Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: Aug 8-11 Recap

If you've been paying attention to the Dark Shadows Daybook, you already know this was a weird week at the ABC studios in Manhatten back in 1967. When you live in Collinsport, it's reasonable to expect a timeslip or two. In New York City this week, though, something happened with the production that forced them to shoot episodes of DARK SHADOWS out of order.

If you've been following along at home, this might have made for a confusing experience this week at the Collinsport Historical Society. Patrick McCray has been chronicling these episodes as they were taped, which meant (for this week, at least) that episode 302 came before episode 300. It also meant that episode 304 came before episode 301. (Maddeningly, episode 303 was not taped until Aug. 14!?) So keep this in mind the next time you pester your favorite cast member about their experiences with the series. Odds are they were deeply confused and just trying to get through the workday with their skins intact.

Here are some highlights from the week that was, featured below in their proper narrative order:

Aug. 8, 1967, Episode 300
"Dark Shadows was not really genre television. It was a soap opera aired in the late afternoon for housewives, designed to sell canned hams and pantyhose. That makes the subversive moments enjoyed by the show even craftier." LINK

Aug. 10, 1967, Episode 301
"The centerpiece of this episode of Dark Shadows may be the series’ most famous verbal battle… that doesn’t result in gunplay, witchcraft, or a hurled brandy glass. It's also actor Jonathan Frid's favorite scene from the series." LINK

Aug. 7, 1967, Episode 302
"This episode is a special treat for fans of Grayson Hall. Is she at her most athletic in it? No. People looking for pursed lips, eyelashes the size of palm fronds, and sandpapery shrieks will have to wait. No one watching this episode could cite Hall for anything outside of insightful, shrewd, witty, subtle, and urbane gamesmanship." LINK

Aug. 9, 1967, Episode 304
"Do you want the Rosetta Stone for Dark Shadows? Okay, here it is; these people aren’t the sharpest stakes in the hunter’s bag. They can’t be. In fact, no main character on a soap can be. From a writer’s perspective, that makes for a helluva challenge. The characters on Dark Shadows are seemingly about as bright as they are allowed to be." LINK

On Friday, Patrick did the time warp to 1897 and found himself ankle deep in the battle of wills between County Petofi and Barnabas Collins. It's just a jump to the left.

Aug. 11, 1969, Episode 821
"Leave it to 1897 to deliver a wacky, splashy comic book of gypsy lore, threats, torches, and monologuing. And, in fine DARK SHADOWS tradition, it manages to turn five minutes of plot progression into twenty-two minutes of show." LINK

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