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Hope you're all OK!

This is just a brief message to my friends on the east coast of the US, hoping you're all OK. I've been reading about the hurricane online and it looks truly horrendous.


Once again Willie Loomis is beaten up on - literally - this time by Jason Maguire. What is it with this character and his relationships with domineering abusive men? Meanwhile people are starting to suspect he had something to do with the disappearance of Maggie Evans. Sheriff Patterson looked practically ready to clap him in handcuffs! It's not going to take much effort for Barnabas to frame Willie in a hundred or so episodes, because everyone seems more than ready to think the worst of him on their own.

DS Episode 336: A-Kidnapping We Will Go

It suddenly became blindingly obvious that Dr Woodward went to the same medical school as Dr Hoffman: when Maggie Evans goes missing his response is to medicate her distraught father, Sam, with pills to "calm him down". Clearly at least half of their medical training consisted of learning how to administer tranquilizers and sedatives! *eg*

On a more serious note, Maggie is now the captive of Barnabas in the Old House, and he spent the last part of the episode babbling to her about how she would become (his long-lost love) Josette and they'd spend eternity together and everything in the garden would be lovely. I found myself thinking that it was as sad as it was creepy, because the whole idea was all so completely delusional. I thought I also caught an undertone of Barnabas trying to convince himself that he would get his long deferred happy ending. At this point he is not quite sane - no doubt the result of being chained in his coffin for 172 years. Looking back from the end of the series, Barnabas's personal story arc will the story of him recovering his sanity and his humanity, even though nothing of the sort was intended when the character was first introduced.

Pedantic, Moi?

Ahem! I'm going to don my fashion-historian-pedant hat for a moment (it's in the style of the 1880s with a neat little eye-veil and a feather.;-) I've been browsing pictures on tumblr with the tag "victorian+dress" and I can't help but notice that a lot of the pictures are in fact of Georgian costume. It seems "Victorian" has become shorthand for any floor-length skirt with some kind of hoop or support underneath it.

That said, some of - most of - the images are stunning! People have posted pictures of originals and painstakingly created reproductions - though some of the goths have taken some interesting liberties with their source material!


Call me thick and slow on the uptake, but I've only just twigged that Dana Elcar who played Pete Thornton on MacGyver also played Sheriff Patterson on Dark Shadows!

Plots Ruined By the Mobile Phone #1

Watching an early episode of MacGyver tonight I couldn't help but notice that the first turn of the plot would have been ruined by modern phone technology. MacGyver leaves someone he is supposed to be guarding to search for a phone and his charge is promptly kidnapped. And the ending of this particular story would have been very different too, if MacGyver had been able to phone for backup instead of having to MacGyver himself and the person he is rescuing out of the fortress-like mansion where they are trapped.

All the same, just think of the things MacGyver could have MacGyvered out of a cell phone!
Maggie Evans is ill by day and lively by night. She's lost a lot of blood - and oh! look at those strange marks on her neck. What can it be?

Firstly - kudos to Victoria Winter in these episodes for spotting the fact that Maggie's symptoms mirror Willie Loomis's exactly. Either Vicki's reputation libels her or she gets stupider as the series progresses, because she's certainly sharp enough here.

Secondly - double kudos to Willie Loomis, who is beginning to look like the great unsung hero of Dark Shadows. He risks himself - really risks himself - to warn Maggie's friends that she's in danger and can be found at Eagle Hill Cemetery. Even though he does it anonymously Barnabas works out who "betrayed" him - and whales into Willie with his cane as a reward. Nasty! I'm really enjoying the way Willie's character is developing here as he's driven by a mixture of fear and conscience.

Thirdly, kudos to whoever was in charge of the lighting of these episodes, in particular the graveyard scene. He lights Jonathan Frid's face so every line and hollow falls into shadow, and it makes Barnabas look unearthly - downright vampiric, in fact. *g*

And lastly, a note on TV sexism, 1960s style. When Vicki asks her boyfriend, Burke, if she can accompany him to the graveyard to search for Maggie he puts her down in a patronising fashion as if he was speaking to a dull-witted child. It made me want to grab Barnbas's cane and crack him on the head! With "heroes" like these, was it any wonder that the women in the audience made a matinee idol of the villain?

DS Episode 228: Meanwhile Back At the Ranch

A change of pace tonight as the story flips back to Elizabeth, Jason Macguire and the blackmail plot. Caroline is beginning to ask questions about what happened to her father and is trying to get into the locked room in the basement her mother refuses to open.

(She should know better - you should never, ever break into mysterious locked places in Dark Shadows. Just ask Willie!)

It occurs to me that Barnabas is a fairly typical Collins after all, as he's not the only one hiding a dark secret and lying his face off in order to keep it concealed.

DS Episode 227

... In which, 16 episodes after we first meet him, Barnabas Collins finally flashes a bit of fang.

(Incidentally, I'd forgotten what a completely evil creepy bastard he was in these early episodes! But at least he doesn't sparkle... )

I Like Real Books, But...

.. eBooks really do have their advantages. For example they take up less space and they're much easier to travel with. And better yet - since eBooks are in some ways easy to produce than Real Books, publishers have dusted off their back catalogues and made some long out-of-print books available online.

The reason for this little rant: last weekend Lifeline held its mid-year mini Bookfair. As usual I went, and as usual I found a treasure or two. One of these was a pile of paperbacks by Brian Stableford from the 1970s: an almost complete set of his "Daedalus Series". The down side? Well the missing volume was the first in the series.

But no matter. When I got home I discovered Amazon (bless 'em) had the first volume available electronically for only $2.99. I now have it on my Kindle, ready to read - and I didn't have to trawl through Canberra's secondhand bookshops in desperate hope of finding that first volume.


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November 2012


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