“It was some kind of mumbo-jumbo!”
Meanwhile, it’s 1790, and governess Victoria Winters is trapped by time, stuck two centuries early with no ride home. She’s been locked up and accused of terrible things, and now she’s on trial for her life, represented by pop-eyed barrister Peter Bradford. Opposing counsel is the Reverend Trask, who’s assisted by reckless spinster Abigail Collins and his own eyebrows, not necessarily in that order. And the Countess Natalie DuPres is terribly worried about her niece Josette, a young woman who seems entirely unable to date anyone with more than a couple of days to live.
Oh, and Barnabas — d’you remember Barnabas? He used to be the main character on this television show — Barnabas is in a box, all by himself.
Continue reading Time Travel, part 11: Trial’s an Error
“You begin to sound like some hysterical woman novelist!”
It’s been twenty years since Paul Stoddard was in town, and you can tell, because he is not in tune with the reality of modern Collinsport life.
Tonight, he noticed that someone had tattooed a four-headed snake on his wrist while he wasn’t looking, and then he had a worrisome conversation with a harbinger at the Blue Whale. Returning to his hotel room, he drew a pentagram on the rug with chalk, placed a candle at each point, and sat down in a chair in the middle of the unholy sign, just to stop the threatening voices who demanded payment.
That’s all that happened, and he’s super stressed out about it. He needs to pull himself together; this is a slow night for Collinsport. There’s a very good chance that he might actually survive until morning, and think how silly he’ll feel.
Continue reading Episode 900: The Long Con
“Do you think me mad?”
Dark magic-dabbling attorney Evan Hanley was murdered yesterday, the not very innocent victim of an undead prison guard who was magically brought to life by an insane sketch artist, working under the instructions of a mad old wizard who wants to dispose of his pet assassin. I hope the Collinsport police don’t have a lot to do right now, because there is going to be all kinds of paperwork to complete on this one.
Now that rough beast, its hour come round at last, is slouching towards Collinwood, where I’m sorry but he’s going to have to take a number, and wait his turn.
Continue reading Episode 879: Old Business
“So much happens in this house! So much what you can’t understand!”
The mad wizard Count Petofi, currently assuming the guise and garb of black sheep pop star Quentin Collins, is holding the temples of the renowned painter Charles Delaware Tate. He’s guiding the artist on a magical mystery tour through the cosmic corridors of the I Ching, hoping to discover the hexagram that leads to another time. It’s actually going really well so far.
Gazing into the infinite, Tate describes what he sees. “It’s the drawing room at Collinwood,” he breathes. “It’s different… and the people are different, too. There’s a little boy, and a little girl, and a woman. Another woman’s just come into the room. They’re greeting her, and calling her Julia.”
Which is just entirely unfair. Tate’s watching a better episode of Dark Shadows than we are!
Continue reading Episode 872: Tick Tock
“I thought it unusual, to say the least, to find an empty coffin here.”
Hapless quisling Timothy Shaw is on the lam, unjustly accused of a murder that he did technically commit. Earlier in the evening, Tim dumped nightshade into his boss’ tea, acting on a post-hypnotic suggestion so irritating that I’ve decided I will never try to explain it again.
So now he’s found his way to Peabody’s Farm, which is on the Collins estate somehow, and he crawls down into what appears to be an abandoned mining shaft with no obvious agricultural purpose. It’s a mess of bricks and greasy black stone, held up with timbers at awkward angles. You couldn’t keep animals down here, or food, or equipment, or plum preserves or whatever imaginary farmers don’t keep in the weird mixed-use storage dungeons that they have no reason to build.
The only thing a person could use a room like this for is to store the empty coffin of a newly-risen vampire, so that’s what Tim bumps right into. I guess it’s true what they say: you can run and run, but you can’t run away from your own terrible hairstyle.
Continue reading Episode 774: What’s Up Dirk
“Do you have any objection to my looking at your cellar?”
There are rules about these things, apparently, even on a show like this. A vampire bite is primarily a sexual act, and therefore only to be used upon ladies and members of your personal domestic staff.
In 1967, Barnabas could bite Maggie, Vicki or Carolyn on the neck. He could bite Willie on the wrist to gain control over him, in the same way that he was also preying on cows at the time, because domestic servants are basically just cows with jobs. But he couldn’t bite Burke, or Dr. Woodard, or Sheriff Patterson, no matter what the danger or provocation. It simply wasn’t done.
Those rules are still more or less in effect here, in 1897. So far, Barnabas has bitten Charity and Beth, and he’s using Sandor as a servant. He’s also going into town occasionally to feed on drunk women, who are basically cows without jobs.
But it feels like the standards are loosening a smidge. Yesterday, Barnabas bit Dirk on the neck, basically just because Dirk was being an asshole, and now he’s brought the guy home, with no real idea of what to do with him. Barnabas doesn’t need Dirk for anything in particular. I think what we’re looking at here is a second date.
Continue reading Episode 770: Clockwork