“How can we know with any certainty whom this head possesses?”
So that was it! Oh, you clever boys; the Dark Shadows team has done it again. That’s why the horoscope was unfinished. Now we understand why Gerard needed to bring Tad and Carrie back to life, and the significance of the dollhouse and the carousel, and why Gerard showed up at the picnic, and where all those dead pirates came from.
It was all about the playroom, after all, just like we knew it would be. I bet anyone who thought that the Dark Shadows writers were just making things up as they went along must be feeling pretty silly, right about now.
Continue reading Episode 1197: The Night I Sang My Song
“There’s only one flaw in your logic: it makes too much sense.”
You know how sometimes you get tired of arguing with somebody about whether they’re a ghost, so you shoot them in the stomach just to get them to shut up, but it turns out they really are a ghost so your bullet goes right through them, and then they’re still pretending that you’re crazy and they’re not a ghost? It’s like the worst case scenario for winning an argument.
Continue reading Episode 1193: Already Dead
“He only remained a few nights and then vanished mysteriously with his manservant.”
It’s fall 1970, and the question on everyone’s mind is: what are we supposed to do with Quentin Collins? We’ve rebooted him, and jailed him, and sent him mysterious love notes, and still he remains as moody and Byronic as before, and as far as I know, nobody requested a Byronic Quentin. Moody and Byronic people are annoying and difficult to manage; even Byron was a pain in the ass.
It’s all the weddings, I think. Just this year, Quentin has been married to Angelique, Maggie and Samantha, a mixed assortment of nuts who keep hitching and unhitching themselves to him, dragging him down and saddling him with young sons that he hardly notices. He keeps struggling to separate himself from these crazy broads any way he knows how — strangle Angelique, chase Maggie out of the house, tell Samantha that he despises her — but then they keep living in the house with him for one reason or another, piling up in untidy heaps. What he needs is a good hard divorce, and one that sticks this time, and actually gets the wife all the way out of the house.
So it’s time for Quentin to get back to his woman chasing roots, and that’s why we’re spending the day reading another goddamn Paperback Library novel.
Continue reading Episode 1159: This First Unhappy Experience
“Spend your time with girls down at the docks.”
Tonight, for the first time, he has met Laura Collins, and seen to his horror that beyond this past lies another past, containing even more terror than he has yet dreamed of.
Continue reading Episode 739: Another Weird Afternoon
“Anyone who believes in voodoo must believe in me!”
Let’s talk for a moment about the tremendous advantages of having a gypsy on your television show.
Number one, obviously, ethnic, which means there’s all kinds of comic value just sitting there for the taking.
Number two, ethnic, which means you can always kickstart a plot point by showing her something that she wants to steal.
And number three, ethnic, which means that if you can’t think of an exciting way to end an episode, then she can just run into the room, point at a cast member, and scream The MARK! The mark of DEATH! Soon! SOON! You will DIE! and then you superimpose a Chromakey skull over the guy’s face.
And yet I can’t think of a single other show that has a gypsy. I swear, it’s like people don’t even want to make good television.
Continue reading Episode 719: Haunt You
“It is strange, isn’t it, how suddenly the swamp seems to be playing a leading and sinister role in the affairs of Collinwood?”
Let us speak, then, of Barnabas Collins Versus the Warlock.
It’s book #11 in Paperback Library’s long, strange line of Dark Shadows-inspired novels, and it’s the first one in a while that actually takes inspiration from the show in any meaningful way.
In this book, governess Maggie Evans has to save her young charges, David Collins and Amy Jennings, as they — more or less — fall under the influence of an evil phantom that stalks the halls of Collinwood. It’s complicated.
Continue reading Episode 692: The New Mischief
“Through sight and sound, and faceless terror…”
It’s been a little over a year since Dark Shadows opened the mystery box, letting a vampire loose and transforming this relatively aimless show into a bubbling cauldron of visual spectacle and lunatic plot contrivances. One of the most remarkable changes is the pace of the show, which used to just drift from day to day, with long sequences of characters telling each other how worried they are about something.
But not anymore. Yesterday, for example, the episode ended with Barnabas falling asleep in a chair, and dreaming about his ex-wife making a promotional announcement about the upcoming story direction. Continuing this rocket sled to adventure in today’s episode, we’re going to watch Maggie fall asleep, too.
We’re going to see a lot of this over the next couple months. I guess making Dark Shadows is exhausting; everyone’s taking afternoon naps.
Continue reading Episode 478: What Dreams May Come
“Anyone who would do a thing like that is capable of anything.”
Today’s episode opens with — guess who? — Angelique, the villainous lady’s maid, who has basically just walked up and pulled the show out from under everyone else. This storyline was supposed to be about Victoria Winters, girl governess, and her uncertain and frightening journey into the past. But Vicki is off screen today, quietly governessing somewhere, and Angelique takes center stage again.
And, naturally, Angelique is — guess what? — talking about herself, and how great her plans are. She’s recently acquired an unwilling sidekick, the heavily indentured Ben Stokes, and his primary duty appears to be standing by as Angelique delivers a spontaneous TED talk on the subject of how awesome she is.
Continue reading Episode 374: The Wedding Presence
“Willie and I have an understanding.”
Yesterday, we left David at the Old House, hearing snarling dogs and banging on the front doors. There’s not as much turning of the doorknob as you might expect, just banging and yelling.
Then the dognoise suddenly stops and everything is fine, which says a lot about how seriously they’re treating cliffhangers in this period of the show.
Continue reading Episode 224: The Late Shift