Episode 1170: This Place Is Not a Place of Honor

“Spirits don’t usually attack people.”

This place is a message…  and part of a system of messages…  pay attention to it!

Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

This place is not a place of honor. No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here.

What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

That’s a quote from Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a 1992 work of speculative science-fiction by the Sandia National Laboratories about how to keep our descendants away from our long-term nuclear waste disposal system.

You see, playing with nuclear energy is a lot of fun, but you end up with waste that stays radioactive for 10,000 years, which presents you with a storage problem. You have to put the waste somewhere, but the warning label that you post needs to be legible to the Fury Road warriors who come along nine thousand years from now, and wonder if there’s something cool inside the big lead mystery box.

It’s an interesting problem, figuring out how to communicate with people that far in the future. The oldest known written language is Sumerian, which goes back about five thousand years, and even Old English, which was used about one thousand years ago, is essentially indecipherable to anyone but experts. We can’t predict what language people will be speaking in ten thousand years — my bet is on Sumerian, which is long overdue for a comeback — and we don’t know if they’ll be able to understand any existing language, or even what kind of symbols will still be meaningful. We don’t know what their culture will be like, what they’ll understand of their history, what kind of technology they’ll have, or what their intentions will be. All we know is that if they try to dig up the Fabled Lost Treasures of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant of Carlsbad, New Mexico, they will be disappointed, and then sick, and then dead.

So the people responsible for marking the site need to construct a system of messages designed to last for ten thousand years. All of the written messages will be translated into the six official languages of the United Nations — English, Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese and Arabic — plus Navajo, the local Native American language, because you never know. They’ll also leave blank space for the people of the future to write their own translation, probably in emojis and GIFs.

Now, designing structures and materials that will last that long is relatively easy; the hard part is anticipating all the ways that humans could possibly screw things up. For example, if they include vertical stone markers, then it’ll look like a monument to the honored dead — you know, the kind that humans have used across the centuries to indicate that there’s interesting stuff buried right under them. Markers that are visually attractive will be stolen and sold as objects of art. Anything that’s useful and removable will be stripped out by desperate people and reused as building material.

And the problem with this problem is that it’s actually too interesting, which is why the recommendations of the Expert Judgment report probably won’t be used. The experts came up with all kinds of creative ideas for building utterly haunting public art exhibitions that certainly would have communicated a sense of dread and wonder to the people of the future — and meanwhile, in the present day, the project would turn the site into a popular tourist attraction, with thousands of people showing up to visit the nuclear waste isolation site, which is the opposite of where you want them to go.

So our long-term nuclear storage system needs to look messy, ugly, scary, useless and above all boring, a location which doesn’t attract attention but still convinces people that long ago, humans put a curse on this place, and if you don’t heed their warnings, you’ll be poisoned slowly by invisible death rays.

In related news, purported television network the CW has just announced that they’re working on a new Dark Shadows television series — Dark Shadows: Reincarnation, an hour-long drama created by Mark B. Perry, executive producer of Revenge, The Ghost Whisperer and Brothers & Sisters. According to Deadline:

“The re-imagined show will be a modern-day continuation of the strange, terrifying, and sexy saga of the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine — a mysterious, influential, publicity-shy group hiding a ghastly secret: For the past 400 years, they’ve lived under a curse that bedevils their blue blood with every imaginable supernatural creature and horror.”

So there’s that.

Now, we’ve been here before — naturally, that’s the whole point of a reboot — and I believe Dark Shadows fans have earned the right to be a little queasy about another Dark Shadows television show. We had a revival show in 1991, which didn’t go terribly well, for reasons that basically boil down to it’s not a very good idea to remake Dark Shadows. There was also a pilot shot for the WB in 2004, which we’ll be getting to in just a couple of weeks, and that didn’t work either, probably for much the same reason. The 1970 feature film House of Dark Shadows proved that rebooting Dark Shadows doesn’t work even if you have the original cast, writers, producers and audience.

See, the problem with telling the story of Dark Shadows over again from the beginning is that it wasn’t really a story; it was a process. The original creators just did the most interesting thing they could think of each day, casting eccentric New York theater people and then paying close attention to what the audience responded to, so they could pivot fast to feature the characters and plot points that people liked. They ended up with a story where the original core characters — the modern-day Collins family — became less and less important, as the screen time was eaten up by the outré outsiders who gradually took control from the sidelines. Story decisions were based on the particular appeal of the actors on the show, and characters who should have been minor walk-ons ended up driving major storylines for years, based on the force of the actor’s personal charisma.

It worked at the time, because the audience experienced the show from day to day, with no reruns or streaming video that would call attention to the nonexistent overall story structure. But if you try to retell that story from the beginning, it doesn’t make sense; you have to set up a whole cast of core characters at the beginning who become progressively less important over time, and the story doesn’t build to a season-finale climax. It’s just one damned thing after another.

But as they said, Dark Shadows: Reincarnation is meant to be a continuation of the story rather than a retelling, which is a sound move. That means that they can pick whatever elements they want to from the original show that still feel compelling, and then make up new stories with new characters, free from the expectation that they need to introduce two dead blonde fire witches in the same episode. That’s the same thing that Big Finish has been doing with their Dark Shadows audio dramas, with entertaining results.

Here’s some more information on the new show, from Mr. Perry:

“As a first-generation fan, it’s been a dream of mine to give Dark Shadows the Star Trek treatment since way back in the ’80s when Next Generation was announced, so I’m beyond thrilled and humbled to be entrusted with this resurrection. And while I could never hope to fill Dan Curtis’ very large shoes, I do aspire to carry them a little farther into the future.

“I also want to reassure the fans of the original that this version will treat the show’s mythology with the same reverence given to Star Trek, but will also make the show accessible for audiences who aren’t yet familiar with the macabre world of the Collinses. My plan is to take as few liberties as possible with the Dark Shadows canon, while bearing in mind a quote from a 1970s episode delivered by the inimitable Oscar-nominee Grayson Hall as Dr. Julia Hoffman: ‘The Collins family history is not particularly famous for its accuracy.’”

So, I mean. A press release that specifically invokes the inimitable Oscar-nominee Grayson Hall as Dr. Julia Hoffman? It’s essentially impossible for me to hate on this show. I won’t do it; it can’t be done. Besides, you know what they say about guys with very large shoes.

And that quote — “The Collins family history is not particularly famous for its accuracy” — is just about the most obscure thing you could imagine. It’s from episode 1075, an August 1970 episode in the middle of the Gerard and Daphne re-Turn of the Screw storyline. Barnabas and Julia are looking through books, trying to learn what they can about how Carrie and Tad died, and Julia says that line right before they’re interrupted by Quentin and start talking about something else.

I don’t believe anyone’s ever called attention to that quote before. My post for that episode, “The Night of the Sun and the Moon“, is actually just a list of lines of dialogue, and I didn’t consider that line interesting enough to even mention. And yet Mark B. Perry has it right at his fingertips. Touché, Mr. Perry.

Still, it seems appropriate at this point to send a warning to him, and to the people of the future. Just think of them all, one season of Dark Shadows: Reincarnation from now, struggling to their feet, blinking in the sunlight, wondering where they are and how they can rebuild the world. Who knows what terrible sights they’ve seen? So let’s look at today’s episode, and find out what wisdom it may offer as the CW stumbles towards its next calamity.

Well, as the man said, this message is a warning about danger, which comes a bit too late as far as Gerard Stiles is concerned. There he is in the Collinwood drawing room, staring thoughtfully at a chessboard and quietly pondering his plan to behead everyone and steal their money, when Gabriel Collins emerges from a secret panel hidden in the back wall, sneaks up behind him, and sideswipes him with a karate chop. Gabriel’s having another in a series of bad days and he’s got a lot of feelings about it, which he’s going to express through the medium of garrotting people.

You see, Gabriel’s been concealing the fact that he doesn’t need to sit in that wheelchair anymore, and yesterday, his dead father Daniel popped up and delivered the following announcement to his descendant in English, Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese, Arabic and Navajo:

“LIES, Gabriel, LIES, LIES! Your LIFE is a lie! You will lie no more! I’m EVERYWHERE, Gabriel, EVERYWHERE with you! I will do to you what you did to me! I WILL MAKE YOU DIE!”

It was a pretty clear message, but entirely lost on Gabriel, of course, who decided to just keep on digging for treasure anyway.

So here’s Gabriel, wrapping rope around Gerard and trying to advance his interests, but you can’t just kill the most interesting character on the show two minutes into the episode like this. They’ve invested a lot of time into building this storyline around Gerard, and he’s still got work to do.

In fact, James Storm is currently halfway through an eleven-day streak of filming one episode after another, which is taxing the already-shaky grasp that he has on his dialogue. While he’s taking a moment of well-deserved rest, let’s check out his taping schedule for December 1970.

Last week, he was only involved in two episodes — 1162 on Wednesday, and 1164 on Friday. This week (December 7th to 11th), he’s shooting five episodes in a row: 1167, 1168, 1169, 1170 and 1172. Next week (December 14-18), he’s got another five episodes: 1171, 1173, 1177, 1176 and 1174/1175. These are all out of order, of course, so factor that in as well. The week after that (December 21-25), he’s got Monday off, then back to work for another three episodes in a row — 1181, 1178 and 1185 — and then he gets Friday off for Christmas. After that, he’s back for another four-episode week: 1182, 1183, 1184 and 1186.

This is the production technique I was talking about earlier, where the producers threw people at the screen until they found an actor with the right kind of charisma, and then they would tear down the show and rebuild it around that person. It’s happened four times so far, with Barnabas, Julia, Angelique and Quentin, and now Dark Shadows belongs to Gerard. All four of those superstars are just secondary players; none of them even know that Gerard is running the storyline.

We can’t let him die, so the day is saved by Leticia, who lets herself into the house without knocking or anything, because if you wait around for someone to answer the door at Collinwood then you’ll miss all the murder attempts. Startled, Gabriel darts behind a curtain, and lets himself out through the window while Leticia’s surveying the wreckage.

It wasn’t a great plan, really — sneak into the most-used room in the house within sight line of the front door, attack someone, and then jump out the window into the garden, leaving the secret panel open and the murder weapon on the floor covered in fingerprints and suspicious fibers, but Gabriel’s not vertical very often, and he’s not used to operating at this altitude. All the blood is rushing to his wheels.

As Gabriel slinks off uselessly into the night, we see Gerard wake up and take stock. Now, the interesting thing about a Gerard scene is that sometimes his mouth opens and words just tumble out, and — because he’s the core character now — everyone else has to go along with whatever he’s trying to say. We’ll see that technique, in just a moment.

“Someone tried to kill me,” he gasps, coming back to his senses. Leticia asks who it was, and Gerard has to admit that he doesn’t have the foggiest idea; this storyline is so crazy that it honestly could be anybody. He realizes that Leticia scared his killer away, and says that he’s grateful, and then they get into the forensics.

“I think whoever it was must have left by the window,” Leticia reports. “I thought I heard someone behind the drapes. Yet when I came over here, I didn’t see anybody.”

“They might have come in by the window,” Gerard observes. “Still, they didn’t leave that way.” And then he points at the secret panel, which is still hanging open.

Now, Leticia didn’t say that the killer came in by the window; she said that’s how they left. It would be ridiculous to imagine that a criminal would break into the house, entering through a closed window that would have been well within Gerard’s peripheral vision, get behind him and start strangling, and then, interrupted mid-murder, leap to the wall and open a secret panel that nobody knows about, and flee into the interior of the house. Obviously, Gerard just got the line backwards, and we’re not supposed to take it seriously.

Except then we’re in the secret passage, and Gerard doubles down on his blooper.

“Goes on a bit, don’t it?” she asks, as they navigate through the tunnels.

“Yes,” Gerard says, and points. “The staircase over there — there must be an exit around somewhere. It’s maybe up there that the assailant made his escape.”

Which is insane. Why would the assailant escape to the inside of the house?

And by the time they get back to the drawing room and find Gabriel sitting in his wheelchair and wisecracking, Leticia has drunk the Kool-Aid as well.

“This is no time to be funny, Gabriel,” she scolds, “there’s a murderer loose in the house.” I have no explanation for this.

Then there’s a little more Gerardspeak. Addressing Gabriel, he demands, “Did you know that there was a safety passage behind that panel there?”

“Of course I did,” Gabriel smiles. “We used to play there as children. Oh no, does that make me a suspect, Gerard?” except he pronounces it sus-pect, which is not how you’re supposed to. Gabriel’s way off script today too; Gerard is contagious.

By the end of act two, the whole show is off kilter. We find Gerard standing in Quentin’s jail cell for a friendly visit, and we hear the clanking of the jailer’s keys locking the cell. The wooden door leading to the cell is still open, but after a few seconds, it swings closed all by itself, apparently pulled by an invisible deputy.

Quentin says that Gerard has some explaining to do: “I just wondered how it happens that the prosecutor of my case happens to be your very good friend Dawson, and why is he so determined to crucify me!”

Gerard is shocked. “And am I to be held responsible for the actions against a — a former friend?” He means the actions of a former friend.

“Former?” Quentin asks.

“Had no one told you that Charles Dawson and I were no longer friends?”

“No. No one’s told me anything.”

Gerard says, “Well, I was furious with him when he said he would accept the case, that he would prosecainst again – prosecain — against you!”

The Gerardspeak is flying pretty fast by this point. “I told him our friendship was finished,” Gerard swears, “that I was going to stand with you, that I would not help him in any case, whatsoever!”

“Well, I don’t know what to say,” Quentin says. Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.

They’re having trouble with the blocking, too. They’re shooting through the bars, which is fine, but the actors are so close to the bars that it’s impossible to find a shot where the camera can see both of their faces; it just shifts around, restlessly. Plus, they didn’t light this part of the set properly.

“I just wonder how it is that men like Barnabas and Desmond can be so much against you,” Quentin admits.

“Yes. I don’t understand it, either.” Gerard takes a seat. “But they will be… (sigh) … very interested to know that you and I have a, uh, common enemy.” There’s no explanation for why they would be very interested to know that.

“I was attacked last night,” Gerard reports.

“Someone tried to kill you?”

“Yes. I was in the drawing room. Someone snuck in through the secret passageway, through the panel.”

Which means Gerard does understand that the killer came in through the secret panel, and left by the window. So why was there dialogue about the assailant making his escape up the stairs and into the house? That’s the magic of Gerardspeak; sometimes it’s not even possible to reconstruct what the lines would have been like, even if he’d said them properly.

“Tell me something,” Quentin says, changing the subject. “Has Daphne received any more letters?”

“Yes, I’m afraid she has,” says Gerard, “even more mysterious than ever.”

Quentin nods. “I know.” What?

“All of the trouble started,” he observes, “when I began to receive those letters from Joanna. Now, it’s just possible that the source of those letters is the answer to all of our trouble.”

“Yes,” Gerard agrees. “Yes, you once told me that you had received letters in a very familiar pattern.”


“Well, perhaps Daphne received letters in the same pattern.” What?

“Take care of yourself,” Quentin warns, as Gerard waits for the invisible deputy to let him out again.

“Believe me,” Gerard smirks, “now that I’ve been alerted… no one will get rid of me.”

But they will, that’s the tragedy of it. After this insane marathon in December, James Storm has another six-day taping streak in mid-January, which finishes him off completely. That concludes the 1840 storyline, and Storm gets a couple weeks off. Then he comes back for two more episodes, and that’s it; he leaves the show. We don’t see him again until Night of Dark Shadows, and you know how that turned out, for him and for all of us.

So this is my warning to Mark B. Perry: Making Dark Shadows is really, really hard. Everyone who tries to make Dark Shadows fails, including the people who did it successfully in the first place.

This is what Dark Shadows does, it overwhelms you; it chews you up, and doesn’t even have the decency to spit you out. The best advice that I can offer for your new enterprise is do not drill here, do not dig here, do not do anything that will change the rocks or water in the area.

I offer this warning to the future, knowing that it won’t be heeded, because people generally aren’t very good at heeding things. The CW is going to go ahead and make another Dark Shadows, whether it’s a good idea or not. I wish them all the good fortune in the world. Besides, what are dead horses for, if you’re not going to beat them?

Monday: He Schemes, He Scores.

More Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Gerard’s got a small tear on the back of his coat through the whole episode. You can see it when he turns to examine the secret panel in act 1, when he talks about Dawson in act 3, and when he crosses the foyer to the drawing room in act 4.

When Gerard and Leticia head from the drawing room into the secret panel, one of the candles that Gerard is holding goes out. It’s lit again when we see them in the secret passage.

When Carrie asks Gabriel about the mud on his shoes, he says, “Assuming it’s none of your business, which it isn’t, a servant was helping me from the carriage.” He means assuming it’s any of your business.

When Gerard asks Leticia why she came to the house this evening, there’s a scraping sound from off-screen.

About thirty-five seconds into the Gabriel/Quentin scene in act 2, a cliffhanger music cue starts to play, and then quickly cuts off.

Gabriel tells Quentin, “If you don’t do anything right away, you’ll have yourself to blame if anything happens to Tad.” He means if you don’t do something right away.

Gabriel tells Quentin that Gerard is “behind everything that’s happened — the trial, your trial, the changing of the will, everything.”

Leticia suddenly has a sense of a foreign spirit entering the house at the moment that Gerard walks in. She makes a big deal about it, but she’s been in the house with Gerard lots of times, including earlier in the episode.

When Gerard walks from the foyer into the drawing room in act 4, the boom mic can be seen very clearly above Leticia and Daphne.

When Daphne crosses the foyer to talk to Leticia, Gerard drops the note, and has to stoop down and pick it up again.

Gerard announces, “Now it’s time to close the little mystery about Joanna Mills.”

Behind the Scenes:

Barbara Tracey plays the stand-in for Joanna’s ghost at the end of today’s episode; she played the same role in episodes 1150 and 1151. This is her last DS episode.


The report mentioned above on how to communicate danger to people in 10,000 years is really interesting, and includes neat ideas like the Forbidding Blocks and the Landscape of Thorns. This link has the pdf of the full 1992 report: Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. There’s a good summary of the Department of Energy’s 2004 response to the proposals in a 2015 JSTOR Daily article, “Will Art Save Our Descendants from Radioactive Waste?

Monday: He Schemes, He Scores.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

186 thoughts on “Episode 1170: This Place Is Not a Place of Honor

      1. Me too. And from April 1967 to July 1968, ABC aired Dark Shadows to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, right after General Hospital. That soap’s announcer was Ed Chandler, and he plugged our show.

  1. As co-host of the Dark Shadows segment of the Literary License podcast, I wanted to reach out to let you know that the moderators selected comments for DS episodes 220-243 as applicable were mentioned on the air and your website given full credit for them as well as Jim Pierson regarding the censorship standards comment for Jason/Willie with houskeeping etc. Keep up the good work, sorry I could not reach out sooner.

  2. I think it’s high time all of us held a seance to locate Danny. If we need to travel back in time to October, 2019, when last seen posting here, we will do so. Whatever it takes. If Angelique needs to cast a spell on him, great. If Dr. Hoffman needs to discuss psychotherapy and Collins Family History with him, so be it. Maybe even let Sheriff Patterson question him, though on second thought, that’s not something ANYONE would want to endure willingly.

    Whatever we need to do, we NEED DANNY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (As I am only around Episode #400, some of my suggestions may seem dated to you guys! LOL)

    What are some of the things that YOU would do to BRING DANNY BACK???????

  3. I miss Danny too! Hopefully he and his family are doing well during this pandemic. At least being home all the times gives me plenty of time to re-read the blog.

  4. The Dark Shadows 1991 reboot was not cancelled because “Which didn’t go terribly well, for reasons that basically boil down to it’s not a very good idea to remake Dark Shadows.” It was cancelled because the initially high ratings fell due to pre-emption due to Gulf War coverage and because newly installed NBC President Warren Littlefield did not care for the show and wanted to make his mark on the NBC lineup. A few years later he came to regret his decision. See the book Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood for details. I think that DS has never had a full, fair chance at a successful reboot and I am very much looking forward to Dark Shadows Reincarnation on the CW.

    1. The Dark Shadows 1991 reboot was not cancelled because “Which didn’t go terribly well, for reasons that basically boil down to it’s not a very good idea to remake Dark Shadows.” It was cancelled because the initially high ratings fell due to pre-emption due to Gulf War coverage

      I feel the same way about the second season of Twin Peaks</I.>

  5. Forlorn without Danny’s wit and guidance, I have been limping forward through the 1841PT story that lies ahead for our shared discussion here.

    It’s really quite different from the rest of the show (no one is empowered by the supernatural, only imposed on by it, so there are no vampires or witches or gypsies pushing the plot and arousing our imaginations; Julia is just one more Collins, Barnabas is now Bramwell, a Brontë-style broody outcast with no powers), so in some ways it has to be taken on its own terms, and I have to admit I rather like it. A kind of set piece of its own, a stand-alone chamber drama located somewhere in the larger Collinwood constellation.

    But I had completely forgotten that this was the story that involved a plague–a supernaturally-instilled plague that started with the Collinses and spread to the village, first in 1680, and now again in 1841. First sign of the plague? High fever. High contagion levels. Threat to the whole population.

    These days, it doesn’t feel all that stand-alone and separate after all.

  6. Yes, I’ve been thinking these past two months we should hold a lottery and send someone into the Brutus Collins curse room.

  7. I personally don’t need any of your political dogma links brought into the blog here. This is the one refuge I have for escaping the modern day political maelstrom and here you are introducing propaganda and the like. Kindly take your scholarly pandemic villains elsewhere!

    1. Huh. Hadn’t even noticed his remarks earlier, just kind of glossed over it. It didn’t fit in, with the rest of the narrative.

      Anyway, sorry for the displeasure, Barry.

      Danny – I hope you’re ok, man. Obviously you know we’re worried about you.

      1. wow. leapin’ lizards and yeepin’ yimminies!

        Danny, oh! Danny, can you hear this?

        your absence grows ever unfonder.

        not that we haven’t been, all this time,
        in dire need of your sparkling wit,
        and that wonderful way you have
        with gentling uniting, informing kindness,

        for lo, i fear the blog won’t survive
        this dearth of Danny,
        why even as i compose myself to speak

        self-appointed blog police appear to be circling in your wake.

        come back to us Danny.

        knock on the table
        once for yes,

        and twice for nyet.

        sigh *

    2. Barry has every right to his opinion, and I agree with him!
      Nobody wants to hear all that silly stuff anymore, can’t we come here and have some fun??

  8. Hey…cut Barry some slack. He’s obviously unaware that in the past Danny has made off-handed observations along political, sociological, and historical lines. He’s probably unaware of the First Amendment and Danny’s right to air his views on his blog. I have found that, even if i disagree, i am so intrigued by Danny’s spot-on observations i’ll at least think about it.
    I further…deeply…hope that Danny is okay and that i’m really sucking up big-time here!

    1. The First Amendment involves only government censure of free speech. It’s Danny’s blog, so he has the right to let us say what we like, or conversely he can censor whatever he chooses. That’s a distinction often lost. The point is, I really miss Danny.

  9. I am, in actuality, WAAAAY behind the rest of you guys. I am smack dab in the middle of the 1795 eps right now and, ironically, Angelique has just suggested to both Josette and the Countess du Pres that Barnabas is probably contagious with the “plague” and they should quit the house immediately and flee Collinsport altogether. This, of course, contrives to serve Angelique’s purposes to keep from being identified as the dastardly witch that she really is.

    Given our own pandemic climate and culture currently, these eps are certainly relevant from a contemporary sense and also give one a sense of unease and dread as to what it must have been like in the olden times when plague, cholera, and other maladies struck the populace–with absolutely no modern medicine (as we have now and are blessed with) in sight to combat the bacterial and viral unknown.

    And just to put the matter at rest, my comment in my previous posting was directed towards the “Count” (Chocula?) ONLY as posting a link to a piece of unsolicited, totally biased and hackneyed political propaganda. I can only assume that it has absolutely nothing to do with Episode 1170 and is not only in poor taste but takes us far afield from the great DS and the ENDLESS things we CAN discuss about the show, its amazing actors and plot lines. You can call it “thought police” which infers a complete lack of understanding of what that concept is or you can know your audience and forum and know how to post things that are entertaining, engaging and provocative as they relate to the DS-Universe.

    Absolutely love when people post links to parallels to the show and it’s plot lines and characters. Not so much when it’s an unabashed attempt to sway a current political stance in an already controversial and delicate global situation where many are experiencing a lot of fear and trepidation and anxiety just getting from one day to the next.

    1. Actually I found that piece pretty interesting. And even has connectors back to the DS-verse, bat by Bill Baird and all.

      Unfortunately, it’s your piece that I fell asleep about half-way through…..seemed just a lot of blah-blah-blah. Wake me when it’s over. 😂😊😊😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

      1. The “Plandemic” video has been wholly debunked. It’s a piece of conspiracy theory tripe, put forth by an injured party looking to restore, in the eyes of anyone who will listen, lost credibility. Opinions based on it can be acknowledged, they do not, however, need to be accepted as legitimate or based on anything approaching actual “investigative journalism.” Lastly, it has absolutely ZERO to do with the enjoyment of Dark Shadows. Per the First Amendment: It only applies to government interference. This is Danny’s blog and he can muzzle me, or anyone else if he sees fit, in spite of the erroneous posturing of “unconstitutional.” Part of my actual professional responsibilities is the instruction and discussion of the mechanism of critical thought, investigation of sources, and the confirmation of fact and other supporting materials (as opposed to unsubstantiated “propaganda,” misinformation, or disinformation). Unfortunately, and this is not mere singular opinion or a bow to confirmation bias, the “Plandemic” video is appallingly wanting in terms of actual accuracy or provable assertion. Let’s let this dead dog lie, shall we? And get back to the enjoyment of Danny and his blog on our favorite among shows.

    2. I am, in actuality, WAAAAY behind the rest of you guys. I am smack dab in the middle of the 1795 eps right now and, ironically, Angelique has just suggested to both Josette and the Countess du Pres that Barnabas is probably contagious with the “plague” and they should quit the house immediately and flee Collinsport altogether. This, of course, contrives to serve Angelique’s purposes to keep from being identified as the dastardly witch that she really is.

      Given our own pandemic climate and culture currently, these eps are certainly relevant from a contemporary sense and also give one a sense of unease and dread as to what it must have been like in the olden times when plague, cholera, and other maladies struck the populace–with absolutely no modern medicine (as we have now and are blessed with) in sight to combat the bacterial and viral unknown.

      Interesting. I think The Plague comes up as a plot point in the 1840 or 1840PT story line. Too bad Danny wasn’t recapping at that point…

      1. When is the 1840 storyline? I thought that was in the 700 or 800’s? It’s not pre-#210, is it?

  10. Those of you with Netflix might want to take a look at the 2017 Robert Redford film, The Discovery.

    About 13 minutes in you see the characters make a lovely approach to the Carey Mansion/Seaview Terrace, aka Collinwood. For those of you who have postulated that Dark Shadows is really a show about the house, this movie will fit nicely into that way of thinking. Strange goings-on continue even without the Collins family 🤔


    1. I absolutely love Bobby’s Dusty Old Movies. His reviews are so entertaining, well-paced, and delivered with wit.

      At one point I thought about doing my own Dark Shadows Review Podcast, but I don’t know that I could improve on Bobby’s work.

  11. What the…? I fall behind in my reading but not my watching of the show, get to Episode 1172, figure I’ll come here to hear Danny making fun of how the opening scene has someone on set playing a recording of Trask so loud that even the person doing the captions on Amazon Prime thinks it’s part of the show – and not only he has not written about it yet, he stopped two episodes and nine months ago?

    Wow. And I thought the pandemic sucked.

    Come back soon, Danny, please! I’ll never make it to the end without you!

      1. I’m three episodes away from the end, and I need Danny to tell me what he thinks about Keith Prentice’s inability to act or to get through a scene without reading every single line off the teleprompter! He’s so pretty to look at, god rest his soul, but he’s even shoutier than Dr. Lang – and I know Danny has some choice words to say about him. I’m sure he’d say something like “Keith Prentice died in 1992, but he dies on camera at least once per episode in 1971.” See? I can’t even do that joke justice, Danny!

        1. Yes, I’m in the final thirty episodes of “Dark Shadows” and I’ve been holding off from watching them, hoping Danny will show up and guide me (us) through the end of the series. Not the same without his take on it, still hoping!!

    1. That recording was an omen for this entire shambles of an episode. It was like watching a drunk falling downstairs without ever actually hitting bottom.

  12. I’ll be post #150…

    In June 1966, these promos began appearing on ABC. They were deceptive because they were all shot on location and on film. I was 9 years old, and these spots really intrigued me. So I tuned in to Dark Shadows, Episode 1. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed at first, saying, “This is like As the World Turns.” Translation: It’s a soap opera. But it wasn’t like World Turns, and I was hooked.

    BTW, the narrator for these promos is Paul Frees, who voiced a lot of television spots but might be most famous for providing the voice of Boris Badanoff on The Bullwinkle Show. He does a great Orson Wells imitation here.

    1. The beginning few DS episodes really had that special Gothic touch. How about an ancestor of DS on Perry Mason…haunted house, seance, Jason McGuire character and all?

      Season 5, Episode 6: The Case of the Meddling Medium. Check it out.

  13. I have a theory about Danny not writing this blog til the end. Forgive me Danny and blog participants for the armchair psychology I am about to unleash.
    My Mom has always been a devoted fan of the library. She’s a big reader. She took my sister and I to the library weekly where we enjoyed hanging out and then carting home piles of books. Once I progressed beyond the picture book phase and was old enough to read longer fiction- I developed a curious habit that has remained with me through the decades. I often do not finish fiction books. I think it has something to do with not wanting things to end. Completions in general are difficult for me on projects of any kind. I was told it’s because I had a very long and agonizing birth and it set up a pattern. I know it sounds a stretch to link not finishing books to my entering the world- but I kind of feel it’s true. I wonder, Danny, are you aware of any patterns in your life around finishing/endings/ completion ? Or maybe you just got bored or moved on ? In any case, we loved your research, insight and Humor. This blog really enriched my life. Thank you.

  14. Does anyone know if Danny is okay. I miss his observations and guidance through this maze called Dark Shadows.

    1. I’m from the past – the Count Petofi era to be exact – and working my way (again) through the show, but this time with Danny’s great blog. I’ve been holding out from jumping in time and seeing how this blog ends, but curiosity finally got the best of me. Am I to understand Danny didn’t continue to the end? When did he drop out, and why?

  15. I am entirely okay! and I’m back at it, heading towards 1245. I’m sorry that I was gone for so long — nothing exciting, just kind of a lengthy writer’s anxiety block that had been building up for a while. I needed to get my head back in the game, and didn’t give myself the time to do that. I took a week’s vacation last month and finally got myself back into the spirit of things, and now I’m working on the blog every day again. 🙂 I really appreciate everyone’s kind thoughts, and I’m very happy to be back and finishing up the last 14 weeks of the show.

    In addition to the 1841 PT story, there’s a lot of fun stuff coming up, because I’m also covering as many of the books and comics as I can deal with before the show comes to a close, plus the 2004 pilot and the 2012 movie. Also, you might want to read up on the “fort wayne” and “lost princess” posts, because episode 1219 is looming ahead of us, and the ritual is becoming undone.

    The pre-emptions and book posts are always super long, so there will be some gaps between posts as I tackle them, but I am not stopping until we reach April 2nd. I love you all.

  16. “Still, it seems appropriate at this point to send a warning to him, and to the people of the future. Just think of them all, one season of Dark Shadows: Reincarnation from now, struggling to their feet, blinking in the sunlight, wondering where they are and how they can rebuild the world. Who knows what terrible sights they’ve seen? So let’s look at today’s episode, and find out what wisdom it may offer as the CW stumbles towards its next calamity.”

    Rereading these on the 50th anniversary of the original air date, I am amazed at your prescience.

  17. I recently learned (was it on this blog?) that the 2004 DS reboot was the reason why Angel got plucked right after a nail-biting cliffhanger, leading Hubby and I to think for years that all the characters had met their demise. Only a few years ago did I learn that Angel and Buffy lived on in comic books (which are already out of print, before I ever had a chance to see them). And then the DS reboot never even went anywhere!

  18. It’s kinda nice that Joanna’s theme is 1960s lounge music. I expected Letitia to be playing it on the piano in a cocktail dress with a cigarette and martini nearby. Also, that drawing room piano seems to come and go; they only drag it out when they need it.

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