Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: JULY 6


JULY 6, 1966
Taped on this date: Episode 18

With all asleep, David is the tormented master of a sleeping Collinwood. Raging winds outside tear the windows of the great house open and cause them to open and shut violently. Vicki is awakened. Before she can get back to sleep, Roger knocks on the door, wanting to talk. She is to join him down in the drawing room. As Roger waits, David enters and asks if his injuries hurt. He then goes on to apologize. David gathers information on Rogers wounds. He then presses to find out why Roger wishes to speak to Victoria. David knows that Roger theorizes foul play. Things become increasingly contentious between father and son. David blurts out that he wishes Roger were killed, and then runs upstairs. (Well, he almost says it.) David stops off at Victoria’s room, asking her if he can talk. Again, he reports Roger's emotionally abusive behavior. He complains that his attempt at an apology was rebuffed. David is paranoid that he'll be punished. Victoria reminds him that no one is accusing him of anything. He’s the only one accusing himself of anything. But he had nothing to do with it, why is he so upset? There’s no answer, so she suggests that he go to bed. David stays, and again indulges in his paranoia of being sent away. Later, Roger goes through his theories about when his brakes were sabotaged and who the perpetrator might be. He asks her about Burke’s appearance in the garage. Vicki reports seeing Burke there with a wrench. Roger is furious that she never mentioned it to him. Vicki apologizes and asks if she can do anything to make up for it. She begins to reconstruct her meeting with Burke. Roger intends to go to the hotel and wait for him. He will force him to tell him the truth. He needs her to wait nearby. She goes upstairs to ready herself, and catches David perhaps spying on her from the other side of the door. He comes in, and interrogates Victoria about what Roger's plans for retaliation are. Later, David slides a bleeder valve into Roger’s chest of drawers.
This is an especially dense episode, and spare. It features only three actors, which is a rarity for the show. These give it a claustrophobic quality, and it's a study in paranoia and guilt and retribution. Sounds good, yeah? Nevertheless, it's repetitive -- even from past episodes -- and by the end, I'm pretty eager to see David's fear of sent away become a reality. And I like David! Many of the scenes feel like a bizarre Möbius strip. Oh, my. Am I repeating myself? To love a thing means to be able to call shenanigans when it chases its own Inverness. 

(Episode 8 airs on this date.)

JULY 6, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 281

At the seance, an entranced Vicki begins saying that she must run, clearly reliving a tragedy from the past. In her memory, she is being pursued. Her pursuer gets closer and closer. She says she’s running for the cliff. The cliffs are her only escape. She is running to her death. Barnabas stops the seance at its climax. Later, Vicki recovers, and all are amazed that Josette relived her death through her. Carolyn is convinced that Josette is trying to send them a message. Is one of them in danger? Or does it have to do with Maggie… perhaps her killer is near? Ridiculous. Vicki moves to the hallway for air and sees Sarah. No one else sees her. She was wearing a dress they had found earlier. Later at Collinwood, Liz regrets wearing the old clothing. Roger, however, was excited by the paranormal events. Vicki feels that they should have stayed with Barnabas to ferry him out of his mood. Roger is in fine form as he heads to bed, spinning aphorisms right and left. Vicki is ultimately unsure if she saw a little girl. At the Old House, Sarah is folding her dresses, but hearing Barnabas’ footsteps, she vanishes. Barnabas finds the dress and reverently places it back in the trunk. Speaking to Josette’s portrait, he marvels that he had to send her away once again. He realizes that he must live in the present, and that to have her again, he must love someone from the present. He casts all of those from the past away. He then calls on Vicki, stunned to see him. He thanks her for embodying the spirit of the party. She feels that the past and the present can fuse together at moments. He agrees, and says that she seemed to be Josette at one point. He then presents her with the music box as a reward.

An absolute gem. DARK SHADOWS has always been great theatre. The difference between film and theatre is that film is about action and theatre is about consequences. While seances are great fun, they have to end some time, and then what are we left with? In DARK SHADOWS? A goldmine. Vicki is revealed to be a philosopher, speculating on the nature of past, present, and their moments of overlap. Barnabas is galvanized into examining his relationship with the future. And Roger takes genuine delight in the possibilities of the paranormal. This one really allows us to see the characters at their most intimate, and it's not always a matter of self-punishment. The seance opens the possibilities of wonder to them rather than torture. But as marvelous as Moltke and Frid are, Louis Edmonds walks away with it, with a twinkle in his eye that can be seen all the way to Logansport. DARK SHADOWS at it's most thoughtful and finest.

(Episode 269 airs on this date.)

July 6, 1970
Taped on this date: Episode 1056

1970PT. Having put the whammy on Maggie, Angelique commands her to take a gun to Angelique’s room, wait for Quentin, and then shoot him in the heart when he enters. Meanwhile, in the Old House, Claude is unsuccessful at getting Roxanne to speak. Barnabas confronts Angelique with her inevitable death… with a few favors thrown in. She needs to sign a confession and tell him where Julia is. Angelique wants only destruction, and she revels in the fact that Quentin’s time is as limited as hers. Roxanne begins speaking and both Angelique and Maggie collapse, the latter in front of Quentin. Barnabas summons Hamilton, and then fills Quentin in on the truth. Julia can corroborate the details -- if they find her! Hamilton arrives and Barnabas has some explaining to do. Meanwhile, Claude tries to get Roxanne to leave with him, but she wants to stay with Barnabas. Barnabas, meanwhile, advises Hamilton to go see Roxanne to shore up his story. Unfortunately, Claude is forcing her to go on the run with him. As you would expect, the lab at Loomis House is empty. Hamilton doubts everything now. As Maggie wakes, Quentin is there for her. They embrace, forgiving one another. She informs him about the truth of the murder. They decide to start over. Quentin reveals that he hated Angelique rather than loved her. She was a sadistic blackmailer. He didn’t know if he’d killed her. He was tormented until he met Maggie. Hamilton bursts in, saying that he’s going to take Quentin in for the murder of Angelique. Barnabas later relates to Maggie that he hasn’t found Julia, thus, he’s going to look for Roxanne. In his quest, he finds Claude dead. But where’s Roxanne? A friend of mine came over as I was finishing this one, and I couldn't even begin to catch her up. A prelude to the Byzantine storyline of 1840, this wrap-up is marvelously rich. Barnabas is a flaming sword of vengeance with Angelique, saying everything he can't to the Main Time equivalent. And Angelique? She spits it right back in his face. At the same time, Quentin and Maggie reconcile with total commitment and honesty, tweaked by Quentin's admission that he loathed Angelique all along, a marvelous twist that no one sees coming. It finally justifies the odd, bellicose behavior we've endured from QC for months. History buffs take note -- we say farewell to Claude North and Angelique Stokes. It's also the last appearance by the "Beatles" of DARK SHADOWS all together: Frid, Scott, Parker, and Selby. At least until Tim Burton did what he did to all of us. In terms of firsts, we finally hear Roxanne speak, and her dreamy delivery nevertheless rings with intelligence. This was a vital moment for DARK SHADOWS. How could they cast someone to match Scott and Parker? By hiring Donna Wandrey.
(Episode 1051 airs on this date.)

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