Episode 1218: The Great Unwinding

“It’s just that sometimes when I look at someone, I can almost see beyond them.”

Daphne Harridge has a big decision to make, and rather than think it over and really wrestle with the pros and cons, she’s decided to turn things over to a subcontractor, namely junior soothsayer Carrie Stokes.

“I’ve heard about your unusual gifts,” Daphne says, fishing for a free trial. “And I was wondering if you might be able to help me.”

Carrie smiles. “What do you want me to do?”

“Well, I’d like you to help me make a decision. You see, Bramwell and I are to be married.”

“Well, that’s wonderful! Congratulations!”

“Thank you, Carrie. But — the decision concerns the future. I know you can see into the future,” Daphne says.

“Well, I can,” admits Carrie, “but I can’t always do it at will.”

“I know that, but — Carrie, could you try now for me? Because it’s very important that I know whether or not Bramwell and I will be happy.”

“Well, I’ll try,” Carrie says, always willing to help out when she can. “But you must understand: whatever I see in the future, I have no control over.”

Once Daphne signs off on that clause in the contract, Carrie obediently takes a few steps forward, opens her eyes as wide as she can, and makes contact with the infinite.

“An image is beginning to form!” she announces, and

I can see it, she says.

The Great Unwinding. Dear god.

Victoria Winters is my name. Beginning is my journey. The days and nights of my tomorrows will soon be filled with shadows in my mind who tonight are still only people…

“But you must understand: whatever I see in the future, I have no control over,” Carrie repeats, as the mirrorball smashes to the ground.

“Yes, you said that,” Daphne answers.

“Well, I’ll try.”

Daphne is confused. “What?”

“Well, I can, but I can’t always do it at will.”

“That’s what you said before,” Daphne says. “You’re… going backwards.”


“No,” Daphne frowns. “No, that’s not what I wanted. That’s not the future. You’re going backwards, into the past!”

“Well, that’s wonderful!”

There is a woman, strong and proud, with blazing electric blue eyes. She is waiting for the moment when she will reveal her secret.

Years ago, on that dark and shadowy night, the widows came, and They took her little girl.

Her name is Victoria, she said, as They snatched the child from her arms. They cackled. Not anymore, They said. This one is coming with us.

Now, the woman sits and waits. She believes that she will find the right girl at the right time, and she will embrace her, and all of their burdens will be lifted.

SHE APPROACHES, she stitches into the needlepoint in her lap. SHE APPROACHES. SHE APPROACHES.

But the little girl is moving in the other direction, now. SHE RETREATS.

It’s 2004, and P.J. Hogan is giving instructions to the lighting director.

More red, says P.J. Hogan. It’s not red enough. Never enough. 

I hunger. I must feed.

It’s 1998. A witch is rewriting her own story.

“It’s Bramwell,” Carrie says. “He has a very sad look on his face!”

“Sad?” Daphne asks.

“Oh… no, this man is different. He looks like Bramwell… and there’s a woman, who looks like Catherine…”

“And… oh, I don’t know what this is at all.”

It’s 1972, and Thomas Collins, the unborn kinsman, threatens to unwrite the world… 

“So then I searched Charles Dawson’s house,” says the woman who looks like Catherine. She has found something important.

“How do you know where she found it?” the fifth kaiju roars. “We only have her word!”

“Yes!” Trask agrees. “She may have placed it there herself!”

“Your honor,” says Angelique, “I am prepared to swear under oath that everything I’ve said is true.”

It’s January 8th, 1971.

Carolyn is trapped in a forgotten tributary of time, haunting the home that she once loved, now alone and abandoned.

“Carrie, listen to me,” Daphne pleads. “Tell me what is happening!”

“Something has started,” Carrie says. “I don’t know how to stop it. A lot of people, a lot of stories. They’re all looking for something. They get written, and rewritten. It’s all happening very fast, and it’s in the wrong order. Something’s wrong…”

When it falls — and it will fall —

You can not piece those shards together again.

You must not.

But They will try…

“That’s me! And there’s you, Daphne!”

“You can see me?” Daphne asks.

“Yes, but it’s not you, not really you… that’s not me, either. It looks like us, but it’s not, it’s someone else.”

“It’s different people, a different world. There are candles… they’re doing some kind of ritual.”

There are 1,245 steps to complete the ritual.
One of the steps is missing.
The ritual has only been completed once.

“Someone is rewriting stories,” Daphne says. “And there’s some kind of ritual.” She’s trying to put these pieces together, in some kind of order. Daphne has known the Collins family since she was a child. You get used to this kind of thing, eventually.

“Yes. But there’s a missing step… They can’t complete the ritual without it.”

“Who can’t?”

“That’s not a good name, Collins…” she says. “They don’t like it.”

Carrie? Carrie, can you hear me?  

“What was that?” asks Daphne.

Carrie trembles. “Did you hear it, too?”

“Yes, it was a man’s voice. It said your name.”

Wow — so you can actually hear me? I’ve made contact!

“Yes,” Daphne says. “We can hear you.”

Okay, wow. I didn’t think that this would actually work. This is good.

“Who are you?”

My name is Claude North. My friends and I, we’ve been trying to figure out what’s causing this… problem.

“What problem?”

It’s… well, in the prophecies, it’s called “the Great Unwinding.”

Carrie gasps. “Yes, that’s what I saw, right at the beginning. The Great Unwinding.”

“There are prophecies about us?” Daphne asks.

They’re… kind of prophecies? They’re written down in a book.

“What book?”

It’s called The Collins Family History. But not the regular one. It’s the other one, the paradox one.

“So what is it?” Daphne asks. “The Great Unwinding?”

It’s everything, our whole story, but backwards — going back into the past. And if it goes too far back, then… it’s bad. We’re not sure what’s waiting for us back there.

“And that’s happening right now?” asks Carrie.

That’s what you’re seeing, yeah.

“Is it — my fault?”

No. Well, not really. You just happened to be right on the edge of the missing step, when you tried to look into the future. And… there wasn’t one.

“Where did you get that?” Angelique snaps.

“Where I got it isn’t important,” says Inspector Hamilton.

Hamilton is reopening the investigation. Something has been lost, and must be found.

Julian did all the calculations, and he thought that you would just look forward, into the reconstruction that he made, but you didn’t. There was something there that we didn’t expect, and it’s like you bounced off of it. Or something. And now you’re going backwards.

Carrie says, “Who is Julian?”

He’s one of my friends. Dr. Julian Hoffman. He’s, like, the leader of our group. He’s been finding the lost children, and bringing us together. We’re caretakers now.

Daphne says, “What’s a reconstruction?”

The reconstruction is — it’s like a bridge that Julian made, to get us across the missing step, and allow us to move forward, into the future. We thought it would work. He’s analyzing it right now, to see if he can figure out what the problem is.

“I can hear something,” Carrie says. “It’s like music, in the distance.”

Um… okay. What does it sound like?

We’re young, but never too young
To set this whole world spinning

Okay, that’s… I don’t know what that is. That’s not great.

“What should I do?”

I’m not sure. Where are you, right now? Have you seen Inspector Hamilton yet?

“Yes, a little while ago. He was looking for something.”

Okay. You’re going faster than I thought you were. Also not great.

“Claude, this doesn’t make any sense!” Carrie’s eyes are filling with tears.

I’m sorry. It’s just — ugh, there’s so much backstory. Listen, I need to go for a minute, and see what I can find out about that music. Let me know if you hear more music like that.

“Where are you going?”

I’ll be back, I promise. Daphne — try and help her out.

Daphne nods. “I will.”

Great. Oh, and if you see a lizard? See if you can figure out where she is; we lost track of her.

Daphne shakes her head. “A lizard?”

Just, if you see one. I’ll be back.

“Judith,” he sputters. “For God’s sake!”

She smiles. “Are you enjoying your retreat, Gregory?”

“Judith — you must let me out!”

“How familiar that sounds!” she trills. “I used to say it every day at the sanitarium… but They wouldn’t listen to me.”

In one quantum state, the cat is Joshua Collins, an angry eighteenth-century shipping merchant.

In the other, Joshua is freed from his borrowed human body, and set loose into the ether, to find its own home.

“What can you see now?” Daphne asks.

“There’s a little boy. He’s in the Old House, and he’s looking for information. He’s just found a mysterious book.”

Aristede is perplexed. “How could a book be published in 1965, when it’s now 1897? How’s that possible?”

“I guess we’ll just have to find that out.”

“But what is it?” Aristede wonders. “Books can’t just fly back through the years.”

Daphne says, “Maybe that’s the book that Claude was talking about, the one that has prophecies in it.”

“Maybe,” Carrie sighs. “It’s all happening backwards… I can’t figure out what they’re talking about.”

“You see, Vicki took that book back to the 18th century when she went there,” Barnabas explains, “and so Eve brought it back to the present.”

“When did she take the book?” the gypsy asks.

“Not too long ago.”

“Oh!” Carrie says. “There’s no color, now. I can’t see any color at all.”

“What can you see?”

“Just black and white… like it’s a shadow. It’s not really there.”

“Magda,” Barnabas says, “I said that it didn’t happen too long ago… but that hasn’t happened yet! There’s still a chance that we might be able to save Quentin, by looking at the book that lies in the old colonial courthouse!”

“But you said that Eve took it!”

“She did — which happened in 1968, which hasn’t happened yet! So if I’m correct, then the book is still in the courthouse right now!”

“You know what?” Carrie says. “I don’t think this would make any sense, even if we were watching it in the right order.”

Even before the slimy thing came crawling across the bedspread she had seized a heavy glass ashtray from the bedside table. With screams of terror she struck out at it wildly and then fumbled for the switch on the bedside lamp.

She found it and turned it on, panting with terror. Her aim had been better than she could have hoped. The battered remains of the lizard made an ugly stain on the bed covering.

Hey, I’m back. Are you okay? I think I know what the music is.

“Oh, Claude! I just saw that lizard that you were asking about. It was in a book called Barnabas, Quentin and the Mummy’s Curse.

Did you see what chapter?

“Chapter 4, I think.”

Oh, excellent! I’ll tell Phyllis.

“But, I’m sorry — I think it died. A girl crushed it, with an ashtray.”

Ha. Yeah, that’s not a problem. Sue Agatha’s, like, three thousand years old. You can’t kill her with an ashtray.

“The lizard’s name is Sue Agatha?”

And we are never too young
For us, love’s just beginning

“Oh! I could hear that music again,” Carrie says.

Yes, I found out what that is. It’s the theme song for “Never Too Young”.

“What’s Never Too Young?” Daphne asks.

“What’s a theme song?” Carrie asks.

Now it’s 1967, and Phyllis Wick’s boyfriend is running away with someone else.

“Say you will, Jeff —” Vicki promises, “and They will let you stay!”

They do, and he does, for long enough to get married to a girl who isn’t Phyllis. Just one more kick in the stomach for good ol’ Phyllis Wick. God, she hates those widows.

Never Too Young… it’s the story that ended, when we started.

“What does that mean?” Daphne asks.

Argh, so much backstory. How do I explain this?

“I think I understand,” Carrie says. “What I’m seeing… Daphne, the world isn’t what we thought it was. It’s not just one story, one life… one reality. There’s lots of them. Some of them are in books. It’s really complicated.”

Yes! Thank you! It’s crazy that people don’t understand this.

“But once you see outside your own story…” Carrie says.

Right. There’s a lot that we don’t know about this story that we live in — how many branches it splits off into, where it ends, if it ever ends. There’s a lot that hasn’t been explored yet. But we do know when it started.

“When did it start?” Daphne asks.

It started on ABC-TV, on June 27th, 1966 at 4pm.

“And before that…”

There was another story that ended, so that ours could begin.

“And I can see it,” Carrie shudders. “It’s called Never Too Young.

For us… love’s just beginning…

“That’s what it means, the Great Unwinding. It’s taking us back, to before we existed. I think it’s taking us all apart.”

Meanwhile, in Fort Wayne:

“The screaming was unbelievable. Eleven women fainted, there were 58 lost children, one broken arm, a broken leg, and $1,500 damage to trees and shrubs.”

The problem with going all the way back to the beginning is that there’s this man named Barnabas Collins, and this story is mostly about him.

“Barnabas Collins?” Daphne says. “That’s Bramwell’s father.”

Yeah, that’s one of them. Did you meet him?

“Yes, he died about ten years ago. He was a very sweet man.”

Oh, that’s cool. I haven’t seen him, myself. Most of us have never even gotten near him. He’s a big deal.

“Those clothes!” she cried, rising to her feet. “Where am I? Who are you?” She glared at each of them. “Where’s my reticule? My papers, my references! I only work in respectable houses!”

God. Had she ever been that young, that sure of herself? Such a long time ago, now.

So there’s a lot of math involved here? But Julian calculated that Barnabas entered the show at step two hundred and ten.

“What does that mean?”

There are 209 steps, before it became Barnabas’ story. Unfortunately, we don’t know a lot about those steps, because we’ve been using them as kind of a buffer.

We haven’t wanted to explore that area too much, because we were afraid that we might go too far back.

“And that’s bad?”

Yeah, we thought that if we looked too far into the past, it could trigger the Great Unwinding.


Right. So now it’s happening anyway.

So walk hand in hand with me
There are love songs to be sung

“Claude…” Carrie gulps. “I just heard more of that music.”

Yeah. Me too.

Can you tell me what you see right now?

“We’ve lost the color again. It’s just black and white now. I can see three widows, on a hill.”

Oh! That’s interesting. I didn’t realize They went back this far.

“I’ve made slides from the sample of Maggie’s blood,” the doctor says, but it’s a different doctor. “And I’m gonna get Hoffman, one of the best men in the field, to come and examine them.” That turned out to be a different doctor, too.

“And now I see a man opening up a box, and… there’s someone inside it! There’s a hand that reaches up, and grabs the man’s throat. It’s got a big ring on it.”

Oh, cool, that’s iconic. And… super dangerous, actually. That means you’re crossing the line into the buffer zone.

Sheriff:  Now… Can you identify this pen?

Vicki:  Yes.

Sheriff:  When, uh, have you known it before?

Vicki:  I found it on the beach at Lookout Point.

“Oh, it’s starting to slow down,” Carrie says. “I can hear more of what they’re saying.”

Sheriff:  All right, you found the pen. Then what happened?

Vicki:  I took it back to Collinwood with me.

Sheriff:  Did you find any special significance in the pen?

Vicki:  No, I just thought it was pretty, and it did look valuable.

You can? What are they talking about?

Burke:  Is this the pen you’re talking about?

Roger:  Where did you get it?

Burke:  I don’t think that matters.

“They’re talking about a pen. There’s something special about it.”

Liz:  Roger… is that the pen you lost?

Roger:  It couldn’t be.

Burke:  Why couldn’t it be?

And it’s slowed down the Unwinding?

Roger:  Well, I mean, it certainly resembles it, but… no, I don’t think it could be the same pen. Well, I didn’t look at it that closely, I can’t be expected to remember every little detail of a pen.

Burke:  Why not?

“Yes, definitely. When they started talking about the pen, it all slowed to a crawl.”

Vicki:  Do you know why Roger wanted to see me?

Carolyn:  Let me think… yes. it had something to do with that fountain pen that Burke gave me.

Okay, that’s good. Probably. That might give us some more time.

Vicki:  You told him I knew that he’d lost it?

Carolyn:  Sure, why not?

Say you’ll be my girl, and we’ll show the world

“We’re still going backwards, though,” Carrie frowns. “I can still hear the music…”

Vicki:  Has he searched for it?

Carolyn:  He’s turned the house upside down looking for it, but hasn’t found it. It just seems to have vanished.

“The pen,” Daphne says. “Have you seen anyone use it, to write anything down?”

“No, not at all. They’re just talking about losing it, and trying to find it.”

Can you see where it is?

Vicki:  Why did you bring me up here?

David:  To get the pen. Isn’t that what I said? To get the pen I stole.

“I can’t tell. It seems like it went from one person, to another. It’s definitely important.”

Vicki:  I don’t think that pen is up here. I don’t think it ever was here.

This is good. I’m going to tell Julian about this.

“About the pen, slowing things down?”

Roger:  Kitten, I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about.

Carolyn:  Burke Devlin gave me a fountain pen, the day we had lunch together in Bangor. Don’t you remember?

Roger:  Vaguely, yes.

Yeah. We’d never heard of this before, but if it’s slowing down the Unwinding, then it must be important. Maybe we can find it.

Carolyn:  Well, you certainly weren’t very vague about it, when I came home that night and told you I’d accepted a gift from Burke.

Roger:  Oh, yes, of course! The pen! It was kind of silver, wasn’t it?

Carrie, do you think you can hold it here? Maybe, I don’t know, concentrate on the pen, and see if that slows things even more?

Carolyn:  Yes, filigreed silver, and quite expensive, too.

Roger:  Yes, I recall. Very, very intricate work. And I was quite, too, insisting that you give it to me, to give back to Burke.

Carolyn:  Then why didn’t you?

“I can try,” Carrie says.

Okay. I’m going to go and tell Julian, and we’ll check the reconstruction again. We’ll see if we can find any clues, about what happened to the pen.

Carolyn:  It was the night you were going to the meeting, at the office. The night Mr. Malloy died. We were in here. It was about nine o’clock, I guess.

“Yes, I think this could go on for a while,” Carrie says.

Carolyn:  I showed you the pen, and you took it from me, and put it in your pocket.

Thank you, Carrie. You’ve been so helpful. I’m really glad that I got a chance to meet you. Goodbye.

“Goodbye, Claude.”

Carolyn:  He said that when you came to the office, you were going to give it back to him, but when you reached in your pocket, you found you didn’t have it with you.

“I suppose he’s gone, now,” Daphne says. “I hope they figure out the problem, whatever it is.”

Roger:  Do you know, I believe he’s telling you the truth? I remember something like that.

“Yes,” Carrie said. “I hope so, too.”

Carolyn:  Oh, Uncle Roger. I do hope you haven’t lost it. It was so valuable!

That we’re never… too young

My name is Victoria Winters
My journey is beginning

We’re young but never too young
To set this whole world spinning….

Tomorrow: The Missing Step.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

It appears that no one in today’s episode is particularly worried about an insane Gabriel, wandering around in the woods with a knife.

There’s a brief audio fault in act 1, with some hissing on the audio track.

When Daphne tells Carrie, “I suppose then I would look a little more forward to the future,” someone in the studio clears his throat.

After Josette leaves, Bramwell asks Daphne, “Well, Catherine, do you want to postpone it?”

When Catherine opens the front doors in act 4, the previous music cue comes in again for a moment, then the music stops suddenly.

Josette tells Catherine, “When Daphne told her your plans, she should — you should never have reacted as you did!”

Daphne tells Carrie, “I’ve heard about your unusual gifts,” which implies that she heard about them from someone else. Carrie displayed her gifts to Daphne earlier in the episode.

While Daphne is asking Carrie for help making the decision, she looks at the teleprompter a couple of times.

Tomorrow: The Missing Step.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn’

46 thoughts on “Episode 1218: The Great Unwinding

  1. No! You fool! Danny, surely you know that in the naming of a thing you invoke it. The Fountain Pen has heard you calling to it, and now it comes to us. It is writing. It is writing. IT IS WRITING! And it has brought the pirate zombies, and all the other unresolved plot points of Dark Shadows of which it is the Master. For when the dark pact was made to sacrifice Matthew Morgan to save the life of Roger Collins, whose death had been foretold in the Great Series Bible, the effects rippled through time. Julius Hoffman became Julia. An entire generation of the Collins family was moved back thirty-some years. Now I must cast the I Ching wands, visualize the Door, and attempt to recover the secret magic number of the universe to seal the Fountain Pen back in the foul dimension of madness where it resides, along with some lovely embossed stationary and several stray rubber bands and paper clips. No! I can hear the Fountain Pen scratching at my window like the dark wings of a flappy bat. The nib! THE NIB!!!!

    1. Karl, I feel compelled to tell you about this awful dream I had.
      It started with a knock on the door…

    2. It’s writing about cars, and pieces of cars, and the hatred of sons for fathers–there’s so many flames…

  2. Your evocation is so powerful that I felt myself going back back back in time and suddenly I was 12 years old and when I was done reading a giant whitehead had grown on my nose.

  3. This is a masterful post, reminding me of an anime I’m currently watching called RE:CREATORS, in which characters from popular fiction are brought into our world and realize they must find their creators. (It’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. Unlike that business with the pen.) What scared me, though, was one horrifying thought: Oh, no, he’s going to start writing about the episodes before Barnabas. I’d follow you to Hell, Danny, but that’s worse than Hell.

    1. I only watched the early episodes about a year ago, and I dug the Phoenix. I understand Danny’s lack of desire to write about anything pre-210, though, and I respect it. Have you seen a bleeder valve anywhere in the last 10 months?

      1. I am fully on Team “Danny writes a thoughtful analysis of the Phoenix plot line as a dress rehearsal for Barnabas”, but his blog, his rules…

  4. Is there any information about why Carrie replaced Gerard? They were setting him up as resident psychic just “the other day”; now he’s disappeared, and Carrie is the one-stop shop for clairvoyant needs. Did James Storm not trend well with the teen magazines? I can see Kathy Cody having more appeal demographically, but at this point that couldn’t have made too much difference.

    And what the Hell TIME is it supposed to be? Daphne first came to Collinwood to tell her sister of her nuptials at 12:30 AM. Catherine ran to Bramwell (another twenty minutes) then Carrie skips down the stairs to chat with Daphne, having just visited Melanie (at almost one in the morning). Catherine returns and talks with Daphne, in front of the mantel clock which reads 11:35. Over at Bramwell’s, Josette scolds her son in front of the mantel clock which appears to read 10:40. Josette goes out to the great house, but the clock there still says 11:35. Daphne drops by the caretaker’s cottage, where Carrie is up and about and mentions that her father is out working. This time they manage to keep the clock out of the shot, but it must be after one in the morning by now.
    Guess PT Daphne’s making up for all the sleep that RT Daphne got?

    Or is it all part of the Great Unwinding…

    1. Time is barely a suggestion at Collinwood: they sit around fully dressed and receive visitors at 3 a.m. on the regular. I guess when you never eat, brandy is your only sustenance and grave digging your workout routine, time gets to mean nothing, nothing at all.

      Not only is Carrie the resident psychic, she apparently is left alone in her cottage day and night since her dad is an adult Peanuts character and thus invisible. She also dresses awfully fancy for a caretaker’s daughter, with her elaborate hairdressing and frocks.

  5. Does this mean the 58 lost children have been reunited with their parents? And that the Rose Cottage dollhouse is back in the playroom in 1840?

      1. It was. Bob Lloyd, the Dark Shadows announcer, regularly mentioned it as a “Stay tuned for…”. That stopped once “Action” was cancelled in April 1967, DS moved to 3:30 p.m., The Dating Game moved to 4 p.m., and Barnabas Collins arrived at Collinwood a few weeks later. I was in front of my TV enjoying it all!

  6. Where did the idea for Parallel Time come from? Was there a sci-fi novel that inspired it? Was Dan Curtis a student of physics? Wikipedia tells me the scientific idea of Parallel Worlds originated with Hugh Everett in 1957 but remained pretty obscure for a decade. It was popularized by physicist Bryce DeWitt in a book in 1973, post-Dark Shadows. If you’ve written about this before, Danny, can you direct me to the post?

    1. The cultural touchpoint that I know of is the parallel worlds from DC Comics, starting with “Flash of Two Worlds!” in 1961 and followed by “Crisis on Earth-One!” in 1963, which started an annual tradition of doing a big parallel-universe story every summer.

      There’s no real evidence that the DS writers were influenced by comic books, so I don’t know if that’s an actual connection, but it demonstrates that the concept of parallel universes was floating around in pop culture at the time.

      I wrote about this in Episode 972: Gold-Hatted Lover —


      and Episode 1057: Infinite Jest —


      1. Thanks!
        I’m a Marvel girl myself, but one of the only two comics I’ve ever read in my life was Green Lantern.
        I watched the first season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow because it had a number of actors I liked. I had no idea about the history of Carter Hall and Vandal Savage in the comics. It was interesting. And confusing. I did discover that Vandal was created by Alfred Bester, the author of my favorite sci-fi novel, The Stars My Destination.
        I wonder if Sam Hall’s son left one of his comic books lying around….

    2. There’s something very…strange…with the physics of DS Parallel Time(s).

      Physicists hate asymmetry. Hate it with a passion. The whole point of Special Relativity is that there is no preferred inertial frame — the laws of physics look the same to any observer moving with a constant velocity. The fact that the universe doesn’t appear to have equal amounts of matter and anti-matter really pisses them off despite how inconvenient it would be if there were.

      Yet the PT Room clearly works in a massively asymmetric way. While it isn’t hugely surprising that “our” Roger, Liz, etc. hadn’t noticed it for a long time — it’s an unused room in a shut-up wing of the house — in 1970 PT and 1841 PT it’s an occupied, high-traffic area of the house. Yet the PT occupants don’t seem to be aware of the existence of non-PT — they don’t seem to open the door expecting to see Angelique’s sitting room and see an empty, dusty room. The non-PT “time band(s)” is/are somehow privileged.

      Perhaps that is the key to stopping the Great Unwinding. Perhaps (despite Dynamite Comics’ mistakes) the solution is to return to #1198 and complete the ritual by tracing the true steps we never saw because Barnabas married Josette and had Bramwell, rather than endlessly returning to Willie opening the chained coffin.

      1. …and, as I look through old posts for a specific nugget, I discover that in 1012 PT Quentin sees non-PT Julia across the time band boundary. Although the point stands that this must have been a novel thing to happen in PT.

      2. It’s my personal opinion that the construction of the original West Wing in whatever is Earth One at this point is what caused everything to go cattywompus.

        Vickie gets the blame, naturally, but that damn wing was there, sealed up and unused, when she arrived at Collinwood and it’s been a misery generator ever since. In NO version of the house, no matter how many inner houses, Rose Cottages, root cellars and back forties full of transporting graveyards were around, has ever had a utilized, dusted, functioning West Wing.

        When the original Family Collins built the mansion, working from the Old House, they said to the architect, now, this West Wing is to be sealed and locked the minute you finish it. Don’t ask questions, my good sir. We have our reasons.

        Well, maybe but that West Wing, built for no purpose, created for no reality, has pulsed and split and grown into the immortality of a cancer, warping space, time, and reality into a lumpen porridge of unfollowable stories and lost characters. It is the headquarters of They. It is the man cave of the Leviathans. Every ghost who’s been waiting its turn for a haunting hangs out there, playing hearts and whiling away the centuries. Used for everything and nothing, it spits out playrooms and dollhouses and crystal balls in a series of arcane messages that cannot be translated with regular physics.

      1. I was telling myself, if that was an error, that was the best moment for it to happen; and if it was intentional, it was genius. Either way, it was great. 😀

  7. Sad news. Chris Pennock has died. At least we can still enjoy his performances. Sending thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

  8. If only Carolyn could have heard the music too. She may have put on her dancing shoes from episode #2, and injected some Buzz a-go-go DS mania into the pre-buffer zone.

  9. The main reason, Danny, that you should take those first 209 steps is the phenomenon that is Burke Devlin #1, Mitch Ryan! I’m watching each episode on its 50th anniversary, so I’m getting near my first near complete voyage. And I look forward to starting over the last week in June.

    Incidentally, I have to confess I’m rather enjoying 1840 PT, largely to see Jonathan Frid’s Bramwell. He’s SO different from Barnabas. He’s less morose and more dynamic! A pity that he didn’t get to do more earlier.

    1. In the next post, I explain in some detail why writing about those episodes is not possible for me. I don’t have much else to say about it, but if people have questions after reading Episode 1219, then my associate Sue Agatha, a three thousand year old poisonous pyramid lizard, will handle all further inquiries.

  10. Mary Cooper does resemble Kathryn Leigh Scott. It would have been easy to look at her cheeks and nose and imagine that she was the Josette we had seen plus 45 years. She isn’t a particularly dynamic performer, but neither was Regular Time Josette, at least not when she was a living being. Her ghost had a star turn in #70 and made big things happen in #126 and #884, but as flesh and blood she’s a potted plant.

  11. So, Daphne goes to visit Carrie and says “I’ve heard about your unusual gifts.” Of course she heard about them – from Carrie! Does she not remember having a discussion with Carrie about those unusual gifts just a few hours earlier in the drawing room?

  12. This is my second time reading this post, only now I’ve visited the past alluded to and can therefore appreciate the Great Unwinding in a way I couldn’t before. As of this moment, I’m up to Episode 132 in my first-time viewing of Dark Shadows: The Beginning on Tubi (I had previously only seen the first ep & the Jason McGuire story arc that leads up to the introduction of Barnabas). Move over, filigreed fountain pen! The Phoenix from Phoenix has returned…

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