Category Archives: August 1968

Episode 569: Liz Misérables

“What is this place? Whose coffin is this? Is it mine?”

Well, I guess summer break can’t last forever, so here’s Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, reporting back to work for another day of standing around with a glazed expression. Joan Bennett used to be a movie star back in the day, so she gets an extended summer vacation from Dark Shadows.

Her break was even longer than usual this year — it’s actually been ten weeks since Liz was packed off to Windcliff Sanitarium, following a witch-induced nervous breakdown. I don’t know what she did this summer, but she’s tan, rested and ready to die.

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Episode 568: Do You Want Vicki to Die

“Yes, Mr. Clark. We’re going to create another one.”

It’s currently 5:00am on Thursday as I’m writing these words. I woke up early, because I still have to write Wednesday’s entry. Last night, I was just sitting here looking at this episode, and I couldn’t think of a damn thing to say about it. But that’s the challenge that I created for myself on this blog — a four-year-long series of daily deadlines, mostly just to see if I could manage it. Apparently I could, until today.

The real problem with writing to a deadline is that as the time approaches, it’s hard to think about anything except that ticking clock. I think this is why there are so many movies and television show episodes where the climax is defusing a time bomb — the countdown to a deadline is the scariest thing that a writer can think of.

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Episode 567: The Show Goes On

“Why, you –“

I was going to talk about free will today. I had it all planned out.

I’ve been reading up on determinism lately, and I’ve got a theory — you would’ve loved this theory, if I had the time to tell you about it — using the concept of a mad scientist as a metaphor to talk about whether moral choices are even possible, if mental phenomena are reducible to neurological materialism. Seriously, it would have blown your mind, literally and figuratively.

But that’s going to have to wait, because there’s a breaking news story that I need to cover: this is the episode where Roger Davis bumps his head.

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Episode 566: The Hangover

“The howling of these dogs, that’s what’s wrong.”

So the score, at press time, is Vampires 5, Humans 1.

This month has seen an astonishing comeback for the Vampires, a team that suffered a devastating setback in May when their star player, Barnabas Collins, was benched after being cured by a mad scientist.

But two weeks ago, another rising star came out of nowhere. Angelique, who’d formerly played for the Salem Witches, was traded to the vampires by her manager, and she’s been biting people at a rate that we’ve never seen before in the history of the sport. She’s got Joe as a blood slave, and she’s turned Tom into a vampire, and just in the last week we’ve seen five on-screen vampire bites — seven, if you count reprises. The only human who got away unscathed was the Deputy from a couple weeks ago, and that was with an assist from Nicholas.

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Episode 565: Weird Science

“Now, I want you to try to keep making some sense out of this.”

Okay, so here’s a weird story:

A race against time at Collinwood, for night has come, and with it, a new threat — the rising of a new vampire. One man has risked his life, and his reputation, to end the vampire’s career before it can start.

Usually, I don’t pay much attention to the opening voiceover, but today’s is practically surreal. He risked his reputation? What does that mean? And since when do vampires have careers?

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Episode 564: Dig Dug

“We’re not robbing a grave, Willie. We’re dealing with an enemy.”

I know, everybody’s got their own problems, and when there’s an immediate crisis in your life, you tend to put off the long-term thinking, and just focus on what’s in front of you.

Still, I think that if your planned evening of grave-robbing is interrupted by an urgent need to go on a completely unrelated grave-robbing excursion — that is the moment that you need to stop and re-evaluate.

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Episode 562: He’s Just Not That Into Being Supernaturally Controlled By You

“I don’t love you. I love Maggie Evans. I don’t even know you.”

Oh, it’s the same old story. You invite a guy over, you spend the night together, there’s an exchange of body fluids, and the next day, he doesn’t even want to see you anymore.

Joe Haskell looks out the window at the approaching dusk. “It’ll be dark soon,” he thinks, “and she’ll want me to go to her. I’ve got to resist her. I’ve got to!”

Spoiler alert: He doesn’t resist her.

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Episode 561: The Big Sleep

“Don’t try to understand. Just submit to your needs, as I do.”

He should’ve known the dame was trouble when she opened the door.

“Please come to my house at seven,” the note said. Joe Haskell had just met Mr. Blair the night before, and didn’t like him much, but he was curious about the invite, so he came. He thought he’d get an apology, or an explanation, or at the very least a drink.

Instead, he found a blonde. A blonde that would make a vampire bite his way through a garlic-soaked casket in the middle of the afternoon.

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