Friday, October 7, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: OCTOBER 7


Taped on this date in 1970: Episode 1124

After Desmond displays unusually angry and possessive behavior, Leticia senses that he may be under some alien force. Later, she locates Judah’s head. At Collinwood, Barnabas rekindles his connection with Roxanne until her suitor barges in. It is Lamar Trask, son of the evil Reverend. His father once wrote his mother a letter about the original Barnabas, and thus, Lamar deeply suspects (with good reason) that the two are the same. Lamar later gives the letter to Leticia so that she may use it as a psychic anchor to locate his father’s body. In a trance, she narrows down the location to the Old House, but Barnabas enters, preventing further disclosure. He later forces Leticia to reveal all she said to Trask. He later uses the knowledge to stop Trask from snooping around his home. Meanwhile, Desmond summons Otis Greene, the grandson of Judah Zachary’s jailer. The head forces Otis to reveal clues as to the location of Judah’s body before killing him. Desmond revels in the knowledge.

Now, we’re talking. Plot threads from years past come back with a vengeance, and it’s a pleasure to see the DARK SHADOWS authors finally reap the rewards of their hard work. Most long-running shows develop history. DARK SHADOWS has a mythos. No storyline is more mythic than this, and all of the salient threads of past and future will converge. I enjoy the wonderful theatricality and sense of stakes in 1840, and when I see the stylish melodrama of Desmond’s possession and Lamar’s threats, I remember why. And VIGODA! So close to “viagra.” For a reason? You tell me. You tell me.

Abe Vigoda returns for yet another expert on antiquities and the past. Previously, he filled in as the elderly version of Ezra Braithwaite, who made the pentagram amulet in 1897 to protect Beth. Vigoda seemingly always looked jurassic, and as Otis Greene, it’s jarring and pleasant to see him looking positively virile. Just on the cusp of finding fame and fortune as both Tessio and Fish as well as being a oiled and hirsute hunk adorning millions of posters across America. Vigoda struggled for steady work for much of his career, although the year before, he enjoyed a stint as Landau on Broadway in “The Man in the Glass Booth.”

On this day, Canada was in the thick of the October Crisis, which involved the peacetime invocation of the War Measures Act, limiting civil liberties. And Canada seems to be the seat of both civility and liberty. Two days prior, on the fifth, PBS went on the air, thus providing the platform that Generation 2 DARK SHADOWS fans, such as myself, would use to see it for the first time.  

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