Archives for posts with tag: Dark Shadows Delight
Sam's portrait of Phoenix with David

The Ghost of Josette forced Sam Evans into painting a work that was declared “horrible, just horrible” by almost every member of the cast except David, whose face was added in by Josette later to make her warning even more concrete.

So I went into the early days of Dark Shadows believing that only with the arrival of Barnabas after some odd 200 episodes would the series go headlong into the occult and supernatural.

How can we not recognize Laura Collins, the Phoenix, who just by making crazy eyes can put commanding matriarchs into an inexplicable coma, send cars careening out of control, and slip her enemies into trances that involve some initial confusion expressed with head shaking like a wet dog drying itself off, some exaggerated staggering preferably on the staircase in the foyer, and calculated memory wipes on paranormal professors and cemetery caretakers!

Here is Laura Collins/The Phoenix, in action, as always, sitting Read the rest of this entry »

The tension between Burke Devlin and Roger Collins has been brewing since the first episode, and tonight it came to a glorious double-entendre head with a sexually charged drawing room confrontation.

Louis Edmonds plays Roger Collins as such a preening queen, I have to wonder about his face when he saw the lines for this scene, beholding the latest rewrites like a gift from God. As for Mitchell Ryan as Burke Devlin, he’s the perfect antithesis as the brooding alpha. Ryan’s constant on-set drunkenness may have Read the rest of this entry »

Remember Gimme a Break!, the eighties sitcom starring Nell Carter? Raúl sure does, enough so that the split-second the actor who played the dad on the show, Dolph Sweet, turned up on Dark Shadows, an uproar Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Malloy has gone missing! Did Victoria Winters and Caroline Stoddard really see his corpse being Read the rest of this entry »

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 as Mr. Drummond on Diff'rent Stokes.

Conrad Bain as Mr. Drummond on Diff’rent Stokes.

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!


Conrad Bain, center top and scarved, on Maude.

Another from the first couple of weeks in July of 1966.

Caroline Stoddard (Nancy Barrett) tries with a lighthearted jest to reassure her mother, Collins matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Joan Bennett), but unwittingly causes supernatural consternation.

I think the writers are sending us a message. You, like Caroline, may think we’re joking, but the wiser Mrs. Collins knows the truth: nothing is off the table. Not even goblins.

From the first week of the series in July of 1966.

No need for dialogue, just plodding piano followed by a silent breakdown which elicits no comfort, only fear.

I only wish that Joan Bennett had made her head go thud with her collapse.

Featuring Elizabeth Stoddard Collins (Joan Bennett) and Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke).