Episode 65: Bull in a Collins Shop

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Burke Devlin is on a rampage; at least that’s what the sheriff of Collinsport has been phoning various residents to warn them about. In episode 60 Sheriff Patterson reached out to Sam Evans informing him that Burke might be out his way, and that if he did show up he should just call in. The same advisory was issued in yesterday’s episode during a telephone conversation with Elizabeth Stoddard.

 

Thus far Devlin’s rampage has consisted of crashing a dinner party at the Evans cottage, which very nearly resulted in a sandwich, and now he has shown up at Collinwood demanding that he be allowed to speak with Roger Collins. It’s been a long day since morning broke way back in episode 53 and it isn’t over just yet, not even with today’s episode. If Devlin’s rampage is allowed to continue on unabated, it’s liable to erupt in drawing room tea.

 

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Episode 64: Terror at Collinsport

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Some Dark Shadows fans wonder why it is that when the actor recast for Sam Evans makes his debut in episode 35 there is a special announcement over the opening theme but there is none for when Thayer David takes over as Matthew Morgan as of episode 38. In retrospect, given Thayer David’s stature as an actor, and especially that he is beloved by Dark Shadows fans, it would seem like quite an oversight, a blooper even.

 

The reason has more to do with each given character’s place in the overall story. In Shadows on the Wall, Sam Evans is given space in the introductory character sketches – within the profile for Margaret Evans, but nonetheless there is ample length devoted to the complexities of Sam’s moods and character, not to mention his place as a peripheral but key figure in the Burke Devlin story, while on the other hand the occasional presence of the Collinwood caretaker as created for the TV series appears to fulfill more of a functional role. At least that was how the first incarnation was utilized: drama and menace for Vicki’s introduction to the basement; a source of background information on the Collins family and Devlin when Vicki was asking about any possible connections with Bangor the Collinses may have had; or a narrative function where Matthew would report to Mrs. Stoddard and describe the scene of Roger’s accident.

 

Yet for the second instance in the past two weeks, Thayer David’s Matthew Morgan is at the forefront while making things happen and also for the second time in two weeks is appearing in back-to-back episodes – something that did not occur with George Mitchell’s Matthew Morgan. With the big change between the two incarnations having been to sacrifice the Bill Malloy character for a murder mystery, it would be reasonable to assume that Matthew must in some way have been responsible for Malloy’s death, unless one is willing to consider what Matthew did with Malloy’s body when it had washed up that night at Widow’s Hill normal.

 

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