“Charting the future is not a whim with me.”
Gentleman vampire Barnabas Collins is terribly concerned about the future, and for good reason; he’s been there, and it sucks. He spent a couple weeks trapped in the 90s, where he found his house tore up from the floor up, and he’s desperate to counteract the oncoming calamity.
But we all know that he’s going to fail; the future for Barnabas Collins is not going to be on ABC-TV at four o’clock in the afternoon. Collinwood will fall, and the family will move to a series of temporary shelters in paperback novels and comic strips and audio plays. That future is fast approaching — not today, and not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of his life.
And he might have figured that out, if he’d bothered to learn anything about the world in 1995. He didn’t even crack a newspaper; the name “Bart Simpson” means nothing to him. He spent the entire time running around the house, looking for ghosts.
Dark Shadows has spent the last year and a half turning inward, gradually losing touch with the world outside the great estate. Even the town of Collinsport hardly matters, these days. Barnabas came back to the present with the name “Rose Cottage” on his lips; nobody’s ever heard of it, but I’d bet money it’s going to turn out to be somewhere on the Collinwood grounds. It’s the only place they care about.
But this isn’t the only example of Barnabas Collins flash-forwarding on a mission of purely parochial interest. In November 1971, he shot a whole hundred years into the future, and you’ll never guess what he was looking for. Nope, don’t even try. Whatever it is you’re thinking, it’s dumber than that.
Continue reading Episode 1074: Future So Bright
“I was concerned, because people that are highly sensitive are usually very receptive to supernatural phenomena.”
And on top of that, she’s psychic, too, so now we have another reason for Hallie Stokes to stand around looking breathless and unwell, and we don’t even get a weird theremin sound or the scent of lilacs or anything.
“You know those strange feelings I get sometimes?” she says, so here we go; it’s one of those. Hallie’s telling Quentin about unexpectedly running into Barnabas and Julia in the hall earlier this evening, an experience which has shaken her to the core.
“I guess the reason I was frightened was the way that they looked at me, and talked to me,” she grouses. “They said things that made me think that they’d seen me someplace before, and I know I’ve never seen them before!” She tries to catch her breath, which appears to be a constant pursuit. “But then when I brought them downstairs, I had the awful feeling that something terrible was going to happen!”
But something terrible is already happening, thinks Quentin. It’s you.
Continue reading Episode 1072: Something Terrible
“Something terrible is going to happen to us if we stay here!”
We’re back in the swinging sixties, and just in time. Barnabas’ trip to the nineteenth century was held over by popular demand, and if they’d kept it up for another six weeks, then by the time he came back it would be the 1970s, because of how time works.
The new storyline is just getting started — this is actually the first episode that takes place entirely in 1969 — so they’re still lining up the plot points. So far, Barnabas has been hijacked by some kind of ancient pyramid scheme death cult, Julia is anxiously awaiting Barnabas’ return from the past, and Carolyn is wearing a terrible clown skirt.
But today, we get our first big shock: Jason McGuire is back!
Continue reading Episode 888: Little Shop
“I’m not delirious. You know what she is.”
One of the things that you learn when you watch Dark Shadows is that there are several different kinds of weird. This is not a particularly helpful thing to learn, and learning it will not improve your life in any measurable way. It just happens, and there’s not much you can do about it.
There’s the everyday, domestic kind of weird, which involves eccentric people doing unusual things — say, a college professor taking an enormous feral Frankenstein home with him, and teaching it to read the word “clock” off a flash card.
There’s the fancy, bespoke kind of weird, which involves people acting in a completely illogical way just for the sake of an exciting cliffhanger — like burying their dead friend in the woods, and then realizing that he’s come back to life, and they only have half an hour to dig him up again.
And then there’s the kind of weird where you honestly have no idea why the scene that you’re watching even exists. That’s the kind we’re going to be talking about today, thanks to scriptwriter Ron Sproat, among other mistakes.
Continue reading Episode 539: Grieve a Little Grieve
“Why do you refuse to understand that something terrible may be happening?”
And now, a word from our sponsor.
“The blood!” cries the put-upon housewife, on her hands and knees. “Oh, I should have cleaned it right away! It won’t come off!”
She scrubs and scrubs, but that stubborn stain of guilt and carnage just won’t come clean.
Ladies, are you tired of the workaday drudgery of clearing away the evidence of your near-fatal gunshot wound? Have your impulsive, demonic maledictions left a waxy build-up on those hard-to-reach places that you used to call your heart and soul?
Continue reading Episode 407: Bram Stoker’s I Love Lucy
“I don’t know what it is. I just know it’s going to happen.”
Today’s episode opens with Carolyn standing on the landing with a glum expression, probably because it’s been almost two weeks since she’s been on the show, and so far nobody’s noticed.
She walks downstairs at a moderate pace, and sets course for the drawing room. She reaches the fireplace, and then she whirls around, looking behind her. Nobody’s there, so she walks back across the drawing room.
It’s almost a shame that Liz comes in at that point and starts talking; this could have turned into a whole half hour of Carolyn pacing silently around the house.
Continue reading Episode 298: Dread Alert