Episode 1242: Cancel Culture

“When one is on a rollercoaster, one prays for it to end. But then the coaster stops, and one gets off and suddenly the world seems duller and sadder somehow.”

Dark Shadows, an ABC-TV daytime soap opera best known for making the world a stranger and more beautiful place, passed away on Friday, April 2nd, 1971, at the age of two hundred and forty-nine weeks. It was survived by a comic strip, a comic book and a paperback novel series.

The 4:00pm timeslot was bequeathed to the game show Password from April to September 1971, and then to the comedy anthology series Love, American Style until May 1974.

For a year and a half, the timeslot returned to game shows: The $10,000 Pyramid from May to December 1974, The Money Maze until July 1975, and You Don’t Say! until December 1975.

In December ’75, ABC picked up the soap opera The Edge of Night, which had recently been cancelled by CBS. Edge of Night aired at 4:00pm until December 1984. After that, ABC rescinded the timeslot to local stations, for local and syndicated programming.

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard left Collinsport to run the Tanz Dance Akademie, a prestigious German dance school. After killing several students with dogs and razor wire, she died, along with her coven, in a terrible fire.

Hallie Stokes got a full scholarship to Huntington College, where she joined the campus counterculture and got engaged to a hippie artist named Klutch, to get revenge on her manipulative father. She married Kurt Russell and was on Gunsmoke a bunch of times.

After leaving Windcliff Sanitarium, Joe Haskell moved to Michigan, where he became a concert pianist and a newspaper editor, and married at least four women. After another divorce, he went to New York, where he helped his ex-boyfriend recover from the loss of his lover.

Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes became a boxing promoter, and set up the greatest exhibition of guts and stamina in the history of the ring. He was also the director of a secret government agency, where he became an albino ex-Nazi kept alive by blood transfusions. At the end of his life, Stokes became a famous detective, although nobody heard about it until a year after his death.

Sentenced to be executed for witchcraft, attorney Peter Bradford was granted amnesty by the governor and allowed to return to private life, under an alias.

Roger Collins moved to Pine Valley, where he attempted to con a rich woman out of her money by pretending to be a distinguished university professor. The pair fell in love, and stayed together for almost two decades, on and off.

Sue Agatha, the three thousand year old poisonous Egyptian lizard, is now the Director of Herpetology at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Dr. Julia Hoffman found her happy end as the leader of a gang of Chicago criminals.

Zombie Jeremiah Collins has a late-night call-in radio show, where he continues to advise lovelorn women looking for a new start.

Daphne Harridge dropped out of sight after leaving Collinwood. Nobody knows what became of her.

Willie Loomis spent some unsettling time in a Belgian hotel, murdering people and having violent sex. He later found happiness as the husband of a New York City police officer, and won an Emmy Award.

Carrie Stokes used her psychic powers to help mutantkind, joining a group of costumed vigilantes. However, the influence of her mother, Parallel Laura Stockbridge Stokes, caused her to lose control of her powers, and she became the physical manifestation of the cosmic Phoenix Force. She has died and come back to life countless times, as per.

Reverend Humphrey Bogart became a successful businessman, a rich playboy and the owner of a restaurant. He worked as a chef on the Love Boat, and married a maid from a Vermont hotel.

Amanda Harris fell off a bridge and into a chorus line, where she returned to the land of the living, and was given the chance to come through.

Since leaving Collinsport, Gerard Stiles has lived in Houston, Woodbridge, Genoa City, Sunset Beach, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Amy Jennings was taken to the de-juicing room.

Angelique Bouchard was chased across country by a gang of Satan worshippers.

Quentin Collins became a successful businessman in the Napa Valley, running a newspaper and a winery and I forget what else.

Maggie Evans just never stopped being Maggie Evans, somehow.

Phyllis Wick, Joshua the cat, Claude North and Dr. Julian Hoffman are still completing their work, gathering up the 58 lost children. They’re up to 47 so far, and they’ve got some new leads.

And finally, Osiris, god of fertility, agriculture and the afterlife, he who is permanently benign and youthful, shed his mortal body of Barnabas Collins, and returned to his place in the Egyptian pantheon, as we always knew that he would.

Tomorrow: The Dark Shadows Parts.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

When the scene shifts to Daphne’s funeral, the wrong music cue plays for a moment, then quickly fades.

Daphne’s funeral should be during the day, and afterwards they talk about it being the afternoon, but the lighting in the funeral scene appears to indicate it’s nighttime, and it’s dark when the family enters Collinwood after the funeral.

The clock says 4:00 when Kendrick thinks, “Three more hours till darkness, and then I will break the curse!” One act later, Kendrick says, “Five-thirty, one more half-hour to go!”

Morgan assures Kendrick, “You’re going to survive this night, and many mwany more like it.”


The quote at the top of today’s post is from a 1971 interview with Thayer David, which I think I got from one of Kathryn Leigh Scott’s books.

Tomorrow: The Dark Shadows Parts.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

51 thoughts on “Episode 1242: Cancel Culture

  1. You Don’t Say! until December 1975.

    If ABC had replaced Dark Shadows with You Don’t Say right away in April 1971, I wouldn’t have missed Dark Shadows so much. You Don’t Say was the show I most looked forward to after school before I started watching Dark Shadows.

  2. 3 more. Scary. Dark Shadows was a big part of our young lives, for those of us who ran home from school, eagerly awaiting the next Bite. We experienced nostaliga & melancholy, through several reruns of the series.

    Danny’s blog rekindled that, to some extent. It also dropped the veneer of gothic perfection, and gave us permission to accept that the things we thought didn’t make sense, really DIDN’T make sense.

    Not sure how I’m going to feel on April 2nd, about the end of a blog about a fictional imperfect tv series that shouldn’t affect mature adults to this extent, but does.

  3. Oh, I love this! And you included a shout-out to Phoebe and Langley Wallingford!

    Didn’t Victoria Winters start working in children’s programming and documentaries?

    And poor Chris Jennings moved south and was never really spotted again…

    I’m going to be so sorry to see this blog wrap up.

    1. Victoria Winters was involved in a major sex and murder scandal. If she’d been that exciting from ’66 to ’69 she wouldn’t have ruined anything.

  4. I blinked away a tear reading this. And put on The Music and the Mirror and the rest of the album and now I can’t get that damned At the Ballet out of my head. Help! It’s like I’m in The Room.

  5. I plan to get back in line for the roller coaster once the initial ride is over…and look for any new amusements that Danny might dream up.

  6. The Dance Dance Academy. Ah, Suspiria, how I love your voluptuous weirdness and linguistic redundancy. Bennett went from one nonsensical project to another, just with more pointy bits and even more witches.

  7. Danny, you forgot that Maggie Evans would later be reincarnated on another planet as the leader of a group of proto-Vulcans who temporarily worshipped Jean-Luc Picard as a god. 😉

    1. Not to mention the original Burke Devlin lived a LONG life, ultimately siring a son named William Riker, who would serve under Picard.

  8. All she ever really needed was the music and the mirror, and the chance to dance for you. Give her a chance to come through!

  9. and Danny Horn went on connecting unforeseen pathways in the illumining loomings of a collectively infective vast imagination, haunted more or less instinctively by an eccentric yet devoted loose affiliation of directionally impaired aging followers.

  10. Carolyn traveled back in time to antebellum Louisiana where she got involved with a Cajun faith healer. Somehow she felt at home in Louisiana.
    David went off to experience world cuisine. He now knows there’s more to food than pb&js and boiled dinners.

    1. Nancy Barrett was in “Belizaire the Cajun” in 1986. I did find a clip with a brief glimpse of her on Youtube but I have no idea how to attach it here. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be currently available on any streaming service. From what I recall, she did not have a large part.

      1. IMO, “Belizaire the Cajun” was a very disappointing movie. One of the biggest disappointments was, indeed, that Nancy Barrett “did not have a large part.”

  11. Carolyn started a successful solo song & dance career while in Louisiana.

    It was so successful, Quentin talked her into letting him join her in the act.

    This episode was a bit puzzling. Until now, nobody expected Bramwell to participate in the lottery. He criticized the Collinwood Collins for taking part in it early on, yet now it appears Morgan feels Bramwell was eligible after all. I always wondered why Bramwell’s branch was left out of it, considering Brutus must have been his ancestor too. What exempted him (and perhaps daddy Barnabas) from ever participating before?

    The small turnout for Daphne’s funeral was very sad. I didn’t see any servants there, so I guess the men must have lowered the body into the hole themselves. It’s a good thing they were wearing black.

    It was obvious some people would point out a supposed error of Daphne’s funeral being in the dark at night, although it had been scheduled for the daytime. A little fact checking using Rich Richard’s Almanac for 1841 published by Ben Arnold Jr. clearly shows a total solar eclipse was scheduled for that day. The research done by Gordon Russel to include this little known fact helps demonstrate the high level of professionalism he dedicated to his job every day.

    As for Daphne being buried in a significantly different area than was shown in Carrie’s vision back in episode 1218 (& 1219), that is easily explained. A much better area became available when some pirates massacred a bunch of people. The cemetery cleared away a very nice area, and nearly filled it with the freshly dead. Bramwell jumped at the chance to relocate Daphne’s grave site to the new area. After all, it was near the pathways between Collinwood, The Old House, The Gate House, and right next to the all-important Out House used by all of the residents.

  12. Danny, what a fun “Where Are They Now” post. Hilarious!

    On a different note, now that I’m caught up on the series. I’m watching episodes from the 50th Anniversary DVD collection. It’s so interesting to see some of the older episodes (including episode 221 which shows how strikingly Gothic those early B/W episodes were with the dramatic lighting, ever-present thunderstorms, howling dogs, Barnabas creepily staring out the window of the dark and scary Old House with candle in hand and more dramatic music cues). Sadly, it’s such a far cry from where they ended up.

  13. Fun Fact: Catherine reads from Psalm 4:3-8 I actually searched through a lot of different versions, but I was unable to determine which one she used. It could be the verses were compiled from various translations. Maybe a Godly person (I’m an atheist) can determine exactly where Catherine’s verses came from.

    1. Yeah, I looked too; seems she’s not quite “on book”, but still gives a lovely reading.

      1. Parallel Bible too … or at least a translation that is not fully in sync with the ones we have.

        Based on the age and architectural style of both Collinwood and the Old House, I’d say the entire show is in a parallel time. We have the same architecture trends but the styles became popular much earlier in the DS world. Might explain why they never had much focus on what was happening in the rest of the world too. They might have a more stable social structure with a lot less political and social upheaval. Their medical science might have maintained more of its alchemical roots too.

        Anyway, it’s actually been bugging me that Collinwood is what … French revival? I tried spinning it by saying that they were just ahead of their time, but I like the parallel word option better. (It certainly can’t be because the show is a fictional construct!)

        1. Don’t even get me started on the period-appropriateness of the architecture. HODS/NODS Collinwood (Lyndhurst) would have been slightly precocious for the original 1830 date, but is almost 40 years to early for 1797 (in fact, it’s one of the earliest Gothic Revival houses in America). The Colonnades (aka the Spratt Mansion, aka the Old House in DS:TOS) was built in 1850. Seaview Terrace has an interesting history (see https://halfpuddinghalfsauce.blogspot.com/2015/03/seaview-terrace-newport-house-of-edson.html and https://halfpuddinghalfsauce.blogspot.com/2015/03/aladdins-palace-washington-residence-of.html) — I’m not sure either Elizabethan or Norman Chateau is a style that would have been period appropriate for either late 1700’s or late 1600’s Maine. Greystone (DS ’91 and ’04) was used because it’s available and widely used for TV and movies — Wikipedia says Tudor Revival, which is not a late 18th Century style…BTW, if you want to take a virtual 3D tour of the Collinwood replica outside Pittsburgh, see https://my.matterport.com/show/?ref=pn&m=xVddJawJrav&sr=-.65,1.56&ss=229

          1. Period appropriateness aside in NO universe does the Old House correspond to the exterior shots of the Spratt Mansion! Ok, maybe there’s a door somewhere behind the stairs that links to the other side of the house with the other bay window that we never see but the Spratt Mansion is not bare brick! There is no column next to the front door! How did weeds and trees grow up through the floor of the veranda? How is there space for another room beyond those louvered doors?
            I’ve been searching for a floor plan of the real house but to no avail.
            Parallel Maine in 1841 or 1680 must have had a very different history. The French were in North America in 1608. Perhaps they started a vogue for Norman chateau in the New World?

  14. Thank you Danny for finishing the series for us, with your witty comments.
    Now reading this, what became of the actors, I feel like crying.
    I also wish Falcon Crest was on DVD!
    Only the first 2 seasons are.
    I love me some David Selby!

  15. None of the introduction voice overs have mentioned Parallel Time for a while now. I’m a bit curious as to why.

    That gazebo has been no end of trouble, in Parallel Time, Regular Time, past or present. Basically, if you want a secret to get out, discuss it at that little garden nook. Well anyway, Morgan knows now. I assume that means he’s dead meat, since he’s the last bar to Catherine? She and Bramwell have some Heights to Wuther.

    Poor Kendrick, got into the habit of asking questions while he was looking for his sister, and never stopped it. Perhaps he could find something else to occupy his time, like collecting harpoons.

    It certainly was a dark afternoon for the funeral – – but it IS Collinsport, after all. Would have been better if there were some rumblings of thunder, and a flash or two of lightning for effect. Guess the budget’s been cancelled already.
    Catherine’s reading is from Psalm 4, for those interested. Lara Parker’s delivery is lovely.
    And though it seems like nobody’s at the gravesite, all the servants are actually there; they’re just off camera. Staff at Collinwood are trained to be unseen (which is why there are so many secret passages in the houses. If a servant hears anyone coming they immediately get behind the nearest hidden panel).
    And I will guess that (again) despite Daphne’s sudden demise, that her tombstone is already carved and set in place? Collinsport One Minute Monuments – – “Guaranteed For Life (Just Not Yours).”

    And now they’re going to have Morgan be Mr. Bad Guy? So we sympathize with poor poor Bramwell who’s trying to steal Morgan’s wife and has knocked her up.
    If only they’d had (for instance) Morgan tricking or forcing her into marriage, I’d have had a little more affinity to this. Of all the couples on Dark Shadows who deserved happiness, why should I be rooting for this twosome? I’d even go for Cyrus and Sabrina ahead of them (and I REALLY don’t like Cyrus and Sabrina)!

  16. Before her undeserved obscurity, Daphne met and married Edward Albert and went to California’s wine country to become “queen” to Killer Bees in 1974.

    1. I believe she also graduated from Satan’s School For Girls, which I understand is highly prized by corporate recruiters.

  17. Dear Sue Agatha:

    In response to your query, a) Audrey the manic pixie dream vampire had her arterial system purged and moved to NYC, where she became a single mother with abandonment issues who found happiness with a very nice actor/director; b) Ezra Braithwaite stumbled across a set of I Ching wands that had been carelessly left on a table, and after gazing at them for too long found his spirit transplanted into the body of NYC Police Sgt. Philip Fish — discrete inquiries by Julius indicate that he has no memories of his life in Collinsport.

    Speaking of Julius, apparently he has been telling tales. You can imagine my shock when I went exploring in the East Wing and found myself in a private school in Rhode Island in a timeline where my entire family was the subject of a fictional soap opera, and I will always be grateful for his intervention with the authorities, but that doesn’t excuse his indiscretion. Yes, I had been exploring the use of the I Ching trance to try to find my way back to my home timeline, but in the absence of any way to control which parallel time the door opens onto I have decided the risks are too great. As H. P Lovecraft said, “Non-Euclidean calculus and quantum physics are enough to stretch any brain; and when one mixes them with folklore, and tries to trace a strange background of multi-dimensional reality behind the ghoulish hints of the Gothic tales and the wild whispers of the chimney-corner, one can hardly expect to be wholly free from mental tension.”


    Carl Collins IV

    (P. S., Great Aunt Pansy Faye sends her regards.)

  18. I’ll do the footnoting for one item: The photo of Julia in a later incarnation is (all concise puns to be praised) from the 1977 Broadway revival (complete with cast members like Christopher Lloyd and Meryl Streep) of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s 1929 Happy End, a mess of a Berlin musical with a spectacular score, reconstructed for Broadway in a translation/adaptation by the critic Michael Feingold, who apparently became friends with Grayson Hall during the show–he would later write her obituary in the Village Voice and describe her as “the most sophisticated person I ever knew.”

  19. Although Maggie Evans never stopped being Maggie Evans she did at some point stop aging.

    Megan Todd and Lamar Trask became professional gamblers and moved in glamorous circles. Megan however was haunted by a nagging distrust of her anti-perspirant.

    Hallie Stokes spent several weeks in close proximity to a shape-shifting Leviathan named Bob Crane, which proved far more terrifying than anything she experienced at Collinwood.

    Quentin Collins and Angelique Bouchard waited to become big movie stars, as everyone assumed they would. They’re still waiting.

    1. Quentin’s other professional activities included two years in charge of giving instructions to a group of highly trained covert military operatives and occasionally joining these Soldiers of Fortune on their missions.

  20. As an aside to Edge of Night, I’ve always felt that Ryan’s Hope was ABC’s natural successor to Dark Shadows. It also debuted in 1975, was taped at the old Dark Shadows studio, reuniting Robert Costello, Lela Swift, Sy Tomashoff, Ramse Mostoller, Sybil Weinberger and a number of other backstage crew.

  21. They’re still using that broken camera and there was a tree blocking Catherine at the strangely dark funeral.

    1. The combination of the lighting (or lack thereof), blurriness, and weird camera distortion in that scene makes Julia in profile look like a clown with her curly red hair, pale face like she’s wearing white greasepaint, and a big red nose. When she turns to face the camera the big red nose is revealed to be only an illusion caused by… wait for it… dark shadows!

  22. I’m no English expert, but the wording of that letter to Jonathan seems a bit odd in two places. Shouldn’t it be “as OF the end of the current cycle” and “as OF that same date”?

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