Tag Archives: brandy

Episode 825: The Watched Pot

“She travels with a certain Timothy Shaw, a man who for a short time had the use of my hand.”

If you remember yesterday’s episode, and there’s no particular reason why you should, then you’ll recall that Quentin Collins is currently engaged in a medium-stakes game of chicken with the legendary Count Petofi. Quentin wants the mad Count to free his buddy Barnabas, who’s currently encased in a carbonite coffin with nothing but a dated copy of Ladies’ Home Journal for company.

To understand Quentin’s plan, you need to keep in mind the location of the following characters: a) Johnny Romana — King of the Gypsies! — who’s searching in the woods for b) Magda Rakosi, gypsy fugitive, who’s being sheltered by c) Beth Chavez, Collinwood domestic. If d) Count Petofi doesn’t release e) Barnabas Collins into f) Quentin’s custody by 12:45am, then f) Quentin has instructed c) Beth to bring a note to a) King Johnny, explaining the whereabouts of d) Petofi. But to make sure that d) Petofi doesn’t mess with c) Beth, f) Quentin has lied to d) Petofi, claiming that the note is actually in the possession of g) Angelique, who doesn’t actually have anything to do with this whatsoever.

Continue reading Episode 825: The Watched Pot

Episode 823/824: The Deadly Tambourine

“I could kill you a dozen times over in five minutes!”

Count Petofi doesn’t play by the rules. He’s a maverick, a mad god who could murder you, show you visions, and then pick your pocket in six directions. He’s bad news. He answers to no one. He could change your shorts, change your life, change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife. His outer casing is made from a metal ten times stronger than Earth steel. He’s strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. He will stop at nothing. He will kill you. He has probably already killed you.

But you show the guy a tambourine, and he goes to pieces. Go figure.

Continue reading Episode 823/824: The Deadly Tambourine

Episode 803: What Fresh Hell

“Well, of course you have a hand. There it is, see?”

Edward Collins comes home from a hard day of whatever, and finds his younger brother Quentin swilling brandy in the drawing room. Quentin says that he needs it, after what happened today.

“All right, Quentin,” Edward sighs. “What has happened this time?”

And then this is the nonsense that happens next.

Continue reading Episode 803: What Fresh Hell

Episode 762: Dark Shadows’ Agents of THEY

“Who are ‘they’, Mrs. Trask?”

Let’s start at the middle, and work backwards from there.

Mrs. Minerva Trask — devoted wife and helpmeet of the celebrated Reverend Gregory Trask of Worthington Hall — arrives at Collinwood with a jar of damson plum preserves, and proceeds to make herself comfortable — or, at least, as comfortable as Mrs. Trask ever allows herself to get.

She’s come over to give the preserves to Judith Collins, because that’s what you give to a multi-millionaire who lets you operate a for-profit business in her back yard rent-free. But instead, she ends up talking to Judith’s dissolute brother Quentin, who’s currently dissolving in the drawing room.

Continue reading Episode 762: Dark Shadows’ Agents of THEY

Episode 681: Could He Talk?

“You think he went upstairs, knowing a strange man was lurking there, and told him to frighten you?”

In the first week of February 1969, David Selby was on daytime television four days out of five, with dark eye makeup and glued-on muttonchops, making faces at the camera. But on the inside, something even more mysterious was taking place, as Selby described in his 2010 memoir, My Shadowed Past:

Perhaps the few months of silence that Quentin endured gave me a chance to get acquainted with him. The fun an actor gets to have when creating a character. While in Illinois I discovered an Edgar Lee Masters poem, Silence. I rediscovered it when conjuring Quentin. Silence was my bridge to Quentin.

And there is the silence of the dead.
If we who are in life cannot speak
Of profound experiences,
Why do you marvel that the dead
Do not tell you of death?
Their silence shall be interpreted
As we approach them.

So, I cautiously approached Quentin — trying to learn what he was, who he was, what he wanted, what he desired, what he was seeking, what he was curious about, angry about. He could walk into a situation and know who was his enemy, who was a fool. He could be much smarter, much more charming, more ruthless than I ever could be. He liked brandy. He could be self-deceptive, vain (check the pompadour), foolish, hyper, lonely, ridiculous, macho (where was Gloria Steinem when they needed her), and he was inflicted with a false confidence. But first, would he, could he talk?

Continue reading Episode 681: Could He Talk?

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.

Continue reading Episode 569: Liz Misérables

Episode 539: Grieve a Little Grieve

“I’m not delirious. You know what she is.”

One of the things that you learn when you watch Dark Shadows is that there are several different kinds of weird. This is not a particularly helpful thing to learn, and learning it will not improve your life in any measurable way. It just happens, and there’s not much you can do about it.

There’s the everyday, domestic kind of weird, which involves eccentric people doing unusual things — say, a college professor taking an enormous feral Frankenstein home with him, and teaching it to read the word “clock” off a flash card.

There’s the fancy, bespoke kind of weird, which involves people acting in a completely illogical way just for the sake of an exciting cliffhanger — like burying their dead friend in the woods, and then realizing that he’s come back to life, and they only have half an hour to dig him up again.

And then there’s the kind of weird where you honestly have no idea why the scene that you’re watching even exists. That’s the kind we’re going to be talking about today, thanks to scriptwriter Ron Sproat, among other mistakes.

Continue reading Episode 539: Grieve a Little Grieve

Episode 525: The Blair Witch Project

“She believes she fell into the hands of a witch hunter, a fellow who roamed the countryside exorcising witches and hobgoblins.”

His name is Blair — Nicholas Blair — and he’s in Collinsport on His Dark Majesty’s Secret Service, to rescue a comrade who’s fallen into the hands of an enemy combatant.

The fallen agent — code name, Cassandra Collins — has been working undercover at Collinwood, as Roger’s innocent new bride. Her mission was compromised a week ago, when she was tied to a tree and exorcised by the spirit of Reverend Trask, an 18th-century witch hunter.

Nicholas is now staying at Collinwood, posing as Cassandra’s brother, and his mission — if he chooses to accept it — is to locate the tree where the witch was burned, and bring her back.

Continue reading Episode 525: The Blair Witch Project