Episode 32: What It Means to Be a Collins of Collinsport

What It Means opening GIF_ep32

 

Everyone at Collinwood knows that it was nine-year-old David who deliberately caused his father’s car to run off the road. Even Collins family matriarch Elizabeth Stoddard, after initially grappling with a bout of extreme denial, has come to terms with the truth.

 

On this night, Sheriff Jonas Carter in his Collinsport office has also put the pieces together, and knows he must act to bring the matter to a proper conclusion.

 

But in a surprising twist, when the sheriff pays a visit to Collinwood to present the findings of his investigation, Elizabeth intervenes on David’s behalf, providing for those most closely involved, her brother Roger especially, a grim but resolute reminder of what it means to be a Collins of Collinsport.

 

 

Episode 32 represents a defining moment in terms of understanding the Collins family and all it represents, in this case as embodied by Collinwood matriarch Elizabeth Stoddard.

 

Here in full evidence are the Collins family values that define its prestige; the core ideals and code of honor that provide continuity through the ages, not to mention the privileged option of protection from public scandal.

 

Being David’s father, it should rightfully fall to Roger to decide which course of action to take. But having been banished from Collinwood ten years earlier following the public spectacle of the Devlin trial, it is only under the auspices of guaranteeing David’s well-being that Roger has been allowed to return at all. Besides, Elizabeth knows full well that her brother is intent on sending David away at the first opportunity to a home for little murderers; there are also matters of family pride and continuation of lineage to consider.

 

Elizabeth: Roger, our family stands together. We always have and we always will. I think I’ve proved that to you in the past. I want to do as much for your son.

Roger: But David may not be my –

Elizabeth: Don’t tell me he’s not your son, because I won’t accept that! [indicates ancestral portraits on the wall] He belongs to them, just as we do. Jeremiah, Isaac, Benjamin, all of them. And he’s the youngest, and the last. And he needs our help. And we’re going to give it to him. Here.

Roger: What happens when other people find out?

Elizabeth: No one will find out, I’ll see to that.

Roger: Oh, Liz, it’s insane. I won’t let you do it!

Elizabeth: I’m afraid you have no choice, Roger! I’ve made up my mind. David is going to stay here.

 

Once again there is the question of whether David is in fact really a Collins after all.

 

Back in episodes 29 and 30 when David schemes his way into Burke’s hotel room for a visit, there was undoubtedly a natural connection between the two, with Burke at one point telling David that they were very much alike. Before the manslaughter conviction that sent him to prison, he and Roger Collins had been good friends, but more important the woman that went on to become David’s mother had been Burke’s girl. It was therefore easy enough for Burke to look upon David not so much as a Collins of Collinwood, but more as the son of the woman he had once loved. These two episodes where Burke and David appear to become instant friends, whereas nearly ten years together had made Roger and David bitter adversaries, seem to suggest that there may have been a very special reason for why there should exist such a sense of empathy between the two.

 

To review from Shadows on the Wall, the series bible written by story creator and developer Art Wallace:

 

“The crowning blow to Roger was the birth of David….seven months after the wedding ceremony. Although Laura insisted it was an early birth, Roger was certain that the child was not his….that David was Burke’s son. (Whether or not this is, in fact, the truth, is a determination for the future. It can easily be resolved either way, dependent upon the best and most exciting resolution for current story development.)” (Shadows on the Wall, pp. 23-24)

 

With Art Wallace himself writing the episodes up to this point, no one could be more adept at layering episodes 29 and 30 with all the subtle nuances to suggest the possibility of there existing with David a paternal connection to Burke Devlin. With these two episodes and the one that follows merely implying that Roger may not be David’s biological father, it is here in episode 32 that such doubt is spoken of outright, and by Roger himself:

 

Elizabeth: But he’s still your son.

Roger: Is he? Are you sure of that, Liz? I’m not.

Elizabeth: Roger!

Roger: I married Laura right after Burke’s trial, didn’t I? She was his girl, wasn’t she? And David was born almost eight months after our marriage.

Elizabeth: That’s ridiculous, Roger, and you know it.

Roger: Maybe not, and maybe. But I know that all the years I spent looking at that boy I kept seeing Burke. And I hated him Liz. I won’t deny it, I hated him.

Elizabeth: He’s your son, I’m sure of it.

Roger: Why? Because he’s deceitful, vicious, unpredictable? Because he tried to kill his own father?

Elizabeth: Perhaps he didn’t realize what would happen.

Roger: Oh, come on, Liz. Don’t try to protect the boy. I’ve known him, you haven’t. He’s been here two months. I’ve been with him for nine years. And do you know what they add up to, those nine years? [holds up the brake valve] This.

 

At the very least, this explains why Roger was never much of a father to David, because of all the lingering resentment in never being able to forget about Burke Devlin. Perhaps Roger is harboring a sense of guilt over this past association that went all wrong, and in a very telling exchange Elizabeth touches upon this:

 

Elizabeth: You say this adds up to nine years. Well I’m telling you it adds up to more than nine years. To a boy lying on his bed, trembling with fear, afraid of everything and everyone!

Roger: I’m supposed to be blamed for that, I guess.

Elizabeth: I’ve seen you with him, Roger. I’ve seen the hatred pour out of you! Smothering him, driving him deeper and deeper into his own fears, until he had nowhere to turn!

Roger: And that excuses him?!

Elizabeth: Nothing excuses him, let me make that clear! Nothing! But he’s been forced to live his lifetime with your guilts.

Roger: Guilts? Maybe you’d better tell me what you mean, Liz.

Elizabeth [looking down at her hands]: No, it… it doesn’t matter.

Roger: Perhaps it does, Liz.

Elizabeth: I – I had no right to say that, I’m sorry.

Roger: I have no guilts, Liz.

 

This raises the question of what Elizabeth may know about the past, possibly concerning Roger with regard to Burke’s manslaughter conviction. Does she in fact believe, somewhere in the back of her mind, that it was instead Roger who was guilty? Soon after the Devlin trial, Roger and Laura moved seventy miles away, to Augusta, with the understanding that he was never to return to Collinwood or even Collinsport again. Elizabeth even sent them “monthly remittances” (Shadows on the Wall, p. 24); that’s an interesting term, the meaning of which indicates a fee for services rendered or payment in some other context – it certainly wouldn’t have been intended as a gift. Perhaps Elizabeth was merely paying for her brother’s continued absence, or even his “guilts” as she let slip above. Also, her words about the family standing together and telling Roger “I think I’ve proved that to you in the past. I want to do as much for your son” would seem to point toward an unspoken complicity in whatever Roger may have been guilty of concerning Burke’s manslaughter trial and conviction.

 

In any case, Roger will have no say as to how David is to be dealt with in the aftermath of the accident he caused, the continued fallout of which has brought the sheriff to the front door of Collinwood:

 

Sheriff Carter: Well, it’s about the wrench. I guess you remember, Burke said he found it on the seat of your car.

Roger: I remember.

Carter: Mrs. Stoddard, I want you to know, I could be wrong. I’ve made mistakes before, lots of times.

Roger: Is it about David? Tell me, Mr. Carter. Is it about my son?

Carter: Yes, there were prints on the wrench.

 

This is where Elizabeth jumps in to seize control of the situation, despite Roger’s emphatic protest:

 

Elizabeth: Jonas, there’s no reason to go on with this.

Carter: I wish there weren’t, Mrs. Stoddard.

Elizabeth: What I mean is, we’ve learned we were all mistaken. Not only about Burke, but about the reason for the accident.

Carter: I don’t understand.

Elizabeth: Well, you see, no one did tamper with the brakes. The valve fell off by itself.

Roger: Liz!

Elizabeth: I’m sorry I couldn’t call you, but I just found out about it.

Roger: Liz, what are you trying to do?!

 

Elizabeth then explains to the sheriff that the caretaker was not thorough enough in having the brake system checked despite the valve having been loose several times in the past. She even forces Roger to produce the valve from his pocket so the sheriff can see for himself:

 

Carter: I see. What you mean is, you want me to drop the case.

Elizabeth: Well, there are no criminals involved. Why continue?

Carter: Well, I always did like easy solutions.

Elizabeth: Then they’ll be no further investigation.

Carter: Why should there be, when there’s no one to investigate? Well, I better be getting home. I promised my wife I’d take her to a movie.

 

So this is how the story of the missing brake valve wraps up, with a new skeleton for the Collins family closet.

 

In Shadows on the Wall, this diversion takes up barely a dozen paragraphs before it is quickly forgotten. In the series however, Roger’s accident and the ensuing unpleasant aftereffects move front and center over several weeks of episodes, with the profound result of getting everyone in the household to question their values and system of beliefs and in the process pushing desperate, frightened people to their emotional limit. Even more significant is what it provides the viewer: an up close look at the lurid truth behind the façade of respectability and stature, for the Collins family hold many secrets and to be a Collins of Collinsport is to resign oneself to the acceptance of secrecy in exchange for being shielded from consequences. In maintaining the Collins legacy and what it stands for, when it comes to guarding family secrets Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has proven herself to be a very shrewd gatekeeper indeed.

 

Dark Shadows is also the story of Victoria Winters and the search for clues to the mystery of her origins, which may also be locked up among the secrets being secured from view by Elizabeth Stoddard, as previous episodes have strongly hinted.

 

If the sheriff of Collinsport cannot get past the castle guard, then what hope would the governess of Collins House possibly have?

 

The Collins family and the mystery that surrounds it appear as dark and formidable as the great house of Collinwood itself.

 

Location footage for Collinwood_from back lawn of Seaview Terrace_teaser_ep32

 

Addendum:

Having had no choice but to give director Lela Swift a few days off to think about her behavior in the Dark Shadows television studio during episode taping, executive producer Dan Curtis’ choice of a temporary replacement, associate director John Sedwick, is only serving as a reminder of how much he relies on the Lela’s vast capabilities as a director.

 

Sedwick’s first outing as director, episode 29, required two takes, putting a heavy strain on an already limited budget. During the taping of episode 31, Dan was forced to chastise Sedwick for berating David Henesy over the control room microphone when the young actor was having trouble getting a door open while running away from Roger.

 

In the teaser for episode 32, it’s Louis Edmonds who finds himself the target of Sedwick’s ire when bloopers generated by others in the studio get in the way of the scene. As Edmonds reaches the bottom of the foyer stairs there’s the sound effect of the front door opening, so he turns to his left. Either the sound man has given the sound effect too early or Joan Bennett is late with her entrance; probably the latter, because when Edmonds looks to see no one entering the set he appears lost and meanders aimlessly about the set for several very long seconds. As he moves toward the drawing room doors, Sedwick provides direction through the control room microphone: “Turn around.” But he doesn’t say these words as a simple direction, rather they are spoken as if he were telling the actor, “Turn around, you friggin’ idiot!”

 

You can see the look on Louis Edmonds’ face afterward, obviously angry…

 

Louis Edmonds visibly angry over director John Sedwick's tone_ep32

 

…visibly taking a deep breath to compose himself.

 

Louis Edmonds takes a deep breath to compose himself_ep32

 

From somewhere nearby, perhaps in the control room also, Lela Swift is on hand to comment on Sedwick’s tone:

 

Lela Swift: Dan, did you hear John Sedwick, talking to Louis Edmonds like that?

Dan Curtis: John, I’m going to have a word with you over the opening theme.

 

[waves intro]

Dan: John, if you want to stay on the show, you have to be a little nicer to the actors. You can’t talk to Louis Edmonds the way you were. Do you know how condescending that sounds? I’ll give you one more chance.

 

In the middle of Act I, as the scene changes to the sheriff’s office and you see Sheriff Carter poring over blowups of fingerprints taken from the wrench found in the garage at Collinwood, the camera angle shows that Michael Currie has on the desk to his right a copy of the episode script, which Dan Curtis comments on from the control room.

 

Dan: Look at Michael Currie. He has the script right on the desk, so he can study it. Michael Currie wants to make this work. But Lela says I have to get rid of him, if she’s going to promise to behave. Lela’s destroying my entire supporting cast.

John Sedwick: Then why do you keep her on?

Dan: I like Lela. She understands actors on an emotional level, in a way that male directors don’t.

 

This is a revealing exchange, because it explains why Dan has put up with so much from his temperamental director but still won’t let her go no matter how much she pushes him. Being given time off was a disciplinary action on Dan’s part, and yet Lela is managing to call the shots concerning her eventual reinstatement.

 

The following exchange between Dan and Lela took place in the control room over the end credits for the taping of episode 30, but because it is relevant to this, Michael Currie’s final Dark Shadows episode, it is transcribed here:

 

[end credits for episode 30]

Dan: Lela, how many times do I have to tell you? When I put John Sedwick in to direct an episode, that means you keep out of the control room!

Lela: Dan, I want to talk to you about something else. I want you to fire that Michael Currie.

Dan: Michael Currie? What does Michael Currie have to do with anything?

Lela: Dan, the way Michael Currie talks about me in between scenes, he says I’ve gone off the deep end.

Dan: Well if you have a problem with Michael Currie, then you solve it.

Lela: Dan, if you want me to come back on the show and behave, then you have to get rid of Michael Currie. Just do this for me, and I’ll be in perfect good behavior.

Dan: Oh, Lela, not another supporting actor. Do you know what this is going to cost me?

Lela: Dan, I need you to fire Michael Currie. I can’t work with him…

 

Michael Currie’s final scene on Dark Shadows ends with a blooper. The foyer set is not fully dressed, so there’s an empty space where the wall should be to the right of the front doors. After the sheriff makes his exit you can see the actor passing by along the exposed studio space. This opening also makes it easier to hear Michael Currie’s off-stage remarks, possibly to a crew member:

 

Michael Currie: Well, I’m off Dark Shadows, thanks to Lela and all her craziness. My first TV job. Now where will I go?

 

As Louis Edmonds ascends the foyer stairs and walks across the landing at the close of the final scene, Lela can be heard reacting to Michael Currie’s comments, which the boom mic has obviously picked up and relayed to the control room:

 

Lela: Michael Currie blames me?!

 

Over the end credits, Dan discusses with Lela the terms of her returning as Dark Shadows director, in which he issues a firm ultimatum:

 

[end credits]

Dan: Alright, Lela, I fired Michael Currie. I hope you’re happy with yourself. Kathryn Leigh Scott will come back on Dark Shadows if you behave.

Lela: Kathryn Leigh Scott will have no problem with me.

Dan: I hope you mean it. Because if you mess up again, John Sedwick will be the director of Dark Shadows and you’ll be the associate director. Understand?

Lela: Yes, Dan, I understand. I’ll behave.

 

Until next time, this has been The Dan and Lela Show.

 

Photo Gallery:

“He tried to kill me. My own charming son.”

He tried to kill me My own charming son_ep32

 

After Roger has shown her the missing brake valve that came home with his son, Elizabeth has no choice but to accept the awful truth.

Drawing room portrait over liquor cabinet_ep32

 

Sheriff Carter examines a blowup of fingerprints taken from the wrench that was used to remove the valve from the brake cylinder on Roger’s car.

Sheriff Carter examines fingerprints taken from the wrench_ep32

 

“I really need your help, Bill.”

I really need your help Bill (2)_ep32

 

“David and his mother. My loving wife and my adoring son. Laura and David. Love and respect. Liz, it was hell.”

Liz it was hell_ep32

 

“Oh, come on, Liz. Don’t try to protect the boy. I’ve known him, you haven’t. He’s been here two months. I’ve been with him for nine years. And do you know what they add up to, those nine years? This.”

Roger summing up what nine years with David add up to_ep32

 

“Bill, do you think David’s the kind of boy that would really hate his father? I don’t mean kid stuff. I mean hate. The real thing.”

Bill do you think David is the kind of boy who would really hate his father_ep32

 

“I think you’d better tell me what you’re after.”

I think you'd better tell me what you're after_ep32

 

Bill Malloy finds it difficult to accept what the fingerprint evidence indicates.

Bill Malloy finds it difficult to accept what the fingerprint evidence indicates_ep32

 

Elizabeth spells out for Roger what David means to the Collins family.

Elizabeth spells out for Roger what David means to the Collins family_ep32

 

“I want to see you, Mr. Collins, about something important.”

I want to see you Mr. Collins about something important (2)_ep32

 

“Don’t tell me you finally arrested Burke Devlin. Talk about irony, Liz.”

Don't tell me you've finally arrested Burke Devlin_ep32

 

“Jonas, there’s no reason to go on with this.”

Jonas there's no reason to go on with this_ep32

 

“I see. What you mean is, you want me to drop the case.”

What you mean is you want me to drop the case_ep32

 

Favorite Lines/Exchanges:

Elizabeth: Did you hear something about David?

Roger: Yes. He tried to kill me. My own charming son.

Elizabeth: That’s not true. Where is he now?

Roger: Where all criminals belong. Under lock and key.


Roger: Liz, I’m telling you what I know.

Elizabeth: I don’t care what you’re telling me! There’s no reason for the sheriff or anyone else to know about this.

Roger: I believe you actually want him to stay here.

Elizabeth: I know he’s done a terrible thing, I’m not denying it. But he is part of our family.

Roger: He tried to kill me, Liz! Kill me! You want me to let him go on living here so he can try it again?

Elizabeth: Perhaps he didn’t know what would happen.

Roger: Oh, don’t start that again, please! What happens next? A loose rock, some rat poison in my coffee…


Elizabeth: Jonas wants to speak to you, Roger.

Sheriff Carter: I want to see you, Mr. Collins, about something important. I think you’d be interested in this, too, Mrs. Stoddard.

Roger: Well put, sheriff. My sister is interested in all that concerns me. All that concerns our sacred family.


Sheriff Carter: I guess you know I never really felt Burke was responsible for your brother’s accident.

Roger: And how right you were.

Elizabeth: Roger…

Roger: Why not give the man credit? It was you and I, Liz, we always blamed Burke for tampering with my brakes. And think of the injustice it was. At least Mr. Carter had the instinct and the perception –

Elizabeth: Roger, that’s quite enough!

Roger: Oh, I’m sorry, Liz. I didn’t mean to make another speech. A thousand apologies, Mr. Carter.


Elizabeth: I had no choice, Roger.

Roger: We all have a choice, Liz. It’s just what we do with it.

Elizabeth: You know what he was going to say.

Roger: Yes.

Elizabeth: Well then I had to lie to him, don’t you see? I had to protect David.

Roger: You protected a monster, Liz. But don’t ever forget that. Because there’ll come a day, perhaps not tomorrow, but it will come. And you will regret it.

 

Background/Production Notes:

In this episode, Sheriff Carter gets on the phone with his deputy, Harry, and asks him to phone Bill Malloy. Harry is one of a number of characters on Dark Shadows who are mentioned but never appear. Harry will be given the surname of Shaw when Dana Elcar assumes the role of Sheriff George Patterson beginning with episode 54.

Sheriff Carter on the phone with his deputy Harry_ep32

 

David’s mother has been mentioned in a few episodes thus far, beginning with episode 5, but only in episode 32 is her name mentioned for the first time, by Roger. Story creator Art Wallace gave her the name Laura in his series bible Shadows on the Wall, with the maiden name of Robin. She will keep the name of Laura when the character makes her first appearance in episode 123, but for reasons relating to the supernatural backstory of the phoenix, the original maiden name of Robin will be dropped.

 

There is a minor inconsistency between the series bible and this episode regarding precisely when Roger and Laura were married. Because the bible and this episode were the product of the same writer, this could simply be down to Art Wallace changing his mind. In this episode Roger says: “I married Laura right after Burke’s trial, didn’t I?” In Shadows on the Wall Art Wallace writes: “The day before the case came to trial, Laura and Roger were married.” (p. 21)

 

In Act II, when Roger and Elizabeth are in the drawing room discussing David, Roger says, “I’ve known him, you haven’t. He’s been here two months.” In terms of story time, it was just one day ago when Matthew told Vicki that Roger and David had moved into Collinwood one month before (in episode 13). This is a further indication that for a sense of time thus far, Dark Shadows is adhering more to the broadcast schedule. Episode 32 aired on August 9, 1966, roughly two months after its debut on June 27.

 

Daily studio schedule for Dark Shadows in 1966

7:00-11:00 a.m.  Lighting

8:30-10:30           Morning Rehearsal

10:30-11:30         Break/Make-Up

11:00-12:00         Engineering Set-Up

11:30-2:00           Camera Blocking & Run Through

2:00-2:30             Dress Rehearsal

2:30-3:00             Test Pattern

3:00-3:30             Episode Taping

3:30-4:00             Knockdown

3:45-4:15             Technical Meeting

4:00-6:30             Dry Rehearsal for Next Episode

4:00-7:00             Reset Studio

 

Bloopers/Story Continuity:

In the teaser, Louis Edmonds is thrown off either by the sound effects man or a late entrance by Joan Bennett. When he reaches the bottom of the stairs, the sound effect for the front door opening can be heard. Edmonds turns to his left, but Miss Bennett does not make her entrance.

Sound effects or late entrance blooper_opening scene (1)_ep32

Edmonds is then left to pace about for an additional 10 seconds or so, until finally the sound effect for the front door opening is heard a second time and Miss Bennett makes her entrance.

Sound effects or late entrance blooper_opening scene (2)_ep32

 

Also in the opening scene, after Joan Bennett makes her entrance and says the line, “Roger, how long have you been home?”, a long blast of an automobile horn can be heard from the motor traffic outside the television studio.

 

At the start of Act I, after Joan Bennett says the line “What do you mean locked in his room?”, Louis Edmonds answers with, “Just what I said, Li – Dave – Liz.”

 

In Act I, as the sheriff is seen with the wrench and pictures of the fingerprints taken from it, Michael Currie’s copy of the episode script can be seen at left of screen.

Episode script on desk in sheriff's office set_ep32

 

In Act I, in his scene with Frank Schofield, Michael Currie says, “I guess maybe because you manage their flishing – fishing fleet and cannery…” That is a tough one to say, and it’s surprising that this blooper doesn’t come up more often. Try saying “fishing fleet and cannery” ten times fast; you’ll be saying “flishing feet and kennelry” before you know it.

 

In Act II, when Sheriff Carter presents Bill with the blowups of fingerprints taken from the wrench, Michael Currie says, “Burke almeddy – already admitted that he handled it.”

 

In Act III, the image on one of the cameras goes momentarily blurry as it moves in closer.

Camera blooper_blurry image_ep32

 

In Act III, Joan Bennett stumbles over Roger’s name: “I’m afraid you have no choice, Robert – Roger!”

 

In Act IV, Michael Currie says: “As a matter of fact, Mrs. Stoddard, family loyalty does have a little bit about what I’m going to say.”

 

In the same scene he says: “I guess I know – you know I never really felt Burke was responsible for your brother’s accident.”

 

In the final scene, as the sheriff is led to the door, on the right you can see the edge of the foyer set, which is only partially dressed for today’s episode…

Collinwood foyer_edge of set_ep32

…which means you can see Sheriff Carter even after he has stepped out the front door.

Collinwood foyer_edge of set (Michael Currie's exit)_ep32

 

Propspotting:

Note the drawing room portrait over the liquor cabinet. It’s never mentioned which Collins ancestor the subject is intended to represent, but it bears an uncanny resemblance to how Louis Edmonds will appear as Joshua Collins when Dark Shadows journeys back in time to 1795.

Drawing room portrait over liquor cabinet (4)_ep32

 

(Louis Edmonds as Joshua Collins, episode 367)

Louis Edmonds as Joshua Collins in episode 367_ep32

 

Food & Drink in Collinsport:

Roger has a brandy in the drawing room while his sister questions him about David’s return home (Act I).

Roger has a brandy in the drawing room_ep32

 

It’s hard to tell exactly how many glasses of brandy Roger has in this episode. After a drink in Act I he came back into the house after going down to Matthew’s cottage in Act II; and now in Act III, he’s got another glass going.

Roger having a drawing room brandy_Act III_ep32

 

When the sheriff arrives in Act IV, Roger is holding what looks like yet another newly filled brandy glass.

I want to see you Mr. Collins about something important_ep32

 

Once the sheriff begins discussing the prints he found on the wrench, Roger pours himself still another brandy.

Roger pours himself a brandy_ep32

 

In episode 30 Roger poured himself a brandy, in episode 31 Roger poured himself a brandy, and now in episode 32 he has at least three and probably as many as four glasses. Keeping in mind that these three episodes take place on the same evening, this means that Roger’s had five, maybe six glasses of brandy all within the same two-hour span. Roger’s getting toasted!

Roger leaning on the piano with a glass of brandy_Act III_ep32

 

Dark Shadows Cast Member Spotlight: Michael Currie

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_lead photo (1)_ep32

 

The character of constable turned sheriff Jonas Carter merits a special distinction, because of all the officers of the law to be portrayed on Dark Shadows, he’s the only one who ever technically solved a crime.

 

But for reasons outlined above, Dan Curtis was forced to let Michael Currie go. Perhaps out of respect for an actor Curtis liked, the part of Jonas Carter was never recast, but rather retired. There will be a new sheriff in Collinsport as of episode 54, but to fill that position a new character will be created with the introduction of George Patterson.

 

Although Dark Shadows was Michael Currie’s first regular job on television, he does have one previous credit in that medium, in one episode of The Trials of O’Brien, a short-lived series featuring future Colombo star Peter Falk. Before that he played an electrical inspector in the 1965 film The Troublemaker. Neither of these two projects have been made commercially available, so the earliest existing examples of Michael Currie’s work are his five appearances on Dark Shadows.

 

His one other television job in the 1960s was a supporting role in an episode of the crime/drama series N.Y.P.D. (as the Major; season 1, episode 8; aired October 31, 1967).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Major_NYPD_1967 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Major_NYPD_1967 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Major_NYPD_1967 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Major_NYPD_1967 (6)_end credits_ep32

 

Then he disappeared for more than ten years before returning in the late 1970s to continue on with a steady list of projects that extended into the early 2000s, during which time he distinguished himself as a top-notch character actor in many of the best-known TV shows and films of the day, several of which are highlighted below.

 

As Sam Richardson in Kidnap, an episode from Lou Grant (season 3, episode 9; aired November 26, 1979).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sam Richardson_Lou Grant_Kidnap_1979 (1)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sam Richardson_Lou Grant_Kidnap_1979 (2)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sam Richardson_Lou Grant_Kidnap_1979 (3)_end credits_ep32

 

As Larry Berk in ‘Tis the Season, an episode of Family (season 5, episode 2; aired December 24, 1979).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (2)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (6)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (7)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (8)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (9)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Larry Berk_Family_'Tis The Season_1979 (10)_end credits_ep32

 

As the Newsman (Philips, from the Daily Telegraph) in Whose Little Hero Are You?, an episode of Trapper John, M.D. (season 1, episode 11; aired December 30, 1979).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Newsman (Philips)_Trapper John MD_Whose Little Hero Are You_1979 (1)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Newsman (Philips)_Trapper John MD_Whose Little Hero Are You_1979 (3)_End credits_ep32

The end credits provide a sort of Dark Shadows parallel. Betty Karlen was married to John Karlen, who joined the cast of Dark Shadows in 1967 (episode 206) as Willie Loomis (shown standing off to the right in the below photo).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Newsman (Philips)_Trapper John MD_Whose Little Hero Are You_1979 (6)_Betty Karlen (3)_ep32

Another Dark Shadows crossover is provided with the character of P.K. O’Keefe, as played by Alan Feinstein.

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Newsman (Philips)_Trapper John MD_Whose Little Hero Are You_1979 (7)_Alan Feinstein (1)_ep32

In episode 2 of Dark Shadows, Feinstein played the role of Mike, the one Joe Haskell starts a fight with at the Blue Whale.

Joe punching Carolyn's dance partner in episode 2_ep16

 

As Dr. Mudd in What Are Friends For?, an episode from the ABC Afterschool Special (season 8, episode 7; aired March 19, 1980).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Mudd_ABC Afterschool Special_What Are Friends For_1980 (1)_opening title_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Mudd_ABC Afterschool Special_What Are Friends For_1980 (2)_opening credits_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Mudd_ABC Afterschool Special_What Are Friends For_1980 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Mudd_ABC Afterschool Special_What Are Friends For_1980 (4)_ep32

 

As Dr. Breuer in the M*A*S*H episode Letters (season 9, episode 2; aired November 24, 1980).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Breuer_MASH_Letters_1980 (1)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Breuer_MASH_Letters_1980 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Breuer_MASH_Letters_1980 (4)_end credits_ep32

 

As John Fulton in the Barney Miller episode Agent Orange (season 7, episode 5; aired December 11, 1980).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_John Fulton_John Fulton_Agent Orange_1980 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_John Fulton_John Fulton_Agent Orange_1980 (6)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_John Fulton_John Fulton_Agent Orange_1980 (7)_end credits_ep32

 

Michael Currie is great and hilarious as the Governor in the final two episodes of the hit prime time comedy TV series Soap (April 13 and 20, 1981).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Governor_Soap_April 13_1981 (1A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Governor_Soap_April 13_1981 (2A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Governor_Soap_April 13_1981 (3A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Governor_Soap_April 13_1981 (7A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Governor_Soap_April 13_1981 (8A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_The Governor_Soap_April 13_1981 (9)_end credits_ep32

 

You have to wonder if Michael Currie agreed to be in the horror B-movie Dead & Buried (released October 9, 1981) because he’d be playing a character called Herman, his original first name; he was born Herman Christian Schwenk Jr.

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Herman_Dead and Buried (1A)_1981_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Herman_Dead and Buried (2B)_1981_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Herman_Dead and Buried (3)_1981_end credits_ep32

 

As Rafferty in Halloween III Season of the Witch (released October 22, 1982).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Rafferty_Halloween III Season of the Witch_1982_ep32

 

As Melville Westfield in Vintage Steele, an episode from Remington Steele (season 1, episode 19; aired March 15, 1983).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Melville Westfield_Remington Steele_Vintage Steele_1983 (1)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Melville Westfield_Remington Steele_Vintage Steele_1983 (2)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Melville Westfield_Remington Steele_Vintage Steele_1983 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Melville Westfield_Remington Steele_Vintage Steele_1983 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Melville Westfield_Remington Steele_Vintage Steele_1983 (6)_end credits_ep32

 

As Mr. Halifax in the Family Ties episode Working at It (season 2, episode 22; aired May 10, 1984).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Halifax_Family Ties_Working At It_1984 (2)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Halifax_Family Ties_Working At It_1984 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Halifax_Family Ties_Working At It_1984 (7)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Halifax_Family Ties_Working At It_1984 (8B)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Halifax_Family Ties_Working At It_1984 (10)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Halifax_Family Ties_Working At It_1984 (11)_end credits_ep32

 

As Dr. Lawrence in the TV movie Deadly Intentions (first aired May 19, 1985).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Lawrence_Deadly Intentions_TV movie_1985 (2)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Dr. Lawrence_Deadly Intentions_TV movie_1985 (3)_end credits_ep32

 

Twenty years after Dark Shadows, Michael Currie was again donning a sheriff’s uniform for The Long Hunt, an episode from the crime/drama series Spenser For Hire (as Sheriff Bayer; season 2, episode 6; aired November 8, 1986).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (2)_opening credits_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (6)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (7)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (7_A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (7A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Sheriff Bayer_Spenser For Hire_The Long Hunt_1986 (8)_ep32

 

In 1987, Michael Currie appeared in an episode of Scarecrow and Mrs. King (as General Bradford Garrett in All that Glitters; season 4, episode 19; aired May 7, 1987). One of the stars of this adventure series was Kate Jackson, who got her start on Dark Shadows right out of acting school in 1970, appearing in numerous episodes throughout the final year of the show.

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (2A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (6)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (9)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (10A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (11)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (12)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (13)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_General Garrett_Scarecrow and Mrs King_All that Glitters_1987 (14)_end credits_ep32

 

As Hank in Running with the Pack, an episode from the horror/thriller series Werewolf (aired September 12, 1987).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (1A)_opening credits_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (4A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (6A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (7A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (8)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (9)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (10)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Hank_Running With the Pack_1987 (11)_ep32

 

Michael Currie and Clint Eastwood must have really hit it off, because The Dead Pool (as Captain Donnelly; released July 13, 1988) marks the fourth time they worked together in film. The previous three were Sudden Impact (1983), Firefox (1982), and Any Which Wat You Can (1980).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (3A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (6)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (7)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (8)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (9)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Captain Donnelly_The Dead Pool_1988 (10A)_end credits_ep32

 

As Mr. Sheridan in a Cheers episode (Adventures in Housesitting; season 7, episode 11; aired January 19, 1989).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (1)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (5)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (6)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (7)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (8)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (9)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Mr Sheridan_Cheers_Adventures in Housesitting_1989 (10)_end credits_ep32

 

As Wesley Howard, a recurring role in the crime/drama/mystery series Homicide: Life on the Street (The City That Bleeds; season 3, episode 12; aired January 27, 1995).

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Wesley Howard_Homicide Life on the Street_The City That Bleeds_1995 (1)_opening credits_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Wesley Howard_Homicide Life on the Street_The City That Bleeds_1995 (2A)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Wesley Howard_Homicide Life on the Street_The City That Bleeds_1995 (3)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Wesley Howard_Homicide Life on the Street_The City That Bleeds_1995 (4)_ep32

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_Wesley Howard_Homicide Life on the Street_The City That Bleeds_1995 (5)_ep32

 

Michael Currie_cast member spotlight_end credits_ep32

 

Recommended Reading:

Joan Bennett’s 1970 autobiography (original front and back covers).

Joan Bennett cast member spotlight_The Bennett Playbill_front cover_ep25

Joan Bennett cast member spotlight_The Bennett Playbill_back cover_ep25

 

The Bennetts: An Acting Family, the 2004 biography (front cover).

Joan Bennett cast member spotlight_The Bennetts An Acting Family_front cover_ep25

 

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!”

Dark Passages_novel_front cover

 

Recommended Listening:

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.

Dark Shadows_Soundtrack Music Collection_Front cover

 

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.

And Red All Over_CD booklet front image

 

Coming next: Episode 33: She Loves Me, She Loves Me Drunk

 

— Marc Masse

(aka PrisoneroftheNight)

 

© 2018 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.

8 thoughts on “Episode 32: What It Means to Be a Collins of Collinsport”

    1. Yes, that’s true! She thought James Hall was too rough for a soap opera.

      By Hall’s own admission, he heard a rumor that he made Joan Bennett nervous.

      Lela also pushed Dan to fire Robert Rodan.

      So, The Dan and Lela Show is certain to have a long run…

      Like

  1. I wonder if she was also responsible for the removal of the first actor to play Lt. Riley and the first Dr. Woodard.

    Like

  2. I just watched James Hall’s episodes a few weeks ago and I thought he was fantastic. He was very menacing and it would have been interesting to watch Barnabas break him down.
    But of course, I’d never ever want to replace John Karlen as Willie. So, in that particular instance, Lela’s instincts were correct.

    Like

    1. Yes, Lela’s instincts were sharp, and brought us David Ford, Thayer David, Dana Elcar, etc. She really did seem to know when an actor was perfect for a role.

      Here’s an interesting FunFact on James Hall: It was Kathryn Leigh Scott who helped him with his audition and got him on the show. They knew each other before Dark Shadows, having been in the same New York acting classes in the mid-1960s.

      Like

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