“The fire which will burn Collinwood cannot destroy a figure of four!”
So what, you may ask, of the young set? It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the middle schoolers, who used to be one of the driving forces of the show’s popularity.
They got on board with Dark Shadows in early ’68, as the show took a hard swerve toward Halloweentown, with a vampire, a witch and a Frankenstein monster all featured at the same time. The young set is here for the skeletons, the dream sequences, and the disturbed graves. A magic mirror that lets you peek into a basement full of mad science equipment. A werewolf, crashing through a plate glass window. A woman screaming, trapped inside a ring of fire. A devilish man, calling to the dark creatures of nature as he passes his hands over the body of an unconscious babysitter. These discerning viewers demand playground games, and if Dark Shadows doesn’t provide them, then there’s a risk that they’ll drift over to Scooby-Doo, and stay there.
And now, it seems like that’s a demographic that the show is no longer interested in serving. This 1841 PT storyline is just people talking all the time, and occasionally pulling knives on each other. Nobody’s casting any spells, or bringing anything to life. They just put people’s names into a vase, and then take them out again and throw them away. There’s nothing here to stir the soul of a ten year old, and give them ideas for interesting things they could do with a curtain tie.
So it’s a good thing that Gold Key is still publishing the Dark Shadows comic book, a welcome voice of insanity in these untroubled times. Today, we’re going to look at “The Night Children” from issue #15, published in August 1972, in which the witch Angelique wreaks her wretched revenge on Barnabas Collins by sending him just what he thought he’d never lay eyes on again: children.
Angelique, as we all know, is a boggle-eyed redhead who lives on some haunted, barren Star Trek set located somewhere south of reality, directing her tiny troops to destroy the stuff she doesn’t like.
Right away, the narration throws us a curve ball that sets the appropriate tone: “Deep within the black pit of eternal evil dwell many strange and terrible creatures! Some are not so strange as they are evil!” Which is hard to figure.
On the show, Barnabas Collins began his career as one of the strange, evil creatures who would be right at home, here in the black pit of eternal evil, and that was carried over into the comic book, which began with a couple stories about Barnabas trying to kill anyone who he thought was close to discovering his secrets. But by issue #3, published in November 1969, the comic started taking its cues from the 1897 storyline, and showed Barnabas traveling through time to protect Roger and Elizabeth from an angry ghost. Since 1970, Gold Key has been treating Barnabas like he’s running a detective agency for ghosts, who show up with a hard-luck story that he feels the need to remedy.
So Barnabas is apparently “good” now, which he rarely was on the show. If you recall, he killed a bunch of people in 1795 and 1897, and kept right on going. During the Leviathan story, he killed Megan, Sky and Nelle Gunston; in Parallel Time he enslaved Carolyn, Will and Buffie, and killed Cyrus, and in 1995, he killed the sheriff. The fact that he stopped killing so much over the last six months just reflects that he didn’t have much to do in the later storylines. When Barnabas is really involved in a story, his main contribution is biting and strangling people, and that’s how we like him. That’s what made him a star.
But now Barnabas is supposed to be “good”, which means that he gets invited to Collinwood dinner parties, where Professor Stokes is constantly starting conversations about the dark arts.
Meanwhile, Quentin is locked up in the basement tonight, transformed by the full moon into a creature of terror, but it doesn’t seem like he’s missing much.
But the party really gets started when two little kids show up at the door complaining that they’ve lost their dog, and they need an adult stranger to go wandering around in the dark with them, looking for it.
Their names are Andras and Cali, which sound like they should be anagrams or something, but they’re not. “What interesting names!” Barnabas says, strolling off into the woods with them. “I am sure you are very interesting children!” Well, I hope so.
Then we get a full page and a half explanation of what these creatures actually are: they’re Night Children, the most dreaded creatures from that place below, because they can hypnotize people with their huge, sad Margaret Keane peepers.
“Nobody with good in his heart can refuse their innocent eyes!” the narration gasps, and then a page later, “Only those with good in their hearts can be trapped by Night Children!” It’s important that they get this across, because these rules are going to start getting more complicated soon.
“Cali, queen of demons!” the breathless narrator continues. “One look into her child-like eyes and the strongest of men do her bidding…” which seems like it could come in handy, if she could get off the “lost dog” material and start thinking more creatively.
“Andras, Grand Marquis of Hades!” is the boy’s intro. “His glance can bring an army to its knees…” That one seems less plausible. You’d have to get the whole army to look at his eyes at the same time, and even then the entire squadron would all have to have good in their hearts, which doesn’t happen that often.
These ancient terrors take the form of innocent children in JC Penneys slacks and Mary Janes, because everyone knows that children are manipulative and selfish. Kids always need to use their pleading eyes to prey on the adults around them, because they don’t have any money. Pretty much all of the kids who got someone to buy this comic book for them did so using this exact technique.
The dog walk doesn’t get very far from Collinwood before Barnabas notices that the kids don’t have shadows, which means that they’re Night Children, which is something that he already knows about. The kids might have been more successful if they hadn’t come on the night of the full moon, but apparently Angelique doesn’t take that kind of thing into account.
But they manage to tackle him from behind somehow, jumping up onto his back and forcing Barnabas to look into Andras’ eyes. Their eyeballs are supposed to be pretty powerful on their own, but this one has a vision of Angelique inside it, who says, “Now I shall destroy you because you think you are stronger than me! Perish, Barnabas Collins, die!” And he does, more or less.
At least, he falls over backwards, and stays that way for long enough to allow the children to construct a homemade burial platform out of stones and moonlight, and leave Barnabas there to await the sunrise. “It is the only way!” Andras explains. “Even we do not have the power to destroy one of our kind!” This is a convenient plot contrivance that allows them to finish the page and move on to the next one, which is the only thing that the creators of the Dark Shadows comic care about.
That’s done, so now the NCs have to go and burn the house down, and then Collinwood’s stones and Barnabas Collins’ bones will be proof of the power of evil over good! Ha ha ha! You have to admit these kids know how to have a good time.
Back at the dinner party, Professor Stokes is still trying to interest people in his lunatic obsession with the occult, when the door opens and in walks some of it.
The Night Children quickly exercise their sway over the hapless grown-ups, who instantly become their playthings, because they have good in their hearts and they were sick of listening to Stokes anyway. This is actually the best case scenario for a Collinwood dinner party.
Then things start to get a little complicated. Cali’s excited to have dominion over the group, but Andras points out that there are only four people, which is a problem.
“The figure 4 is a sign of the square!” he boysplains to his female counterpart. “The square is the sign of good! We must have another victim to complete the double pentagram! The fire which will burn Collinwood cannot destroy a figure of 4!”
So that is news to me, the stuff about the square being the sign of good, and fire being powerless over the number four. It’s possible that everybody else already knows this, and they just haven’t thought to mention it to me until now.
The kids are pretty concerned about it, because they’ve gotten the adults to move all the furniture out of the room, and then lie face down on the carpet and form what they call a double pentagram, which is its own thing.
“The double pentagram… an imperfect figure of evil!” says the narration, drawing a helpful diagram to explain the concept.
So four is good and five is evil, according to the Night Children; I don’t know where kids pick up these ideas. You know, parents say that reading books is more educational than watching TV, but then you look at a book like this and you realize there’s got to be more of a middle ground.
Finally, the stupidity of their plan catches up with these half-pint demons, as they go downstairs to find a fifth patsy to complete their imperfect geometry. They hear pounding from the dungeon room in the basement, which apparently the dinner party didn’t notice earlier, what with Stokes droning on about his latest monograph on Klerksdorp spheres.
So the kids dart downstairs and crack open the prison cell without stopping to look through the bars in the window, and what do they find but Quentin Collins, a crazed animal who it turns out was locked up for a pretty solid reason. When these two said that they wanted to find a lost dog, they should have been more specific.
They try to reason with the hound for a hot second, saying, “Don’t you see? We are from the other side, too!” but it doesn’t have the impact they were hoping for. In his lupine state, there’s not enough good in Quentin’s heart to fall for their eyeball tricks, and not enough evil to recognize them as teammates. So he just hares after them, hoping to teach them a valuable lesson about breaking into other people’s homes and arranging them into shapes.
You know, when you think about it, it’s kind of remarkable that everyone still thinks of Quentin as the werewolf, because he wasn’t a werewolf for a lot longer than he was. His werewolf curse only lasted from May 1969 to the end of October, when he acquired his magic portrait and never changed again. There have been three additional Quentins since then — four, if you count Night of Dark Shadows — and none of them had anything to do with werewolves; after around March 1970, I don’t think anybody even mentioned the word anymore.
But in the comics and the Paperback Library gothics, Quentin is cursed forevermore, because people remember visuals better than they remember dialogue. The visual of a handsome man transforming into a snarling beast with a snappy wardrobe is easy to fix in the mind, but later on when they explain how he stopped being a werewolf, it’s all words, which people are terrible at remembering accurately.
The only competing visual that could have erased this impression is Quentin standing next to his portrait, as the painting turns into a werewolf instead of him, but they only did this a couple of times, and anyway, it’s still an image of Quentin becoming a werewolf, so it wouldn’t help.
The important characters on Dark Shadows are all monsters, and that’s how people remember them: the vampire, the werewolf, the witch and the mad scientist. They can get cured and give up their powers and throw away their test tubes as often as they like, but in the eyes of children, these images will never fade.
The Midwich Cuckoos manage to keep ahead of the monster all the way outside and up the hill, which is impressive for creatures with short legs and penny loafers. This is where they find the entrance to the black pit, right next to the vampire parking structure that they built, and they slip down the hole, followed immediately by Quentin, who drops into the underworld with an agonized howl. Kids never remember to close the screen door behind them.
All this time, Barnabas has been moonbathing on the stone platform, unaware of the chaos raging around him; as far as he knows, there’s still a lost dog around here somewhere.
“Will Barnabas die?” asks the trembling narrator. “Has Angelique succeeded at last?”
And then, poignantly: “Is evil more powerful than good?”
Up until now, this has absolutely been the case; the evil characters have won on points, while the good characters get a faceful of carpet fibers. The only setback evil has experienced is due to somebody being even more evil in return.
And that is the correct answer for Dark Shadows, as we know from the resolution of every storyline since late ’69. Count Petofi was killed by crazed jailer Garth Blackwood; the Leviathan villains all murdered each other; Judah Zachery’s moment of triumph was ruined by Angelique killing her captor with a candlestick, and then running around with a severed head in her arms.
That’s why all the really important characters on the show are murderers; they know how to get things accomplished. Barnabas, now universally regarded as the “hero” of the series, conducted a centuries-spanning killing spree that sprawled across several timelines; sometimes he would kill someone, and then go back in time and kill them again, in a different way. Evil is much more powerful than good in Dark Shadows; the only thing you can hope for in this bleak narrative universe is that the ruling class of evil people will like you enough to fight other evil people on your behalf.
To prove it, Barnabas manages to drag himself out of dreamland, and there’s a classic Joe Certa running scene, as the vampire hurls himself down the hill to the great estate.
Entering the house, Barnabas discovers that once again the kids have been playing with their toys, and not putting them away when they’re done with them. Somehow, he recognizes this loose arrangement of unconscious acquaintances as a double pentagram with an empty space, so I guess this is a thing that people actually do in Barnabas’ world.
Barnabas does a quick vitals check on his friends and finds that they’re just unconscious, so he decides it’s probably better just to leave them where they are, slumbering on the shag.
Now, what follows is pretty complex, so we’re going to have to take this step by step. Finding that Quentin’s cage is empty, Barnabas makes the impossible but absolutely correct deduction that the kids have taken Quentin into the black pit, via one of the known hellmouths on the property.
Worried, Barnabas tells himself, “If the moon sets while Quentin is with them below… his hope for salvation is lost! Unless I can get him out!”
So that makes sense, as a ticking clock countdown: get Quentin out of the underworld before the full moon sets. Roger that.
Transforming into a dark creature of the night, Barnabas reflects, “Those on the side of good cannot see the black pit! We who linger in both worlds can…” which is not what they established earlier, as far as what side Barnabas is supposed to be on, but whatever. He dives into the black pit, and the world beyond.
As he lands in the place of eternal darkness, there are further concerns. “If Angelique finds me in my human form, I am doomed!” he recalls.
“But I must not think of myself!” he vows. “I must find Quen — AAAHHH!” and with an enormous Marvel Comics PWOOF!, here’s Angelique, finding him in his human form. So that went great, another classic two-panel faceplant from the astounding Mr. C.
Luckily, he’s brought his cane with him, which Angelique recognizes as Silver! The cursed metal of purity! AAH!
And then Barnabas starts… flying, I guess? It looks like he’s running, but he’s above Angelique, and gaining altitude somehow. Life in the black pit is full of surprises.
And then there are the zozos, which I cannot believe I have lived my entire life without knowing about.
Barnabas recognizes them immediately, of course, as “the creatures which bear fallen spirits from above to this terrible place.” But we know that these are winged monkeys, straight from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which means that Gold Key’s Dark Shadows, for all its flaws, is indeed a worthwhile successor to the TV show.
I mean, let’s face it. You did not think of Barnabas Collins fighting flying monkeys. I did not think of Barnabas Collins fighting flying monkeys. No person of sound mind would even consider it. And yet here it is, and it is beautiful.
The only way that you could possibly arrive at this particular destination is to tell a barely competent team of comics professionals that they need to create a brand-new twenty-five-page comic book story for children every two months, about a vampire with good in his heart named Barnabas Collins, and the stories need to include chases, fight scenes, fire, and trips through either time or alternate dimensions. After a while, you’re bound to get flying monkeys, one way or another.
Fending off the ravenous zozos, Barnabas scours the skyways to find his friend Quentin, still in werewolf mode, and he drifts downward to say hello, like a chump.
And once again, we learn the lesson that should not need to be learned this often: You are not friends with a werewolf. The werewolf is not interested in whether you are on his side or not. That is not a factor in your relationship.
Fortunately, the thing happens that was the specific thing that Barnabas said he couldn’t let happen: the moon goes down, and Quentin turns back into a human.
“If the moon sets while Quentin is with them below,” Barnabas said, five pages ago, “his hope for salvation is lost!” Except it’s not, because who even remembers what people say five pages ago?
So now we’re just playing Calvinball, there’s no other word for it. These characters are going to continue to postulate new rules from one panel to the next, and there’s no way to stop them. Barnabas falls prey to the Night Children because he’s good, but he can fly into the black pit because he’s not that good; if Angelique finds him, then he’s doomed, but she finds him immediately and he magically flies away; silver is good, and squares are good, and the moon is chaotic neutral.
The rules for good people and evil people are so complex, that it makes me glad I decided early on that I would try and be a mix of the two. It makes doing your taxes more complicated but overall I think it’s been worth it.
Quentin’s back to normal and Angelique doesn’t have any more monkeys, so she calls up a flock of harppes. No, I didn’t misspell that word; they aren’t harpies, they’re harppes. Totally different. It turns out that harppes don’t like silver either, go figure, especially when it’s wielded by someone who has good in his heart, which it turns out Quentin does.
But that means the Night Children are back in play, and they tap in to mess with Quentin and get him to hand over his pretty silver stick. When he looks in their eyes, he’s helpless; they transform him in an instant from an action-adventure monster hero into a wet blanket who wants to play with ten year olds.
So this would not be any Quentin that we recognize, even if Joe Certa could draw people’s faces properly. The idea that Quentin is righteous and good-hearted — especially if he’s stuck in his 1897 werewolf phase — is simply absurd. He is no such thing. Quentin is concerned with brandy, money and female companionship. He is so evil that he owns a magic portrait designed to stop him from turning into a werewolf, and he turns into a werewolf anyway, just for the fun of it. Quentin is not a toy for middle schoolers to play with.
And this is the problem, really, with the eyes of children, a fundamentally fun-limiting force which fights against the slap-happy madness of a vampire swatting at flying monkeys. These children want to see everything in terms of “good” and “evil”, which flattens out the story and makes it less interesting.
Angelique isn’t supposed to be a screeching Wicked Witch of the West just waiting for a righteous person to come and dump a bucket of water on her, and she doesn’t launch waves of creatures at you like a boss in a video game. Angelique is an actual person, who sighs as much as she schemes. She does terrible things, and then she does less terrible things, and then the terrible man that she loves decides that he loves her back.
Whatever you might think about the resolution of Angelique and Barnabas’ tragic romance a week and a half ago, you have to concede that that version of Angelique is more interesting than this single-minded hell denizen. This is what happens when you let the young set take over; they flatten a three-dimensional story into two dimensions.
And so, as the righteous Quentin ascends from the pit, backing slowly sideways up the wall of this vertical tunnel and warding off the zozos using the cursed metal of purity, take a moment to look around at the children in your life. Are they really just smaller versions of humans, or are they demonic nightmare creatures plotting your eternal destruction? Maybe check one more time, just in case.
Tomorrow: The final pre-emption special!
Time Travel, part 15:
Dark Shadows Without Dark Shadows.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
When Bramwell smacks Morgan to the ground, he falls face up, and then appears to make the conscious decision to turn over, and smash the table and vase clearly placed there for the purpose, before losing consciousness.
Josette tells Melanie, “Bramwell and I are not in the inner circle, and it’s must – much better, I think.”
Morgan vows, “He must get out of Collingwood.”
At the end of act 2, when Catherine tells Morgan that Bramwell won’t be able to make them unhappy, the mirror shows the reflection of someone in the studio holding a script. When Morgan sits down on the bed, the first person moves away, and a second person can be seen in the mirror.
At the top of act 3, Josette is looking for her cue, before she turns and says her first line to Bramwell.
When Melanie starts to follow Bramwell, a camera is clearly visible at the left side of the screen.
For the duel, walking ten paces is really too far for the gazebo set — you can see the edge of the burlap on the ground, and when the camera tries to correct for that, a studio light is visible.
Behind the Scenes:
This episode is the first appearance of Mary Cooper as a mature Josette Collins; she’ll appear in five episodes. Cooper was a stage actress who appeared on Broadway in Winged Victory (1943-44), The French Touch (1945-46), Harvey (1949), Cloud 7 (1958) and The Ninety Day Mistress (1967). She also had a role in the 1951 film Bright Victory, and in the 1980s, she appeared on the soap opera Edge of Night. She was a close friend of Joan Bennett, who she met when they costarred in It’s Never Too Late in Miami in 1963.
Also, Maine outlawed dueling in 1820, although obviously Morgan and Bramwell would have been dumb enough to do it anyway.
Tomorrow: The final pre-emption special!
Time Travel, part 15:
Dark Shadows Without Dark Shadows.
— Danny Horn
26 thoughts on “Episode 1206: The Eyes of Children”
I’m really enjoying your exploration of the other forms of Dark Shadows media, of which I had been aware prior to your blog, but had never had access to.
Your analysis of the “flattening” of the narrative/character complexity is well-stated. This is a phenomenon I’ve been observing in the fandom of current soaps as well. Fans often state that characters are “good” or “evil” and lately it seems that is truly the way they are being written. (No Sam Halls running around right now.)
I can just picture Dan Curtis in 1972 at a newspaper stand and he picks up this comic out of curiosity and thinks “ flying monkeys? That’s it! we could of gotten five months of story out of flying monkeys”.
This story seems to be a reworking of the Leviathans- Barnabas trapped on a stone altar that mysteriously appears on the grounds of the estate, the people in the great house suddenly subdued by a spell, evil spirits which emerge into the world of the living in the form of unremittingly obnoxious children, etc. I’d wondered if there was any way the Leviathan story could have worked, and I think this issue proves that, if they’d had the foresight and the budget to bring the whole thing to a climax involving flying monkeys, it could have been the high point of the entire series.
Am I the only one eternally annoyed that 99% of the time comic book dialog ends in exclamation points? Not everything said in a comic book is as exciting as they seem to think.
It may be strange that Quentin is always a werewolf in the comic when he was only briefly one on the show, but it’s stranger that Angelique is a redhead in the comic when she never was one on the show. Did they get her mixed up with pictures of Marie Wallace as Eve?
I believe the exclamation point became a convention due to crap printing quality. The regular full-stop at the end of the sentence might get lost in the process.
Once a year, a zozo is lured above ground in New Mexico, where it becomes a zozobra. It is then captured and ritually burned by the villagers of Santa Fe.
“Zozobra is the enemy of all that is good, and Santa Fe knows only too well the spell of darkness and despair that Zozobra casts annually over the City”
harppes… harpies… hairpiece… herpes: there’s a Cheech and Chong or Abbott and Costello routine in those words just waiting to be written.
man! i love going places with Danny’s wits about us! what a delightful ride!
We are skimming past, and it’s probably just as well, one of the cardinal sins of the last go-around of the show: the casting of Mary Cooper as the older Josette. Cooper is evidently a capable actor, but her performance here is flat and unengaged, and there simply is no echo, none, of Josette’s beauty and aristocratic allure. You know, if you tell the story a certain way, Josette’s the femme fatale that ruined a generation of the Collins family–an aristocratic heiress from the Caribbean, at first holding off on Barnabas (this is the period when he fell in with Angelique), then accepting the arranged marriage but at the iast minute eloping with Jeremiah instead, leading to a Cain-and-Abel duel, Josette’s suicide, and Barnabas leaving for England. Surely in any incarnation she has to have been desirable, mysterious, irresistible, and capable of impulsive, passionate love. An older woman can suggest all of this–it could be a great role–yet here’s Cooper playing a lumpen, discouraged housewife, a lifeless second-string soap opera fill-in. Any fascination we might have had in seeing how things might have worked out for beloved characters otherwise–with no Angelique in the picture, Barnabas marrying Josette but apparently Jeremiah inheriting and relegating them to poor-relative status, preferring Daniel (one wonders what happened to Sarah)–is canceled in one stroke. What an insult, and what a lost opportunity for at least a fillip of pleasure for the fans.
Finding out Cooper was friends with Joan Bennett explains a lot. She’s a terrible casting choice. She doesn’t look right and she doesn’t sound right. She’s like a Paperback Library version of Josette–she has her name but no other characteristic.
The final nails have already been placed in the coffin that is 1841, but not they are using steel spikes to further seal this good as dead storyline. This woman has nothing to do with the beautiful, charming, vivacious creature that was Josette. Couldn’t they have at least got a brunette actress and one that was on the slim side? You would have to squint your eyes to the point of shutting them completely before this woman would ever remind you of Josette. I could believe this woman as an older Angelique but not Josette. My fault for having expectations at this point.
Curtis had moved on from the Josette/Barnabas relationship. He considered that story over.The casting helped sell the idea that Josette was a frumpy housewife in the making and not worthy of being the love of Barnabas’ life. Then they throw in the “she would have slept with Jeremiah anyway story to make sure we get the picture of how unworthy she was compared to Angelique.
I always thought they were plotting. Those paintings were at my dentist’s, my doctor’s AND the barbershop.
So does it mean that Collinwood will next be menaced by… depressed clowns? Cursed fondue sets? Or malevolent string art?
And can we infer that Angelique in this comic book reality is an entirely supernatural being? She only seems to appear as a ghost at Collinwood, or on some other plane like the Underworld.
Speaking of which, those “flying monkeys” look an awful lot like Werewolf Quentin; just saying.
And I sure hope that someone manages to put a decorative fence around that invisible hole into the Underworld, because it would be a very real issue if the family were going to have badminton or croquet some afternoon.
Depressed clowns on velvet.
Your comments re: Barnabas are spot-on – “So Barnabas is apparently “good” now, which he rarely was on the show. If you recall, he killed a bunch of people in 1795 and 1897, and kept right on going…When Barnabas is really involved in a story, his main contribution is biting and strangling people, and that’s how we like him. That’s what made him a star.”
Agreed, 100%. Even after he became the show’s protagonist, Barnabas was dangerous and unpredictable, often acting as judge, jury, and executioner and doing vengeful, monstrous things. That “edge” was part of what made it fun to watch him, especially when he was a vampire. The fact that he was given more of a conscience didn’t actually seem to stop the body count from adding up. lol.
“Also, Maine outlawed dueling in 1820, although obviously Morgan and Bramwell would have been dumb enough to do it anyway.”
In Parallel Time Bands, dueling may have been outlawed later or maybe even not at all. Perhaps lawmakers there made other decisions also.
It’s funny you picked this — my copy (bought at the time out of my allowance) is a treasured childhood item. I barely remember the show, although the ViewMaster slides offered a way to revisit the series as I got older. The Ross books and a couple issues of the comic were the only other access I had before syndication.
As to all comics using exclamation points instead of periods, it was a necessity due to cheap printing techniques. Mere dots tended to disappear. Some of the other story oddities may have been due to how the writer, the artist, and the editor worked together (or not). Some artists tend to ignore the script and leave inconsistencies to the editor to be fixed. If behind schedule, early pages could have been already lettered, for example, and a nuisance to fix.
I found the blog relatively recently (thank you). I am old enough to have watched the last ten months (after a move) every day after school. I still remember my outrage at the unfinished plot lines, but too young to understand how convoluted it had become, back in time in an alternate universe. I fully agree that the charm of the show was performing daily under all the those limitations. Only a low budget stage show (think Noises Off) could possibly capture it.
I know you claim to have first watched the show on Syfy in syndication but I am sure a previous incarnation of Danny was with us on those playgrounds, chasing each other while screaming “the ghost of Sam Evans”- and when we were caught, tying each other up with our jumpropes.
Syfy? No way, I go back farther than that. Check out the Young Danny posts, especially ep 927: A Limited Number of Tomorrows.
Sorry. I actually read all those posts about you watching on public TV but was just having a brain fart. I remember that post because it reminded me of how I had to miss the resolution of the Gerard/Daphne haunting because I started 7th grade and had class until 4:20. I was devastated and couldn’t wait for Xmas break to see how it all resolved. When I could watch again, I was sure I missed the important episodes that explained everything, I was so excited when I could rent the discs from Netflix ten years ago to see how it all worked out. Of course, we all know now that I didn’t ,miss any big revelations that tied up all the loose ends, It is so comforting to read your posts and commiserate together. Thanks Danny!
Something I’m curious about is why so much of the spinoff merchandise uses one of the least recognizable views of Seaview Terrace, shown here in all its Gold Key glory in the panel where Barnabas is saying “If the moon sets…” (the artist spectacularly fails with their rendering of the side of Seaview Terrace we’re used to seeing on the show in the panels with “But the others…” and “Will Barnabas die?” — you can tell which is which by the position of the towers and chimneys). The boxes for the two Dark Shadows games (https://darkshadowseveryday.com/2016/01/20/episode-810/) show the same view.
Seeing Keith Prentice in the Inverness cape in this episode, it struck me that he looked a lot like the illustrations of Barnabas in issue 19, which you cover in the post for #1226. At least this issue look more like Jonathan Frid than they do like any other actor from the show.
I do enjoy the detours from the episodes into the other media related to DS.
But today I actually enjoyed this episode! Mainly because I noticed that the painting hanging in the staircase at the Old House when Josette is standing on the stairs is the very same painting Samantha Stephens has hanging over her bed on “Bewitched” from Seasons Three through Six! And which I now have hanging in my kitchen! I don’t know how to post photos here or I would.
The painting is the 1759 oil painting “The Woolwinder” by French painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze.
GH’s dress is beautiful even if it looks like she should be working the candy shop on Disneyland Main Street. Catherine’s dress was an absolute mess! But Lara Parker’s beauty makes it better.
“So four is good and five is evil, according to the Night Children; I don’t know where kids pick up these ideas.”
Possibly from the tarot. In some interpretations a 4 card indicates safety and the comfort zone (albeit a bit dull and stuck in a rut) whereas a 5 indicates things going pear-shaped.
This episode gives us one of my all-time favorite Julia lines (even though it isn’t really our Julia): “Morgan, listen to Catherine. Perhaps she is what this family needs now, a woman with common sense.” I guess you could argue that she said this unthinkingly, but personally I think she fully meant the implication, as a rare self-criticism in light of the recent idiotic decision she and Flora made to keep Stella prisoner.