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841 alice wonderland psychedelic

Episode 841: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

“He revels in every form of torture and bloodshed known to the mind of man!”

“It’s the third one,” says Dr. Julia Hoffman — blood specialist, hypnotherapist and the world’s most adaptable person. “The Kun hexagram.”

“What does it signify?” her captor asks, and Julia consults the reference material.

Julia’s flipped back in time to the late 19th century, where she’s currently assisting mad god Count Petofi, the Butcher of Ozhden, as he attempts to bend space and time to his implacable will. He needs to take his legendary magical hand to the far-off space year of 1969, and he’s going to use the I Ching, a Chinese divination technique that he has no prior experience with. So now he’s casting the I Ching wands, and Julia is looking in her Junior Woodchucks guidebook to see which of the 64 hexagrams he’s laid out on the table.

She’s doing this under duress, if that helps. Julia does a lot of things under a lot of things.

“There will be great progress and success,” she reads, and Petofi’s face lights up. “The character Kun shows how a plant struggles, with difficulty, out of the earth, gradually rising above the surface.” Petofi is utterly thrilled, but there’s more.

“The top line is divided,” Julia warns. “The horses of the chariot are obliged to retreat. There are weeping tears of blood.”

Petofi grabs the book out of her hands, and snarls, “I will hear no more!” Then he sits down in front of the hexagram, meditating furiously.

Now, this is where Count Petofi and I part ways. If it was me, the weeping tears of blood would give me pause. But what do I know, I don’t even have a legendary magical hand. I just have regular default hands. I didn’t even know magical hand was an option.

Continue reading Episode 841: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

837 dark shadows julia doors of perception

Episode 837: The Trip

“She’s got doom and disaster written all over her face!”

Edward Collins finds an unconscious stranger, just outside his front door. It’s a woman, with a strange hairstyle and an unfamiliar style of dress. He helps her to her feet, but she’s groggy and unsteady. Edward brings her inside, and she looks around like she’s in a daze, squinting and blinking as if she’s never seen the inside of a house before.

She’s docile, at least — clearly not a danger to anyone — and he’s able to lead her into the drawing room, and park her on the couch. Slumping in her seat, she stares at Edward, a puzzled look on her face.

“Can you hear me?” he asks, patiently. “Can you understand what I’m saying?” She just looks at him. He persists. “Why did you come here?” No reply. “Who are you?” Still not receiving.

At a loss, Edward cries, “Where have you come from?”

She squints up at him, and says, “I don’t know, man. I mean, where does anybody come from?”

Continue reading Episode 837: The Trip

805 dark shadows evan trask kiss

Episode 805: It’s In His Kiss

“You can’t burn murder, Trask, or drown it, or even poison it. You can’t kill murder.”

Spirit of Joe Lidster, I invoke and conjure thee! Co-producer of the Big Finish Dark Shadows audio dramas and co-writer of Dark Shadows: Bloodlust, I call upon the raven and the viper and all the dark creatures of nature to bring you here, so that we can watch an episode of Dark Shadows together.

Danny:  Hello, are you there?

Joe:  Yes, hello!

Danny:  I’m currently speaking to you through my fireplace. Are you okay in there? Is it hot?

Joe:  It is a bit hot. The reception’s good, though, for a fireplace.

Continue reading Episode 805: It’s In His Kiss

555 dark shadows vicki tied up

Episode 555: All Tied Up

“Please, take pity on me. Don’t torture me like this.”

It’s a Ron Sproat script today, which means that Vicki’s locked up and she’s not getting away any time soon. This is a bit of an obsession with Sproat, an old-school soap writer who knows that the only question worth asking is: What are we going to do tomorrow? If he can’t come up with a good answer to that question, then he stuffs a girl into a closet and keeps her there for a week.

Now, to be fair, it was Gordon Russell who actually put Vicki in stir this time; Sproat is just the guy keeping her here. But I don’t see any reason to be fair today. If life was fair, I’d have enough material to stretch this out to a full blog entry. And yet, here we are.

Continue reading Episode 555: All Tied Up

351 dark shadows carolyn header

Episode 351: The Grateful Dead

“There are many secrets you haven’t known before, but you will soon know all of them, because you will become a part of them.”

So, I guess this would be the morning after. Young David has been going around for the last several weeks telling everyone that Cousin Barnabas is dead, and sleeps in a coffin. On Friday, Carolyn thought it would be a good idea to sneak into the Old House basement and see what all the fuss was about.

The short answer: She found out. Julia’s mad-science-fair project to cure the vampire has aged him, transforming Cousin Barnabas into Great-Great-Grand-Uncle Barnabas. He needed to drink somebody’s blood, so that he could “revert” back to his youthful form.

Friday’s episode ended with the hands-down, no-contest, intentionally creepiest moment of the series so far. Barnabas grabbed his young cousin, tenderly brushed her hair away from her throat, and said, “Don’t be afraid of me, my dear. I’m not going to hurt you. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt… my own flesh and blood.”

So it turns out that there’s something way scarier than a blood-sucking ghoul who feeds on the life force of the innocent and pretty, and it’s a blood-sucking ghoul who fantasy-metaphor-rapes his own niece.

And the very worst thing about this whole astounding very-worst-thing plot point? She loved it.

Continue reading Episode 351: The Grateful Dead