“But can anyone do anything anymore?”
“But we can’t just sit by and watch him die!” Daphne cries. She’s talking about convicted cow killer Quentin Collins, who she broke up with last week, although earlier today she told him that she loves him, so screw last week, I guess. I wasn’t crazy about last week’s episodes myself, so if Daphne wants to pretend that they never happened, I’m not going to fight with her about it.
“I have no intentions of doing that, Daphne,” says eccentric millionaire Barnabas Collins, reassuringly.
“What are you going to do?” she asks.
Barnabas takes a moment to think. He wasn’t prepared for that question; he usually skates by on vehemence alone. “I don’t know,” he admits. “At least we have a week to think about it.” This is bad news for the audience; we were kind of hoping for some plot development in this area. Quentin’s been in jail for six solid weeks so far; we thought maybe a verdict could pick up the pace a bit.
Anyway, Barnabas goes home, and Daphne drifts up the stairs. Pausing on the landing, she thinks, “Barnabas says he will do something. But can anyone do anything anymore?” That’s actually a pretty good description of the show, these days.
But that’s not really fair, because this is the week where things start moving again, and that means I have to start paying attention. While the trial’s been going on, I’ve been able to spread out and cover some of the other Dark Shadows stories that I need to get to before the show ends, like the HarperCollins novels. Last week, I celebrated my birthday on Wednesday, read another Paperback Library book on Thursday, and then whatever the hell that was on Friday. I’ve still got a lot to do — three more Lara Parker books, some more comics, another Big Finish audio, several more Paperback Library epics. So much to do, and only twelve weeks left to do it.
But this week, the writers have realized that they’re leaving 1840 pretty soon, so they pop the cork and events ensue. Suddenly, everyone is doing everything anymore, and here I am actually writing about the show again, what a nightmare.
Now, for more than a year, Dark Shadows has had the upsetting habit of closing up storylines by clear-cutting the cast, killing off everybody who isn’t nailed down. This isn’t a good idea for a soap opera, because soaps are supposed to have multiple, overlapping storylines; when one story thread concludes, there are other continuing stories that keep the audience engaged. If you conclude a story by killing basically everyone but the minimum viable number of Collinses, then there aren’t enough characters left to participate in the new stories. You end up frantically assembling a new cast that nobody cares about, like they did in 1970 after the Parallel Time story, when they had to create a random teenage girl, a confusing astrologer, an unexplained vampire and two new ghosts just to get the show on its feet, and nobody liked any of them.
So that didn’t work, and now the show is going off the air because they don’t have any new stories to tell. But at least they get the satisfaction of one more good slash-and-burn character massacre, starting with Edith Collins, wife of the chairbound Gabriel Collins, and grandmother of several characters that we actually like.
Looking back at my previous 1840 posts, I find that I’ve hardly written anything about Edith, which is fine, because she’s hardly done anything worth writing about. The only time I really thought she was worth mentioning was episode 1154/1155, when she found Randall rummaging around in Gerard’s room at Rose Cottage, and then Gerard told her to go to Collinwood and see if Randall was there, which he was, but then he got murdered in the woods and Edith didn’t really have anything to do with it.
Edith Collins is clearly surplus, an unliked character played by an unlikeable actress, who seems to think that she’s Gerard’s secret girlfriend, even though he already has a fully booked love triangle with two other women. The only reason she’s on the show in the first place is that they needed her to keep continuity with the 1897 story, which it turns out is not as important as we thought it would be.
We first met Edith two years ago, and Barnabas had just landed in the year 1897, fifty-seven years from now. She was the old dying grandmother with full control of the Collins fortune, which her four adult grandchildren were all scheming to inherit.
Edith knew a family secret which had been passed down for generations, namely that they had a vampire locked up in the mausoleum, and nobody should ever let him out. There was a lot of drama around the secret, too, with a big exciting Friday reveal where she saw Barnabas, and recognized him as the family curse. Then Edith died, leaving a will that got forged and replaced a couple times, and then everybody stopped talking about her and moved on with their lives.
So the young Edith that we see here in 1840 is really the only person who absolutely needs to survive, along with the son that we never learn the name of, in order to get everybody in place for the 1897 story.
Although now that I think about it, I wonder who’s supposed to know the secret right now. Presumably, it got handed down from Joshua Collins in the early 1800s to Daniel, who died about a month ago, and I don’t know who he handed it down to, to hand it down to Edith at some future date. If I recollect correctly, Daniel recognized Angelique as a witch as soon as he saw her, but he didn’t clutch his pearls as soon as he saw Barnabas and say you, you are the secret, you were never to be let out, we have failed, we have failed. He just said, hey, you look just the same as you did when I was a boy, but then Barnabas said that was my father, and Daniel said okay, I guess that happens sometimes.
So I don’t know who was keeping the secret, or who knows it now. I suppose it doesn’t really matter, one way or another.
Because on Dark Shadows, rules are made to be broken, especially the rules of time travel, which are slippery in the extreme. They’ve never had a consistent theory about how time travel is supposed to alter history, and what happens when you get back and find out whether things have changed or not. Sometimes nothing really changes, as with Vicki’s trip to 1795, or things change as of the moment that the time traveler left, as with Barnabas’ trip to 1897, or things change in some kind of haphazard magical-thinking way, as they’re going to do with this jaunt to 1840. This has turned out to be a show that’s mostly about time travel, written by people who don’t like thinking about time travel very much.
So if anyone’s planning on getting upset about Edith not being around for 1897, then you should have already been worrying about who passed the secret down, except you shouldn’t have, because it doesn’t matter even a tiny little bit. They do whatever they want to, and either it works because it’s interesting, or it doesn’t work because it’s not. Whether it makes logical sense or not is not really a concern at this point. Dark Shadows does not make logical sense, and if you haven’t figured that out and made the appropriate mental adjustments by now, then you’re just bad at watching the show, and there’s not a lot I can do except offer my assistance and hope that you get better at it.
Anyway, the point is that Edith is terrible. Part of the problem is that she’s played by Terry Crawford, who I don’t like very much in general, and in this role, she’s incapable of displaying any human emotion but pride and spite. I don’t know why the producers decided to make every female character in 1840 but Daphne utterly repellent; they just did, that’s all. I think Dark Shadows just kind of lost interest in women, at some point, which probably isn’t a good thing for a daytime soap opera to do. They hired Kate Jackson last summer, which is the best choice they made all year, and then decided that about wrapped it up, as far as worthwhile women were concerned.
Edith has mostly spent her time attaching herself to Gerard, and not letting go of him until he agrees to an assignation. I’m not sure why he’s bothered to keep this up, frankly. She declaims everything loudly at all times, like she’s signaling to ships at sea, and I understand that getting a face full of Edith is a bewildering event, but he can’t get much out of the relationship. He’s already got two other girlfriends, plus he’s possessed by the spirit of a headless pantomime warlock who’s trying to destroy the Collins family. His occasional half-hearted attempts to incorporate her into his sinister plans have been a fizzle at best.
But somehow he’s got himself attached to this boat-anchor who thinks they’re having a passionate affair, with unlimited canoodling privileges.
“I want to see you tonight,” she declares, and he looks away, trying to formulate a decent excuse. “Let’s say about eleven,” she insists. “The same place?” He’s still staring off into the distance. He looks horrified at the suggestion, and this is a guy who spends most of his time trying to behead people.
“You can make it, can’t you?” she persists, and finally he says sure, because he’s a bottomless reservoir of hellfire, and it doesn’t really matter what happens as long as Collinwood is consumed in flames and blood. This is not the worst thing he’s going to do today.
Naturally, her husband Gabriel has heard the entire conversation from the other side of the door, because they made the arrangements in the most public place in the house, and Edith is played by a New York stage actress who learned how to project years ago, and then forgot how to do anything else.
Gabriel doesn’t have a lot of self-respect, because he’s been pretending to be an invalid most of his life to try to impress his father, who hated invalids in general and Gabriel in particular. So it can’t come as a huge surprise that his wife is attaching herself to handsome vertical acquaintances. Still, Gabriel can’t resist the opportunity to make people feel bad; it’s the only thing he really enjoys.
“You know, I always knew that you never had any class at all,” he spits. “But I never thought you’d allow a fraud such as Gerard to have such a curious hold over you.”
It never occurred to me that Edith came from a lower class than the Collins family, but that line means that she must have; Gabriel knows how to hit somebody in their weak spot. It’s basically what he does all day, because he can’t go outside for a walk, and they haven’t invented console games yet.
But Edith is a counterpuncher, and she’s sick of hearing insults emerge from this particular altitude. “Gerard has no hold over me,” she announces, “but if he did have, it would be because he, unlike you, is a man who gets what he goes after. I’m through with you, Gabriel. I’m going to start living, before it’s too late!”
But Edith’s forgotten that she’s married to a Chris Pennock character, and when Chris Pennock characters have hurt feelings to express, they tend to say it with sword-canes.
“I doubt that, Edith,” he says, looking at her with his big, blue, crazy eyes. “I really do.”
“And who’s going to stop me?” she asks.
“I’m going to stop you,” he says, still staring at her in a way that should probably make her reassess.
“How?” she smiles. “You’re a hopeless cripple! Well, I am going to meet Gerard this evening, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me! So why don’t you just wheel yourself up to your bedroom, have your cup of steaming cocoa, get into bed, and cuddle up with your hot water bottle?” And then she sweeps out, pleased with herself, utterly doomed.
So yes, apparently there is life outside that goddamn courtroom, after all. We’ve been spending all this time not really worrying about Quentin’s defense strategy, when we could have been giving these two pots of poison something interesting to do. I mean, I still think she’s terrible, obviously, but if she can wind people up to this extent, they could have used her more effectively. Just think of all the dreams that Gerard sent to Daphne that she wasn’t supposed to remember, and Edith had that steaming cocoa crack bottled up inside her the whole time.
What happens next to Edith is something that I fear I will never be able to explain. She walks into the drawing room later that evening with a book, and shuts the doors behind her. Then she hears thunder — it’s one of those dry thunderstorms that Collinwood is so often besieged by — and a loose window starts flapping.
She bolts the window, and then hears somebody open the front door, and walk into the house. This startles her, for some reason; I couldn’t tell you why. Several people live here. It’s not even that late. Anyway, it’s Dark Shadows; it’s probably a cameraman.
So she goes out into the foyer, and nobody’s there, which rattles her even more, and then there’s a gust of wind, and the door blows itself open. Once again, she’s taken aback, but she manages to pull herself together and just go and close the doors.
“Please answer me!” she shouts. “Who came in this house?”
And then the lights all go out at once, which makes her jump. So she yells for Gerard, and nobody answers, and then she runs upstairs and just keeps on freaking out.
Now, my concern here is that these are all standard Dark Shadows ghost maneuvers: thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening, windows and doors acting of their own accord, sudden blackouts and so on. But this is apparently Gabriel’s doing, somehow, and it’s not clear how he accomplished it. He must have bribed the stagehands, that’s all I can think of.
So here’s Gabriel, ready to play Fuck, Marry, Kill, although I’m not sure he quite gets the gist of the game. He thinks those are the instructions.
But this is a thing that Chris Pennock is good at, slowly coming to a boil and then exploding into sudden violence. Sebastian the astrologer didn’t get to do this kind of thing, and that’s part of why that character didn’t come together. Pennock characters need to murder someone at regular intervals, or they become listless and unhappy.
Gabriel does a brief monologue on the subject of secrets, making sure that Edith understands that he murdered Randall and Daniel. It’s important to him that he has a moment of triumph before she goes, and this is it.
“I’ve suffered all the indignities I’m going to take from you,” he screams, as he does his part to address the population explosion. “So I’m not a man who gets what I want, am I? Well, I’m getting what I want! And I want you DEAD!”
So that’s the end of Edith Collins, and if that cracks the timeline, then I suppose we’ll have to find another one, and go live there for the rest of the show. But what are the odds of that happening?
Tomorrow: I Presume You’ve Never Heard About Something Called Parallel Time.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
From the foyer landing, Daphne hears piano music and decides that it’s coming from the closed-off East Wing. The fact that she can hear it at all strains credulity, but being able to pinpoint the source from where she’s standing indicates some kind of extrahuman echolocation ability.
When Edith runs up the stairs in the foyer, a studio light can be seen at top right.
After Gabriel strangles Edith, there are two shots of her body on the floor. She’s visibly breathing both times.
Right after the strangling, Gabriel says, “Now, how are we going to dispose the body, huh, Edith?” Then he decides, “I’m going to find a spot to bury you,” although he plans to dump her in the East wing somewhere.
Daphne opens the doors, and in the first shot we see of her in the doorframe with the Parallel Time set, you can see that the camera’s pulled back a little too far, and on the left side of the screen, you can see the edge of the PT room set, and into the hallway that she’s standing in.
A moment later, when Daphne says, “I’m dreaming!” a shadow passes by the doorjamb.
They make a big deal about Daphne following the piano music all the way from the foyer to the Parallel Time room, but when she sees into PT, there isn’t a piano in the room. There was, when this was Angelique’s room in 1970.
Morgan tells Catherine, “If you should make up your decision before you leave this evening, you’ll find me in my studio.”
Behind the Scenes:
This is the first episode for Keith Prentice, who appears in the Parallel Time room as Morgan Collins. Prentice started out in musical theater, as an understudy in the Broadway production of The Sound of Music. He also appeared in the Broadway cast of the Noël Coward musical Sail Away, and regional productions of The King and I, Paint Your Wagons and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. His big break was in 1968, in the Off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band, an early milestone in cultural representation for gay men. He played Larry in the play, and in the 1970 film adaptation. Dark Shadows was his next job, after the Boys in the Band film shoot.
This is Terry Crawford’s last episode. She was still in college while she was appearing on the show, and after graduation, she moved to Atlanta and became a counselor. In the early 1980s, she had some brief acting roles, but nothing really worth mentioning. She became an ordained minister, and in the late 90s and early 2000s, she talked at Dark Shadows Festivals about her organization, Inner Light Ministry, which did some kind of work around international human rights and disadvantaged youth, but I can’t really piece together what it was supposed to do. She reprised her role of Beth in a 2010 Big Finish audio, The Doll House, and she played Edith in a 2012 story, Dress Me in Dark Dreams.
This episode is the first in the program to feature nine actors with speaking parts, an all-time record. There are two other late-1840 episodes that have nine actors (1196 and 1197), as well as the final episode, 1245.
Tomorrow: I Presume You’ve Never Heard About Something Called Parallel Time.
— Danny Horn
45 thoughts on “Episode 1186: Fuck, Marry, Kill”
i think it was a good point about how the energy Crawford and Pennock generated should have been generated weeks ago. Maybe it would have made a difference for the show during the post-Christmas break?
Absolutely. Gabriel should have been kept on the front burner full time. The best part of 1840 came in the beginning with Pennock and Jim Storm’s snarkily malevolent drawing room banter. Gabriel was a fantastic character and the perfect choice to take 1840 out with a bang.
Every damn time the writers got two people together that actually generated energy and interest: Edith and Gabriel, Liticia and Desmond, Julia and Stokes, etc.–they would write one great scene and then abandon them altogether, stranded in random rooms in the house for weeks at a time.
I always liked Terry Crawford and thought she did well with what she was given, considering how young she was–she and Kate Jackson must have been about the same age.
“I’m through with you, Gabriel. I’m going to start living, before it’s too late!”
Yep, she is so doomed.
(Doomed! DOOMED! DOOMED!)
I trust the Parallel Time denizens will get different clothes and wigs? Not that I’m looking forward to PT1840, regular 1840 wasn’t any great shakes, it was missing something I can’t quite put a finger on.
You mean a coherent and interesting plot?
Might’ve been, but also the lack of interesting characters. I liked Daphne, but mainly because she’s Kate Jackson; but Daphne was kinda dippy, getting jerked around by Gerard and Quentin – – and 1840 Quentin wasn’t very much fun either. Even Angelique was dull, and she usually brings the story some sparks.
Good point! The chars in 1840 weren’t very interesting, for the most part.
I’ve pushed this point before, but the whole thing centers on Gerard Stiles, who ought to have been a fascinating villain–a charming sociopathic social climber, a soap villain scheming to take over his best friend’s life piece by piece. But they made every imaginable mistake trying to shoehorn in the supernatural–and adding not a villain but a glaring prop head whose motives have nothing to do with Gerard’s. If we can’t really follow the villain (and if he’s not doing anything more interesting than manipulating the judiciary to frame a too-passive Quentin), then–feh.Gabriel had life. And I love Flora–a comic turn for Joan Bennett. But the characters who had injected life before–Barnabas, Julia, Angelique, Quentin, even poor Nancy Barrett’s Cockney songbird–were all drained of energy and did basically nothing.WHo was minding the story–uh, store?
But Gerard and Judah COULD have been a better combination, since their ends were similar. While G-Style was looking to usurp the Collins swagger, J-Z was working to behead them all. Yet they ended up farther apart than Judah’s noggin and his carcass.
Maybe they should have kept that headless body around longer, it’d have come in handy around now…
It’s because nobody reacted to Gerard, not even Julia and Barnabas, and they were only there BECAUSE of Gerard!
He just got taken over by a head and got his own way all the time. Villains are no fun without an adversary.
Parallel time’s monetary system may explain things about Dark Shadows 1840s PT.
Before anyone asks: No, it isn’t Photoshop and yes it is real – I even have one in my coin collection. The above is the reverse of an 1847 large cent.
The story my coin dealer tells me is that such alterations were done outside the mint, after these coins had been released into circulation. Any mischievous type with an earthy sense of humor, and who had access to a graver tool, could easily “chase” the metal of a given letter around until the desired alteration was made.
The 1847s are particularly easy to come by, and relatively cheap – mine went for only $25.
Sorry, I cannot see the images of those coins.
You don’t know what you’re missing!
Thereby proving the old adage ‘you can’t have your Kate and Edith, too.’
Golly, Mr. Peabody!
Groan. Nice one.
You win! Hilarious!
Come for the commentary;
stay for the puns. 😋
“Dark Shadows does not make logical sense, and if you haven’t figured that out and made the appropriate mental adjustments by now, then you’re just bad at watching the show, and there’s not a lot I can do except offer my assistance and hope that you get better at it.”
I know…it’s true…but I still feel the need to point out how illogical certain things are on the show. It’s like watching what’s gone on in the White House and pretending it’s all normal. I feel better when I speak out about craziness…and bad plotting. But Dark Shadows will always have a special place in my heart.
Another good post, Danny.
I liked grand old lady Edith, who wasn’t used too much but was pretty effective. The DS Wiki calls 1897 a “negated time-line,” which I guess is as good a way to deal with it as any, but since they often struggled to keep continuity within a single story arc, such loose ends are to be expected, whether or not one just personally blames Julia and Barnabas for messing up the timey wimeyness.
But nothing messed up, temporally, that anyone was aware of. So Edith didn’t live to be an old lady. And Peter Bradford married a girl named Victoria, and Phyllis Wick disappeared. The Collins of Collinwood don’t seem to be worse off for the changes.
I didn’t realize that DS Wiki says that. What a silly thing to say. By any measure, 1897 is a stronger storyline that was and is more popular than 1840 could ever be. Imaginary continuity is irrelevant; what matters is what people love, and 1897 is loved, correctly.
There’s only one true story on Dark Shadows, and that’s Barnabas.
The whole thing since 1967 is what to do with Barnabas.
They only started time travel to provide Barnabas with a food supply. Because what’s a vampire without “bite”? Blood in the afternoon, that’s how your ratings flow.
They didn’t know what to do with him in 1967, so they sent him to 1795.
They didn’t know what to do with him (or Adam) in 1968, so they sent him to 1897.
1897 is popular because fans love David Selby.
Dark Shadows was never really a soap opera, even from it’s earliest days when it was at least trying to be a soap opera. One doesn’t have to like or even understand soap operas to be a fan of Dark Shadows.
From the very moment a portrait in the Old House first came alive with the ghost of Josette Collins, Dark Shadows became a serial thriller.
When you think of the show as more of a thriller anthology unto itself, whose original story vision became instead its trademark atmospheric backdrop, then Dark Shadows finally makes sense.
On the other hand, and this has been mentioned at some point, we are looking at it fifty years later and laying on DS and expectation that was never planned for. In 1970, this was a soap opera with no expectation of reruns or anyone that would really try to go back and make sense of connections. It was poor writing on day-to-day basis, and poor decisions on how to give the story energy, but soap operas have always had strange story arcs. Even the most popular soaps have kept kidnapping, attempted assasinations, or had adultrous behaviors among the same characters.
I’m 63, and I was watching Dark Shadows and One Life to Live at this point in time. While I didn’t think that DS would be rerun, I did notice these bad continuity errors. Granted, like many fans on this site, the show provided a much-needed escape from being a gay guy trying to get through life on a farm in Alabama (i.e. I concentrated heavily on the varioius goings on in Collinsport).
If Dan Curtis and the writers had known that the show would be viewed again and again in the future, would they have taken better care to avoid these storyline problems? I doubt it. They were too busy trying to keep the show’s ratings as high as they could at that time.
Among the Dark Shadows tie-ins you discuss in the remaining entries, I hope you get to say something about DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS, a European vampire movie from the early 70s featuring John Karlen as a character whose life is remarkably like that of Willie Loomis. (If you’ve already done this and I’ve missed it, I apologize- I’ve looked, and found a couple of references to the movie in comments.)
I love that movie. It’s deeply weird.
Daughters of Darkness is a great film. Saw it during a Harry Kümel retrospective at the BFI’s National Film Theatre. Did you ever see his Malpertuis, also Orson Welles last performance? Completely bonkers, but very haunting.
Malpertuis, thanks for reminding me, I’ve been meaning to see that.
And Karlen gets to do a nude scene. Yummy!!!
Thanks, Danny. I enjoyed this on the recliner last night, before drifting off.
Wow, if only they had done this with Gabriel and Edith earlier!
Watching it again, this version of parallel time seems to make less sense than 1970PT.
‘Anyway, it’s Dark Shadows; it’s probably a cameraman.’
Nice one! Great having you and your wit back. I cannot wait to see how you will handle the dregs that is 1840/1 PT. I suppose we are going to learn a lot more about Dark Shadows comics and Lara Parker novels.
But Danny! You may be right sometimes to rebuke people for wanting things to make logical sense, but this is not one of those times; THIS one is really easy to explain. Obviously, Gabriel was so crazed that he didn’t notice he hadn’t actually killed her. Exactly as you point out, we see Edith’s body on the floor twice, and each time she’s breathing. This is not a blooper. We notice it, but Gabriel doesn’t. So he takes her to the East Wing and dumps her there, and she’s so scared that when she wakes up she just lies there feigning death for a few days. Just after whoever it is who sees her and alleges she’s dead has gone, a kindly servant hears her moans of thirst, discovers her and nurses her back to health, keeping her survival secret until Gabriel himself dies and we depart from 1840. After she recovers and Quentin, Daphne and Tad have moved to New Zealand, leaving her in charge, she goes through Daniel’s papers and finds The Secret. He hadn’t made concrete plans to pass it on because he lost the thread when he killed his wife and went crazy. She’s learned her lesson (and/or got a more satisfactory boy-toy) so she matures and is ready to bring up her kids and lead the family.
And then they all go to the seashore, of course.
But this has to be it, because glorious 1897 has to have happened almost exactly like that. (I have something to say elsewhere about a thing that I refuse to admit happened in 1897, but it doesn’t louse up a timeline.) It is very wicked of the Dark Shadows wiki to say that because of this carelessness (or malice?) on the part of the writers, 1897 is a negated timeline. We need 1897. And we CAN have Edith alive and grown old as part of its foundation.
I’m sorry to enter the discussion, which I’ve been lurking a long time procrastinating on doing, by disputing one of the major dogmas of the wonderful author, but I must humbly opine that performing this relatively easy fanwank does NOT make me bad at watching the show. Sometimes we do just have to wave something off and shake our heads deploringly at the writers, but sometimes we can easily fix it. And it’s satisfying!
Indeed, I discovered this fabulous, magnificent blog BECAUSE of caring about the show making logical sense. Three years and five months ago, I woke up one afternoon with the question on my lips, “How could Jeb Hawkes throw Vicki off Widows’ Hill in 1797 when he was born in 1970?” When I typed this into the Google search box, the first result that came up was this blog’s essay on Episode 967, which deeply satisfied my soul because it recognized that this was a major problem. I then dilly-dallied about getting really into it, but two years and seven months ago I came back for another question, and this time stayed and started to read everything.
I hope to introduce myself and my Dark Shadows background more formally soon on the Episode Guide page, as I’ve been intending to do for these past two and a half years of lurking and admiring and telling my DS gang about this place of honour. But THIS was the issue important enough to jolt me out of procrastination. I am very good at watching the show, but I just may do it differently sometimes.
I actually wrote a version of this a week ago, meaning to make my debut then, but when I did what they asked of me in terms of what account to use and all, and posted it, it utterly vanished. Where do these things go? Before I knew it had vanished (as far as I know) irreparably, I wrote a trivial little Reply comment on Episode 816, and that one DID go through, so it ended up as my debut. But this is the real one; only now have I recovered the heart to rewrite it.
And I’ll know from now on to put two paragraph marks between the paragraphs.
I like this! It even has that byzantine quality so dear to Dark Shadows viewers.
Given that you’ve covered at least one non-DS Curtis project, may I gently suggest adding Dan Curtis’ Bram Stoker’s Dracula to the list? It shares some visuals with HODS (Lucy slumped vacant eyed and dead on a bench/Carolyn ditto against the Collinwood door), and I’ve always been curious if DC imposed the Lucy::Dracula as Maggie::Barnabas thing on Richard Matheson, or if that was a coincidence…
The only way it made sense to me was that Quentin’s staircase went not only through time but through dimensions, it invaded our dimension and sent Gerard. So Barnabas Julia and Stokes had to close the dimension hole, and the history of their own dimension was unchanged.
How was their own dimension unchanged? Barnabas was not a vampire after 1840 and Willie would never have released him, no one would know him when he “returned” to 1970.
Killing Edith off kills off the entire Collins family of Roger and Elizabeth, Carolyn and David.
According to DS wiki, Edward’s son Jamison is the father of Elizabeth and Roger. Edith’s son was Geoffrey who was the father of Edward, Judith, Carl and Quentin2.
I believe that Gabriel and Edith’s children have already been born, and they’re away at school. So even if Edith dies here, there’s a son who’s still around to become the father of Edward, Judith, Quentin and Carl. The paradox here is that we saw Edith alive at the beginning of the 1897 storyline.
My theory is that Judah Zachery took hold of Barnabas and Julia when they were escaping from Parallel Time, as the Leviathans hitched a ride with Barnabas when he was going back to the main period and Angelique hitched a ride with Vicki. His plan was that they would bungle him into the position he wanted. I can support that that theory by pointing first to the big smile Gerard gives the camera when Barnabas and Julia are escaping from 1995, and second to the fact that they do in fact make a mess of everything they put their hands to. After all, without Barnabas, there wouldn’t have been any vampire to stir up panic in the village and to induct Roxanne to the ranks of the undead. Without Julia, there wouldn’t have been anyone to give Judah whatever boost he got from her reattachment of his head to his body.
So defeating Judah would involve undoing the events we saw in 1840. That also explains the moment in 1198 when Liz remembers Barnabas and Julia having been around and everything having been fine. The whole “Meet Gerard” arc- 1970, 1995, and 1840- is negated when Judah is defeated. Barnabas and Julia can still remember it for a while, but those memories may be a trace that will fade.
My Mom and I have had a blast watching the entire original DS through copious amounts of time spent at home, due to Covid. We’ve noticed a lot of bloopers during filming. I always thought that this was due to the 5-day a week, rigorous filming schedule; whereby most scenes were used on the 1st take. Thereby, many cast/crew/set errors were not corrected.
BTW- (according to A. Einstein) “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
@Corvino44 I really like your explanation as to how Edith could still be living in 1897. I really liked the old lady and her carrying that secret for so long.
I cannot believe we’re going to have to live through another Parallel Time! It’s useless! Oh well, I need to remember that DS, especially the end, is much like a train wreck…you shouldn’t look but you can’t but help to. Especially since this blog helps us to understand why it is a wreck.