“The letter M is very strong in this room.”
Yesterday, following Roger’s suspicious specter-assisted accident on the stairs, his sister Elizabeth found a tarot card on the drinks table in his bedroom. As everyone knows, discovering an unexpected tarot card is a sure sign of supernatural crisis, so she called Professor Stokes, the mad occult expert who is now making house calls at Collinwood on a weekly basis.
The Professor identified the card as the Tower of Destruction — the sign of the downfall of a great house. He agreed that this is extremely significant, and he promised to bring in a colleague who can investigate the unearthly events that have been piling up lately.
So here she is: Madame Janet Findley, the psychic sorceress on call. Apparently, things have gotten so bad at Collinwood that the occult expert is subcontracting with other occult experts.
Madame Findley walks into the drawing room, throws her hands in the air, and if there was ever a moment for somebody to say, is THIS your card? then this is it.
Continue reading Episode 648: Astral Disturbances
“All we know is, she was hanged. But whether she died or not is something everyone in Collinsport is still wondering about.”
Gosh. So much to cover, and I can’t explain any of it. The Great 1968 Wrap-Up is in full swing, and I don’t have the energy to take care of bystanders today. If you aren’t completely up to date on the ins and outs of the spine-tingling nonsense they’re passing off as a storyline these days, then there is honestly very little that I can say that would help.
If you’re super brand new to the blog, then you might be better off reading yesterday’s post. Wait, sorry — yesterday’s was even goofier than today’s. I don’t know, there’s a lot of posts to read. Pick a number between 210 and 623. Okay, now put it back in the deck. Was it 497? Damn it! I suck at card tricks.
Continue reading Episode 623: This Is Happening
“No matter how dangerous it is, I’ve got to have a showdown with Nicholas Blair.”
Really, the thing that everybody wants to know is: why can’t the Stormtroopers shoot straight in Star Wars? It turns out there are three simple answers.
#1. Stormtroopers shooting laser bolts are more interesting to look at than Stormtroopers who stand around complaining.
#2. Shooting Luke Skywalker in the head halfway through the first movie is going to leave a rather obvious gap in the trilogy.
#3. “Strong Guy Kills Weak Guy” is not headline news.
This ends the lit-crit theory portion of today’s post; we will now spend the rest of our time watching Dr. Julia Hoffman act like an unbelievable badass.
Continue reading Episode 619: The Gunslinger
“Why do I remember that sometimes the trees have no leaves at all, and at other times, the leaves are green?”
So Adam the enormous Frankenteen is standing around in the drawing room, when his mate Eve opens the door and gives him a look.
This is what she does all day, apparently, just walks around the house giving people looks. Turns out that’s a job.
Continue reading Episode 609: Nobody Understands Dark Shadows But Me
“How strange you all are, to spend your time this way.”
It seems so obvious now, in hindsight, that it’s incredible nobody thought to mention it before.
Adam, the local teenage Frankenstein monster, has fallen for a girl who just wants to be friends, and he’s decided that the only way that he’ll ever be loved is if somebody invents a mate for him. So he’s spent the last two months browbeating Barnabas and Julia, demanding that they set up a mad science lab in the basement, and create a made-to-order corpse bride for him.
They had objections, of course. For one thing, they weren’t sure they knew how to put a body together. Then they had to find someone willing to die in order to donate her life force to Adam’s mate, which took forever. The whole process was basically one long hassle, and they took every opportunity to voice their concerns.
But nobody thought to explain to Adam that you can’t just wake up a brand-new woman and tell her that she’s your mate, and expect her to instantly fall in love with you. That’s not how women work. Women are super complicated.
Continue reading Episode 597: The Three Faces of Eve
“The witch will look at your body, and think that you have escaped by death — when, in reality, you will have escaped — by living!”
It’s another stormy night on the Hellmouth, where vampires and witches battle over the fate of mad scientists and their secret experiments.
Tonight, Barnabas has invited a guest over — it’s Professor Stokes, who first appeared two weeks ago, looking to buy the haunted portrait of Angelique. He’s an academic — apparently an expert in a diverse and uncertain discipline — and I’m not entirely sure that he realizes he’s on television. He’s loud, and disruptive, and he plays to the balcony. Not this balcony, naturally; I mean the balcony in the theater next door.
Continue reading Episode 475: Witch Doctor
“Why isn’t she here? Because she’s vanished.”
So I guess it’s true — you start out thinking that the past was a golden age, but then you go back for a visit, and it’s just one disappointment after another. Plus, after a while they accuse you of witchcraft and execute you.
Writing this blog every day has been my own uncertain and frightening journey into the past, back to my younger days when I watched one episode of Dark Shadows a day, in order and without fast-forwarding, because it was on television and DVDs didn’t exist yet. And the way I remembered it, 1795 was the perfect jewel of a storyline — tragic and hand-crafted and brilliant. I’d completely forgotten that it goes into unexcused overtime like this.
And here I am, sentenced to watch episode after episode about Vicki’s witchcraft trial, which is just spinning in circles and refuses to end. It seems like every witness gets to come back for a bonus round, with more accusations and objections and pointless sidebars at the bench. Well, I can’t take it any more; I’m going for the Backup Plan instead. Episode overruled!
Continue reading Episode 436: Quivering with Emotion
“We were just having a little family argument.”
This hasn’t been an easy week so far, either for the Collins family or for the Dark Shadows audience. They’re wrapping up this phase of the Barnabas/Josette storyline, and after all of the build-up, it doesn’t really feel like anything.
This week, we’re seeing two of Dark Shadows‘ less successful attempts at creating a soap opera supercouple — a pairing that endures for years and offers unlimited story potential, as they overcome obstacles and always find their way back to each oher. On Monday, the show officially unveiled Vicki and Peter as the brand new star-crossed, century-hopping romance, and now we’re heading straight for a pivotal moment in the epic story of Barnabas and Josette.
Now, I don’t know how you feel about the situation, but personally I couldn’t care less about those couples. They could jump off a cliff for all I care, and lucky me, guess what happens next.
Continue reading Episode 423: Twisted
“I don’t care about those things that I can’t understand.”
Okay, everybody, please take your seats; Barnabas Collins is looking up.
“Why doesn’t she come to the window?” he says, in thinks. “I must see her one more time before she leaves. One more time!”
Barnabas is trying to avoid Josette, but as usual, he isn’t trying very hard. He knows that if he sees her, he won’t be able to resist biting her and turning her into his vampire bride, and on the whole that’s probably not something that a gentleman ought to do. But if he could just see her One more time!
He’s not good with the portion control, is what I’m saying. It’s not his strong area.
Continue reading Episode 420: The Stalking Dead
“You are either in league with Miss Winters and the Devil, or you’re just a schemer.”
Here’s a question that you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to: What do you do when you walk into a bedroom in your house and find that an avenging poltergeist who might be your recently deceased brother has trashed the place, shredding the appointments all the way down to a licked splinter?
Well, I’ll tell you what you’d do if you were Miss Abigail Collins. You’d walk into the middle of the room, and say, “What has happened here?” And then you’d walk over to the only chair in the room, pick it up and put it back on its feet.
This is why I love Abigail. She walks fearlessly into the bleeding heart of chaos and fury, sizes up the situation, and says to herself, I’m gonna need that chair in a minute.
Continue reading Episode 394: Rules of Engagement