Episode 47: Meeting of the Board

Sam threatens Roger GIF_ep47

 

The genius of the pen.

 

Not many Dark Shadows fans would subscribe to such a notion, but it becomes easier to accept when seen in the context of the show’s present transformation; a tale of mystery and suspense fashioned after the sort of nighttime drama anthology shows presented by Alfred Hitchcock.

 

The story of Bill Malloy, along with its aftermath and consequences, could have been neatly sewn up in just one hour of nighttime television, as Art Wallace did initially with the Jason McGuire/blackmail story prototype The House in 1957, or even a single half-hour as Wallace also did with the initial version of the above story three years earlier. Instead, the Jason McGuire story played out on Dark Shadows for more than eighty episodes, with the blackmail story itself running for a full seventy-nine.

 

Likewise, the Bill Malloy story promises to generate plenty of episode mileage. In the format of daytime serial drama, the story can unfold a little at a time with the opportunity of providing numerous additional details while various characters are scrutinized for their suspicions and motives. In the process, everyday props like fountain pens and clocks take on a greater significance by serving to shed an occasional spotlight on the inconsistencies of a character’s alibi, should the need arise to account for one’s whereabouts at a given time, thereby building on the overall mystery by adding to the speculation.

 

Today’s episode is a case in point; the meeting arranged by Bill Malloy between himself, Burke Devlin, Roger Collins, and Sam Evans, instead of resolving the conflict between Devlin and the Collins family, has resulted in the apparent disappearance of Malloy, and a missing fountain pen may hold the key…

 

 

Both Roger Collins and Sam Evans are looking quite guilty lately. It’s long been understood that the two have been in cahoots and concealing vital information from Burke Devlin relating to his manslaughter conviction and subsequent imprisonment ten years ago. Beginning with today’s episode, the implication of whether either Roger, Sam, or both are capable of murder will be presented as a credible possibility.

 

Recall how in episode 45 the filigree silver fountain pen gifted to Carolyn from Burke in episode 42 came to change hands to Roger. Carolyn reveals to Roger how she had lunch that afternoon with Burke in Bangor, and when Roger doubts the sincerity of Burke’s actions and intentions toward her, she produces the pen as proof of Burke’s friendship.

 

Carolyn: He said it was expensive. See?

Roger finds out that Burke gifted an expensive fountain pen to Carolyn_episode 45 (3)_ep46

 

Roger: You accepted this?

Carolyn: Yes. Isn’t it pretty?

Roger finds out that Burke gifted an expensive fountain pen to Carolyn_episode 45_ep46

 

Roger: Have you the vaguest idea of what a gift like that costs? You can’t possibly keep it.

Carolyn: Why not? Burke insisted.

Roger: I told you he wanted something from you. He’s paying in advance.

Carolyn: That’s not true.

Roger: Why else would he give you a thing like this? Look at the workmanship on it.

Roger notes the workmanship on the silver fountain pen_episode 45_ep46

 

Roger: Carolyn, it’s bad enough for you to accept a gift like this from any man. But it’s unthinkable that you would accept it from Burke Devlin!

Carolyn: Oh, for heaven’s sake, uncle Roger, it’s only a fountain pen!

Roger: I don’t care if it’s a lead pencil! I will not have you accepting gifts like this from the man who is hell-bent on trying to destroy me.

Roger won't let Carolyn keep the pen_episode 45 (2)_ep47

 

As the scene moves along, several shots are done to build for the viewer a new association between Roger and the fountain pen. First he holds it in his right hand during a volatile phone exchange with Bill Malloy.

Boom mic shadow_against drawing room door_Act III_ep45

 

After hanging up on Malloy, Roger is seen in close-up to grip the pen like a dagger…

Roger grips the pen like a dagger after Bill has phoned_episode 45_ep47

 

…which earlier that episode he had done with a dart following an equally fraught exchange with Malloy in his office.

Roger grips a dart like a dagger after Bill has left his office_ep45

 

Then a final establishing shot for the scene is given, with both the pen and Roger’s desperate yet determined expression in tight close-up.

Roger in tight closeup with fountain pen_episode 45 (2)_ep46

 

So it’s a curious thing when as their meeting later that night is winding down to a close, Roger fails to produce the fountain pen he told Carolyn that afternoon he would be returning to Burke. Somehow, without his awareness, the pen has been misplaced.

 

Roger: I seem to have left it at home, but I’ll return it to you.

Roger has misplaced the fountain pen_ep47

 

This may or may not have something to do with where Roger was during the latter half of the ten o’clock hour. In episode 46, clocks are used to drop several possible clues that may be enlarged upon at a later time.

 

Act IV of that episode begins with a close-up of the foyer clock showing ten fifteen.

Foyer clock showing ten fifteen_start of Act IV episode 46_ep47

 

Then Roger is seen on the phone telling someone to meet him somewhere; he intends to meet with someone before the scheduled meeting in his office at eleven.

Roger on the phone at ten fifteen_Act IV episode 46_ep47

 

A short while later he is shown preparing to step out.

Roger prepares to step out_Act IV episode 46_ep47

 

The camera moves in slowly on the face of the foyer clock as it shows ten twenty-five…

Foyer clock showing ten twenty-five_Act IV episode 46_ep47

 

…as there begins a dissolve to the clock in Roger’s office…

Foyer clock showing ten twenty-five_beginning of dissolve to clock in Roger's office_Act IV episode 46_ep47

 

…showing the time as eleven.

Roger's office at the cannery_clock showing eleven_Act IV episode 46_ep47

 

Today’s episode is all about why Bill Malloy didn’t show up for the meeting he set up. With Burke stepping out of the office to go over to Malloy’s house in an attempt to track him down, Roger and Sam have the following exchange which only adds to the mystery.

 

Roger: Then where do you think he is?

Sam: How should I know? All I know is he was supposed to be here at eleven o’clock… What are you driving at Collins?

Roger and Sam suspect each other of murder (1)_ep47

 

Roger: You’d feel a lot safer, Evans, wouldn’t you, if Malloy never showed up.

Roger and Sam suspect each other of murder (2)_ep47

 

Sam: You think I’d?… Collins, I could kill you!

Roger and Sam suspect each other of murder (3)_ep47

 

This is Dark Shadows as it transitions into serial mystery and suspense. Today’s episode of Dan Curtis Presents offers up the possibility that one or more individuals in the present storyline may be capable of murder, neither of whom can any longer trust the other.

 

From here on the viewer will be left to wonder whodunit, and what precisely did they dundo?

 

David Ford as Sam Evans in Dark Shadows episode 46_ep37A

 

Footnote:

For the opening scene, the piano piece Elizabeth plays in the drawing room is by Frédéric Chopin, “Etude no. 3 in E major, Op. 10 no. 3,” composed in 1832 and published the following year; a full-length interpretation is presented here:

 

One of only two existing photographs of Frédéric Chopin, taken in 1849 by Louis-Auguste Bisson.

Frediric Chopin_photo_1849_black and white_ep47

 

Background audio:

[SPOILER ALERT!]: This section contains control room discussion during the taping of episode 47 mainly between Dark Shadows line producer Robert Costello and executive producer Dan Curtis about Dan planning for changes in story direction as well as the cast of characters. You may wish to skip this section if you haven’t gotten as far as episode 53, or better still episode 108.

 

The series: The Dan and Lela Show; the main players: director Lela Swift, executive producer Dan Curtis, with special guest Robert Costello; the setting: television studio control room; main prop: the control room microphone; opening scene: teaser…

 

[Opening narration, Carolyn moving downstairs in foyer]

Robert Costello [line producer]: Dan, I don’t think you understand what you did to Frank with this Hitchcock kick you’re on.

Dan: Jesus Christ, Bob. I’m trying to tell you why I’m doing what I’m doing. We need to save the show from cancellation.

[Carolyn opens drawing room double doors and enters]

Robert: Stop! I want to know, from you, why you had to ruin Frank Schofield’s career.

Dan: I didn’t ruin Frank’s career. He’s still on the show.

Robert: But Dan, how can that be? You had his character killed off. He has nothing left to do on Dark Shadows.

Dan: Bob, why not just leave it alone for now? I told you I’d take care of it.

Robert: Frank is a good friend of mine, and he’s worried that his career might be over.

Dan: We’ll have him back from time to time.

Robert: From time to time?!

 

[Final seconds of opening scene; sound effect for foyer clock chime starts out with a noticeable warp]

Dan: Oh, Sybil! You warped the sound effect for the clock…

 

[waves]

Robert: Dan, don’t pick on Sybil, just because she made a little blooper. I want to know why you had to ruin Frank Schofield’s career.

Dan: Bob, I told you, Frank Schofield’s career is not ruined. He’s still on Dark Shadows…

 

[Act I begins, Collinwood drawing room]

Robert: Jesus Christ, Dan! I am so pissed off at you! Here you have Frank Schofield on your show, a great friggin’ actor, and you’re just letting him go because you think you need to bring Alfred Hitchcock to daytime television.

Dan: Jesus, Bob, I told you, I’m trying to save the show from cancellation. My old friend from my sales days suggested we go the way of mystery and suspense. It’ll get viewers interested.

Robert: You mean to tell me, you’re taking advice on the direction of the show from someone who isn’t even on Dark Shadows?

Dan: That’s exactly what I’m doing. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s sold a lot of successful shows to the networks.

Robert: Dan, I can’t believe you’re doing this!

Dan: That’s what I’m doing, and my mind’s made up. Now why don’t you save any further complaints until the closing theme, so that Lela can direct…

 

[closing theme, showing view of the foyer set]

Dan: Jesus Christ, there’s still marking tape on the floor!

Robert: Dan, I am so pissed off at you! Why do you have to always piss and moan about every little thing?

Dan: I want Dark Shadows to be perfect!

Robert: And I want my friend Frank Schofield to be working.

Dan: Bob, I told you, I am taking care of it. Frank is still on Dark Shadows.

Robert: But how can he still be on Dark Shadows? You just had his character killed off.

Dan: Bob, I am keeping him in the cast. He’ll still be used from time to time.

Robert: Dan, why do you have to bring Alfred Hitchcock to daytime television?

Dan: I’m trying to save the ratings. Terror At Northfield, that’s what I’m going for…

 

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

 

Background/Production Notes:

After checking Bill Malloy’s house, Burke returns to Roger’s office to report to Sam and Roger that he “rang his bell a couple a dozen times.” This is the second scripted mention of the ringing of doorbells. The first was made by Roger Collins in episode 3, and the sound of a doorbell is heard in only three episodes during the first year of the show (episodes 7, 22, and 49).

 

You know that an episode has been written by Art Wallace when the viewer is treated to a “scene connector”; a scene connector is an operative word or phrase dropped at the end of one scene that is taken up by another character to start the subsequent scene, but using the word or phrase in a different context. In this case, for the scene transition from Roger’s office to the Collinwood drawing room in the middle of Act III, the key word is “answer” and in the process there is made one of the few mentions on Dark Shadows of a calendar observance day:

 

Burke: Come on, Bill, answer. Answer!…

Burke tries phoning Bill Malloy_middle of Act III_ep47

 

Carolyn: …and you never answered! I remember the telephone rang and rang, and you absolutely refused to pick it up.

Carolyn laughs over how her mother never answered the phone on Halloween_ep47

 

Elizabeth: Well, could you blame me? Halloween, midnight, three calls for the ghost of Collinwood, but none for me.

Elizabeth and Carolyn laugh over Halloween phone calls_middle of Act III_ep47

 

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:

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace_ep47

 

The set design for the fireplace in the Collinwood drawing room has intrigued me for… years actually. It’s a fully functional fireplace, and yet it isn’t exactly. If it were, there would need to be a chimney system built into the studio specifically to funnel out the smoke; but there isn’t really any smoke, because there isn’t actually any wood burning. Instead, there appears to be some sort of perhaps gas-powered grill at the bottom of the hearth. You can see in the above image from today’s episode how there’s a log or two of wood (or plastic or something) propped up in front…

 

…but notice how in this image from episode 45 the fire burns behind the logs…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace_ep45

 

…and how at times it seems to burn only at the bottom…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (2)_ep45

 

…while the flame appears to “separate” in the middle…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (3)_ep45

 

…sending up random jets of fire…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (4)_ep45

 

…but which at one point burns mostly to one side…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (5)_ep45

 

…before settling mainly at the bottom…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (6)_ep45

 

…and once more sending up random jets of fire which separate from the main flame…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (7)_ep45

 

…and again the flame separates at the bottom…

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (8)_ep45

 

…and again the flame joins at the bottom.

Collinwood drawing room_fireplace (9)_ep45

 

Here in the opening scene for episode 46, the flames appear to be shaped by the arms of a grill-type mechanism.

Roger takes up David's drawing of Collinwood_ep46

 

Here are images from an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Wet Saturday; season 2, episode 1, aired September 30, 1956), with scenes in the front room of a country estate, to show what a fire would look like in an actual wood-burning fireplace…

Alfred Nitchcock Presents_Wet Saturday_fireplace (1)_ep47

 

…with the logs of wood being consumed within the flames…

Alfred Nitchcock Presents_Wet Saturday_fireplace (2)_ep47

 

…and the flames themselves consistent in the way they rise.

Alfred Nitchcock Presents_Wet Saturday_fireplace (3A)_ep47

 

Bloopers/Story Continuity:

At the close of the teaser, the sound effect for the chime of the foyer clock, evidently cued by the music supervisor with a vinyl record from a turntable in the control room, has a warped sound for the first second, as if the turntable is being sped up a second too late.

 

In Act I, a portion of the teleprompter is visible outside the drawing room window.

Teleprompter outside drawing room window_Act I_ep47

 

On a couple of occasions during Act I, the shadow of the camera can be seen against Elizabeth’s nightdress.

Camera shadow against Joan Bennett's nightdress_Act I_ep47

 

In the middle of Act I, as Elizabeth crosses the foyer to go upstairs and talk to Roger, marking tape is on the foyer floor (to the right of Elizabeth’s feet).

Collinwood foyer_marking tape on foyer floor (to right of Elizabeth's feet)_ep47

 

A moment later, as the camera moves in on the foyer clock to show the time as eleven thirty, studio lights are visible over the drawing room set (top left corner and middle right edge).

Camera blooper (top left corner and middle right edge)_studio lights over drawing room set_Act I_ep47

 

In Roger’s office toward the end of Act II, while Burke is speculating on the whereabouts of Bill Malloy, Louis Edmonds says: “Bill likes to walk. He often works – walks here from his… house.”

 

In the middle of Act III, when laughing over phone calls made to Collinwood at midnight on Halloween for the ghost of Collinwood, Joan Bennett says, “…ghost of Collinswood…”

 

The end credits roll has “Ohrbach’s” listed as “Orhbach’s.”

Ohrbach's blooper_end credits_ep47

 

Propspotting:

A shot of Sam in Roger’s office provides a close view of the Smith Brothers portrait.

Smith Brothers portrait_Sam in Roger's office_ep47

 

A 1942 advertisement for Smith Brothers Cough Drops.

Smith Brothers' Cough Drops_1942 advertisement_ep47

 

Food & Drink in Collinsport:

While Elizabeth was upstairs looking for Roger, Carolyn went to the kitchen to make tea; here she pours from the tray of tea service she brought to the drawing room.

Carolyn with tea service_drawing room_ep47

 

Having returned home from the meeting at his office, Roger has a midnight brandy while fending off Elizabeth’s questions about Bill Malloy.

Roger with brandy_drawing room_ep47

 

Signs of the Times:

In the summer of sixty-six a group of musicians from Chicago who called themselves the New Colony Six were releasing their debut album Breakthrough, which has a dark, garage rock feel overall.

 

I And You:

New Colony Six_Breakthrough_CD cover (front)_ep47

 

The Time Of The Year Is Sunset:

New Colony Six_Breakthrough_CD cover (back)_ep47

 

By 1968, the New Colony Six had changed their sound completely, going for a softer more radio-friendly approach to score with a series of hits for which they are best known.

 

I Will Always Think Of You:

 

Tranquil Thoughts For a Lazy Afternoon (February 5, 2019)

5 February 2019_image 35_ep47

 

The Winter Sun Settles Low; Farewell the Spring-Like Day (February 5, 2019)

5 February 2019_image 102_ep47

 

The Sun Shines Elsewhere Now… (February 5, 2019)

5 February 2019_image 150_ep47

 

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 48: The Case of the Vanishing Man: Part 1, Questions and Theories

 

— Marc Masse

(aka PrisoneroftheNight)

 

© 2019 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Episode 47: Meeting of the Board”

  1. Good grief. If losing his job on Dark Shadows meant the end of Frank Schofield’s career then it couldn’t have been much of one to begin with. Why didn’t Bob Costello get out there and help Frank find another job instead of whining to Dan Curtis about it. That’s the breaks for actors in soap operaland – you might get killed off for the sake of the storyline/ratings at any time.
    Sam Evans and Burke Devlin both get killed off eventually, too.

    Like

    1. It could be looked upon by people in the business who do the hiring as a situation where either the character, or the actor, wasn’t working out — not something you’d want to have on your resume as your most recent job listing. Then there’s also the age of the actor to consider; Frank Schofield must have been nearly 50, and in television those choice roles may be fewer and fewer. Whereas he worked fairly regularly before Dark Shadows, he worked in only two soaps over the next 13 years, his only television work, plus the one movie.

      Likewise, David Ford didn’t do any television work after Sam Evans was killed off, and just two movies; he likely returned to theater work.

      Anthony George had two characters killed off, with the same career pattern as noted above. A ton of credits before Dark Shadows and hardly anything after. He didn’t work in television for another 3 years; just 3 episodes on Search For Tomorrow in the early seventies and 6 on One Life To Live in the early eighties. In between was an episode apiece of Police Woman and Wonder Woman in 1977.

      When your character gets killed off, you might have to explain why. If an actor is an asset to a show, surely the producers would want to keep him on, rather than making him look like expendable goods. On your resume, it would likely look the same as getting fired.

      Like

      1. I must be slippin’ cause I would have sworn Anthony George played Dr. Tony Vincente on Search for Tomorrow for several years in the early 70’s!
        I wonder what casting directors from other shows thought about the number of capable actors with good resumes being fired off DS in the beginning.

        Like

      2. Yes, I believe you’re right; he was on from 1970 to 1972 — IMDb can be really sketchy with its listings, and the info provided there a bit misleading, as it is after all a wiki. And One Life To Live goes from ’79 to ’84, so probably more than 6 episodes. Still, he didn’t do much after Dark Shadows, and he wasn’t back on TV for another 3 years after Jeremiah was killed off. That’s quite a step down for an actor who was one of the stars of a major series like Checkmate in the early 60s alongside such names as Doug McClure and Sebastian Cabot.

        Mark Allen’s career took a nosedive after being fired from Dark Shadows; and, aside from one episode of N.Y.P.D., Michael Currie disappeared for more than a decade before he was able to finally make a name for himself. As will be brought to light in posts for future episodes, John Lasell was very anxious over the decision to have his character killed off, knowing full well what a departure under such circumstances could do to an actor’s reputation, and at the time, he too thought it would mean the end of his career. Thus far, only George Mitchell seems to have escaped unscathed.

        Like

  2. I wonder if Dan Curtis tried to get Schofield back when the ‘repertory’ storylines came along? He’d have been fun as Sandor, or Johnny Romano (King of the Gypsies!) Jeremiah, Paul Stoddard, Dameon Edwards – Curtis could have done a whole ‘thing’ with his characters getting bumped off… though Frank probably wouldn’t have been very keen.

    Swift and Costello seem to have forgotten about Schofield as well, unless there’s going to be more offstage sniping about it.

    Like

    1. Lela didn’t like the idea of seeing Frank Schofield face down in the water, and passed along to Dan that Frank thought it was beneath his dignity; Dan defended this by saying that Frank was getting paid for the two episodes in which that footage was being used. Otherwise, there will be plenty of other things, and actors/actresses, for Lela to complain about during episode tapings to come.

      I haven’t heard Frank Schofield’s name mentioned, at least via the control room mic during tapings, after his final episode, which is months ahead during the phoenix story.

      Like

      1. Thanks Prisoner, I better understand now what a blow it must have been to Frank Schofield to lose that Dark Shadows job. Roles on soap operas, especially for men of a certain age, don’t just grow on trees in Central Park.
        I’m reading a Rock Hudson biography which includes the usual plot summaries, cast lists and behind the scenes stories/gossip. Rock was in a film titled The Tarnished Angels, playing a character named Burke Devlin. It’s based on a Faulkner novel.

        Like

      2. Oh, yes, great movie! Count Catofi was kind enough to point me toward that, and I included a mini-summary in the post for episode 38; it could have been that Art Wallace or Dan Curtis or both plucked the name Burke Devlin from The Tarnished Angels.

        Like

  3. The misspelling of Ohrbachs always occur when the credits “scroll up” the screen. This is amusing, and in one episode, Ohrbachs gets a properly spelled credit early in the credits, then, the scroll starts and we get the misspelled Orhbachs. The misspelling on the scroll continues until the end of the series. I have checked some of the many shows which carry Ohrbachs as a clothing credit. MISTER ED, DONNA REED, THE REAL McCOYS, etc. The only other misspelling I can find is on I MARRIED JOAN, where it is spelled Orbachs.

    Like

  4. “… Robert Costello [line producer]: ‘Dan, I don’t think you understand what you did to Frank with this Hitchcock kick you’re on.’ …”

    The ‘Hitchcock kick’:

    I just finished reading the the quote above. I’ve had my strong suspicions for quite a long while that Dan was imitating Hitchcock, or influenced by Hitchcock. Until now however I lacked real proof to support the hunch.

    Now here is some proof of the point. The transcript from the control room background audio appears to provide *valuable and independent confirmation* from none other than Bob Costello that Dan was truly trying to emulate Alfred Hitchcock. As a DS insider, Costello ought to know what was going on behind the scenes as he would be privy to many conversations with Dan Curtis, the writers, and others.

    What an exciting find, Priz! I’m so excited I feel like I just had 8 cups of coffee — which would be equal to 16 of those mini coffee mugs served by Maggie Evans & Silent Susie at the Collinsport Inn Hotel Restaurant!
    🙂

    Like

    1. Costello seems equally beside himself to learn that Dan would even think of consulting with someone like an old friend from his sales days, who isn’t even involved in the making of the show, for story direction. But that just seems to be Dan’s way of doing things; recall how he has on many occasions famously stated, “My kids said, Make it scary.”

      If this had been a typical industry-type executive producer, he would have just accepted the impending cancellation with a casual shrug and thought, Oh well, on to the next job.

      More than anything, it proves that Dan was taking chances and applying creative, innovative ideas and moving daytime television where it had never gone before at a far earlier stage of Dark Shadows than anyone had previously imagined.

      Like

      1. Robert Costello & Lela Swift strongly agree that Frank Schofield should be kept on the show. Nevertheless Dan Curtis overruled both of them despite their greater experience in TV production, and despite Costello’s apparent loyalty to, and friendly concern for, Frank Schofield.

        It’s likely both Costello & Swift thought Dan at this point in his career was a newcomer to TV, and prone to make mistakes. What could Dan Curtis know about drama? All he had done previously was a golf show, they probably thought. And now here comes Dan making decisions that Swift & Costello clearly consider to be novice mistakes, for example, (1) Dan taking advice on how to boost sagging ratings from sales acquaintances outside the TV business … and (2) Dan hiring “my golfing buddy” actor Patrick McVey to play Collins family banker Mr. John Harris in episode 44, much to the chagrin of Lela Swift.

        Swift & Costello might have wondered: Can this situation get any worse?

        Like

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