Episode 41: The Day That Became Last Night

Sam tears drawing of Burke GIF_ep41

Dark Shadows is known for its lack of overall continuity not only with regard to character and story arcs, but also inconsistencies with time references including even the age of a given character. As noted in the post for episode 39, Dark Shadows makes its first break with continuity when Dan Curtis decides on making a departure from the original series outline in bringing the Bill Malloy character front and center to force a resolution to the conflict between Burke Devlin and the Collins family, Roger in particular. The next break in continuity occurs here in episode 41 when allusions to time get convoluted; such minute detail can easily be overlooked when you make a change in the writing department, given that episode 41 is the first to not be written by original story creator and developer Art Wallace.

Perhaps the most fulfilling reward of following these early episodes is that you get to chart the evolution of Dark Shadows as it grows toward the iconic status of a cultural phenomenon. By the end of 1966, Dark Shadows would not only go from being described as a gothic romance to a horror soap, it would also rally from impending cancellation by achieving the heights of being number one in the ratings. Such a remarkable and relatively immediate transformation in identity also serves to highlight the brilliance of Dan Curtis, a man with a sudden dream vision for a TV show which would over its first few months come to thrive as a vehicle for spontaneous creative ingenuity, the likes of which had never before been presented in the context of daytime television drama.

Another joy of these early episodes is the performances of David Ford as Sam Evans. Though he didn’t originate the role, in just his first week on the show he manages to define it; therefore, one should recognize the hugely important contribution made to Dark Shadows by David Ford’s theatrical approach to acting as well as how rapidly and thoroughly he was able to grow into the role.

Acceptance of Dark Shadows on the basis of its overall lack of continuity as the series develops from year to year requires not only a suspension of disbelief, but as well a certain measure of forgiveness. Problematic is that more questions than answers result given that Dark Shadows is intended as a serial drama. In some cases the reverse engineering of a story element or situation presented earlier can seem like incompetence or even lazy neglect among the writing staff; but mostly it’s just a matter of making the best of what you’ve got going at the moment, especially when you have no choice but to enact changes to suit the direction and success of the show.

One notable example early on is in re-establishing Barnabas as a more sympathetic character once you realize what a hit you have on your hands. Originally marked for destruction after what was thought would be the final thirteen weeks before cancellation, now you have to figure out what to do with the character to keep him going once the fan mail starts piling up and the spike in ratings buys you a reprieve. Instead of being just a cold, unrepentant predator you could wisely keep viewers on his side for the long haul by instead portraying him as a victim with something to overcome, eventually of a witch’s curse but initially of a rare blood disease.

The vampire blood disease was borrowed from a favorite source of inspiration for Dan Curtis, the Universal monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s. It was in House of Dracula that a doctor first believed vampirism could be cured by blood transfusions, which of course would be accompanied by a series of injections.

“Roll up your sleeve, please, Baron…”

(Martha O’Driscoll and John Carradine in House of Dracula, 1945)

House of Dracula_injection (DVD box set)_ep41

That’s one of the things Dark Shadows is especially noted for, the tendency to borrow ideas to generate story themes and enhance given situations, even with occasional conceptual props like Nicholas Blair’s magic mirror…

(Humbert Allen Astredo as Nicholas Blair in episode 574)

Nicholas Blair's magic mirror in episode 574(1)_ep41

…where through a simple ritual incantation he can impose his will to transform the mirror into a television-type viewing device and remotely control the subject under surveillance or simply hypnotize them to obtain useful information on his adversaries.

Nicholas Blair's magic mirror in episode 574(2)_dissolve to Willie_ep41

This particular conceptual prop also has an earlier precedent in the Universal monster movies. In the 1932 film The Mummy, Karloff’s Imhotep sits before a magic pool to summon his powers of projection…

(Boris Karloff as Imhotep in The Mummy, 1932)

Boris Karloff as Imhotep in The Mummy_1932_ep41

…where through a simple ritual incantation he can impose his will to transform the pool into a television-type viewing device and remotely control the subject under surveillance or simply hypnotize them to obtain useful information on his adversaries – or even kill them if he so desires.

Imhotep's magic viewing device_The Mummy (1932)_ep41

But what Dark Shadows borrowed was subject matter that all other producers of network daytime television would never even have dreamed of bringing to a soap opera audience, like German Expressionism. There’s that 1967 episode where David Collins, who has become deeply terrified of his “English” cousin, has a dream where he sees Barnabas getting out of a coffin to attack him.

Look at the set design for this scene; it’s the type of thing you see in movies like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and those other films whose artistic conventions of the period were subsequently exported to American films made by Universal under the guidance of directors like Karl Freund, a cinematographer who also directed films like The Mummy.

(Set design for David’s dream sequence in episode 325)

Set design for David's dream sequence in episode 325_ep41

(Stills from the 1920 German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari_1920_still from film_ep41

Still from 1920s German horror movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari_ep41

Lots of interesting stuff to examine in posts for the many episodes that lay ahead.

For the moment, it’s worth observing how quickly David Ford has been evolving in managing to craft the definitive portrayal of Sam Evans in just his first week on the show.

Having arrived in episode 35 with an elegant theatrical flourish…

David Ford_gesturing GIF_ep35

…he made a huge impression on director Lela Swift and executive producer Dan Curtis, even though the transition to the high-pressure situation of live taping in a television studio proved at first uneasy, where Ford had an awkward moment in forgetting dialogue but was thankfully rescued by Mitch Ryan, and then subsequently had to rely heavily on the teleprompter to get through the rest of the scene…

David Ford_teleprompter GIF_ep35

Because Dan Curtis didn’t finally make the decision to hire David Ford until taping for episode 35 was playing the closing theme, technically speaking throughout the episode he was still in the auditioning stage; therefore, it may have been on his mind to really make an impression by doing something big to close out his final scene for the afternoon.

It could have been that David Ford knew that Dan Curtis was a big fan of the Universal monster films of decades before; perhaps they’d even discussed it before taping. Either way, as Sam warns Joe to take Carolyn away from Collinsport, David Ford attacks the moment with a life-or-death emphasis uncannily reminiscent of a scene with Dwight Frye’s Renfield in Tod Browning’s 1931 production of Dracula.

In that memorable first outing of Universal’s decades-long run as the preeminent producer of iconic monster films, Van Helsing presents Dracula with a mirror and Lugosi swats it to the floor, and after Dracula has made his exit Renfield then enters through a side doorway to warn people of the danger that has already visited their very household, urging with crazed intensity for Jonathan Harker to take Mina away. Brief seconds-long audio clips are provided below to highlight the striking similarity between David Ford’s and Dwight Frye’s performances in these moments.

(“Take her away, Joe, while there’s still time! Take her away!”)

David Ford_opening (46)_ep35

(“Take her away from here!… Take her away before!…”)

Dwight Frye in a scene from Dracula_1931_ep41

So, it could be that the performance given by David Ford in the middle of Act IV during episode 35 may well have been the very first instance of “horror” acting on Dark Shadows, or at the very least the first on the show where a performance is directly inspired from the genre.

By episode 39, David Ford has thankfully toned down his approach some, giving his performance more of a light and shade quality as the character’s moods alternate between brooding intensity and the occasional explosive outburst.

One particularly notable element is the skillful use of elocution in his lines when intending to drive home a point, like when Roger shows up at his cottage in episode 39 and Sam tries to explain why he can’t get out of doing Burke’s portrait. In the spotlight feature for Gail Russell in the Special Edition post on Dark Shadows origins, there was a film she’d done with Edward G. Robinson called Night Has a Thousand Eyes. Robinson’s John Triton has moments where it looks like David Ford used that 1948 film as a stylistic influence for his portrayal of Sam Evans on Dark Shadows. Note the similarities between the two in the short audio clips below, as they each deliver their lines with the body language of crooking both elbows for emphasis, each elevating the register of his voice to plateau the last part with a graveled prominence.

(“Burke Devlin is a man of independent thought. He wants me to do his portrait. There’s nothing on the face of this earth I can do to dissuade him!”)

David Ford in opening scene of episode 39_ep41

(“I do want to help, I want to help myself. It isn’t easy to live with something like this.”)Special Edition spotlight_Edward G. Robinson in Night Has a Thousand Eyes as an influence on David Ford_ep37A

In just his first week on the show, David Ford has gone from the maddened fear of Dracula’s Renfield to articulate his performance in a more low-key manner by adopting the more multilayered nuances of Edward G. Robinson.

Likewise, Louis Edmonds, after having brought a sudden flood of pathos to his portrayal of Roger Collins in episode 37, returned in episode 39 with more of the biting disdain he had brought to the character early on. This can only result in fantastic scenes between Sam and Roger that will prove some of the more entertaining moments in these early episodes; two men who can’t stand one another yet have no choice but to frequently interact in scheming to keep under wraps the secret that if exposed would mean the end for the both of them.

[Episode 41, Act IV, Evans cottage; Roger banging furiously on the front door]

Roger: Open up, Evans! I know you’re in there, open up! [continues banging repeatedly, as Sam shuffles raggedly across the room to answer, but at first without opening the door]

Sam: Who is it?

Roger: It’s Roger Collins.

Sam: What do you want?

Roger: I want to talk to you. Don’t be an idiot, open the door!

[Sam unlatches the lock and opens the door]

Roger [steps in and slams the door shut]: Is your phone in working order?

Sam: You didn’t come banging on my door to ask about my phone, did you?

Roger: No, but when I was talking to you earlier we were somehow disconnected, and when I tried to call you back there was no answer. Naturally I assumed that your phone was out of order.

[Sam doesn’t respond and instead turns for the table behind the sofa to pour himself a drink; Roger hurries over and takes the bottle from him]

Roger: You’ve had enough of that. I want you to tell me exactly what you told Bill Malloy last night.

Sam: I told you I don’t recall telling him anything.

Roger: Did you speak to anyone else?

Sam: You don’t think much of me, do you?

Roger: No.

Sam: Well, what we think of one another is infinitely less than we deserve. Now you got me into this.

Roger: No, I didn’t. Your greed did… And since you are in it, you’ve got to stay in it.

So this adds a layer of complexity to the relationship between Sam Evans and Roger Collins, in addition to revealing a major shortcoming with Sam’s character; an old friend of Burke’s who evidently betrayed him for someone who was never a friend at all, only because the price was right.

The above exchange also highlights the one confounding thing about this episode; the day that became last night. It isn’t an actor’s blooper, because the same reference to Bill Malloy getting Sam drunk will be said as last night by Malloy himself in episode 43. This is what happens when you make changes to the writing staff on Dark Shadows; minor but glaringly obvious details get overlooked.

Lest there should be any lingering doubt concerning whether Sam passing out drunk in the presence of Bill Malloy occurred earlier that same day rather than last night, let’s review the events of last night as it relates to story time, a day that spanned episodes 21 through 37. Last night Burke Devlin brought young David back to Collinwood after David tried to hide the brake valve from Roger’s car in Burke’s hotel room; last night Elizabeth Stoddard put the lid on the sheriff’s investigation of the missing valve to cover for David; last night Joe Haskell got rip-roaring drunk and right in the middle of his misguided diatribe aimed at Mrs. Stoddard passed out cold on the Collinwood drawing room sofa; and, finally, last night Sam Evans, quite sober, after brooding in the post-midnight hour wrote a letter detailing what he knows about events of ten years ago, the safety of which he entrusted to his daughter Maggie.

Here’s a look at the scenes in question from episode 40, with the set design outside the bay window of Sam’s painting studio clearly dressed for daytime.

Sam drunkenly regrets the loss of his talent_ep40

Set designer Sy Tomashoff really crafted a gorgeous Evans cottage exterior for this episode, with the many rows of trees to suggest a somewhat secluded location that would appear tranquil, an impression that belies the turmoil that burns from within the walls of Evans cottage in the form of a man tormented by years of angst-ridden guilt.

One other striking feature of episode 40 is how, in the scenes with Bill and Sam at Evans cottage, the blocking seems to have taken on a theatrical dimension as if playing to the strength of David Ford’s talents as a seasoned stage actor.

It starts out with a conventional two-shot as Bill and Sam, old friends of long-standing, chat for a moment over times long ago…

Bill and Sam have been friends for around 30 years_ep40

Then as Sam begins opening up about what has been troubling him for so long, you have this low-angle shot looking up at his agonized expression, as if captured from the height of a theatrical stage as seen by the audience…

Sam confides that he can't paint with a sad and frightened soul_ep40

Then as the camera adjusts for repositioning of the characters the angle is higher up over the subject and looking down, as if to suggest a man who has plunged himself down in the depths of desperation and despair…

Sam begins talking about who has been tormenting him_ep40

Then another camera holds a tight close-up as Sam reveals to Bill the dark secret Roger Collins has been trying to keep hidden…

Sam reveals his big secret to Bill_ep40

For the final moments the first camera pulls far back, portraying the distance that Sam has wandered from himself as he passes out cold.

Sam Evans passes out drunk_ep40

With all the many angles presented for this scene, it’s hard to believe there were only two cameras working the set. First the acting performances and now the production values have taken on a more theatrical approach to the presentation of scenes.

After just eight weeks of episodes, Dark Shadows is already in a class all its own.


The series: The Dan and Lela Show; the main players: director Lela Swift, executive producer Dan Curtis; the setting: television studio control room; main prop: the control room microphone; opening scene: the waves/title opening theme…


Lela: Dan, I take back what I said about David Ford slacking off. He’s doing really well in this episode.

Dan: David Ford has been doing really well regardless of what you think, Lela.

Lela: But Dan…

[Evans cottage, as Act III begins]

Lela: Dan, Kathryn Leigh Scott and David Ford have been getting really chummy lately.

Dan: What do you mean by that?

Lela: I mean, they’ve been rehearsing their scenes in their dressing rooms behind closed doors. They’ve been developing a relationship.

Dan: Oh, Lela, why do you have to gossip over the control room microphone?

Lela: Dan, don’t you care that two of your actors are carrying on right here in the studio?

Dan: For Christ sakes, Lela! No, I don’t care about actors and their offstage interests. I told you that before. Now I want you to stop gossiping like that!

Lela: Dan, I’m just trying to tell you what’s been going on.

Dan: All I care about is what’s going on in the show. And that’s all you should be concerned about, if you want to stay on as director.

After Mrs. Stoddard has been speaking on the phone with Joe Haskell, when the scene has transitioned to Evans cottage, Joan Bennett can be heard commenting from the soundstage on Lela’s behavior:

Joan Bennett [saying to someone]: Can you believe that Lela Swift, gossiping about Kathryn and David like that?

Kathryn Leigh Scott [after exiting the set as the final scene for Act III is ending]: God damn that Lela Swift!… I am so pissed off!

[Just as Roger comes banging on Sam’s door when Act IV begins]

Kathryn Leigh Scott [from somewhere offstage]: …How can that Lela be talking about David and me through the control room microphone? If we wanted everyone to know, we’d tell everyone! Sometimes I just want to give that Lela Swift a real piece of my mind… God damn it! It ruins my concentration for the scenes I’m in…

[Middle of Act IV, as Elizabeth goes to the phone to put a call through to Ned Calder]

Dan: For Christ sakes, Lela, I’m so pissed off at you for what you did to Kathryn and David! They had trouble concentrating on their scenes because of you and your gossiping over the control room microphone.

Lela: Dan, don’t blame me. I’m just telling you what’s going on.

Dan: I do blame you, and I’m going to give you a piece of my mind over the closing theme.

[Closing moments of the final scene, as Elizabeth walks across the foyer to answer the knock at the door]

David Ford [grumbling to himself]: God damn that Lela Swift, talking about Kathryn and me, blowing the whole thing right out of proportion.

[end credits]

Dan: Lela, I want you to listen very carefully to what I’m about to say. David Ford is pissed off at you, and so is Kathryn. You pissed off two really good actors on my show, and they had trouble concentrating in their scenes. I want you to stop gossiping over the control room microphone, or I’ll replace you as director…

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

Photo Gallery:

Roger informs Elizabeth that he prevented a meeting in town between Carolyn and Burke.

Roger tells Elizabeth about the meeting he prevented_ep41

“Did it ever occur to you that you could have left this mausoleum, my dear sister, and gone out into the outside world?”

Roger talks with his sister about getting outside of Collinwood (2)_ep41

“You’re the person I should be worrying about, if I were you.”

Elizabeth cautions Roger against worrying about Ned Calder_ep41

“I’m afraid Mr. Collins doesn’t confide in me.”

Vicki tells Maggie that Mr. Collins doesn't confide in her_ep41

“Miss Winters, is there any reason I should confide in you?”

Roger wonders to Vicki why he should confide in her_ep41

Voice of Roger Collins coming through the telephone: “Let me tell you something, Evans. Just because you wrote a letter telling everything you know, or think you know, don’t for a second imagine you’re clear of everything. You’re as involved as I am…”

Roger_voice through telephone_ep41

After hanging up on Roger, Sam has torn up the sketch he drew of Burke Devlin.

Sam after tearing up the sketch of Burke_ep41

“Pop, you caught him just right… Why did you want to destroy it?”

Maggie puts the sketch together (2)_ep41

“I like Burke, I like him very much. I hope that he likes me. I would hate anyone that did him an injustice.”

Sam tries to talk favorably about Burke_ep41

“I never thought I could hate a man as much as I do you.”

Sam lets Roger know how much he hates him_ep41

“The feeling is entirely mutual. What a pity that neither of us can do anything about it.”

Roger says to Sam the hatred is mutual_ep41

Favorite Lines/Exchanges:

[Roger is phoning Sam]

Roger: Are you alone?

Sam: I’m alone. Except for the devils in my brain.

Roger: What kind of an answer is that?

[Roger stays on the phone for a while after being hung up on by Sam, then tries calling again until his sister walks in]

Elizabeth: Roger…

Roger: Oh,… I was just trying to get the office on the phone.

Elizabeth: Isn’t that where you should be?

Roger: Well, if you must know, I had a perfectly valid reason for being home. I prevented your daughter from meeting Burke Devlin.

Elizabeth: Carolyn? Why would she be meeting Burke?

Roger: Well that of course is open to the wildest speculation.

Maggie: Pop, is there anything you want, anything I can get you?

Sam: What a question, is there anything that I want.

Maggie: Well do you want to talk about it? Maybe I can help.

Sam [shakes head]: Mm-mm. Nobody can help.

Maggie: Well how about if I make you a hot cup of coffee?

Sam: No… Why is it that all women think that a cup of coffee is a cure-all?

Sam: No one’s bothering me but myself. When I’ve had too many drinks, I talk too much.

Maggie: Well from the looks of this bottle, pop, you must have recited everything you ever knew.

Elizabeth: Roger, have you any idea where Carolyn might be?

Roger: Not the faintest.

Elizabeth: Well when you’re in town, would you look around for her?

Roger: And neglect my vital tasks at the office? Oh dear me, no.

Roger [to Sam]: Just remember one thing. I have no intention of letting your weakness… carry me down.

Background/Production Notes:

Francis Swann, a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, is perhaps best known for his original Broadway play Out of the Frying Pan, which had a run of 104 performances at the Windsor Theatre from February 11 to May 10, 1941. A movie adaptation was subsequently produced in 1943 called Young and Willing and starring William Holden and Susan Hayward along with Martha O’Driscoll, who as noted above was also in House of Dracula. Swann would revive his original play Out of the Frying Pan for a theatrical presentation on live television in the 1950s in an episode of Matinee Theatre (season 3, episode 29; aired October 25, 1957). Swann will write a full week of episodes, numbers 41 through 45, until Art Wallace returns for episode 46.

One of Art Wallace’s originally scripted contributions was never used. Following the opening narration and teaser scene, the voice of a male announcer was to have added the following during the opening theme waves/title intro: “A gothic world, swirling with love, fear, hate, revenge, and the relentless mystery of the unknown – the world of Dark Shadows.”

As revealed in Act II, Roger had long before squandered all the money from his inheritance, but admits he had fun spending it. Elizabeth has only some of hers left, having been left with no choice but to use her inheritance money to buy back the company shares Roger offered to the general public for sale, which would have resulted in control of the business being removed from the family entirely. This episode serves to highlight the main character differences between Roger and his sister, with emphasis on Roger’s reckless and self-centered nature and Elizabeth’s duty-bound sense of responsibility toward the Collins family.

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

Set Design:

To the set design for the exterior of Evans cottage, for today’s episode scenic designer Sy Tomashoff has added a splendid-looking birch tree, which is one of the signature tree types in the Northeast.

Evans cottage_set design_birch tree outside bay window_ep41

Bloopers/Story Continuity:

In Act I, David Ford and Kathryn Leigh Scott momentarily get their lines tangled:

Maggie: Hi, pop.

Sam: Maggie’s at work. Who are you?

Maggie: Maggie was at work but she forgot her shopping list and decided to come home and get it –

Sam: Why di –

Maggie: Okay?

Sam: Why didn’t you phone?

At the end of Act II, Louis Edmonds and Alexandra Moltke have a similar tangling of lines:

Roger: Maggie Evans –

Vicki: Sh –

Roger: for me?

Vicki: She says it’s important.

In Act III, even after Vicki hangs up the drawing room phone several clicks can he heard to register from the studio landline connecting the telephones between sets.

In Act III, Joan Bennett says, “But I can’t help wondering if Carolyn might not be looking for a very clever boy – man.”

When in Act III Mrs. Stoddard is on the phone with Joe Haskell, when the set for Joe’s office is shown the clock on the wall has 11:30 a.m., despite that in episode 40 it had already been established that Carolyn’s meeting with Burke at the hotel took place at 12:30 p.m.

Joe Haskell at work in his office_ep41

Boom mic shadows are ubiqitous in this episode, most prominently on the drawing room set; here’s one from Act IV (against the door, behind Alexandra Moltke).

Boom mic shadow against door of drawing room set (2)_ep41

In the final scene, after Elizabeth concludes her phone call with Ned Calder’s secretary and steps into the foyer to answer the knock at the door, the camera angle from the drawing room picks up the undressed portion of the foyer set to right of screen with a studio light visible.

Studio light (upper right) over foyer set_ep41


In the opening scene for today’s episode, Sam is shown tearing up the sketch he did of Burke during their initial portrait sitting in episode 39.

Sam tears drawing of Burke (4)_ep41

However, in future episodes the drawing will reappear intact.

(Special guest star Lovelady Powell with David Ford in episode 193)

Sam's drawing of Burke Devlin is seen after having been destroyed_ep193

Food & Drink in Collinsport:

With Sam Evans continually on edge at this point in the story, it’s hard to keep track of how many times he keeps refilling his glass in an attempt at gulping back his rising anxiety. Here he is with one of his many afternoon drinks.

Sam with one of many afternoon drinks_ep41

On the Flipside:

Following in the 4:30 p.m. Eastern time slot on ABC-TV the day Dark Shadows episode 41 aired was season 2, episode 245 of Where the Action Is, with performances by Chicago group the Five Stairsteps, a quintet of siblings that sometimes featured a sixth member, also a sibling. Best known for their 1970 top ten hit O-o-h Child, their impressive five-year run earned them the title of “the first family of soul.”

(WTAI creator and host Dick Clark, as seen during the opening theme)

WTAI_Dick Clark_from opening theme 22 August 1966_ep 41

Dick Clark: “We move now to the quiet atmosphere, of Minneapolis…”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (1)_ep41

Dick Clark: “…five young kids from Chicago, the Five Stairsteps…”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (2)_ep41


WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (3)_ep41

“Hello love, nice to see you again”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (4)_ep41

“I hope someday we can still be friends”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (5)_ep41

“I know this line won’t help you feel better”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (6)_ep41

“But a love you don’t see just can’t last forever”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (7)_ep41

“You’ve waited too long (You waited too long)”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (8)_ep41

“I knew I was wrong (You waited too long)”

WTAI_Five Stairsteps clip (9)_ep41

You Waited Too Long, original studio recording:

The First Family of Soul: The Best of the Five Stairsteps, compilation CD:

Five Stairsteps_compilation CD_ep41

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 42: The Pen Is Yours

— 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.

7 thoughts on “Episode 41: The Day That Became Last Night”

  1. Maybe Joe’s office clock is set an hour slow to 11:30 Central time to help him manage all those Collinsport boats working the Great Lakes, as shown in the map on his wall.

    Seems a long way to go for sardines, but what do I know…

  2. Not sure if The Mummy was the only film where scrying was used, but I believe it was among the first; the concept/invention of television was relatively new at that point. Considering Dan Curtis, I can’t imagine Walt Disney having an influence on Dark Shadows for use by a character like Nicholas Blair, who’s the Devil’s envoy. 🙂

    But speaking of scrying on Dark Shadows, David will soon find himself in possession of a crystal ball, starting with episode 48. It’s a gift sent from Burke Devlin with a note that reads: “Now you can tell us all where we’re going.” David begins making a series of predictions based on what he sees, many of which come true. It’s one of the more amusing props in these early episodes, especially the way David relishes in revealing to Joe Haskell that he’ll never marry Carolyn, and then Joe’s reaction — telling Vicki to “give him a little swat for me…”

  3. Wow, Lela – what a drama queen (and SO not in a good way)! Guess David and Kathryn couldn’t POSSIBLY be just going over lines and working on character for a father/daughter relationship?
    Well, Ms. Swift made things interesting on set, that’s for sure.

    Magic Mirror also figured in Disney’s Snow White, and don’t forget the Wicked Witch’s giant crystal ball in Oz (though admittedly, crystal balls have their own occult niche). Was The Mummy the only place where a plot device of a ‘scry’ was used?

    And as to the sketch of Burke; perhaps Maggie is really really good at taping stuff back together? 🙃

  4. Thanks, Count — and Merry Christmas to you as well!

    Funny how you should mention that the GIF of Carolyn dancing at the Blue Whale, which is taken from episode 2, seems to sync so perfectly with Along Comes Mary — because I thought exactly the same thing. I’d made that GIF for an earlier post (I think for number 33?) to illustrate the continual frustrations of Joe Haskell in relation to Carolyn. Initially for Along Comes Mary I was searching for images of sixties Go-Go dancers, one of which I put in for the instrumental backing track. Then I thought of that Carolyn/Blue Whale GIF and thought it would be perfect.

    As for what she’s dancing to in that clip, you asked if it was Back At The Blue. Well… yes and no. That was the one she was dancing to when Joe starts the fight; the music in the GIF clip is that other up-tempo tune which doesn’t have a title and is known as “Medium Slow Blue Whale” (music cue no. 73). What I mean by “yes and no” is that Nancy Barrett in fact wasn’t dancing to anything during the actual taping; the music was being dropped into episode taping live in the control room via turntable — but down on the soundstage the actors never heard it. During that dance sequence, all the actors on the Blue Whale set could hear were the rustling of clothing and shuffling of shoes on the floor and of course each other’s voices. So maybe there’s a reason that Along Comes Mary fits in so well with Carolyn’s movements on the dance floor; perhaps to give herself a proper rhythm for the dance sequence, Nancy Barrett was cueing herself mentally with Along Comes Mary, which had been out since March. Could be…

    I’m so glad you like this new audio section, and yes I certainly will be keeping it as a fairly regular feature. Bob Cobert’s music is of course definitive for Dark Shadows, and it helps to keep the show anchored in its own separate universe. But it’s funny, Dark Shadows’ predecessor in the 4 pm time slot, Never Too Young, must have had a huge budget, because they had not only the big hit songs of the times played on the show, but also several of the actual recording artists on as guests to perform them! On Dark Shadows, there will be an occasional Beatles song playing on the Blue Whale jukebox, but only a generic Muzak version so that they wouldn’t have to pay licensing fees.

    Love that song by the We Five. Matter of fact, I have it in my collection on a sixties compilation CD, so I may at some point drop in an audio file of You Were On My Mind; not only the singing, but those lovely chiming guitar hooks make the song as well.

  5. With Lela Swift, who knows what her motivations were. She was however told off by Dan during the opening theme, so maybe she just wanted to restore herself as authoritative by presenting information only she was privy to. It won’t be the last time she gossips about actors and their personal business over the control room microphone; it’s almost like she has a strange need to live vicariously through the private lives of others, and it could be that as the show’s main director she sees the television studio as her domain, and therefore whatever goes on there affects her profoundly. That’s just speculation of course, but one thing is for sure: The Dark Shadows television studio was certainly a rather edgy environment to work in, based on the available background audio.

    So stay tuned for the next episode of The Dan and Lela Show — same bat-crazy time, same bat-crazy channel.

  6. Carolyn dancing gif: The animated gif of Carolyn dancing up a storm at the Blue Whale is really wonderful! She may have been dancing to “Back at the Blue Whale” possibly? …

    Thanks for including the Association’s “Along Comes Mary.” “Along Comes Mary” is a song I know and remember hearing it decades ago, but I hadn’t heard it for many years. And so I forgot about it. It epitomizes the sound of the mid-to-late 60s as well as the transitioning from 60s pop/rock to the mind-altering rock of the late 60s.

    The instrumental “Back at the Blue Whale” and the instrumental backing track for “Along Come Mary” both work very well with the gif of Carolyn dancing. First, I watched the Carolyn dancing gif with the instrumental backing track from “Along Comes Mary” playing on my speakers. Then I watched the Carolyn dancing gif again with “Back at the Blue Whale” playing on my speakers. It’s was really quite fun! 🙂 Not sure if you intentionally located both versions of “Along Comes Mary” nearby the gif of Carolyn dancing in this blog entry, but I suspect it may be intentional on your part. And if so, it was very clever of you. Now, when I see her dancing, I imagine she’s dancing to “Along Comes Mary” instead of the Bob Cobert tune.

    Music of the 1960s: Please continue to include examples of music from the 1960s era. It’s most enjoyable. For those of us who remember the music of the 60s, it’s wonderfully nostalgic. Music brings back so many memories … For those fans of DS who weren’t born yet, inclusion in this blog of the music of the era adds yet another dimension to Dark Shadows generally not included on the show. With 2 or 3 exceptions, the music of Dark Shadows was strictly limited to Bob Cobert’s compositions.

    Banned song?: Funny thing, I looked for “Along Comes Mary” on lists of the top 100 songs of the year. It wasn’t there! Just goes to show how many gems are overlooked, forgotten, don’t sell so many copies, or in this case, didn’t sell as much because (I think) it may have been banned from airplay in some locations due to the interpretation of “Mary” as shorthand for the slang term “Mary Jane.” Taking the name purely at face value, “Mary” could simply be the girl named in this song. Others thought Mary was a religious reference to the Virgin Mary and her “warning” in Spain in the early 1960s. Like poetry, songs operate on many levels simultaneously.

    Thanks for another great blog entry. I enjoyed it very much. I went from song to song on YouTube for over an hour during the last couple of days. It was fun to rediscover other forgotten gems.

    Speaking of gems I’d forgotten about, check out Bev Bivens great voice in “You Were On My Mind” by the We Five (1965). I thought the best version was the one where Bev wears her yellow dress …

    Thanks for the music, Priz. And a very Merry Christmas to all!

  7. ‘Cherish’ is one of my all time favorite songs. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.
    The connection between DS and the old horror films is very interesting. I just assumed Dan Curtis and the writers originated the rare vampire blood disease idea. I always gave them a lot of credit for coming up with such a “modern” scientific explanation and treatment!
    As for Lelamonster, it’s almost like she’s trying to incite a cast riot. Do you suppose she thought keeping the actors stirred up and angry would enhance their performances??

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