Episode 1196: The Dark Creatures of Nature

“You are a woman again, a natural woman, and therefore you can cause a lot of trouble.”

“Prince of Fire,” says Angelique Valerie Cassandra Miranda DuBois DuVal Blair Bouchard Rumson Collins, “I call upon the flame to summon you in this, my most desperate hour of need. I call upon all the dark creatures of nature to aid me in the destruction of one who is my mortal enemy! I beseech you, grant me the power to destroy this man!”

It’s a weird way to begin a love letter, but she’s been married at least three times more often than I have, so what do I know?

And this truly is her most desperate hour of need, and ours. We are now fully engaged in the Great 1840 Wrap-Up, with just a few more episodes left until this narrative universe takes its ball and goes home, two months early. There’s nothing standing in the way between us and a finale except for Tuesday and Wednesday, and fortunately, the writers have suddenly remembered that there’s some unfinished business between two of the characters that we actively care about.

Time-tossed eccentric millionaire Barnabas Collins and sorcerous soap vixen Angelique have been inextricably tied to one another for the last three years of Dark Shadows, the only solid place to stand in the shifting sands of the storyline. Since Lara Parker arrived on the scene in November 1967, Barnabas has loved Josette DuPres, Victoria Winters, Maggie Evans, Rachel Drummond, Kitty Hampshire and two versions of Roxanne Drew, and where are they all now? But here she stands, Angelique herself, just as mad and impossible as the day she stepped out of The Crucible.

As we’ve discussed before, there are three supercouples on Dark Shadows: Barnabas and Julia; Barnabas and Angelique; and Quentin and any other living human being. This is the triad of forces that shape all of the good parts of the show. In soap opera, which is the dominant genre in modern television post-Hill Street Blues, two characters become a supercouple by being more interesting together than anything else on the show. When you’ve got a supercouple, all you need to do is put them together in a room and give them something urgent to talk about, and it turns into entertainment.

You can tell how important the Angelique/Barnabas dynamic is to the show by how often she’s returned, one way or another. Whenever the show needs a boost, they bring back Angelique to flirt with, scream at, cast spells on, threaten or otherwise befuddle Barnabas, as appropriate. I believe they’ve killed off Angelique four times by now, give or take, but when they get into trouble, up she pops, ready for another close-order exhibition of their irreconcilable differences.

And look, here comes one now, just when we thought they’d forgotten all about the main characters of ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows. The show has been frittering its time away on side issues like witch trials and prison breaks for weeks and weeks, and it’s about time we focus on the really important things in life, like the relationship status of these two lunatics.

The story point, as if it matters, is that Quentin and Desmond Collins are currently back in prison where they belong, en route to the chopping block. They’ve been unjustly convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to die, and the only one who can save them is the show’s actual witch.

She hasn’t really been part of the witch trial storyline, actually, apart from getting tricked by the real villain, Gerard Stiles aka the dread warlock Judah Zachery, into thinking that Quentin was guilty. In her defense, nobody’s asked her to help until now. Two weeks ago, when Quentin was convicted, Barnabas promised that he would do everything that he could think of to overturn the verdict. He could have asked for Angelique’s help then, which would have saved wear and tear on Joanna Mills’ boat captain friends, but he just didn’t think of it, that’s all.

“I’ve run out of answers,” he says, posing for a portrait of a man who’s run out of answers. “That’s why I’ve no other choice but to turn to you.”

“To me?” Angelique boggles, as if Barnabas has never asked her to help him before, including last month when she made him not be a vampire anymore.

“I didn’t want this to happen any more than you did,” he says. “But there’s no other course open to me.” He whirls around to face her. “You must save Quentin!”

And then she goes up right into his face and says terribly urgent things, like “You know that’s impossible!” and “Barnabas, what you’re saying is suicidal!” from approximately three centimeters away. This is what they do, when they have a problem.

You can imagine this as a normal conversation, with Barnabas saying, “I would really appreciate if you could find Judah’s head,” and Angelique saying, “I can’t do that; Gerard would know about it, and he would kill me.” But sometimes you just need to say it with exclamation points.

“There is no hope for Quentin!” she declares, taking a walk across the carpet. “Or for Desmond!” She does a dramatic whirl of her own. “And there may be no hope for either of us, unless we leave Collinwood, tonight!” Bless her, she’s doing another sales pitch.

And now this is a scene about their relationship, which they always are with these two.

“It’s terribly ironic, what’s happened between us,” he tells her. “We’ve been enemies for years, until we made this reconciliation.” He shakes his head. “But I’m afraid that’s all it is.”

And look at this. This is why she’s lasted so long, this energy and immediacy. I have to admit that I’ve never seen Lara Parker in anything but Dark Shadows, so I don’t know what else she can do, but she is good at being in love with Barnabas Collins.

“Angelique, I’ve grown more fond of you than I ever thought possible,” he says, “but I’m afraid I can never love you, as you want to be loved.” His friend is about to be executed.

“But how can you know anything like that?” she insists.

“When you lifted the curse from me, you made me human,” he says. “That’s the difference between us now.”

“I am human, you are not.”

“You are still a witch, with all your old powers, and all your own feelings… or lack of feelings about others.”

“You still feel the same way about other people’s suffering… you’re cold, and indifferent.”

“You will never change, I suppose, being what you are. If that’s true, I… well, I’m sorry for you. Terribly sorry.”

She gropes towards a promise, but he says, “What’s the point of speculating about it? I’m afraid you will never change.”

And then he turns, and walks out the goddamn door. That is what Barnabas and Angelique bring to the table.

So that’s why we’re sitting here now, with a voodoo doll and a couple of sharp pins, talking things over with the Prince of Fire. Barnabas and Angelique are the dark creatures of nature, and this, incredibly, is the way they say I’m sorry.

Now, in any other storyline, this beseeching would be trained on Barnabas, or someone that he likes, in revenge for breaking up with her for the fiftieth time. But the show is taking a surprising turn towards the sentimental, here in these final-ish days, and she’s actually trying to help. Yes, as she said, this is impossible and suicidal, but what’s life for, if you can’t enjoy yourself?

It doesn’t work, of course. The producers may be trying to wrap things up in a hurry, but you can’t stop the Judah Zachery threat with a solo fireside arts and crafts project. Just as she’s doing the windup for pin #2, in comes Gerard Stiles, full to overflowing with dead warlock in his veins.

“Oh, we were destined to meet again, weren’t we?” he growls. He thinks that she’s the same person as Miranda DuVal, who he knew back in the ’90s. “In 1690,” he says, “you testified against me in court, which convicted me into being a warlock!” It was 1692, actually, and he’s got the wrong preposition, but whatever. I still don’t buy this Miranda retcon, but they didn’t ask for my opinion and it’s too late now.

“If it hadn’t been for you,” Gerard sneers, “I would have been beheaded.” He pauses. “I was beheaded!” Dude needs to get his story straight.

It’s devastating, really, this bold reimagining of Dark Shadows with a weak Angelique. Judah thinks he was the one who invented the secret magic number of the universe, which unlocks all the rules that bind you mortals to your daily, dull lives. He gave her powers, he claims, and he can take them away.

“I, Judah Zachery,” he announces, “take away the powers I once bestowed upon you, and return you to the human state from whence you came! I return you…”

And she stares at him, terrified, as the realization slowly dawns that this is an important dramatic moment, and once again, Gerard has forgotten the back half of his line.

Finally, he just says, “Let it be done!” And it’s done, apparently.

The worst part is that there was no ceremony about it; Gerard didn’t light a candle or wave his magic sigil around or anything. The owl and the raven and the bat were decidedly not called upon. He just held her in his arms, flubbed his line, and ta-dah, Angelique no longer has access to the company credit card. He didn’t even read her Miranda rights.

“You are a woman again, a natural woman,” he sneers, “and therefore, you can cause a lot of trouble!” And he frog-marches her out of the castle, laughing all the way.

And then he drops her off with a babysitter, which is just humiliating.

“She is as harmless as a little mouse,” Gerard tells his henchman Dawson, and they don’t even try to tie her up or anything. Either Gerard’s forgotten that thing about a natural woman causing a lot of trouble, or that wasn’t supposed to be the line; it’s hard to tell with Gerard.

They even make a little joke about whether to kill her or not, with Gerard telling Dawson to try to keep her alive, until after Quentin’s execution.

And I guess Angelique has slowed down a little; it takes her a full minute and 35 seconds to escape. First she tries to seduce Dawson, then she tries to buy him off, and then she tries to take the key and run, all to no avail, so finally she just grabs a handy candlestick and beats him over the head with it.

Judah has it all wrong, of course; people usually do. This story isn’t about Angelique having official “magic powers”. She doesn’t need the “powers”, she never did. All she needs are her eyes, her emotions, her history with Barnabas, and her permanent determination to do the craziest thing within reach.

No matter what you do to her, Angelique will always come back, in novels and audio plays and comic strips, and anywhere else you try to construct a thing, and call it Dark Shadows. She is the beginning and the end of this story, and she has only gotten started.

Tomorrow: The Night I Sang My Song.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Justin tells Melanie, “You comfort me,” and she answers, “You mustn’t say that. Morgan wouldn’t like it, or Gabriel, either. They are your real sons.” Then he calls her his daughter, which was the actual cue for her line.

Gerard tells Dawson, “There is really nothing to be frightened of, Charles. Believe me. Isn’t that right, Miranda? Believe me, she is as harmless as a little mouse.”

Gerard turns and reads this off the teleprompter: “Soon, Quentin will be beheaded, and all the people must know that there is no longer a Judah Zachery.” I can’t say what that line should have been, but it doesn’t sound right.

The jailer is pretty casual about locking the cell door after Leticia enters; he hardly puts the key into the lock.

There’s a bit of studio noise when Leticia begins her scene in Desmond’s cell: some talking and footsteps, and something moving around. When Leticia says she’ll promise Desmond anything, someone coughs.

When Leticia enters Collinwood to confront Gerard, she closes the doors behind her. They swing open again.

Standing in Collinwood, Gerard tells Leticia, “You will live no more in this house.” She lives at Rose Cottage.

Behind the Scenes:

This is Humbert Allen Astredo’s last episode, retiring from the show after 100 episodes. While he was on Dark Shadows, he appeared in the Broadway play Les Blancs, and was very well received, named the “Most Promising Newcomer on Broadway” by Walter Kerr in 1971. Over the next year, he appeared on Broadway in Murderous Angels and Gore Vidal’s An Evening with Richard Nixon. Through the 1970s and 80s, he appeared on a number of soap operas, including One Life to Live, Texas, The Edge of Night, Love of Life, Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow. In 1981, he appeared in the original Broadway cast of The Little Foxes with Elizabeth Taylor, and its London run in 1982. He retired from acting in 1990, and died in 2016.

David Hurst plays poor old Justin Collins in three episodes, and I’m sorry to say that things do not get any better for Justin. Hurst, on the other hand, had a long career and lived to the age of 93. He was born as Heinrich Hirsch in Germany in 1926, a Jewish kid growing up during the Nazi regime. In 1938, at the age of 12, he was separated from his mother and taken to the United Kingdom as part of the Kindertransport, a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied countries. Housed in Ireland, he became an actor, and changed his name to David Hurst. During World War II, he joined the British army’s Entertainments National Service Association, the UK’s version of the American USO.

Hurst’s film debut was in 1949, in The Perfect Woman, a comedy about a woman who turns out to be a robot. He appeared in plays and movies in the UK in the 1950s, including Bela Lugosi’s 1952 horror comedy Mother Riley Meets the Vampire, also known as Vampire Over London and My Son, the Vampire. He moved to the US in 1957, and in 1960, he played Merlin in the original Broadway production of Camelot. In 1969, he played Rudolph the headwaiter in the film version of Hello, Dolly!, and Ambassador Hodin in the Star Trek episode “The Mark of Gideon”. After Dark Shadows, he appeared in several other soap operas, including The Doctors, Another World and Ryan’s Hope, and he was in Thayer David’s 1979 Nero Wolfe TV pilot. He died in 2019.

There are also three jailers who appear in this episode and the next. Mr. Johnson was played by Martin Brent, Second Guard by Jordan Kean, and Executioner by Stephen Calder. They only appeared in these two episodes, and I don’t know anything else about them.

Tomorrow: The Night I Sang My Song.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

52 thoughts on “Episode 1196: The Dark Creatures of Nature

  1. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite scenes between them, and both of them absolutely nail it. Gerard, on the other hand… Everyone else makes quite liberal use of the teleprompter, so why doesn’t he?

    1. Wonder if Jim Storm had trouble seeing the teleprompter. He may have been one of those folks who wore glasses cause he couldn’t use the type of contact lenses available in 1970.

  2. Isn’t this the episode where Angelique tries to strangle the doll post-depowering and it just kinda crumbles in her hand, revealing the true Barbie doll within? Maybe it’s not a blooper after all, come to think about it; maybe it’s a METAPHOR.

  3. “I’ve never seen Lara Parker in anything but Dark Shadows, so I don’t know what else she can do”- She has a couple of moments in SAVE THE TIGER and makes the most of them. I can’t really recommend the movie otherwise.

  4. Lara Parker did show up in some TV in the 70’s and 80’s. She’s in the godawful Galactica 1980, dressed as a witch believe it or not for Halloween with William Daniels of all people as her husband. She’s also shows up in a Remington Steel episode.

  5. Has anyone seen Race with the Devil? Amazon has it with another ‘70s action movie on Blu-Ray for $14.97 and I’m tempted to get it because she’s in it.

      1. Yes, that’s right. Race With the Devil also stars Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, and Loretta Swit.
        I bought that and Burnt Offerings – both very scary movies!

  6. Lara Parker can do anything. She ran the gamut on Dark Shadows. She was a poor servant girl, a Barnabas fantasy French maid, an evil witch, a healer, a dutiful wife, a vengeful wife, a sorrowful wife, an adulterous wife, a vampire, a mortal woman who didn’t believe in the supernatural, an old witch, a beautiful blonde woman, a beautiful brunette witch, a heroine, and a model for two portraits. She could laugh and make it sound inviting or maniacal. She could make her facial expressions loving ones or crazy as all hellish fire and brimstone.

    It all seemed so amazingly effortless for her.

    1. Burnt Offerings was an interesting film which a much better ending than the book. I wish there was a place where folks who saw the movie could discuss it.

  7. “If it hadn’t been for you,” Gerard sneers, “I would have been beheaded.” He takes a breath. “I was beheaded!” Dude needs to get his story straight.

    This one is going on my top ten favorites list.
    That was the best laugh I’ve had all year!

  8. Lara Parker is one of the cast of thousands in the miniseries “Washington Behind Closed Doors”, along with David Selby and Thayer David. Because there are so many characters you just glimpse them in their various subplots, but it’s worth fast-forwarding through the rest of the (long) series to watch their scenes.

  9. “…says Angelique Valerie Cassandra Miranda DuBois DuVal Blair Bouchard Rumson Collins” — ignoring what Angelique may have on her “vision board”, shouldn’t that be DuVal Bouchard Collins Blair Collins Rumson? (Strictly speaking, this is an Angelique who has never been past 1840, so at this point it would just be DuVal Bouchard Collins.)

    Which raises again the whole issue of how someone turning into a vampire interacts with the whole “…’til death do you part” thing. Not only is Collins husband #1 alive(ish), but Roger explicitly decides not to divorce Cassandra after she vanishes (G*d bless Google and the _Dark Shadows_ wiki: https://darkshadows.fandom.com/wiki/Roger_Collins). That means her marriage to Sky was bigamous unless turning into a vampire for a while and/or being called back to the Home Office counts.

    “I believe they’ve killed off Angelique four times by now, give or take,…” Unless you count what Laura did to the doppelganger (and depending on how you score being recalled to the Home Office), I get three: strangled by Barnabas (1796), burned by Barnabas (2nd small 1796 flashback), and Death by Overpainting by Sam (at Barnabas’ request) (1968).

    Hmm…now that I look at that list, this is a very unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship for her. I think it’s fair to say that when someone has killed you three times, that’s a pretty clear indication that He’s Just Not That Into You. Angelique doesn’t need a voodoo doll, she needs therapy to work on her self-esteem issues and recognize that her value as a person isn’t tied to her relationship with Barnabas.

    “She does a dramatic whirl of her own.” Well, of course she does. Look at the skirt on that mid-19th Century dress. They were designed for women to do dramatic whirls in them. That’s what they were for.

    “He didn’t even read her Miranda rights.” Sigh…so this is what the writing during the 1840 wrap-up has reduced us to — bad DS puns. How many weeks have you been walking around just waiting for #1196 to roll around so you could pull the trigger on that one? Well, I’m game, let me just root around and see what I’ve got…box of TicTacs…hand sani…thumb drive…house keys…thumb drive? — so that’s where I put that…ah, here we go:

    Danny always talks smack about the Dream Curse, but if you think about it, Cassandra had to cast it — it was her Blair witch project.

    Meanwhile, today in “OK, but what the heck does that have to do with Dark Shadows?”, check out the latest entry on McMansion Hell (https://mcmansionhell.com/). Yikes. I was initially very excited when I saw the title of the entry (“We Interrupt This Broadcast to Bring You an Especially Cursed House “), as I had filled out the form on the site suggesting she do the batsh*t crazy DS fan Collinwood “replica” McMansion outside Pittsburgh, but I have to admit that the one she’s covering here tops that hands down.

    1. So many things, but: I count “returning to Diabolos” as a death, so that’s four, with a side bet on PT Angelique dying from hearing Roxanne say something.

      I’m impressed that you actually figured out the entire soap opera string of married names. I tried to do the math but I couldn’t decide which timeline we were in, plus “Cassandra Miranda DuBois DuVal” sounds funny to me.

      1. I think you may have picked that up from Laramie Dean’s comment on #1152 (“Angelique Bouchard Collins Collins DuVal DuBois Rumson Collins”).

        Am I the only one who thinks that it’s a little contrived that B. tells Angie that his being human and her being a witch is the big barrier that stands between them being a couple, and then Gerard/Judah conveniently makes her not a witch?

        Even though strictly speaking the following should probably be under #1169, since this is another Barngelique relationship talk episode I might as well write it here: You make an observation in your #1169 post that Angelique’s epiphany there seems unearned because this version of her hasn’t got all the Cassandra/1897/Leviathan history with Barnabas. But with the end of the series looming, this is the realization we have to see her have for Angelique to have any kind of meaningful arc as a character — that it’s not “of his own free will” simply because she doesn’t directly control him (#381) if his love is transactional in response to her helping him in a crisis (especially one she has created) (#389). It’s not really the writers’ fault that there’s a big wall with “Password” painted on it on the horizon and one of the leads is refusing to continue playing his character. It’s now or never.

        The weird thing is that in #924 we’re told that Diabolos basically gave her the task of doing the work and figuring out this critical piece of positive personal growth back in 1970, which seems like an odd training move for Hell’s HR Department:

        Angelique: Before I came here this time, I was in the everlasting pits of Hell, where other creatures of my kind live. Only… my stay here on Earth made me dissatisfied with my life there. I longed to come back here — to Earth, to become a human being! I begged my Master for the chance! Finally, he gave it to me — on one condition, and one condition only.

        Barnabas: And what was that?

        Angelique: That I make one man fall in love with me, without any use of supernatural spells or powers. One man. One chance. That’s what I was granted.

        Of course, at the end of the Leviathan plot line (#954, #955) we found out that he did it as an incredibly cruel joke on Angelique. That scene between Sky and Angelique at the start of #955 is heartbreaking.

        The difference is that in #1169 she actually spells out what she’s learned, what making that happen requires. It’s like when a little kid says, “I’m sorry,” and a parent makes them explain what they’re sorry for to make sure they understand what they had done wrong. She’s finally figured out the Secret Magic Number of the Universe, and it’s “I expect nothing! For once in my life, there is no price.”

        1. Awwww, thanks for the shout-out Karl! I have a DS blog where I post occasionally insane-o things, and since she’s my favorite, I did a post about her when I started it (oh, maybe in 2011 or so) where I listed all her names like that because they are HILARIOUS. 😛 Angelique Cassandra Valerie Miranda Bouchard DuVal DuBois DuVal Collins Collins Rumson Collins. Or something like that. 😛

  10. When did Desmond get sentenced to death for witchcraft. He didn’t even have a trial. Picky, picky, but that’s me.

  11. The big problem with the “Miranda” retcon is that it fundamentally changes Angelique’s motivation and character. A human servant girl who hated her wealthy mademoiselle was understandable and (kind of) sympathetic. Retcons can work when they’re done well. Sam Hall was responsible for the victor lord/secret room/Tina’s real father retcon which was OLTL’s best story, with repercussions which lasted through the show’s end. I just chalk the Miranda bit up to reincarnation, and Angelique only “remembered” when “the head” reentered the picture.

    1. You know, I was thinking about this last night. In this plot line, you have Miranda DuVal, Carrie Stokes, and Samantha Collins. Sex in the City is a covert Dark Shadows spinoff! Judah obviously used his powers to wipe their memories and send them to the distant future of 1998. Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else that happens in the Great 1840 Wrap-up.

      I don’t think I ever caught the “natural woman” line before. Now I’m picturing Miranda/Angelique singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” to Gerard/Judah, with Daphne and Flora behind her doing the “ahooh!”s.

    2. I suppose at the time, long term fans were pissed at the recon and thought they couldn’t have done anything worse to Victor Lords character.

    3. And your correct. The last 30 or so years of Oltl could be summed up as “ Victoria Lord comes to terms with who her father really was and deals with the various consequences of his actions”.

      1. And the weird thing is that as far as I recall, all of those storylines were interesting and productive. I don’t think I ever saw a bad Niki story. T

        here was an even crazier retcon that brought Natalie into the show, with Viki pregnant with twin daughters from two different fathers including a rape that she blocked from her mind. It shouldn’t have worked, but it was so productive, and Natalie was such a good character, that (in my opinion) they got away with it, and it was a story that I really loved. Oh, I miss OLTL.

        1. The thing about OLTL is no matter how out there or nuts a plot was, it almost always affected the plot for years-even decades-to come. As opposed to the soaps that were “let’s kill off a character for sweeps week.”..

      2. Erika Slezak said that she just knew that the original actor who played Victor Lord (Ernest Graves) was rolling over in his grave when the character was retconned into being a child molester. Originally Victor would never have done anything like that. He could be disagreeable at times, but never anything as awful as that.

        Agnes Nixon even said she wasn’t happy with that retcon, but she no longer had any say over the writing of the show since she sold it outright to ABC in the early 70s.

        1. I admit to having mixed feelings about the Victor retcons. It isn’t in line with how his character was portrayed when played by Ernest Graves. It IS in line with how actual severe mental health problems like Dissociative Identity Disorder are formed. One traumatic incident doesn’t lead to that type of break, people are far more resilient than that. It happens due to sustained abuse, usually with a sexual component. When the original NIki/Viki story started, this was’t discussed, it was an interesting thing to do with uptight, good daughter Viki and the writers went with her seeing her mother die during one and only one incident of violence by Victor.

          So going back and admitting that there was continuing abuse with regard to Viki. It probably would have been better if the abuser had been someone other than Victor,a butler, a business associate or someone else who was part of Viki’s life, with Victor being oblivious, but making it Victor does fit with the acknowledged way D.I.D. manifests and helps make Dorian less of a villain in regard to Victor’s death.

          1. So going back and admitting that there was continuing abuse with regard to Viki Works For Me. I hit post too soon.

          2. Percy, I remember that episode where young, young Viki witnessed her mother falling down the stairs! I was about 11 or 12 at the time. Did Victor actually push her or were they struggling at the top of the stairs and Eugenia fell?

            I totally agree with you about the research that shows that the disorder comes from repeated trauma or abuse and that it should have been someone other than Victor who was the perpetrator. That way, all of us watching back in the late 60s and early 70s (when Ernest Graves was playing Victor) wouldn’t feel cheated.

            BTW, did Nancy Pinkerton’s Dorian withhold Victor’s medicine when he was having the heart attack that ultimately led to his death? I missed that episode. I think it aired in 1976.

            1. I believe the fall down the stairs was eventually said to be accidental i.e. child Viki thought Victor pushed Eugenia, but he said it was an accident as she struggled at the top of the stairs.

              I was not as able to keep up with the show during Victor’s marriage to Dorian. Checking Wiki it does indicate that she withheld his medicine for a time, and that he had a stroke during a fight and was left unable to communicate. My impression of his actual death was that it was left ambiguous. He was alive, Dorian was with him and he was found dead after Dorian left. There was no autopsy, probably because Victor was known to be ill, died in a hospital under medical care and Dorian, as his wife, would have had the primary say, but I don’t remember the actual details. Frankly they changed if he was murdered, who murdered him (Viki or Dorian) or even if he died back in 1976 so many times, that I couldn’t keep up.

              I do miss OLTL, it was MY show on ABC.

              1. Percy’s Owner, I was watching but just missed that episode. When I interviewed Robin Strasser, she said that Nancy Pinkerton’s Dorian might have been a little slow to give him his meds – a throwback to “The Little Foxes.” I loved Pinkerton playing Dorian, but I understand that there was some backstage turmoil.

                While Strasser’s Dorian was (to me) a totally different character, I cannot argue that she was a fan favorite.

                There’s a great book called, “Afternoons in Llanview,” which has a lot of candid comments by the actors from the beginning all the way to the end. I think you might enjoy it.

                I stopped watching soaps in the late 90s. As the World Turns and Santa Barbara were two of my favorites. I quit watching OLTL when Nancy Pinkerton and Doris Belack left the show, although I did pick it up again briefly for the Billy Douglas story and the plotline about Marty Saybrook’s rape. It’s kind of weird though, since I’d been such a soap fan, that I now know people in the industry (one is a neighbor who plays Gloria on Y&R, and the other is a director for GH). I’m always afraid they’re going to ask me if I’ve been watching their shows! Lol.

                1. Oh my gosh! I love Judith Chapman! I remember her fondly from ATWT but, her Gloria was my favorite character on Y&R. I stopped watching the soaps about 10 years ago but, I still remember how much fun Glo and Jeff brought to Y&R.

    4. Sorry for being flippant in my last reply. Putting on my Widow’s Hill Irregulars hat, here are the objective in-universe facts we have to reconcile:

      In 1795 Natalie remembers knowing Angelique when she (Angie) was a child (I can’t find an episode ref; correct me if I’m wrong about that).

      Angelique was “Miranda DuVal” in 1690.

      In 1840, Angelique: 1) expected Barnabas to be in the chained coffin; 2) did not recognize Julia, and 3) remembers being Miranda DuVal.

      Reincarnation is certainly one possibility. Maybe there’s another. At some point between 1841 and 1896, the Angelique on the “Original Recipe” 1840 part of the timeline “river delta” could have gone back to 1690, been “Miranda”, and then either just hung around (meaning there were two Angeliques running around in the late 1700’s, and isn’t that a scary thought?) or jumped (or was pulled) forward to after her earlier self was burned in 1796. That would explain why she expected Barnabas to be in his coffin (because in the timeline she remembers, he was), and why she doesn’t recognize Julia (because she hasn’t met her yet).

      I’d have to think about whether this implies a second Angelique running around somewhere in 1840. The amount of time it took to work through how to get a coherent version of how my “Other Barnabas” moves around in the timeline the 1840 Flashback brings into creation was absurd, so not sure I want to go thru the same process with Angie. Maybe she was originally down in the Home Office, and only returned later in the 1800’s but before 1897. More implied adventures we never got to see.

      1. My way of reconciling Natalie knowing Angelique as a child uses the Highlander method of immortals hiding their status.
        There was a “dull child” named Angelique that Natalie knew. At some point this Angelique died and Miranda, newly arrived in Martinique, assumed Angelique’s identity and history (using a little witchcraft so nobody notices any change of appearance).

  12. I don’t see a problem with Angelique’s previous Miranda life. She must have gotten her powers somehow. With Miranda’s story, she went along with Judah and may actually have loved him. She may have been forced into joining him. It’s impossible to know for sure whether Miranda joined Judah willingly or not. It doesn’t really matter. However there came a time when she decided she’d had enough. Testifying against Judah was a good way to get rid of him. Perhaps she bounced around trying to learn how to use her powers. It’s possible she may have screwed up with “The Monkey’s Paw” kinds of results. She may even have cast a spell to get with Barnabas the first time in Martinique. She was good at using magic in some ways (such as controlling the weak-minded like Ben Stokes) but not in all. (She was unable to retract Barnabas’ vampire curse in 1795, but had learned to do so by 1840.) There must be a recipe for coming up with incantations. Sometimes they’re simple. Sometimes they’re quite convoluted. Mastering magic takes a lot of time when there aren’t many schools nor books easily accessible. I’m guessing it’s rather hit or miss.

    One has to know who to ask for help. Dark Creatures of Nature? One evil spirit or all evil spirits? Prince of Fire/Satan/Beelzebub/Emperor Lucifer? The Powers of Darkness? The Dark Forces? Jewel of Antiquity? Spirit of Dark Night? Heart of Fire burning within the Heart of Ice? Eyes of the Night (drawn on a sheet of paper)?

    What objects do you need (if any)? A headless doll? An unbroken spider web from an oak tree? Do you need to sprinkle enchanted rosewater on an object owned by the subject? Tarot Cards? Mirror? Candles? Scissors? Black construction paper cut into the shape of a funny-looking shadow for placement on his/her heart?

    Just imagine being newly-endowed with magical powers. You accidentally use a doll (complete with head), a broken spider web from an elm tree, and you sprinkle well water on an object owned by the subject. Your incantation doesn’t work. How do you figure out what you did wrong? Where do you start the debugging process?

    I give Angelique/Miranda a lot of credit. Sure it took her a long time, but she did learn quite a bit. I’ll be she’s a hit at parties! Just imagine her turning the host into a cat. A lot of hilarity would ensue!

    1. I figured that Miranda/Angelique, Nicholas, and Judah definitely spent a lot of time in Diabolos’ home office as time passed on Earth. I imagined that they would beg their master for opportunities to return to life to create all kinds of mischief and terror for his amusement. The vampire curses worked well for Angelique, Nicholas was allowed to come back to assist Cassandra and later got involved with Adam & Eve and the Leviathans. (I always thought of Nicholas as having been Charles Dawson and Evan Hanley reincarnated. His Nicholas Blair form was the more advanced warlock who’d learned through the years.) I’m sure Diabolos found Nicholas turning Angelique into a vampire very amusing. Judah cursed the Collins family, returned in various times to wreak havoc, and who knows if he was done at the end of the 1840 storyline. Perhaps he was punished by Diabolos in this revised time because Angelique had brought about the destruction of his plans yet again.

  13. “So that’s why we’re sitting here now, with a voodoo doll and a couple of sharp pins, talking things over with the Prince of Fire. Barnabas and Angelique are the dark creatures of nature, and this, incredibly, is the way that they say I’m sorry.”

    Danny, after all this time, you simply amaze me.

    and thank you, Karl, and phrankenstign, for all your wondrous, well provided insights.

    ah, such a provoking, satisfying visit, this.

  14. I know many are unpersuaded, to say the least, but I remember absolutely buying this confrontation and turn in the relationship between Barnabas and Angelique; Danny lays it out well–she’s been the constant while all the brunettes and redheads have slipped away, and the combination of the absolute relief of having the long-term major characters take center stage again, of Parker and Frid’s obvious relish in working together, and a feeling of return to something that predates this shipwreck of an 1840 diversion in the show–plus my teenaged crush on Lara Parker–made me the perfect, gullible audience for this. I ate it up. And it is still, to me, a great final reversal in the overarching plot of Dark Shadows, while remaining consistent in the one endless truth: Barnabas, whose whole job is to yearn and make bad plans, never gets the girl, even the one who actually wanted him. Sam Hall, who introduced Angelique originally, wrote this episode with all of his hyperdrive plotting energy in place–he tends to be the one who sets up and ends the major story arcs. And it does set us up for the strange 1841 PT coda to the series, where the best romantic pairings–Frid and Parker, Barrett and Karlen–get trotted out for a final race around the track. Seeing it again, I am still a suckered-in romantic teen.

    1. I agree this scene is good. I’m also one of the ones who didn’t buy where they are going with it, not even as a romantic teenager. I’ll go into details once we get there.

      I do agree that their strongest romantic couples were Frid and Parker and Barrett and Karlen and I did enjoy those pairings in the final run of the show, whatever the deficiencies there were in the story line and BOY were they there.

  15. She did some decent guest spots on shows like The Rockford Files and Remington Steele. I can’t say that she was amazing, but she was more than competent.

  16. And now, back to our show…

    Ange-Valer-anda has the fatal pin IN HAND, ready to plunge it into the doll, halfway through the downswing. WHY doesn’t she just stab it in, instead of goggling at Juda-rard?
    Letting that pass, why doesn’t he kill her? He mentions how she fears death at the end of this scene; and also talks about how she is still a danger. If not doing her in, why not incapacitate her? I have the same trouble with all those Bond villains, who want to murder James but first have to give him a complete rundown of the nefarious plot they’re hatching.

    They got Barnabas’ hair done better today, he didn’t have his bangs quite right yesterday. But why oh why does he feel like he must help the PT people? And does anyone else feel like Justin Collins was supposed to be Thayer David? They could have even used Humbert Allen Astredo, he was already in the studio! Could have saved a few bucks.

    Lovely scene with Desmond and Leticia in the cell, they even lampshade why Desmond’s being executed without any trial – – but I need to ask why Flora hasn’t gone for the governor BEFORE this? And Desmond seems fully recovered from that gunshot wound to the chest, Julia Hoffman has performed another miracle.

    Boy, that candlestick gets a workout in 1840! Shame that Elizabeth didn’t have one handy when she went after Paul Stoddard. Angie gives Chuck a smackdown and he goes down, right arm out and left arm across his chest; but when we’ve had a word about Kent’s Micronite filter, we come back to find that BOTH arms are now across his chest. His hands move slightly (possibly a nerve twitch) as she crouches above him and declares he’s dead, Jim.

    Meanwhile, back at Collinwood – – say, has anyone thought to send a tray up to Daphne? – – Leticia takes a stab at murder. Needless to say, it’s Collinwood, where deadly weapons are stockpiled within four feet of wherever you’re standing, but she’s brought along her own. She should have traded up, even a harpoon might have been more effective. Where’s that crossbow when you need one?

    Finally, we get to the cliffhanger, as Quentin puts his head on the chopping block. I like the touch of having the executioner dressed in traditional medieval garb, complete with a honking huge axe. If you’re going to behead, be historically correct. Tune in tomorrow…

  17. All the talk about OLTL got me very nostalgic. I started watching it from the beginning because I was a teenager watching Dark Shadows. I followed it until the end (okay, I may have dropped off between college and the invention of the VCR). One of the amazing things about serials is that you feel strongly about the characters…when Barnabas and Julia drop out of the show, you feel like you’re losing friends. I miss the folks from Llanview, despite the occasional bad stories or bad acting. You live through the retcons, recasts, missed opportunities, obvious stories, because you are committed to the characters. When a character works, audience loyalty is great. I keep dreaming about OLTL 3.0. Of course, I’m 63, so it better happen soon.

  18. A+ for all those screen shots of Lara Parker – the phrase “heart-breakingly beautiful” comes to mind.

    I’m sure no one has ever counted, but I wonder how many times someone has said “We must leave Collinwood – tonight!”

  19. Lara Parker’s eyes are the epitome of beautiful! I’m surprised there isn’t a song about them like there is about Bette Davis’ eyes.

    It was disappointing that Judah took away all of Angelique’s powers with no fanfare. But as he couldn’t even remember his lines, it’s just as well.

    Old man Justin’s scene was so weird! His makeup is almost the worst we’ve seen on the show.

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