Hello there, Pit Crew. It is a new month and I decided I should express something very important about living life as human beings: Asking questions. Honest questions, questions about what you have a curiousity for, or what you are wondering about.
I believe we have learned through this tragic Morning-of-the-Internet that using a search engine (or “googling”) our questions doesn’t always lead to the answers we are looking for.
I get some very interesting statistical hits of people asking their search engine questions such as,
“Was Maggie Evans the reincarnation of Josette duPres?”
“Did Dr. Hoffman ever get Barnabas’ love?”
These are problematic questions to ask a machine, aren’t they? They are questions about fictional humans and oddly enough fictional humans are much closer to real humans than computers are. It might be better to ask a living human these things. I just did that today over the telephone with a person who works at a restaurant. I also got the answer to my question from her.
I asked a search engine rather recently, “Where are people having conversations?” And the website list I got showed several articles about how today’s’ youth are rather incapable of being able to have a conversation. So, as it turns out, I had the answer and the computer did not.
Conversations take place in the physical world between people, whether it’s on public transportation, places of business, eating establishments, places of worship, community centers, libraries. People also have conversations over the telephone, voice calls, and on the written page between letter-writers. (I’d also add saloons but I don’t frequent them. For all I know bars just serve drinks while people stare into their mobile phone screens. I’m not sure of the answer to that one.)
I recently purchased my first sheet of Mister Rogers postage stamps and I plan to get more. He’s really made me think about how much quality programming on television I actually had in my life and the effect it had on my upbringing which could have been much worse without shows like “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”. He was pretty darn good at figuring out what kids needed to know and also what questions they might need to ask of themselves, like how they feel about what they experience, or how they feel about their own feelings. If he were alive today and asked me how I felt about him being on a postage stamp my answer would be, “It’s about time!”
I have come to realize I am living in a world where many of those younger than I am did not grow up watching Mister Rogers. They grew up in an internet world, supposedly “sheltered from harm”, but in actuality more expected to criticize everything without much life experience, skill, or even the need to criticize it all. There is also the sudden shock of rather explicit content and fairly “hard core” pornography that is a bit too easy to find. (I saw a ton on tumblr and I sure wasn’t looking for it either! It was rather thrown at me in simply placing my cursor on another users’ icon.)
As Mister Rogers might say himself? “MERCY!”
Anyway… I wanted to get back to some basic conversation skills now that I have permeated so much social media website toxins out of my system. I felt this needed to be stated with a log entry, too.
Do you have questions for me? I am a person, most of you know this having heard recordings of my voice in which I am at first being very patient, and then losing patience, and nearly losing my own mind.
That can sound scary, can’t it? It has certainly scared me, but then again watching basic conversation skills degrade in favour of mobile gadget addiction in companions I’d known for decades was also quite terrifying. It is sad that I went more public to share a series to relieve and help fictional characters and now it definitely seems like I am in the role of helping real living humans to work things out, too. For now, yes, I am here for that.
Do you have questions about Dark Shadows? Do you have questions about The Addams Family? Do you have questions about The Ghost and Mrs. Muir? Do you have questions about The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows? I can, at least, give answering any of them the old college try. That is what the comment boxes on this wordpress web-log are for. I will try to be patient if the questions sound odd to me, and it will take a little time to find them and answer them when they are asked.
So, if there are questions you want to ask in a genuine sense of curiousity, feel free to ask them here or on other log entries. Thank you and you’re welcome.
Just picked up the mail and I am reveling in the fun of it! My stationery horde is dwindling and I’m discovering people who like to savour The Pit as it was meant to be savoured. Hallelujah!
Today I opened this delightful missive which says, “I’m glad that we’re pen friends! You’re the only pen friend I have who sends murder mystery parties with your letters, and I can attend these parties in my PJs!! Woo hoo!”
She also sent some very fun ticket stickers which read: “Admit One”. I am actually trying to get rid of all my crazy stickers but when I saw hers on the back of her envelope I suddenly desired stickers like that. Then? Inside the envelope she had included eighteen of them for me! It was this way of expressing that my show ought to be sent with those tickets as that signifies the theater feeling The Pit brings. What a bloody JOY! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Another pal drives frequently so the CD version of The Pit episodes are perfect for her long hauls. It’s funny because I often anticipated truckers would enjoy The Pit but I’ve yet to hear from any of them. Hopefully this was never due to Maggie expressing a bit of distaste to Barnabas in Episode 10 with,
“Oh, Barnabas, you’ve obviously never encountered a collection of all-night truck drivers swapping suggestive tales over their greasy breakfast plates.”
But who knows?
There are a few listeners of The Pit who don’t quite pick up the knack of the discussion questions as being guidelines to expressing what they enjoy per scene. That’s okay, though. The method that we once had to express our delight and the fun in our entertainment is very much more the “dying art” than letter-writing ever was or has been.
While it became extremely trendy to Hate-On so much in our abundance, the enjoyment of discussing what we were entertained by took a serious nose-dive when we were offered the alternative thumbs-up buttons. There are now even pesky hearts on youtube and iTunes to degrade our faculties even further. If there was an app for making these happy-buttons disappear I would consider PAYING for it. Monthly! (I already enjoy advertisement blockers on my equipment so I have little idea what kind of scary billboard world a great deal of my online audience is being suffocated with. 😦 )
The other difficulty we currently face is having too much choice. I’m immune to that being difficult as I already pruned my needs in the last twenty years. Even before the internet I had far too much thrown in my direction that I could never understand why I just had to like. Another reason I live on Devo’s “Freedom of Choice” song; All around me are people who really do want “Freedom FROM Choice”. It’s not a matter of a good lead to something they would naturally be interested in, but just floating through life waiting for others to send them in whatever direction another wishes them to go.
That became the worse problem imaginable as my audio entertainment was finally noticed and suddenly I had to see the same style of Dark Shadows fanfiction I was tired of reading and trying to avoid. My work, articles, and podcasts made it extremely clear what my interests and goals were in that department. Then, rather than find the specific niche audience I was looking for, it was the bummer-city, cliché types coming forward with precisely what I spent five years finding and did not enjoy at all. It’s as if most the online world is so flabbergasted with too much information that listening to a person or a fictional character is well-nigh impossible for them to do.
This is why correspondence, and the skill of it, is so important. It slows us down to start digesting information at our own human pace. This works because human beings are what we are, regardless of how desperate we seem to be to become The Borg or TheCybermen instead. It’s also exactly why we attained creations such as The Borg and TheCybermen in our storytelling: It’s a warning of things that could very much happen to us in the future. (Or right now.)
As for Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, whose current title is “A Bio-Exorcist Comes To Collinwood”, I am working on the audio, yes, but I am also taking my time with the pen pals and letter-writing to heal myself back to being a better person. I’m often thanking each and every individual that I write to for helping me with this, even when they are so grateful to me for giving them the gift of my episodes. For me it’s a shared process and precisely how I always wanted to do all of this. “Go Online” wasn’t the worst option for me, it was the obvious one. But the human touch of going online was losing ground and I didn’t know that. Nobody seemed to know it, but they definitely defended it, that’s for sure. (It’s much easier to be dismissive, isn’t it?)
The audio itself is grueling and my format from doing voice performances back and forth in one go has shifted toward doing each voice separately. Doing that slows down the creation time. But this is a technique that most audio dramas are created by, having each performer in separate cubicles with a script and a headset, so it makes sense to switch to get each character’s voice better. I’m also finding that using a more caricature performance is as important as the accuracy in their speech patterns. The caricature voice differentiates who is speaking more easily so that it’s less likely a listener will lose track of which character is saying what. However, our too-friendly bio-exorcist is pretty damned easy to spot. Ha ha ha!
The romance is sparking for our three couples now, Barnabas & Maggie, Tony & Carolyn, and Julia & Eliot. I really love how Elizabeth and Barnabas were running things at this point in the original Dark Shadows, but with Elizabeth on her voyage to England for my show, I’ve had to move away from that and am irked for a solution as to who will invite Amy Jennings to stay at Collinwood, eventually. *sigh* I thought, “Well, I could find some hilarious, sarcastic way that Roger would be encountering her instead and deciding, ‘Why the hell not?’” But that didn’t give me much enthusiasm.
The great answer came last night… Carolyn & Tony! Or it could just be Carolyn, or heck, Carolyn AND Carolyn, Stoddard & Muir. Who knows? But in any case I finally hit on how to keep Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard’s romance alive: Do exactly what was done before. Have them solve problems together! In The Pit that is what reignited their romance, which is similar in many couples both fictional and real. (That kissing you hear in The Pit for these couples is obviously not me smooching my arm! That is me and my own sweetie. He’s been shy about it, but hey, he’s getting kissed! He’s not going to say no to me for that offer. 😉 )
So, for those who aren’t writing to me on paper or via email, there is a big reason my online activity has dwindled. I have returned to pen pals and am enjoying it immensely.
No happy-buttons or flinging of links is going to get any of us more of the work and it never did before. Correspondence and discussion about the show(s) is what makes that happen and always did. When I receive insight and feedback from a listener I get to their responses a whole lot faster because this is my passion and my calling. But there are some pen pals who have no interest and that is also fine by me. They keep me company with other interactive details about life in general. That’s healthy and very healing all around. (People writing to me by email, private message, or even postal mail, who love the work but avoid the topic keeps me more at bay with them. This should be a surprise to no one. And really, why would it be?)
I do have a potential“Pit Update April 2017” started but I’m hoping I won’t have to create and release it. I prefer getting to the actual work. And strangely enough it is the quiet discussions of the characters on the demo and in the “editing room” that rivets me more than that fight scene everyone is waiting for! Maggie and Sam with their awesome percolator, Tony and Carolyn going for a drive, Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes having a quiet, studious discussion with romance interlaced, while Lily and Elizabeth enjoy the delights of mingling on board the RMS Queen Elizabeth ship. Those happier scenes are what keep me going.
I’m also working on the script for Episode # 18, “Braving The Waters” but that will take more Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Bewitched studying, of course. Chris Jennings may make his first appearance and there is fun already planned for that, similar to on the original Dark Shadows but much more humourous. Hee hee hee! Bill Malloy’s ghost should encounter Lily and Elizabeth. Lily can have tons of fun with Bill. I really like Lily as this cousin to dissuade Elizabeth needing to fear ghosts and the like, and Melissa has told me how wonderful it is for Elizabeth to finally have a girlfriend to pal around with, “She just never had that on the original show. This is really good for her!”
When we discussed it over the phone neither of us could quite figure out which of the two of them is “the straight man” in the relationship as that role sort of bounces back and forth between Elizabeth Stoddard and Lily Munster. Elizabeth shrugs at any clues that Lily is a daylight-walking vampire with even odder family members, and Lily doesn’t seem to notice Elizabeth being far more mundane than Munster, since to her Munster is mundane.
Another great thing is keeping Sam Evans alive and stretching out his weird psychic trips from his DS: First Year characteristics into being a reincarnation of Andre du Pres. This helps in the extreme with Maggie Evans processing her own reincarnation experiences.
If they had aimed to pull it off on Dark Shadows, which is what I saw them reaching toward, I’m not sure how Maggie could have handled that on her own. Her father, Sam, is the perfect bolster for that, especially if he’s already going through it himself. So in sorting out the main reason I started all of this, it ends up being a wonderful help in solving a lot of other dilemmas I might have faced if that wasn’t the reason I began.
My struggles with Willie Loomis have reached that safer harbour with him now as Wadsworth’s presence has helped to calm him down and I am very much looking forward to healing right along with him. His history is a mystery and should mostly remain so as it did on Dark Shadows. The main point with him is growth and learning better battles to pick, even if some are merely with his pen. Now that I have pen pals by snail mail I can practice my own calligraphy a bit more. ❤
As for the marriage novel, I’m still working on the next chapter which will be quite romantic. (And *cough* “adult”.) Their exploration of old memories will drift through, and I might add a card game in it rather than ending it with them planning to play one. It takes a lot out of me to go into Barnabas-mode, but it’s rewarding. As Sam himself mentions the couple in Chapter 22 of the novel, “…driving through the town of Collinsport to get to The Old House, where my daughter now lived with her excessively romantic husband…” He sure is!
I’ve complained he won’t let me write scenery, but the main thing I’ve had to admit to myself is that Barnabas, on his own terms, would hardly write scenery. The scenery he is forever looking at is his loving bride, Maggie, who is Kitty and Josette and herself. There is a lot to look at in a gal like that! (Even Cousin Lily can see the affection there. 😉 )
Hopefully that’s updated everyone enough as to the state of things with me. I’m still determined and passionate, but I’m also healing from three years of shock, devastation in friendship loss, watching this science-fiction nightmare made of our lives happen unabated, and all of it being defended by masses of people who can’t bear to blame themselves for being misguided.
Now I get to editing, my letters, corresponding with new friends, and racing to the door when my sweetheart comes home. Then I look at my wine bottle and, after three years, I am finally able to say, “I don’t need that tonight. I’ll finish it tomorrow.”
P.S. If some of you out there, as several pen pals have expressed, mainly know Dark Shadows from the 2012 film of it and therefore believe I must automatically “hate” you? No. I don’t. It just got trendy to hate that film like a whole lot else got trendy to hate.
Hate became a disease online as it garnered attention. It’s a junior-high and high-school condition, and can also happen with spoiled louts in college. Whatever occurs to cause that; it’s a phase and a fad. I love the 2012 film, actually. I love a lot things that get a lot of hate. I always have, so I don’t worry about it. ❤
Before I get started I just want to address that there are a lot of podcast updates and plenty of entries on this web-log you might be interested in. If you want to search for specific items you can use the search engine here on the upper-left, just below the logo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and above where it says, “Links To Episodes & Chapters”. Just type in the box what topics interest you.
I am explaining this because, as I’ve analyzed the devastation of social media on the human psyche, I am noticing that a major problem with us is we aren’t using our voluntary ability to seek out what we are looking for on our own. We’ve been programmed by social media algorithms as well as those algorithms which alter what you get first in a basic online search engine. Like spandex, this blend of programming tries to make your journey online “form-fitting” to your preferences. Unfortunately that means you will have less choice in the long-run and may have found yourself being led about by the nose until you feel your freedom-of-choice is seriously lacking. (Has anyone out there forgotten how to clean their room? Me too.)
Still, search engines are the best way to get started and remember that you are in charge of making your own choices. Many suffered and fought for the right to vote and freedom of choice. Don’t get too complacent with that right or it will be taken away, believe you me. You’ll either find yourself beholden to what’s thrown at you or you’ll have no sense of direction due to being oblivious to this format. A lot of algorithms promoting a person’s perceived interests very much weakens our ability to voluntarily look for and choose what we want to do or discover.
I’ve studied the social media phenomenon and psychologists report all this will eventually self-correct. My concern is we all are feeling embarrassed having gotten addicted to it. People often don’t like to admit to “being had”. However, we are all in this silent-crisis together so I’m happy to chuckle at myself and downgrade back to “being human”.
Thankfully my previous mental and emotional dilemmas were relieved by what some call “fluff” or “slice of life” storytelling. 🙂 There is some contradiction of what that means in literature as compared to theatrical works. In theatrical parlance, the term “slice of life” refers to a naturalistic representation of real life, sometimes used as an adjective, as in “a play with ‘slice of life’ dialogue”. I prefer looking at it that way even though much of what I’ve taken comes from the literature format. For those who have a high level of stress throughout most of their life these tales, books and films promote a sense of how one may live from season to season in good health. Tragedies will come, but they are rarely earth-shattering. Hence, I may remark, if one needs excessive tension or stories containing massive amounts of abuse, “They must have a very comfortable life to require that much drama and excitement.” (With Dark Shadows I would fast-forward through certain lagging scenes with the words, “The suspense is boring me.”)
If one has listened to my librivox material it will be noticed my preferred reading material is “slice of life” or “fluff”. I have also repeatedly read almost every fictional work by L.M. Montgomery, then I found the Fairacre series by Miss Read. The protagonist is an excellent example of a lady who is proud and satisfied with being a spinster regardless of how many nosy neighbours feel she should be otherwise. (Yes, I figuratively shout from rooftops about being a happily married woman thanks to Barnabas Collins and Maggie “Josette” Evans, but I maintain those without any romantic-paring inclinations may feel absolutely free to be themselves too!) With my readings of Vladimir Nabokov I find the same steady but intricate components that one would have in this genre even if some of it is intense or dark, but with all of these authors the depth of vocabulary is especially stimulating for description and comprehension.
I was about to enter the worlds of Beverley Nicols and D.E. Stevenson but I fell into The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and here we are. Still, I mention these authors and creations for the sake that my own previous anxieties and struggles were lifted by what I learned imbibing them. Having lived in a form of hyperspace for so long I now have to downgrade to a human pace again and re-learn how to function in it. I deduce many other people could benefit from doing the same.
Much in the way of “stuff” needs to be sorted and thrown away, and a great deal already has been. I got a good start when Melissa entered my life. (Thank you!) More telephone calls or voice calls help this. Technical troubles still loom but finding ways to take care of them will be at a human pace, plenty of time to reflect on the everyday while one is standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms for tech support. If I’m bored there I can read some Victorian non-fiction to pass the time. (I still plan to get to Dark Shadows 1897, right?)
Correspondence? OH, YES! A precious few people still write letters and email. I like to watch the shows and take notes on them while I respond to those letters. In fact you might enjoy my reflections of what’s happening on Bewitched, Dark Shadows, The Munsters or The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and have some of your own to send in return. Good fun. (The Addams Family is heavy note-taking, I’m afraid. That clan has way too many details I need to analyze.)
Exercise? Yes. In fact I keep telling myself I can listen to Pit episodes in order to build new ones while doing said exercise. Fitness routines need space and I’m still working on creating more space. Boy, I miss my fitness routines! Nutrition needs to be seen to; Getting back to a better diet, more leafy greens and fewer carbohydrates especially.
For The Pit? Well, that’s what this web-log is supposed to be about rather than me grousing at you all of the time. Endora and Captain Gregg will be an interesting dilemma but I have my ideas. It will be better when I reach that part and they let me know what they would say after studying them again. Sam Evans is still around so his reactions to all that’s going on are wonderful. Willie Loomis is calming down some, but we know how his sense of panic and explosive responses can maintain while our trusty butler, Wadsworth, provides the guidance he and others need. I’m sure Willie’s bonding time with Sarah continues as well as Sarah’s playtime with David.
Barnabas is sittin’ pretty with the odd return of Josette as Maggie Evans. They aren’t married yet in The Pit but that doesn’t mean they’re going to keep their hands off of each other. Plus Barnabas is ever the affectionate soul to friends, family and his lover alike. I used to tease him more but getting into his persona expresses the richness in romance and tenderness for that one-true-love and in doing so opens one’s heart to the complexity of love and our need to attain that which is thought to be unattainable.
With Maggie Evans there is a duality to work through. How much is her journey? How much is her as Josette once more? The core of a person has variables. Memories unlocked provide her with answers she was striving to find, and as she remembers each detail slowly she has to decide what of her lover’s future she is allowed to reveal and what to keep secret from Barnabas so he can prove himself enough to ensure her trust again as a partner in wedlock someday. Still, she knows, there are plenty of bases that can be covered before one reaches home plate. 😉
Victoria Winters is coming into an understanding of her own powers as well as the past she couldn’t find and how it links with Collinwood. Morticia and Grandmama know Victoria has those answers within herself and wish to offer a way for Victoria to uncover them. Meanwhile I believe Peter Bradford is learning about Gomez Addams’ fixation with toy trains. I’m sure both guests are getting used to the hearty meals on Cemetery Lane. (Actual hearts likely included, of course.)
Lily Munster (passport alias Lily Drake) is looking more like Yvonne DeCarlo as Cousin Elizabeth Stoddard smiles with approval, but still there is all that pesky luggage to store and seasickness cures to consider before the wonders of their Atlantic voyage allows them more to unveil on their journey.
One thing I’m feeling strange about is where Roger Collins will be put in all of this. I really love that area of Dark Shadows in which Elizabeth and Barnabas are holding down the fort. How this will turn out with Elizabeth gone and Roger remaining is anyone’s guess! (Wait… I’m getting ideas… uh-oh…)
Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard? I’m all for more of them. There is another date coming, another sunrise, another chance to go for walks, make out, and complain about paperwork and law-crap. Very possibly more Schooner Bay and Carolyn Muir in the works. Maybe Martha, too! That would be hip. (Please don’t ask for Claymore. He scares me. Ha ha.)
Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes? I need to watch more Dark Shadows because I know they have a chemistry I can tap into, plus they’ve worked well as a team. But Julia is likely feeling overwhelmed with her new suitor and Eliot has to pace himself before he woos her without feeling a little awkward, of course.
I have to find a way to bring Amy and Chris Jennings into the picture. Amy will be fascinating as I have to get to know her again and discover if there is any need for her to be aware of Sarah Collins ghost, or would Sarah want to shy away? It’s a good question. As for Chris, I believe our Mr. Wells will be pleased as punch he has a guest at The Inn who wants to be secluded for his own noisy activity! After Nicholas Blair in room # 13? I have a feeling Mr. Wells shan’t be arsed to investigate Chris Jennings room! He was warned and has had enough stress dealing with whatever demonic noises come out of Blair’s quarters.
Bill Malloy… how does he enter the picture, how does his ghost feel about Elizabeth Stoddard out in the open? How far has he come and how much farther will he go now that his hometown residents are regaining good sense, easy-going humour, and more acceptances of their spooks which would include himself?
Angelique Bouchard is a tough case. Somewhere in the Dark Shadows series she is missing until her return in 1897. In The Pit I see her returning with an encounter of Endora and Samantha somehow in tow, whether they decide to confront her in 1897 or more modern day. Diablos is a presence neither Endora, Samantha or even Serena nor Uncle Arthur have any use for. What they might think of Nicholas Blair is another story.
Sir Simon Milligan and Manservant Hecubus continue to vie for Angelique’s affections, but in the meantime the two of them are likely getting “Girl-Drink Drunk”.
As for Daryl Wor, I will try to take my own advice. Live day to day, chat with friends verbally, go out into the fresh air and accomplish routine tasks, throw out unneeded items to thrift stores, recycling or garbage piles. Eat well, write letters, mind the nutrients, create more episodes via the original shows and the guidance of their characters in this new journey we’re on. There is nothing I can do about the lost friendships but to mourn them in confusion and keep going. The social landscape has changed irrevocably. Presume those people will never come back. (It’s hard for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.)
Remove oneself from the hyperspace of social media.
I also realize I’m going to have to hit any M*A*S*H* sites for information of what might be going on with Hawkeye after the Korean war… which means I should double check stuff on “After M*A*S*H*” especially, though I don’t believe he was ever on that spin-off. There may have been possible mentions.
Next up… a Dark Shadows timeline? Anything on the order of that? Well, story lines, which of course are a massive jangle in the space-time-continuum. I went through the DS Almanacs sent to me as gifts. Wonderful lists. Then a great admin of my first DS group, which I sought out as protection to only go to, in the beginning, posted the list for me from the DS Wiki (the site I used frequently years ago).
1 to 127
The Murder of Bill Malloy
46 to 126
Laura the Phoenix
123 to 192
193 to 275
Barnabas the Vampire
205 to 209
The Search for Barnabas’ Cure
291 to 365
365 to 466
Adam and Eve
466 to 636
The Dream Curse
477 to 536
627 to 700
639 to 700
Return to 1796
657 to 667
700 to 885
The Hand of Count Petofi
778 to 883
886 to 980
895; 914; 920; 921
1970 in Parallel Time
969 to 1060
1061 to 1070
1071 to 1109
1110 to 1198
1135; 1155; 1175; 1180
1841 in Parallel Time
1186 to 1245
All right! So, what have I done that I cannot undo or re-do? I interrupted at about #5 in this list, but continued in a weave-through and into story line #9. I didn’t have the full set, so I did most of this from memory alone. Steps in the thick of it are somewhat out of place but, hey… I’m only one person here. I’m still suprised I got it all this accurate. I asked a beautiful new friend for help to recount where Tom Jennings came in. (I remember in a podcast I mentioned losing track of what was going on because of the rental company missing various disks, so I was balking where I’d brought Tom in.) She resplendently found DS. ep 554. Thank you!
Regardless, I’ll be watching most of the series over again, someway, somehow. *knock on wood* Among various other series and movies. Ah!
The question remains… am I going all the way through #20 in this list? Not bloody likely. As the ghost of Caleb explains to Barnabas in my 15th Episode, “And my connections swear there will be none of that parallel time nonsense.” (Which, of course, requires that he has to tiredly explain what the hell that even means. In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, at least for what I can recall via the weave-in, there was no going back and messing with Lt. Forbes in order to help Victoria Winters and Peter Bradford because? They didn’t fall back into the 1790’s but instead took a road-trip and went to these places instead:
All right. It doesn’t exactly look like a corner brew pub from The British Isles. Victoria Winters and I were a little tired from the long drive. So sue us. (Oh, whoops! I’m broke from this project! There’s nothing left to sue!)
With these factors in tow, it isn’t likely Barnabas Collins is going to understand Parallel Time until he returns from the dreaded Kitty=Josette retcon. (Retroactive continuity, or retcon for short, is the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.) But how will this work? Heck, how the hell does Maggie Evans already remember being both Kitty Soames as Josette Dupres and the original Josette Dupres?
You think Barnabas & Josette have wild memories? Try being John Sullivan. (Thank you, Toby Emmerich.)
Meanwhile in Schooner Bay, there really isn’t much of the music score to find for the television version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir beyond the theme song. Going back to my old influences when I had less music for Dark Shadows I bent in the direction of familiar composers or music the same composers might use. (Similar to adding Santo & Johnny to be heard on the radio or at The Blue Whale.) For what I found on who composed the music for our Captain Gregg and Carolyn Muir?
Series Music by
George Greeley … (19 episodes, 1969-1970)
Dave Grusin … (7 episodes, 1968)
Warren Barker … (5 episodes, 1968-1969)
Harry Geller … (2 episodes, 1970)
Fred Steiner … (1 episode, 1968)
Artie Kane … (1 episode, 1969)
Not sure why my sources place these chaps in this order, but at least the information was there, so I can take a look around at what they might have done on the side. Again, I won’t worry too much about adding anything as I don’t see Captain Gregg coming back until Episode 18 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, but it’s good to get the ideas flowing for creation again. It’s been a long time since my adopted set sail for newer adventures together (December 2013, to be precise).
Oddly enough when I poked around the DS Wiki I noticed a link that said, “Here’s What Really Happened to Barnabas & Co.” Well, I guess that’s what the TV Guide wrap-up decided to title what at the end is written as, “No audience will see these stories playing out. But for those for whom the characters were real, these are merely signposts pointing the direction the characters might have gone.”
There is vaguely more Willie Loomis salted in than I recall… but in either case? I am persuaded to believe that wrap-up just as much as I believe this one:
Are listeners floored by the radio drama because they don’t believe this either? Very likely.
In all of these things, as we stagger onward into the telling of this multi-fandom fiction, based on another multi-fandom fiction, the pieces keep falling into place. The odds are against us struggling away from what we’ve been programmed to do: Say happy things only in cliche’s and pronounce negativity with an amazing detail of description and adjectives.
But the supernatural tempts us to question our existence. As my husband enjoys proclaiming, “Ghosts? Sure… Werewolves? No problem. Vampires? Great… Reincarnation??? That’s ridiculous!” Ah, my sweet love, perhaps our listeners feel it’s too close to the bone. All life works in stages, and if reincarnation be true? It also is a form of existence that works in stages from one life time to the next, rather than mortally stepping through infancy, childhood, adolescence, the teenage years, and then the longest stretch: adulthood.
We, all of us, are part of a collective more complex and profound than any other animal life on this planet. But complexity frightens us…
Josette Dupres’ complexity frightens us. So? We simplify her.
Barnabas Collins’ complexity overwhelms us with it’s alienation, shame, self-doubt, love and aspirations. So we invalidate him and augment his character into various forms.
The heart of the matter is that changeability means being human. It is the ultimate darkness from which we can’t escape, but try to, in so many trivial distractions. The reason that Barnabas Collins irritates us so much, why we try to push him into corners where he refuses to fit? That is a reflection. Something we have a hard time looking at. That’s why I must ask: