Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: July 25


Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 554

Jeff and Barnabas search for Vicki in the woods, and Barnabas discloses that the howl of wolves is a sure portent of the vampire. Elsewhere, Nicholas stands over Angelique’s coffin in an iron doored room. As he exits, he encounters Tom Jennings, his handyman. Afterwards, Nicholas suggests that the worst is yet to come for Tom. Jeff soon finds Tom dead, bite marks on his neck. Nicholas, from afar, says that it begins. At Collinwood, Barnabas hears wolves and knows that something must be amiss. He informs Julia that Adam has Vicki hostage. Self-aware, he’s more dangerous than ever. Nicholas enters and claims that he saw Barnabas in the woods earlier, running away. Jeff then also enters to call the police to report Tom’s death.

Barnabas reluctantly begins to ponder the loss of his cure. What more appropriate force could make him a vampire other than another vampire… at last, Angelique. Nicholas is a crafty SOB and he deserves a lot of thanks for the irony. Also notable in this one... we have one of the first encounters with Tom Jennings. It's so odd to see Don Briscoe as a redneck, but he plays it well, and yet again proves that he is one the best actors on the show. It's my opinion that 1970s cinema would have looked extremely different had Briscoe survived. As it stands, he is the sad Brian Wilson of DARK SHADOWS. When I did the DARK SHADOWS experiment in 2012, I dedicated it to  Briscoe, much to Mission Control’s understandable bewilderment in the post-mortem toast. Because, for some strange reason, my heart just went out to Mr. Briscoe. I’ve even calculated how long it would take to get to Memphis and his grave. There is a strange soulfulness and is acting that moves me tremendously. Pay attention. Perhaps he'll have that effect on you.

On this day in 1968, work began on the extensive electrical system needed to support the disastrous 1968 Democratic convention that would unfurl in a month. Politics was never the same. In some ways, that’s a tragedy.

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