“They didn’t dance that way in 1970!”
“I’m convinced that this room holds the key to what we’re looking for,” Barnabas tells Julia, without evidence. “I know this room didn’t exist in 1970, and yet — this room had something to do with what happened then!”
“Even though it didn’t exist?”
“Strange as that sounds — yes.”
So this is the curious incident of the playroom in the night-time, where, as Alexis Stokes once put it, the absence of the disturbances is more frightening than the disturbances themselves. Dark Shadows has once again declared its independence from material reality, and taken up residence in the world of dreams.
Continue reading Episode 1066: This Is How We Do It
“I don’t believe that she’s not worried about Philip, either.”
Things look bleak for the global Leviathan conspiracy. The ancient book of prophecy has been stolen. The child is sick. The boss is spending all his time punishing the Chosen Ones. It’s only been two weeks, and the organization is falling to pieces.
We need a firm hand at the wheel, a steady leader in an unsteady world. We need a thirteen year old.
Continue reading Episode 896: Help Wanted
“You oughtn’t to go, until you take something more to them than what you’re taking now.”
They opened the box, and read the scroll, and lost the book, and had the dream. And now they have a baby, which is not how it works.
Continue reading Episode 894/895: Love of Chair
“What can that portrait have to do with time?”
She doesn’t jump, not this time. Barnabas knows that if he approaches a cornered Josette on Widow’s Hill, then she’ll jump to her death, because that’s what she did last time. So he sends her aunt Natalie as a neutral party, to get Josette to back away from the precipice.
Once everyone’s on dry land, Barnabas says that if Josette stops trying to kill herself, then he promises not to murder her. This is actually not an unusual arrangement, for gothic romances. She agrees, but only if he comes back when he says that he will. Then he gets delayed, so she gets fed up, and she takes poison and dies.
I don’t really know why Josette’s spirit drew Barnabas and Kitty back a hundred years into the past, just so that she could kill herself all over again; it seems unprofessional, and self-defeating. But I think after two successful suicide attempts, Josette DuPres has made it clear that she would prefer not to be alive. We really need to start respecting that point of view.
Continue reading Episode 886: The Sacrifice
“Listen carefully, and you’ll hear my dream.”
Charity Trask dreams of sexy scoundrel Quentin Collins, just like everybody else in the summer of ’69. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he says. She replies, “I feel so lonely when you’re not here.” This isn’t the part of the dream where he closes his eyes while she gets murdered by a werewolf. This is the other part.
Charity’s father has suddenly decided that she should marry Quentin, for reasons that are mostly product placement-related. The Dark Shadows soundtrack album dropped on Friday, and today’s episode serves up a full-length music video of the feature single, “Shadows of the Night (Quentin’s Theme)”. By music video, I mean that they play the whole song while Quentin and Charity pose and make thoughtful facial expressions. It’s 1969; they haven’t figured out how music videos work yet.
Continue reading Episode 786: The Blog Post About The Original Music From Dark Shadows with The Robert Cobert Orchestra & Featuring Jonathan (Barnabas) Frid and David (Quentin) Selby
“What I was is not what I am. What I am is what I will be.”
So let’s say you have an entirely crazy person on your hands, and you need to keep her in your home for an unspecified amount of time. This is a common concern for modern homeowners. According to the experts, you should keep her in a warm room with indirect light, check the top of the soil before watering, and fertilize once a month in the spring and summer. No, wait, that’s ficus trees.
Well, here’s what vampire-about-town Barnabas Collins does, once he’s taken it upon himself to immure Quentin’s crazy wife for the foreseeable. He stashes her in an upstairs bedroom, locks the door from the outside, and then goes down to the basement to sleep in a coffin, leaving a note for the comedy gypsies who serve as his unwilling housekeepers.
I’m not saying that’s the appropriate way to handle it, I’m just telling you what Barnabas does.
Continue reading Episode 745: Rendezvous at the OK Corral
“These people, they’ve got plans for you!”
Okay, time for another crackpot plot twist in the Bride of Frankenstein storyline. The writers have dug themselves into a rather unlikely hole, and they just can’t figure out what the hell to do about it.
Adam, the show’s resident Frankenstein monster, is demanding that Barnabas and Julia create a woman for him. They don’t really want to, because it’s gross and scary, but he’s threatened to kill girl governess Victoria Winters if they don’t, so they’re giving it a whirl. They’ve managed to assemble a lady monster out of dead person parts, and now their problem is that they need to suck the life force out of a living woman in order to get the Bride off the table and onto her feet.
Now Barnabas and Julia are standing around in their basement laboratory, discussing who they’re going to use for the life force. “I’ve thought about it endlessly,” Barnabas says. “I’ve considered every woman we know.”
Julia says, “Must it be someone we know?” and you can tell that she’s thinking, dude, we only know, like, five women. It’s not that big of a cast.
Continue reading Episode 583: Every Woman We Know
“The more one learns, the worse one feels. I did not realize life was like that. But probably it is a well-known fact that no one bothered to tell me.”
There’s big news from the royal family, as usual. They think that just because they’re rich and powerful, that means they’ve got a patent on the epic tragedy — although to be fair, they usually do. Regular people don’t poison each other and throw themselves off cliffs; they just don’t have the time.
So here’s the top headlines: Barnabas, Prince of Collinsport, killed his uncle Jeremiah in a duel. Barnabas was then killed by his own wife, the witch Angelique, and cursed with eternal life. After dispatching Angelique, Barnabas courted his dead uncle’s wife, Josette, and planned to make her his vampire bride.
On Friday — confused and frightened by a vision created by the ghost of Angelique — Josette rejected the undead Prince, and killed herself by jumping from the cliff on Widow’s Hill. It’s basically a cross between Hamlet, Macbeth and the juicier episodes of Dynasty, as directed by George Romero.
Continue reading Episode 426: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
“I am your servant. You are my master. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it is to be.”
Okay, let’s talk some more about The Crucible, the 1953 Arthur Miller play about the Salem witch trials. Everybody knows that The Crucible is the inspiration for the Collinsport witch hunt that’s coming up next month, but the influence goes even deeper than that, all the way down into the soul of Dark Shadows.
The play is a dramatization of the hysteria in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts. A group of young girls is found dancing in the woods, in defiance of the strict Puritan laws against dancing, music and anything that might be enjoyable. Horrified at being discovered, and desperate to find a scapegoat, the girls pretend that they’ve been seduced and tormented by witches living in the village. Directed by the eldest girl, Abigail Williams, they become a terrifying mob who accuse dozens of their neighbors. Guided only by the “spectral evidence” of the girls’ testimony, the court convicts and executes 20 innocent people.
Abigail is a terrifying figure in the play — self-centered and vengeful, taking a special delight in wielding the power that she’s suddenly acquired. Abigail was a servant of farmer John Proctor, and her tangled relationship with him is the emotional heart of the drama.
Over the last few weeks, the crucial new idea on the show is to introduce these narrative collisions, weaving characters from other fictional worlds into the story of Dark Shadows. There’s a beautiful woman from another story walking into the house today, and things are going to get ugly.
Continue reading Episode 368/369: A Wicked Woman
“Do you want to stop it, Barnabas? Must you stop it?”
Hey, remember the Collins family? I could’ve sworn that there used to be a television show called Dark Shadows, about this rich family that lived in a big house on a hill.
For months now, the Collins family has been squeezed off the screen by a vampire, a ghost, two doctors, a lawyer, a marionette bat, and so on. Being a living human being with the last name Collins used to mean something in this town.
Well, they’re sick of it. One way or another, they’re going to get the Collins family back to center stage where they belong.
Continue reading Episode 365: Closing Time