“I don’t want to sleep! The dreams! The dreams are awful!”
It all started with Nicholas Blair, that scheming mastermind who wanted to steal Maggie away. Nicholas arranged for his pet vampire to keep Maggie’s fiancee occupied, and then Joe Haskell just stood there and watched, as his whole life slipped out of his grasp.
He lost his job, he lost Maggie, and somewhere along the way, he lost his soul. It’s hard to say exactly where, but the night that he helped Angelique kill his cousin probably had a lot to do with it.
Joe tried to commit suicide, and then he tried to kill Barnabas, and then he tried to shoot a werewolf that used to be his cousin. Not the dead cousin, another one. It’s been a bad year for cousins.
And now, look at him. He’s wearing a turtleneck.
Oh, Joe. What have they done to you?
Continue reading Episode 658: Did He Fall, or Was He Pushed?
“Put down that letter opener, you look ridiculous.”
We’ve watched our enormous teenage Frankenstein monster as he was brought to life from weeks-old corpse parts. We’ve seen him read poetry, and play chess. We’ve seen him kidnap women, break out of jail and jump off a cliff. We’ve even seen him cry.
But have you ever seen him in bed, wearing revealing nightwear? Welcome to Dark Shadows After Dark.
Continue reading Episode 607: In a World of Turtlenecks
“I don’t love you. I love Maggie Evans. I don’t even know you.”
Oh, it’s the same old story. You invite a guy over, you spend the night together, there’s an exchange of body fluids, and the next day, he doesn’t even want to see you anymore.
Joe Haskell looks out the window at the approaching dusk. “It’ll be dark soon,” he thinks, “and she’ll want me to go to her. I’ve got to resist her. I’ve got to!”
Spoiler alert: He doesn’t resist her.
Continue reading Episode 562: He’s Just Not That Into Being Supernaturally Controlled By You
“Pop, there’s a madman in here — a maniac!”
On June 17, 1968, at approximately 3:30pm, an unidentified Caucasian male suspect entered the Evans cottage. Mayhem ensued. Police are looking for a tall, dark man with a limited vocabulary and an even more limited wardrobe. But, hey, who isn’t?
Continue reading Episode 515: When Adam Attacks
“Germs — I’ve never been a big believer in them, but they do exist.”
A couple weeks ago, grouchy painter Sam Evans was struck blind, following an encounter with a witch that I don’t have time to get into right now. In a normal soap opera, a character going blind would be a huge focus for the show for months. We’d see all the doctor’s visits, they’d be trying out experimental treatments, and the character would go through a lengthy grieving process as they adjust to the loss of their sight.
But I don’t know why I even bother to bring that up anymore. I might as well say, “In a beach party movie, Annette Funicello would be singing about surfboards.” We may have reached the point where comparisons between Dark Shadows and normal soap operas are no longer relevant.
Continue reading Episode 509: Blind Date
“You might as well prepare yourself for an ordeal.”
It’s a tough job, I get that. Police officers on Dark Shadows combine the inadequacy of soap opera cops with the inadequacy of monster movie cops. Police officer characters can do very well, if they stay in their own genres, but when they stray too far from home, they start competing with characters that are automatically way more interesting.
The outbreak of lawlessness that Sheriff George Patterson is currently investigating centers around Adam, the patchwork Frankenstein monster. If they catch him, they’re planning to charge him with being brought to life without a license, which I don’t think is even a misdemeanor.
So you’ve got to feel bad for the Sheriff, unless you forget all about him the moment he’s off the screen, like everybody else does.
Continue reading Episode 505: The Sinking Detective
“Julia — what if he’s some kind of a monster?”
The story so far: Barnabas Collins isn’t a vampire anymore. He got cured, and he wants to stay cured. But the bloodlust is returning, as it usually does, and the witch who originally cursed him keeps giving him dirty looks, so last week, he did something even more reckless than usual. He got his pal Julia to complete the late Dr. Lang’s botched experiments, and try to transfer Barnabas’ life force into the empty shell of the doctor’s patchwork Frankenstein creation.
Obviously, this is a foolproof plan, as these fools have just proved. The experiment ended prematurely, with only part of Barnabas’ life force going into the creature. And now something new and terrible is unleashed upon the world.
I’d like to say that he has his mother’s eyes and his father’s nose, but he was pieced together from scavenged corpses, and it’s hard to trace where all the bits came from with any degree of certainty.
Continue reading Episode 491: The Wonder Years
“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
“I’m just glad to be here.”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thursday’s episode of Dark Shadows was pre-empted this week, so ABC could air football on Thanksgiving afternoon. I want the blog to keep the Monday-to-Friday rhythm of the original broadcast, so today, the normal blog entry is pre-empted by our own Thanksgiving treat.
Today, we’re going to do some time travel, fast-forwarding to the mysterious far-off year of 1991. It’s a Sunday night in January, and NBC is airing the prime-time remake of Dark Shadows. This first episode is a two-hour journey into the unknown, so let’s get started…
Continue reading Time Travel, part 1: Mist Opportunities