Tag Archives: suspense

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Episode 989: Scientific Progress Goes Boink

“At least the companions I pick are human!”

So here’s the method: First, you take a chemical synthesis. This can be homemade, or delivered from a chemical synthesis company. Either one, it just has to be worryingly potent. Turn on the apparatus, set those fluids bubbling in their beakers. Add some powder to the synthesis. Now it’s a compound. Approach some truths that are better left unknown. Pour the result into a juice glass, and down the hatch.

It’s a simple dramatic recipe, but I do have a few questions for the reckless chemist, starting with: Why test this on yourself first? You literally have a guinea pig right there in the room with you. Wouldn’t it be easier to jot down observations, if the composition that’s getting reoriented isn’t yours? Also, what were you expecting to happen? What was the beneficial outcome you were aiming for?

Continue reading Episode 989: Scientific Progress Goes Boink

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Episode 897: You’re the Worst

“I’m a monster! I have no choice but to kill!”

Megan is alone, on the display floor of her antique shop. Her husband left to buy cigarettes a few moments ago. The room is dim, and cluttered with scattered relics.

Megan is worried. Earlier today, she was suddenly overcome with the unshakeable feeling that someone is coming to kill her. She’s correct; somebody is actually coming to kill her. It’s been a weird day.

What follows is a five-minute solo spaz attack of epic proportions. When I was younger and less discerning, I thought of this as The Worst Scene In Dark Shadows. I’m not sure what I think about it now. I’m still trying to work that out.

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Episode 773: The Persecution and Assassination of Minerva Trask as Performed by Tim Shaw Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade

“My father won’t let her be dead!”

Okay, quick recap: Reverend Trask wants Evan Hanley to get Tim Shaw to kill his wife. No, not Tim’s wife, Trask’s wife. Tim doesn’t have a wife. Apparently, Evan does have a wife, but we never see her, so who knows. Look, it doesn’t matter whether Evan has a wife.

The point is that Reverend Trask has future plans that do not involve Minerva Trask as an active participant, so he needs her out of the way. Enter Satanist lawyer Evan Hanley, who’s worked up some kind of weird juju where he can hypnotize a guy into killing somebody by licking his fingers. I mean, the guy licks his own fingers, and then they play cards, and whoever plays the Queen of Spades gets poisoned. End of recap.

Continue reading Episode 773: The Persecution and Assassination of Minerva Trask as Performed by Tim Shaw Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade

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Episode 528: This Tawdry Affair

“My dear Cassandra, how commonplace you have become, like some suburban housewife with little human worries.”

Jeff and Vicki are in the drawing room at Collinwood, just chattering away about old business. Jeff can’t figure out whether he’s Peter Bradford or not, and he grumbles that Barnabas is in love with Vicki, and he doesn’t understand why Professor Stokes thinks this Dream Curse is so dangerous. It’s a pageant of every boring B-plot we’ve been looking at for months.

Meanwhile, out in the gazebo, Nicholas Blair is entirely over it. “All the time you have wasted, Cassandra,” he says, summoning her to the gazebo. “Weeks are minutes to you.” And we fall in love with Nicholas all over again.

Continue reading Episode 528: This Tawdry Affair

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Episode 365: Closing Time

“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

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Episode 260: The Secret of My Suspense

“The clue is large! That doesn’t make any sense.”

Picture this: It’s 3:30, on a sunny Friday afternoon. It’s late June, so this might actually be the last day of school, and it’s 1967, so the kids are looking forward to a long, hot and mostly unsupervised summer. Mom’s been watching General Hospital, so the TV is tuned to ABC. The last notes of the Wurlitzer pipe organ playing the GH theme have faded away, as the kids pile into the house and throw themselves down on the living room floor.

And just at that moment, in a dirty prison cell in the basement of a haunted house, a man brings a tray of food to the pretty young woman who’s trapped there. They exchange a few words, and then he hands her a glass of poisoned milk.

Continue reading Episode 260: The Secret of My Suspense

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Episode 249: That Room with Those Things

“This is what you wanted, and you’re having it.”

Okay, you remember when Carolyn decided that she was going to get the key to the locked room in the basement? Well, that was exactly four weeks ago, and since then the story has not progressed a single step.

We’re going to learn a lot about suspense today. Specifically, we’re going to learn how to not generate it.

Continue reading Episode 249: That Room with Those Things

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Episode 239: Local Girl Mysteriously Disappears

“You’re very fond of it, aren’t you? Do you know why? Because I gave it to you.”

So here’s the incredibly strange television show that we’re watching right now: An undead ghoul from the 18th century has risen from the grave, moved into his old house, and kidnapped a waitress from the local coffee shop. Now he’s dressing her up in his dead girlfriend’s wedding dress, and taking her out on make-believe dates.

And the only reason why the show is this weird is that Ron Sproat hasn’t had time yet to think up anything weirder.

Continue reading Episode 239: Local Girl Mysteriously Disappears

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Episode 238: Unreal Estate

“You can’t just walk into a place!”

It’s shaping up to be a pretty dull evening at Collinwood. Liz is sitting at a desk fussing with business papers, and Carolyn is assembling a moody jigsaw puzzle. Things liven up a bit when Vicki gets the evening paper, with the headline “LOCAL GIRL MYSTEROUSLY DISAPPEARS”. It’s bad news, obviously, but at least it gives them something to talk about.

Liz tells Carolyn and Vicki that she doesn’t want them walking around alone at night, until they find out what happened to Maggie. Liz gets up and goes to another room, and literally fifteen seconds later, the girls decide to go out and get some fresh air. What can you do with people like that?

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