“You will hear the sound of my voice in your mind!”
I remember the days when I loved Nicholas Blair.
He showed up at the house with a smile and a mysterious hat, claiming to be the brother of a woman who didn’t exist. He smiled, and he winked, and he hypnotized people, and there were wheels within wheels. He was a Satanic mob boss with the keys to the car, and everything he said was interesting.
It didn’t last, of course; nothing truly beautiful ever does. It turned out he was all mouth and no trousers, a confidence trickster who gradually lost our confidence. He never had the clever master plan that he kept suggesting that he had, a fact which became increasingly apparent as the weeks dragged by and he refused to progress the story. By the time he burned, we were glad to be rid of him.
That’s always the way with Dark Shadows, I’m afraid; the beginnings are always better than the endings. A storyline starts out full of promise, and gradually becomes a bore. It turns out that writing a daily soap opera is incredibly difficult, especially the way that they do it on Dark Shadows, which is to write storylines with a definite beginning and end. With a structure like that, you have to make sure that the overlapping plotlines all crescendo at the same time, and the only way to do that would be to plan every story beat in advance, which would take so much time that nobody would be available to write today’s episode. So it falls apart, somehow. Still, you can’t beat the beginnings.
Continue reading Episode 1115: The Gun Runner
“I say that Lucifer is trying to undo the good that I have done in this house, and that you and all the others are acting as his accomplices!”
Today, I walked into the drawing room and found my daughter reading something on a piece of paper. I said, “Good morning, my dear Charity,” but as she turned to face me, I saw not the smiling, placid face of my beloved child. In its place was a startled, hunted look, the shocked visage of an innocent staring into the endless fiery pit, and recoiling from the grisly sight. My eyes darted to the page that she held in her nerveless grip — and there saw the cursed document that Evan Hanley tricked me into signing last night — the paper that I saw burning in the fireplace not ten hours ago! This terrible, damnable lie — somehow, it survived the furnace, and now, my Charity — my dear one, my own — looked at me with eyes filled with hatred and revulsion. “It’s a confession,” she gasped. “It says that you and Mr. Hanley murdered my mother!” #FMyLife
Continue reading Episode 806: FML
“I know enough to send you back to prison, if I want to.”
Did you know that in July 1968, there were close to 8 million people living in New York City? It’s true; I just looked it up in my well-thumbed copy of What Month It Was When There Were Close to 8 Million People Living in New York City.
So how many of those people do you think were actors? I mean, the only real professions of any consequence in New York are actors, waiters and cab drivers; everybody else is scenery.
Doing a little demographic analysis on the back of this napkin, I would estimate that there were 7,000 young male actors who could have played the role of Harry Johnson on Dark Shadows. And yet they managed to pick the very worst one. How can you account for something like that?
Continue reading Episode 543: The Trouble with Harry
“Thank you anyway, for whatever it is you were trying to tell me.”
Yesterday, Jason told Liz that they’re going to get married. You can tell that this is a dramatic situation, because there are a lot of follow-up questions.
Liz: You can’t be serious.
Jason: Can’t I?
Liz: Why, it’s impossible.
Jason: Is it?
Continue reading Episode 244: Indecent Proposal
“Willie and I have an understanding.”
Yesterday, we left David at the Old House, hearing snarling dogs and banging on the front doors. There’s not as much turning of the doorknob as you might expect, just banging and yelling.
Then the dognoise suddenly stops and everything is fine, which says a lot about how seriously they’re treating cliffhangers in this period of the show.
Continue reading Episode 224: The Late Shift