Category Archives: June 1968

Episode 524: Dead Man Walking

“What’s impossible is that you can’t remember something that just happened a minute ago.”

Well, that was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? It’s been seven weeks since the last time we saw Jeff Clark, going all the way back to early May, before Adam the patchwork Frankenstein man was even a guy.

Jeff’s been in Portsmouth all this time, apparently, trying to track down information about his past. It didn’t go that well, by which I mean that he came back and now he’s on my television show again.

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Episode 523: The Devil You Know

“I can sentence you to walk the Earth in an agony of loneliness for the rest of time.”

“The Reverend Trask, I presume!” says Nicholas Blair, to the skeleton chained up in the cellar of the Old House. “Where is Cassandra? What have you done with her?”

Nicholas just arrived on Dark Shadows yesterday, and he’s been strutting around like he owns the place, and by “the place”, I mean the planet Earth. It’s not clear what he is, exactly, but he’s introduced himself as the brother of Cassandra, the Collins family’s personal nightmare. She was cast into darkness recently by the spirit of an 18th-century witch hunter, and now her dear brother has come to her rescue.

Nicholas raises his arms, and makes malevolent hand gestures towards the skeleton. “I command you to come back!” he cries. “Back from the grave… Appear before me in this room as you really are! NOW, Reverend!”

So that’s what we know about Nicholas, so far. He’s a dude that threatens skeletons.

Continue reading Episode 523: The Devil You Know

Episode 522: Brother From Another

“Angelique has no blood brother. But a brother spirit, a brother devil…”

Here’s where we are: Cassandra, the lunatic sorceress from Martinique posing as Roger’s new wife, has been cast into darkness by the spirit of Reverend Trask, an 18th-century witch hunter raised from the dead — or from the Old House cellar, which is more or less the same thing. She hasn’t been seen for a couple days, and Barnabas and Julia have just discovered that her magic portrait has turned white and faded. Ding dong, presumably, the witch is dead.

But things are never that simple, especially on this show. There’s a knock at the door, and a dapper man in a hat introduces himself as Nicholas Blair — Cassandra’s brother.

So the question for today is: Who the Hell is this guy?

Continue reading Episode 522: Brother From Another

Episode 521: Look Who’s Talking

“If Cassandra is still alive, why is Trask’s skeleton hanging in the basement of the Old House?”

Barnabas and Julia spent most of yesterday’s episode speculating like mad about whether the spirit of Reverend Trask actually succeeded in banishing Cassandra.

Today — as Elizabeth is quietly packed off to Windcliff, following a sorcery-assisted suicide attempt — the Junior Detective squad still continues to treat this question as an emergency stop-press concern.

“If Cassandra is still alive,” Julia says, “why is Trask’s skeleton hanging in the basement of the Old House?” The great thing about a question like this is that you can keep on asking it for days and days, and never get any closer to an answer. This is a good way to kill time on your television show, if you have one.

Continue reading Episode 521: Look Who’s Talking

Episode 520: What Dead People Do

“And for your own reasons, you remained silent. You remained silent for reasons.”

Roger is pacing in the Collinwood foyer when Julia enters, bright as a button.

“Good morning, Roger,” she chirps. “Such a beautiful morning, I decided to go for a walk before breakfast.”

Yes, she’s currently engaged in a life-or-death struggle with an undead sorceress. But this is Dr. Julia Hoffman, and she does not give a shit.

Continue reading Episode 520: What Dead People Do

Episode 519: Ex Wife

“The Devil has painted your hair — but still, I recognize you!”

Professor Stokes declared war on the Collins witch two weeks ago, and to be honest with you, it’s not really going that well. He was trying to interrupt the Dream Curse, but Cassandra managed to get it jumpstarted again, and the curse is now a step closer to its final intended victim.

Stokes did score a point when he raised the spirit of Reverend Trask, the 18th century witch hunter who never actually managed to catch a witch. The revenant Reverend tried his best — setting Cassandra ablaze with ghostly fire — but she managed to put the flames out, and move on with her day.

But it’s not a fair fight, really. This war is being waged by “magic”, so the writers do whatever they want. Cassandra can say, “My powers are greater than yours!” but that just means that she has more plot points coming up.

The Dark Shadows audience is clearly okay with having villains stick around for an extended run, so the only way Cassandra can be destroyed is if her schemes become predictable and repetitive, or she gets sidetracked on a pointless B-plot. Fortunately for her, that will never ever happen.

Continue reading Episode 519: Ex Wife

Episode 518: In Memoriam


And now: a meditation on death, loss, renewal and teleprompters, with the help of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and the cast of Dark Shadows.

Strong son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou has made.

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Episode 517: Burn Notice

“In a moment, your flames will be nothing but harmless smoke.”

Here’s Cassandra Angelique Bouchard Blair Collins Collins, a poor girl from the mean streets of Martinique. She worked her way up from a menial servant position to become the lady of the manor — twice, in two different centuries — thanks to her charm, her intelligence, her boundless capacity for ruthlessness, and her contract position with the Lord of the Flies.

She’s currently living with rich Collins husband #2, and scheming to turn husband #1 back into a vampire. But you can’t just sit around and scheme all day. Here’s what she’s doing with her free time.

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Episode 516: The Unimmured

“I didn’t brick up any wall!”

So, I don’t know, what else is going on? Oh, right, Barnabas. He was chained up behind a wall a few days ago by a vengeful ghost, and left there to slowly starve to death. We should probably get back to that.

Dark Shadows might be the only television program that would lock up the main character behind a brick wall and then just forget about him for a while. There’s a lot happening right now.

Continue reading Episode 516: The Unimmured