Episode 1138: The Trouble with Tulips

“Judah must be dead, or you would still be in his power.”

“It’s over,” Julia breathes, sinking into an armchair.  And it’s not, really, but give it five months or so; we’ll get there.

Because here we are, in November 1970, and the spell is wearing off. Dark Shadows is on the decline, as a dazed populace returns to their previous occupations — homework, housework, other soap operas, playing outside — whatever it was that they weren’t doing between the hours of 4:00 and 4:30 for the last several years. The show is currently serving up a warmed-over rehash of a mash-up involving Frankenstein, Turn of the Screw, Black Sunday, a bit of Jane Eyre and, let’s face it, several previous Dark Shadows storylines.

Julia’s been up all night stitching the legendary head of Judah Zachery, the well-preserved seventeenth-century warlock, back onto its legendary pantomime-horse body, goosing it with several stabs of lightning and then taking its temperature every few minutes, just to see if it leads to anything in the way of compelling contemporary drama. She’s also been writing a history of the Collins family, running a popular sanitorium for the enfeebled, and dressing up like a housekeeper from a parallel dimension, so obviously she’s exhausted; we all are.

You know, every once in a while, of a Friday, someone will ask me what I’m doing this weekend, and I say, I’m catching up on my Dark Shadows blog, and they’ll say, what the hell is Dark Shadows? And I’ll briefly explain, to the extent possible, that Dark Shadows was an incredibly popular afternoon soap opera about a time-traveling vampire which held the country agog for several years in the late 1960s, to which they reply that if I really didn’t have anything planned, I could have just said so, rather than making up ludicrous cover stories. It really is the case that almost nobody knows what Dark Shadows is, and if you try to tell them about it, they refuse to believe you.

And yet there was a moment when an actor playing a time-traveling vampire could show up at the Pinehaven Shopping Center in Charleston, South Carolina on a random Monday in May, and a riot would ensue. Besides the domination of afternoon viewing among the young and jobless, Dark Shadows produced books and soundtrack albums and comic books and bubble gum cards and Halloween costumes and vinyl models and board games, it inspired a Canadian knock-off drama and a nationwide Miss American Vampire competition, and it showed up at the White House on Halloween to help the daughter of the President of the United States frighten a hand-picked group of underprivileged children. You wouldn’t think that a culture would be able to put that sort of thing out of its mind, not without some kind of intervening apocalypse.

But the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and here in November 1970, the show’s power is visibly waning, releasing its devotees back into circulation.

“Why did I help him?” Julia asks, reflecting on the last couple weeks. She’s been under the sway of a souvenir that Desmond brought back from Macau, a severed head in a glass case, with white streaks on a purple background and a heart-shaped swing tag. That head got into her head, convincing her that it was the most important thing in the world, and encouraging her to stay up all night and learn about the blockchain.

“Oh, it’s terrifying, Barnabas,” she wails, “the control he had over me!” That’s what they said about the tulips.

Tulips are pretty but hard to raise; they only bloom in April and May, and they live for about a week. They go into a dormant phase from June to September, and that’s when you can dig up the bulb and sell it to somebody else, if they want it.

Left to their own devices, tulips have large petals of a single color, but there’s a tulip-specific disease called the Tulip Breaking Virus that produces smaller, paler petals, with streaks of different colors. Tulips with the virus are more beautiful, but it stunts the bulbs, and with each generation, an infected bulb grows weaker until it loses the strength to flower at all. So the prettiest variety is also the rarest variety, which led to trouble in the Netherlands.

In the early 1600s, sick tulips were a luxury item, and virus-ridden bulbs became a status symbol among the Dutch. You could only sell them for four months in the summer, but during the rest of the year, you could sign a contract with a florist to buy tulip futures — a promise to buy a certain number of bulbs at a particular price, at the end of the season. Obviously, if the bulbs’ value increases after you’ve signed the contract to buy tulip futures, then you could resell them at a profit, once they’re in your hands. That could be a pretty lucrative scam while it lasts, and in 1634, people started figuring that out.

Speculators entered the market, scooping up some of the rare varieties and reselling them at high profits, and when people found out how exciting and valuable that rare variety was — because the person currently holding them wouldn’t shut up about it — then that encouraged more people to enter the market. People with rare bulbs would hold on to them, hoping the value would go up, which made them even rarer, and prices soared. Stories circulated about early adopters earning incredible fortunes from the sale of rare bulbs, and soon everyone was an investor.

There’s a psychoanalytic theory about what happens to people when there’s an investment craze like this, especially when it’s about something that has little intrinsic value, like a sick flower, or a cryptocurrency, or a legendary severed head. It begins with the representation of these otherwise worthless items as infantile “phantastic objects” which will magically transform your life, giving you power. The acquisition of these items produces euphoria, giving you a dopamine boost that makes you want to acquire even more of them.

At this point, somebody points out to you that maybe hoarding elephant beanbag toy variants isn’t the wisest long-term economic strategy, even in a glass case with a plastic snap-tite protector over its heart-shaped swing tag, but you’ve invested so much — financially and, more importantly, emotionally — in the fantasy of riches and power, these objections only make you more convinced that you’re onto a good thing.

And then something happens that breaks the spell — the florists are unable to deliver bulbs to the tulip traders and they default, or the laboratory catches on fire and the crypt explodes. You can’t sustain a dopamine high forever; something breaks through the psychic defenses, and you realize that you’ve put all your money into a breakable basket. In florist circles, this is called a bloom and bust cycle.

Once people realize that the phantastic object isn’t magical after all, there’s a panic, and they try to sell out as fast as they can. Once the panic starts, everybody tries to leave the market, the price plummets, and you’re left with a bunch of contracts for tulip futures that nobody wants to honor anymore.

After the crash, you feel ashamed of your own recklessness, as you realize that the boxes of beanbag toys in the garage won’t pay for your kids’ college tuition after all. This is the revulsion stage, and you want to be rid of the thing you overvalued as soon as possible. That’s when you go back to the burned-out crypt, to make sure the wizard head has been destroyed.

“It’s a shambles!” Barnabas gasps as he enters the underground crypt, although to be honest with you, it was pretty much a shambles to begin with. Julia left the lab to get some more supplies, and then Leticia left in order to get Julia, and then Gerard came in and did what he does best, namely start a fire and destroy the show.

The exact sequence of events is a little difficult to piece together — Julia says something about lightning and the ether supply exploding, although what she needed with ether is beyond me. Basically, people got tired of going to gift shops and looking for the Princess Diana bear, and this was the result.

Rummaging around in the wreckage, Barnabas comes across a human arm, sticking out from under a pile of rubble.

“Judah!” cries Julia.

Barnabas says, “Are you sure it’s him?” and of course she’s sure, she’d recognize that wrist anywhere.

She wonders what happened to the mask, and Barnabas shrugs. “Well, it’s probably under there now, and it’s just as well,” he says. That’s easy for him to say; he didn’t mortgage the house for it.

But nothing lasts forever, not even immortal creatures of the night. Dark Shadows was the hottest show in America for a while, but these crazes pass — especially if the target is teenagers, who are always looking for something new. After a few years, the phantastic object starts to seem old-fashioned, and what could be more old-fashioned than people standing around in an 1840 drawing room talking about antiques?

You can’t really chart the value of Dark Shadows in guilders, the way that you can with tulip bulbs, but 16 Magazine cover appearances is a pretty good proxy for the show’s value in the American teenage mind.

Jonathan Frid’s name first appeared on the cover of 16 in August 1968, and a month later, his picture was on the cover, crowding out the Monkees and Sajid Khan and Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & the Raiders, and all the other forgotten teen idols of the mid-to-late 60s. Over the next six months, every issue had either Frid’s picture, or at least his name.

Starting in May 1969, once the 1897 storyline was in full swing, there was at least one Dark Shadows actor on the cover of 16 every month, and sometimes more. The peak was in January 1970, when the cover had a picture of David Selby, with a huge list of DS names: “Selby, Frid, Henesy, Briscoe, Stroka, Davis: Would you dare be alone with them?”

The hot streak lasted for thirteen issues, and then, in June 1970: no picture on the cover, just Henesy and Pennock listed among those present, and starting in July 1970, just the words “DS Gang”. That’s when the panic began, and everybody started selling their vampire soap opera futures.

And here, in November 1970, for the first time in more than two years, 16 Magazine doesn’t have Dark Shadows on the cover.

Barnabas and Julia go up the stairs, and once they’re on solid ground, she closes the secret entrance to the ruined crypt.

“So it is a tomb again!” Barnabas proclaims. “Judah Zachery’s tomb.” Which it already was. And so the craze ends and the world wakes up, ready to be possessed by something new.

Tomorrow: Nothing on Earth.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Act 1 opens with Judah standing in the crypt and waiting for his cue, before he starts stalking.

When Gerard scrambles out of the crypt and then pauses, looking back at the hatch, you can see the top of the set.

At the start of act 2, as the camera pans up from the hatch, there are three bloopers in quick succession: Julia looks up for her cue before speaking, her line is spoken off-mic, and you can see the top of the set.

When they discover Judah’s body, Barnabas asks Julia, “Where were you, when you left him?”

After Julia closes the tomb, we can see a studio light, and the top of the set.

When Gerard looks around in the crypt, you can briefly see a script page being flipped on the right.

At the end of the episode, Gerard finds the Head separated from the body, but you can see the actor’s chest rise and fall as he breathes.

Behind the Scenes:

We only get a glimpse of it in act 3, but they’re using a redressing of Quentin’s 1897 room for Gerard’s bedroom in Rose Cottage.

Tomorrow: Nothing on Earth.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

68 thoughts on “Episode 1138: The Trouble with Tulips

  1. But to look on the bright side, if Dark Shadows hadn’t wrapped up when it did, if Dan Curtis hadn’t lost interest and somehow managed to keep the show going for another year or two, then no Kolchak: The Night Stalker pilot movies and thus no Night Stalker TV series, which would have left Friday nights in the nineteen seventy-fiveness of my youth a bit less memorable.

  2. “You wouldn’t think that a culture would be able to put that sort of thing out of its mind…”

    1.) My friend’s 13 year old son: “Dad, have you ever heard of John Lennon?”

    2.) Do you know who Hugo Eckener is? He was on the cover of Time magazine, received the National Geographic Society Gold medal, and received two ticker tape parades in NYC. But, he is forgotten to history except for aviation buffs.

    Eckener was the President and owner of the Zeppelin company. He created, built, and flew the Graf Zeppelin. In 1929, the Graf Zeppelin made a World flight that was followed my tens of millions across the globe. It was the “Moon Landing” of its day – 500,000 people showed up in Tokyo for its arrival. He was so popular, that in 1932, he seriously consider running for President of the German Weimar Republic and almost certainly would have won, but stepped aside when von Hindenburg decided to run for a second term. History could have been radically changed if not for that fateful decision.

    My point is that Eckener was an extremely important historical figure who enjoyed immense, world wide fame. Today, he is all but forgotten.

    It’s remarkable that Dark Shadows is remembered at all. It was only on the air for 5 years and that was 50 years ago. It’s syndication availability was spotty until the SyFy channel came on the scene . Yet, it has even managed to create new generations of fans. That’s a near miracle.

  3. Hmmm – the fire and explosion destroyed ‘everything’, yet none of the wooden objects (fallen beams, end table) are charred or even singed? This was no ordinary catastrophe! However, I give points to the set dressers, they sure give wreckage visual appeal. This one isn’t on the scale of the ruins of Collinwood or the remnants of the Tate studio, but overall, nicely destroyed.
    Judah’s head detached as well. Pity Julia didn’t use a topstitch… a shame Mr. Singer hadn’t got his sewing machine on the market yet.

    1. Julia should have used 30 pound test line. It can haul in a tuna so, it should be strong enough to keep that melon of a head sewn on.
      Okay, I admit it. I have a closet crammed full of Beanie Babies. AND I paid $100 for a Princess Diana Bear. Twice.

      1. Cabbage Patch Kids, that was where the real money was.

        But I don’t worry about that boring investment stuff any more; that nice Mr. Madoff is handling it all for me.

      2. Okay, I admit it. I have a closet crammed full of Beanie Babies. AND I paid $100 for a Princess Diana Bear. Twice.

        My comic book collection was partially a speculative investment. After I carefully read the newest issues, I’d put them in Mylar bags with acid-free cardboard backing. I wasn’t particularly fanatical about it, but I assumed I’d make a pretty penny when I sold them in the future.

  4. To clarify; the Tulip Breaking Virus produces smaller streaked petals on the tulip, not leaves. (Ordinarily I wouldn’t THINK of being picky about such things. 😋 )

      1. You know, my Tickle Me Elmo has been laughing at me ever since I got it – it’s starting to creep me out a little. “Tee hee hee, you pay HOW MUCH for Elmo?”

  5. Talk about being dated…

    Yesterday I was selling my necklaces at the craft fair. I mentioned that one of them that had big rock chunks in it was my “Wilma necklace” which got me a blank stare (her mom recognized the reference, though, and explained it to her)

    1. Wait until you make a joke about The Little Match Girl to one of the new young whippersnappers at work, only to receive a blank stare.

  6. Part of the fatigue was the 1840 was a weak 1895 retread, without Violet Welles scintillating dialogue and interesting characters. Petofi was a FAR more interesting villain than Zachary.

    1. Petofi had Aristede to bounce lines off of. Zachary never takes on a confidante in the same manner, and had to manipulate others into doing his dirty work. Petofi also had the aim of going to the twentieth century. Apart from revenge Zachary doesn’t have much motivation.

      1. Wasn’t Charles Dawson supposed to be the confidante? There was also a point where it seemed like they were going to do something with Edith as a dirty work follower but they pulled the plug on that fast.

        Even in terms of revenge, Zachary’s motivations were rather poorly thought out. Eventually it all turned into wanting to be Quentin (and have all his things) rather than getting revenge.

        I’ve always thought the problem with the show at this point was that the writers were no longer ahead of the story. They were always playing catch-up after the first film and no longer had the well thought out long-term plans of earlier days of the show.

        1. It’s only at the end when Zachary’s motives are revealed, and it’s also to tie Angelique into his backstory.

        2. Zachary’s “plan” is to destroy Quentin, who he doesn’t personally have any issue with, in order to “avenge” himself against Quentin’s distant ancestor. That’s hardly compelling. Especially since Quentin is oblivious to Zachary’s intentions for most of the arc.

          What’s weird is that the plotline would’ve made more sense if it had been Gerard and not Zachary-as-Gerard. Gerard would want to be Quentin and have a person grudge against him, as the envious friend.

          1. I agree that that it would have made more sense if the Judah Zachary factor wasn’t even involved – especially in light of what happened in 1970.

            The only thing I liked about including Judah was that it sort of explained why the Collins family was cursed for generations and why Collinwood seemed to be a magnet for murder, madness, and supernatural events. It was kind of a bookend for the series.

      1. When failure is totally inevitable, the choice of doctor would not matter much. Julia’s medical bag would not provide much of an advantage in a head reattachment surgery.

        1. Maybe if she’d put a broom handle or a big hunk of pipe in to help prop that severed spine? The problem didn’t seem to be “reanimation”, since The Legendary Pieces Of Judah Zachery were already alive (or at least undead). The issue was with keeping the bits together – I remember CD Tate had a similar challenge with his creation.

  7. November, 1970: I am 11 years old and in Miss Van Dyck’s 6th grade class. I am chubby and asthmatic, so girls don’t like me and I pretend not to like them, reciting lines from Henry Higgins. Dark Shadows is the center of my universe. I want to tell my 11-year-old self, “Sell those futures!” But I held on to the end, which wasn’t bitter but just kind of lame. It felt like just me… I don’t think 16 ever had the word “Bramwell” on the cover.

    1. I am a year older than you. I don’t recall knowing any boys who were DS fans. Possibly they were too shy to tell me.

      1. I was 13 in November 1970 and there were male DS fans, but just not as many by this point in the storyline. However, during the summer of ’68 through the 1897 period, there were many more, at least in my neck of the woods.

        1. In our school system, you would have been in the junior high school, a galaxy away for kids in that age group. My brother was 3 years older than me, and he certainly never watched it. Too bad for him! I think by that time in his life, he was interning to be a future drug dealer and didn’t have time for such foolishness.

          1. In the public school system I went through, it was the boys who watched Dark Shadows and talked about it in school. I would’ve been surprised at the time if any girl had ever admitted to watching Dark Shadows.

            If one of the guys mentioned a monster movie or Famous Monsters magazine or Dark Shadows in the presence of a female classmate, generally she’d roll her eyes or shake her head condescendingly or make that dismissive tsk-ing noise with her tongue and palate that pre-teen girls make to let everyone know they think they’re cooler and better and more mature than the boys.

        2. My brother introduced me to the 1897 storyline when i was 9 and he was 13, then he quickly lost interest. I had this “I-wanna-be-friends-with-him” crush on David Hennessy and held on to the bitter end, hoping to see him act.

      2. All the boys who watched “Dark Shadows” (myself included), had a much BIGGER secret to keep from their classmates…

  8. Another reason this comes off as a poor man’s 1897 is that the family members aren’t inherently distrustful of each other. Quentin is arrogant and with a wandering eye, Flora is completely naive of any ill intent around the estate, Desmond doesn’t have a grudge, Edith is effectively in servitude, Samantha is only there for Tad, and Tad and Carrie are extras despite being key players in the previous storyline. The only people around Collinwood who have ill intentions are Gabriel and Stiles, as well as the current Trask’s ever dependable ability to make life difficult for Barnabas and Quentin. It’s only Stiles who seeks out to cause trouble for more than two other characters.

    Meanwhile 1897 had Judith a spinster, Edward who couldn’t care less, Quentin the black sheep of the family who came to doctor Edith’s will, Carl who everyone just barely tolerates, mad Jenny, Laura who would let Collinwood burn before anything happened to her kids, Gregory Trask the early Trunchbull, gypsies capable of casting curses and Count Petofi. Any number of character combinations, and that’s before putting Barnabas and Evan Hanley into the mix! There’s a flurry of sparks that make 1840 look like a dying ember.

    Basically the characters in 1897 were more connected in terms of storylines than the characters of 1840.

    If I’ve missed characters, I was going off the top of my head.

    1. When Julia and Barnabas get going, they effectively are the entire story. The family members (including oddly Quentin) amount to background extras with very little story to speak of. One of the big problems with 1840 is that there are almost no successfully developed “B” stories. Every time they think about doing one, they change their mind and go back to Barnabas and Julia.

      1. Like Stiles seducing Edith in the ways of the dark arts. Trask’s pursuit of Roxanne (is she gone yet?) never really gets developed either.

        We’ve also been exclusively at Collinwood now, unless the scene requires a redress of the forest set or a trial room. No more Blue Whale, no more docks.

  9. I wonder if Curtis and Sam Hall are busy working on the Night of Dark Shadows script at this time. Filming for the movie is only about 4-5 months away.

    1. At that point it’s Curse of Dark Shadows, a sequel to House of Dark Shadows. But soon enough they’ll have to take even more time scrambling to rewrite the entire script into Night of Dark Shadows, once Jonathan Frid drops the bombshell that he no longer has the desire to play the role of Barnabas.

      1. I’ve never figured out what a Night of Dark Shadows with Frid would have been. Did Sam Hall ever say?

        1. There’s an interview Sam Hall gave in later years, which I can’t find online but may be somewhere in the DVD set, where he says that Curse of Dark Shadows was very different from the movie they eventually rewrote as Night of Dark Shadows because of Jonathan’s Frid’s refusal to reprise the role of Barnabas, though he couldn’t after all those years recall how the original script went.

          That’s why they show the bat ascending at the very end of House of Dark Shadows, to signal that a sequel was planned.

          1. It would be interesting to know what the outline revealed. The only characters still breathing at the end of HODS were Liz, David, Mrs. Johnson, Maggie, and Jeff. With their knowledge of recent events, it’s not like Barnabas could make a comeback to Collinwood.

            1. I wonder if they would’ve just done 1795 as the next movie? Night of Datk Shadows has a lot of back in time scenes ( it had even more before the drastic editing at the end) and the original title “Curse of Dark Shadows” certainly lends it self to the idea that it could’ve been about Barnabas getting the vampire curse.

              1. Yes, that was my thinking too! I think they would have been going for the backstory, the Barnabas and Angelique angle, the main ratings grabber of the TV series. It wouldn’t have mattered if the cast had been killed off in HODS, they could have gotten the ensemble cast to be a repertory company once again for the sequel. Maybe David Selby could have played Jeremiah. Who knows who would have played Josette? But yes, they could have gotten the whole cast back to reprise their roles for 1795. HODS retold the most famous storyline, and the next most well-known storyline was for 1795, the basis for the show having become a story of time travel.

                The working title, Curse of Dark Shadows, suggests it.

                After all, the title Night of Dark Shadows means absolutely nothing. The stuff that happens at the end, happens during the day!

                1. Excellent points, Prisoner and Mike.

                  Dan Curtis loved the original story (about a maniac who thinks he has found his long lost love) and, like a tenacious pit bull, refused to let go of a good bone!

                  Reading your analysis, I have to agree with you that the 1795 Barnabas backstory was indeed the original plan for the second movie.

                  This is consistent with what we already know of Dan Curtis’ creative modus operandi: Dan very much enjoyed re-visiting work and themes he had done before.

                  Consider the DS 1991 reboot: We see this pattern in the 1991 series, i.e., how it covers yet again (a) the story of Barnabas being released from his coffin (covered previously in the original 1966 series and again in HODS), and (b) then progresses to the 1795 backstory via time travel (covered previously in the 1966 series).

                  I suspect Dan’s motives in re-doing his past work may have been to make improvements in order to correct what he perceived as past flaws, also to reach new audiences via film and then via prime time TV, do a bit of updating along the way, and possibly bring in a few new tweaks here and there, but to keep the basic storyline the same through the various retellings.

                  It was a proven successful formula, but I really think he just enjoyed doing the maniac story over and over again …

            2. What became of Daphne Budd (Lisa Richards), after she was bitten by Barnabas in “House of Dark Shadows”? Was there any dialogue commenting on her recovery, or her death, or her resurrection as a vampire?

              1. One mention of her being in hospital. Nothing after that. So she might have survived…

    2. Well, regardless of what the plans for NODS / CODS, it seems to me that the writing and production of the daily TV show became more of a hindrance to movie-maker Curtis at this point.

  10. I too am very curious as to what the original plan for the 2nd Dark Shadows movie would have been about. Would Lara Parker and David Selby have been in it and would it have been a recap of the tragic past of Barnabas? Something tells me that Dan Curtis would not have done that. I saw an interview with Sam Hall on the internet where he ripped Jonathan Frid for not being in the movie and that they had to scramble to come up with what they ended up with…..NODS.

    1. There is supposedly a “draft” version of the original script outline for the 2nd Dark Shadows film published in the fanzine “World of Dark Shadows 9” from 1977 (or so). Has anybody seen this? I suppose it could just be a draft for night of dark shadows, but I’m not sure.

      1. “Dark Shadows II (Night of Dark Shadows) 1st Draft by Sam Hall, transcript (32)”


        Interesting that the working title would be “Dark Shadows II” — because HODS was originally to be called “Dark Shadows” — this is the title Jonathan Frid gave when asked by the host during his surprise cameo guest appearance on a 1970 game show.

        I’d love to have a look at a copy of that fanzine issue — because what became NODS was the 2nd draft, and NODS was not marketed as the sequel to HODS, whereas the above title certainly does allude to the sequel.

        1. If you or anyone are interested, there is a copy at a library at Texas A&M university. There is also a scanned digital copy in their library system, but its restricted access. It
          should be possible to request it through inter-library loan through a local library.

          Getting access to a copy is on my list of things to eventually do, but for various
          reasons I don’t see me doing it for at least the next six months.

          This is the catalog entry.


          This stuff is actually part of a large fanzine archive (Sandy Hereld Collection)
          at the university which includes a whole lot of the different 1970s
          dark shadows fanzines.

          The outline could turn out to be a disappointment. But it seems long in terms
          of pagecount and even if it turns out to be an early NODS draft, it still would
          be really interesting in terms of understanding intentions and evolution of the second film.

          1. Another interesting fact is that NODS was first known to the public under the title of Curse of Dark Shadows. The first write-up was on the day of the last episode of the TV show, April 2, and even a month later that title was being used in write-ups:


            …and then they had to scramble for a re-write.

            So you have to wonder if when the show ended whether they were still hoping that Jonathan Frid would reprise the role of Barnabas for the sequel, and then he refused so that the script had to be rewritten.

            I mean, it’s curious that the movie’s title was changed, even after it was already being marketed to the public as Curse of Dark Shadows.

  11. This write-up about the “forgotten” Dark Shadows movie from 1973, Child of Dark Shadows, is so good I even believed it at first — until I bothered to read the comments below the article. I even went to IMDb to look it up, wondering why I’d never heard of it and why no one ever talked about it:



  12. They could have made the ‘Curse’ be about Quentin’s little problem, instead. A big screen rework of 1897 (or even tossing the werewolf into 1795 along with Barnabas’ vampire origin) might have worked. I still wonder why the writers went with the NoDS plot, even given the scramble to make up a new tale after Frid refused to take up the fangs again. 1897 was a popular part of DS; and it had put Selby on all those teen ‘zine covers. Did the whole thing come down to “who can we get to do the movie”? It does seem that there are only a handful of people in the film.

  13. On another note the lovely illustration of the tulip brings the words ‘moon poppy’ to mind. Another missed opportunity to have cured Chris Jennings of the werewolf curse and resolve another hanging story thread.

    1. If the writers had written that it meant only one more transformation after consuming it (the start of the transformation is the catalyst), then Chris would still kill Bruno and get to be cured, allowing him, Amy and Sabrina to ride off into the sunset.

  14. Not sure if this is just revisionist history, but a recent book (Tulipmania by Anne Goldgar) says that the incident was exaggerated by Dutch Calvinists, who wanted to prove the corrupting influence of money. There is also a movie (imaginatively titled “Tulip Mania”) about the event; I never saw any ads for it – guess I’ll wait for the musical version. 🎵

    1. Tulipmania by Anne Goldgar is a flawed book with an interesting argument. Her analysis is flawed by looking too much at the “micro” level of the market (sellers & traders) and not enough at the market from a high level. Generally anyone who writes a book about history that says they have “new” sources and that everyone who wrote about the subject before they did was wrong….is usually talking alot bigger than what they can actually prove.

  15. There is a soap opera connection to the Beanie Baby craze. Longtime GENERAL HOSPITAL actor Chris Robinson (Rick Webber) went in deep and became bankrupt. There’s a whole documentary about it. https://www.welovesoaps.net/2013/07/chris-robinsons-beanie-baby-obsession.html And just as a word of warning against future fads — NOTHING that is designed to be a collectible will ever hold let alone gain value after maybe the first year then it drops like a stone.

  16. To me, Chris Robinson is always Tim, the main character of the “Willard”-type movie STANLEY (he makes friends with snakes instead of rats).

    1. His character of Rick Webber on General Hospital was married to Ginny Blake, played by neighbor, Judith Chapman.

      1. I was quite fond of Judith Chapman, back in the day — after seeing her on “General Hospital”, and guest appearances on “Galactica 1980” and “Magnum P.I.”. I recently purchased a Blu-ray of a thriller called “Scalpel” (1977), because it features Judith Chapman AND a music score by Robert Cobert.

  17. I don’t know how the Monkees could be called forgotten, between the genuine nostalgia about them and the countless insult jokes! That’s a pretty big combination.
    Of course, Paul Revere and the raiders haven’t been so lucky. Almost all of those ‘ 60’s crazes seem to either overlook them completely or just gloss over them. And they were a pretty huge deal.

  18. The Monkees, and anything else of reasonable value can be forgotten, because (and this is a paradox) for all the knowledge available through the ‘net, a lot of people don’t know anything more than what is immediately around them. As a whole, our world-view is more constricted then when i was a kid. Just sayin’

    1. Add to that the fact that EVERYTHING now ‘goes viral’ and is gone – the instant YouTube celebrity of today means fifteen seconds of fame, not 15 minutes. And the barrage is constant, to the point where it becomes background noise.
      (Cat videos? Seriously?)

  19. So much of the merchandise related to the show mentioned the character names “Barnabas” and “Quentin” that I can only assume they were hoping for the same thing to happen every time they introduced a new villain. Which explains why they give them distinctive names like “Jeb” and “Cyrus.” Anyway, I’m imagining a world where Dark Shadows made Michael McGuire and teen icon and picturing an issue of 16 magazine with a tagline on the cover like “Win a Date with Head!” or “What Head Does On His Day Off!”

  20. I like how Julia wonders if they changed history … as if anybody else had the ability to harness a life force for Judah Zachery.

  21. Julia’s description of her experience under the influence of JZ mirrors almost exactly her relationship with Barnabas. I’d give Sam Hall credit for being ironically self-aware but I’m not sure he had the energy at this point. It was probably unintentional.

    I had a behind-the-counter seat for the great comic book bubble in the late ’80s and early ’90s. People would routinely come into the shop and ask, quite seriously, “Can you tell me which comic books will be worth money?” The standard reply, delivered with more or less sarcasm depending on your mood, was “If I knew that I wouldn’t be working this goddamn crummy job.”

    “Selby, Frid, Henesy, Briscoe, Stroka, Davis: Would you dare be alone with them?”

    The answers: Yes, No, Yes, Not without NARCAN, Yes, Not in 10 million years.

  22. If you need evidence that the show is fading, look at the scene where Julia and Barnabas check out the tomb.

    That ENORMOUS GIGANTIC CROSS is propped up, clearly visible, in the middle of the damn shot, and neither Julia nor Barnabas react to it at all. Not one bit. And frankly it didn’t seem to worry the head/body, resultant fusion, or possessed Leticia and Julia either.

    They just couldn’t be bothered. The cross is simply leaned against the wall to get it out of the way; they have a scene to get through.

  23. “It really is the case that almost nobody knows what Dark Shadows is…”

    You’re talking to the wrong generation. Look for people born 1950 to 1960. I bet a majority have at least heard of it, though maybe they won’t admit to running home from school to watch.
    I went to an all-girl high school in the late 1960s and many of my friends watched and the others at least knew who Quentin was!
    I remember a friend relating to me a student of his asking ,”Wasn’t Paul McCartney in another band before Wings?”
    It’s fine. I have no idea what’s popular among teens today. They have no idea what they missed. Every generation has to find their own thing.

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