Friday, March 31, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: March 31


Taped on this date in 1969: Episode 995

Amy and Quentin are reunited, and she reports on his disappearance. They return to the storage room, where he examines the room. Trask reports about the ghost to Bruno, whom he encourages to leave. Bruno laughs him off, denying the existence of the ghost. Dameon's ghost calls Bruno. Trask answers, and the ghost tells them it's only a matter of time. The calls continue after Trask leaves. Later, Cyrus tells Sabrina that there is a conference, and that he'll only be gone for a few days. Sabrina discovers an IOU from John Yaeger for $100, and asks who he is. The phone calls continue to Bruno. His disbelief is shattered when the piano plays the Ode before Dameon appears to him. Bruno runs to Cyrus to hide from the ghost. Cyrus reluctantly agrees, as long as Bruno promises to stay out of the lab. Cyrus once more transforms into Yaeger, hoping that the formula will release the best in him.

Although he’d been referred to numerous times, this episode gives us our first glimpse of the raven haired, mustachioed nogoodnik, John Yaeger. It was the show’s attempt at giving us Mr. Hyde, and given the constraints of time and the desire to have Christopher Pennock play both parts, the rather bizarre appearance is probably the best that was possible. If it’s a shortcoming, none of it matters.

Pennock is marvelous as the impulsive, blackhearted Yaeger. It was his third role in the series, and no other actor on the show established himself so quickly with as much versatility and truthfulness. Jeb appeared in episode 935, and in the short space since then, Pennock nailed three wildly different parts with clarity and wit. Yaeger would go on to have moments of relatable, childlike enthusiasm and honest aspirations of romance that again showed the nuance that is Pennock’s trademark as one of the show’s finest actors.

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