Episode 1140: You’re a Miranda

“He said God is dead — long live Lucifer!”

“You were once named Miranda!” he says, and suddenly she was.

We’re in the past, of course, we usually are, and if you look around the drawing room, you’ll see the fixtures and fittings of the Collins family of eighteen hundred and forty. Barnabas and Julia have slipped back in time, thanks to a magical and still largely unexplained staircase, and they’re struggling to understand the root causes of a calamity that’s destined to tear through town in September 1970, or possibly April 1971, depending on which curse we’re talking about.

Sorcerous soap vixen Angelique is here too, coming at this century from the opposite direction. She’s been walking in circles since we last saw her in 1795, looping back to Collinwood once a year to check up on how cursed the family is. On her most recent annual inspection, she found that Barnabas had slipped his bonds and risen from the dead, so she decided to rise right back at him. She’s in the big house on the hill now, pretending to be someone called Valerie.

This is a new past for Angelique, naturally, because nobody on this show can maintain a sensible backstory from one century to the next. This must be an Angelique who knew Phyllis Wick, and never met the strange governess from the future.

In the version we saw, Angelique tagged along on Victoria’s magic carpet ride from 1795 back to 1968, where the witch established herself with a spurious Collins husband and went on to wreak her revenge. She died and became a vampire, and then she went to Hell and got tossed back to 1795, if I’m remembering this correctly.

“I am forced to remain in this century,” she said, which I’m not sure what that means. “I am consigned to this time forever! And I want you to stay here with me.” And then Barnabas and Ben threw a torch at her and she burned up and died, end of story.

But this Angelique can’t be that Angelique, because she doesn’t know Julia and never traveled through time. She must be an older model from the Wickiverse, who traveled into the future the slow way, one year after another. This Angelique never wore wigs, didn’t have fangs and only killed Josette once. Unconsigned, she walks in the world and writes her own story.

Except this one isn’t that one either, at least not the one that we thought we knew. The Angelique that we met was a pretty servant girl raised on a Caribbean island, a French maid who worked on the DuPres sugar plantation and learned simple homespun voodoo from her mother. But today, thanks to Gerard and Judah Zachery, that story is being unwritten again.

“You were once named Miranda!” Gerard says, and with those five words, he inserts a prequel into Angelique’s backstory.

So it turns out Angelique is even more from the past than we thought she was. All of a sudden, it’s 1692, which is earlier than we’ve ever gone before, back to the days when they actually did hang witches along the Eastern seaboard. This is Collinsport in prehistoric times, when the Old House was the New House, and the Blue Whale was just a calf. And somehow, impossibly, Angelique was there.

“Wittingly or unwittingly, you have done Satan’s bidding!” thunders Louis Edmonds, who’s good at thundering. “You realize that the penalty for your sins is death. And yet you refuse to bear witness against Judah Zachery!”

That’s the root of it all, of course, the reason why we’ve taken the black magic marker and started crossing out bits of the family history again. Judah Zachery is the new Big Bad of the series, and so far we’ve only known him from the neck up, except for one fleeting glimpse of the man himself before his head fell off again, and rolled into a corner. He’s the guy who’s going to bring about the end of the Collins dynasty, so it would be great if we could figure out how to connect him to one of the main characters on the show.

Enter Miranda DuVal, and the secret origin of Angelique. This is her, apparently, more than a century early. I don’t know if this is Collinsport or Bedford or where it is, but it’s somewhere within the reach of the Collinses, who are already in charge of everything.

They’ve taken the vicious Judah Z into custody, and they’re trying him on a hundred and nine counts of witchcraft. And Miranda, here, is the key witness. She’s been aiding and abetting on at least a few of those counts, and if they can get her to flip, they’ll have the case all locked up.

So there you go, that’s the new continuity. Amadeus Collins promises to give Miranda safe passage out of the country, which presumably means a ship bound for the West Indies, where she can change her name, learn French and pretend to be somebody else for a hundred years.

That means she was already a practicing witch when she worked for the DuPres, and she already knew about the Collins family when she met Barnabas. And maybe that’s the reason why she seduced him and followed him back to America, although it doesn’t really seem to add up. As far as I can tell, Miranda doesn’t have a kick against the Collins family; Amadeus just beheaded Judah and let her go free. So why would she come back, in 1795?

She’s obviously a pretty accomplished witch here in the 1690s, because she doesn’t age between now and the 1790s. Why did she take a job as Josette DuPres’ maid? Was it a coincidence that she fell in love with Barnabas, or was that part of a plan to hitch a ride home to Collinsport? It’s a perplexing revelation that basically eviscerates everything that we thought that we knew, and doesn’t replace it with anything.

It appears that Lara Parker is as baffled as I am, because she doesn’t know what to do with this scene. She’s playing it completely straight, as if Miranda really is a more or less innocent young woman who got caught up in Judah’s dastardly schemes, and all she wants now is to reject witchcraft and get on a fast boat to the West Indies. When Angelique was in a similar spot in 1795 — questioned by Reverend Trask, and accused by Vicki — Parker knew exactly who she was, and what she was doing. I don’t see that here.

What we need from this scene is a twinkle in Miranda’s eye, a secret smile that shows us that she has a plan. We need to see a link between Miranda and the Angelique that we know, something cunning and wicked in her performance.

The script has one hint in that direction — after her testimony, Judah shouts that she’s lying, that she came to him of her own volition, and took a willing part in the satanic ceremony — but Parker doesn’t play it that way. She just gives her testimony, and walks off the set, cringing.

Which is fair enough, because this isn’t about Angelique. This sequence is about building up Judah Zachery, seeing him talk and shout and move about, and curse the Collins family. “Miranda” is just a way of giving Judah more connections to the main storyline, so the Collins-killer isn’t just a guy who stopped by to tear down the house and end the show. The damage to Angelique’s arc is incidental.

In fact, when Lara Parker returned to the character in 1998, she forgot all about Miranda. Parker’s novel, Angelique’s Descent, tells the complete story of Angelique’s life, from her sad childhood on Martinique to her voodoo training, her job on the DuPres plantation, her love for Barnabas, and the terrible events at Collinwood.

She doesn’t mention Miranda, of course. Why should she? It’s a prologue with no purpose, propping up Judah’s story while adding nothing to Angelique’s.

But Dark Shadows used time travel like other soaps use long-lost illegitimate children, rewriting the past to open up new story options. If you read Angelique’s Descent, one thing that you’ll notice about it is that it has a last page. Soap opera stories aren’t supposed to stop; they need to keep rattling along any way that they can.

Angelique has been reinvented and reinterpreted time and again — first Cassandra, now Miranda — and if the show continued past Judah’s curse, there would be more Angeliques to come. She’s consigned to something, all right, and this is it.

Monday: 13 Reasons Why.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Miranda mentions Andrew Bronson, and Amadeus asks, “What did the accused have against Andrew Du — Bronson?”

The head wobbles amusingly when Gerard clutches Judah’s case and cries, “Why don’t you open your eyes, and speak to me?”

Louis Edmonds is credited as “Louis Edmunds”.

Behind the Scenes:

Michael McGuire has been playing the Head of Judah Zachery so far, with Keene Curtis providing the voice. In this episode, when they needed a talking Judah Zachery on screen, they put a bag over Curtis’ head and had him do all the dialogue. At the end of the scene, there’s a cut to a shot of McGuire, pulling the bag off his head.

Monday: 13 Reasons Why.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

82 thoughts on “Episode 1140: You’re a Miranda

  1. Angelique’s Descent was written back in the 90’s, when you’d need to build an extension and sell your soul to obtain and store the VHS tapes of Dark Shadows episodes. A far cry from 2018, when you can stream all 1,225 episodes and there are wikis and forums that can help with research. Given the Miranda backstory was inserted late in the show, it’s no surprise Lara forgot about it or ignored it in favour of the backstory she did write.

    The books seem to follow their own Time Band separate from the audios, maybe you could look at this next time you reach a double banked episode. They’re available as eBooks.

    1. Big Finish has two double CD audio books with Lara Parker reading from Angelique’s Descent. Part 1 is Innocence (the backstory of Angelique’s life growing up in Martinique) and Part 2 is Betrayal (as Barnabas returns to Martinique).

      Upon arriving at the Collins house of 1795, some of the original dialogue from the TV series is recreated.

      Each audio book includes an interview with the author.

      1. The two releases are lengthy, both exceeding two and a half hours in length, so the interviews are very short.

  2. Of course it’s likely Angelique is a doppelganger of Miranda, or Miranda is a past life. With Zachary at large again, Angelique’s Miranda memories awaken. The Dark Shadows wiki refers to it as Miranda reincarnating as Angelique. Angelique’s Descent is still canonical, since it’s Angelique’s backstory, not Miranda’s.

    It’s not the first time characters have inherited memories, Carolyn channelled Leticia back in 1970, Elizabeth at one point thought she was Naomi. 1970 Quentin fell for Daphne much like the 1840 Quentin did.

    So Miranda is canon, it’s just that the importance is limited to this storyline, and Angelique’s role in it.

  3. 1) There is the original 1795 Angelique who knew Phyllis Wick. That Angelique never existed after Vicki’s first trip to the past
    2) There is the second 1795 Angelique who knew Vicki and was killed by Barnabas. This one somehow came back from the dead and started visiting Baranbas on a regular basis and showed up in 1840.
    3) The appearances of Angelique after her death 1795 are complicated. They may be Angelique come quickly back to life in 1795 or they may be “future” Angelique punished and sent back into the past. I tend to think (hope) that everything after her original death in 1795 was “future punishment” Angelique because the alternative is that there were two Angeliques operating at cross-purposes at certain points in 1795.
    4) I tend to reject the whole thing about Angelique following Vicki to the 1960s from 1795. Everything makes much more sense if Angelique just made one of her tomb visits around the same time Vicki got back from the 1700s and became active again. If Angelique ever said she followed Vicki, I would just put it down to normal lying.

    5) My personal belief is that all the questions about future punishment Angelique would have been answered in that unaired 1790s epic “Vicki and Peter versus the Leviathans”

  4. Lara Parker does address Angelique’s life as Miranda in her book, The Salem Branch. Even so, she does change a lot of the story of Miranda that was revealed on the soap. I wish she had not. I seem to recall that in the book, Amadeus Collins did not give her safe passage to the West Indies, but instead went back on his word and had her hanged.

  5. I admit that when I watched this in 1970, I was surprised that the ABC censors allowed the line, “God is dead. Long live Lucifer.” The show was popular in the Bible belt where I grew up, but that was really pushing the envelope. Maybe because the ratings were dropping, nobody was paying attention.

  6. How does Angelique from 1897 (?) fit into this. I only watched 1897 once and can’t seem to remember her angle at that time. Didn’t she come back from a fireplace?

    1. Oh, she was just hanging in Hades between assignments and her cell rang and it’s Astredo and Selby, and Diablos is so tired of her whining, he kicks her into the fire.

      She didn’t know what year she arrived in.

      At the time, you assume that she hadn’t been to 1840 yet.

      That she was dead all that time since 1795.

      But no, she didn’t die at Barnabas’ hand.

      Suspended Eye Movement.

      Back in the scene after Barney gets chained, and lays low. Visits, annually.

      So she was killed in 1840, negating her 1897 witchyness, unless Diablos just gets sick of her again, and sends her to Sky Rumson or something, with powers.

      This makes my hair hurt.

      1. The audio The Crimson Pearl follows the trail of the titular object through the Dark Shadows history. At one point it ends up with Daniel Collins, who gives it to his wife Harriet. When she dies, Lamar Trask nicks it and stashes it away. Gregory Trask inherits it, and Simon Briar (brother of Minerva Trask nee Briar) steals it. Angelique intercepts him making a getaway (while Rachel Drummond and Tim Shaw are stealing the money Trask owes them, that Simon had his eye on), and kills him to steal the Pearl. Angelique uses the Pearl to bargain for her life back from the Dark Lord, and he gives that to her, allowing her to answer Quentin and Evan’s summons and arrive back at Collinwood in 1897.

      2. Nearly everything that happened in Dark Shadows after 1840 was negated by the 1840 storyline. The magic of the end of the 1840 storyline is that it erased just about everything that ever happened in the show.

        Barnabas was cured in 1840. His 1840 body (with his 1971 mind) travelled to 1971. Angelique is dead in 1840. He was never a vampire in the 1960s. He was never freed from his coffin in the 1960s. Dr. Lang couldn’t create Adam. Vicki never went back in time. There were no Leviathans in the 1970s because Barnabas didn’t bring their leader into the future.

        The only nagging item is how Liz still knew Barnabas when he returned to 1971.

        1. Good summation. And Liz wouldn’t have known Julia either. I guess Jason McGuire was still alive, too – unless he pissed off somebody else who did him in.

          This would be great for Julia, too, because now she would not have helped murder Dr. Dave Woodard or her parallel time counterpart. Say good-bye to guilt, Julia.

            1. Yes. Happy ending for Joe and Maggie too. I think he finally raised the money and bought his own fishing boat too.

              Liz would have been less busy after Jason left and probably got together with Ned Calder again.

              Carolyn’s relationship with Tony Peterson probably lasted alot longer though I’m not sure there would have been a happy ending there.

          1. Another mystery is that there is “a” Quentin in post-1840 1970 (as per Liz) but its far from certain exactly what Quentin it is.

            Since 1840s Quentin lived and Edith/Gabriel didn’t, all the 1960s Collins family members presumably are his decendents. If there was an 1890s Quentin, he would have had all the money and spent all his time shouting stomping around the house like 1840s Quentin. So no curse. No portrait. And 1960s Quentin is presumably just a normal guy. Maybe he was the third 1960s sibling and he is running the family business rather than Liz.

            If there is no 1897 original Quentin, Chris Jennings isn’t a werewolf and he gets to live happily ever after with Sabrina Stuart.

            If Count Petofi had shown up in the 1890s and 1890s Quentin was running the house, he would likely have never invited him in and probably slammed the door in his face. I’d like to believe that he then died fighting a final war with the Gypsies somewhere away from Collinsport and that his hand got destroyed in the process.

            One other thing wrapped up is that if Charles Dawson was actually Nicholas Blair in 1840, that means he isn’t around in the 1960s to cause any trouble either.

            It seems like things with Jason McGuire have to play out almost exactly the same. The blackmail plot has to by ended by Liz. Willie would still try to go grave robbing. But they would probably both just leave town alive. But maybe Willie gets arrested for grave-robbing and then gets recruited by Dr. Lang for more grave-robbing filling the role of Jeff in Lang’s operation.

            With so much less going on, Vicki would have even had time to figure out her backstory.

            1. I’ll go with Burke and Roger being better shots when they chased down Jason, and then telling everyone they couldn’t find him after hiding the body in the secret room in the mausoleum…Burke actually made the fatal shot, so he and Roger called it even and ‘buried the hatchet’ along with Jason.

              1. And maybe that gives Burke a reason not to go to Brazil. Burke lives. Marries Vicki and they get a happy ending too.

                1. In the little cottage by the sea. ❤
                  Until Willie finds out his pal was murdered…

        2. It’s confirmed onscreen that the events of the 1970 storyline, or at least the events that concerned Collinwood, were negated. Elizabeth in 1971 notes that it was a quiet winter.

          There are some audios that need to have taken place before 1840 was altered, or assumes some threads of 1970 happened anyway. Dress Me in Dark Dreams features Edith and Judith when Judith is a young woman, and a follow-up story needs both to have Edith surviving 1840. The Sebastian thread is assumed to have remained, as he and Maggie being at Windcliff are used as backstory.

          However Curtain Call takes place after the revised 1840, as Letitia remembers the revised ending. Carriage of the Damned and Tainted Love establish David, Hallie and Gerard Stiles remember both versions of the timeline in 1970, with The Velvet Room having a clip from the end of 1840.

      3. Diablo never learns, man! He keeps believing her when she says she’s changed and won’t talk about Barnabas ever again, promise, sweetie bats eyes and that dumb cluck falls for it every time!

  7. I’m going to go with Miranda from 1690 was simply reincarnated in the late 1700’s as Angelique. And, they are not a single long lived person.

    1. I’m going to go with Miranda from 1690 was simply reincarnated in the late 1700’s as Angelique. And, they are not a single long lived person.

      That was the impression I got as well.

    2. That is the ONLY explanation that makes one lick of sense. Because otherwise, if Miranda is Angelique and already permanently witchy and young, her entire storyline is ridiculous. Why would a powerful witch more than a century old become a lady’s maid and be so jealous of that drippy little Josette? If she got fixated on Barnabas, she could pose as an aristocratic, gorgeous rich woman in her own right and snag him with relative ease.

      Now, she could still be rivals with Josette, and Barnabas could have met both of them in Martinique and been attracted to them both; even having an affair with Angelique before choosing Josette. And that would have been a MUCH bigger deal for Barnabas than just sleeping with a pretty lady’s maid–seducing a woman at the top level of society and abandoning her was not a good look, at all.

      But as it stands this is the stupidest turn of events since the idea that Angelique in modern day couldn’t get anybody but that stiff of a Sky Rumson to fall for her without dark power-using.

  8. The DS writers’ excessive use of retconning has plagued the fans from the moment they originally aired to this day. If only we could go back in time and stop the writers from ruining established storylines and character histories.
    Perhaps at a future fan gathering, a seance could be held, propelling one fan backward in time…

    1. Ok, at midnight, everyone put their pinkies on their touchscreens; but remember, NO HATPINS.

    2. It looks like the fan gatherings have been discontinued.

      They did the 50th anniversary Dark Shadows Festival in Tarrytown in 2016.

      Then later that year they did a Halloween gathering in Hollywood — they even had the “two Willies” in attendance, James Hall and John Karlen.

      Nothing since.

      1. The guy who was running it – Jim Pierson – is apparently tired of coordinating the events. Kathryn Leigh Scott encouraged fans to contact him and, in turn, encourage him to either revive the festivals or turn them over to someone else.

        1. But he’s supposed to be the keeper of the flame, Dan Curtis’ latter day right-hand man.

          If this is true, then he’s betraying the trust.

          I’d like to light some little thingy in a dish, hold it out in front of me while I mumble some incantation to unlock the secret number of the universe, then summon up an apparition of Barnabas, with cane at the ready, who accuses to his face:

          “You’ve betrayed me!”

          1. It wouldn’t be the first time Frid had felt betrayed by Pierson. They had a falling out after Pierson used some of Frid’s performance on one of the MPI videos, highlighting a DS convention. They later patched things up, though.

            Someone commented that Jim Pierson took a lot of grief from fans who complained so much about practically everything. Maybe it got to the point that he had just had his fill of it. Perhaps he will be willing turn the reins over to someone else; apparently there are others who would be willing to take it on.

            1. I think of that Emmy Legends interview where Frid balked over questions Pierson was repeating from an earlier interview: “Oh, come on, Jim, we’ve gone through that already!”

              As I recall, that happened more than once during that interview. 🙂

              Jim Pierson’s guidance as an organizer will be a great loss to the Dark Shadows fandom, because now there will only be online sources to share one’s appreciation — not that a forum like this isn’t beneficial, but think of it. Recall that 2001 Museum of Television & Radio gathering, and how one speaker from the audience revealed that he’d met his wife at one of those conventions.

              I’m most grateful to Pierson’s work as an archivist. He was involved in compiling two of the essential print bibles: Dark Shadows: The First Year and The Dark Shadows Almanac.

              There was also his presentation of Art Wallace”s 1954 teleplay The House, which got its first viewing in over 60 years at the 50th anniversary Dark Shadows Festival in Tarrytown (uploaded by Barnabasbytes):

              Too bad that fans complaining seems to have dampened his desire to participate further in fan gatherings to celebrate the legacy of Dark Shadows.

              I guess not all DS fans are as pleasant and amiable as the ones who post here in the comments of Danny’s blog.

              1. Oh, that’s a shame. But I can see how Pierson would be tired of running the conventions — they started in 1983. More than three decades of an annual event would wear anybody out, especially because there’s a point where they’ve done just about everything you could possibly do. The cast and crew are all getting older, so you’ve got kind of a diminishing pool of guests to bring back every year.

                1. “I am forced to remain in this century. I am consigned to this time forever!”

                  These days, I know how Angelique feels.

                  Just consider that…

                  Most of the babies being born here in 2018 will have an excellent chance of seeing the year 2100.

                  None of us posting here now ever will.

                  In terms of mental time travel, the 20th century looks better all the time.

                  1. From the latest Shadowgram…
                    “As recent SHADOWGRAM Updates previously announced, the MPI-Dan Curtis Productions-Severin Films project will receive special screenings. These will be held in Los Angeles and New York later this year in association with the Dark Shadows Festival. DARK SHADOWS cast/crew members and other participants will be in attendance. SHADOWGRAM Updates will announce details as they are determined in the coming weeks.”
                    It appears that tehre may be 2 Festival gathering events later this year on both the east and west coast.
                    Does anyone know if the planned Cruise took place last October. I think it was to be in New England and had KLS and Parker attending or did it not happen?

    1. Just wait until the Roxanne paradox. In 1970 she’s a vampire sired in 1840. In 1840 it’s Barnabas, having traveled to 1840 from 1970, who accidentally sires her, and the vampirism is triggered by Angelique’s anger. However later in 1840 Roxanne, as a vampire, is sunlighted to death and it’s a final death. So how can she, in the future, blood slave Sebastian Shaw and drive Maggie mad? Just as well the whole 1970 timeline gets shunted into a negated timeline. Even if the Sebastian strand of the storyline happens regardless of Zachary’s absence, the Roxanne paradox still kicks in.

        1. The family secret was something that never came into play. The children of her and Gabriel were already born and away from Collinwood, so the next generation, then the 1898 generation were assured.

      1. Its possible that someone (or something) else turned Roxanne into a vampire in the original 1840 (no barnabas) timeline. It doesn’t solve everything, but it eliminates the paradox. 1970 Roxanne didn’t know or remember Barnabas which would also seem to point to someone else being the cause of her vampirism.

        1. My take on it is that Gerard/Judah put the vampire curse on Roxanne and somehow made it appear that Quentin was the warlock who did this in order to fire up Larmar’s determination to bring Quentin down.

    1. No great loss.. Judah Zachary’s head might have a paper bag over it for all the interest it has… (Yeah, a paper bag… The Unknown Warlock).

      Really that head is a lot less interesting than Petofi’s hand

      (Now if we had another sorcerer to provide a foot….)

      We could start assembling a warlock out of body parts…

  9. Did I miss the explanation for how the Godfearing folk of 1690 managed to capture and contain Judah? How come he didn’t just hex them to cut their own heads off? Did he just want to see what the 109 counts were that he was charged with? Or maybe he just got the same lawyer that Vicki had.

    I’m not going to believe that they just sneaked up behind him and put a bag on his head.

    1. The big problem everyone after 1690 had with the supernatural is that they didn’t believe in it and didn’t take it seriously until it was too late. The fight against the supernatural was also always conducted through science or at least the absence of any religious component of a fight against what is in effect rather demonic evil.

      The folk of 1690 likely took it all more seriously. Judah’s tendency toward mass murder would probably have helped with public acceptance. Angelique always operated in secret against individuals. But Judah is not a subtle plan kind of guy. He seems like a kill whole towns kind of guy. I would suspect that all 109 counts were probably for murder.

      They would also have had serious witch hunters back then with various religious weapons against magic and also understood what they were dealing with.After 1690, they had Trask who was kind of a self-taught pretender. Professor Stokes was for the most part equally useless (though less harmful). Its also possible that there were more powerful versions of lets say a Bathia Mapes around in 1690.

  10. Here I am! I’m finally caught up, but sadly just in time to participate in the dying of the light.

    What do I say after I have been lurking for the last couple months? How do I inhibit my natural inclination to type novel length entries?

    Thanks to Danny, I now know I watched far more of the original run of Dark Shadows than I realized. I watched from the summer of 1967 to the summer of 1969. I was 4 years old when I started and 6 years old when I was yanked to a location that didn’t get an ABC signal.

    My memories are of watching Dark Shadows by myself in a living room full of antique furniture and historic knick-knacks including a couple flintlock pistols high on the wall. I know I didn’t watch it alone all the time. I remember my foster brother and sister who were around 13 and 15 turning the knob on the TV so it would be on the right channel. I remember being told what the clock would look like when it was time to watch. I remember being told that the shows were not on today because it was a Saturday.

    So one or both of these foster sibs got me watching it but I have no memory of them watching it with me. I only remember that I watched alone while my foster mom took my infant sister upstairs to nap. She knew I’d stay out of trouble while waiting for the show and while the show was on.

    Watched really isn’t the right word. I imprinted on Dark Shadows, Barnabas in particular. I knew he was a vampire. I’m not talking Twilight imprinting drivel. I’m a biologist, dammit. I’m talking a young, newly hatched avian life imprinting on the first significant thing seen, normally what is supposed to be an adult caregiver. I was a young life in need of a caregiver at the time so I feel it is a good analogy for me to use. I was so young, I never did understand that Barnabas wasn’t always a vampire. I don’t remember other vampires or any other werewolf other than Quentin.

    Still, here are a couple things I remember clearly. One, when Trask walled Barnabas up, I thought Barnabas was a little whiney about it. I didn’t realize he was human and I expected Barnabas to break free and do the proper thing by killing Trask. The floating hand was maybe the most disturbing thing I saw on the show. When that terrifying hand slowly floated over and then removed the vampire marks from the lady (I thought she was Maggie), I was surprised that it could do a “good thing”. I was also thinking Barnabas would be annoyed. (Okay, so I was missing a lot of the plot but I knew I was on team Barnabas.)

    Did Dark Shadows scare me? Yes, it did and not just Petofi’s hand. Barnabas scared me. I have one clear memory of turning off the TV after the show ended and walking out the front door into the bright sunlight. I walked onto the sidewalk, holding my two index fingers in the shape of a cross, repeating out loud “Barnabas can’t get me because it’s light.” I just cannot remember WHY I was afraid of him.

    Over the years, I acquired all but one of the Marilyn Ross books. (I found my first three on August 3rd, so now that day is a secret, personal holiday.) I have a few of the Gold Key comics. I have a box with multiple editions of three separate DS fanzines from the mid-80’s, the early ‘90,s plus some additional fan produced work. I went to a Dark Shadows convention in Dallas and wished I could have gone to more. I saw Frid in Arsenic and Old Lace when it played in Denver in 1986.
    Dark Shadows and Star Trek have been my family for five decades and counting. I was raised in multiple foster homes, in multiple towns, multiple states, multiple schools. It turns out that memories of fictional characters are portable. These “people” did not get left behind like real people, pets, schools, friends, possessions.

    I didn’t know about the Dark Shadows movies until I saw them on the late night Friday movies in maybe ’76 or ’77. (Thanks Danny, for saying what has been unvoiced in my mind for all these years. If may paraphrase, Dan Curtis was a miserable bastard to kill part of my imaginary family the way he did. Hah! My imagination revived them. So there!)

    I’m debating going back through the blog and adding comments. It seems kind of narcissistic of me on one level. On another level, after reading most of the blog posts you all “feel” like almost-imaginary friends and I do love my imaginary friends. So if anyone has any questions of me, please ask.

    Background: I’m female. My husband and I have been on the Internet since the early 90’s. We first “met” on a listserv called Vampyrs@byte.net (Or something pretty close to that … it was vampires and bite and dot net.) Alas, although my husband did go to the Burton movie with me, he is not someone I can watch the original DS with. I tried
    that once. I had warned him about the production values but at some point not very far into one of the “Best of” DVD’s, there was a scene where Frid, with fangs, was doing some big head motion and emoting. My husband gleefully called out, “Blood headache!”

    So he’s not allowed to watch Dark Shadows with me anymore.

    1. Put comments in old entries, BY ALL MEANS! This is a document being added to constantly, I have seen comments from this year in early entries – we will find you.

  11. Here’s another missing piece of the retcon pie.

    Collinsport founder Isaac Collins arrived in the area in 1690.

    It was all just trees then.

    Isaac was even mentioned in 1967 when Roger was lecturing Tony Peterson on manners.

    At least they managed to build a thriving court house in the 2 years after Collinsport was founded.

    First things first.

  12. Please correct me if I’m wrong; didn’t Judah’s origin story take place in New Bedford? I don’t know why it was written that the Judah-Miranda-Amadeus events took place outside of Collinsport, anyway..,

    1. Its unclear where it took place. We know they built a vault for his body outside Collinsport and we know that the head showed up in Bedford (ordering Otis Greene’s murder spree) in 1803. But the trial and execution could have been in either place or a different place.

  13. I remember my teenaged fandom took a real hit at this point in the series. There was a lot that wasn’t working in the show at this point: the now-sidelined Samantha story (remember her? no?), cold Quentin, that empty beauty Roxanne being tossed this way and that by male characters and the plot, the way they were bailing on the interesting rascal Gerard to drum up this dead-in-the-water characterless Judah Zachary (a.k.a. malevolence-on-demand); but now they were messing with Angelique! I was madly in love with Angelique, fascinated with her point of view, and when they offered this as a level-up backstory, I simply said “no.” I didn’t believe it, and, what’s more, I was convinced the writers and directors didn’t believe it either. The whole courtroom flashback was done impossibly on the cheap–they’ve hired entire juries of malevolent ghosts and armies of the dead rising from graves, but here it was three actors overacting and an unconvincing sound loop of a crowd standing in for all of colonial Collinsport at a spectacular trial. Add the impossibly lame mismatch of voice and face for Zachary (by now, as someone else has said, they had one actor for Zachary’s body, one for the face, and one for the voice–and the result was far, far less than the sum of its parts), and it was just obvious hat they weren’t even trying to try any more. Fed up, I absented myself from watching and got involved in my my high school production of The Crucible instead. (And I refuse to see this as irony; it was aesthetic reparation!)

    1. Thank goodness we have Danny Horn now; speaking for myself, I know I’ve watched far longer than I would have without his insights and humour (as well as all those contributions from the community he has gathered).


    2. Keene Curtis is on the stand with… a bag over his head, roaring with anger. When the camera cuts to the front of Zachery it’s Michael McGuire who silently rips the bag from his head. The rest of Zachery/Curtis’s rant is off-camera. It had to be that way once the producers learned McGuire sounded like Elmer Fudd. “Deaf is merewy an extension of wife!” wouldn’t have worked at all.

  14. In the end, the story line was composed by a group, some of whom left early, some arriving in the middle, few there for the entire run; nobody seems to have kept accurate track of details, and in some cases it seems like they were trying to “paint the next one into a corner”. Everyone seems to have underestimated the audience’s attention span, and nobody ever thought that DS would go on as it has. They weren’t looking to a legacy. It was just a soap opera.
    There really isn’t a single way to tie together all the threads; alternate timelines, jumps into history, supernatural shenanigans, and all those glimpses of microphones and cameras – it was all a ride through a funhouse, and nobody felt it needed to make sense except at the moment currently being presented.

    By rights, Barnabas and Julia should be spread across the timespace continuum in a fine paste, along with the greater Collinsport area (ESPECIALLY Eagle Hill Cemetery!). But somehow there they were at the end, safe and sound, all the problems solved, and everything tied up in a neat coffin-shaped CD case. And ready to start all over.

    1. “Everyone seems to have underestimated the audience’s attention span…”

      And our intelligence. But they did keep us entertained.

    2. Yes, well said, BUT, in commenting on this specific instance and episode, the “Mirandizing”, we give voice to a grievance of many a devoted fan of any serial: the failure to honor continuity. Angelique’s story, and the entirety of 1795, seemed to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. No major loose ends, diversions from the main plot, etc.
      It’s therapeutic to be able to air a pet peeve in a forum that seems designed for it…

      1. For me, the staircase took them to a parallel 1840, not the regular time one (with the family secret). Stokes came from RT 1970 to PT2 1840.

    3. They were more into shock and awe than continuity, for sure. I still believe it is DS’ imprfections that make it so enduring. If it had been a perfectly written, staged and performed soap opera, would we all still be so intrigued by it today? I don’t think so. Watching them duct tape and chicken wire that show together is part of the fun. Long Live Fridspeak!

      1. Agreed, its flaws give it a charm that no other TV show has that I can think of. But I wonder what it might have been like if they HAD been able to stop and fix things; and what wonderful ‘blooper reels’ they would have been able to show at conventions!
        And it makes me wonder about those tape edits, what kind of disasters happened to rate the director calling to cut! (I mean, the set was on fire in that one episode, ON FIRE, and they kept rolling!)

        1. Peyton Place had frequent boom mic shadows, and numerous times you could see the edges of sets – one time when Rodney Harrington and Steven Cord get embroiled in a fistfight and are rolling around the floor in the living room of the Peyton mansion, the camera angle reveals the top corner of the set along with studio lights – and this was a show that was not videotaped, but filmed in the Hollywood studios of Twentieth Century Fox Television on five separate soundstages together with outdoor sets across 76 acres of space, with a budget of $60,000 per episode. Yet mistakes would be left in, despite the standard two-take policy.

          There was a boom mic shadow in an episode of The Bob Newhart Show – but, of course, this was in front of a live audience. There was a boom mic shadow in an episode of Bearcats, against the façade of a building from one of the outdoor sets. In an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (The Energy Eater), there’s a boom mic that dips into view from overhead in one scene, Dark Shadows style – it even lingers there for several seconds.

          I suppose no show is perfect, and production crews were no doubt counting on nobody noticing those little technical imperfections – indeed, I didn’t notice that Kolchak blooper until just recently. Being a regular Dark Shadows viewer has trained my eye to spot such things. 😉

          But I agree that Dark Shadows is better for these imperfections, because they lend the show a more “living” quality – like the show is just one continuous event that unfolds in real time, which also instills a stronger sense of urgency and drama in the performances.

          1. Just thought of the old filmed serials of the ’30s-’40s, Flash Gordon & the like. They have that quality too.

  15. By the way, in Angelique’s Descent, there is a scene where she is traveling to Collinsport with Natalie and she feels like she has been there before even though it’s her first time there.

  16. Accessories note: in the next-to-last screenshot, Angelique is wearing a brooch with a white stone which she will use in 1897 to cast a spell on Gregory Trask. So apparently jewelry plays hopscotch with the time lines too.

  17. For me, a lot can be explained by the smile of satisfaction Gerard gives when he sees Julia and Barnabas take the staircase from 1995 to 1970. The dark power he represents called them to 1995 from Parallel 1970, and is now sending them back in time, first to 1970, then to 1840 to make it possible for the future they see in 1995 to exist.

    This is analogous to what the Leviathans did at the end of 1897. First Quentin’s ghost, then Barnabas and Julia’s I Ching trips, had created a rift in the order of things that made it possible for the Leviathans to erupt from the underworld into the human world, and to send Barnabas to 1969 as their agent. So too have the journeys Barnabas and Julia took into Parallel Time torn open the fabric of time and space, and made it possible for Judah Zachery to bring a Frankenstein maker back to his time.

    Attributing to Zachery the same power to exploit disruptions in time to shuttle people between past and future and thereby to rewrite his own history that the Leviathans had shown, we also have a way to resolve the Angelique/ Miranda paradox. Perhaps Angelique really was relatively new to witchcraft in 1795. Perhaps also, in her early naive attempts, she stumbled into the same kind of trouble Barnabas stumbled into with his time-travel. That’s what Zachery had in mind when he shouted at her during his trial that she ought to tell the truth, that she had come to him of her own accord- it was only because she had already worked in the black arts that he could call her to him, from the days after she first left Collinwood in 1796 to a nearby town 104 years before. And perhaps, with the first beheading of Zachery, his spell broke returning her to a time shortly after the “Burn Witch Burn!” moment in the tower room.

    Come to think of it, that might also put sense into Angelique’s remark that she is “consigned to this century forever.” There were a few days after Zachery calls her to 1692 and before she returns from 1692, and until Barnabas and Ben torched her, she was sentenced to relive those few days over and over again, Bill Murray-style.

  18. With regard to the Edith paradox: is it possible that Gabriel remarried and his second wife was named Edith, also? That would make the 1897 Edith the step-grandmother to Quentin, Judith, and Carl.

  19. They’re really jumping through all kinds of hoops to make this two actor set-up for JZ work. It just seems so unnecessary. How much could they possibly have been saving by limiting Michael McGuire to a non-speaking part?

  20. I know I’m in the minority but I was thrilled with the scene of JZ’s trial! But that’s because I have studied the Salem Witch Trials and am fascinated by anything to deal with it even if there were many things wrong with DS’ depiction. For one, Miranda’s makeup was flawless for 1970 but 1692? She would’ve been “plain Jane” and I wish Lara Parker would’ve went with minimal makeup. Also, male witches being referred to as “warlocks” is something that was perpetuated on Bewitched. Men were referred to as “witches” or “wizards” back in 1692. I really wish Louis Edmonds would’ve played a real person from the Salem Trials in a different production. I can see him as Judge Hathorne, “the Hanging Judge”, and ancestor of author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

    I do see the annoyance of having Angelique’s backstory messed with. I like the idea of Angelique just being Miranda being reincarnated.

  21. “I am the only living thing here in this room. And I’m the only one that has a mind that is functioning. You are a disembodied head. That’s all.” This is the best answering machine greeting I ever left.

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