On The Subject of Victoria Winters

This has been coming up rather frequently with new friends in my endeavour so I wanted to relay what I am sharing with them in recent letters.

 
I can see how many fans would look at Victoria Winters as the likely marriage partner for Barnabas on the grounds that Barnabas longed for her and often. For some elder fans that longing could have really stuck, as well as the strong person Victoria showed herself to be from The First Year of Dark Shadows.

 
I also expected that, in the 1960’s soap-opera, this relationship would develop naturally into a romance. As I continued to view the program, it was hedging in that direction via Barnabas’ bite on Victoria that had an hypnotic effect. Then she sees someone, who to her, is Peter Bradford from her time-travel period into the 1790’s. It then turns out to be some schmoe named Jeff Clark instead.

 
After many, many, many episodes Jeff Clark discovers that he is INDEED Peter Bradford. Victoria and Jeff finally get married, supernatural weirdness happens to Jeff to take him back to the 1790’s (along with wacky stuff of him being involved in Eve’s previous life filling up some prior episodes).

 
Victoria then endlessly bemoans the loss of her husband. Barnabas proposes marriage to her quite a few times and with that she declines, at first politely but in stronger terms with each successive proposal. (Yes, the actresses changed but I rather doubt the writers would have gone in another direction with Victoria if her role was still portrayed by the original actress.)

 
I was also extremely touched that when Victoria returned to the past to find Peter again, Barnabas went back as well to help the both of them through the struggle. It showed he loved her in a very selfless way, which was part of his own personal growth. (And then FINALLY one couple could live happily ever after on this bloody show!)

 


 
Now there are other productions of Dark Shadows. In the original I found evidence, as many others did, that Maggie Evans was the reincarnation of Josette duPres, Barnabas’ long-lost love.
Newer versions switch the reincarnation of Josette duPres to be Victoria Winters.

 
This is known as condensing.

 
Other productions of Dark Shadows are much shorter.

 
One good example of condensing a story is taking the book Anne of Green Gables and making it into a film as was done in 1934. The film was 78 minutes in length and didn’t provide an enormous amount that was in the book for the sake of time. Rachel Lynde and Mrs. Barry, Diana Barry’s mother, became a single character. Other components of the original story were changed for a faster pace, as well.

 
With the Revival of Dark Shadows in the early 1990’s, Victoria Winters is the reincarnation of Josette duPres. (Maggie Evans gets the shocking role of being Roger’s cheap affair girl. Ewl…)

 
In the unaired 2004 WB pilot, that many more of us have been able to watch, Victoria Winters is shown to be that reincarnation of Josette duPres yet again. (And there is no untoward version of Maggie Evans in our midst. Thank you!)

 
For the Dark Shadows motion picture that was released in 2012, there is a merge where Maggie Evans changes her name to Victoria Winters for the sake of covering up a tragic past, and for which I was very grateful! Again, she is the reincarnation of Josette duPres.

 
(Yes, I mentioned the movie. If you have just suffered a heart-attack because of this please dial 911 on your telephone to get some help and, after you recover, seek a good therapist. Some of us aren’t so sensitive to entertainment we don’t like. We simply turn it off.)

 
There is also “House of Dark Shadows”, released in 1970, giving Maggie Evans the role as the reincarnation of Josette duPres once again. Although it was definitely more horror than romance however much some enjoy the photos to get a sense of romance from it. (I am included in this fun, if startling, group of people.) Barnabas maintained his sense of villainy throughout much of it, which was an original intention on the television show that changed when the audience got hot for the guy.

 
So the pattern just keeps coming up to the point I stroke my chin when viewing “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) or even “Love At First Bite” (1979).

 
In any case, the big reason in the switch from Maggie Evans to Victoria Winters to merging the two characters is condensing a very long story into a much shorter one. And I am grateful I have reached the sanity, along with others, to be able to actually have these conversations as we might have had ten years ago.

 
In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows we are focusing on the original 1960’s characters from Dark Shadows. Within that show Victoria Winters briefly agreed to marry Barnabas Collins and changed her mind upon seeing her own long-lost love from 1795. Later Victoria was determinedly devoted to Peter (Jeff). His disappearance led her to almost jumping off of Widows Hill to die and be with him again. (Much repeating of Professor Stokes words on the topic echoing throughout these episodes.)

 
This is why I often express that I ask the characters what they want and do my best to provide that. Our 1960’s Victoria Winters didn’t reciprocate Barnabas’ romantic affection minus a very brief spell. I can see the allure of it and I’m also grateful that it exists.

 
However, with Victoria Winters of the 1960’s program I saw a lot more unveiling in her own personal needs, choices and desires. It’s just that Barnabas Collins wasn’t one of them. Believe it or not I have even heard long complaints when Barnabas pines for Victoria to which I respond, “Cut the guy a break. He’s in love. It does that stuff to a person.”

 
So, in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, that is why it is not a Victoria/Barnabas story. I know many fans cling to that for the 1960’s original. Part of it might be those long ago memories that faded and are now coming back in finally re-watching the series. Emotions linger, for humans they can be memory keepers. Another part might be due to the newer productions of Dark Shadows that are more geared toward Victoria Winters with Barnabas Collins, whether she has changed her name or hasn’t.

 
With this in mind I felt it was important to finally write up a log entry about it. Hopefully it will help those who read it.

 
Take care,

 

Daryl

 

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Pit Update: June 2017 And Retrospective

2017 June Update 1d

 

Talk about social media addiction with its ensuing paranoia. Continual gratitude to pen pals and describing their beautiful influence in my life. (I welcome more!)

Why and how constructive praise is important. The fun of watching First Year Dark Shadows. A little chat over 16 & 17 – Retrospective for episodes 8, 9, 10, and both parts of 11. Fair delving into characters from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Bewitched in The Pit; particularly Captain Gregg’s stormy weather – story building as well as technical aspects.

The fleshing out of Caleb Collins as based on evidence from the original Dark Shadows program and historical research in the Victorian time period.

Discussion on the marriage novel, “Margaret Josette Dupres” and delving into why the sharing of further chapters are (currently) suspended.

Welcome To The 21st Century – What A Disappointment.

https://thepitofultimatedarkshadows.wordpress.com/

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

Downloadable from iTunes, as always…


 

Background music for this podcast:

“Neightbourhood” – Space (1996)

“Beds Are Burning” – Midnight Oil (1987)

“Warblings At Eve” – “A Victorian Parlour Evening” (written in 1858)

“Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” – The Smiths (1986)

Pit Update October 2016

oct-update

 

In between Victoria Winters and Caleb Collins studies we have a somewhat studious ramble to keep you company until the release of Episode 16. Also, why Episode 16 hasn’t been released yet. (Plenty of spooky background music is in this podcast…)

Finding where Dark Shadows characters Chris and Amy Jennings are coming into this radio drama and how they might be blended in via how they already are from the original Dark Shadows.

Bits of what’s already been assessed and written in scenes for future episodes. Comparisons of working on original material versus fanfiction material.

Going over old and new studies for Victoria Winters and Caleb Collins back history according to Dark Shadows canon and a few irritations involving those studies when it comes to bad variables in communication about it. Still, the studies are revealing and well worth a listen if one is concerned with those particular characters.

Some meandering discussion about what The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is and also touching upon Mary Sue characters and Marilyn Ross novels. Knowledge in variables that are important for creating more audio drama episodes depending on all the television shows and characters involved so far, and who might be involved in the future.

Pointers of why profit can never be made from this series and how glorious that is. Encouragement to letter-writing and correspondence of enjoyment, whether it’s to this series or for the betterment of ourselves. Why online drama is truly of little relevance to our community.

Pit Update October 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update October 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update October 2016 (archive.org link)

__________________________________

Background music for this podcast:

“Night in a Graveyard” – Haunted House Music Co (1985)

“Cristofori’s Dream” – David Lanz (1988)

“Magic” – Mick Smiley (Ghostbusters Soundtrack Album 1984)

“Lament” – Assemblage 23 (2004)

“Cathedral of Death” -Autopsia (1993)

“House of Silence” – Bad Boys Blue (1991)

__________________________________

and?

Happy Halloween!

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

6

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…

022b3d9e9d86ba27c944f7a23a9a59e4

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. ❤

Now Working On Episode 15: A Blundering Succubus

How odd. Almost a disappointment to find all my cavities are filled and I won’t get to see my awesome dentist in 6 months. Hmm, well, I do notice a strange gap above one tooth. Perhaps I can return? He even seemed a little disheartened we were all done. We chatted about John Steinbeck. I told him how I enjoyed “Travels With Charley”. He said he had a copy but hadn’t read it yet and that night he might start! ^_^ Then he asked me about my brief career as a teacher. Well, I bleached my hair last night. What might he say if I get it blue again and go back in there? Hmmm…

Now that Episode 14 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is done, finding the old-magic again has been a bounce of ups and downs. I remember I would do the performances and listen to the dialogue to make sure everything was right. I think I might have to do that again, lots of cutting and pasting. However, seeing the previous chemistry between Willie and Sarah, I have a better grasp of where they’re at for my series.

Willie meets sarah again

[Remember, gentle readers, we are going grassroots with The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Since many of you didn’t respond to how often and descriptively I detailed my needs to discussion, we’re plugging ahead without uploads, so if you’re wondering why Episode 14 “Reunion At The Old House” isn’t on the various websites you’ve been downloading from? Well, you didn’t respond. So the sparse, but heavier commentators are currently and secretly receiving the spoils. We continue with or without you. That’s all there is to it. Or as one of my best supporters, Warren Freeman, has told me, “It’s not like you didn’t warn them and as archly and often as you could!”]


Considering Wadsworth is back in Mr. Loomis’ life, I can see that this might bring him a gentler attitude just in the stretch of old recognition to a past he hadn’t associated with for ages. Someone who found this poor kid and gave him a job. In memory when we meet someone from a younger time? Those behavioural patterns can re-surge. At approximately age 14 what would Willie Loomis have seen and experienced at Hill House off of Route 41? Did Wadsworth find him on Route 41? (This is why my Willie photo album on Facebook is called “Once Upon A Time In New England”. That’s where Clue takes place and Maine is a part of that.)

willie and wadworth black and white

The other thing I’m noticing in my old demo for Episode 15 (A Blundering Succubus) is Victoria Winters voice really isn’t right. I know I managed to see a sassy attitude coming out from all she’d been through. After Collinwood 1960’s and 1790’s? Was Norman Bates really going to shake up Victoria all that much?

victoria vs norman bates

No. Not really. 😉

So making digs at her sweetheart, Peter, as he drove the Dodge Dart like a mad thing away from The Bates Motel was rather fun. But yes, I need to study up on Victoria Winters and try to get her voice and mannerisms more accurate.

This where the project gets a little difficult. I now have so many new and very dear friends made, but since I adore almost every single character I have to be very empathetic in different ways when talking to different fans. There are people who snub some characters and glorify others. I, straightforwardly, love them all and try to channel every one for the good they have to offer and what they’re preferences are. That’s why seeing some of the romantic pairings that are preferred or created for fanwork threw me for a loop! (When I heard about Barnabas marrying a reincarnation of Sarah? Wow, I sure didn’t feel at all weird about bring her back as his daughter in “Margaret Josette Dupres”! YIKES!)

Still, when I went combing for my relief series that I couldn’t find, I was flabbergasted to barely see this:

HOLY CRAP

nor this:

Barnabas and Josette

Seemed fairly obvious to me, especially the combination. I started my work before this:

2012 barnabas and josette

So when that happened? I had more excitement in what I was shooting for. Wherever the interuption takes place is where the characters led me, so Carolyn/Tony, Peter/Victoria, Hoffman/Stokes and Willie Loomis/Nurse Jackson all seemed to fit together in splendid ways I was experiencing with them. Josette=Maggie/Barnabas? Wow, never thought I was facing so much grief, as well as so much love. Tony/Carolyn did wake me up quite a bit, but when I tapped into Barnabas’ character, his complexity and his extreme romantic nature, especially for Josette and she for him, truly changed my life.


However, the plan is to continue forward. Getting Episode 15 accurate and finding the old-magic is proving as troubling as I feared and the lack of commentary, as well as looking for just enough to get spurred into action, is a bit draining.


But still we fight on, holding all the west shore of Anduin; and those who shelter behind us give us praise, if ever they hear our name; much praise but little help.

— Boromir Son of Denethor

(From a novel by Osheen Nevoy. ❤ )

One More Try…

Vic and Mor 1

I just don’t understand. Usually when someone makes a person laugh that person tells them what was laughed at, or when they are touched they express that. I want to give more, I want to do more, and I want to get through it.

If anyone tried to post comments on podomatic that didn’t go through please let me know. The only comments that I didn’t let through were double postings of the same comments.  (Helena and I are discussing email traffic so I can post her comments when she can’t get in.)

I’ve worked so hard, I’ve spent so much, I’ve given so much and I just want to go on. I remember a day last year when two writers were so excited to be posting their new chapters… I was happy for them.  They were looking forward to what their audience might say. Then I went to my kitchen to eat my lunch..  and I couldn’t.  I was in tears. “This isn’t fun for me anymore. This is a slow death because people can’t talk to me about what they enjoyed.” And I just kept crying.

I don’t understand. Most of the people enjoying this are writers and artists. Why is it so hard to type up a synopsis of what was enjoyed then copy and paste it into a review box? Of all that I’ve done, of all that I want to do, how is it people have become so inhuman?

In any case, here is the text link to it. Episodes unfold in various buttons and drop down menus. I doubt this will do anything but as many have said, “I have to try.”

Episodes One – Thirteen

Episode 13 is released, and Happy Christmas

I finally decided that with all of the trouble and people being worried about me, I’d return the favour and release Episode 13 to The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, which was completed in audio two months ago: 30 October 2014. I did paste this to Kathryn Leigh Scott’s facebook page because over a year ago the original text was dedicated to her, as well as this audio episode. I am thankful she has not deleted the link. I felt with all I had absorbed from the fandom in her anecdotal reveries and how Barnabas feels about the characters she played, it was fitting.

I realized the thing that made me so upset is I felt I was being neglected and “used” after so much hard work and research by Episode 14. I’ve now come to understand that most of the people who prefer my work are the shy people who have been afraid to speak. I want to show you how and open up to you how important you are. We are the misfits, the un-sheltered, the abused, and we need to learn how to speak again. The internet was designed for a different purpose than to let trolls and vultures rule it all, and also not for us to robotic-ally share memes and files all the live-long day.

Dark Shadows is a design of being different. There is very little reason the contemporary types should hold its reigns. Or in some more fitting words by Pat Benatar:

maggie and barnabas (2)

We are young
(Heartache to heartache)
Heartache to heartache
(We stand)
We stand

No promises
(No demands)
No demands
(Love is a battlefield)
Love is a battlefield
Whoooo-oh-oh….

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

You’re begging me to go
Then making me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way
Or am I the best thing you’ve had

Believe me
Believe me
I can’t tell you why
But I’m trapped by your love
And I’m chained to your side

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

When I’m losing control
Will you turn me away
Or touch me deep inside
And when all this gets old
Will it still feel the same
There’s no way this will die
But if we get much closer
I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders
You’ll need me to hold

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield


So here it is, The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode 13: “A Balancing of The Humours”; because The humours are considered part of the medical practice in Barnabas’ time. And also, Wadsworth has been teaching his employer, throughout all of this series, that grim things happen, but the way to get through it, as Barnabas’ sweet-love knows, is… with humour. Peace.

Episode 13: A Balancing of The Humours

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