Friday, July 21, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: July 20


Taped on this date in 1966: Episode 27

As Liz, Carolyn, and Vicki await the return of a missing David, we find that the scamp has snuck into Burke’s hotel room. He and Burke bond and declare friendship, but when Burke leaves the room to make a “Burke Devlin Special,” David hides the bleeder valve under the couch. After he leaves, Burke discovers it.

The early part of the series specialized in episodes where characters just, well, talked to each other. Sounds boring? Hardly. The characters were ripe with potential about a very active and high stakes world totally unspoken, except in allusion and lies of omission. I could have chosen an action packed 1995 episode, but this one feels like it has more going on in it. Large dominated by a Burke/David two-hander (interspersed with diametrically opposed, feminine hand-wringing at Collinwood), it is almost… almost… a completely inert installment. Inert, except that in their conversation, we see one would ending and another world beginning. Burke’s indulgent patience always gets me (points to heart with thumb) right here. When he finds the bleeder valve that David clumsily hid, he doesn’t display anger, just bemused resignation. What else was he to expect? Only in Collinsport do people foster deep, meaningful, authentic friendships to later betray with lethal deceit. It’s what gives the town its charm. GAME OF THRONES? Catch up!

We may see the best acting in the first part of the series with episode 29, as Burke and David continue to bond. They have an astounding rapport, with a kidlike Burke interacting with David with unaffected mirth, and an astoundingly mature David exploring one of the only two points of kindness and trust in his life, and doing so with winning gravitas that Burke keeps cracking through. David needs a dad, friend, and big brother, and here he is. As for Burke? Even though I think the timeline forbids it, I still wonder if Burke thinks David might be his son. It certainly plays that way.

On this day in 1966, Gemini X returned to Earth after docking in space and going higher than we had ever gone before. The crew, Michael Collins and John Young, enjoyed later illustriousness. Collins went on to pilot the Apollo 11 command module, and Young commanded the maiden flight of the first space shuttle. 

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