Building Further Episodes (January 2017)

I’ve been taking a little break from channeling Beetlejuice. As some of you know, or maybe you don’t, my online insanity rather bursts into regions unknown with that character. Our bio-exorcist is the type who can do good things while giving you the illusion he is rotten to the core. When I empathize with him, which has actually been very easy, his manner of lashing out for not getting his strong abilities recognized speaks to me deeply and in a way that resounds with that constant dismissal I’ve been handed throughout the years. He screams the words:

“You buncha LOSERS! You’re workin’ with a PROFESSIONAL HERE!!!

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Hee hee hee, YEAH! I hear ya, old friend! I sure as Hell hear ya!

SO! Remembering that the radio drama originally came in layers, and patterns of blending those layers, I am currently repeating Dark Shadows Disk # 67, or for those with the different sets it’s Collection 11 Disk 3. This is when our lovely Chris Jennings arrives and I must say it’s a treat to watch him!

❤ ❤ ❤

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(Yes, I can write romantic Barnabas in first person with his fancy-woman, but it’s not him I’m in love with. I simply learned how to do that because I understand Barnabas. It’s Don Briscoe I really swoon over. Ha ha!)

And now that I look over these episodes I think I’ve found another reason Tony Peterson was inexplicably neglected for this daytime-drama. Adam is also about to randomly disappear, so they can switch Carolyn’s love interest yet again! I mean, who hasn’t Carolyn gone through? She starts in the series with Joe Haskell (not bad!), then gets very, very distracted by Burke Devlin.  Eventually we glory in her wild romance with Buzz Hackett for the sake of retaliation at the ridiculousness of her mother, Elizabeth, being engaged to Jason McGuire (HURL!). Buzz was a fun one, for sure! I approve of Carolyn & Buzz and not as a long-term romance by any means. Just as the marvelous joy-ride that it is. (I dare say if all y’all haven’t experienced one of those flings? Ye haven’t lived!)

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Then we have Tony Peterson. Out of all the paramours Carolyn Stoddard had, this one struck me as that final pinnacle she was reaching for. Her romance with Tony was interrupted by Adam (among other troubles) and then eventually just left unwritten about. As Tony and Adam are subtly missing, let’s stretch over to Carolyn and… Chris Jennings? Well, okay. That makes sense for a soap-opera. But knowing their family ties, as some of us fans do, watching them kiss is disturbingly close to seeing Princess Leia romantically kiss (her brother) Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back”. Ewllllll…

So with Chris Jennings coming into Dark Shadows we can get a feeling of why Tony Peterson was dropped from Carolyn Stoddard’s flesh-market. Will this happen in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows? Not bloody likely.

Q: What about Jeb Hawkes or the idea of Ned Stuart for Carolyn?

A: Forget it!

Besides which, Chris Jennings love for Sabrina Stuart always remains in the picture. One fan-writer delights me with further adventures of this couple. They are simple, but very fun, goodies.

This set of Dark Shadows episodes (635-644) displays an awful lot of crying and screaming. There are also Adam bits I skip, but plenty of Victoria and Peter (I don’t call him Jeff) that is wonderfully revealing and very usable for their Pit escapades in The Addams Family home. Betsy Durkin’s portrayal of Victoria Winters helps in that her voice is very close to the original Victoria. When I look away I can easily envision Alexandra Moltke. (Well done, Ms. Durkin!) The details to themselves and their love in these parts are very rewarding.

Amy Jennings is extremely pivotal and what ensues in her adventures with David shouldn’t be a tight squeeze for The Pit. We’ve got Sarah Collins’ ghost but she has other friendships and will likely understand that what David encounters with Amy is more important than her being neglected by David Collins. Sarah may also have The Ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg (from The Ghost & Mrs. Muir) to consult, as well as Sam Evans who knows him.

The only pains of discarding a component is Elizabeth not being there. In this segment of Dark Shadows I always loved that it was Elizabeth & Barnabas holding down the fort together, working as a team. (This is something I adored in the 2012 film, as well; Elizabeth & Barnabas running the estate together. It just felt right.) Now? I get the challenge of trying to figure out how Barnabas and ROGER will do this! Ah—h-h-h-! It is possible though. One thing at a time.

Mainly what is good is getting back to true friendships and interactions. (The shock of such a frightful loss in old friends is still severe. Knowing I’m not the only one suffering this loss definitely helps.) The mail is adding up so I have company on paper to exchange while the shows play repeatedly before me. And with pen pals it’s wonderful to find renewed vigor for The Pit. These listeners are hearing old episodes as if they are brand new and the enthusiasm comes. Yes, that old habit in newbies of wanting to advise tweaking things also comes but I do my best to shake it off. (One might as well request that The Smiths reform and re-record the album “Meat Is Murder”. It’s simply not going to happen.)

Also I get a little information here and there of, “Daryl! Such-and-such happens to so-and-so in later episodes!” as if it’s going to have some devastating effect on The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I have to explain, more than once, that things have irrevocably changed for our beloved characters in this radio drama already. Remember the laws of Cause & Effect. There are multiple beauties I’ve had to discard from the original run of Dark Shadows because The Pit runs in differing lines.

The research is still important to understand the characters, yes. Why? Because of what we learn in the story of “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”.

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If you’ve watched this movie you see that even when memories are erased the people involved make the same decisions regardless. Change doesn’t happen in personality with the erasure of memories. It happens with growth. How do I know this to really be true?

I’ve audio recorded thousands of conversations with friends and family. When I played the tapes on occasion some of the same people recorded are present. They will hear a friend who isn’t there express something on the recording and then whoever is currently present will make the exact same responses in conversation that they made on that past recording. I’ve watched this happen several times. And then the person who says that present thing? They hear themselves saying it in the recording and laughter strikes them; they didn’t expect to hear themselves respond the same way as they did months or years previously. But they do. Personality maintains, as well as their humour. It’s almost magical.

And so, in the same way, fictional characters can be put into different situations but still be identifiable as the people we know and love. That’s when you know you’ve got a convincing piece of work. When it stretches into decisions the classic characters would not make? That confuses and fragments the audience, and so we have seen done with a plethora of fan-work. It’s also why many of us grab our heads and cry out together, “WATCH THE SHOW!” Or even better, “LISTEN!” (It’s the sadness in a lot of fan-work. So much was written without the show on hand, just people staring at pictures and reading other fanfiction.)


In between times of pen palling and watching all the shows? I have a little interest in an actual book:

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I’m not very far but I don’t mind. What Nicholas Carr has managed to tap into is precisely what I’ve been ranting and raving about all of this time. Being able to pay attention to the information in this book is difficult at times, but I can feel myself being drawn back into better focus and know that the answers to this madness are slowly being presented to me in a human pace. That pace itself is extremely helpful, as well as the answers. (I’ve ordered his sequel, “The Glass Cage” which may show solutions, I’m pleased to say.)


Meanwhile, with copies of The Addams Family, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Munsters, Bewitched and all else well in hand? My husband asked me what I would like for my rental queue. I answered, “You know… It’s going to take forever anyway. What do they have for Tom Baker’s Doctor Who?”

You can bet he was excited by that! It’s a long way to defeating The Leviathans in Dark Shadows but while all of this gets worked on? We have another show to enjoy and research together.

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His beginning flashed before our eyes. Our beloved Doctor tried out a lot of outfits; a comedic effect to him always altering his look when he regenerates.

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Then he came out of the TARDIS with the classic Fourth Doctor attire we knew and adored.

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I screamed, “WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!”

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With that being said, I must ask my audience,

“What have you devoted your life to lately?”