Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: JULY 5


JULY 5, 1966
Taped on this date: Episode 17 

David sleeps fitfully. In his dreams, he protests that he didn’t. Didn’t what? He tries to jump from the window, but Liz stops him. He yells for help, and jumps back into his bed. He repeats that he didn’t kill him! Or, he “didn’t mean to kill him.” At the medical office of Dr. Reeves, Bill Malloy has arrived to pick up Roger. Malloy asks for the doctor keep Roger another half hour so that he can check out the accident site one more time. Meanwhile, Roger dresses, but is somewhat disturbed that Bill Malloy is going to be a while. It’s there that Roger finds out that his brakes were not in perfect working order. The brakes were operating fine until he made his way halfway down the hill. Malloy apparently found him at the site of the accident. The very same place where Burke had his accident, 10 years before. At Collinwood, David has fully awakened and wants to know what he said in his dream. Liz comforts him that it was nothing. Malloy arrives back to pick up Roger. The doctor notes that Roger becomes agitated whenever Burke Devlin is mentioned. Along with Roger, Malloy says that he is certain and that foul play was involved. He reveals that the bleeder valve was missing from the master brake cylinder. We will share this chain of words a lot. It still won’t make any more sense after the hundredth time. Roger is convinced that it’s Burke. He intends to go to Burke even without evidence. Later it, Liz tells David about the bravery of Isaac Collins, crossing the ocean to come to America. David is more concerned as to whether or not a car is coming. He asks if Elizabeth hated her father, which she didn’t, and how she felt when he died. She reassures them that everything will turn out all right.• Roger arrives back at Collinwood, but David does not want to see him. In the foyer, Roger tells Bill not to inform Liz about the valve. Then, as he is wont to do, Roger immediately begins pouring drinks. He closes the drawing room door, and David immediately begins to eavesdrop. Liz asks if Burke had anything to do with it. Roger asks why. She tells him that Burke was in the garage earlier that evening. Roger plays it cool, and tries to dismiss Liz. She leaves, speaking with Bill. Alone, Roger asks the portrait of Isaac what he would do if he were the victim of attempted murder. Malloy reenters, and Roger says that he intends to speak to Vicki about Burke’s nocturnal visit. Bill tells them to wait until morning. David, as always, is listening.
Dr. Reeves comes to us by way of actor Fred Stewart. I guess Dr. Reeves is what Collinsport got by on before Dr. Woodard came along. Not only did Stewart have a robust Broadway career, appearing in the original productions of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and, with inevitable irony, THE CRUCIBLE, but he also made the rounds in Hollywood as well. The credit that jumped out at me the most was his appearance in the Peter Sellers film, THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT. In that, he appeared with Peter Turgeon, who played the last incarnation of Dave Woodard. While the notable things about this episode is that we finally see Bill Malloy come into his own as the resident problem solver and guardian for the family. He has a stubborn blend of Liz’s New England backbone and Roger’s realpolitik, and is really going to be your last line of defense if you have someone like Burke Devlin sleazing around.

(Episode 7 airs on this date.)

JULY 5, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 277

Willie greets Barnabas in Josette’s room and reports that there is no suspicion about Jason. Willie is disturbed, but Barnabas assures him that it is in the past.  It is also made it known that what happened to  Devlin could happen to Willie. Or so Barnabas intimates. Barnabas has been thinking about the future and his plans. He tells Willie that Josette’s room will be occupied very soon. This time, it will be different. The new woman will come of her own free will. And Willie will be punished if uncooperative. The house must become a more inviting place. He will invite the Collins family in for a gathering. A dinner party? Too formal. He needs a party to dedicate the house. But there must be another element. Seeing Josette’s dress, he decides that it should be a costume party. They will relive a moment from the 1790s. At Collinwood, Roger finds lives going to the company accounts. It’s his way of asking her to come down to the office. She has no reason to stay shut in. She needs to see the additions and improvements at the cannery. Liz agrees. Roger is thrilled. However, he still wants to know where Jason McGuire is. After all, his clothes are still at Collinwood. Why didn’t he take them? Even his razor is still there. He didn’t leave by bus or train. In fact, no one saw him leave town. Barnabas arrives at Collinwood and meets Vicki. He boasts that he has been redesigned to live without the sun. They enter the house, and Barnabas speaks of his training in philosophy. He has many rare volumes that he is willing to share with Vicki. He has many plans for the future, and wishes to include Vicky. But between now and then, he needs to speak to Mrs. Stoddard and Roger. They receive him. He announces the party. It’s that Friday night, and Vicki and Roger are thrilled. Barnabas has all of the clothing, which is vintage. Liz however declined the invitation. Later, Roger works to persuade her. He eventually wears her down. She tells part of us that she accepts. Barnabas begins assigning roles. Roger will be Joshua. Elizabeth will be Naomi. And Vicki will be Josette.

It’s fun to watch Barnabas hatch a wacky scheme, and this is one straight out of a sitcom. Willie Loomis finally joins the land of reality by trying to advise Barnabas, politely, of the ludicrousness of his plan. It could be argued that the episode chases its tail by having Liz refuse to go to the party just so that Roger can convince her otherwise, but the show is in no hurry, and neither are we. It’s the kind of gesture in storytelling that gives the show a truthfulness. Sometimes people are stubborn. Sometimes they have to be talked into something. That’s part of life. And people say DARK SHADOWS isn’t realistic. Another note about the changing nature of storytelling on the show. This is the first episode in which Victoria Winters narrates it from a third person point of view. Alexandra Moltke was no dummy. I wonder how that day went. The trademark of “my name is Victoria Winters,” was something uniquely hers, and really represented her status on the series. This makes for an interesting seachange.

(Episode 268 airs on this date.)

July 5, 1968
Taped on this date: Episode 538

Stokes has brought Julia to Adam, and she confirms that he is dead. But how? Julia is coy. She becomes alarmed when Stokes mentions that Adam was crying out for Barnabas. She’s curious about the time of his death, and that make Stokes suspicious. However, just as mysteriously Adam revives. He acts as if he is suffocating in the coffin. Understandably, Julia excuses herself quickly. She knows that Barnabas is suffocating as well. Stokes overhears her say that she has buried him alive. The two are symbiotic. Stokes is full of questions, but Julia is understandably evasive. They realize their time is limited, and go to liberate Barnabas. By Stokes’s estimate, they have 25 minutes. The Stokes office and paths, dysentery and Barnabas, he asks questions that Julia cannot answer. She just stands around as he shovels and shovels. Meanwhile, Adam writhes in tandem with the suffocating Barnabas. They finally pop Barnabas out of the coffin, and Julie insists on being alone with the body. Stokes truly puts up with a lot, I have to say. For the time being, Carolyn can’t find a pulse on Adam. Stokes keeps asking questions of Julia, and she manages to get rid of him by saying that she will check on Adam once she has seemed to Barnabas. Both men start breathing at once. Adam awakens, remembering nothing except that he wants to leave. But the one thing Adam is certain of is that he does not want to be examined by Julia. Stokes is flummoxed, and this disturbs as much as anything. Adam tries to leave, but Carolyn persuades him to stay. In fact, she can successfully hide him in the West Wing of Collinwood. Stokes objects, knowing that Barnabas will come looking for him there. Carolyn doesn’t know why, and neither does Stokes. But he knows that it is the case. Revived, Barnabas is worried that he is still a vampire. He might change at any moment, or the oncoming sunrise may destroy him. She proves his humanity by proffering a mirror for him to gaze into. When he sees his own reflection, he realizes that he is free. Angelique’s curse did not work because Adam lives. Julia relates Adam’s near death, and explains that Stokes may have questions. Barnabas realizes that he must make amends with Adam. Julia returns to the root cellar and Stokes reports that Adam no longer needs her services. He lies, and claims that Adam has escaped. Later, Cassandra paces in the terrace garden, observed by Barnabas. He gloats at her pensiveness. Unable to resist, he reveals himself. He is resplendent in his survival. For a character who is no dummy, Prof. Stokes really puts up with a lot of mysteries that are put politely out of his reach due to circumstance and urgency. It’s to his credit that he soldiers on anyway. The end of the episode features one of Angelique’s great moments of defeat. The dream curse is finally undone, and Barnabas has a wonderful reason to gloat. He does so with relish, and it certainly is one of his most delicious victories over the witch. Science, even ridiculous science, can triumph over black magic in the world of DARK SHADOWS, and don’t forget it! 

(Episode 529 airs on this date.)

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