Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: AUGUST 24


Taped on this date in 1966: Episode 53

The morning after Carolyn and Vicki found -- and then lost -- the body at Widow’s Hill, David is unusually contentious and morose. He once again blames Vicki for preventing his mother to return, and then goes on to say that she is marked for death and that he has no plans on attending her funeral. As the day wears on, he continues his assault on happiness, pronouncing doom for Joe and Carolyn’s love and insisting that last night’s body truly was Bill Malloy. Elizabeth visits Matthew, seeking answers. He confesses that the body was Malloy’s and that he pushed it back into the sea.

After demonstrating how risky, insightful, and nimble they could be as storytellers with episode 50, Team Curtis grounds itself with safe, predictable surprises, cliffhangers, and general foreboding. David once again harps about his mother with the nonsensical assertion that Vicki is preventing her return. I feel both envious of and sorry for Diana Millay. They are clearly building Laura up with a mythic stature befitting her abilities. It’s hard to give a bad performance when the audience has been told how to regard you for months and months. At the same time, it’s a lot to live up to. One reason that Laura is so disappointing as a villain is that no actress short of Agnes Moorhead could step out of a shadow like that. But it’s a step in the right direction. As for the current story?  For viewers in-the-know, the promise of Laura and her powers makes the humdrummery of a simple murder seem like last week’s mashed potatoes. They end the Matthew Morgan storyline with such splash and panache that it feels as if the writers know that the show must change.

It’s been a good week for Dana Elcar across the timeline. He’s like Chekhov’s Gun. They mention Sheriff Patterson today; they’ll be showing him tomorrow. However, they won’t be shooting him the day after that. Dana was, I think, invulnerable to bullets, anyway.

Today is the birthday of Stephen Fry, who played Professor Stokes in my fevered imagination’s version of the Tim Burton film. Speaking of DARK SHADOWS movies, today is also the anniversary of the release of HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS at the DeMille Theater in 1970. My review of HODS has been hailed by me as a highlight of TASTE THE BLOOD OF MONSTER SERIAL, although it has yet to appear on the website. Another reason to buy that great book.

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