“They said this joint starts jumpin’ when the kids get here,” private detective Wilbur Strake notes approvingly to his client Burke Devlin as they sit at the bar in the Blue Whale observing the action on the dance floor. “They sure were right!”
There’s a party going on, and Carolyn Stoddard, daughter of Collinwood matriarch Elizabeth Stoddard, is at the center of it, frugging her way all around the room as surf-style guitar instrumental music is blaring from the jukebox.
In his story outline, Shadows on the Wall, Art Wallace describes Carolyn, seventeen, as “an attractive, vivacious young girl who enjoys every moment of life” and also as one who plays the field. Her introduction in the second episode of Dark Shadows certainly lives up to this description, because she is dancing with every available young man on the floor – everyone, that is, but her date, Joe Haskell, who sits at their table with a beer before him, looking sullen and forlorn while Carolyn, not bothering to notice, treats him more like a chaperone than a date.
At one point Joe has had enough and rises from his seat to break off her latest dance. Her reaction is, “Just because you act 85 years old that doesn’t mean I have to!” And when her dance partner makes a caustic remark and things threaten to turn ugly, Carolyn is able to cool things down, talking her dance partner out of fighting her date and talking her date into sitting back down at their table, because she only wants “one more dance.” So Joe gives in and returns to his seat. Carolyn can work the situation because she makes the scene.
Watching from the bar, Strake comments, “Better luck next time, sonny.” Devlin leans over and asks Strake, “Who is that boy?” Strake replies, “Got a full rundown on page 20. Joe Haskell. Mama’s choice for little Carolyn.”
Here is Art Wallace’s introductory description of Joe in Shadows on the Wall: “Joe Haskell is twenty-one. A rugged New Englander with a deep love of the sea, Joe is a young man of natural dignity and quiet ambition.”
But the viewer’s first impression of Joe Haskell is that of a sap, cuckolded into brooding over a mug of beer while his date plays the field before his very eyes. But, finally, he’s had enough, and when he again rises to intervene, the tension of the moment invariably erupts into a fight, one that is broken up by the man who has been watching everything from the bar:
Burke Devlin: Go home, Miss Stoddard. Now!
Carolyn: Who are you?
Burke: A friend of the family. Now go home before the cops get here. Take her home, Haskell.
Carolyn: Now wait just a minute! What gives you the right to tell me I have to go – .
Burke: You go home with him Miss Stoddard, before I take you over my knee and paddle you right here in the middle of the dance floor. Now go on!
After Burke has returned to his place at the bar, on their way out he addresses the young man: “Haskell! When you get her where she belongs, come back here, I want to talk to you.” Then as the movements on the dance floor return to their normal rhythms, Strake observes, “Well, looks like the fight’s over, Mr. Devlin.” Burke replies, “Just beginning, Mr. Strake. It’s just beginning.”
Back at Collinwood, Carolyn storms through the foyer and into the drawing room, throws her purse and coat down on a chair, and then with arms crossed ruefully addresses the portrait of Jeremiah Collins, the builder of Collinwood, with, “Big shot. Who told him to build this prison anyway?”
Then Elizabeth walks in and we witness the first truly soap opera moment on Dark Shadows, a mother and daughter sitting in a room discussing issues of inner turmoil. In the process, we get a glimpse of the other side of Carolyn, the one she is always fighting to escape. Though writer Art Wallace emphasizes her determination to enjoy life, he also goes on to outline “…but, deep within, [she] is fearful of what life can do.” Wallace indicates that “Elizabeth thought she understood Carolyn’s drive…her need to get away, to escape from the oppression of years in the old house,” but that she didn’t understand that “Carolyn was propelled by twin devils…freedom and fear.”
Elizabeth: Carolyn, you don’t know how I worry about you.
Carolyn: I know, mother. But let’s face it. You love this house. And that’s just grand for you. But every chance I find to walk away from here and find a little brightness… Well how can you ask me to give it up?
Elizabeth: Well there are other ways.
Carolyn [smiles wistfully]: When I was ten years old I used to dream that a white knight would come along and rescue me from this dungeon. [smile fades to resignation] I guess white knights have gone out of style.
Elizabeth: I thought you like Joe Haskell. Carolyn, darling, all I ever pray for is for you to be happy. Joe loves you.
Carolyn: And I like him. But he’s not a white knight, mother.
Elizabeth: We can’t always get everything we want.
Carolyn: I’m going to try. So please. Please stop trying to marry me off. Okay? [turns away, sounding upbeat] Besides, how do you expect me to go away and leave you alone in this beautiful nuthouse?
Elizabeth: I won’t be. Not anymore.
Carolyn: You mean she actually came?
Elizabeth: A few minutes ago. She’s a nice girl, Carolyn. You’ll like her very much.
Carolyn: All I can say for her, mother, is she must be out of her mind.
Meanwhile, Victoria goes out for a walk on the grounds, to the edge of the cliff on Widow’s Hill, where she meets Roger, who walks up behind her, without alerting her of his presence there. In this scene we see the other side of his character, the smooth, sardonic cocktail charm.
Roger: Not planning to jump are you? You wouldn’t be the first, you know.
Victoria: You’re Roger Collins, aren’t you?
Roger: Correct. Brother of Elizabeth, father of David, and terribly sorry if I startled you.
Roger’s easy-going affability, though, soon erupts into a frenzy of worried concern when she tells him who stepped off the train from New York with her, after he apologizes for not driving down to the train station to meet her.
Victoria: I was lucky. A man got off the train with me. He got a taxi for me. He said he knew you.
Roger: Knew me?
Victoria: Yes. Devlin.
Roger [abruptly grabbing her by both arms, his tone deeply anxious]: What did you say?
Victoria [alarmed]: Mr. Collins, please!
Roger: Did you say Devlin?
Roger: Burke Devlin?
Roger [shakes her]: Are you sure?!
Victoria: Of course I’m sure!
[Roger looks out to sea, his face tense with distress]
Victoria: Mr. Collins, what is it?
Without another word, Roger releases his grip on her and sprints away into the night as she calls after him, “Mr. Collins!” When she returns to the house, she hears a piano being played behind closed drawing room doors. She walks in and Elizabeth is there, seated at the piano in deep, dark shadow. Victoria stands by the door watching her play, and her expression changes to one of concern as Elizabeth pauses to lean forward and put her head down to weep. Victoria takes a step forward as if to see what’s wrong, hesitates, then leaves the room, closing the door behind her.
And she has only been at Collinwood less than an hour. She has seen that the father of her charge has fear, her new employer has despair, but she still has hope. But will that sense of hope she brought with her last long in her new surroundings?
The first thing Elizabeth Stoddard says to Victoria Winters after letting her into the foyer is, “Do you have my letter?” She then asks that the young governess give back the letter that was mailed to her, which is an odd request. However, considering that the letter was handwritten, there may be a reason behind it, one that may be speculated on at a later time.
Victoria looks down from the drawing room window at the waves below the hill.
Tea in the drawing room at Collinwood.
Carolyn frugging at the Blue Whale.
Joe Haskell at the Blue Whale, fighting instead of frugging.
Burke steps in to break it up.
Don’t mess with Burke Devlin.
Carolyn tells Elizabeth about her unpleasant evening out.
Victoria goes out for a walk on the grounds of Collinwood.
Roger reacts when Victoria mentions Burke Devlin’s name.
View from atop Widow’s Hill.
Victoria hears a piano being played in the drawing room.
Victoria follows the sound of the piano music.
Elizabeth playing piano in the drawing room.
Victoria reacts as Elizabeth begins to weep.
Elizabeth: Miss Winters, David is likely to be different from any boy you’ve ever met.
Victoria: Mrs. Stoddard said you were the one who arranged for me to come here.
Roger: Oh, you don’t say.
Victoria: It’s true, isn’t it?
Roger: If Elizabeth says so, then it must be true.
Roger: Did you know that on a cloudless day you can see twenty miles out to sea? When I was a boy I used to bring a picnic lunch out here and dream for hours.
Victoria: Maybe I can do the same with your son.
Roger: With David?
Victoria: Doesn’t he like picnics?
Roger: I’m not exactly certain what he does like, Miss Winters. But if you intend to follow that plan, do yourself a favor. Stay away from the edge.
Dark Shadows extras: The Blue Whale is as crowded as it will ever be again. Including cast members and extras, there are a total of fifteen actors on set.
Crowded Blue Whale.
During the scene with Elizabeth and Carolyn in the drawing room, episode writer Art Wallace lifts two of Carolyn’s lines directly from his story outline in Shadows on the Wall. These are: “Besides, how do you expect me to go away and leave you alone in this beautiful nuthouse?” and “All I can say for her, mother, is she must be out of her mind.” In the story outline, the lines are written as “Besides, how do you expect me to get married and go off and leave you alone in this beautiful nuthouse.” and “All I can say for her is she must be out of her mind.”
The scene at the Blue Whale and Carolyn’s mood when she arrives home and the topic of discussion with her mother coincide exactly as given by Art Wallace in Shadows on the Wall: “Carolyn’s in a vile mood. The boy she’d been with had been a dud….had started an argument in the juke joint. There’d been a free-for-all, and her evening had been ruined.”
The Blue Whale bartender, played by Bob O’Connell, has some lines in this episode, though he is uncredited. In future episodes he will be identified as Bob Rooney, but in this episode he identifies himself by the name of Joe. When the fight breaks out on the dance floor, he gets on the phone and says: “Hello, Harry? This is Joe. Better send the sheriff over. He needs to break it up again.”
More of the location footage filmed on Saturday, June 11, is used in this episode, taken at and near Seaview Terrace (aka the Carey Mansion) in Newport, Rhode Island, for when Victoria goes for a walk on the grounds and when Victoria and Roger meet on Widow’s Hill.
In this episode Elizabeth is seen playing the piano in the drawing room. The reason for there being a piano in the drawing room comes from the character of a previous work by Art Wallace, which he drew on when creating the character of Elizabeth Stoddard. In The House, a one-hour production for NBC-TV’s Television Playhouse broadcast on September 8, 1957, Caroline Barnes is a wealthy recluse in a New England fishing village who occupies her time as a piano teacher.
In Art Wallace’s story outline for Shadows on the Wall, when Victoria Winters arrives at Collinwood it is the month of October.
This episode by far uses the most actors of any other episode. Including cast members and extras, there are overall eighteen actors appearing onscreen during this episode.
While Elizabeth and Victoria are having tea in the drawing room at Collinwood, a boom microphone dips into view. It can be seen against the portrait of Jeremiah Collins that hangs over the mantle, over the top left corner of the frame.
Boom mic across top left corner of portrait, Collinwood drawing room.
As Carolyn dances at the Blue Whale, when the camera is positioned at a low angle it reveals several stage lights across the top of the set.
Stage lights visible (top left to right) as Carolyn dances at the Blue Whale.
At the Blue Whale, as Harry moves from the jukebox toward Carolyn’s table several top of set stage lights can be seen along the way.
Harry (played by Robert Viharo), having just fed the jukebox at the Blue Whale.
In the foyer, just before heading out for a walk, Victoria says “Boo!” to the portrait hanging above the console, an obvious prerecorded tape dropped in from the control room, but the sound does not sync up with Alexandra Moltke’s gesturing.
As Roger moves forward to the edge of the cliff to greet Victoria, his footsteps sound as though they are treading on a bare floor.
The Blue Whale jukebox is a Seeburg Select O Matic 100.
The Petofi box can be seen on a table in the hallway outside Victoria’s room.
Food & Drink in Collinsport:
When Elizabeth serves tea in the drawing room, Victoria prefers hers with lemon rather than cream and one lump of sugar rather than two.
Elizabeth brings in a tray of tea to welcome Victoria to Collinwood.
At the Blue Whale, Joe sits with a mug of beer while Carolyn has a soda, most likely a brand of cola.
Joe with beer at the Blue Whale.
At the bar, Wilbur Strake snacks on pretzels as he provides Burke Devlin with background information on Joe Haskell and Carolyn Stoddard.
Burke Devlin and Wilbur Strake observing the action from the bar.
Cast Member Spotlight: Joseph Julian
Wilbur Strake waits for Burke Devlin at the Blue Whale in episode 1.
Though the name of Wilbur Strake will be mentioned in a few episodes ahead, this episode is the last we see of Strake onscreen, as played by Joseph Julian.
Julian began appearing on several TV series beginning in 1950. In 1957, he appeared in two motion pictures directed by John Newland (That Night! and The Violators), a character actor turned director who is perhaps best known as the director and host of “the other Twilight Zone” of the early sixties, One Step Beyond.
In The Violators, Julian plays a father whose teenage daughter has run into trouble with the law.
Joseph Julian with Arthur O’Connell in The Violators.
The Violators will be revisited in a future Cast Member Spotlight, as the film also co-stars another Dark Shadows alum — Clarice Blackburn.
DVD cover for The Violators.
Joseph Julian’s hard-boiled mug looks right at home in this 1960 episode of The Untouchables (The Tommy Karpeles Story; season 2, episode 11; broadcast December 29, 1960). Julian plays Fritz Herrling, a mob operative anxious to receive his cut for the million dollar train robbery he helped to pull off…
…so he puts a bit of muscle on the boss…
…a move that gets him only so far.
Joe Julian with Dick York in The Doubtful Doctor, an episode from season six of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
There will be one further incidental Dark Shadows connection with Joseph Julian. As the credits roll at the end of episode 144, ABC announcer Bob Lloyd mentions an ABC Stage 67 documentary that would be airing that night (Thursday, January 12), titled Sex in the Sixties, about the sexual mores of the decade as of that point in time. This documentary was narrated by Joseph Julian.
From the page I created for Dark Shadows Wiki:
Dark Passages is a novel written by Kathryn Leigh Scott and published in 2011 by Pomegranate Press, Ltd.
Set in the 1960s, Meg Harrison leaves her native Minnesota for New York to pursue a career in acting while working as a Playboy Bunny in New York’s Playboy Club. After changing her name to Morgana Harriott, she soon lands the role of Margie, a restaurant waitress and daughter of a local artist, in the new daytime TV serial Dark Passages. The show will eventually feature a vampire, but the catch is that Morgana is one in real life.
The characters described on the sets of Dark Passages resemble quite vividly those on Dark Shadows and the actors who played them. The diner set where Margie works is greatly similar to that of the Collinsport Inn restaurant on Dark Shadows.
For the back cover, Jonathan Frid wrote the following blurb: “Reading DARK PASSAGES was like being back on the sets of DARK SHADOWS, except with real vampires behind the scenes!”
In this eight-CD box set of composer Robert Cobert’s series soundtrack, every music cue used on Dark Shadows is available, including the full-length original recordings of the guitar instrumentals heard at the Blue Whale.
Since 2006, UK production company Big Finish has been extending the Dark Shadows legacy with audio dramas offering new stories featuring cast members from the original TV series. My favorite is the 2015 audio drama …And Red All Over, in which Mitchell Ryan reprises his role as Burke Devlin to the backdrop of an eerily compelling backstory on how he came to acquire his wealth in business. Also starring Kathryn Leigh Scott as Maggie Evans, with original series themes and music cues composed by Robert Cobert. A must listen for any fan of the first year of Dark Shadows.
Coming next: Episode 3: Information
— Marc Masse
© 2017 Marc Masse and Dark Shadows
from the Beginning. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of
the content herein is a violation of the
terms and standards as set forth under
U.S. copyright law.