Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: May 4



By PATRICK McCRAY

Taped on this date in 1970: Episode 1011

In the cellar of Loomis House, Yaeger finds the chained coffin and opens it.  Will cold cocks him with a small pistol and drags him off, determined not to let him ruin his book.  In the caverns, an awakened Yeager meets Buffie, who gives him the stolen formula. Barnabas awakens and begs to be allowed to go back to the Parallel Time room.  Will coldly refuses.  Back to himself at the lab, Cyrus vows to prevent Yaeger from ever emerging again. Meanwhile, Will grills Barnabas about Josette’s story. Barnabas, however, gets the jump on Will.

Barnabas is back from getting staked and speaking with an unintelligible reverb in HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, and it’s about damned time. Carolyn and Will return, also, which kind of officially reunites the cast. I was about to say that the show in the interim is a wonky warm-up for NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS, except that this is better. Much better. So much so, in fact, that I’m a tad surprised this didn’t serve as the template. Perhaps it was an unsuccessful storyline in retrospect, but compared with NIGHT? Then again, you do have a newly-married Quentin returning to Collinwood only to grow distant as his obsession with a spectral (sorta) “lost love,” played by Lara Parker, works malevolently behind the scenes. By Jove, it is a remake, after all.  Another interesting aspect of this section of the show is Yaeger’s confession. In Quentin, Barnabas, Jeb, and even — to an extent — Adam, we deal with essentially good people fused with beasts they try to control. I think Yaeger is the most honest of all of these “villains.”  For once, the hero hides within the heavy, rather than the other way around. It’s curious experiment; try looking at any of the other antagonists that way.

Meanwhile, in 1967, the episodes were being shot wildly out of order. Scenic demands and actor availability seem like the most ready suspects. But it was a more frequent occurrence than one might think.

On this day in 1970, four Kent State University students were killed and nine injured when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire during a demonstration protesting the Vietnam War.

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