Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: MAY 26


May 26, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 246.

Family attorney Richard Garner visits and is pleased when Liz asks him to finally file for divorce from Paul. She denies that she’s planning on a future marriage when Jason barges in and introduces himself. When Garner leaves, it’s clear that Liz will be marrying Jason whether she likes it or not. Roger glides in later saying that they’re understaffed -- everyone is staying home due to the attacks. Roger relates that the law still has no lead on Maggie. Liz relates that she’s going through with the divorce. Roger is delighted until Jason enters, acting like one of the family and dropping insinuations that he’ll be her next husband. Carolyn asks Vicky to drive into  and town with her, lamenting the disappearance of Maggie. Who will be next? Roger enters the study and reports his suspicions about the upcoming prospective marriage. The three are outraged. Carolyn suspects blackmail. The room in the basement must be the connection. Roger reveals that Liz wears the only key around her neck. Carolyn is determined to get it. In the drawing room, Jason holds the threat of exposing Liz as a murderess over her head. Carolyn enters and asks for the key. Liz refuses. Carolyn will break the door down if need be. Jason tells Carolyn that he can get the key, and Carolyn says that she’ll have him thrown out before then. Jason responds that it may not be so easy.

It’s always a pleasure to see one of the Garners, voices of reason in the early part of the series. This would be his last appearance in that role after representing Roger against Burke and in the investigation of Bill Malloy’s death. Richard Garner (father of Frank, another lawyer) was played by Hugh Franklin, a fascinating man. Not only was he husband to Madeleine L’Engle, a fine speculative fiction writer herself. Franklin was an accomplished Broadway actor, having appeared in numerous plays, including THE DEVILS, although he did not play a bone-brandishing nun.  This is the kind of episode that reminds us how dull the competition was back then with similar potboilers. Thank goodness for the wit and craft of the cast, especially Dennis Patrick, who manages to be the most charming and most threatening character on the show.

(Episode 240 airs on this date.)

May 25, 1969
Taped on this date: Episode 766.

1897. The wolf has been shot! Barnabas attempts to exact revenge on Magda, but is held at bay by the threat of silver bullets. The wolf is only wounded, and they move him to the Old House. For the sake of the children, and the curse that is carried onward, she will do what she can to help. As the cock crows, Barnabas goes to sleep and exacts a promise from Magda that she will explain that they want to help. Barnabas asks for the gun and he finds that a silver bullet is missing. She must have dropped it. Barnabas remains suspicious, although she claims she dropped it while loading it. He assures her that if Quentin dies, Magda will as well. After he retires, the wolf revives and dashes out. Under the sun’s rays, Quentin reverts in the woods. He hears weeping and becomes distraught. The voice continues as Quentin realizes it is the ghost of Dorcas Trilling. He continues to hear her accusations of murder as she appears in his mirror. Quentin reports the appearance to Judith, but orders her out before providing more details. The sun sets and Barnabas rises. He learns that Quentin is still unaware, but Magda reports that she knows a gypsy, who turned Petofi into a wolf, may be able to help… or rather her daughter, Julianka, can help. She was part of the Romana family, and King Johnny is in Boston and would know. She’ll go to Boston, and senses that Barnabas knows the fates of Quentin’s children. Barnabas visits Quentin and explains that he knows the secret and is here to help. Quentin resists, suspecting that Barnabas means some kind of harm. Barnabas insists that his fealty is genuine because Quentin’s survival is key to the survival of his loved ones. He cites possible solutions, and that he is researching more. Barnabas will let him know more when Magda returns. Quentin asks that he kill him if no cure is available. As Barnabas leaves, Judith reports that Jamison is disturbed by a name -- “David Collins.” He awoke from a dream screaming, “David Collins is dead!”

Quentin and Barnabas are half of the way to trust and friendship. The other half will come when Barnabas exposes his own strengths and vulnerabilities. And this is the rug that ties the room together and where DS goes ape. Quentin and Barnabas are teaming up, Magda is contrite, we have the promise of the beautiful and inexplicable Julianka, and hints at King Johnny and Petofi. For viewers who thought that DARK SHADOWS had shown them the fantastic, they were in for a surprise.   Especially interesting was the link between Jamison and David. The point of all of this was to save to David. So, for Barnabas to discover that he’s already a goner? Truly, one of DARK SHADOWS’ most shocking and poignant moments. Those are moments of real horror.

(Episode 761 airs on this date.)

May 25, 1970
Taped on this date: Episode 1027.

1970PT. Angelique, outed, knows that Barnabas is not human. Barnabas demands that she stop her plans against Quentin and Maggie or be destroyed. She says she has powers, as well. He leaves and she calls her father, Stokes, who believes she’s Alexis. She says she has information about Angelique. Upon leaving, Quentin and Barnabas meet, and Quentin reveals he’d never met Alexis before her death. Stokes arrives, with no love for Alexis. She reveals that the experiment was a success. Alexis opened the coffin, and Angelique used her warmth to come back. She needs his help against Barnabas. She thinks he may be from Parallel Time. He expounds on the theory to her. Quentin returns to Maggie, explaining that she was in Angelique’s dress, and that Alexis gave it to her. Quentin wants to start over, but Maggie is unsure how. Stokes is searching Loomis house -- he and Stokes were friends -- and is found by Barnabas. They greet one another, and Stokes introduces himself as the stepfather of Alexis and Angelique. Meanwhile at the lab, Cyrus is distant from Sabrina and she asks if there is someone else. It’s Maggie. She wants advice from Cyrus who says that Quentin may always be stuck on Angelique, and she should look to other men. Cyrus begins to collapse. Maggie leaves and Cyrus transforms before Sabrina’s eyes. He rises as Yaeger. He dresses to go, and forces Sabrina to meet Maggie, who has come back to check on him. Sabrina lies and says that Cyrus is gone. Quentin also enters seeking Cyrus. Quentin insists on waiting. Maggie and Quentin eventually leave. Upon Quentin’s return to Collinwood, he laments to Barnabas about Maggie’s fixation with Angelique. Upstairs, Maggie sleeps, observed by Yaeger.

Finally! An episode where Things Really Happen and the Series is Not the Same Again! We meet a deliciously sleazy Stokes, learn that he’s the mad scientist behind Angelique’s resurrection and Alexis’ sacrifice, hear “Parallel Time” referred to on the other side of the mirror, witness Sabrina finally learning that Cyrus = Yaeger, and see another Angelique/Barnabas standoff with all cards on the table. When a justified Barnabas quietly gloats, it’s a thing of true beauty. Thayer David inaugurates his sixth character on the show, which is a stunning record. He had been gone for 54 days, thanks to HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, although at this time, he was also very busy as an actor in Hollywood, etc. He had just shot an episode of THE WILD WILD WEST and was gearing up to shoot LITTLE BIG MAN. A busy guy. His portly appearance made him seem older than he was. At the time, he was only 43.

(Episode 1022 airs on this date.)

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