Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: DECEMBER 7


Taped on this date in 1970: Episode 1167

Lamar and Gerard dedicate themselves to proving that a vampire is loose at Collinwood, even if it means exposing the truth about Roxanne. Flora Collins helps them with the family history, tying in the “1797“ vampire attacks with the disappearance of Lamar‘s father. While investigating the Old House, Lamar and Gerard find incriminating letters related to Reverend Trask‘s death.  Meanwhile, the dashing young son of Mordecai Grimes begins to court Carrie Stokes.

I’m not entirely certain when Dan Curtis got the news that the show was in trouble. At this point, we are about six months away from the show leaving the air. I don’t think the writing was on the wall, however fate might have been shaking its spray paint in anticipation, standing by the bricks, whistling innocently. It’s fun to speculate what Curtis and company were thinking and planning for the future, anyway. Having plundered the applicable classics, I’m sure it was clear that they needed new sources of inspiration, and while that might have been an uncertain prospect, there is a sense of confidence that the series would continue. I see that when I look at Kate Jackson, Kathy Cody, and Tom Happer. Happer only appears in four episodes, but he’s the tall, dark, “Curtis type,“ and when I see him on screen with Cody, I get the sense that the next generation Carolyn and Joe are being conjured. We already have Victoria Winters 3.0 in Kate Jackson.

As for the show’s OG, Joan Bennett? Yet another afternoon with Flora Collins, the most bizarre character she ever got to play. Flora is at her best in this. Certainly, she gets deadly serious when she discusses the strange history of the 1790s, but before that, her flightiness is quintessentially creepy. There is a strange, baby doll quality to her performance that has weird touches of Norman Desmond-as-ingenue. In some ways, it’s the most decadent character on the show since Pansy Faye, and the only thing missing is an over-the-top southern accent to complete it. This is by no means a criticism. If anything, I celebrate it.

It feels like has been a long time since the needle on the continuity-porn-o-mometer has gone into the red, but 1167 sends it spinning.  Why they keep referring to 1795 as 1797 is beyond me. I can understand weariness and confusion from an overtaxed writing staff, but didn’t anyone else notice? In my desire to rationalize everything, I just take it as poor research on the part of the characters. It’s not like they had Bing.

On this day in 1970, Germany and Poland decided to get along much better. And good for them.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...