Friday, December 2, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: DECEMBER 2


Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 641

As Amy remains obsessed with the notion that her brother is appearing outside her bedroom window, crying, Victoria is similarly obsessed with Jeff. Strange sounds, the cry of the Widows (heard even by Amy), and the significant behavior of his watch all suggest that he is trying to reach her. Stokes, cock o’the walk as always, struts into Collinwood. Stopping short of setting off the smoke alarms with his testosterone, he nevertheless slays the ladies, including a charmed Amy. All too used to the fawning attentions of of emotionally disarmed women, Stokes turns his attention to Victoria. She implores him to, if not take her around the world, take her backwards in time to 1795. No dice. The only thing he knows is certain there is a hanging for witchcraft… it’s too dangerous, and so Stokes withholds the manly essence of his time warping workings. Later, hearing the calls of the Widows, Victoria makes a run for the cliffs of Widow’s Hill as Amy makes a call of her own… for the ghost of Quentin.

December 2! As has been said before, Thank God, It’s Frid-Day! Yes, it’s the birthday of Jonathan Frid, and what started as an annoyance to me now seems like a treat by Dan Curtis for the birthday boy; none of today’s episodes feature the Fabulous Mr. Frid. Yep, it’s JF’s feliz navidad, and I have no Frid Fawning to Savor. Sorry, kids. He’s the reason for the season, nevertheless, and like any good seasonal reasoning, I’m sure he’ll rise again for future entries. But for now, he has the day off.

Here's a photo, anyhow.
It’s a strange day at Collinwood… Fatalism Friday. We’re treated to a small-cast episode whose tight company and references to the Widows makes it a strange sibling to the offerings of the show’s first year. Is Vicki’s seeming desire to leap from Widow’s Hill total nihilism or an acknowledgement that at Collinwood, their unique temporal mechanics make death less than deadly? To know that death is the answer is both an utterly bleak end and yet, strangely, keys to George’s Argo is an oddly bittersweet powder that could only have come from the tip of Stokes’ pestle when swirled and ground in Collinwood’s mortar. Between the ghost of Quentin and the ghost of Jeff, I can’t tell who’s haunting whom. And that’s the great, cosmic mystery of the program.

Stokes is back in full strut in 641, issuing bon mots like confetti and revealing that, in the land of snappy zingers, writer Sam Hall is fully capable of giving Gordon Russell what for. It’s also the first of five consecutive episodes directed by “Penberry Jones.” I have to suspect that PJ was a pseudonym. Not only is it an hilarious moniker, like something out of FORBIDDEN ZONE, but the only thing I can find about Penberry is that he directed, yes, five consecutive episodes of DARK SHADOWS.

Warmongers rejoice! On this day in 1968, President Dick “Richard” Nixon named Henry “The Ultimate Aphrodisiac” Kissinger his security adviser. The world responded by giving us Lucy Liu on that day. Every action of aggression has an equal and opposite reaction by the cosmos.

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