Big Finish has released the cover art and full cast for this summer's DARK SHADOWS: BLOOD AND FIRE. Reading the list provoked a roller coaster of emotions, not the least of which is the realization that I've taken David Selby's presence in these things for granted. After the announcement that Joanna Going was joining the party, my greedy imagination kicked into overdrive, concocting a bizarre scenario that might allow for the return of Alexandra Moltke, David Henesy and Kate Jackson. While we're at it, why not raise Jonathan Frid from the dead? Or maybe harness the withering power of Twitter into shaming Johnny Depp into making an apologetic cameo? (Both are about as likely.)
It's that train of thought that lead me to read this cast list, see Selby's name and just shrug. Which is absurd, because Selby is a national treasure and the closest thing to a Frank Capra character that this world will ever see. Taking David Selby for granted is like not thanking Superman for rescuing you from a burning building: Just because he's supposed to do it doesn't mean he has to.
The same goes for the rest of the OG cast members, who are essentially doing these audio dramas as favors to the fans. There's certainly no crass motivation for Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, Nancy Barrett or anyone else to do these things, and lord knows they've had to put up with a lot of weirdness from fans over the years. Fifty of them, in fact.
And crikey*, this cast list is impressive. Back in 1991, I doubt any of us would have predicted a DARK SHADOWS program that included John Karlen, Joanna Going and Mitch Ryan ... yet here it is. And with Matthew Waterhouse, to boot.
Kathryn Leigh Scott (Patience Collins)
Mitchell Ryan (Caleb Collins)
Joanna Going (Laura Murdoch Stockbridge)
Andrew Collins (Joshua Collins)
Daisy Tormé (Abigail Collins)
James Storm (Abraham Harkaway)
Lisa Richards (Euphemia Spencer Stockbridge)
Christopher Pennock (Uriah Spencer Stockbridge)
Marie Wallace (Dorothea Summers)
Nancy Barrett (Isobel Collins)
David Selby (Theodore Collins)
Matthew Waterhouse (Reverend Samuel Cunningham)
Jerry Lacy (Malachi Sands)
John Karlen (Alfred Loomis)
Ursula Burton (Peggy Griffin)
Alexandra Donnachie (Sarah Filmore)
Scott Haran (Lamech Gifford)
Walles Hamonde (Roderick Haskell)
Daniel Collard (Robert Hanley)
Natalie Britton (Storm Elemental)
Dark Shadows: Blood & Fire is scheduled for release in June and is now available online for pre-order.
(Editor's Note: That "crikey" was intended for a reader who sent me a terse e-mail complaining about the use of profanity of this website. I believe the word that troubled him was "asshole.")