Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: SEPTEMBER 27


Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 595

Adam brings Leona Eldrich -- vessel for the spirit of Danielle Roget -- home to the Old House to be the life-force for Eve. They are not to speak of her connection to Nicholas. When Julia and Stokes arrive, they are astounded to find a ready volunteer. She agrees for Stokes to question her and explains her willingness to help; she was Lang’s lover. The story seems unbelievable, but there’s no going back. In the lab, she refuses the pain medication. The experiment begins, and Adam hovers over Eve until he has just cause to exclaim, “She’s alive!”

Yes, it’s that episode. It’s a teasingly little mystery, but that investigation ends with a shrug and agreement that there are more important things to do. We now have Eve! More than that, we get the singularly wacky performance of Erica Fitz as Leona Eldrich. She manages to be completely disingenuous, with total transparency, and yet we just go along with her anyway. Why? It’s unusual to find such a deeply committed liar. Especially one who surfs on such a tsunami of sensuality. It’s bizarre, shameless, and otherworldly. Of course everyone falls for it, despite knowing better! What choice have they? That is such a rare combination, it sort of commands assent. Her refusal of an anesthetic is the cherry on the kink cake.

Who was Erica Fitz, besides being of the the only DARK SHADOWS actresses (besides Clarice Blackburn) to athletically fight for the appellation of “Sixties Sex Kitten”? Born in Chicago in 1942, she can also be seen in HERCULES IN NEW YORK. Broadway audiences knew her as Jon Pertwee’s co-star for THERE’S A GIRL IN MY SOUP. She’s either a marvelous actress or a terrible one. I can’t tell. One thing is certain -- there’s no one like her. And what was the Soviet Space program doing around now? Well, they sent an unmanned capsule -- the Zond 5 -- to the moon and back. I guess that showed us. 

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