Analysis of Preferred Pairings For Barnabas Collins #6

6) Leutinant Mary Sue


As the list grows in these preferred pairings I’ve turned my attention to a stranger oddity. I found Roxanne Drew to be a unique addition, and then surmised why Dark Shadows brought in another red-head when they already had one: Barnabas isn’t likely to be romantically inclined to Julia Hoffman as her analytical and authoritarian attitude made her closer to a friend than a marriage companion minus the possibility of pity for her which I find undeserving. Roxanne Drew does come off as the younger type that Barnabas has a preference for when people look superficially, but she also contains the gentler gregarious nature he admires.

With Roxanne we’re also delving further into the series which I’ve heard many concerns by Dark Shadows fans that at a certain point it was being run into the ground as for loss of ideas or lack of continuity going even farther over the edge than is sustainable. Having reached facebook with its sudden and enormous wealth of so many Dark Shadows fans all at once, many things were overwhelming for me. Then when I read a ton of posts and listened to their thoughts I found a great deal to admire. Distaste for too much lack of continuity was one of them.

By the time we pick up on Roxanne there could be too much going on for plausibility in general which is likely why the fans of her as the preferred pairing to Barnabas are harder to reach or find. She comes to mind in this Lt. Mary Sue consideration because of what I’ve seen when people put together the preferred pairing of a Mary Sue for Barnabas Collins.

The standard line is, “Well I felt he needed someone else to get over Josette Dupres.”

I see. Wouldn’t Roxanne Drew be the ideal candidate for this?

Another response I’ve heard a number of times is, “Oh, I felt the Maggie/Josette thing is just over done.”

The only sign I saw after starting my own work was Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows film. Remember at the beginning she does say, “Hello, my name is Maggie Evans.” In any case, I’ve excitedly requested where the hell THESE stories are because I couldn’t find them no matter how much I combed. Maggie=Josette is over done? Where?!

“On the show…”


I must heave a massive and very tired sigh. Maggie=Josette was so overdone no one put it together in so many decades? Sheez… it was so over done and SO obvious no one bothered to do it? Had to make ME come in and do it? Then again, I have felt the very warm appreciation of which I’m most grateful because I’ve heard from several sources much gratitude for “Margaret Josette Dupres”. And from these lovely ladies I have heard many times, “Finally… FINALLY! Someone had the same understanding *I* did and managed to put it together.” I gather it was the complexity and only someone who would want to solve ALL the problems and invite other spooky extras along for the ride would likely be the complicated weirdo to do the research and put it all together.

So when it comes to what I felt was blatantly obvious in terms of what Barnabas Collins desired, what would relieve Josette Dupres and what would allow Maggie Evans to uncork puzzles she’d been wrestling with since she was a child, as well as show just how much she could deeply understand and forgive, the situation was clear. I do listen to Maggie Evans. I did see confusion and frustration, not in her knowing who she was as Maggie but who she was when finding all these puzzles on Dark Shadows she never could solve. I find her one of the wisest characters on the program, which she likely inherits from her Pop, who I intended to save for more than myself. Maggie Evans and Josette Dupres are indeed beautiful, but more than that they are deeply kind and intelligent.

Barnabas on The Enterprise

So the question remains, why Lt. Mary Sue for Barnabas Collins? Lt. Mary Sue I use as a metaphor for an original character, a girl who has no canon value and is either the usual wish-fulfilment or an attempt to give Barnabas Collins the kind of girl he likes when there have been plenty to choose from on the program already. One lady, who I fear has passed away, explained it this way:

“Oh, a Mary Sue or a Marty Stu is typically a character a fan makes up that is really … I’m not sure how to describe it well … a ‘fantasy’ based on the fan herself or himself: A wish-fulfillment, basically.

A Mary Sue is often a skinny, lonely, (perhaps unusually pretty or has something VERY special about her) person who turns out to be the hero’s ‘true love’ instead of the canon love-interest, of course.

The term originated with a story written by a Star Trek Fan way back when, when the girl falls for Kirk, and he for her, but ultimately (in a rare show of good judgement) the girl (who may have been named Mary Sue) finally realised that James Kirk’s true love was the Enterprise.

Ever since then the term is used as I described above. Google the term and you’ll find all the nauseating details of how fans to this day create Mary Sues galore.

Oh, and we can see how Barnabas Collins would find someone other than Josette DuPres to be his ‘true love’ now, can’t we? After all, this new girl is truly everything we realised his Josette wasn’t. Prettier, more tragic, more in need of him, and loves him more than all women in the Universe combined! Lol! Well, I shouldn’t laugh…it really isn’t funny. It’s rather pathetic, actually, and people post such drivel and regale us with the awful results. Ugh…”

Ah, true. It is a strange concept to me unless this is closer to the creation in terms of a mere hobby which wasn’t what I went into it for. We know that some of these writers don’t put this together for wish-fulfilment alone and sometimes not at all. But there is this longing to find another gal for Barnabas Collins that meets his needs but just happens to not resemble the girl he fell deeply in love with. Part of that is likely because people see Barnabas Collins as a sexual object and the only interest he would have is in the superficial. Rare is the character whose motive only moves in that direction. The other part, of course, is the more complex nature of his love for Josette Dupres and seeing her in Maggie Evans. It’s either too hot to handle or not worth the time to explore. Sadly, I believe the main problem is it was viewed as him wanting the invalidating and obnoxious acronym of SYT: sweet young thing. (Not a bad song by Michael Nesmith.)

After studying reincarnation, Josette Dupres, Kitty Soames and Maggie Evans thoroughly, and continue to do, I must come to the conclusion that Lt. Mary Sue makes much more sense in other fandoms.

As far as I’m concerned Captain James T. Kirk is welcome to Lt. Mary Sue. I’m sure he can manage to make her happy. I wouldn’t put it past Kirk to hang on to her and his beloved Enterprise. ^_^

Peace and long life.

Live long and prosper.

10 thoughts on “Analysis of Preferred Pairings For Barnabas Collins #6

  1. TheOldHouse says:

    PT 1970 Roxanne is far more than a Mary Sue. Barnabas loved her deeply and she readily accepted his vampiric side which Josette sadly did not. During the Leviathans Josette even came to him at her grave and told him to let her go and that he’d find another woman to love- which he did- Roxanne. He even said to Julia that Roxanne was the only woman who’d ever made him forget Josette, and that for the first time he had hope of a tender love that he’d longed for for so long.

    I liked Roxanne a lot and was totally surprised by this- I didn’t expect her to be in 1970 PT (I knew there was a Roxanne in 1840 though, which I have yet to see)- I found her to be interesting, genuine and very caring- she truly loved Barnabas. They’d have been happy if he’d managed to bring her over to 1970 RT. He deserved love again.

    I’m not saying I dislike Josette, as you know I like her, but I also like Roxanne, Rachel, Vicki and Maggie too. They all have beauty and good qualities.

    Barnabas had a long life ahead of him, Josette was in the grave and expressed she wanted to stay there and let him go as she was “in the past” and Barnabas was in the future- loving someone can mean letting them go, which she did. In life, people can have more than one love. Many people re marry a few years after a spouse passes on- but they often still hold something in their heart for the deceased spouse. This is the same for Barnabas. Josette didn’t want him to spend the rest of his life alone.

    • morlock13 says:

      I know. Everyone has their preferences, and mainly as I study the show what I’m seeing is juggling some differences when KLS decided to move to France. There is a point at which certain shows don’t have the oomph we admire any more because of various technical changes, and that’s when the continuity of the characters we know and love fall into decay. (Even the makers of The Simpsons have proclaimed, “We’re gonna just run this thing into the ground.”)

      That’s why I have a cut off point in my own work to bypass those times that the characters stopped behaving like themselves. Josette’s spirit had been magnificent deeply loving and never giving up on Barnabas, then we see this ring we never saw in the 1790’s and she’s “returning” it to him and saying “Forget me”… I just don’t buy it at all.

      I try not to discuss this change in romantic inclinations too much because some people love Roxanne and that’s not a crime. Then some people can’t stand her.

      Why she’s replaced with a Mary Sue in fanwork makes little sense to me, though. If someone believes Barnabas needs to “get over” Josette why not write about Roxanne? Why bring in this other new/original character?

      In any case Barnabas/Roxanne didn’t heal my marriage. It was Barnabas and a reincarnation of Josette that did. ❤

      • TheOldHouse says:

        Josette was not in the world of the “living”, so she told Barnabas it was better for him not to keep holding on to her, but to let her rest as he is the “future” , meaning that he is immortal, and she didn’t want for him to be alone and unhappy. It makes sense to me. Many people find another person to love when their spouse/fiancée/partner passes on. If Josette wished for him to be endlessly visiting her grave and lonely that wouldn’t be loving. People can and do love more than one person in their lifetime ( I don’t believe in the there’s only one love for one person idea, it’s a big big universe and there are many lovely people to meet..) and Barnabas has a long lifetime ahead of him. So he met Roxanne who genuinely loved him and accepted his vampiric side without hesitation. She is worthy of him. And he loved her dearly. If people don’t write about Roxanne and invent other women that is their preference Daryl. I suspect it is because he had such a short time with Roxanne sadly.I refer to 1970 PT. Not seen 1840 yet. The positive Josette thing you experience is again your preference, and it works for you, nothing wrong with that.

  2. morlock13 says:

    That’s not what previous research of the program told me. I felt that the episode and Josette’s rendition in it was poorly written for who she was previously. What I researched was that 1) Maggie was the reincarnation of Josette and 2) It was possible they were going to go down that avenue minus continuity flaws before KLS moved to France.

    What you say about people is true, but I don’t buy it for these characters. If it’s your preference to believe everything put down then why not believe in the 1840 period when Barnabas proclaims that he truly loved Angelique when all is said and done? I sure don’t.

    I have worked extremely hard trying to get the characters accurate. I know a ton about writing and a ton about the creation of programs and movies. Most of my entire life is built on these things and I have carefully studied them and continue to do so. I ask the characters what they want and how they would behave and they give me the answers. The gift of healing my marriage was likely Providential.

    (Or perhaps I should just throw that out of the window? Maybe I should just give up completely on the hardest work of my life. Maybe all of the attacks and grief I’ve suffered to create a free-entertainment product is a pile of worthlessness and I should just give up as a human being.)

  3. EdwardianPiano says:

    “What you say about people is true, but I don’t buy it for these characters. If it’s your preference to believe everything put down then why not believe in the 1840 period when Barnabas proclaims that he truly loved Angelique when all is said and done? I sure don’t.”

    I can explain that one- Angelique uses her usual wiles and manipulations ( spells) on him and also there was some leak out of the energies going on in the 1841 PT room- Barnabas watched Bramwell and Catherine having a conversation and was influenced by Brawmwell’s assertions to Catherine that he and she should be together etc. You can be sure a few days into 1971 he wouldn’t be feeling anything for her but distrust and hoping that would be the last he’d see of her.

    • morlock13 says:

      Not sure I follow.. Frankly I just consider his professing his love for Angelique came from the writer being wiped out for some unique twist and just going with that, then the actors didn’t complain that it was out of character because by that time they were tired and wiped out too. Stories can suffer when the humans creating them are also suffering.

      • EdwardianPiano says:

        You often speak of Barnabas as having his own needs/wishes outside of the writer’s wishes, so I am merely going along with that one..;)

      • morlock13 says:

        Yeah, but it was writers who worked to create him. There seems to be a symbiotic interplay I’ve caught hold of. Happens in other works I’ve created.

      • EdwardianPiano says:

        I get you- the writers didn’t get the flow of the real story right- too many cooks comes to mind. It did have a sort of confused ending did 1840. Thanks for this insight!

  4. morlock13 says:

    Going over this again after re-reading it several times… I still wonder why Roxanne isn’t used *more* in fanwork!

    I also get irritated at things being my “preference”. Frankly, I don’t give a damn about who Barnabas Collins “should” love. He was really a secondary concern when I got started for the sake of all the characters.

    I lined everyone up and ‘asked’ them what and who they would be happiest with based on long-standing continuity concerns and proceeding versions of “Dark Shadows”. It’s the characters preferences to the best of my understanding, and I consult with other fans who care about accuracy. (Asking other fans questions, mind you, not awaiting for them to show up.)

    In recent years I have gotten the distinct impression that many, many people have lost the ability to digest and understand fictional narrative.

    This probably has a lot to do with what Big Tech has been up to as well.

    Bits and bytes and disjointed components of topics via pinging notifications and endless distractions is a fine method to fragment long-term focus and, along with that, fictional narrative focus. (If one can’t digest a fictional story, how good will one be at maintaining real life details which are far more complicated?)

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