Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: July 19


Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 550

Carolyn contacts Stokes in a tizzy over Adam’s maturing interests in her. As he comes to the rescue, Jeff Clark asks Vicki to marry him, and she agrees. In a later conversation with Adam, Stokes determines that the best way to cool his jets is to explain how and why they are different. That involves disclosing his origin. After Stokes leaves, Adam’s existential crisis drives him to attempt suicide.

Okay, okay, who let in Gene Roddenberry? This episode exists on a STAR TREK-level of existential mystery. Professor Stokes, despite his open mind on the occult, is sadly limited by small-town, New England thinking when it comes to guiding Adam toward appreciating (or, at least, not hating) his nature. But who, besides starship captains, actually gets trained in the practical application of questions surrounding What Makes Us Human? Of course, to generate drama in the fewest possible steps, Stokes must be inadequate at bolstering Adam’s spirits, and Adam must be disgusted at his difference. Even now, we have an organic bias that favors the natural and shuns the man-made. Usually, DARK SHADOWS characters have every reason to loathe rather than embrace what makes them different… their differences are usually lethal until understood and focused. Not so with a maturing Adam. The tragedy is not that Adam is different, but rather that no one can translate why that should be celebrated rather than condemned. So, he was created in a lab? So what? To me, that makes him a marvel. Where is Virginia Postrel when we need her? Or Michael and Denise Okuda? They’d straighten him out. And does this make the manipulatively accepting Nicholas Blair this story line’s Magneto? Hardly the only similarity between DARK SHADOWS and X-MEN.

On this day in 1968, the world said hello to future thrash metal artist Robb Flynn of Machine Head. Happy birthday, Robb!

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