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.
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. ^_^
Live long and prosper.