Episode 68: The Most Charming Man in the World

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For Louis Edmonds, one of the great fan favorites of Dark Shadows, the job he landed in 1966 as Roger Collins was in fact originally intended as the swan song to an accomplished career which began ever since he first realized he wanted to be an actor back home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1939.

 

Today’s episode represents a slight departure from the Roger Collins we’ve seen thus far. As the main villain of the piece, besides having been guilty of the manslaughter charge that sent Burke Devlin to prison ten years earlier, he may well also be guilty of murder when Bill Malloy failed to show up at the meeting he called that night at Roger’s office with the intention of clearing Burke’s name while bringing in Sam Evans as leverage to prove that Roger had been guilty all along. Roger hasn’t actually provided anyone, the other characters involved or the viewer, with any reason to suspect otherwise.

 

Caught in the middle is newly hired Collinwood governess Victoria Winters. Through her association with Burke Devlin, both of whom arrived in Collinsport a week earlier on the same train from New York, Roger has been cultivating a burning animosity toward Vicki despite her earnest best efforts to get along with everyone on the great estate. So far only her employer Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has been mostly unwavering in her gracious efforts to make her feel welcome in such a strange and gloomy environment, but even this can be subject to change despite Vicki’s best intentions to the contrary.

 

Beginning today Louis Edmonds brings a new layer of depth to what has thus far proven a mostly intractable character, the signature cocktail charm that in later times on Dark Shadows would make his character portrayals on the show so entertaining rather than one-dimensional.

 

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