Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Barnabas + Victoria 4EVR

An interesting piece of original art from Innovation's DARK SHADOWS comic series has gone up for auction on Ebay.

The 20" X 30" painting shows Joanna Going and Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins and Victoria Winters as they appeared in the 1991 "revival" series. I'm a little unclear on the purpose of this artwork, though. Artist Jason Palmer did a lot of work for Innovation, creating the covers for the company's LOST IN SPACE series ... but I don't think he ever worked on DARK SHADOWS. It's possible this art is a rejected cover, was created for promotional purposes, or was a personal commission. (The auction merely says its a "poster art painting.")

The auction ends in three days. You can see the full artwork below.

Via: Ebay

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Lost DARK SHADOWS, 2004

Despite his often ambivalent relationship with DARK SHADOWS, Dan Curtis spent a great deal of time in his later years trying to revive the property. His plans involved potential movies, stage musicals, and the 2004 attempt to restore the program to its most relevant media: Television.

Unfortunately, nobody could ever agree on what a 21st century version of DARK SHADOWS should look like. WB was fully committed to the project, going so far as forcing ANGEL off the air to make room for the series. The network's fear of having two vampire shows competing for the same audience ultimately left them with nothing, because DARK SHADOWS never advanced beyond the pilot episode (and even that was never finished).

The biggest problem with the pilot is that the creative minds behind the project could never agree on a tone. Curtis, The WB and director P.J. Hogan were working at odds to tell very different stories. Curtis pushed for a more serious atmosphere, while WB wanted a show that could sit shoulder-to-shoulder with programs like ROSWELL and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Meanwhile, Hogan was more focused on his feature film career and was reportedly less-than-invested in the pilot. By all accounts, the resulting product was a patchwork of ill-fitting ideas.

Compounding problems was the pilot's audacious (and often wrong-headed) casting. The 2004  pilot has a staggering amount of talent on screen, including Blair Brown, Kelly Hu, Alec Newman and Jessica Chastain (!?) It's impossible to argue that producers didn't secure a world-class bunch of actors, but whether or not any of those actors were right for the roles is debatable. No offense to the other actresses who have played Carolyn Stoddard over the years, but Chastain seems overqualified for the role. Hu would have been the most physical actress to ever play Dr. Hoffman and would likely have redefined the role forever. Matt Czuchry as Willie Loomis, though, seems about as terrible a casting as you can make. And, while I'm a believer that Newman should be allowed to do whatever the hell he wants, I've got a hard time buying him as Barnabas Collins.

Of course, these opinions might all have changed had the pilot been picked up. But we'll never know.

Below is an interview with the pilot's make-up artist Todd McIntosh, who told Fangoria about the behind-the-scenes complications of DARK SHADOWS.

Doug Jones gets into character.
Fangoria #239, January 2005
By Joe Nazarro

For veteran makeup artist Todd McIntosh, working on the new DARK SHADOWS was a childhood dream come true. A devoted fan of the original series, McIntosh, who finished a six-year stint on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER not long ago, was delighted to work on the recent WB pilot, which failed to be picked up for the network’s fall schedule.

“I don’t know what the final reason was that they nixed it,” says McIntosh, who provided FANGORIA with the above never-before-seen photos from the pilot. “The way it was explained to me, almost everyone making the decisions didn’t like the show, but no one could say what they didn’t like. One person wouldn’t like an actor, another person didn’t like this choice or the lighting or whatever, but nobody could come to a cohesive, point-the-finger-at-one-element and say, ‘That’s what’s wrong with it.’ It probably would have been better if they could. If they could have pointed at one actor and say, ‘That guy is ruining this whole pilot; replace him and let’s go!’ they’d have been able to make a decision. But the different factions were looking at it and saying, ‘Well, it’s not right, but I don’t know why. Let’s just not put the energy into it—and besides, it costs $5 million!’”

"Early stage" make-up for Barnabas Collins (Alec Newman).
McIntosh headed up the makeup department, with prosthetics built by Andrew Clements of Creative Characters. Their collaborations included Barnabas Collins (Alec Newman) in varying stages of decomposition as he’s brought back to life, and the equally cadaverous demon (HELLBOY’s Doug Jones) seen in the opening sequence. According to McIntosh, “Victoria Winters (Marley Shelton) is on the train to Collinwood when she falls asleep and has a dream where a kid in a Halloween costume suddenly becomes a monster. It made sense to me that if the kid is in a red devil costume, the monster should be a devil or demon of some kind.

Actress Marley Shelton, director P.J. Hogan and Doug Jones.
“The director (PETER PAN’s P.J. Hogan, below with Shelton and Jones in the demon getup) waffled on this a couple of times, and what he came back with was that the creature she sees in her dream, which gives her a bit of a warning, is some victim of Barnabas from the past. At the same time, we still had to build the corpse of Old Barnabas in the coffin, and to save time and money — we still didn’t have an actor cast for Barnabas at that point — we used Doug Jones for both makeups. We tried to make them look different, but I believe the director held on the train demon a little too long. It should have been just a quick scare, but because we had the same actor in both makeups, there is a bit of a resemblance.”

McIntosh is particularly pleased with his work on Ivana Milicevic, who portrayed the evil Angelique, as well as Shelton as Victoria, whom he turned into a latter-day Tippi Hedren. Sadly, it now appears that a television audience may never see his work. “Maybe they’ll put it out on DVD, it might find a life at DARK SHADOWS conventions, so it’s not dead,” McIntosh muses. “I know they’re shopping it around, but the further away it gets from when it was made, the harder it’s going to be to tie anybody back together again because they’ll be working on other shows. But to be standing there on set, and be able to look in my hand and say, ‘Hey, I’m holding Barnabas’ teeth!’—that was pretty amazing.” Associate producer Jim Pierson has promised “some kind of preview” of the pilot at the upcoming DARK SHADOWS Festival to be held at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY.

Monday, November 23, 2015

I ran home to watch Dark Shadows and lived to tell about it

We've all heard the tales of children "running home from school" to watch DARK SHADOWS.

I've had at least one cast member of the series cast shade on that legend, with good reason. Local affiliates had a lot of flexibility about when (and even if) DARK SHADOWS aired. Scheduling fluctuated wildly, with a few affiliates broadcasting the show in the mornings, with other airing episodes later in the afternoon. While it wasn't a universal truth, the "I ran home to watch Dark Shadows" meme was probably true somewhere, though.

Apparently, there was some concern about the phenomenon creating traffic hazards in San Antonio, Texas, back in 1971. The San Antonio Express once published a regular feature called "And Now a Word from Channel 12," which let readers fire off questions about programming to KSAT-TV staff. At the time, DARK SHADOWS aired at 3 p.m. during the week, but one reader asked why the series couldn't be moved to a time slot better suited for younger viewers.

The station's response is kind of surprising.
"At one time we did delay the program until 3:30 p.m. However, we received several letters and phone calls saying that children were disregarding safety measures in their haste to get home after school for the program."
You can read the full exchange below.

I reject your reality and substitute my own

Frank Schildiner has shared an interesting essay over at that seeks to connect DARK SHADOWS to the work of H.P. Lovecraft. And this relationship is lot more complicated that you think.

Titled "The Great Old Ones and the Collins Family," Schildiner's piece not only attempts to connect the traditional vampires, witches and werewolves of DARK SHADOWS to Lovecraft's alien gods, but also takes numerous additional steps that connects both stories to the greater Wold Newton Family.

For the uninitiated, the Wold Newton Family is an intellectual exercise created by author Philip Jose Farmer in his fictional biographies "Tarzan Alive" and "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life." The concept links hundreds of pulp novels, comic books, radio shows and other media into a single shared universe, using unintended "clues" provided in existing stories. For example, Margo Lane (the adventurer and companion of The Shadow) might very well be the sister of Lois Lane from the SUPERMAN comics.

Schildiner has taken the concept a step further, connecting the works of H.P. Lovecraft to the world of DARK SHADOWS in a framework that also tries to  explain the sometimes conflicting narrative within the gothic soap. DARK SHADOWS makes this an easy pitch: the series' controversial "Leviathans" storyline was inspired directly by Lovecraft's work, though in refrained from directly using any of the author's characters or situations.

Schildiner isn't content to underline these already obvious relationships, though, and has written a ridiculously elaborate narrative that relates Joseph Curwen (of Lovecraft's "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward") to both Nicholas Blair AND Count Petofi, establishes a bloodline connecting Angelique directly to Laura Murdoch/The Phoenix, and suggests an absurd fate for Victoria Winters that involves Marvel Comics' SON OF SATAN.

For real.

Some of it is pretty smart; other elements (such as Angelique's "true" designs on Barnabas Collins) undermine everything we know about the characters in some really awful ways. Schildiner has a deep knowledge of DARK SHADOWS' many storylines, but some of his ideas suggest he doesn't fully understand them. Still, it's worth a read for hardcore fans of the series.

I both love and hate these kinds of experiments. Continuity is the lifeblood of storytelling, but geeks are pretty famous for not knowing when to quit. The Wold Newton Family sometimes feels to me like the fictional equivalent of paranoid schizophrenia. The words "plot" and "conspiracy" are interchangeable, after all, and Wold Newton seeks to make a conspiracy of the written word.

You can read Schildiner's entire essay HERE.

Via: The Official Philip José Farmer Web Page

Friday, November 20, 2015

Barnabas Collins by Patrick Owsley

We interrupt this broadcast to present an adorable piece of art by cartoonist Patrick Owsley.
You get grab a print of this artwork from the artist on Ebay.


This week's #CollinsTweet

Bill Malloy is missing: Has the manager of the Collins Fishing Fleet and Cannery simply gone on a bender, or has he become one of the elite members of the Widows' Hill Club? Tune in this week to find out! Maybe!

#CollinsTweet begins every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on Twitter. If you decide to join us, make sure to include the hashtag #CollinsTweet with your posts during the discussion. If you don't, people won't know you're participating.

Here are the summaries for this week's episodes, courtesy of @barnabaslackey:

Episode 47: Carolyn has a feeling of impending doom, Bill Malloy is suddenly nowhere to be found, and Roger gives Burke Devlin back the Friendship Pen he gave to Carolyn, which oughta learn him. Just a normal night in Collinsport. Still no vampires, though.

Episode 48: The next morning. Still no sign of Bill Malloy. Or of vampires, sorry. Burke Devlin continues to give inappropriate gifts: this time it’s a Home Clairvoyant Kit for The Creepy Little Boy Who Has Everything. Joe Haskell turns up again, if you like that kind of thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Scooby Doo Vs Barnabas Collins: Round 2

Barnabas Collins made a return appearance to SCOOBY DOO when I wasn't paying attention.


The ghost of Elias Kingston, introduced more than 40 years ago during the first season of SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU, showed his familiar face on the first episode of the new series, BE COOL, SCOOBY DOO. If the "ghost" looks a little like Barnabas Collins, it's not a coincidence. Kingston made his debut in a 1969 episode (titled "What the Hex Going On") that was absolutely lousy with references to DARK SHADOWS.

Below are a few images illustrating the episode's many homages to the gothic soap.

BE COOL, SCOOBY DOO should put to bed any doubts that Elias Kingston was based on actor Jonathan Frid. Not only does his return in the new series look more like Frid than ever, the character is significantly more fangy that before. See for yourself at the top of this post.

Here's an episode summary:
In the series premiere episode, Velma’s got an interview at the prestigious Kingston University, the most selective school in the country. The only catch? The dean wants her and the rest of the Scooby gang to figure out why the ghost of Elias Kingston, the school’s founder, is haunting Kingston’s book-filled halls!
The episode (titled "Mystery 101") was broadcast on Oct. 15 on the Cartoon Network, which has graciously made the entire episode available for viewing online. You can watch a clip from the episode below, or catch the entire thing online HERE.

Via: Cartoon Network

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLUST is in the running for BBC award

UPDATE: To celebrate the BBC nomination, Big Finish has launched a sale on DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLUST. For a limited time you can grab both volumes of the series on six CDs for $45.59. The digital download of the complete series is on sale for $30.

Follow THIS LINK for details.


Original post:

Well, this is exciting: DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLUST has received a nomination in the 2016 BBC Audio Drama Awards!

The 13-part serial has been nominated for "Best Online Only Audio Drama" in this year's awards. The DARK SHADOWS release is competing against HOOD: KING’S COMMAND (Spiteful Puppet Entertainment), SURVIVORS: THE HUNTED (Big Finish), THE JUDGEMENT OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Big Finish), THE KINDNESS OF TIME (Rosie Boulton) and THE OMEGA FACTOR: THE OLD GODS (Big Finish).

You can find the shortlist for this year's awards HERE.

DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLUST was written by Alan Flanagan, Will Howells and Joseph Lidster, and directed by Ursula Burton and David Darlington.

Via: BBC

That other time Ben Cross played a vampire

Vampire stories are derivative by nature. While the line might be a little wobbly, the distance between John Polidori's 1819 story "The Vampire" and HBO's TRUE BLOOD is not a great as we like to think. When you prune the decorative foliage from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire," Marvel's "Tomb of Dracula" and DARK SHADOWS, you'll usually find the same tale of predatory romance lurking just beneath the surface.

So the idea of accusing a vampire story of ripping off anything feels a little wrong ... especially when you're talking about something as pastiche driven as DARK SHADOWS.  But it's hard to discount the weird similarities between that show and the 1989 TV movie,  NIGHTLIFE. Here's the summary that was floated to regional TV guides prior to its debut in August that year:
"A newly resurrected vampire attempts to adjust to the modern world while being torn between the hematologist who wants to cure her and her undead lover."
It sounds a bit like a gender-swapped version of HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, doesn't it? Curiously, the movie's anti-heroine (played by Maryam d'Abo) is named "Angelique." And her undead lover "Vlad" was played none other than Ben Cross ... who'd go on to play  "Barnabas Collins" in the DARK SHADOWS revival just two years later. Some of these similarities are just matters of serendipity; others, I'm sure, are by design. You can probably figure out which is which.

If you're curious about NIGHTLIFE, there's a pirated version of the film currently streaming on YouTube. Embedding has been disabled on the video, but you can find the entire film HERE.

Spend Black Friday in Collinsport


On Black Friday, I’m gonna party like it’s 1991.

Okay, I apologize for that. I don’t even like Prince. Starting with such a line is part of the ritual, and now that it’s out of the way, I want to talk about why I’m watching all of the 1991 Dark Shadows in a day.

(Oh, and to get something else out of the way, “blame the Gulf War, blah, blah, blah.…”)

I had no contact with Dark Shadows fandom until 2012, when I watched “The Twelve Twenty-Five” (meaning all 1,225 episodes) in 45 days. As fandoms go, there are few more dedicated, passionate, and firm in opinions. And the legend I heard was that many fans were not fond of the 1991 series. I heard legends that Festivals tried to include some 1991ian involvement, and that did not, um, go well. Maybe it’s apocryphal.

Anyway, this surprised me.

Was it just me, or did they cast the 1991 show and start filming nearly a year before? I feel like I saw the first picture of Ben Cross as Barnabas in 1990, as I was graduating high school. If so, that was a significant picture, because I felt like I was seeing “my Barnabas.” Coming from the paradigm (finally) set by Star Trek: The Next Generation (as well as, more importantly, Love Boat: The Next Wave), I now looked at the major franchises a bit like comic books or James Bond. They’d always be around. They’d be freshened by necessity. The only question was if they’d maintain continuity or be remakes.

I’d always hoped for a “new” Dark Shadows. Given that Mr. Frid didn’t seem very interested, a remake was the most I could hope for. When it was announced as a big budget, nighttime production by the Wouk-powered Dan Curtis on ratings titan NBC, it seemed that I’d finally be able to show people Dark Shadows and have them “get it.” This was the age of Twin Peaks, which might have made it possible. Between that and STTNG, I suspect that NBC was more than willing. They saw what I still see: Dark Shadows is the untapped Star Trek of horror. It’s a potentially expansive universe starting with a core cast of characters and central location. This was the best way to see that happen, I thought.

I remember liking it. And I also remember reluctantly acknowledging that the changes were made to appease 1990 audiences. I dealt with it. Would I have done things differently? Sure. And I may go into those things. But at its essence, is it Dark Shadows? Yes. Wrongdoings, regret, and ramifications abound. What it never had the chance to explore was atonement and forgiveness. I think it handled “1791” with a respectable tightness, and it played well with the whole Josette Doppleganger thing, making it dramatically pertinent to our audience surrogate. The most important change was that of Barnabas. He’s a bit too comfortable twirling his metaphorical mustache, a bit too confident in lying, and a bit too oily in romancin’ the gals. Jonathan Frid specialized in putting a barely concealed terror behind everything Barnabas did. Meaning that Barnabas felt a barely concealed terror. When he’d proclaim a plan would work, it always sounded like he were trying to convince himself. Ben Cross had a strength and confidence that was very different. Yet I bought it as a viable interpretation of the text. Will I now? I’m not sure.

I’ve watched it a few times over the years. Usually, to bring new girlfriends into the Collinsport fold. But this is the first time since I pretty much chucked all fandoms over to have no other franchise before Dark Shadows. I just hope they solved the day-for-night issues. Even if they didn’t, I’ll shut up and deal. We’re Dark Shadows fans. It’s what we do.

It’s worth it.

(Editor's Note: You can find a schedule for the day's events HERE.)

Patrick McCray is a comic book author residing in Knoxville, Tenn., where he's been a drama coach and general nuisance since 1997. He has a MFA in Directing and worked at Revolutionary Comics and on the early days of BABYLON 5, and is a frequent contributor to The Collinsport Historical Society. You can find him at The Collins Foundation.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Jerry Lacy kicks ass, takes names in AUGUST T. HARRISON

THE  LAST CASE AUGUST T. HARRISON, a short feature starring Jerry Lacy, is now available on Vimeo. The film stars Lacy (who played many members of the wicked Trask family on DARK SHADOWS) in the title role, a private investigator looking into a missing persons case. Here's the official summary:
"Set in and around Venice Beach, California - August T. Harrison, private eye, comes out of retirement to solve what seems at first to be a bizarre missing persons case, but as he digs deeper, he finds himself caught in the middle of a dark conspiracy involving the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Are Lovecraft's tales just fiction? Or do they hold the secrets of the cosmos?"
THE  LAST CASE AUGUST T. HARRISON is available to rent from Vimeo. You can watch a trailer for the film below.

THE LAST CASE OF AUGUST T. HARRISON from Hollinsworth Productions on Vimeo.

A visual guide to Big Finish's DARK SHADOWS tales

DARK SHADOWS is an intimidating, lumbering beast. The original series has more than a thousand episodes, all of which have serve as a foundation for comic books, novels, television "revivals," three feature films and more than 50 audio dramas. I imagine many people never sample DARK SHADOWS because they simply don't know where to start.

This mindset has probably even kept a few devoted DARK SHADOWS fans away from Big Finish's audio dramas, which have generated a gravity of their own during the last decade. It was pretty easy to keep up in the early days: the new installments were (generally) set after the end of the television show, creating a tidy continuity. But the series' rambling timeline eventually led to writers exploring the deeper pockets of Collinsport, creating a narrative that straddles several centuries.

But it looks more confusing than it actually is.

Jumping onto a serialized story — whether it's a Spider-Man comic, a post-modern soap like PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, or DARK SHADOWS — is a lot like arriving at a party: You're dropped into the middle of several on-going conversations, many involving people you don't know. Some guests have lengthy (possibly even troubled) relationships, while others are complete strangers. I could probably elaborate more on this metaphor, but I just remembered that I hate parties. (But you probably see my point.)

A user at the Divergent Universe forums has shared a growing timeline of DARK SHADOWS audio dramas that puts the entire series in chronological order. I've used this timeline to build an infographic for Big Finish's many release, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

WARNING: It's a HUGE file.

A few notes before you start exploring it:

Big Finish's timeline has always been intentionally loose. Many of the episodes set after the end of the original series are listed only as "1973." This doesn't automatically mean these stories all take place during the same 12-month period ... just that they take place in the years following the show's cancellation.

The same goes for the episodes set in "1983." Some of the early Big Finish stories were set in the early 1980s, with later episodes implying a progression of time. A great many are slugged "1983," but there's no reason to think they all take place during the same year OCTOPUSSY was released.

Regardless, the writers take these complicated backstories into consideration when creating each new story. It's been a driving concern from the very beginning not to alienate new fans, so it's safe to dive into the DARK SHADOWS line pretty much anywhere.

Below, you can find the first draft of the visual timeline to Big Finish's DARK SHADOWS tales. Click the image for a closer view.

Watch the DARK SHADOWS revival with us!

Patrick McCray will be haunting Twitter on Friday, Nov. 27, bringing his latest DARK SHADOWS EXPERIMENT to the masses. (Editor's Note: You can read Patrick's introduction HERE.)

In the past, he's mainlined the entire original DARK SHADOWS television in increasingly shorter time spans, coming up with some fascinating takes on the series (my favorite is that Angelique is the true protagonist of the series, thanks to her driving involvement in every major conflict in Collinsport over the course of several centuries).

This month's experiment is a bit more modest: Patrick is watching all 12 episodes of the 1991 DARK SHADOWS "revival" series on Friday, Nov. 27. Beginning at noon, he'll be tweeting about the show and has invited you to join him.

Unlike the recent "binge" on the Decades Channel, there's no accompanying broadcast of DARK SHADOWS to help everyone participate. Patrick will be using DVDs, but Hulu has all 12 episodes currently streaming. The first three episodes are available for free, but a subscription is needed to access the remaining nine episodes.

The event kicks off at noon EST on Nov. 27 with the "pilot." I'll be posting hourly reminders throughout the day as we begin each new episode. Join us on Twitter to talk about the series. And don't forget to use the hashtag #DarkShadows on all of your tweets, otherwise we won't see them!

You can follow Patrick on Twitter @TheRealMcCray

Here's an episode schedule for Nov. 27:

Episode One: Convinced of an old Collins family legend of buried treasure, Handyman Willie Loomis accidentally releases vampire Barnabas Collins from his tomb. Barnabas introduces himself as a distant relative from England and begins to romance Victoria Winters, the new governess at Collinwood Manor. At the same time, the town of Collinsport is being upset by a series of deadly attacks.

1 p.m.
Episode Two: After being bitten by Barnabas, Daphne Collins dies and rises a vampire. Dr. Julia Hoffman discovers Barnabas's secret and offers to cure him of his curse.

2 p.m.
Episode Three: Dr. Julia Hoffman experiments to cure Barnabas of his vampirism. Professor Michael Woodard attempts to uncover the identity of the vampire.

3 p.m.
Episode Four: The ghost of Sarah Collins leads Victoria to her diary. An evil apparition of Angelique (nemesis from the past) begins to haunt Barnabas.

4 p.m.
Episode Five: Learning of Barnabas’ affection for Victoria, a jealous Dr. Hoffman decides to sabotage the progress of the cure for Barnabas.

5 p.m.
Episode Six: When a séance is held to contact the spirit of Sara, Victoria mysteriously vanishes. In her place appears a stranger from 1790.

6 p.m.
Episode Seven: Transported to the year 1790, Victoria meets the residents of Collinwood and becomes a tutor for Daniel and Sara Collins. Abigail Collins suspects Victoria of sorcery.

7 p.m.
Episode Eight: A jealous Angelique uses witchcraft to prevent the marriage of Barnabas and Josette Du Pres. A deadly duel ensues.

8 p.m.
Episode Nine: Josette Du Pres accuses Barnabas Collins of killing her true love. Abigail Collins enlists the aid of Reverend Trask to have Victoria Winters jailed for witchcraft.

9 p.m.
Episode Ten: The Collins Family mourns the apparent death of Barnabas as they move into the new Collinwood mansion. Barnabas rises as vampire.

10 p.m.
Episode Eleven: Victoria’s witchcraft trial begins. Angelique’s spirit seeks to prevent Barnabas from making Josette his vampire bride.

11 p.m.
Episode Twelve: Barnabas’ vampirism is discovered. Peter Bradford attempts to save Victoria from being hanged as a witch.

Friday, November 13, 2015

This week's #CollinsTweet

Bill Malloy, the troubled manager of the Collins Fishing Fleet and Cannery, moves ever-so-slowly toward his doom during this weekend's #CollinsTweet event.

#CollinsTweet begins every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on Twitter. If you decide to join us, make sure to include the hashtag #CollinsTweet with your posts during the discussion. If you don't, people won't know you're participating.

Here are the summaries for this week's episodes, courtesy of @barnabaslackey:

Episode 45: Still no vampires. Bill Malloy continues to threaten to tell what he knows and doesn’t. Roger plays darts. Carolyn brushes up on family history. It’s just one thing after another with these people.

Episode 46: Still no vampires. The final showdown between Burke and Roger looks like it’s preparing to get ready to take steps to be about to happen sometime. David may have a talent for something besides sabotaging cars, while Roger has a talent for calling the kettle black. BONUS: The series title gets a namecheck!

Brandy snifter sold separately

This custom-made "Roger Collins" costume, based on a design worn by actor Johnny Lee Miller in Tim Burton's DARK SHADOWS film, might be the most unnecessary product occupying bandwidth on the Internet today.

I'll take two, please.

Via: AliExpress

Thursday, November 12, 2015

David Selby is "indecently handsome" in THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE

"There is no such thing as time. There's only space, physical space and it is space which measure distance which we in our ignorance and folly insist are points in time. All time is one point, one moment, it is ever existent and ever accessible and it is physical space that can be used to make all four easily accessible."
Those were the words of Quentin Collins, written in his journal in 1840 and read by Dr. Julia Hoffman on the episode of DARK SHADOWS broadcast Aug. 21, 1970. For some of the viewers of WNHC-TV in the greater New Haven, Connecticut, area, it was the first time they got to see actor David Selby in the comforts of their own homes.

They were advised as week earlier in the pages of The Bridgeport Post that the "continuing suspense series" was being added to the WNHC weekday program schedule. If the timing seems rather odd, the print announcement was even odder: it includes a blurb about Selby's concurrent presence on THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE at that year's American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford.

The newspaper notice ended by telling readers that DARK SHADOWS was replacing a program called STUMP THE STARS.

Anyone hoping to see Selby on the Aug. 17 WNHC debut was in for a disappointment, though. The actor was not only absent from that episode, he wouldn't return to the show until the week's final episode.

Less than a year later, DARK SHADOWS would be cancelled. Here endeth the lesson on the importance of timing.

THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE is an 1897 play by George Bernard Shaw. Set in New Hampshire during the time of the American Revolution, the play tells the story of a smuggler (and self-styled "devil's disciple) named Richard Dudgeon. A case of mistaken identity leads to Dudgeon's arrest by the British, which prompts the rogue to make an unlikely decision: Dudgeon refuses to save his own life (and condemn another to death) by correcting the solders' error.

“I’ve been werewolf, Abraham Lincoln and now Dick Dudgeon — it's about as unlikely as a double-bill of ‘Dracula’ and ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy,’” Selby told a reporter that summer. "It’s a wonderful chance to be working with people who are right here making theatrical history.”

Among those people were director Cyril Ritchard (who directed ROAR LIKE A DOVE with Jonathan Frid in 1964), THE WIZARD OF OZ's Margaret Hamilton as Dudgeon's puritanical mother, and actress Jill Clayburgh.

"Dick himself comes across with all the brio one could ask for, thanks to David Selby," wrote Caldwell Titcomb in the July 10, 1970, edition of The Harvard Crimson. "He is properly imprudent, a maelstrom of activity; and he is young and indecently handsome, as befits the romantic hero of a melodrama."

"Lastly, there is David Selby, TV's erstwhile Quentin Collins of DARK SHADOWS fame," wrote Raymond K. Bordner for The Day, a newspaper in Now London, Connecticut. "Selby brings to the role of Dick Dudgeon, the devil's disciple, a swashbuckling, devil-may-care worthy of Erroll Flynn himself. I liked it. I liked it very much. He is fresh, brash and immediately appealing."

Below are color photos from the production.

Via: The New York Public Library
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