Monday, June 6, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: JUNE 6


June 6, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 254

Carolyn responds with predictable fury at Liz’s wedding plans, storming out despite the presence of the Collinwood Strangler. Liz attempts to rationalize her behavior and demonize Carolyn when speaking with Vicky, but it cuts little ice. At the Blue Whale, Jason has Willie in hand, asking why Willie was at the bank. It was a task for Barnabas. Jason saw him selling jewels, but has trouble believing that Barnabas approved of it. Jason then reveals his wedding news. Once Jason is ensconced as the Master of Collinwood, he’ll get the truth and wealth. Carolyn comes in with biker Buzz, a strangely fey street tough. She’s feigning love. Or is she? She wants to dance. He wants to watch, and then mount his hog and blaze into the purple velvet of night. Before they go, Joe intercepts them and sneers at Buzz long enough to get Carolyn’s attention. She tries to comfort him about Maggie, but Joe is a raw nerve. He offers her a beer to get her away from Buzz, but she refuses in order to pursue the biker. At Collinwood, Jason pushes Liz to set a date when Carolyn enters with Buzz in tow, quite shnockered. Jason announces the wedding date as two weeks away. Carolyn, in turn, proposes to Buzz. Even Jason looks disgusted. (Buzz is probably a Protestant or something.)

Al Pacino and Michael "Buzz" Hadge on stage in THE LOCAL STIGMATIC, 1969.
The Buzz Man Cometh for the Second Time.  Yes, it’s the second appearance of one of DARK SHADOWS two most surreal “day player” characters, “Buzz Hackett.”  Buzz is Carolyn’s street-tough paramour, bedecked in a vinyl biker jacket and a wig that I think they recycled for Szandor. What makes Buzz especially ludicrous is the lilting tenor voice of actor Michael Hadge, who is still with us and who celebrates a birthday, today. I am loathe to criticize anything on the production end of DARK SHADOWS. Normally, I’d say that if they’d set the bar any lower for an accurate character depiction, they would have tripped over it on the way from Bob Costello’s office, but there is something so perfectly square about the character of Buzz. There’s absolutely nothing threatening about him; in fact, he’s strangely endearing. This makes Liz’s umbrage all the more riotous. Hadge had come from Broadway, where he played (wait for it) “Batholomew Smuts” in THE IMPOSSIBLE YEARS. As an actor, he also appeared in CARLITO’S WAY and THE SHADOW. Coincidentally, both CARLITO’S WAY and THE SHADOW were produced by Martin Bregman and written by David Koepp.

As a side-note, I’ve started tracking the arguably bland character of Joe Haskell, played by the never bland Joel Crothers. He leaves the show a nervous wreck, and his tightly wound and wounded performance as Maggie’s disappearance lingers is a hint at his future instability.  Yes, anyone would feel like he does, but it forms a tidy pattern, and I do so hate a mess.

June 6, 1968
Taped on this date: Episode 519

Roger, in the wake of Sam’s death, invites Maggie to stay at Collinwood. Liz takes the news in stride, saying that she’ll be next. She’s become obsessed with death, thanks to the spell of Angelique, cursing her with the vision and thoughts of Naomi Collins. Roger goes upstairs to relate the news of Sam’s death, imploring her to be kind to Maggie and then explaining Liz’s strange funk. After he leaves, the ghost of Trask appears behind Angelique, and she senses his presence as she continues her dark workings. Downstairs, Joe enters to check on the sedated Maggie. He’s determined for revenge… and to marry Maggie and leave. Liz bursts in, calling him Lieutenant Forbes. Vicky’s admonishment snaps the spell. Meanwhile, Cassandra asks about Sam’s final words -- “for David’s sake.” But his last words were to Maggie, and Cassandra asks that Vicky tell them to David. Vicky remains suspicious of Cassandra and leaves. Angelique’s entire plan is to frighten David of death. Trask materializes and accuses her of his death and for allowing Vicky’s death as well. She commands him to leave, but Trask’s cross protects him. She passes out at its sight. Angelique awakens tied to a tree as Trask painfully baptizes her. He then performs an exorcism that begins to choke her. She screams and then vanishes.

Today in sadder news, we mark the 2005 death of Dana “Sheriff Patterson” Elcar. He was the kind of man who can be abbreviated as a BAMF. In the best way. A burly Navy man taught by the great Sanford Meisner, he brought senses of both warmth and authority to the character of Sheriff Patterson that kept him individualized whereas he could have been generic. That combination was unique to Elcar, who usually played authority figures of one kind or another. As MacGyver’s boss on, yes, MACGYVER, his real-life glaucoma was famously written into the show, and he continued to appear, despite his blindness. He also did a nude scene in, yes, THE NUDE BOMB, which was an infinitely better movie than the GET SMART remake starring Steve Carell. Not the least of which was because of Elcar’s nude scene.

June 6, 1969
Taped on this date: Episode 775

1897. Judith sits, stunned by Dirk’s bit and under his power. Rachel heads into cellar where she finds Dirk’s empty coffin. Dirk appears from the shadows and bites her. At Collinwood, Barnabas answers Edward’s summons. Edward is convinced evil lurks at Collinwood, and after Barnabas leaves, demands an answer from the empty air, finding vases smashed behind him. Dirk attacks him from behind and renders him unconscious. Dirk goes to Judith and instructs her to leave at dawn, handing her a pistol to use if necessary. Edward comes to as Dirk dematerializes. Edward demands to know who was there, but Judith states that no one was there. In the Old House, Barnabas loads a pistol of his own. Dirk appears with a proposition, using Rachel as a prisoner. He wants Laura back. But Laura’s dead. Dirk doesn’t care. Barnabas has until dawn. Barnabas reaches for the gun, but Dirk reminds him that Rachel will die if his demands are not met. At Collinwood, Edward brings tea for Judith, a woman now missing. In Dirk’s cellar, he tells Rachel that Laura will return from death. As the cock crows, Dirk knows that Barnabas failed. He swears revenge, returning to his coffin. From the darkness, Judith appears, gun in hand, aimed at Rachel.

Although he only appears toward the end, Roger Davis puts in an unusually serious, threatening, and intense performance as the psychopathic vampire, Dirk Wilkins, in this one.

Rounding things out, June 6 is also the date on which Art Wallace delivered the pilot script to Dan Curtis back in 1966. Truly, the beginning and the end of the world. 

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