“It is difficult to rechannel my thoughts after three years of thinking about nothing but you.”
So it’s not the late 60s anymore, is what I’m saying, and eventually a show that’s as adamantly late 60s as Dark Shadows is going to run into trouble when it tries to outlive its environment.
As you know, the difference between the 1960s and the 1970s is that in the 70s, America discovered the concepts of responsibility and safety. In late 1969, the innocent flower children of Woodstock met the lawless, murderous Hells Angels of Altamont, and the good trip became a bad one, to our lasting disadvantage.
At that point, the American people decided that maybe giving their children exposed metal hot plates as toys wasn’t such a great idea, and maybe we should try wearing seat belts, and using child-proof caps, and not letting the Manson Family stay in the guest house. You know, the whole actions have consequences, gravity is real, sometimes people are assholes thing that ruins so many promising utopias.
Continue reading Episode 995: I’ll Bite Anything
“Death seldom shows us at our best.”
As we head into the last week of the popular 1897 storyline, we find Dark Shadows in a surprisingly perilous position. The show hit its all-time ratings peak just a couple weeks ago, but we’re already accumulating suspects in the ongoing “Who Killed Dark Shadows” murder mystery dinner theater.
The situation on the ground at ABC Studio 16 is a bit of a mess. They’ve recently sped up production to six days a week, so that they can build a larger backlog of episodes before they start filming the House of Dark Shadows movie. That’s running everyone ragged, including the three-person writing team, just at the point where they’re finishing this epic storyline, and they need to come up with a new one.
But the show also faces external threats — and today, on November 10th, 1969, another suspect emerges. He’s eight foot two, yellow, and he doesn’t know how to count.
Continue reading Episode 881: Sunny Day
“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
“That’s what happened to me, isn’t it? I was in that coffin because I was dead.”
It always starts with a box.
The local nobility are up to their usual tricks — keeping secrets, shooting each other, sleeping with the help, generally making a nuisance of themselves — and it comes back to haunt them, as it always does.
So here we are, opening another mystery box, and something terrible is loosed upon the world again, for the first time.
Continue reading Episode 411: Other People’s Blood
“Why do you say my name in such a curious fashion?”
Last week, David found Maggie, the Local Girl who has Mysteriously Disappeared, at his cousin Barnabas’ house, dressed up like the dead ancestor that he considers his closest friend. Yup, just the same old thing.
Maggie pauses on the stairs, and David runs up to the bannister, yelling, “Josette, it’s me! It’s me, David! David Collins!” Okay, kid, it’s you; why are you screaming at me? You’re like six inches away.
Continue reading Episode 241: Mrs. Snuffleupagus