Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: MAY 25


May 25, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 248.

Sam insists that he saw Maggie, and Burke believes him. Outside, as Maggie wanders through the fog, a hand grasps her neck. Later, Patterson interviews Sam, who reports that her dress was of another century. Patterson suspects he was drinking, but they’re searching anyway. At the mausoleum, Barnabas ushers Maggie into the secret room, despite her protests. She now shows terror and resistance, and he shows nothing but panicked force. Barnabas attempts to reprogram her. Sometimes it seems to take. Barnabas rescinds his threat to punish so they may return to their house. He sees her holding Sam’s pipe, and Barnabas flies into a rage. She passes out as he carries her into the secret room. She awakens in a coffin as he seals it on her. When Willie opens the coffin some time later, he tells her to do exactly as he says. He leads Maggie into the night and back to her room at the Old House. She thinks of her time in the coffin as a nightmare, but then realizes it was real and becomes inconsolable. Willie tells her to try to become Josette, for her own sake. He even plays the music box. It calms her, temporarily. At Sam’s, Patterson reports no progress. All Patterson found was a dog. Patterson says that it may be his imagination. Burke is inclined to agree. In her room, Maggie plays the music box and begins to repeat that she is Josette Collins. Her reflection, however, reawakens her knowledge that she is Maggie Evans. She tears about the room, stating that she is Maggie Evans.

Up to now, was it clear that Kathryn Leigh Scott was a capable actress? Yes. But this is the point in the show where Maggie is pushed to such extremes that she overwhelms the show in the best way. It’s a performance brimming with powerful authenticity, and decidedly not the kind of acting we expect from daytime drama. This moment has been coming, and it pushes everyone to new extremes. Frid responds with a feral fusion of genuine fury and an angrily broken heart. Most importantly, this was the final day for actor Mitch Ryan as Burke Devlin. Mr. Ryan’s alcoholism in that period was legendary and led to his departure from the show. The good news is that his recovery was relatively swift, and his career rebounded. The sad part, other than it marking a dark period for a good man, is that the show lost a virile, charming, polished, street-tough force that most reminds me of Dan Curtis, himself -- almost Curtis’ surrogate. (The two men shared a resemblance both physically and in force of presence.) Anthony George is a perfectly serviceable actor, but not the primal actor that was and is Mitch Ryan. The show would continue for nearly a thousand episodes after his departure, but the absence is always felt because his presence so firmly established the emotional and moral core of the program.

(Episode 239 airs on this date.)

May 25, 1970
Taped on this date: Episode 248

1970PT. Maggie wanders into Angelique’s room to hear Angelieque’s voice taunting her, comparing them as common versus glamorous. Quentin doesn’t love her, she says. The window flies open and Angelique’s voice enthuses her to jump. Liz tries to stop her, but all Maggie wants to do is die to escape Angelique. Liz talks her down by insisting that jumping would ruin Quentin. Hoffman reports to Angelique that it almost worked. Hoffman reports that Maggie will leave Quentin over his treatment. Angelique needs to realize she has won. Liz shows a shaken Maggie into the drawing room, and Barnabas enters. Maggie relates the events of the night, insisting that Angelique is still with them. Barnabas says she may be more right than she knows. Later, Liz calms her, despite her fatalism. Liz refuses to believe that Angelique has won. In interviewing Hoffman, Barnabas asks why she might own books on witchcraft and promise to return after her death. Hoffman says it was mere metaphor. “Alexis” enters and accuses him of being too much of a romantic. She taunts his thoughts of witchcraft. Barnabas said it would be of interest to her. Such as fire… the one by which she’s sitting. She had said she had an attraction to fire. Aesthetic or more? She says Barnabas is preposterous. Barnabas takes it in stride and excuses himself. Later, Angelique tells Hoffman that Barnabas is nothing to worry about. And they can take care of him if he becomes trouble. In Maggie’s room, Liz and Barnabas comfort her. In Angelique’s room, Barnabas stares into the eyes of the Angelique portrait, demanding the truth. Across the estate, Angelique senses being observed. Her eyes are burning! Barnabas commands her to come closer and closer until she runs into the room, screaming. She knows. And he knows. And she knows that he knows. And he knows that she knows that he knows.

Today is the birthday of the memorably menacing Erica Fitz, who played Leona Eltrich and Danielle Roget. She put in a wicked, strong performance as the evil spirit of Eve.  Her career wasn’t terribly long, but it wasn’t dull. Not only did she welcome Arnold Schwartzenegger to the USA by co-starring with him in HERCULES IN NEW YORK, but she also sexed up the Broadway farce, THERE’S A GIRL IN MY SOUP, co-starting the Third Doctor, himself, Jon Pertwee! There’s a joke about his UNIT in there, but I’ll leave it to you to complete it.

(Episode 1021 airs on this date.)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...