By PATRICK McCRAY
Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 579
Julia catches Jeff going through Lang’s notebooks down beside Eve’s dormant body. He says that he wants to know everything; Vicki’s life depends on the success of the experiment. Julia advises him that ignorance is bliss. Upstairs, Barnabas remains convinced that the vampire who turned Tom Jennings is still on the loose. Stokes arrives and tells the boys to quicken their pace in the Eve-making department. Adam is suffering from heartbreak over Carolyn’s rejection and will be particularly impatient. Jeff visits Collinwood. Vicki demands to know where he has been and what he’s been up to. Jeff, secretly trying to preserve Vicki’s sanity, refuses to talk. Vicki breaks their engagement.
Roger Davis. Allegedly a rascal on set, but an effective leading man. Maybe his characters are a tad overwrought, but so are the stories. To me, he seems like someone from the real world beamed into SoapVille… he realizes that he must play along, and yet, there are no actual consequences. So it becomes an odd amusement park. I enjoy him in any episode, but especially ones in which he’s a tortured hero. He’s not in the Curtis mold; Davis is modest of stature, with a tenor voice and brown hair as opposed to the towering, dark-coiffed gents usually favored. Somehow, that makes him seem like a secret agent from my side of the tracks. He shines in this one, and we genuinely feel for him as he has no choice but lie to Vicki. I keep wanting him to fess up, but where would that lead him. I’ve often seen that many women have an enthusiasm for that truth that would have saddened Oscar Wilde. Vicki, when he says it’s for your own good, well… sometimes it is.
Today we saw the Dawn of Mostoller! As if Ramse Mostoller isn’t dramatic enough in the moniker department, it’s as if she’s out to win a bet by finally, with this episode, becoming simply, Mostoller! I admire one-word named celebrities. Beyond DARK SHADOWS, she also designed costumes for RYAN’S HOPE, SESAME STREET, and SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS. (That means she worked with Pia Zadora, who seems like a joke until you listen to her album PIA AND PHIL, and realize that she has incredible talent, making the joke-like nature of her reputation really kind of undeserved.)
Significant to DARK SHADOWS on this day? Well, a few years prior, in 1958, THE BETTY FREEZOR SHOW aired, marking the dawn of the first color videotaped program. Do you know that while episode 579 was taped, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine was being born in 1968? I don’t know who he is. What did the machine ever do to him? I know a guy who accidentally laminated his necktie, and he didn’t have any rage. Well, I guess he’s one of those long-haired, yeah-yeah, rockabilly, English types you read about. Stay off my lawn, you beatnik! Take your mandolin and bongos with you. Find a coffee house to haunt with your strange gyrations. More importantly, it’s Raquel Welch’s birthday. Pardon me while I don my white wetsuit and get small. But then I must needs grow up, because it’s the birthday of (and I have to word this carefully) the star of the best of the James Bond franchise, ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, Mr. George Lazenby.