Pit Update: August 2017 & Retrospective

2017 August F

 

Study encouragement for The Addams Family, lining things up for Pit Episode 18 in script, wonderful results from pen pals and confusing results from online bystanders. Suggestion of postage stamps if one desires to send a gift. The repercussions of our implicit trust in “Mommy Internet”.

 
Retrospective via Milligan and Hecubus, Sam and Barnabas, gift of lingerie joke for Helena, Dr. Hoffman and Prof. Stokes romance, Clue-like scene in Hoffman’s office, Barnabas and Maggie’s romance.

 
Deep consideration of Willie Loomis’ character overall and his personal challenges between Dark Shadows and The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

 
The reasons for variations of Dark Shadows soundtracks in the confrontation scene between Willie and Barnabas, the challenge of the scene and the shock in how it came into being.

 
My favourite scene, thus far, in the whole series: Roger and Elizabeth opening the mail and discussing their supernatural relations in a down-to-earth fashion.

 
All the key points of importance in the final scene of Episode 14 with Wadsworth and Willie, reflections of Dark Shadows, modern life, storytelling, and our interconnection to each other.

 
Where to go from here: pride in new pen friends, encouragement to youth, invitation for more personal contact, and the reflection of Willie Loomis’ heroism reaching to his refusal to remain a bystander.

Theme for this podcast: “Paranya” by Silenzium (2011)

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Downloadable from iTunes, as always…

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(Watching Together) Dark Shadows Episode 19:

This is an old “note” from Facebook which didn’t amount to much discussion, of course. So from 2 September 2016 of it’s posting? I shall share it here where it’s more likely to be read with the enjoyment which it’s original sharing was intended.


 

As I’ve realized, much of the online drama in DS fandom can be relieved by viewing the show itself. So my husband and I enjoyed this episode the other night with much loving joviality. (This is where a lot of The Pit series I create comes from: Fun discussion while viewing with a loved one.)

19a

We wondered why on earth the chalkboard bit had the voice over guy very quietly announcing some toilet product right before the episode of DS. “Buy Vanish, the new disinfectant toilet-bowl cleaner…” It made our dread of the chalkboard a less bitter pill, that’s for sure!

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At the beginning of course, Liz was looking lovely, and Victoria’s voice-over said, “The tension seems endless. So much has happened since I first set foot in Collinwood and faced the woman who hadn’t left its grounds in eighteen years; a woman who has been shocked by an attempted murder; a woman who is torn with concern for the one person she loves most in this world.”

19b

My husband was startled into asking, “Who? Wait! What?” and we started guessing who the person Liz loves the most is:

“Bill Malloy?”

“Roger—no…”

“It’s gotta be Carolyn.”

“Maybe it isn’t!”

“The sheriff? Does she love him the most?”

“Joe Haskell?”

“Matthew Morgan?”

“Her secret daughter?”

“Caleb Collins?”

“The prop director?”

“Me?”

19c

Later we had the fun of more Bill & Sam. Yay! It was so funny because early on Bill & Sam were having booze at The Blue Whale. After various Joe/Carolyn scenes, Bill & Sam sat down together for coffee at the Inn! I cheered, “Hey… we get to see them in both places at a table having different beverages.”

19d

Finally we got to the credits (that actually had a few credits), and my sweetie announced, “Where the action is where the fun is wherever that is we don’t know so watch The Newlywed Game!”

19e

Then the voice over started in on that old chestnut. We laughed and my husband stepped to the computer and said, “Darn it! I’m gonna find out what the heck they’re talking about!”

“Where The Action Is”

(Basically another version of “American Bandstand”.)

Finally! That is sort of squared away, but we still don’t know why the darn announcer proposes this show is “where the fun is” in this way that the words “Where The Fun Is” might perhaps be the song title each featured group, or artist, is performing on the show called “Where The Action Is.”

Not much of the episode’s content, I realize, but the point of this fun note is to remember that the pleasure of quality programming is to spend time enjoying it with a dear friend or two. 🙂


 

Want more crazy? Check out the archives. We’re all about the crazy over here!

 

Episode 15, One Scene A Day Now Becomes 2-3 Characters A Day…

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WADSWORTH: Sir? I’ve made an effort to clean your staring window if you’d like to make use of it.


Thanks Wadsworth. I think the clarity is coming from your astute considerations. As aforesaid, in my 14th intro, I’m now doing many of the voices for this radio play separately. Today I listened intently to Jonathan Frid’s performance of Barnabas Collins. I found various inflections I might have missed. He did go through some trouble to bring those H’s in where A’s were applicable to the standard American speech and I also made a concerted effort not to lower my own voice. Jonathan Frid’s voice deserves higher tones of inflection and if it doesn’t sound male enough I can lower the pitch on sentences or various words. I felt good about that.

For Episode 15: A Blundering Succubus, Barnabas Collins had to swat away The Collinsport Fly (another breaking through the 4th wall which I haven’t done for a while), speak with his beloved Josette through Maggie Evans in Josette’s room, try to determine who Kitty Soames is or was, look with her out the window at Willie and Sarah interacting, take Maggie with him to Elizabeth’s family gathering at the Main House to discover she was going on an extended vacation and then meet with…

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Cousin Lily

Ah, her casual assertions about vampires certainly gave him the willies!

One of the reasons he even goes into that study where Maggie and Lily are having a chat is because of the coffee they are drinking. Elizabeth tempts him:

ELIZABETH: Cousin Barnabas…(pointedly) it’s Borgia.

BARNABAS: Who?

ELIZABETH: The coffee blend… it’s Borgia…

BARNABAS: (snorts) I see! You really wanted to get me in there, didn’t you?

ELIZABETH: Yes…


And? I have tried SO desperately to find out whether or not this might be accurate, either for Barnabas Collins OR Jonathan Frid. I remember there was a Q & A KLS was holding on a website years ago. I tried to ask, “What coffee was his favourite?” De nada! 😛

After that I called our Auntie. I think I’ll save that conversation for another blog post but it was good. She pretty much agreed with me about the laziness and troubles I’d been having. More complex than that, but worth a blog entry I think.

Hecubus can you hear me

I am now going through Sir Simon Milligan and Manservant Hecubus’ lines which I re-performed a few days ago. They seemed fine on the demo but I just felt like I should try it again. If anyone has updated themselves with these guys via youtube you might have noticed I posted appreciation to the lady who made it easier for me. (I believe in saying “thank you”. I do not simply like-click shit. lol!) Currently I’m going through those new lines and seeing which ones make the cut. I am leaving a little extra in via stuff I can’t decide on. So far Hecubus’ old lines are remaining here and there. Mostly it will be the new stuff that stays.

Also was on Skype with Cara Mia over the holiday weekend. I read her the new (actually old) scene with Morticia, Victoria and Grandmama Addams. This was excellent because I have a hard time with the Addams Family and need the help. I want to make sure all the characters are accurate. When I got to a line via Grandmama or Morticia I’d ask, “Does that sound like her or them?”

“Oh, yes! It does!” she would answer. *happy sigh*

Then I reached the end of the scene and said, “That’s it.”

“Oh!” she said, “Okay… hey, wow! That scene was really, incredibly good!”

Morticia and Victoria

Bless you, Cara Mia. Bless you. ❤

One Scene A Day: Ep. # 13, Lily, Tom, Elizabeth and Caleb Collins

More CalebAunt Elizabeth

I had a wee bit of fun today with this one. However, most of it was interlacing bits of silence to get the pauses in dialogue accurate as how conversation actually sounds, for easy flow of listening and comprehension, as well as how people discuss things and in what manner. Doing that is so labour intensive. But the main thing was Elizabeth’s lines had to be re-performed. Whip out an episode of Dark Shadows to hear her speak some more, as much of the original performance was done quickly after a day at work. Then the microphone crackles over some of her best lines and I had to do them yet again.

Still, what I love about the scene is the ghost of Caleb Collins tries to appease Tom Jennings. Then Tom wanders off to deal with some nasty old cans that have the lead soldering he expressed Tom should be careful with at The Seaview Property in Episode 11. Immediately Lily is delighted to see a presence in league with what she’s more familiar with, so Lily is the first to address him, and as “Mr. Collins”, the way Tom does.

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After Caleb has his vent-off giving Lily Munster a hard time, he begins to address, “My little mistress of the estate.”

Does our Aunt Elizabeth get the shakes? HA! No way, “Oh? Uncle Caleb… Were you speaking to me?” she responds as stalwart and matronly as ever. After fainting at the sight of Cousin Lily who doesn’t look as she remembered her back in the lovely vacation they shared, as well as her own back history believing she murdered her own husband, finding out she actually didn’t so she didn’t have to be a recluse like Caleb was anymore, and the slew of other crap she’s had to deal with in Collinwood, Elizabeth Stoddard isn’t about to be petrified by some old Collins spook!

Go, Elizabeth!

aunt Elizabeth bad azz

Bad-Azz Mofo

And the ghost of Caleb Collins is pleased as bloody punch that she is! “You’re still as wondrous as ever, little Lizzie Collins.”

Our Caleb Collins is one feisty ghost now that he’s had to sit around for so long. Almost completely exiled in his lonely abode surrounded by old food cans, Schwepps bottles, aged books, decades of cobwebby filth, old newspaper articles with advertisements about trusses, the miracles of opium and cocaine, new discoveries in photography, and piles of other junk he folded into his collection. Maybe one day someone would want them, maybe someday there would be a girl in the clan who liked all of that stuff, eh? ^_^ (i.e. Victoria Winters, who is currently a guest resident in the home of The Addams Family.)

So listening to my audio tracks and then creating new ones, almost none of the old lines remain from my performance last October (2013). Tom’s lines are the same but lowered in pitch, Lily’s are the same but heightened in volume, some of Caleb’s are also the same but all of Elizabeth’s had to be re-done today. The conversation sounds more like Joan Bennett than it once did and the dialogue between them is marvelous, as well as heartfelt.

Caleb has his fun with the girls, points out Lily should alter her attire like she had done when she last went on a trip with Elizabeth, in so many words, and which passport with which last name she should use. It’s a little different but somewhat based on an episode of The Munsters I watched in which Lily gets fed up and goes looking for a job. She prefers her maiden name when applying for the position, Lily Dracula. For The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows there is further back history. Since Lily was miffed at all the men in the house back in the 1940s, even her maiden name wasn’t going on the passport she decided to use, and Caleb knows this. He’s a little like Wadsworth that way.

And Lily had altered her appearance before meeting with her cousin Elizabeth:

Behind The Camera

Even in all of Caleb’s blustering, Elizabeth is stolid enough to face him up the stairs with the same determination they both inherited in this mess of a family. Almost equal footing those two. Of course, Caleb must relate how damned amused he was while listening to Barnabas and Burke Devlin sparring words in his house like they were rival brothers over Victoria Winters. It was hilarious for him because Barnabas’ bizarre existence tickles him, and Burke is someone he knows as the reincarnation of… Jeremiah Collins.

So for the ghost of Caleb Collins this is all rather a crack-up. Although, it didn’t used to be for him, he was so stressed out when he was alive, but in approximately 96 years of being a spirit, he’s had it with the violence, had it with quantum mechanics, and had it with everyone shaking so much when they could just relax and joke about it all. Really, in such a crazy place? What else is there that can be done?

Hmm… a new green ghost spewing ectoplasm just showed up to mess with David. An odd butler came around who knows too much. This butler is steering Barnabas back to the coffee shop to try one more time with the reincarnation of his long lost love that he was so crazed and out-of-it he managed to kidnap and abuse her because he couldn’t see who she really was, and not remembering much about Josette Dupres in general for that matter.

With so much turning out and possibly for the better? Hmm… the ghost of Caleb Collins perks up and thinks, “Maybe… just maybe… it’s finally safe to come out now.”

ghost

The Genesis For The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows

Hell yeah

So, Dark Shadows… an insane and multi-layered universe to start with. The heavy stack of gothic novels inspired to create it is daunting in itself. As I finally realized, Dark Shadows is it’s own multi-fandom in that sense. But boy! Does it get startling and depressing at times. Dan Curtis… why a soap-opera? AH! I like spooky, in fact I LOVE spooky and Dark Shadows is certainly that, but also horrorific which I’m not the biggest fan toward. DARN IT! How did I get myself into this mess? Oh, yeah. The Harry Potter craze in which I got serious peer pressure to like that. I did by the third book, but then by the fifth I was ready to throw the book out the window and just about screamed, “If I wanted a spooky soap-opera I’d be watching Dark Shadows!”

Ah-ha! Mail-home DVD rentals! Now might be the time! (I didn’t make efforts previously because I’m sturdy about chronology and started with what they had. The days of Laura & Bill Malloy were not available to me yet.)

I dug in about the time my anhedonia (numbing depression) began taking hold which created an increase to my alcohol imbibing. I could drink right along with this Roger guy, no problem. 

Things kept getting worse in my life and Dark Shadows became an escape but not the kind I’d encountered before. Why do people love Barnabas Collins? He’s being so mean! By the time I became invested in the series my own troubles were slowly working out, I had a lovely home and a solid marriage even though I was still struggling through the depression.

Oh, 1795, here we go… WOW! What a wonderful man he used to be. Oh, great what’s going on now? Sheez, Widows Hill is cursed! Well, we’re back in the 1960s maybe some relationships will work out… Oops no, Angelique is back in a black wig and loud 1960s clothing. Uh-oh… what’s she doing to Sam Evans? … wait… um, no… no… NO… NO… NO!

I pull the handle of the recliner, the footrest jolted with a mighty twang and I said, “Okay, we’re gonna fix this. Where’s the fanficiton?” Well, I find the fanfiction… and no… it just gets worse… no… no… no… UGH! Where are the relief stories I’m looking for? Where are the ones where everything gets solved so I can just believe in that and carry on? Hmm… here’s a little one for Victoria… *sigh* that’s it?

All right, gotta do it myself. How the heck to get this stuff started? Well, not sure about Willie Loomis so let’s interrupt the story line at the point he went to Wyndcliff and I can bring him back later when more is worked out. And Angelique is a huge mess I’m not even sure where to start!

So I went down the line of characters: “Okay, what do you want?”

Jason: dead, gone, good, happy!

Maggie? Well it looks like you weren’t keen on Joe since you made the babyfood crack and that is rather bossy over there. Plus there are these signs your life is full of mystery and here are these other signs of a Josette reincarnation and you don’t like to be idle. Got it.

David? Oh, pretty lonely, need a friend your age, of course!

Roger? You? You need a good book! We’ll get to you more but you can already be helpful with that marvelous sense of humour!

Carolyn & Tony? No problem, when you’re squared away you can be helpful too.

Sam Evans, well we KNOW this is all for you, HEY a painter, and a Captain with a painting in the State of Maine. GOT IT!

Julia Hoffman? Well, like most of the chiks around here you want Barnabas but he’s not into you in that way, how about this other fellow of academic persuasion? When one’s love goes unrequited and another man thoughtfully allows himself the opportunity to see this and make his feelings known, what will a lady do when she’s given affection from elsewhere she never expected? You got it. Her heart melts. ^_^

Elizabeth? Victoria? A connection? OKAY! We got that down, just step over here, over here.

Oh, dear… Barnabas Collins… it’s pretty damn OBVIOUS what you want. Well now that I’ve been so dumb as to interrupt AFTER the kidnapping… Maggie? Josette? How do you feel about that?

She said, “That’s tough, but in the long run, it’ll be worth it.”

b and w heartwarm

Episode Two: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups

Episode Two: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups

Hit the link. 

Our hosts brief us with what is left out of this Re-write, as Victoria Winters returns from 1795 in the NECK of time. Much unfortunate delving into 18th century lack of restrooms, as well as a strange effect the Collinsport coffee seems to have on the Evans abode. Dr. Hoffman deals and receives many wise-cracks, as well as helping out Carolyn.

Meanwhile, even as Wadsworth encourages this risky relationship with the post-kidnapped Maggie, he also takes a moment to confront Barnabas as to his past transgressions over his victims, such as Willie Loomis, making significant comparisons to help him see even practical reasons not to take such abusive action towards people.

Still, Cassandra has a unique way of shooting her cupids arrow at Roger Collins, as he angrily answers the phone in the dead of night.

Please review here:

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10080728/2/The-Pit-of-Ultimate-Dark-Shadows-KITH-Version