“I will concentrate on vengeance, and nothing else!”
You know, I’ve been throwing the word “exorcism” around a lot lately, but I’m not sure that’s the correct term for what’s going on here.
This is the situation: A witch was murdered in 1795, but then her restless spirit moved through time to be reincarnated in 1968. A group of well-meaning occult experts held a séance to call on the ghost of an 18th-century witch hunter who was sealed up behind a wall in their basement, and that ghost tied the dead witch to a tree and said a prayer over her to cast out the demons possessing her, which made her crumble into ashes and disappear.
I don’t think there’s a word for that, because it has never occurred to a single person in the history of the world to even imagine that such a thing could take place. Except for the writers of Dark Shadows, obviously, who can’t think about anything else.
Continue reading Episode 526: Nothing But Vengeance
“She believes she fell into the hands of a witch hunter, a fellow who roamed the countryside exorcising witches and hobgoblins.”
His name is Blair — Nicholas Blair — and he’s in Collinsport on His Dark Majesty’s Secret Service, to rescue a comrade who’s fallen into the hands of an enemy combatant.
The fallen agent — code name, Cassandra Collins — has been working undercover at Collinwood, as Roger’s innocent new bride. Her mission was compromised a week ago, when she was tied to a tree and exorcised by the spirit of Reverend Trask, an 18th-century witch hunter.
Nicholas is now staying at Collinwood, posing as Cassandra’s brother, and his mission — if he chooses to accept it — is to locate the tree where the witch was burned, and bring her back.
Continue reading Episode 525: The Blair Witch Project
“Then the combat would take place in the deepest recesses of the deepest darkness!”
Okay, it’s Monday; the start of a new week. Now, where did we leave off?
Oh, right. Barnabas was choking the crazy Irish witch lady. Obviously.
Continue reading Episode 451: Exorcise in Futility
“What really upsets you is the fact that you chose the losing side in this battle between the Almighty and the forces of Evil!”
At the top of today’s episode, vampire recluse Barnabas Collins asks his servant for an update on current events. Ben says that he was at Vicki’s witchcraft trial today, and stayed late to hear the verdict.
Barnabas pauses, and says, “I don’t like the expression on your face, Ben.”
Look, dude, you’ve had just as much time as the rest of us to get used to the look on Ben’s face. It’s a bit late in the day for constructive criticism in that department.
Continue reading Episode 438: Drag Me to Hell
“I can feel neither love nor hate. I feel nothing now.”
Last week, Barnabas was planning to kill his fiancee, Josette, and turn her into a vampire. Instead, she fled from him, and jumped off the cliff at Widow’s Hill to a messy death on the rocks below. Not satisfied with that level of carnage, Barnabas came up with a whole new plan yesterday — he’s going to use his powers to call Josette back from the grave.
“I have made my own dark conquest of the grave,” he said. “Hers will be next.”
Now, I know the show is called Dark Shadows, but they’re really taking that super seriously at this point. The main character has been moping around in a graveyard for weeks, and I don’t see the situation getting a hell of a lot happier. I mean, at a certain point, either your show is going to do a two-part episode at Disney World or it’s not.
Continue reading Episode 430: Dark Conquest
“Victoria Winters, your name is now known to fire!”
So here’s a way that you could open your TV show: start with a long scene of a witch chatting with her homemade tarot deck, as she assembles a house of cards in real time.
“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it,” Angelique says, “since I’ve had work for you. You must see each other face to face, and watch that each of you obeys my least command.”
She’s always giving little pep talks to her props like this. It’s sweet, and it encourages them to stay engaged in the process. Also, she doesn’t have any friends.
Continue reading Episode 400: Playing with Fire
“This isn’t champagne! It’s blood!”
War is coming to Collinsport, one of those big mythological ones where everybody dies, and it takes a couple centuries before you figure out it was all a metaphor for something else. The big dance is going to kick off next week, so this week is about defining who the main combatants are.
Yesterday, we were introduced to “the dead”, who are running on the incoherent but passionately expressed platform that you have disturbed my rest, my rest has been disturbed, you must be punished for disturbing my rest, and so on.
Don’t worry about following that line of reasoning too closely; you don’t need to understand it. It’s a “the dead” thing.
Today, we’re going to take a look at Angelique, another major player in the saga, and we’ll ask: Where do her powers come from, anyway?
Continue reading Episode 397: Lord of the Flies
“All the things that we once shared together, I never thought that we would share remorse.”
The whole point of television is to surprise you. I’ve never understood why somebody would watch a boring TV show where it’s exactly the same thing every time, like a police procedural, or a cooking show, or the news. Your own life offers you plenty of opportunities to be bored; you put the mystery box in your living room because you want it to bring you something new.
So here we are on the day after Christmas, 1967, and we’re watching the gothic soap opera that gradually turned into a free-wheeling spook show. And just for today, it turns all the way back into a drama again. Who saw that one coming?
Continue reading Episode 392: Christmas Stalking
“Joshua Collins can think up a whole lot of ways to be cruel to a man.”
Vicki has mysteriously traveled back in time, from 1967 to 1795, and now she has to fit in, because she doesn’t know how to get home. She’s actually doing remarkably well, under the circumstances. Personally, I’m not sure what I’d do if I suddenly found myself in the wrong century; I don’t really have a backup plan for that. I’ve just tried to stay in the century that I’m in, and so far, it’s worked out okay. So Vicki does earn some respect, just for getting up in the morning and dealing with whatever year she happens to find herself in.
That being said, it’s Vicki, and she’s an idiot. So, obviously, when she meets a Collins family servant who looks like the guy who kidnapped and tried to kill her with an axe last year, she doesn’t say, “Aha, here’s another person from 1795 who coincidentally looks like someone that I used to know; I should play it cool and introduce myself.” Nope. She backs up against the wall and shouts, “Stay away from me!” and then she screams and screams and screams and screams and screams.
Continue reading Episode 372: Another Country
“Okay, you’re pretty, but we’re not on a bus.”
So then Carolyn rushes over to the Old House, to tell Barnabas what happened in yesterday’s episode. It’s not easy.
Carolyn: Barnabas, I saw it! Hoffman’s notebook!
Carolyn: In her hands. She’d taken it from the clock.
Barnabas: The clock? What clock?
Carolyn: The large clock, in the foyer at Collinwood.
Barnabas: Well, you seized the notebook, of course?
Carolyn: I couldn’t!
Barnabas: Why not?
Carolyn: This lawyer came in.
Barnabas: What lawyer?
I know, right? I feel bad for the guy; he’s only missed one episode, and now he has no idea what she’s talking about.
Continue reading Episode 358: Boy Meets Ghoul