“I can see Collinwood — but not the Collinwood of today!”
As we careen toward the conclusion of this rattletrap of a television show, I’ve been peering into David Collins’ crystal ball, which now happens to be in my personal possession for reasons that I’ll tell you about later, and I’ve been looking forward into the future of Dark Shadows, to see what happens to this story, once the story is over. This is the War for Dark Shadows, the battle to determine what this story becomes in the decades ahead.
As we all know, the organizing principle of Dark Shadows is Oh my god, what are we going to do next, the agonized heartcry of a team of writers and producers trying desperately to stay ahead of the audience. The only way to do this is to triangulate based on what the viewers are currently responding to, and then steer towards the next surprise.
Continue reading Episode 1216: Return to Return to Collinwood
“When one deals with Judah Zachery, there is no margin for error!”
“Something else has happened,” Angelique shudders, “something far more terrifying!” Angelique, of course, is something pretty terrifying herself, so whatever’s got her spooked must be top-shelf in the terror department.
Her gypsy companion Laszlo observes, “I’ve never known you to be frightened of anything!” which is why you keep gypsy companions around, for remarks like that.
“Well, I have good reason to be this time. Judah Zachery has returned!”
“Who’s Judah Zachery?” Laszlo asks, and you see what I mean? Super helpful.
“I’ll tell you all about him,” Angelique purrs, with that subtle satisfaction you feel when somebody feeds you the right cue. “And you listen, and listen very carefully, because when one deals with Judah Zachery, there is no margin for error!”
Continue reading Episode 1158: When One Deals with Judah Zachery, There Is No Margin for Error
“I’m sure that book has a name for whatever you are!”
Curtain rises on a dark cemetery, and dark deeds. Furtive grave-disturbers have unearthed a moldy coffin from its resting place, and found a secret journal hidden in the casket.
As they reach for the book, a bolt of lightning sears across the sky with an angry blast. The man looks worried, but the woman chides her companion. “It’s just a storm, that’s all!”
“Is it?” the man asks. “Is it just a storm?”
So that’s where we start today’s episode. That’s step one.
Continue reading Episode 756: I Know You Are But What Am I
“Don’t you ever do that to me, or you’ll find yourself beyond the borderline of death!”
This is how Barnabas’ life is going these days — he walks into the cottage, and finds his ex-wife Angelique standing over Quentin, who’s out cold on the carpet. And Barnabas just sighs, and says, “Is he dead?” in the resigned tone that you use when the puppy’s peed on the rug again.
After all, this is the second time that Quentin’s died, just in the last two weeks. It’s like the Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow, except the aliens are sarcastic women and it all takes place in the same house.
Continue reading Episode 732: Rules of Engagement
“I don’t care about those things that I can’t understand.”
Okay, everybody, please take your seats; Barnabas Collins is looking up.
“Why doesn’t she come to the window?” he says, in thinks. “I must see her one more time before she leaves. One more time!”
Barnabas is trying to avoid Josette, but as usual, he isn’t trying very hard. He knows that if he sees her, he won’t be able to resist biting her and turning her into his vampire bride, and on the whole that’s probably not something that a gentleman ought to do. But if he could just see her One more time!
He’s not good with the portion control, is what I’m saying. It’s not his strong area.
Continue reading Episode 420: The Stalking Dead
“In the tropics, decisions melt like ice.”
When you get down to it, magic is just metaphor. It’s taking a symbol — like a toy soldier — and saying, this toy soldier represents Barnabas. Then you wrap a handkerchief around the soldier’s neck, pull it tight, and see what happens.
Anybody can do that, really, minus the magic part. Your boyfriend is far away, but every night you kiss a picture of him before you go to bed. You get an email from an annoying co-worker, and you roll your eyes and snarl at it, the way you’d like to treat the person if you could get away with it. When someone that you love dies, you light a candle, and leave flowers on the grave — and even if you don’t believe in ghosts or heaven, it comforts you.
But the people who know magic can take that a step further. Angelique isn’t just smacking a toy soldier around. She tricks the universe into believing that the soldier is Barnabas, and when she throttles the toy, Barnabas chokes.
That’s what magic is — you connect the symbol to the real thing that the symbol represents. Then you wish so hard that you punch a hole through reality, grab something on the other side, and pull.
Continue reading Episode 375: Dangerous Liaisons
“Okay, you’re pretty, but we’re not on a bus.”
So then Carolyn rushes over to the Old House, to tell Barnabas what happened in yesterday’s episode. It’s not easy.
Carolyn: Barnabas, I saw it! Hoffman’s notebook!
Carolyn: In her hands. She’d taken it from the clock.
Barnabas: The clock? What clock?
Carolyn: The large clock, in the foyer at Collinwood.
Barnabas: Well, you seized the notebook, of course?
Carolyn: I couldn’t!
Barnabas: Why not?
Carolyn: This lawyer came in.
Barnabas: What lawyer?
I know, right? I feel bad for the guy; he’s only missed one episode, and now he has no idea what she’s talking about.
Continue reading Episode 358: Boy Meets Ghoul