Dark Shadows # 31: Episodes: 271 – 280

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by Jonathan Lewis
Joan Bennett

Joan Bennett

 Dark Shadows – Disc 31

Episodes: 271 – 280

Telecast: Monday, July 10 – Friday, July 21 1967

Plot (mostly taken from DVD liner notes): Elizabeth (Joan Bennett) tells the story of what happened at Collinwood 18 years earlier when she thought she killed Paul. After the police arrive, the locked room in the basement is investigated and a trunk is found buried beneath the concrete floor. Jason (Dennis Patrick) explains that Paul was not killed and that he helped him escape. Elizabeth insists Jason be allowed to leave without arrest. Jason spies on Willie (John Karlen) and Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) holding jewels. After Willie refuses to be blackmailed, Jason breaks into the Old House. Jason opens Barnabas’ coffin in the basement of the Old House. Barnabas’ hand reaches out and begins to choke Jason. At Windcliff, Maggie appears to recognize a sketch of Sarah. In the mausoleum, Sarah (Sharon Smyth) appears beside her own tomb. Barnabas decides to hold a costume party, with everyone to dress as Collins ancestors. He suggests Victoria come as Josette. Vicki goes to the Old House to select her costume for the party. Sarah finds her own dress in an old trunk in Josette’s room. At Victoria’s request, Barnabas invites Burke (Anthony George) to the party. He will dress as Jeremiah Collins, Barnabas’ rival for Josette. While at the party, Elizabeth fears a ghost is present. Roger organizes a séance and Vicki goes into a trance after it begins.

Comments:

* Episode 271 spends most of the running time in an extended flashback in which Elizabeth reveals the truth behind her husband’s disappearance. It was a short episode at just 18:30 minutes so the end credits crawl very, VERY, slowly.

* Elizabeth reveals she used to sit in the basement locked room, sobbing with grief and guilt over what she believed she had done. After a full year of the show, the viewers finally learn that it was Elizabeth’s sobbing that had been heard repeatedly in the earliest episodes of the series.

* Isn’t it weird that in a small town where everyone knows your business and talks about it endlessly that Carolyn goes for days without hearing the truth about her father’s disappearance?

* In episode 275, Willie Loomis says “Barnabas Collins isn’t alive. He’s dead.” It’s the first time the show reveals that Barnabas is undead, but the word vampire has still not been uttered.

* Episode 275 is the first time that Alexandra Moltke does not do the opening voice-over narration, which usually begins with her customary “my name is Victoria Winters.” Instead, Nancy Barrett, who plays Carolyn, does the honors. Episode 276 has Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie) doing the opening voice-over narration.

* With episode 276, the story of Jason McGuire comes to an end. Barnabas and Willie carry Jason’s body out of the Old House basement, and it is six-foot-tall actor Dennis Patrick they are carrying. However, when they’ve wrapped the body and carry it into the crypt, the shrouded body prop is nearly 10 feet long.

* If Maggie has Sarah’s doll, how is it possible that Sarah’s ghost still has possession of the doll when she’s seen in the crypt. Maybe it’s a ghost doll. Bride of Chucky, perhaps?

* Dr. Hoffman’s nurse wears a nurse’s cap that looks like a stick of butter.

* After a few weeks of having a new Burke Devlin, the transition from Mitchell Ryan to Anthony George has been established and no longer merits a pre-show announcement. According to rumors, producer Dan Curtis had to fire Mitchell Ryan because of a drinking problem. Once it became apparent that Ryan would not be returning to the show, George became the permanent replacement.

Episode 280 has yet another séance. There is an awful lot of cross talk during the séance that it is amazing a ghost bothered to show up and wasn’t scared away by all the babble.

* Tech Goof: At the end of episode 273, Jason looks into the window at the Old House, but sheer curtains block his view. At the start of episode 274, a replay of the same scene shows that the curtains have magically disappeared so Jason can actually see what is going on inside the room.

* Tech Goof: During the end credits for episode 278, a crew member walks into the frame behind the curtains and has to dart off camera quickly.

– by Jonathan Lewis

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