Episode 1141: 13 Reasons Why

“For mother, the cards are blank. For me, they throb with life!”

Number one: The playroom. Right?

I mean, here we are, two months into the 1840 storyline, and so far, I don’t see what anything has to do with anything. Some of you may be too young to remember 1995, but I was there, and it seemed to me as if the playroom had a certain significance. It might have been all the people opening the door and saying, holy cow, a playroom, which happened approximately eight times an episode for what seemed like ages.

It’s not that the playroom is clearly designed for children in the four to eleven range, and the children in the house are old enough to be drafted. They had the decency to lampshade that early on, and I respect them for it; game recognize game. The problem is the architecture.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, which I’m not, but I recall just about everybody remarking that the playroom is too big for the space that it occupies, like the TARDIS but stationary and invented by ghosts. If you walk through that doorway, you get a linen closet, and if you keep on walking, you get the outside wall and then a precipitous drop to the patio. In 1970, the playroom was the spirit of a room that didn’t exist — couldn’t exist — but in 1840, it’s just a dimensionally transcendent room that nobody bothers to think about.

We’ve got one of two only options — either this space is big enough to house a playroom, or it isn’t — and Dark Shadows, in its casually quantum way, has chosen both. So that’s one reason.

Number two: Tad.

In the future of the recent past, dead heir Tad Collins of the mid-19th century was possessing live heir David Collins of the mid-to-late 20th, a pivotal plot point that they brought up more or less constantly. But the scene shifted to 1840 six weeks ago, and we haven’t seen Tad once. His parents have talked about him a bunch of times — you’re not going to take Tad out of this house, they’ve said, for instance — but the boy himself has remained stubbornly offscreen. Everyone else is getting possessed and borrowing newspapers, but Tad refuses to join in the fun. At a certain point, it becomes deliberately insulting.

Number three: The carousel theme.

Another thing that we’re not seeing a hell of a lot of is the music-box carousel, another major player in the run-up to 1840. The tinkly tune performed a multitude of narrative conveniences — possessing people, indicating when someone was already possessed, luring people from one place to another, even serving as the background to a mysterious haunted dance number.

It was there for the irony, obviously, like everything in the playroom was — a spooky counterpoint to the destruction and madness that the ghosts would wreak. But the villains that we know now — Gerard Stiles, and the legendary head of Judah Zachery — don’t go in much for whimsical irony. Judah is a warlock from the Puritan colonies of 1690, and nothing in his backstory indicates an interest in carnival rides. Head bags and scowling, yes, light-hearted melodies, no.

There are a couple musical themes in 1840 — Judah’s terrible Dead of Night theme, plus the song that reminds Quentin of terrible dead Joanna. It’s possible that the carousel was haunted independently by some spook yet unknown, and it just happened to show up around the same time.

Number four: Rose Cottage, interior.

The room that David and Hallie died in was a purple parlor that was upstairs in the dollhouse, and apparently downstairs in the actual house, because that’s where everybody walked into as soon as they entered the front door. In 1840, everybody gathers in the drawing room, which is on the other side of the front door, except in 1970 when there’s a wall there. There may be a perfectly sensible explanation for this, but I’d need to see the floor plan.

Number five: The model ship.

Back in 1970, a ship sailed into David’s bedroom unasked-for, another spooky pseudo-clue that told us nothing at all. It says The Java Queen on it, which is apparently the name of Gerard’s ship, but that’s the ship that Tad and Quentin were swept off of and stranded in Brazil for six months, so Tad probably wouldn’t want to keep a replica around as a keepsake. They were thinking of Quentin and Jamison, I suppose, except they didn’t set up a relationship between Gerard and Tad, other than temporarily marrying his mother.

Number six:

Hallie:  I’m going to be punished!

David:  Punished for what? You haven’t done anything wrong.

Hallie:  Oh yes, I have! I went to his ship today!

David:  Whose ship?

Hallie:  Gerard’s!

David:  Who’s Gerard?

Hallie:  I saw him, in one of the cabins, with Daphne! I saw him take her in his arms, and kiss her! I didn’t mean to see them! I was just walking by! They’re both very angry with me!

No idea what this could possibly be referring to. Is Gerard ever on his ship?

Number seven: Quentin’s diary.

Things that Julia should have learned from reading all those journals: Quentin and Tad being lost at sea. Gerard’s brief marriage to Samantha. Flora and Desmond living in Rose Cottage. A maniac prowling the woods, killing at least two Collins servants. Samantha’s sister’s sudden death.

Back in 1795, the Collins Family History included a detailed description of the last night of Josette’s life, including the loss of a ring, a door swinging open, and the sound of breaking glass. Why didn’t they write anything down, in 1840? There’s probably broken glass all over the place, and Julia has no idea what to expect.

Number eight: The falling bust.

In 1995, we saw and/or heard about a number of ghost-related deaths, including a bust falling on Jeanne Flagler, Mrs. Johnson having a heart attack, a bust almost falling on Julia, and Carolyn dying in the middle of writing a note. Judah’s whole thing is beheading, and there wasn’t a smidgen of beheading. Crushing someone’s skull is not the same thing, even if you crush it with someone else’s head.

Number nine: The unfinished horoscope.

There was the night of the sun and the moon, the light from the star that guides the destiny of Daphne Harridge, and Elizabeth’s sudden and under-explained obsession with astrology. In 1840, Gerard does prepare horoscopes, apparently, but only as a sideline and not to any real purpose. What was that all about?

Number ten: The pirate zombies.

Now, stop me if you’ve heard this one, but “the Java Queen, notorious scavenger of the seas, was caught in a storm off the rockbound coast of Maine, near the fishing village of Collinsport.

“Her crew of twenty-three brigands and cutthroats perished at sea. For years, it was believed that her infamous captain, whose identity was never known, survived the wreckage and vowed to unite his evil followers in death, causing them to rise from their graves to kill and plunder once more.”

So that’s a thing that I don’t think is happening. As I said, Judah is all about witch trials, hangings and decapitations, not pirates or circuses. We know that Gerard is the captain of the Java Queen — and known to the authorities as a swindler and a gun runner — but Quentin and Tad were traveling on his ship when they went overboard. I can’t imagine they were part of the brigands and cutthroats, and anyway, they were within swimming distance of Brazil, not off the rockbound coast of Maine. Also, the ship isn’t wrecked, and why would Gerard vow to unite his evil followers in death? It doesn’t add up, and I would have figured that the thing that ultimately destroys Collinwood would get more set-up than this.

Number eleven: The night I sang my song.

Julia read in Quentin’s diary that on one particular day in 1839, there was a concert in the Collinwood drawing room headlined by Leticia for the entertainment of Gerard, followed by an evening of champagne and whist. But Gerard and Leticia didn’t arrive until after Quentin and Tad went overboard, which was apparently early 1840, plus if Quentin kept such a careful diary, then why didn’t he mention the maniac running around in the woods, tearing people’s heads off. Also, Gerard and Leticia don’t live at Collinwood.

Number twelve: The old McGruder place.

In 1840, Flora and Desmond Collins live in a mansion known to the family as Rose Cottage, a nickname given to it by Carrie at some point in her childhood. It’s within easy walking distance of Collinwood, and possibly on the Collinwood estate itself.

But Quentin remembers this house as “the old McGruder place on Cumberland Road,” which he presumably remembers from his childhood in Collinwood, circa the 1870s. By 1970, the family doesn’t even know where that is. How old was old McGruder when he moved in, and why doesn’t anyone remember that Collins family members used to live there? Didn’t the McGruders call it the old Collins place?

Number thirteen: Hallie’s crush on Gerard.

And this one is the most story-bending head-scratcher of all. If there’s one thing that we absolutely remember from 1970, it’s that Tad and Carrie adore their governess, Daphne. She’s more important to the kids than anyone in their families; their destinies are irrevocably intertwined.

But in today’s episode, Carrie returns from a trip to Boston, and meets Daphne for the first time. “Hello, Miss Harridge,” Carrie says. “Well, if you’ll excuse me, there’s someone I have to see.” And then she exits, going upstairs to say hi to Gerard. All wound up and ready for romance with this handsome houseguest, she tells him, “One thing Boston did teach me was, I’m too old for a governess.”

Now, there’s two and a half months left, which I suppose is enough time for Tad and Carrie to fall in love with Daphne and learn to fear Gerard, but the track record does not inspire confidence. Sometimes I think this might not be a documentary, after all.

Tomorrow: The Golden Moment.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

At the beginning of Gerard’s second scene in act 1, as Gerard says, “What powers do you hold?” somebody walks by off-camera, and they’re reflected in the head’s glass case.

In Carrie’s line about being too old for a governess, she calls the city “Boe-ston”.

When Gerard opens Judah’s journal, he has to hold it in place for the camera to get a shot of the cover. He watches offscreen for his cue to turn it around, and start writing in it.

Daphne has come to Rose Cottage to get the newspapers from 1803 that Desmond took from the newspaper archive. He opens a cabinet, and hands Daphne a newspaper — but the headline is about Otis Greene’s death, which happened just a month ago.

The footage of the sea crashing on the rocks under Widow’s Hill is terribly old and scratched up, plus it’s in black and white. I guess it’s been a while since we’ve been up to Widow’s Hill, they must have mislaid the color footage.

When Gerard whirls around after throwing the head, you can see the top of the set.

Gerard says, “Well, now, Carrie, go back and tell Flora good night for me, will you — won’t you, please?”

At the end of act 3, the closing trill obscures the last couple words of Gerard’s line.

The mic cuts off one of Gerard’s lines: “Perhaps I shall take a little nap –”

Gerard asks Dawson what he wants, and Dawson says, “well, sure-you — surely you know who I am.”

Behind the Scenes:

Charles Dawson is Humbert Allen Astredo, returning to the show. We last saw him as Nicholas Blair, wrapping up the Leviathan story in March.

Tomorrow: The Golden Moment.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

58 thoughts on “Episode 1141: 13 Reasons Why

  1. All this is why I think for some reason the writers completely scrapped whatever idea the originally had for 1840.

  2. There can only be one (in universe) explanation for all this stuff and nonsense. When Barnabas and Julia left parallel time they never returned to the Collinwood Prime universe. All these story paradox’s and conundrums are obviously the result of all their past time travel shenanigans.

    It’s too bad the last year of the show was so messed up story wise, I remember being very excited when the last year of DS VHS tapes started coming out.

    1. I like that explanation! Whenever they travel now thet’re jumping into alternate dimensions and that’s why nothing matches up.

  3. Bravo Danny!!!

    This is my favorite entry in the entire blog (so far). Why? Because I was a viewer from the original broadcasts and was very upset about all the storytelling blunders during this stage of the show. At the time, most of my friends had stopped watching the show and as you noted earlier, coverage of Dark Shadows in 16 Magazine and the soap magazines rapidly diminished. Even in later years, in the Kathryn Leigh Scott books glossed over the continuity errors during the 1840 storyline.

    This is the first time anyone has thoroughly addressed the bad decisions that were made. You nailed it!!! (Sadly, there are the Roxanne and Edith paradoxes that are yet to come.)

  4. These later episodes require not just a suspension of disbelief, but also of short- as well as long-term memory. 🙂

    There were also things that didn’t happen at the start of 1897, like someone who was supposed to have interceded with Oscar.

    These 1840 episodes show that the writers were just making things up as they go along.

    I just take it as it comes.

    I could complain about what a radical departure from story consistency 1795 was compared with what was originally envisioned by story creator Art Wallace. For instance, Josette died in the 1830s — just a couple years after Collinwood was built, by Jeremiah.

    Another thing is Willie Loomis, a character created later on, most likely by Ron Sproat. In the Jason McGuire (originally Walt Cummings) blackmail story, as envisioned by Art Wallace, Jason was to have been operating alone. Why would McGuire have invited someone along for the ride, and half the fortune he was scheming for, who wasn’t even there for the caper originally hatched by him and Paul Stoddard?

    If there are more things here in 1840 that don’t fit in with what was presented while leading up to 1840, it’s probably the result of Dan Curtis being less involved over the last few months of the show.

    Dan Curtis was the de facto head writer, the guiding force of Dark Shadows. Without his input and gatekeeping decisions on a day to day basis, the writing staff was likely more or less on their own most of the time.

    1. By this time I was on and off with DS. it’s 1995 they go back in, the whole staircase thing. Come back, things are oh.
      How do they get to 1840
      and his i’d Gerald back in the 1970’s

    2. I don’t think the problem was Dan Curis;’ input in the writing. I think around the time of the first film, the writers got behind. Given the pace of the show, getting behind meant that they were always playing catch-up and couldn’t effectively do the sort of well thought out long-term plans they used to do.

    3. Having watched all the pre-Barnabas episodes, I can say that that the majority of them were written by Art Wallace. I know Mr. Wallace is revered as the man who created the original outline of Dark Shadows. However, if Danny and others think of the Ron Sproat episodes as slow and boring, they would think that the Wallace written episodes were going backward. The early episodes written by him and Francis Swann were typical soap opera shows that repeated conversations over and over without much action happening. There was a big improvement in dialog, character development and action when Ron Sproat, Malcolm Marmorstein, and later Joe Caldwell took over. They paved the way for all the things we remember and love about Dark Shadows, esp. the supernatural elements. Point being, sometimes the one with the original idea is not the best one to see it come to fruition or allow it to evolve successfully.

  5. 1897 is equally freewheeling but they didn’t go into that much detail during the haunting storyline other than Quentin’s obsession with David and the location of his death. Weird that the writers would be so specific in 1970 about something they had no intention of pursuing just a few weeks later.

    1. They also tied up plot plints about the skeleteon in the walled up room, why Quentin was obsessed with Davud. The babjjes coffin with the ppentagram etc. Virtually nothing that hapened in 1995 or 1970 is explained in 1840.

      1. Speaking of walled up skeletons, didn’t this Trask used to care about his missing dad and was all up in Barnabas’s fangs about it (absolutely correctly, but it’s Trask, so we enjoy watching him be frustrated)?

    2. I assumed the planned story for 1897 (based on the minor, sketchy clues during Quentin’s haunting storyline) was that Magda cursed Quentin, Quentin killed a few people (including Beth) in his altered state , so Judith and Edmund consequently walled him up in his room and left him to die. That’s why his skeleton was found by the kids in 1968 and that’s the real reason his was so pissed off at the family and wanted revenge. Barnabas wasn’t there to prompt Magda to steal Petofi’s hand, so he never came to Collinsport.

      1. I think he may have killed Beth while he was in the werewolf state and his secret discovered by Judith and Edward and one of them shot him with a silver bullet and he fell on the chair and died. They then decided to wall him up.

  6. For some reason, they opted out of the Gerard the Pirate story line in favor of the Head. Maybe it was just too expensive to create a believable pirate ship set, not to mention all the extras they’d need as pirates.
    The head in a box was much cheaper.

    1. I think they went to the head in the box because it better fit with the supernatural aspect of the show. They could have done a pirate story, but it would have just been a story about Gerard leading a gang of criminals, having criminal henchmen to do things and holding people captive on the ship.
      It would be like having a ship full of 1897 gypsies in the plot.

  7. Afghans? My ongoing question is how a heavy bust suddenly showed up on the balustrade in when Collinwood was invaded by zombie-pirates, and remained there until 1995 so it could unsuccessfully attempt to fall on Julie Hoffman’s head.

    1. And who replaced it there after it fell and killed Jeanne Flagler? We saw Liz put it there in 1970, right? Maybe Gerard keeps one of the pirate zombies around for odd jobs…

    1. Alice Pearce – the original Gladys Kravitz. Had it been possible, she could have appeared in a few episodes as a slightly addled psychic, or some such character, comic relief in the vein of Cavada Humphrey or Kay Frye. Would have worked as cross – promotion for ABC programming. Plus, in the season one “Bewitched” episode “Abner Kadabra”, Gladys WAS convinced she had psychic powers, going about such business until episode’s end. Pearce had already shown how she could do all that.

      Cancer claimed Alice Pearce in 1966, before “Dark Shadows” had even premiered. She was only 48. She is missed.

      1. I’ve been watching “Bewitched” from the start, and Alice Pearce is just a treasure. It’s so sad how cancer took her life at such a young age.

        She could have been a very interesting addition to “Dark Shadows.” So many possibilities, but I can see her as Maggie’s wacky sidekick colleague at the diner. And keeping the spirit of Gladys going, she’s the waitress who sees things first that no one else believes.

        Can’t you see Alice Pearce in a scene with Joan Bennett trying to tell Mrs. Stoddard that she saw Barnabas Collins turn into a bat?

      2. I’ve written a biography of Alice Pearce. It’s called Sweet Oddball. Just thought I’d inform a fellow AP fan!

  8. I’ve always thought that when they were in 1995, they were in some different parallel time rather than their own future. And that Gerard & company in 1995 used Baranbas and Julia to escape into a different past. All the background they presented about how 1995 happened in that timeline was basically lies.

    At the end of 1995, the ghosts stampede them into the playroom and then present them with a way back to 1970. When they used it, the playroom was able to attach itself to the house in 1970.

    The problem with the ghosts not coming from the future is that I don’t remember any explaination being provided in the show for why they started appearing in 1970. There was no disturbed tomb or opened door or anything else that would have activated the ghosts.

    My other theory is that the playroom was the next evolution in time travel after the staircase. It was basically a sort of time-travel vehicle (like a Dr. Who Tardis) which had become broken and stuck in 1995.

    But I think what really happened is what usually happened with the writing after the first movie. There were lots of good ideas, but they tended to rush through them one after the other because the “A” story was exclusively carrying the show. Then someone got unhappy or the ratings fell and they fell back on their standard cure-all in the show which was to do another time travel period piece. The goal of the time-travel was to do another version of 1897 and to create a new popular character in Gerard following the Quintin formula. But this time, going back in time didn’t work and didn’t fix the show.

    1. I love the idea of playroom-as-Tardis.
      But could the playroom signal that 1840 is a parallel world, like the changing room that brought Barnabas to 1970PT? In 1840, the playroom definitely exists. In 1970, it doesn’t because there’s no room. So does 1840 Collinwood have an alternate floorplan because it’s an alternate reality? Or perhaps it is Original Collinwood and that part was demolished after 1840 and replaced with a linen closet? It could be why the linen closet has that unusually ornate doorway. Again the ambiguity in the writing could make either scenario possible.
      And Angelique’s presence could also be explained easily if this were a different timeline. Ben also has a different future than we were originally told about. Edith’s death wouldn’t be a paradox if this is not the same universe as 1897.
      It’s never stated that this is PT but there certainly are inconsistencies that could lead to that conclusion. I am not happy about this.
      I really hate to think that all of this is parallel and that 1995 Quentin and Carolyn are still suffering the effects of the destruction of Collinwood in their own parallel world.

  9. As soon as Julia and Barnabas arrive they alter the past by existing in it. Tiny changes that snowball. Sure, Barnie’s a bit easier to accommodate (box in basement, no sun, fresh blood) but Julia has to be AirB&B’d.

    Got to admit, over the years Dr. Hoffman has imposed on the Collins family. Maybe THAT’S what happened to the family fortune, all that mad science can run into some money.

    Pity about the Java Queen. This storyline could have used more swash.
    Though I seem to remember that those wicked pirates were lost at sea. Guess a couple washed in from Brazil to Maine to be buried in the cemetery? (And that’s a story change that predates J&B arriving.)

    Say, where’s that Gabriel fellow got to?
    And how come we still haven’t seen Tad? Did he get stuck in the nursery when it changed back to the linen closet?

    You know they could have just ended the series with Victoria Winters waking up on the train as the conductor calls,
    “Next stop is Collinsport.” And a handsome guy near her starts putting on his coat; as she does the same, he smiles and asks if she’s going to be staying in town…

    1. I love that ending. Even if they did end it in 1841 PT, I think the final scene should have been a knock at the door and Vicki’s line when the door is opened is, “My name is Victoria Winters.” They could have worked this (or your ending) into any time line.

  10. Speaking of “The Turn of the Screw” (we sort of were), has anyone seen the prequel to the story? It’s a 1971 movie (not a book) starring Marlon Brando as the Gerard/Quentin character who corrupts the two children and their governess. It’s on Daily Motion.

    1. I haven’t seen that, but will try to. Sounds interesting.
      Out of curiosity, and not really expecting a definitive answer, but are there any interpretations about what the painting is above the fireplace in the nursery. I thought it might be of the children, but have never seen any clear shots of it.

    2. It’s called The Nightcomers and it’s not very good–but Brando is. (He was at low ebb commercially when he made it.) The governess is Stephanie Beacham, soon to play Peter Cushing’s daughter in one of the last Christopher Lee Drac pictures. I don’t know the timing but Curtis certainly kept one eye (maybe both eyes at this point) on the movies so it’s possible he was compelled to go back to the TOTS plot. Too bad because Gerard + ghost pirates could have launched a Pirates of the Caribbean series 30 years ahead of its time.

      1. Yes, The Nightcomers. I typed it so fast in my comment that I forgot to mention the name of the movie. I agree, it’s not the best.

  11. I’ve long assumed they were popping through alternate realities. I suspect a lot of us straddle at least two realities. That’s why the car keys are on the counter one minute then missing the next, only to be found on the counter when we really look again. 😉

    It would be cruel of someone to tell the Collins extended “family” about the possibility they are just tripping through the multi-verse and are now hopelessly removed from their point of origin. It seems too cruel to take away what victories the feel they have had.

    However, I sense they are beginning to suspect it anyway. Someone set up a recording device outside of a certain room that is prone to shift time and therefore dimensions. It’s an interesting room, but too dangerous to go into, hence the need to monitor from outside. Sometimes the room has an old black and white console television playing inside and you probably know what television show is on. (If you think about it, it makes sense that stories leak between dimensions. Why else do some writers describe the creative process more like watching the lives of their characters or even sitting and talking with them before bringing the story back out? Then the writers reshape the core story, reformatting it to fit the demands of whatever presentation method will showcase the tale they are sharing.)

    As for me, I’m okay with almost any version or storyline. I do have my preferences and I do bend my thoughts into knots trying to make continuity where there are clear breaks in logic. Still, I enjoy the fact that Dark Shadows, as it currently exists in 2018, is a good example of the Star Trek concept of IDIC. (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.)

    I laughed, then I mentally uploaded it into a certain “imaginary” recording device. I think Barnabas is mortified on so many levels that I just laughed some more.

    If the link is dead by the time you try it, just search for “youtube Barnabas in Collins Wood Lone Ranger” for yet another example of how Dark Shadows survived its cancellation. IDIC, y’all 🙂

  12. Here’s an explanation of what happens with the missing car keys that suddenly appear on the counter, courtesy of a cool episode of…The Twilight Zone.

    1. That was exhausting to watch! I hope that we aren’t sentenced to be blue man workers after we die.

      So for whatever it is worth, the “logic” rules of that TZ episode totally trips my reality check. I can accept the concept, but not the execution. … mumbly stuff, but it goes why would time be packetized to discrete units of one minute? I have just enough physics and chemistry training for my brain to try to squish that TZ model of time into the wave / packet model of energy/matter …. never mind that my education of such things mostly stopped the year that episode aired and my understanding of basic physics is now less than it was then.

      Oh wait, am I also supposed to feel sorry for that couple? I don’t really; it gave me a flashback to some regrettable hair choices I made in the 80’s. 🙂 Still, I am now awash in a wave of nostalgia. I miss the 80’s even though I don’t do enough to truly enjoy them at the time.

  13. Does anyone have ideas about what this 1840s storyline would have been, incorporating the 1990s “clues” so that the continuity worked?
    It still amazes me that the whole lead-in was scrapped (or ignored) as it was. But then, that was done with much of 1795 and 1897 as well.

  14. I have ideas of what happened minus Barnabas and Julia being in 1840, but they would be spoilers for what is down the road, so I will wait until then to reveal them.

    From the 1995/

    1. From the 1995/1970 lead-in stories, there were no references to the head of Judah Zachary and his influence on the things that happened in 1840.

      It all seemed to be about Gerard being an evil, corrupting person who had some sort of vendetta against the Collins family and especially Quentin. He somehow engineered the deaths of Quentin, Daphne, Tad, Carrie, possibly Leticia, and wound up dying himself. Whatever he had accomplished in 1840 was not finished, therefore he returned in 1970 to finish the job. Why he had control over Daphne and the children makes no sense.

      So, I don’t think the idea of having Judah possess Gerard was a bad idea, but it should have somehow been incorporated into what happened in 1995 and 1970. But wait! That would have required planning out and sticking to a long-term story.

      1. Part of what he (Gerard) was trying to do in 1970 was come back to life. His basic idea seemed to be to return from the dead and continue everything from where he left off in the 1840s down to the level of detail where he would have Daphne and the children playing out their roles in his life.

        His attitude toward Quentin was that he expected him to be dead (based on having killed him in 1840) and wanted him to be dead. As far as the rest of the Collins family, Gerard’s original plan didn’t seem like revenge. It was more him taking over and stealing the bodies he needed for the others.

        But Gerard in 1970 and 1995 had impulse control issues and if anyone crossed him, he would lose it and initiate mass destruction.

        There were two reasons they eventually needed Judah:

        1 Like 1897, the long-term plan was to bring in Gerard as another Quentin for the show. He could not be entirely evil to make that plan work.

        2 The ghost of Gerard was so all-powerful in 1995 and 1970 that they needed to provide some explaination of why a ghost pirate would have power and abilities beyond just about any character in the history of the show.

        Gerard in 1970 and 1995 can somewhat be explained by the conflicting desires of “Gerard” and Judah. Gerard just wanted to be Quentin and have everything Quentin had. Judah on the other hand wanted to destroy the family and generally murder people.

  15. Tad is on a pawn in the power play between his parents at best. At least Carrie has a love interest, albeit with the personality of cardboard.

    1. If David Henesy wanted to leave the show or wasn’t available much for 1840, they should have found another actor to play Tad.

        1. The actor who played Michael during the Leviathan storyline? That’s the only other boy around David’s age on the show.

    2. Yeah, at least Carrie’s crush on Gerard is age appropriate teen stuff. She’s lookin’ way too Sweet 16 to be stuck in a playroom with Tad. Glad they didn’t go there again.

  16. I love your Blog! I run a Dark Shadows fan page and have enjoyed a lot of your content! I had a question on your earlier posts about the underlying audio heard from Lela Swift and others… I have the DVDs set from the Coffin set from MPI Video. I listened at full volume and could not hear anything like what you described. I was using the Apple Airpod head phones on a Mac… I know when at times I did hear some chatter in other episodes which I have not listened to, but the episodes about Mark Allen I never heard… did they maybe remaster the DVD set to cover up some of this deep dark behind the scenes blabber?

  17. Wait a sec. The comments here indicate the skeleton in the room was Quentin. A genius solution (I thought) to the problem of having never-dying Quentin, along with a skeleton in the room was the revelation that it was Trask’s skeleton! Nicely done, or is my memory at fault?

    1. Yes, that was what we saw onscreen. Folks above are talking about what the writers’ original intentions might have been in early 1969, because they probably came up with the Trask’s skeleton idea much later.

  18. Almost caught up!

    May I just say that I love the idea of Barnabas and Julia blundering from universe to universe, leaving total destruction behind them as they go?

    1. I like even better that B&J, despite (or because of) destroying everything in ‘The Past ‘, somehow manage to make everything right again in ‘The Present ‘.

  19. “Daphne has come to Rose Cottage to get the newspapers from 1803 that Desmond took from the newspaper archive. He opens a cabinet, and hands Daphne a newspaper — but the headline is about Otis Greene’s death, which happened just a month ago.” That’s inaccurate–the headline Daphne reads from the paper is “Otis Greene Tells Court of Jeweled Mask.” It’s not about Otis’s death. A few moments later in this scene, Desmond says how Otis died in that very room and he feels responsible for it, but he’s just making a statement, not reading from a newspaper.

  20. During the card sequence John Karlin and Kate Jackson have an attack of the “Wells”. The type of attack where every sentence begins with the word “Well”. Reminds me of the good old days with Dennis Patrick.

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