Another from the dawn of the series: July of ’66. Conrad Bain, the future Arthur from Maude and Mr. Drummond from Diff’rent Strokes, works at the local inn. Here he confronts Sam Evans, Collinsport’s town drunk and town irascible artist, with some shocking news: Burke Devlin has returned to Collinsport!
Conrad Bain is the first performer on the show to attempt what I recognize as a Maine accent, somewhat reminiscent of Tom Bosley’s Sheriff Tucker in the that other terrifying Maine town, Murder, She Wrote‘s Cabot Cove.
Unlike Sheriff Tucker, the innkeeper seems to exist solely as an expository device. Conrad Bain excels in this function. In typical Dark Shadows fashion, the exposition is actually re-exposition, as the viewer already knows everything he tells Sam the drunk, but now we get to hear about it with a Maine accent along with scary orchestration for about five minutes. I always appreciate storyline reinforcement in soap operas.
If only the mustached, accented Conrad Bain knew how making an effort on Dark Shadows would pay off later down the road!