Monday, July 24, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: July 24


Taped on this date in 1970: Episode 1070

Barnabas awakens in his coffin to find the sherrif ready to kill him, so he eliminates the lawmen in self-defense. Upstairs in the Old House, Julia confesses to divulging Barnabas’ secret to the sheriff. She is under the command of Gerard, but Barnabas quickly trumps the phantom with vampiric mind control, releasing the doctor. Summoning Stokes, Barnabas insists on a seance to reach Carolyn and find out more information about Collinwood’s doom. In the ceremony, Julia is possessed by Carolyn, who reveals the six clues that led to the fall of Collinwood. Gerard appears, ending the ceremony and killing Stokes. Julia vanishes, and Barnabas finds her with Gerard in the playroom. She is about to kill herself when the ghost of Carrie appears and reveals a door. Barnabas drags Julia through it and down a strange staircase. Emerging, they find themselves in an undamaged Collinwood where a twin of Carrie demands to know who they are.

Beginning with a rousing start of pure action, episode 1070 is an express train of action that doesn’t stop until the closing credits. Not only does it end 1995 with true blood and thunder, it sets the tone for the breathless Ragnarok storyline to come… itself a springboard for the 1840 flashback that concludes the series and brings the story of Barnabas to a close that is both deeply satisfying and terribly sad. Barnabas is certainly ready for the fight, and this episode puts an exclamation point on that. He has gone from an uncertain and paranoid victim at the beginning of the series to heroism of Homeric bravado and unshakable determination. His loyalty to Julia is a testament to her own heroism, and we see him in 1070 as fully engaged in the defense of his home and family. It is simple, rousing, bold, and sans pretense. Barnabas Collins is every bit the tactician we saw him as when he first appeared as the series’ villain, but one transformed by the events of the series into its uncompromising champion. The flashforward began in the ruins of Collinwood, and it just kept increasing the pressure and urgency with the deaths of beloved characters that it audaciously unfurled. It is both quintessential DARK SHADOWS and totally unlike the small and timid program that debuted just four years prior.

On this day in 1970, the USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk. It was not in relation to the birth of November 1992 Playboy Playmate, Stephanie Adams, also born on this day.

That’s the official story, anyway. 

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