Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: MAY 24


May 24, 1967
Taped on this day: Episode 247

Patterson arrives at Sam’s, but he has no news of progress. The official opinion is that Maggie might be dead. Burke arrives and remains optimistic. Sam can’t paint. Has no appetite. Burke needs him to take care of himself. Burke suggests he finish the portrait of Barnabas. At the Old House, Willie tries to dissuade Sam from entering. He does briefly, and leaves his pipe behind… found by Maggie, still hypnotized as Josette. She begins to question her identity with Josette. The brainwashing is wearing off. She fears the very mention of Barnabas’ name. After she flees upstairs, Willie descends into the cellar as Barnabas opens his coffin. Willie reports that Sam entered, and Barnabas grabs him by the throat and warns him that no one may enter. Maggie finds the pipe. Knowing that she is not Josette, she leaves to take the pipe to his owner. At Sam’s, Burke brings Sam a ham and swiss. At the Old House, they realize that Josette is missing. Outside Sam’s, Maggie appears. Sam runs after her, but she’s vanished.

David Ford left the show relatively early, giving us an incomplete appreciation for his acting, but he brought a gritty and intense authenticity to everything he did. To see his range and appreciate his strange charm, this is a great episode to study.  It’s also good for some firsts. Team Curtis keeps taking chances, this time in the form of actually showing Barnabas rising from his coffin in the new set of the cellar.

(Episode 238 airs on this date.)

May 24, 1968
Taped on this day: Episode 504

Carolyn comes to in the root cellar to find the door locked. At Collinwood, Vicky tries to bolster Liz’s optimism. The sheriff calls and explains that Adam’s been arrested. Liz and Vicky go to communicate with Adam, as Carolyn fears that she may starve to death, Adam has the same fears, but is unable to articulate them from his cell to Liz and Vicky. Back at Collinwood, Liz believes that Barnabas is connected… after all, he once left a note saying that they should welcome his nephew, Adam Collins. Cassandra enters and makes a plea for sympathy to Vicky. Later, Vicky tells Liz that she may have been wrong to associate her with Angelique. Liz admits that she has no trust for Cassandra at all. At the jail, the cruel jailer threatens Adam with a gun from within. Enjoying it, he enters the cell.  Adam strikes him down in self defense and flees.

In the realm of broad performances, the jailer may take the cake in all of DARK SHADOWS. If he were any crueler to Adam, he’d be firing a firehose at him, forcing Adam to finally say, “It’s a madhouse… a MADHOUSE!" He was played by Clifford Pellow. Pellow also appeared in THE HUSTLER alongside, Stefan Gierasch,  the needlessly wasted Dr. Woodard in the 1991 DARK SHADOWS revival. (Curtis and co. redeemed themselves by giving him Joshua to play.) He was a highlight of the show, mixing the stern with the satirical in wisely modulated measure.  He gave an authentic performance that really humanized the show. This is also the first and only episode directed by Jack Sullivan. Thereafter, he was credited as Sean Dhu Sullivan. Lastly, Alexandra Moltke returns after a 14 week break to continue not understanding things.

(Episode 500 airs on this date.)

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