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Dark Shadows: The Beginning

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Richie C., Oct 15, 2006.

  1. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mark,

    I'm not going to Newport to see 'Collinwood' (Salve Regina) myself, but some of my family members are, and I know my daughter wants to take pictures. I'm sure she will. She is also going to try to visit the 'Blue Whale' (i.e., The Black Pearl). It should be a good time for all. :) I don't think that there will be time to see the 'Evans Cottage' (Essex, CT). There are so many neat things to see in New England.
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I noted those and other classics on the Blue Whale's jukebox when I was watching this set. After the show got to be popular they didn't do that at all any more. My guess is they didn't bother licensing the music at all and stopped when it became likely they might draw attention. Shh!
     
  3. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark, thanks for the tip. I didn't know Collinwood was in Newport. I was there once as part of a New England trip - nice town. Now, I have a good reason to go back.

    I was out of town for business last week, so I am catching up:

    Last night, I finished ep 170. Wow! We get another DS first - the seance. They milked it for several episodes to build suspense and it worked! The actual seance has not disappointed either - the first try was aborted by a shadowy figure that turns out to be Laura (very well staged), and the second try, with Laura as a participant, really gave me chills. We had Josette in Vickie's body speaking French. Laura's expression of anger was intense. Diana Millay played this very well! It was a dark and stormy night in Collinwood, but it helped enhance the experience that it was a dark and stormy night in my real world when I watched this.

    On a lighter note, it was nice to see the other Collinsport characters - Maggie, Sam, Burke, & Joe - who were MIA for a little while. I enjoy those moments at the Blue Whale. I feel one of the weaknesses of the last year of the show is that with all the constant time travelling, we lose a sense of present day Collinsport.

    As we touched on before, Carolyn's character continues to be well-written. The little girl in her is not totally gone as her first reaction to performing a seance is something like that would be a 'gas'. However, we also see that the pressures of responsibility are getting to her as well.

    On to the next disc to the see the aftermath of the seance....
     
  4. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,

    You’re ahead of me now. I just completed episode nos. 162-163. David is bringing Dr. Guthrie up to speed regarding the ghosts of Bill Malloy and Josette. Wanting to see this for himself, Dr. Guthrie and David go to the Old House. Once David is alone (Dr. Guthrie goes elsewhere in the Old House to look for things), we see the transformation of the painting from one of Josette to one of Laura and David burning in fire. I love this episode. Incidentally, the ‘height’ of Josette in the painting is nearly identical to that of Laura, making the transformation all the more effective and smooth.

    Get this: Last night, my oldest daughter and I were watching these two episodes between 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. – and there was a loud and chilling thunderstorm outside of our home! Maybe tonight, she and I can begin watching a bit earlier so that we can get in a handful of episodes rather than just one or two. I’m really looking forward to getting to the seance. Addendum: Well, we began slightly after 9 p.m. tonight, and watched eight episodes. We began by repeating #163, and then watched episode nos. 164-170. We also watched the seance (the second one) twice, to hear and try to translate the French. I got about 50%-60% of it, and my wife got the rest. It's such a thrilling segment. I especially loved how they cut away during the seance at the Great House and gave us Josette coming out of the painting at the Old House. That was really well done. I recognized the stock footage from episode #70, but I never tire of it.
     
  5. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,

    The painting transformation was a nice touch and a surprise. David wanted a sign from Josette whether he should go away with his mother. Josette couldn't have made it any clearer (as a ghost) than showing him and his mother in flames. Unfortunately, he didn't pick up on the clue and instead got distracted thinking about how those awful grown-ups took his painting away.

    That was a good idea to translate what Josette was saying. I'm not fluent enough in French to tackle that, but that must have been fun. The whole sequence was well done - good acting from Alexandra Moltke, Josette coming out of the painting, the overall lighting of the scene, but it's the look on Laura's face while Josette is speaking that has really stayed with me.
     
  6. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark, that sounds like a good guess to me, and MPI didn't see the need to replace the music when they put this out. However, if this set were made now, I think even that music would have been replaced, given what a hot topic music licensing is now, and how it has affected a range of TV shows like "The Fugitive" or "WKRP In Cincinatti".
     
  7. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,

    Agreed. Laura's look was both mesmerizing and terrifying.

    We watched episode nos. 171-174 today. It was neat to see some of what is occurring in Phoenix as that Police Dept. 'closes' the case. And then, when Riley and his buddy go to the morgue to see the body of Laura Murdoch Collins -- wow! More later, after you've seen those episodes.

    We wrapped up Collection 5 tonight (we watched four more episodes = nos. 175-178). The exhumation is now planned to see if the 1767 Laura Stockbridge or the 1867 Laura Radcliffe are in their respective coffins. Joe Haskell has joined (reluctantly at first) Dr. Guthrie in his quest to discover the truth regarding Laura Collins.
     
  8. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Cinematographer

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    Regarding outside music used on DS: most memorably the theme from A Man and a Woman was used in the 1968 episode in which
    Carolyn was abducted by Adam from Collinwood, it was playing on a radio in the Drawing Room (perhaps the ONLY time a radio was in that room, and we never saw a TV at Collinwood!).
    About a decade ago, some of the LPs used by Sybil Weinberger (the show's music coordinator, now wife of DS producer Robert Costello) for background music at The Blue Whale were sold at a DS Festival auction. I do remember one of the albums was an album by Les & Larry Elgart called The New Elgart Touch, here's a copy on sale on eBay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/LES-LARRY-ELGART-ELGART-TOUCH-STEREO-LP-SONGS-LISTED-/160430309235?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item255a643f73

    I know that I took photos of that LP and some of the other LPs auctioned off, and I have to look into my too-numerous-for-words photos from past DS Festivals. What I'd give to have those tracks on CD or MP3 to relive those early days at 'the Whale' from the show's early days......
     
  9. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Charles,

    I too would love to have the complete soundtrack to Dark Shadows as well as to a few other series that are close to my heart. What you have written has corroborated to some extent what I’ve suspected for a few years. The eight-disc set of Dark Shadows: Complete Soundtrack Music Collection (Orland Park, Illinois: MPI Home Video, 2006) is an invaluable resource. It boasts to be the complete collection of the entire Dark Shadows music soundtrack. As good as it is (and as I have stated on my Dark Shadows Transcripts page), there are a number of segments, particularly those occurring during some of the Blue Whale scenes, that are not included on this excellent soundtrack collection. This particular collection may be as good as we will ever get, and in my estimation, that's not too bad.
     
  10. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,


    I finished #178.


    About the scenes in Phoenix - very well done. What I liked about it was the nice, casual banter between the two cops - the scenes between them kept me at ease, so when they check the body, it was a quite a surprise. I thought the guy who played the Phoenix cop, John Harkins, looked familiar. It turns out he played a few different characters on DS.


    We also had some tense moments between Laura and Dr. Guthrie. He escaped her spell for now, but I have a feeling there is going to be a Round 2. Laura had a nice "Angelique" moment with Dr. Guthrie with the "we'll see who wins" banter and even a sinister laugh.


    I'm looking forward to the scenes at the crypt...
     
  11. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    We're on to Collection 6. Last night, I watched episode nos. 179-181. I'm at the point where Josette has intervened with regard to Laura Murdoch Stockbridge's coffin. Great stuff, all the way around. You really can see where the Barnabas storyline got some of its origin. Speaking of which, I'm about thirty episodes away from his introduction. :)
     
  12. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Cinematographer

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    I must confess that right now I'm at the opposite end: I'm watching DVDs from the Summer 1970 storyline with Barnabas and Julia trying to prevent the ghosts of Daphne and Gerard from taking over Collinwood, so there's only a couple more months left to the series! Since Kathy Cody is slated to make her DS Festival debut this summer (yes, I'm going to Burbank!), I thought I'd revisit her episodes.
     
  13. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott, Collection 6, Disc 1 is on the waiting list, so I'll be falling behind.


    I can't wait for Barnabas' first appearance. I've seen that clip of Willie opening the coffin and Barnabas' hand grabbing him by the throat, but I've never seen the actual episode.

    Of course, I'm enjoying the Laura story but I hope the ending isn't too abrupt (I saw the interviews which indicate that the story wrapped up quickly due to Diana Millay's pregnancy).


    Charles, enjoy the DS Festival. I've been to a few of them long time ago. I might consider going again if Mitchell Ryan was there - or Abe Vigoda
     
  14. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    I envy all of you who have gone all these years to the conventions.
     
  15. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mark,


    I wish I could get to a convention some year. I've been a member of one of the Dark Shadows fan clubs (the Maplewood, N.J. one) for years, but have never gotten around to attending any one of several conventions that are advertised in their newsletter. Maybe one day I will. I did receive a letter from Kathryn Leigh Scott, however. I treasure that momento.
     
  16. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    Scott I had no idea there were more then one convention. I get Shadowgram and have for many years. I also get a separate mailing from the DS Festival each year which comes from Maplewood NJ. I still want to say once again Bravo to you and George!! I enjoy reading this thread so much.


    The music for Laura's spells was composed for her. The music is not in the big set of cds. I can hear fans scream "Yes it is". There is only one music cue and it is different much in the manner of the two version's of the classic Barnabas Theme. I was glad to get the second theme in the box set. I heard it used for the last time in a Barnabas Julia scene 1840. The episode next to Barnabas is free of the curse. Laura's true spell theme is on DS Volume 2. The Widow's Wailing is also excluded from the box set. There is a cue which is the basis for it I believe on disc 1 or 2 of the box set. The Widow's Wail was only used on the show during the Liz and Jason storyline 2 or 3 episodes. The Widow's Wail is on DS Volume 3.

    I loved the show for many things the music was a huge part. What soap opera had instrumental music? My Mother watched the Doctors on NBC and I always thought Robert Cobert had composed for them. I thought he carried some tunes with him from DRs to DS. I could be wrong on this.

    I always liked when ever a switch in time came new music came with it. There I was reel to reel taping audio to listen to years after the show ended.

    Thanks again for a great read!
     
  17. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys. I would recommend going to the festival; it's definitely worth seeing at least once, and this one in Burbank looks awfully good. Jonathan Frid *and* David Selby are going to be there.


    I went a few times in the early 90's and then once in 2003. The first time I went, I got a chance to see Joan Bennett. Her health must have been failing as she was only at the autograph table and she died not very long after this event. I did get a chance to see many of the major cast members. Does anybody know if Alexandra Moltke or Kate Jackson have ever appeared in the festival? Those two would definitely bring me back to see it.
     
  18. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Cinematographer

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    I've been to every East Coast Festival since 1984, anmd was also fortunate enough to meet Ms. Bennett on several occasions. I wrote to her on her 80th birthday and she replied with a beautiful 'thank you' note which I treasure to this day. Mark, by all means you should go to a Festival. This summer will mark both my first West Coast Festival and my first plane ride!

    Neither Jackson or Moltke has made an appearance, the same with David Henesy- they're the 'holdouts' among the DS stars. On the other hand, Alexandra Moltke Isles does answer fan mail (I wrote to her last year and sent her to photos which she autographed for me). I only wish I had mailing addresses for Jackson and Henesy, though.


    Yes, Mr. Cobert did do incidental music for The Doctors. Back in the 60s, most soaps were still using organ music (General Hospital did up to the mid-70s!), but there were exceptions, like Days of our Lives, and the two shows Mr. Cobert did. As I see it, after the 1795 storyline, there was a who new batch of music cues added to the show (some taken from the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde project, including the soon-to-be-famous "Quentin's Theme"). Then in 1970 some more new music was added, like "Ode to Angelique", and possibly the last major piece written for the show, "Joanna" from the 1840 storyline, which also became the theme from Night of Dark Shadows. It's a shame that there wasn't a theme written for the Bramwell & Catherine 1841 PT storyline, as it is a personal favorite. I guess since the series was apparently winding down, there wasn't time for Cobert to write something new.
     
  19. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    Quote:


    Correct. Although Jackson and Moltke have never appeared at a convention, they did surprise me (and others) when they both appeared at the Museum of TV and Radio seminar in Los Angeles a few years ago, so I still have hope they'll come to a convention (The event was released on DVD by MPI called, Dark Shadows Reunion).


    Jackson has been appearing at autograph shows recently, so maybe she'll attend a convention someday. Not to sound cruel, but I read in the news this week that Jackson says she's broke, and claims her former financial advisor has left her in financial ruin. Sounds like its time to do a DS convention and make some $$$.


    Another minor DS actor, Geoffrey Scott (Sky Rumson), also attends autograph shows, but not the conventions. He told me he gets an invitation every year to come.


    Jonathan Frid stopped coming to the conventions for a long time (10 years?) before recently returning.
     
  20. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    We're up through episode #183 now. The final word spoken in that episode (from Dr. Guthrie to Laura Collins) was 'undead.' It's quite a memorable moment.
     

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