Surprise! The next DARK SHADOWS anthology from Big Finish is arriving sooner than anticipated.
Originally slated for October, "Love Lives On" has been moved up for a July release. Meanwhile, "Dreams of Long Ago" is still on track for May, while "Shadows on the Night" is set for a December release. This leaves a huge, BLOODLINE-shaped hole in the schedule this fall ... will we finally see the release of the 13-part sequel to BLOODLUST in the interim? I don't know!
Rather than speculate further, let's talk about "Love Lives On." The two big takeaways from Big Finish's announcement for me are the return of writer Cody Schell and Matthew Waterhouse. Schell's "The Flip Side" remains one of the most pleasant surprises in the DARK SHADOWS range of audios. Meanwhile, Waterhouse is such a talented guy that he could keep an audience entertained by reading a phonebook.
The presence here of Marie Wallace and James Storm don't hurt, either. Storm is back as undead rogue Gerard Stiles (a character still very much in need of creative redemption) in "The Velvet Room," which probably won't be as smutty as it sounds. Wallace's character isn't quite so colorful, but if you heard BLOODLUST you already know how good she is in it. She's back again here as Jessica Griffin in "Behind Closed Doors." (See previous "smutty" joke.)
Below are a few highlights from the press release, which you can read in its entirety HERE. There's an audio trailer for "Love Lives On" at the bottom of this post; the episode is available for pre-order from Big Finish HERE.
"Tuesdays and Thursdays," written by Cody Schell,
performed by Matthew Waterhouse.
“The nice thing about Dark Shadows is that there is an unending supply of cobweb-filled corners in Collinsport in which to shine a flashlight.” said Cody Schell. “After putting two audio dramas under my belt ('The Flip Side' and '…And Red All Over'), I was really excited to have the opportunity to write something in an audio-book style. This meant I could use the magnificent Professor Stokes! I knew the I Ching would be involved in my story, so as an experiment I cast a Hexagram at random. I researched it, and incorporated it into my story. I think Stokes would be proud. I was able to show glimpses of his past… and that of another beloved character.”
"The Velvet Room" by Antonio Rastelli,
performed by James Storm.
“I can’t express how honored I was when Joe asked me to pitch for Dark Shadows,” said Antonion Rastelli. “I have fond memories of throwing ideas at him a couple of years ago, thinking nothing would come of it. I’ve been a huge fan of the series for a long time and even had the privilege of appearing in one or two of the audios as an actor. I’ll admit that it was a daunting task. The series has 50 years of rich history and dedicated following of fans and I wanted to do it justice. Gerard Stiles and Hallie Stokes are both such complicated yet interesting characters that I jumped at the opportunity to write for them. Between you and me this is my first gig as a writer, so I do hope you all enjoy your visit to the Velvet Room.”
"Behind Closed Doors" by Paul Phipps,
performed by Marie Wallace.
“Marie Wallace is such a wonderful actor,” said Paul Phipps, “and the character of Jessica Griffin is now firmly established as one of the new shining stars of Dark Shadows. We’ve had hints about her life before she took over The Blue Whale, and I really wanted to explore the journey she’s been on over the last few years - and the future she’s now looking forward to after the events of 'Bloodline.' This is a woman with a past, and in true Dark Shadows style, everyone has to face their past one day. I’m thrilled that I’ve been given the chance to spend so much time with Jessica – even if it means I had to be the one to put her through her very worst nightmares. I thought my last story for Big Finish – 'Confession,' in 'Echoes of the Past' – was dark, but there are five words in 'Behind Closed Doors' which terrify me on a completely different level...”
"The Suitcase" by Alan Flanagan,
performed by Lisa Richards.
"My first story for Dark Shadows was 'Carriage Of The Damned,'” says Flanagan, “so I was chomping at the bit to return to telling a story about Sabrina, especially after all the great work building up her and Cyrus' relationship since then. She's another classic example of how Big Finish have taken a character whose arc felt unfinished on the show, and developed her into this strong, multi-faceted person. The Suitcase delves deep into Sabrina and Cyrus' relationship as they consider starting a family, but their plans are interrupted by a new arrival - a woman who has a gift for granting people their wishes in the worst possible way..."