Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: JULY 7


JULY 7, 1966
Taped on this date: Episode 19

Unable to sleep, Liz paces the drawing room. Bill Malloy calls. Carolyn left the Blue Whale with Burke, a fact that induces panic. Where did they go? Malloy is on the case. The Blue Whale is empty, save Sam Evans, who is greeted by Malloy merrily. Bill says that he’s looking for Burke and Carolyn, together or separately. Sam says he hasn’t seen them. At the Inn, Carolyn and Joe enter for dinner, with Joe nagging about her fawning over Burke. Back at the Blue Whale, Sam pursues details on Burke’s visit. Over at the Inn, Joe feels constantly jealous. Always waiting for Carolyn to come back after another adventure. She counters that she has to live her life her own way. Later, Malloy calls, reporting that Carolyn is headed home. Back at the table, Sam admits that he wishes Burke had never come back. Joe and Carolyn arrive at Collinwood, and Liz asks to speak with Joe privately. She interrogates him about Carolyn's interaction with Burke. Liz insists that Burke was almost a murderer. Carolyn comes down and says that Roger is gone. Did he go to confront Devlin? Liz informs Carolyn about the accident, but she doesn’t believe that Burke was involved. Why would Burke want to kill Roger? Ten years ago, Burke was imprisoned for manslaughter, and Roger was a key witness. Burke swore revenge. Is that all coming true?
The past catches up with DARK SHADOWS as we’re finally let in on what’s motivating Burke. In the midst of the ambiguity, Sam Evans remains the most unclear of all. He’s a mercurial chap, both friend and enemy -- exactly what one would expect from a seasoned and embittered rumpot. He’s probably the most profound collateral damage from the accident. (Well, not counting the person who actually died.) Roger is a welded drum of denial. Burke is transparently bound for revenge. Sam, though, is the weary keystone between them. It’s not a question of if he’ll collapse; it’s a question of when.
(Episode 9 airs on this date.)

JULY 7, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 282

At Windcliff, Julia asks Maggie to focus on sense memories. She remembers cold… and music. A tinkling sound in the distance. Dissolve to: Vicki enjoying the music box. Liz enters and says that there may be too much Josette present. Liz warns her about her imagination running away with her. Back in Maggie’s session, Julia gets Maggie to refine the details of her music. The music frightens her. Then she recalls a sweetness in the air. Not a flower. But she doesn’t like it. She seems faces… forms. They are cold and hard, like stone. A gravestone? She affirms that she’s in a cemetery. At the Old House, Vicki returns the dress. She checks in with Willie on Barnabas’ mood. He seemed upset at the party. Vicki beats herself up for causing it. Willie is stunned to hear that he gave her Josette’s music box. She is identifying more and more with Josette. She’s struck by the fact that tomorrow is Josette’s birthday; the day she received the box. This makes her feel even closer. Vicki goes home to ask Liz if she could put flowers on her grave. Liz feels that Vicki is losing touch with reality. At the same time, Maggie is getting in touch with reality, and it frightens her. Julia wants to take her to the cemetery, but Maggie is terrified of the thought. It’s about time. The supernatural has spread to Victoria, but instead of it being a dreaded thing, it finally gives her a sense of identity and purpose. I think Liz’s dislike of the paranormal path that’s diverting Victoria is that it’s finally giving her the sense of belonging that Liz was too scared to provide. And Maggie’s going to a graveyard, to boot! DARK SHADOWS is an expert in keeping us entertained while ensuring that the plot never actually advances. In this case, we’re really getting somewhere. The trick to the show is to never be in too much of a hurry. We spend so much time anticipating a story’s destination that we forget that the trip is the point. 

(Episode 270 airs on this date.)

July 7, 1969
Taped on this date: Episode 796

1897. Aristede and Angelique meet in the woods. He wants the hand and to tell her about her betrothed… Quentin Collins: a man with only thirty minutes to live. He savors holding the facts over her. If he gets the hand, Quentin lives. Meanwhile, the pendulum moves ever lower. In the Old House, Julianka says that she knows the secret to cure Quentin. But he must be summoned. Barnabas is to find Quentin immediately while she gathers herbs. Back at the pendulum, Aristede gloats over Quentin. Later, Angelique tells Barnabas of Aristede’s threat. They must give him the hand to save Quentin’s life. Why not control Aristede? She says an amulet protects him. Barnabas sends her to the woods to keep her meeting with him. Since the medallion isn’t in the form of a cross, he may be triumphant over the foppish fiend. Barnabas is almost Quixotic in his fight for Quentin, Chris Jennings, and David. In the woods, Angelique again meets Aristede. She asks for more time to get the hand, but he says she’s powerless. She runs away shortly before Barnabas’ voice calls out from all points with supernatural resonance. Barnabas appears! Barnabas commands him to meet his gaze. He is to go to Quentin as Barnabas follows. They arrive at an old building, but where is Quentin? Aristede begins laughing. He tricked Barnabas! Barnabas seizes him and Aristede tells him that Quentin’s body can be found at the abandoned mill at Sutter’s Creek. Aristede is happy to share the news because there’s no way he can get there in time. Well, Barnabas gets there in time and frees Quentin. At the Old House, Julianka begins the ritual as Quentin enters. She must find a root to complete the ceremony. She leaves… for too long. They only have ten minutes left. Barnabas leaves Quentin with Angelique and goes to look. In the woods, Barnabas finds Julianka collapsed with a strange glyph on her forehead. DARK SHADOWS at its most rollicking! I would argue that this puts Barnabas in the mold of the great heroes of Sixties television, but that doesn’t give him nearly enough credit. He’s a philosopher as well as a warrior, well aware that heroic risk is at once a choice and an imperative. When Angelique suggests that they simply knuckle under, with no elaborate schemes to retaliate, Barnabas straightens his back and rises a mile. He reminds her that he is a man on a mission for something larger than himself. As a man who loves elaborate, wacky schemes, this just makes me smile. And what a backdrop. Bladed pendulums. Haunted hands. Gypsy mythology. Magical amulets. Vanishing vampires. And Julianka! Even with nineteen hours to burn, I’m not certain that Dan packed as much into WAR AND REMEMBRANCE. 
(Episode 791 airs on this date.)

July 7, 1970
Taped on this date: Episode 1057

1970PT. Barnabas visits Stokes at his home. Hamilton is on his way, to ask about the murder of Claude North. Stokes killed him to get Roxanne, so where is she? Hamilton appears. He excuses Barnabas. Stokes takes him into his “lab,” which is full of junked furniture. Stokes blames his daughter’s death on a bad heart. When Hamilton mentions the upcoming autopsy, Stokes becomes frightened. In Angelique’s room, Barnabas goes through the blueprints of Collinwood for the secret room in which she might be held. Meanwhile, Julia becomes despondent. Up in Angelique’s room, Barnabas tells Hamilton that Angelique’s body should never go back to Stokes, who will revive her. He must find both Julia and Roxanne to provide the evidence needed. In a cottage, Roxanne dresses and is visited by Stokes, who claims that the police are looking for her. She emerges. In their discussion, Stokes reveals that Claude is dead, and tries to frame Barnabas. He captivates her with hypnosis and asks what she will do to avenge Claude’s death. Barnabas speaks with Hamilton about joining the search. As he goes through the plans, Roxanne appears, asking why he killed Claude. She brandishes a knife. The knife united them in unique ways… she would kill anyone who attempted to hurt him. Barnabas says that Claude’s hold is broken, and she drops the blade, amazed and frightened that she is free. And now, she must speak to the police. At the suggestion, she runs. Later, Hamilton is incredulous that she escaped in the woods. But now, it’s more important to find Julia. In her cell, Julia collapses into a deep sleep. She hears Barnabas calling. In her dreams, she sees Barnabas inviting Roxanne into the Parallel Time room so they might return to Main Time. He mourns Julia, but Roxanne persuades him that she wishes to make him happy. Julia, in her dream, calls out that she still lives. She awakens and starts calling for Barnabas, who has just left. Can we please get Inspector Hamilton in Main Time? He’s open-minded, sharp, intelligent, and witty. It’s a shame that this is his last episode. (Although Colin Hamilton will show up as a doctor in episode 1219.) This is another fast-paced, event-packed episode. Barnabas, Stokes, Roxanne, and Julia all wear their feelings right on their sleeves. There is an intimate immediacy to the action, preparing us for the raw events to come in the Ragnarok storyline (which is Dark Shadows Daybookese for the 1970 destruction-of-Collinwood jazz) and then 1840. 
(Episode 1052 airs on this date.)

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