Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: May 3


Taped on this date in 1967: Episode 225/226

After a terrified Maggie dreams of seeing herself in a coffin, Joe takes her to the Blue Whale for a drink to clear her head. Barnabas and Sam enter, celebrating a fine night of painting with a round of drinks for them, Maggie, and Joe. Barnabas and Sam speak of the uniqueness of night with a wistful romanticism. Alone, Barnabas goes on to sing Maggie’s praises to Sam, but tells him he has no desire to involve himself. Burke enters and eagerly meets Barnabas, who tells him that Willie apologizes and will give no one trouble again. Back at home, Sam tries to calm Maggie, but in bed, she hears the cry of the wolf. As Maggie sleeps uneasily, Barnabas enters her room, baring his teeth.

For the early days of the Barnabas storyline, this could make an excellent pilot for the series to come. Conflicts, suspicions, and agendas abound, and the class friction between the Collinses and The Rest is on full parade. When people ask why DARK SHADOWS became an overnight sensation, show them this episode. It begins with tension and atmosphere, moves on to the shared charm of Jonathan Frid and David Ford, and then returns to the underlying sense of doom that pervades the script. Frid plays Barnabas as the ultimate Eddie Haskell, but because we’re in on it, we get to cheer the con from the inside. By doing this, we see the show’s secret. We are Barnabas’ confidants, like it or not. And we like it. We’re also getting ever closer to the “V-word.”I know that Dan Curtis was dedicated to the vampire idea, but the slow reveal feels as if he’s taking tiny chances, getting into the pool one toe at a time. With Barnabas now in the bedroom, teeth on parade, Curtis is going in up to the waist.

On this day in 1967, the Black Panthers invade the California statehouse and call for increased gun rights. At the time, Governor Reagan was baffled by this. Nevertheless, the modern gun rights movement was born. 

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