Friday, October 14, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: OCTOBER 14


Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 606

Barnabas, weakened by Angelique’s bite, is horrified to see that Nicholas has revived her as a vampire. What’s worse -- Barnabas is now her slave. Meanwhile, Stokes and Julia are unsuccessful at detaining Nicholas further with petty social niceties, and the demon departs dinner. When Nicholas returns, he commands Angelique to demur from summoning Barnabas, and to only do so when he wills it. At the Old House, Barnabas returns, wan with blood loss. He reports nothing of Angelique, and says that he could find neither Adam nor Eve. When Stokes and Julia leave, Angelique appears and, despite her orders, bites Barnabas anyway.

An image from this episode was used in the DARK SHADOWS
View-Master reels in 1969.
Go through your Shadowsiana. Look for Defining Images. I’ll wager that two come from this episode. One is of Stokes as he sees Nicholas off. It’s a closeup, and that big, Maine Coon looks like he’s absolutely swallowed Nicholas Blair’s canary. It is a Stokes in Full, and that’s full, indeed. The second is the bitten and ailing Barnabas, sitting in a chair at Blair House, among antiques and blue-green lighting. Angelique, in the unforgettable white dress, is at his side. To see it out of context may be to see the truth of it. He is Cyrano. Wickedly wounded. And there she is at his side, impossibly large eyes brimming with concern and unending support. Is it the most romantic image in DARK SHADOWS? Maybe. Of course, Angelique is also the cause of his misery. All of it. She benefits from it. He would get the hell away if he could. She is more than happy that he cannot. Eternal combatants. Of course they belong together as the series’ true lovers. In the causing-Barnabas-agita department, Julia is the third billed act at amateur night in Dixie compared to Angelique. Certain marriages, in my observation, often last out of respect to the art of war, not love. Divorce would give too much satisfaction. The secret to these cursed unions is utter contempt. Never is it more lovingly illustrated than here in this image.

Seriously, though, the dichotomy of pleasure, pain, and a shared curse that comes around and goes around is just too perfect. The image is the yin/yang of DARK SHADOWS, and this episode is the perfect frame for it.

It’s the birthday of the nurse from episodes 235 and 236, Frances Helm. Profiled elsewhere in the Daybook, she is best known, to me, as one of the actresses who played Rachel Brown in the original Broadway run of the great American play, INHERIT THE WIND. In less happy news, today marks the passing of Angus Cairns, an actor with a robust Broadway background. On DARK SHADOWS, he succeeded Greek God and part-time actor, Dana Elcar, as Sheriff George Patterson.

On this day in 1967, the world got its first live broadcast by our astronauts in orbit, care of Apollo 7. It was a simple-but-miserable mission. Commander Wally Schirra, that cranky swabo, had a cold (later cited in his Actifed ads), and complained bitterly to Deke Slayton about nearly everything he was asked to do. By the end of the mission, Schirra even refused to wear his helmet for reentry. He had already announced his retirement, but his crew was just beginning in space. And ending. None of them ever flew on NASA missions again.

But we got an ad out of it. BEHOLD!

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