’s toyboy. (This thing practically writes itself!)

  13. I never liked Samantha because she was such a wall flower, plus her V-neck dress looked cheap, meaning it looked like wardrobe’s budget ran out when they got to her and gave her a frock with some lack stuck on the collar.

    1. I think Samantha is one of the strongest women on Dark Shadows, right up there with Dr. Julia Hoffman. She’d have to be strong to put up with all the crap they rained down on her. She’s married to a nonrepentant skirt chaser who when he isn’t in the basement playing with his Mr. Wizard Occult kit is off getting her only child drowned. In herabject grief, she’s taken advantage of by her husband’s best friend, a shameless con man, while her brother in law is conspiring to have her murdered. No sooner is she duped into marriage by her husband’s best pal, her dead husband shows up alive and well, stating that he “tried” to contact her one night to let her know he and her child were alive by thinking about it REAL hard. And no, he couldn’t have sent her a letter cause someone else was using the pencil (thank you, Dorothy Parker). Then, just when Samantha thinks she can’t stand any more, her beloved sister is attacked by her husband’s cousin, the family vampire.
      No, I don’t think Samantha is a wall flower. She has to be strong as steel to survive in that nut house.

      1. Well said! The only thing that bugs me about Samantha is that her ringlets don’t match the rest of her hair, but she can’t help the wig budget.

        1. I don’t mind the mismatched ringlets as much as the “pile-o-hair” on top. It tends to make her face look longer and thinner, and is not attractive at all.

      2. I agree. That lady from the 1840s could have taught the ladies of the liberated 1960s a thing or two or three about standing up for yourself too.

        I like Samantha and Virginia Vestoff.

  14. Everyone looks better with their hair down. Even Lara, and she did it for maybe two eps.
    I’m thinking that it was hot in there, all the time, under those lights.

    Hair up was the rule, it seems.

    Not because it was better for camera angles, although that’s reasonable.

    But they are wearing these very warm garments(wow, I have never said the word garments in real life!).

    Umm, costumes. You’ve got to let the heat out somewhere or feel feverish. The neck is the best place for that, I know, believe me.

    The neck. Well.

    Isn’t that CONVENIENT?

    But, hair down….I remember being shocked, in a good way, when we saw it, like a few times….Joan Bennett was glorious early on, that way. Nancy Barrett was always. Moltke as well, and Kate Jackson…but most pulled it back behind the ears, and we’ll say it was for camera angles.

    As for real shock, again, in a good way, there was at least one ep where Clarice Blackburn shows up with hair down, and halfway down her back. Wig? No.

    Maybe, have a vote, for Hair Down, Best Of Show.

    KLS, Diana Devila, Nancy Barrett, Erika what’s her name, ya know, people with way below the shoulders hair.

    Lara, my obvious favorite on the show, loses, because she was an Up Hair Girl.

    1. I noticed Carolyn became less fun-loving and freewheeling around the same time she traded her flip for simple straight locks.

  15. I have to admit the news that they had originally imagined Roger Davis as Desmond gives me an amused mental ghosting of Karlen’s more methody performance with the lost possibility of Davis’s patented one-snarl-fits-all grabby, surface intensity. After this much time watching actors shift from role to role, this is part of the fun for inveterate DS fans.

    1. I wish they’d given Michael Stroka a chance to play the romantic lead/hero. I think he would have been a real heart throb if paired up with KLS

      1. Agree, vampire Dirk was RD’s best. I’m probably the only one but I enjoyed him as Peter Bradford as well. He was so earnest and forthright, I was so happy and relieved when he stepped forward to help Vicky.

    1. That’s why I think pairing Michael Stroka with KLS would have been a good idea. She was a strong, genuine presence and would probably have taken the lead, enabling him to react to her in kind. Maybe it would have been best if he’d started out a bad guy who was changed by her love.

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