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The Collinsport Historical Society
37 minutes | 2 years ago
Return to House of Dark Shadows
Will McKinley loves House of Dark Shadows. As a high school student, working for former Jonathan Frid nights and weekends on a series of one-man shows that had originated at fan conventions, the 1970 feature film was his gateway into the world of Dark Shadows. Nancy Kersey, a creative collaborator with Frid in those days, does not love House of Dark Shadows, a film she believes does a disservice to the television series. On Oct. 19, they made a pilgrimage to Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, New York — the film's shooting location — to debate the merits of the big screen version of Barnabas Collins.
33 minutes | 2 years ago
Kathryn Leigh Scott and Daisy Tormé
Kathryn Leigh Scott and David Selby recently reunited to play Maggie Evans and Quentin Collins once more for Big Finish Productions in a four-story boxset "Maggie and Quentin: The Lovers' Refrain." Set after "Return to Collinwood","The Lovers' Refrain" catches up with a very-much-in-love 21st Century Maggie and Quentin who find that as they get older - or at least as one of them does - life doesn't get any easier. Kathryn's recording sessions for this boxset took her to Los Angeles, New York and London. I snuck into the studio after she wrapped on her final day to grab a few words. Kathryn tells me about recording with (and without) David Selby and what she thinks of the new adventures their characters are now having. We also look back at the DARK SHADOWS 50th Anniversary celebrations - getting together with all the cast at both the fan event in Tarrytown and the group recording of the celebratory special "Blood & Fire." And looking further back Kathryn recalls working with Mitchell Ryan as Burke Devlin returned from the dead in "And Red All Over" and she remembers those Dark Shadows cast members no longer with us and how she wishes Big Finish had had the chance to work with them. Way back in 2014, Kathryn suggested her actress friend Daisy Tormé would be ideal to join the DARK SHADOWS audio adventures. After playing the well-meaning but ill-fated Melody Devereux in the highly acclaimed thirteen-part serial "Bloodlust," Daisy returned as a young Abigail Collins when we dropped in on 1767 Collinsport in the Scribe Award-winning "Blood & Fire". And now she's back once more in "The Lovers' Refrain". On a visit to the UK, Daisy fills me in on who she's playing this time, how she finds the voices for her characters, and her gratitude to Kathryn for bringing her into the Dark Shadows family.
37 minutes | 2 years ago
The Dark Shadows Daybook: On Barnabas Collins ...
Diabolical Daybook diarist Patrick McCray is joined by the Fabulous Alexis Latshaw to resurrect Barnabas Collins and argue that TV’s greatest villain is its greatest hero in a bizarre act of unnatural fan love.
9 minutes | 2 years ago
Penny Dreadful and the Vampire of Collinsport
Penny Dreadful's alter ego Danielle Gelehrter discusses her favorite vampire, Barnabas Collins, and her memories of growing up a "second generation" Dark Shadows fan.
12 minutes | 2 years ago
The House by the Sea with Jessica Dwyer
Jessica Dwyer explains why the sins of Collinsport's royal family aren't always that sinful.
35 minutes | 2 years ago
Big Finish's Welcome to Collinsport
The producers of Big Finish's line of "Dark Shadows" audio dramas talk about why extending the show's storyline has always been about extending the Collins family.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
The Dark Shadows Daybook with Patrick McCray
Patrick McCray and Justin Partridge have a drink at The Blue Whale and talk about Master of Dark Shadows, how the show speaks to the lonely and why the 1897 storyline is like an episode of "Fantasy Island" for Barnabas Collins.
7 minutes | 2 years ago
My Drawing Room with Alice Collins
Alice Collins talks about discovering "Dark Shadows" on The Sci-Fi Channel while home sick from school at age 11, and seeing something familiar in the show's themes and characters.
31 minutes | 2 years ago
The Clunes Reunion
On the seventh anniversary of Jonathan Frid's death, his production staff and creative collaborators reunite in New York City.
4 minutes | 2 years ago
Evolving in the Shadows with Ella Minnope
Ella Minnope talks about how the romantic aesthetic of the deep South compares to the dysfunctional Collins family.
9 minutes | 2 years ago
Night Rally with Dana Gould
Dana Gould discusses the Kennedys, the real-life family that could give the Collinses runs for their money in The Suffering Olympics.
84 minutes | 2 years ago
Barnabas Collins and the Bodice Tipplers
Jonathan Frid is on the cover of "Barnabas Collins," the 1968 Dark Shadows novel by Marilyn Ross, but he's otherwise absent from the book. You might even argue that Barnabas Collins, at least the character you might know from the television show, is also absent from the tale. A vampire bearing that name makes his way through the course of the story but, unguided by Frid's peculiar wounded menace and a staff of writers that understood how to find humanity even in the most inhuman of characters, there's not much in the story will look familiar to fans of the television series. And that's OK. It might even be a good thing, even if the results are often not that good. Tie-in properties are so tightly managed today that they rarely ever surprise. There's no place for innovation in stories intentionally designed not to affect the events around it. No matter the level of crisis introduced, we'll find our plucky heroes right back at square one by the end of the story. A Hollywood studio spent $200 million on the next movie in their blockbuster series and they're certainly not going to have their narrative upended by some $5 book. The rules were different for tie-in proprieties when Dark Shadows hit the airwaves in 1966. Back then, these things were just products to be dumped on shelves, and little thought was given to whether or not they were any good. There were efforts taken to maintain a basic level of continuity (if you did nothing else, you had to at least make sure Spock, Napoleon Solo and Will Robinson's names were all spelled correctly) but after that all bets were off. It's just too difficult to maintain continuity between a monthly comic series and a weekly television series. The people that should have been doing quality control on these products were otherwise occupied, leaving those details to lawyers only concerned with making sure the networks and production companies got paid. Dark Shadows had the additional complication of being a daily series. Whole characters and storylines would be over before the the next Marilyn Ross novel would hit stands, no matter how quickly they were cranked out. Trying to make these narratives line up was impossible, so Ross didn't even try. Besides, Ross (actually Dan Ross, a one-man gothic romance factory who wrote more than 300 novels under a variety of pen names) couldn't watch the show at his home in Canada, anyway. The end result was a line of books that only occasionally resembled the television series, usually by accident. The same was true (to various degrees) for the Dark Shadows comics published by Gold Key, the daily newspaper strip and the two feature films, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. (Both movies killed off characters that were still appearing on the daily on the television series.) Just to make things even more difficult, the daytime serial even dabbled in parallel timelines, giving fans an almost endless buffet of interpretations. While I've usually enjoyed seeing how the characters and situations from Dark Shadows might have developed in the hands of other creators, the differences can be quite jarring for even the most hardcore fan. And, if you don't already love the series, you might be less patience with Ross's seat-of-his-pants style of storytelling. He wrote more than 30 Dark Shadows novels in six years, as well as dozens of others during the same time frame. It's unsurprising that he was unable to maintain a continuity with the television series, but he was also unable to keep the facts straight in his own novels. The books frequently contradict each other. "Barnabas Collins" manages the stunning feat of contradicting itself. This is the situation that Sara and Courtney wandered into with latest installment of the Bodice Tipplers podcast. To say they were confused is an understatement. If you're looking for an explanation for Dark Shadows' appeal, you ain't gonna find it in this book. It was kind of a lose-lose situation for everybody involved, not the least of which was Dan Ross. The novel was likely begun when Barnabas Collins was still intended to be a one-off villain on Dark Shadows in 1967. By the time the book hit the stands in November 1968, the character had become an unlikely pop idol and sex symbol. But the Barnabas Collins depicted in "Barnabas Collins" was a sexual predator with a penchant for grooming young girls into his service, a character that hardly earns the "America's grooviest ghoul" starburst plastered on the back cover. There's little fun to be had here, save for the archaeological kind. To summarize: "Barnabas Collins" is a novel written by a man using a pseudonym about a television series he didn't watch, showcasing a character that had changed radically between the time the book was started and published, and features a supporting cast of characters that has almost nothing to do with anything seen on the daytime serial. Confused yet?
133 minutes | 2 years ago
It Runs in the Family
In this episode: Evolving in the Shadows with Ella Minnope Ella Minnope talks about how the romantic aesthetic of the deep South compares to the dysfunctional Collins family. Night Rally with Dana Gould Dana Gould discusses the Kennedys, the real-life family that could give the Collinses runs for their money in The Suffering Olympics. The Dark Shadows Daybook with Patrick McCray Patrick McCray and Justin Partridge have a drink at The Blue Whale and talk about Master of Dark Shadows, how the show speaks to the lonely and why the 1897 storyline is like an episode of "Fantasy Island" for Barnabas Collins. The House by the Sea with Jessica Dwyer Jessica Dwyer explains why the sins of Collinsport's royal family aren't always that sinful. The Clunes Reunion On the seventh anniversary of Jonathan Frid's death, his production staff and creative collaborators reunite in New York City. My Drawing Room with Alice Collins Alice Collins talks about discovering "Dark Shadows" on The Sci-Fi Channel while home sick from school at age 11, and seeing something familiar in the show's themes and characters. Big Finish's Welcome to Collinsport The producers of Big Finish's line of "Dark Shadows" audio dramas talk about why extending the show's storyline has always been about extending the Collins family.
60 minutes | 3 years ago
Behind the scenes of The Tony & Cassandra Mysteries
In June 2016, David Darlington, co-producer of Big Finish Production's Dark Shadows ranges, and I flew to New York to attend the Tarrytown celebrations for Dark Shadows' 50th Anniversary. When the fans visited the Big Finish tables, they all had requests for what they'd like to hear from the range... "Something with Julia", "More Tony and Cassandra", "Quentin and Laura in Eygpt", "More Tony and Cassandra", "What Happened Next to Adam", "More Tony and Cassandra"... All weekend, over and over, we were asked for further adventures of Tony and Cassandra. And it wasn't just us... when we were chatting with Lara Parker and Jerry Lacy about the stories they had both recently been writing for Big Finish they told us they'd been delighted by the requests for more they had been getting. ...So make more Tony and Cassandra we did. David and fellow co-producer Joseph Lidster got to work on The Tony and Cassandra Mysteries and - with script-editor Alan Flanagan - assembled their team of writers and a company of actors who could take on the guest roles in all four plays. And over in LA Jerry and Lara got ready to crack four more cases, this time joined by Jerry's wife, the multi award-winning Julia Duffy, as Tony's secretary Rita Channing. I attended the UK recording sessions and spoke to Davy, Joe and Alan... and the four writers and four guest actors to see what mysteries I could solve myself.
60 minutes | 5 years ago
Melody and a Whole Hird of Tormés
On her visit to the UK last month, I caught up with Daisy Tormé, star of Bloodlust and Blood & Fire. A life - long friend of Kathryn Leigh Scott, Daisy talks of how Kathryn brought her into the Dark Shadows world to be Bloodlust's Melody Devereux, a Victoria Winters for the 1980s. And she tells me how she approached taking on the established role of Abigail Collins in Big Finish Productions' 50th Anniversary Special Blood & Fire. Along the way we discuss her career, her childhood in both the UK and the US, and growing up with parents famous on both sides of the Atlantic as she runs through the members of a dynasty the equal of the Collins of Collinsport. This podcast also features the announcement of the winners of the signed copies of Blood & Fire and Echoes of the Past.
70 minutes | 5 years ago
MEANWHILE, AT THE BLUE WHALE
Join Robert Dick as he interviews Big Finish producers David Darlington and Joseph Lidster and writer Rob Morris. They look back at the BBC Audio Award short-listed BLOODLUST and the 2015 season of Dramatic Readings, and also look forward to the 50th Anniversary audio releases. Davy and Joe reveal the title of the standalone special as well as dropping a few details and teases regarding that and BLOODLINE.
43 minutes | 6 years ago
Mark Voger's MONSTER MASH!
It's HALLOWEEN! This night at the Collinsport Historical Society HQ might prove to be the most terrifying yet, for this is the night that the living will try to contact the dead. Specters will knock on doors and ring bells, extorting sugary gifts from the residents inside. This ritual might seem harmless enough to strangers, but I promise you: the tricks are very dangerous. If they visit and find your pantry barren of candy, vandalism is the best you can hope for. Several years back, Mrs. Merriweather, the assistant principal Collinsport Elementary, learned the hard way what happens when you try to pass off boxes of raisins to children on Halloween. As did her pet corgi, Raffles, god rest his soul. To keep us company on this long and lonely night, I invited author Mark Voger to join us. He’s the author of a wonderful new book, Monster Mash, which explores the golden age of the monster kid (and devotes quite a bit of real estate to DARK SHADOWS). The music in this podcast is courtesy of Dickie Goodman, Hans Conried, Alice Pearce, and Vampire State Building.
28 minutes | 6 years ago
Cody Schell discusses DARK SHADOWS: AND RED ALL OVER
This week, DARK SHADOWS fans all over the world finally got to hear the latest audio drama from Big Finish, AND RED ALL OVER. And it’s a milestone by anyone’s definition: not only is it the company’s 50th DARK SHADOWS release, it also marks the return of original cast member Mitchell Ryan. Ryan played antihero Burke Devlin during the first year of the show, exiting during the summer of 1967. Joining us is Cody Schell, the author of AND RED ALL OVER. Cody’s no stranger to DARK SHADOWS, having written THE FLIP SIDE back in 2013. But a word of warning: This podcast contains major spoilers for this story. Proceed at your own risk.
52 minutes | 6 years ago
VS. SETH GRAHAME-SMITH
Brooke Perrin and Patrick McCray discuss the shooting script for Tim Burton's 2012 feature, DARK SHADOWS.
84 minutes | 6 years ago
This is an interview that's been long in the planning stages. Since last summer, actor/writer Matthew Waterhouse has been willing to join us here at The Collinsport Historical Society podcast ... and then a baby shaped monkey wrench was thrown into the works. While I was looking forward to lording my interview with the one-time Adric from DOCTOR WHO, my schedule just hasn't been able to accommodate the podcast in recent months. Luckily for us, the roguish Robert Dick was willing to intervene. Waterhouse has been a part of the DARK SHADOWS family for several years now, and has been killing it on DARK SHADOWS: BLOODLUST. I'm actually 51 percent grateful to Robert for doing this, and 49 percent envious. This is one of our longer episodes, but well worth following to the end. Waterhouse talks about changing fashions of the original DARK SHADOWS, playing a villain on BLOODLUST, how happy endings tend to avoid Collinsport, "Famous Monsters of Filmland," and DOCTOR WHO.
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