Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: July 13


Taped on this date in 1970: Episode 1061

Artwork by Bill Branch
1970PT and 1995MT. Timothy Stokes, driven mad, has set fire to Collinwood. Barnabas and Julia race to Angelique’s room, but Roxanne is barred from entering. As he screams for her, they find themselves in Main Time without her. But… when? The great house is a post-apocalyptic ruin. Julia finds a note from Elizabeth, saying they must leave Collinwood before the day is out. They then find a burned diary. Then, they find an old grave… David Collins 1956-1970! An elderly Mrs. Johnson says they vanished 25 years before and have returned unchanged. Mrs. Johnson says the Collins name is forbidden. She’s babbling and lying, clearly. They let her go to her solitary madness. Before she goes, she speaks of the old shack at Findley’s Cove. There, they find all manner of Collins memorabilia. Then, a door opens.

I have no idea what the people of 1970 thought hit them. At least Barnabas and the Leviathans all took place against the backdrop of normalcy. When this episode aired, the backdrop was so dark, fatalistic and fantastic that the realistic part was a vampire.This is post-Manson DARK SHADOWS. All bets are off, the center cannot hold, and nobody wants to dance with anyone else.

This is also one of the most vital episodes in the series.

Soap operas trudge along. The sets are always there.  The continuity rarely budges. Here, it’s almost as if the writers knew the show was doomed and began a slow, painful degradation of everything we hold dear. After all, we think we’ll bounce right out PT and into some other adventure. As in life, how were we to know that the end was neigh. Even though it takes place in only in the near-future, it has a nightmarish intensity and horrible, icy finality. Seeing Collinwood in ruin is like a personal wound for any DARK SHADOWS fan, and Barnabas is soon on the cusp of the most of the challenging decisions of his life. He is at the apex of his heroism. The test will not be pretty.

Several other items of note. This begins the 1995 storyline. Unfortunately, someone neglected to give Dan the memo about ray guns and silver, spandex jumpsuits. It also features a marvelous moment when Barnabas and Julia first arrive in 1995, and he realizes that he’s lost Roxanne. Julia inspires a look of vague chagrin from him when she reminds him, “We forget how rare a life of love can be. You're not the only one who's had so little hope. It’s something one learns to live with. We can get used to anything if we have to.”


On this day in 1970, building begins on the Amsterdam metro. So, you can finally settle those bets over that burning issue.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...