“You see, I came to this time hoping desperately to escape what I am.”
And now it’s this! Hooray! The dreadful Leviathans are now and evermore squeegeed from our lives, scrubbed from the world and leaving only the laundry-fresh scent of pine, because here in soapland, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed by a good all-temperature detergent.
Continue reading Episode 981: The Clone Wars
“You don’t know what it’s like, suddenly seeing yourself walk into a room.”
Everyone’s talking about it! Here’s what people are saying about Parallel Time, opening Friday:
“I can’t help but be fascinated by that room, and everything I’ve seen there!” — Barnabas Collins
“Somehow, we must discover the secret of this room!” — Roger Collins
“You must take me to that room immediately, I want to see this for myself!” — Professor T. Eliot Stokes
“There must be something very special in the east wing, because suddenly everyone’s so interested in it!” — Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
I will regret this, I’m sure. I will regret all of this. The upcoming Parallel Time storyline will fail in some spectacular way — like Adam did, like Nicholas Blair and Count Petofi, and all the other disappointing men in our lives — and I’ll end this period of the show trying to figure out how it all went wrong, as I always do.
But this feeling, right now, this tickle of heightened expectations? Give me this. Even if it’s only for a little while. Just give me this.
Continue reading Episode 977: Things That I Already Like About Parallel Time
“May that breathing never come from any room again!”
So our main character is dead again, hooray! Dark Shadows can fight its destiny as much as it likes — periodically sending Barnabas to rehab, distracting us with other monsters — but the fact is, this is a vampire show. It always has been, even before the vampire showed up, and it always will be, even after the vampire turns into a guy named Bramwell.
The novels say that Barnabas is a vampire, and so do the comics, the board games, the joke books and ABC’s marketing department. And now, thanks to the only worthwhile thing that the Leviathans ever accomplish, even the vampire show has to admit that their vampire is a vampire.
Continue reading Episode 951: Into Darkness
“Are you still a zombie, Quentin?”
Against all odds, it’s still the summer of 1969, and Dark Shadows has never been more popular. Eccentric millionaire Barnabas Collins has transported himself back in time to 1897, where he discovers that today’s teen dream Quentin C. is a restless, shambling zombie.
Young Jamison is possessed by the spirit of Quentin, or possibly the other way around; it’s difficult to tell. To save the family, Reverend Trask tries to perform an exorcism, and then a gypsy tells Quentin’s fortune. Meanwhile, Mad Jenny finds a set of keys, while somewhere a werewolf must hurry, for darkness means death. And that about brings us up to date.
Continue reading Episode 822: A Giant Evil Force
“It has possessed me more than once, so that I’m no longer afraid of it. Death and I are old friends.”
Angelique just wants to be free.
She needs to expand her consciousness, liberating her life force energy and extending it beyond the limitations of the earthly plane. She needs to get outside her own head, transcending the guilt and hang-ups of the past, to be at peace with the harmony of the universe.
I mean, yeah, she’s a vampire. But apart from that, she’s just like every other young woman in 1968.
Continue reading Episode 581: Light My Fire
“Life force? What does that mean?”
So it’s late 1968, and you’re, let’s say, fourteen. You started watching Dark Shadows on and off in the spring, and during the summer you became completely obsessed with it. You love the characters, you love the crazy stories, and you love that weird, intense connection you have with your friends when you talk about it.
You even know some kids who swear that they actually saw the episode when Barnabas shot Angelique through the heart — and with her dying breath, she turned herself into a bat and bit him on the neck.
But that’s the thing about afternoon TV in 1968 — it only happens once. They’ll run episodes of Bewitched or Gomer Pyle or The Carol Burnett Show a couple of times, but Dark Shadows is a paper-thin phantom that shimmers seductively for half an hour, and then disappears into the void, leaving a stunned audience of teenage thrill-seekers to rub their eyes and grope their way back into the daylight, talking about the wonders they’ve seen, and lording it over the unfortunate few who couldn’t get home in time to witness it for themselves.
You can’t catch Dark Shadows in your hands. It’s like the wind, or like a dream that you try to hold onto when you wake up. It’s like a ghost.
And then one day you get the chance to hold some precious fragments of the Dark Shadows life force, plus a stick of bubble gum.
Continue reading Episode 574: Trade Secrets
“I have much too much work to do, to be bothered with dreams.”
Young David Collins has returned home, after a lengthy trip to Boston to recuperate from realizing that his cousin Barnabas was a vampire who planned to murder him. This was a major storyline six months ago, and it led directly to the séance that sent his governess, Vicki, tumbling through time to visit the Collins family of 1795.
Last month, when Vicki came back to the present day, the Dark Shadows writers used the opportunity to make a fresh start on the story — not so much tying up the loose ends as just cutting them off and pretending that they were never that loose in the first place. Everybody just stopped talking about how worried they were about David, and now he’s back from Boston, and everything’s fine.
But there’s something different about the boy, which is even more important than his slow-motion off-screen amnesia. David has come back to Collinwood wearing a Nehru jacket.
Continue reading Episode 489: Bein’ Green
“He isn’t dead all of the time. Just some of the time!”
We open the new week with a reprise of David’s dream from Friday’s episode. I’m not usually a big fan of repeating a dream sequence, but in this case it’s entirely justified.
For one thing, this dream delivers some long-overdue plot development — David finally realizes that his friend Sarah is a ghost, and his cousin Barnabas is a vampire. Plus, Friday’s episode was a black-and-white kinescope copy, and today we get to see the dream in full color. Well, in two colors anyway, namely: yellow and purple.
Continue reading Episode 326: A Time Like This
“He’s some kind of a creature from the world of the dead!”
We pick up today at a pivotal plot point, as Maggie Evans — vampire abduction survivor and mental health facility refugee — stumbles into the Blue Whale, looks at Barnabas, and collapses onto the floor.
This comes as something of a shock to the Collinsport nightlife community, and especially to Barnabas, because he knows that at any moment she could expose him, and then…
Hold on, wait. Has that woman been wearing that orange dress this whole time?
Continue reading Episode 295: Nothing But Lies