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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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    We finished episodes 184-185 last night. A doctor who was a bit too inquisitive has just met his demise....
     
  2. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Scott, I didn't receive my disc 1 until Saturday. I have watched the first 3 episodes. There were some nice creepy moments at the crypt. especially when Laura makes her surprise appearance to the caretaker.

    But I have a little story about the arrival of my disc from Netflix. They try to get my DVD request from one of their facilities closest to my residence. Apparently, there were no available Collection 6, Disc 1 anywhere near me. In these cases, they will forward to me my next selection but try to get the current request from one of their other facilities. Well, when I finally got this DVD, it turns out that it came from their facility in - and I kid you not - Phoenix. But fortunately, when I opened the DVD slipcase, unlike Laura's tombs, it wasn't empty.
     
  3. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    LOL -- what a story! I'm just thankful that you didn't have to drive anywhere to pick up your DVDs. (See specifically episode #185. ;))
     
  4. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, I finished Disc 1.


    I was sad to see the good Dr. Guthrie bite the dust, but he did himself no favors. He should not have laid all his cards to Laura, as he was in no position to fight her. At least when Barnabas challenged somebody, he usually had the goods to deliver.


    However, I have to admit that Guthrie's demise made for some good drama. First, the hopelessness everyone had on losing an important ally, but even more compelling was how the Collins family, and unlikely ally Burke Devlin, united to stop Laura despite the odds (including David's wish to go away with her). Great stuff!
     
  5. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    We also finished disc 1 (completed it last night) (episodes 186-187). I was a bit surprised that Victoria (mostly), Sam, and David wanted to continue with the seance at the Old House after having heard the news of Dr. Guthrie. I loved the addition of Burke and Joe in this particular scene at the Old House. Burke is a bit peculiar in one of these episodes. He seemed genuinely shocked, and he looked as though he was beginning to believe what Vicky has been trying to tell him all along regarding Laura.


    Interestingly, we don't get one second of Laura on camera in these two episodes. The writers probably had a lot to tell about Guthrie's demise and the seance. And how about the cut to the Blue Whale with Burke and Joe? I don't think Joe is ever going to bury the hatchet when it comes to Burke. He's pretty insulting toward Burke much of the time, and Burke usually just shrugs it off. BTW, I agree -- great stuff.
     
  6. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott, you have some very good observations: The Victoria Winters character gets knocked, not only by fans but by Alexandra Moltke herself, for being clueless and being the ultimate damsel in distress, but here she shows quite a bit of guts to continue the seance. I also liked how Burke put the guilt trip on Sam to keep him from bailing out.


    Burke is just trying to come to terms with what's really going on here. Since he's known Laura for so long, it has to come as a big shock to him. Most of the characters are going through a similar feeling - Joe, Frank Garner, and even Roger can't be a naysayer anymore.


    Joe's attitude toward Burke seems natural to me. They are no longer rivals for Carolyn, but there's no reason for Joe to trust him either. The issue with Burke's vendetta on the Collins family may be postponed but it hasn't been settled yet. Also, Joe's scenes with Carolyn are interesting because he seems to be fighting hard not to be bitter toward her. He has reasons to be nice to Carolyn, but Burke, not so much.
     
  7. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    Victoria, in these pre-Barnabas stories, is cut from the same cloth as Nancy Drew, with plenty of intelligence and initiative, which is logical since she was designed as the lead character of the soap, out to discover the secret of her past.

    But post-Barnabas, Victoria's plotline was thrown out the window, and she became the character that Alexandra Moltke complained about. The 1795 storyline is an embarrassment, with Victoria just making one stupid blunder after another. The earlier version of Victoria would have quickly learned to keep her mouth shut.
     
  8. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    Yes, Victoria does show some resiliency. She has 1) almost been hit with an urn; 2) been locked in a room by David; 3) viewed (with Carolynn) the dead body of Bill Malloy; 4) seen the ghost of Bill Malloy; 5) been tied up and kept hidden behind a wall in the Old House by Matthew Morgan; 6) seen the ghost of Josette; 7) been told by David that he would come to her funeral -- but only because he likes funerals; and 8) spoken French when the ghost of Josette entered her being. And that doesn't even cover them all. I'd say she's done quite well given what she has had to go through in the early going.


    Yes, it's interesting how long it took Roger to believe in something supernatural. He (and just about everyone else) scoffed when David told him that he frequently sees the ghost of Josette at the Old House. {BTW, I've heard David say that he's seen other ghosts -- beyond those of Josette -- and I've often wondered whom he is alluding to when he says this. I've thought of Sarah, since this would make sense (even though we have yet to see her at this point in the series). It may be that the writers were grooming someone to be this 'next' ghost by the time Jason McGuire arrives on the scene.}


    I will probably conclude the Laura Collins storyline this weekend. It's been a fun ride!
     
  9. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I know what you mean. I also felt that she deserved a better ending to her story than what she got.
     
  10. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    We watched episodes 189-192 last night, which just about completes the Laura Collins story arc. Episode #192 featured the multiple cameras (four?) that are used and are discussed in a few books, journals, and online sites related to Dark Shadows. Although that is quite the feat for the time, I was at least equally impressed with what was occurring with the scenes between cutting to Laura and David at the fishing shack; namely, those of Victoria trying to interpret the information from Josette. What I particularly liked was the 'hue' that was used (almost as if we were seeing the scene from the eyes of Josette) around Victoria as she listened intently to what Josette was trying to say to her. I think this was the first time that that technique was used in the series, although I am not certain. BTW, I was trying to recall where I had seen Dr. Franklin (Ivor Francis) before. I may have to do an IMDb search to refresh my memory, but I know I've seen him in a few things over the years.


    Favorite line from this group of episodes: "How dreadful" (Laura, upon learning of the demise of Dr. Guthrie).

    {N.B.: Two of the episodes on this disc -- I think the next two -- are glorious kinescopes. These will be a treat for us, since we really enjoy the look and feel of these.}
     
  11. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Cinematographer

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    The late Ivor Francis did a lot of TV though his daughter is more famous: none other than General Hospital's Genie "Laura" Francis! Now there's one Laura I worship!
     
  12. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    We watched Laura's demise again (#191), and then completed episodes 192-194. The first of two consecutive kinescopes (episode #193) is noteworthy not for the relatively routine meeting of Joe and Maggie at the Blue Whale, but rather for the shady man in the background making his first appearance -- none other than Jason McGuire. Now I'm looking for an infamous portrait to make its first appearance in the foyer of The Great House at Collinwood.


    BTW, another note came to mind while watching #191 again. Besides the dramatic effect of the fire in the scene with Laura and David and the juxtaposition of Vicky's message from Josette, we get the rather sudden recovery of Elizabeth from her 'coma' in a nearby hospital in Boston during the exact time David is contemplating his decision. And her knowing that David is somehow connected with fire was rather chilling.
     
  13. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,


    It looks like Netflix simply does not have Collection 6 in my area, so they're coming from wherever, this time California. I finally got my disc and finished #192.

    So, I'm looking for some clarification (anyone feel free to respond): basically what Laura was offering David was to burn and rise up from the ashes to roam around the world as spirits until they become mortal again so they can go through the same process 100 years later? And Laura is now roaming the world alone where, ideally, she wanted her son by her side - and really what that means is he never grows up - he stays 10 years old? Is that how you interpret it?


    Also, it's great to see Joan Bennett back. She brought that business that no one should be fooling around in the basement again. I'm glad they haven't forgotten some of the earlier red herrings. I believe there was a crying ghost there. Hopefully, we'll find out what's up and the insinuation is that this is why she wants to immediately return to Collinwood. But hey, if it were me, I'd spend a few days in Boston first. Come on Liz, you haven't gone anywhere in 18 years - loosen up! Whatever is in the basement will keep - or will it?
     
  14. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    Yes, there was crying coming (ostensibly) from the basement earlier in the series. Speaking of which, do you know the resolution of what is in the basement? I can't recall if you mentioned whether or not you have seen this part of the series. I don't want to spoil this for you, seeing as I'm coming up to that part of the series now.
     
  15. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,


    No, I am still in uncharted waters here. I can't remember the exact point I started watching the show but it was in color and it was definitely before the 1795 storyline. I've seen pretty much everything past that point including the final episode. I'm really looking forward to seeing the early Barnabas episodes (in glorious black & white).


    But first things first - this Jason McGuire seems to be a quite a character and it should be a fun ride.
     
  16. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    Okay, thanks. :)


    One other note from the Laura story line. Did you notice (it was subtle) how Sam's hands were completely healed after Laura was engulfed in the flames?


    Last night, my daughter and I watched eight episodes (two repeats and six new ones). We began by watching the two kinescopes (#193 and #194) again. Then we finished disc two from Dark Shadows: The Beginning (Collection 6), and then moved on to disc three. We watched episodes 195-200.


    I like how the manslaughter storyline is wrapping up (thanks to Burke, for the most part). I am also seeing some interesting things I didn't catch my first couple of times through these episodes a few years ago. For example, Jason McGuire is beginning to admire some of the paintings in the main drawing room and in the foyer. And at one point, he is adjusting his tie in a mirror in the foyer, and you can see the reflection of paintings from the main room. These are nice touches to me, especially given what will appear in a few more episodes.


    {BTW, in an earlier episode -- I think around #189 or #190 (it's the one after Laura has appeared in David's room supernaturally, and in which Victoria checks in on David repeatedly to make sure that he is safe), there is a point when Victoria gets up to leave, and David pleads with her about something. He sounds exactly like Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) from The Bad Seed (1956 version), and it's quite chilling. My daughter and I reacted at the same time when we heard it, and mentioned this film to each other. That too was eerie. ;)}


    "But first things first - this Jason McGuire seems to be a quite a character and it should be a fun ride."


    Dennis Patrick played this part very well. Jason McGuire is untrustworthy, devious, manipulating, greedy, and shrewd. And those are his good points. ;)


    BTW, on a sad note, did you know that Dennis Patrick died in a fire in his home?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Patrick


    Here's an interesting tidbit that I did not know. (There may be some spoiler information in the link below, so please be aware.)


    "Dennis' dabblings in the world of horror began long before his stint on Dark Shadows, and he hold the distinction of becoming the first vampire to appear in a television production in 1951 on Stage 13."


    http://www.collinwood.net/cast/patrick.htm
     
  17. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,


    I did notice that Sam's hands were healed in that amusing scene with the art dealer.


    Don't know when I'll be receiving Disc 3, but I'm glad to hear they're wrapping up the manslaughter storyline. It would have been a shame for DS to leave that storyline hanging given how much time they spent on it, and not to mention that I'm curious to find out what happened.


    I'm sorry to hear what happened to Dennis Patrick.
     
  18. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    George,


    You know, that scene with the art dealer -- Portia Fitzsimmons -- isn't one that I recalled when I saw it on the DVD set. I was going to see which VHS tape it was on, as I can't understand why it doesn't ring a bell with me (from the tapes, that is). And you're quite right -- it is an amusing scene.


    Speaking of that scene and Sam's need to get those paintings back from Roger --


    I love how one painting in particular (though not one done by Sam) is an integral part of the next story line (introduction of Barnabas), and how they tied Sam's paintings into the locked basement story line. I thought that having Sam press Roger into checking the basement for these 'misplaced' paintings was a nice touch. I also love how paintings in general are very important to the series (e.g., when Sam starts to sketch Barnabas at the Old House, and Sarah at his own cottage).
     
  19. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    We watched episodes 201-205 last night. Did I mention that I really love the character of Jason McGuire? ;) I have to say that Willie I (James Hall) still doesn't impress me too much. I'd still like to know why he was replaced after only about four or five episodes. He was quite creepy, and way beyond pushy toward Maggie, Victoria, and (especially) Carolyn. It was very interesting to see how Elizabeth, whom up to this point had done everything Jason had asked of her, finally said enough once she learned that her daughter's well-being was being threatened. That was the last straw, and as a result, Willie I was pretty much shown the door.


    Episode #205 was very special for me. If you had asked me which Dark Shadows character had first uttered the name of Barnabas Collins, I would not have known. That was quite surprising to me.
     
  20. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    We finished disc four of Dark Shadows: The Beginning (Collection 6 DVD set) last night, having watched episodes 206-209. But I will be coming back to this disc in two episodes, as the special features include the all-important #211 with original commercials. I will probably watch that episode twice, once on this set and then again on the Dark Shadows: The Original Series (Collection 1 DVD set) due to its significance.


    More later! :)
     

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