Episode 1143: Viva Droopy

“I’m not saying that I believe what Mr. Trask told me, although it did depress me quite a bit.”

In the Old House on the Collins estate, Barnabas Collins sits in solitary grief. Only he and Julia know that before another night has passed, Roxanne will become one of the living dead. And then there’s a knock at the door, and in walks Señor Droopy, from Guadalupe.

Randall:  Are you Mr. Barnabas Collins?

Barnabas:  I am.

Randall:  My name is Randall Drew.

Barnabas:  Well, I don’t suppose that makes much of a difference.

Randall:  Roxanne was my sister. May I come in?

Barnabas:  If you have to.

Barnabas:  I wasn’t aware that Roxanne and Samantha had a brother.

Randall:  They don’t. Oh, wait, they do. That’s me. I’ve been away from Collinsport for some time, practicing law in New York.

Barnabas:  Oh, I see. And you’ve returned for Roxanne’s funeral.

Randall:  Yes. She asked me never to come and see her again, but I don’t suppose that applies anymore.

Randall:  Mr. Collins, what do you know about my sister’s death?

Barnabas:  What do you mean?

Randall:  Lamar Trask told me that he has reason to believe Roxanne died as a result of an act of sorcery, and that you were somehow implicated.

Barnabas:  An act of sorcery?

Randall:  Mr. Collins, I’m not saying that I believe what Mr. Trask told me, although it did depress me quite a bit.

Danny:  That’s an actual line from the television show, by the way; I’m not making that one up.

Randall:  But after all, he must have some reason for believing what he does.

Barnabas:  I’m afraid I can’t begin to think of what it is.

Randall:  I can’t either.

Barnabas:  Well, that gets us exactly nowhere.

Randall:  You were one of the last people to see her, on the night she died. Did she seem ill then?

Barnabas:  No. As a matter of fact, she was in exceptionally high spirits. I suppose she knew that you were in New York.

Randall:  But three hours later, she was dead. And Trask tells me that the animal wound on her neck mysteriously reopened. How could that have happened?

Barnabas:  I have no idea. She was loved by everyone that knew her.

Randall:  Were you in love with her, Mr. Collins?

Barnabas:  Yes.

Randall:  Aren’t you a married man?

Barnabas:  Yes, I am. But I must confess that I loved her very much.

Randall:  I see. Well, I don’t know what to make of Trask’s opinions.

Barnabas:  Well, Mr. Trask was engaged to Roxanne, but just before she died, she broke off her engagement.

Randall:  Are you sure about that, that she broke the engagement?

Barnabas:  How is that the one thing you ask a follow-up question about?

Barnabas:  Oh, Julia, this is Randall Drew, Roxanne’s brother.

Julia:  Well, I’m sure you can’t help it.

Barnabas:  This is my sister Julia.

Julia:  I’m so sorry about Roxanne.

Randall:  Thank you. Well, Mr. Collins, I shan’t keep you any longer. Good night.

Barnabas:  Good night.

Julia:  What did he want?

Barnabas:  I’m not sure, I wasn’t listening.

Samantha:  Randall, I would like you to meet Valerie Collins. This is my brother, Randall.

Angelique:  Well, I don’t imagine that’s of any consequence, one way or another.

Randall:  Mrs. Barnabas Collins?

Angelique:  Yes, that’s right. Well, I think the two of you probably want to be alone to talk things over. Also, I can’t stand to be in the same room with one of you, let alone two. Please excuse me.

Julia:  I’m sure Randall will want to speak to me when I see him at Collinwood.

Barnabas:  Oh, why be such a pessimist? It might happen to somebody else.

Samantha:  How can you forget Joanna? You can’t even bear to hear her name, can you?

Randall:  It is past history, and best forgotten. I haven’t seen her in four years, and I don’t ever plan to see her again.

Samantha:  Well, obviously you won’t, she died a year ago.

Randall:  She did?

Samantha:  Yes, she asked us not to tell you in her suicide note. She was afraid you might come to the funeral.

Randall:  Let me take you back to Collinwood with the others.

Samantha:  Let them wait, I’ll only be a moment. I want to have a final look at her, to say goodbye. I wanted so much for her… I wanted her life to be so different from ours.

Randall:  Well, it was different from ours. Shorter, for one thing.

Samantha:  Oh, shut up, Randall, you wet mess of a man.

Angelique:  Who was that young man standing at the grave beside Mr. Trask?

Samantha:  That was my brother. You met him last night; he’s standing right over there.

Randall:  Hello, Mrs. Collins. Do you remember me? I’m Randall Drew.

Angelique:  Well, I don’t see how that information could be of any use to me.

Tomorrow: The Merry Widow.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Randall asks Barnabas, “Why do you think was the cause of Roxanne’s death?”

Barnabas answers, “Perhaps you should know that Mr. Trask has been in a very exceptionally, well, disturbed state. You see, she was engaged to Roxanne, but just before she died, she broke off her engagement.” Randall asks if he’s sure about this.

Samantha tells Angelique about Hortense’s dying words: “Something about… a strange, bodiless head!” Puzzled, Angelique echoes: “A bodiless head?” “Yes,” Samantha says, “I know it sounds absurd.” Hortense was killed by a headless body.

When Angelique enters the Old House, we see her waiting at the door for her cue to start walking in.

Angelique and Julia say the date 1970 a bunch of times, and then Angelique asks, “What was your relationship with him in 1971?”

Angelique asks Samantha, “Who was that young man standing at the grave beside Mr. Trask?” Samantha replies, “Do you mean Gerard Stiles?” Angelique met Gerard several episodes ago.

Behind the Scenes:

Randall mentions the Collins family lawyers, Thorndyke & Hanley — obviously the ancestor of Evan Hanley, who was the Collinses’ lawyer in 1897.

Tomorrow: The Merry Widow.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

44 thoughts on “Episode 1143: Viva Droopy

  1. One of the amazing things about Gene Lindsey was that a week before this episode was taped, he’d just turned 34.

    I guess old people looked a lot older in the old days.

    Even if they weren’t old.

    1. David Selby was 27 when he first appeared on Dark Shadows, but he certainly seemed older than that to me. I would have guessed 35. I guess part of that was his height and the fact that he was such a strong type.

    2. One thing that always amuses us watching old tv shows and short films is when somebody you’d swear was in their mid fifties at the very least announces that they’re 27 and there’s no side eye or blurting of “no, really, how old are you?” or anything.

      All that smoking and drinking and tanning ages you FAST. Plus, everybody onscreen had just come through one of three wars, which isn’t exactly conducive to the dewy glow of youth.

  2. I may be setting myself up for an excoriating comment or two, but I keep seeing Luke Skywalker instead of Señor Droopy. It’s the hair and the cloak, of course. I thought maybe it was that I first looked on at small images on my cell phone. However, I still got the same impression from my laptop when I watched the episode.

    Danny, I like your version of the dialogue for this episode. You do know you sometimes confuse people like me, don’t you? 😉 I can usually tell when the blog dialogue has … ahem …. wandered into its own band of reality, but there have been times when I’m not 100% certain. I haven’t been watching the show up until now. I just started my viewing on Amazon last week and this 1143 episode is the first one I’ve viewed concurrently with the blog posting.

    Now that I can finally see all of Dark Shadows, I’m pretty sure at this point that not all original story arcs, or at least not all parts of them, are going to make it inside my head to become part of my version of Dark Shadows. However, I think maybe I will add some of the humorous substitutions in this blog to the accessories I keep in my mental toybox. There is always room for more humor.

  3. Among your finest meta-hours, combining the actual lines, the sense of hopelessness and growing detachment of the writers, and the actors’ awareness that whatever they were saying yesterday and will say tomorrow bears little relation to the words coming out of their mouths at the moment. This could be a Mad magazine parody if it weren’t so fundamentally depressing. I didn’t laugh much, which would have been inappropriate anyway. Call this Prelude to a Death in Collinsport.

  4. Randall is a functional character. The actor comes in and does what is expected of him in advancing the storyline, but doesn’t stick in the mind. I honestly can’t remember if he gets killed off or not.

  5. “Only he and Julia know that before another night has passed, Roxanne will become one of the living dead.”

    I bet Angelique knows, too…
    (Good grief! What do we have to call her now, MirAngeVal-andra? Sounds like one of those pharmaceuticals with a ton of contraindications.)

    And I suppose we should cut Randall some slack, his sister just died; but he does seem to suck all the fun out of a room even faster than any Trask does.

    1. “May cause death by fire, extreme jealousy, and one’s soul enslaved unto the Dark Lord. Also, headaches.”

  6. Randall was a somewhat redundant character. He generally duplicated Lamar Trask in the storyline. Its possible that the original intention was to have “B” story featuring him and Quintin fighting over Daphne (rather than Gerard). But his acting wasn’t great and he only lasted for a few episodes. He had a very sparse career in films & tv.

    1. “But his acting wasn’t great” – with all due respect (and humor) I have to ask, “So?” 😉

    2. A basically decent guy who threatens to expose Barnabas is dramatically compelling, but the series often struggled with sticking with an antagonist to Barnabas who isn’t otherwise loathsome (Lamar Trask vs. Randall Drew).

  7. This show is entirely too gloomy right now. We need some comic relief fast and Mr. Trask can’t do it all by himself. I had high hopes when Nicholas Blair showed up at the door but even he is a snore.
    If only Carl Collins would stumble onto the time travel staircase and appear in 1840 to put a whoopee cushion in Gerard’s seat and give Randull a hot foot – and remind Barnabas that they are buddies.

    1. “This show is entirely too gloomy right now …”

      Yes. And the spark many of the actors used to have seems to have gone out of them. Maybe it’s due to the writing. But the show feels lifeless at times, just plodding along, wooden. With the actors just going through the lines and motions but nothing more.

      1. They’re all probably exhausted from making and promoting “House of Dark Shadows” throughout the spring and summer. And now the movie is out and all that pre-release energy before it’s premier is probably just gone.

      2. Since the episode is a little dull, how about we check out a pair of braided time bands from not so long ago and a galaxy far, far away?

        Dimension-hopping, astral-projecting Master Skywalker stops in to visit astral-projecting, time-traveling Master Collins.

        They discuss the challenges of dealing with inappropriate attractions to family members. Then they share personal anecdotes about the social awkwardness and misunderstandings that arise when the wayward son of a prominent family begins to show a (slight) preference for a darker type of existence and is therefore (erroneously?) presumed lost to all common decency.

        Tired of pretending to drink sherry, then step out to the docks for a brief demonstration and comparison of Jedi mind tricks versus vampire mind tricks.

        Upon returning to the Old House, they invite Julia to join them for an enjoyable “wee hours” theoretical discussion about the possibility of recalling the life force of a newly dead space pirate turned rebel general and the possibility of placing said life force into a different body.

        sigh Even though it’s been days, I still see Luke Skywalker when I first mentally process Randall’s picture. Thank you Sesame Street which teaches how to figure out which things are kind of the same. I was a little surprised out how quickly it was to see the characterization commonality between the two stories.

    2. I think the actors are tired, and/or maybe they don’t understand what’s going on with the storylines.

      The show had such wit during the 1897 flashback – especially with the likes of Quentin, Count Petofi, and Magda.

      Here in 1840, the only character who seems to have a sense of levity is Flora, which is ironic, because Joan Bennett’s character were never before used for lighter moments.

      The feeling I had when watching this in 1970 was sadness. We had just seen – or it had been implied – that members of the core anchor characters had been killed or driven insane. The real star of the show – Collinwood – was in ruins. Before we had a chance to morn the loss of these characters we suddenly had to get used to another group of characters in 1840. For me this was easier to take when 1897 began because we knew that the core characters – except for David – were still okay and had just been driven out of the house.

    3. Maybe Leticia can put on a performance. Could have tied into the Carolyn sings a song thing from 1970.

      With regards to the clues that kept Barnabas and Julia occupied in 1970, they could have been part of a ritual that ends up being cast in 1840. The original act occurs in 1840 and traps more of Judah/Gerard in Collinwood, reenacting it in 1970 allows him to escape. For the horoscope, that could have been Flora with an interest in the tarot without recognising its significance. This time Barnabas and Julia prevent the final part of the ritual (the murder), and Judard is no longer anchored to Collinwood in death.

  8. Could be worse.

    Craig Slocum had red hair, nice match to Roxanne – or Dan Curtis might have brought back perennial favorite Roger Davis.

    Wonder what Jered Holmes was doing? Bet he’d have looked great in 1840s costume!

    1. I don’t know that I would have minded Roger Davis in the Randall role. He at least would have fired things up a little. You won’t nod off when Roger Davis is onscreen.
      I miss Gabriel & Gerard’s banter – now that was fun.

          1. Ha, yes it was! Sort of a verbal WWE Smackdown. It’s always fun to watch witty villains being wittily villainous. Especially in that house.

      1. He would have been too busy grabbing Roxanne’s corpse and hauling it around like a loaf of bread while shouting all his lines for things to get dull! Match him up with Gabriel and it would be like The 1812 Overture but performed entirely in shouting.

    2. They should’ve brought back Dennis Patrick, who could’ve played an ancestor of Jason McGuire (Brendan McGuire?), who just happened to be hanging around Collinwood in 1840.

      Nobody could verbally spar with Barnabas with more aplomb than Jason.

      1. @ Priz- Your posting of this cat-and-mouse video clip of Jason and Barnabas leaves me jonesing for the early episodes!

        Ron Sproat, while too slow to advance the plot, was in general much more mindful of details of past plots and the content of the show’s bible. So at least the continuity lapses in the early episodes were relatively rare. I can appreciate that now — near the end — where the quality of the writing has suffered in so many respects.

        1. “Ron Sproat, while too slow to advance the plot, was in general much more mindful of details of past plots”

          Not surprising, since he generally had a couple of characters remind us all of those past plots over a drink in the Blue Whale every episode.

      2. Thanks Prisoner. Jason mopped up the verbal sparring floor with Barnabas. Unfortunately for Jason, Barnabas had the supernatural upperhand.
        At least Liz had the free will to stop Jason’s blackmail anytime. Maggie had no free will to end Barnabas’ torture. Barn is quite the hypocrite here. It would have been fun to watch Jason square off with the ultimate DS liar, Dr. Julia Hoffman.

  9. Just discovering this blog/site. It’s genius! Seriously, round of applause to you. I’m hooked.

  10. It was mentioned in the Dark Shadows 1840 Concordance fanzine (published 1987) that Don Briscoe was originally considered for the role of Randall Drew. I can see the similarities with both actors in looks and manner. But I don’t know if that was really true or not. Considering Don was supposedly fired by Dan for showing up to work one day in a drug induced state, I can’t imagine that to be true. However from what it appears, Dan now bored out of his mind, and waiting for the ax to fall, appears to have very little to do with DS on a daily basis at this point. It appears Lela Swift is running the entire show so maybe there was some truth to that.

    1. Well, “considered” could just mean “this part could work for Don. Has he come down off the ceiling yet? No? Never mind.”

  11. “Julia: I’m sure Randall will want to speak to me when I see him at Collinwood.

    “Barnabas: Oh, why be such a pessimist? It might happen to somebody else.”

    This made me laugh for a good ten minutes straight, and I’m still tittering as I type this. God, do we need this sort of thing for the Parallel Time episodes coming up!

    1. Yes, I’ve stopped rewatching the 1840 episodes, but I’m still rereading Danny’s blog. He’s so much more fun than the show is now.

  12. Couldn’t stop laughing at the Señor Droopy, too funny! My initial impression of Randall is that he talks like someone who’s been hypnotized… or at least, how Dark Shadows thinks people who’ve been hypnotized talk.

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