THE DRAWING ROOM #32: DS EPISODES 366-370

These episodes of Dark Shadows originally aired November 20-24, 1967.

In this installment of the Drawing Room:

  • Our Time Machine makes a side trip to 1795
  • Exercising the acting chops on some meatier roles?
  • Slap!
  • Jeremiah is bewitched, Abigail’s picking up evil vibrations, and Vicki does her best impersonation of the Energizer Bunny
  • Sibling sniping and manipulations
  • Whoever said “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” must have dated Angelique
  • Vicki’s new reality: doppelgangers, dreams, and embracing the past
  • Has Barnabas gone from villain to victim?
  • Ready! Get SET! Yes, nicely done…

AND

  • Hulk Smash!
  • and…we have a Winner!

Welcome Crazy Angelique with the crazy eyes

A new family dynamic

This week’s award is for Set Design

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13 Responses to THE DRAWING ROOM #32: DS EPISODES 366-370

  1. Mark says:

    On the NBC soap Passions, the witch Tabitha refers to going out on a date with “Barnabas”, you would think that after his experience with Angelique that he would be more careful 🙂

  2. The biggest change to established Collins history for Vicki would be that Barnabas Collins is engaged to marry Josette Dupres. The Collins family history that she knew was that Josette came to America to marry Josette (and Barnabas taught Josette English). She also, rather tactlessly, tells Jeremiah that she’d always heard that Barnabas and Jeremiah didn’t like each other.

    So, once Nathan reads the wedding invitation to Vicki, that should come as a shock to both her and to us as we’ve been watching the show so far. Even as recently as a month prior, Barnabas was still telling Julia a different version of the family history.

    Vicki is often accused of being as dumb as a bag of rocks, but I will cut her some slack in that she has to serve as Captain Exposition for this rather revolutionary (no pun intended) flashback. Someone who missed an episode might tune in and wonder why Maggie is trying and failing to speak with a French accent (glad that didn’t last long). So, Vicki has at least one encounter per day with a doppelganger, which provides a chance for the audience to understand what’s going on.

    I think Chrissy has commented on this but this is around the time that DARK SHADOWS stopped behaving like a normal daytime soap opera. Soaps are notorious for moving SLOWLY. This is intentional so that you could miss a couple episodes a week and still follow the plot. DARK SHADOWS still conformed to this during most of 1967 but around the time of Dave Woodard’s death, its narrative style started to change completely. Missing episodes would mean missing key developments. Have you noticed how the opening narration has started to change from setting up the scene thematically to explaining the previous cliffhanger and so on? This would only increase as the show progresses. By 1897, I think even the actors started to get confused.

  3. Mariam says:

    Hey, you sure covered a lot of ground. As Stephen says, things are moving fast. You’ve also explained something that I’ve wondered about for 45 years now, at least whenever I thought of Dark Shadows: If Barnabas loved Josette, why was he messing with her maid? Did he know Josette at the time? Now, I hear his explanation, that he was only loving Josette from afar. Still, at that time, a scion of a great merchant family would not have “good intentions” toward a maid, no matter how much he felt he loved her. However, I really don’t think that Barnabas was going to Angelique’s room for a tryst while he’s engaged to Josette; he’s not that much of a cad.

    I’ve speculated that some of the plot changes in the 18th century story in the recent Tim Burton movie are, in fact, to make Barnabas more sympathetic (although he still is presumptuous—Jonathan Frid’s phrase—and isn’t always remorseful when he kills people). So, in the Burton movie, Angelique is a household servant in the Collins house in Maine, and her fling with Barnabas can be explained away as an understandable mutual teenage thing that Barnabas felt he had grown out of.

    Similarly, you mention that André DuPrés’ wealth is in West Indies sugar. One can’t do that without a whole lot of slaves, and the Collins family, among the class of the great New England merchants, would at best be benefiting indirectly from slavery. But in the Burton movie they amass their wealth from the fishing industry at the get-go, taking that slavery stigma away from the Collins’s, in a more politically correct time.

    • Mariam, you’re right. Barnabas could not have had “good intentions” with Josette’s personal maid. They could have had no future together. As I recall, Barnabas states that when things went too far with Angelique, it was a time when he and Josette had written but he didn’t know if she felt the same way. Let’s face it: Barnabas is a drama queen. It’s one of the key elements of his character (he’s a classic 4 if you follow the enneagram personality types). Josette — ever the lady — was probably playing it cool and Barnabas might have thought all was lost and sought temporary ego-inflating solace with someone who did not play it cool.

      The 1991 TV series did not present a particularly complex Angelique — more of an Alex from “Fatal Attraction” but not as stable. Barnabas, however, sleeps with Angelique when she comes to his room in this version. This makes Barnabas a jerk (as I tended to view the 1991 version) who the next day coldly demands that Angelique take Josette’s bags, as if reminding her of her place.

      Frid’s Barnabas rejects Angelique in a more humane manner. He loves Josette so he can’t be with Angelique. He lets her down as though he’s letting down someone of his own class. He doesn’t tell her that her designs on him are as realistic as Ben Stokes pursuing Millicent Collins.

      Chrissy had wondered if Angelique was 225 or 2025 or just 25 during this flashback. The series contradicts her actual age at least twice, but based on how she’s portrayed during this storyline, it’s clear that she’s very young. There’s something very Gatsby about Angelique. She doesn’t quite understand that no matter what she does, she’ll never escape the circumstances of her birth. Barnabas will of course pursue his own Tom Buchanan (Josette). Some have argued that Angelique’s interest in Barnabas is solely based on her resentment of Josette — her desire to have what her mistress has, which would include being treated as a lady (there’s a great scene later between Angelique and Joshua Collins that plays to this concept). However, I think Angelique loves Barnabas genuinely. She is a more interesting character if that is the case… if she is someone who loves not wisely but too well.

  4. Mark says:

    The Dark Shadows stories in the Big Finish line imply that Joshua Collins was to a certain extent involved with the slave trade. In The Night Whispers, rumors of slave trade and munitions smuggling are mentioned by Barnabas Collins. The story features Jonathan Frid and John Karlin,

    • Mariam says:

      That’s interesting; I knew nothing of it. Thanks. Do you recall if Barnabas mentioned those activities because he was disturbed by them?

      • Mark says:

        He does not dwell on them, but he does talk about in the context of the family curse.
        The story itself is very post colonial in that it focuses on the mistreatment of an individual (minority-female) by colonizers who are european. In that sense, the story does indicate that it is wrong to exploit others.

  5. ChrissyV says:

    Hey, congratulations to the winners! Especially to a fellow San antonian! 🙂

    Really wonderful synopsis, Russ! Very nice work.

    What happened to the music cue that usually marks the start of the DS discussion?

    Your enthusiasm for this change in storyline is contagious. I’m with Russ–this one isn’t a favorite time period of DS, for me, I also prefer the present day characters. I skipped it when I began watching the show again, but I’ll follow along as it’s covered here, and that should make it more fun.

    I liked the string of clips with Vicki and the identity confusion. So funny! She just isn’t very sharp.

    Perhaps Barnabas was just better about hiding his shock over seeing familiar faces, in 1967. He also wasn’t mysteriously plunged into that time; he knew something of what to expect, from Willie, presumably.

    Doesn’t Barnabas say something–or think something, in the beginning, about how Liz resembles Naomi? Doesn’t he make a gift of some jewelry to her, something that had belonged to Naomi?

    Josette’s character is kind of a dul disappointment, after so much build up, after all the wistful longing and remembering that Barnabas does, throughout 1967.

    The comparisons of roles from each timeline for each of the actors was so interesting. I too am glad to see Clarice B. get a better-developed character!

    Btw, I don’t believe Barnabas ever lead Angelique on, although I admit, it’s tough to view this relationship fairly, perhaps, from a modern perspective. I can’t be convinced that she was an innocent, and I think hoped that her dalliance with him would lead to improved circumstances for herself. I have a very hard time accepting that she could love him, considering the hell she puts him through…but we aren’t supposed to know about that, right now. 🙂

    • Mariam says:

      Yes, in my recollection Josette was rather dull after all that. But then again, I never knew Maggie as other than a confused person with no memory (I started watching DS just after she had been bitten by Barnabas), so Josette was an improvement!

    • russ says:

      We don’t normally have a musical cue to start the discussion, Chrissy. We just come out of the 1960’s commercial, cold.

      However, we do normally have a musical cue to start the synopsis, and that may be what you’re thinking of. Since the synopsis itself had a musical bed under it this time, we felt that the opening bumper we normally use for that segment clashed with the quiet notes that begin “Hall of the Mountain King.” It was just an artistic decision. But as you can see, the bumper has triumphantly returned.

  6. Mateo says:

    You have a few details wrong. First Josette was not enagegd to anyone other than Barnabas, at least once we enter the 1795 storyline. Before this we learned that she had married Jeremiah but not the exact details of this. We’d been led to believe that she came to Collinwood as Jeremiah’s bride and that Barnabas fell in love with her. But upon entering the storyline we learn that she was enagegd to Barnabas but through Angelique’s witchcraft she elopes with Jeremiah and they both regret this later on. I don’t think Barnabas and Josette knew each other very well but due to the tragedy their relationship had suffered he idealized her and held her to be the perfect woman, so when he is released into the present day world he wants to find another woman who is similar to her to replace her. Maggie looks like her so he tries to change her into Josette but this doesn’t work because Maggie wants to be herself instead of becoming someone else. He tries with Vicki but Vicki is in love with Burke and later with Jeff/Peter so though over time he comes to love Vicki for herself and not just as a Josette replacement, he can’t have her since she loves another man.Barnabas was not the one on trial for witchcraft in 1840, it was Quentin. Angelique has a part in freeing Quentin and Desmond just as Quentin is fixing to lay his head down on the block. Her testimony was not quite enough to free them but when Desmond shoots Gerard and the head of Judah turns into a skeleton, the judge realizes that Judah had been possessing Gerard and not Quentin. For Angelique’s part in this, Barnabas suddenly decides he loves her and has all along. I am extremely skeptical of this love since he seems to have forgotten all the grief she’d caused him in the past (the destruction of his whole family) and even her recent deeds in 1840, the death of Roxanne by vampirism and being forced by her brother to face daylight and the sufferings of his good friend Julia. Julia, as we know, loved Barnabas and had many times risked her life for him. She had followed him to the past and parallel time to help him and he had finally come to appreciate her and care for her. But he did not love her other than as a friend. It seems the only way we can truly determine who Barnabas’ true love was is by whether the love was mutual or not. With Josette it was mutual, but IMO it lacked depth, they didn’t truly know each other that well. With Maggie and Vicki it was unrequited since they both loved other men. With Angelique for the most part it was unrequited since she loved him but he did not love her. With Roxanne it was mutual but tragedy intervened both in parallel time and in 1840. I feel that these relationships also lacked depth since they didn’t know each other well (not really having time before the tragedy occurred). With Julia it was also unrequited but they did come to know each other very well. I think that after their return to the present, Barnabas and Julia eventually got together but that’s just conjecture on my part.Alondra

  7. Silvered Nickel says:

    Bring on Angelique!

    While this is NOT something Dark Shadows ever brings up in ANY media. Another show I watched did time-traveling and explained the use of the same actors of the time-traveler seeing the same souls in their older bodies (before being reincarnated in their present-day counterparts). Perhaps Vicki is merely projecting onto people. After all the show does later say that there is a theory that there are only 12 faces in the world. Another excuse is Collinsport is a small town, so genetic variance is limited, though for the duPres family to pass on their genes to 1960s…

    I understand that Vicki basically had to have a week of “you’re so-and-so-from-the-1960s, but now you’re who?” I just wish that they did it as internal dialogue or her having a private monologue in her room.

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