Tag Archives: crypt

Episode 571: Raising the Stakes

“Did someone ever look at me, as I now look at you? No… or I would not be alive now.”

We open the week with a fight to the death between the already-dead, as ex-vampire Barnabas Collins battles with still-vampire Tom Jennings, in order to free Barnabas’ best friend, Julia, from Tom’s hypnotic spell.

It’s a crucial step in Barnabas’ development from villain to hero, a Jungian transformation of the psyche. Barnabas is both prince and dragon here — wrestling with his own demons, confronting and rejecting the darkness in his own soul. It’s also one of the goofiest things you’ll ever see on television.

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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.

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Episode 419: Lose My Number

“I will not let you do what you would have to do to be with me.”

We’re in the Collins family mausoleum again today, for literally the sixth day in a row. It’s been nine months since we opened the mystery box and unleashed the vampire on the world of Dark Shadows, and we’ve now reached the stage where the show is almost entirely graveyard-based. I remember the days when people on this show had homes to go to.

Josette’s tracked down her ex-boyfriend Barnabas, who died recently and doesn’t seem to be committed to making their relationship work anymore.

“I beg you,” he says. “If you love me, then go. Forget you saw me. Remember this only as a terrible dream.”

I think we’ve all had conversations like that, haven’t we, where the other person just won’t accept that it’s over? Somebody needs to buy Josette a copy of He’s Just Not That Into Biting You.

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Episode 416: Stone Cold

“Why wouldn’t you let me bury them in the earth?”

As we open a new week on Dark Shadows, Joshua comes home from a business trip and finds Naomi in the drawing room, hip-deep in sherry.

He responds as he always does, with bitter sarcasm. “Well, I’m happy to see you up and busy at such an early hour,” he growls. “This was well worth the whole night’s journey, to be welcomed by this charming bit of domesticity.”

Naomi looks off into the distance.

“A little bird flew to the window,” she says, so apparently it’s going to be one of those conversations. “It hovered there for a moment, and then flew away. The first bird of the morning.”

This newsflash from the aviary is Naomi’s way of leading up to the breaking news story — on Friday, their little daughter Sarah died of pneumonia.

Wait, Sarah’s dead? God damn it, did somebody let her get outside again? We have got to start locking the front door, and this time I mean it.

Continue reading Episode 416: Stone Cold

Episode 337: Time to Kill

“The thought of what he might be frightens me as much as it did you.”

Well, there are books here, that’s something that I know. There are books on shelves, and they’re dusty, so this is probably an interior set. That’s a place to start.

The walls are made of stone, with big stone columns, and there are plaques on the wall that look like gravestones. Lots of cobwebs, naturally. Very dark, very shadowy.

There’s an old man with glasses who’s carrying a book. He shuffles over to the wall with the gravestones, peers at them, and then looks at all of the other walls, as if he suspects they might be up to something. Then he shuffles over to the bookshelves, and puts down the book that he’s holding.

I’m trying to describe this scene for you in as much detail as I can, because we’re currently one minute into this episode, and I have absolutely no idea what we’re looking at.

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Episode 336: Talk Show

“Some people see pink elephants. He saw Sarah Collins.”

Young David has been running around for the last couple of weeks telling everyone some inconvenient truths, like for example that his cousin Barnabas is dead and sleeps in a coffin in his basement. This has not been the rocket sled to popularity that you might expect. Eyebrows have been raised.

But David has an adult ally, at last — Dr. Dave Woodard, who’s finally realized that something weird is going on. Unfortunately, the actor who plays Woodard just left the show unexpectedly, and the part has been recast in a hurry. Let’s see how it goes.

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Episode 317: The X-Files

“When I came into your room that night to kill you, I should have gone through with it.”

Today’s episode opens with Dr. Julia Hoffman walking into the Old House to find Barnabas getting ready to leave. Technically, she’s supposed to be coming over to continue her experiments; she believes that she can cure Barnabas of being a vampire. This usually involves injections, seasoned with dialogue about the structure of his blood cells.

But we’ve seen that situation so many times lately that they apparently don’t even need to mention the experiment anymore. Julia just walks in, and asks Barnabas what he’s up to. He calls her “doctor” a few times, but otherwise there’s no mention of the cure, or any other reason that she might be strolling in this evening. It’s actually surprising that she even bothers to knock on the door. Things have become noticeably casual at the Old House.

The main topic of the week is whether young David knows Barnabas’ secret, and what Barnabas is going to do about it. Julia urges him not to do anything rash, and he tells her to mind her own business. You’d think that watching people talk about murdering a child would be inherently interesting. Apparently, that is not always the case.

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Episode 315: Between Sentiment and Survival

“The only possible explanation for David’s disappearance is that he vanished.”

It’s now going on five days since David got locked in a box, and doesn’t it feel like forever? This is something that people miss if they don’t watch one episode every day, the way that the original audience did. And by “people”, obviously, I mean everybody in the world except me.

After all, you’re free to skip around and watch any episode you want. And here I am, committed to this one-episode-a-day format, trapped with David in a secret room of my own making.

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Episode 313: Old Friends

“He heard the pearl-shaped voice of a ghost saying Boo.”

The storyline this week is that young David’s trapped in the secret room in the mausoleum, and he can’t figure out how to open the hidden door from the inside. It’s a fairly suspense-free scenario, because he’s friends with a ghost who knows that he’s in there.

So it doesn’t take a genius to predict that Sarah will show up to rescue him, at some point between now and the day he starves to death. For the sake of convenience, let’s call that point “Friday.”

And yet, here we are, smack in the middle of Wednesday, with no end in sight. On the plus side, we get to spend some time with Joe this week, so that’s something.

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Episode 311: A Tomb of One’s Own

“It’s more than a little peculiar. I’d say it was very peculiar.”

Okay, let’s get started; it’s the middle of the night, and there’s a lot of plot mechanics to get through.

On Friday, Sarah the apparently-friendly ghost lured young David to the Eagle Hill cemetery for some kind of necromancy play-date. She disappeared, and he went looking for her in the secret room hidden in the Collins mausoleum. You know, like they always do on soap operas.

Meanwhile, Sarah’s vampire brother Barnabas and his blood-slave servant Willie are also looking for the little ghost, at her final resting place — the Collins mausoleum. Startled, David closes the door, and hides inside the coffin in the secret room.

The mausoleum is apparently empty when Barnabas enters, but he wants to check the secret room. Willie opens the panel.

Barnabas walks in and poses with his hand resting on the coffin, which is kind of superb. This is supposed to be high drama, but it’s actually a plot point from a farce, with everybody piling into the secret room. I’d give anything to have the Marx Brothers show up and start ordering hard-boiled eggs.

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