Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Dark Shadows Daybook: March 28


Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 463

Vicki and Elizabeth find Peter’s grave, establishing that he died shortly after she left 1796. Later, they buy a painting that, to Barnabas’ horror, is Angelique! Under increased pressure, Barnabas summons Carolyn from a date with Tony, ruining it even further. Tony misinterprets Barnabas’ mouth on Carolyn and assumes they’re dating. Carolyn, humiliated, begs Barnabas for her freedom. He dismisses her and tries to burn the painting of Angelique. With the sound of her laughter ringing overhead, Angelique’s painting reassembles itself.

There are just some days when you can’t get rid of a portrait of Angelique. If I were Barnabas, I’d cover the doormat with the painting and watch it repel dirt, stains, and pet odors with its supernatural resilience. Just line a trash can with it. Anything you throw on it is going to vanish as it recycles itself. If Angelique had patented this, it would have been the marvel of the age. She would have had her pick of the gents.

463 is a marvelous place to start the series. Thus far, this has been all about ghosts (or their equivalents) recreating the past, culminating in 1795. Now, we enter a new frontier of nuttiness as agents of the past arrive and take action as new immigrants to the future. They’re building forward more than redressing yesterday. When Barnabas arrives 1967, he just wants his house and engagement back as they were. Now, this is no longer the case with ambassadors from the past. By 1968, not only does Angelique want Barnabas back (or to punish him… or both) but she wants to take over Collinwood and create a master race with Nicholas. This is what makes this phase of the series so unusually exciting. They’ve established the major players. We’ve seen the rituals that made them who they are. Now, free, they can and do anything. Because the Maggie kidnapping/Barnabas aging/1795 arc is at the front of the syndication package, I feel like that’s where DS starts and stops for most people. But for me? This is where the adventure begins.

Jonathan Frid really has painting-slashing fun in this one. He plays such an ideal hero because Barnabas’ bloody and thunderous ways are consistently applied for heroism as well as villainy. Heroes expect to be thwarted. Not heavies. When that happens, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Jerry Lacy and Nancy Barrett continue to show themselves as some of the show’s finest actors today. Close your eyes. Trask and Millicent should not come to mind. That, AND they show a delightful chemistry that will go nowhere because Tony is just an attorney and not a man-made man nor Lovecraftian snake god.

On this day in 2016, the first Dark Shadows Daybook hit the internet. Thanks for reading and sticking with it.

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