“Would you want to see a sister of yours, if you’d been responsible for everything that had happened here?”
“There is one possible explanation,” Barnabas says, as he paces the drawing room thoughtfully. “The man turned into an animal.”
And you know what? He’s right. That is the only explanation that anyone considers. Nobody else even tries.
Continue reading Episode 674: Donna of the Dead
“One cannot buy a witch in an antique shop.”
Today, Victoria Winters returns to the scene of the crime — the Eagle HIll cemetery, where she shot and killed a man two weeks and 172 years ago. I’m not sure if there’s still a warrant out for her — there’s a lot I don’t know about the statute of limitations in a time travel scenario.
She’s hunting for the grave of Peter Bradford, her 1795 boyfriend and accomplice, who was left behind when she returned to 1967. Or possibly 1968. It’s hard to say. I’m pretty sure it’s a Wednesday, if that helps.
I mean, she left in November 1967, but by the time she got back, it was already April 1968, and she’d missed Christmas and a new Beatles album, and her library books were, like, crazy overdue.
Continue reading Episode 463: Meanwhile, in the Past
“Jeremiah is dead! Barnabas is here! The book is wrong!”
Every time travel story has to figure out the answer to the big question, the one that Ebenezer Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in A Christmas Carol. Confronted with a vision of a future where his own death inspires only joy and relief that he’s gone, Scrooge asks, “Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”
In Scrooge’s case, the answer turns out to be things that May be. He still has the opportunity to wake up on Christmas morning, buy the Cratchits a turkey, and change his fate.
Ray Bradbury’s seminal time travel story, “A Sound of Thunder”, adds a scary element of chaos-theory mischance — stepping on a butterfly in the prehistoric past produces subtle but devastating ripples in the present. Taking up the alternate position, Robert A. Heinlein’s story “By His Bootstraps” describes a circular timeline, where the time-traveler has to follow a path that he’s already seen his future self walk.
Every writer who tells a time travel story ends up taking a position somewhere on that continuum between “the things that Will be” and “the things that May be.”
Except for Dark Shadows, of course, which is being written at the last minute, during a hurricane, by lunatics who didn’t even realize they were writing a time travel story until it just kind of suddenly already happened.
Continue reading Episode 409: Spoilers
“Okay, you’re pretty, but we’re not on a bus.”
So then Carolyn rushes over to the Old House, to tell Barnabas what happened in yesterday’s episode. It’s not easy.
Carolyn: Barnabas, I saw it! Hoffman’s notebook!
Carolyn: In her hands. She’d taken it from the clock.
Barnabas: The clock? What clock?
Carolyn: The large clock, in the foyer at Collinwood.
Barnabas: Well, you seized the notebook, of course?
Carolyn: I couldn’t!
Barnabas: Why not?
Carolyn: This lawyer came in.
Barnabas: What lawyer?
I know, right? I feel bad for the guy; he’s only missed one episode, and now he has no idea what she’s talking about.
Continue reading Episode 358: Boy Meets Ghoul
“You know something, doctor? I’ve just decided that I don’t believe you.”
Today on Dark Shadows, we learn what a rich kid does on his day off — he rides on a bus. Carolyn is taking David on a trip into Bangor, and he’s got his heart set on that bus trip. But their plans are interrupted by a visit from Sam and Joe, who have something to discuss with David.
You can tell that it’s important, because Sam uses Dramatic Clarification — a technique where you pretend that you’re being super focused and intense, when really you’re just saying the same thing twice.
So when David asks why Sam needs to talk to him, Sam says, “Well, it’s about something urgent. Something very, very urgent.”
Continue reading Episode 308: In Circles
“Why do you say my name in such a curious fashion?”
Last week, David found Maggie, the Local Girl who has Mysteriously Disappeared, at his cousin Barnabas’ house, dressed up like the dead ancestor that he considers his closest friend. Yup, just the same old thing.
Maggie pauses on the stairs, and David runs up to the bannister, yelling, “Josette, it’s me! It’s me, David! David Collins!” Okay, kid, it’s you; why are you screaming at me? You’re like six inches away.
Continue reading Episode 241: Mrs. Snuffleupagus
“Vicki thinks it might be her imagination. But somehow, she connects the two… and they add up to Willie.”
Maggie’s disappeared from the hospital! Last week, the nurse thought that Maggie had died, and ran to get the doctor. When they came back into the room a moment later, the window was open and Maggie was gone.
So there are a lot of mysteries going on, and we’ll get some answers by the end of the day. But at the moment, the most pressing questions are: Why is there a camera in the hallway, and why does everybody keep touching Sam?
Continue reading Episode 236: Extreme Makeover