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Adam, Nicholas, Barnabas, Angelique, and Julia, drawn very badly

INTRODUCTION*

Dark were the shifting shadows that waxed and waned among the turrets and gables of the great house of Collinwood. Darker still were the shadows that deepened over the souls of those who dwelt within - shadows of fear and evil and despair . . . It was fear, and a desperate necessity, that drove Barnabas Collins to leave the house in the dead of night to make his way to a lonely dwelling by the sea. Asleep in that house was Eve, a strange being whom he must destroy before her evil genius could destroy Adam, her hapless mate within whose man-made body pulsed the life-force of Barnabas himself. He didn't know that behind this reasoning was Angelique, who wanted Eve killed to thwart the warlock Nicholas, who had made great and terrible plans for Eve and Adam.

As the curtain lifts we see Barnabas stealthily approach Eve's bed, the lethal hypodermic in his hand. Overcoming his revulsion, he steels himself, flings back the covers...


*In the televised Dark Shadows, these introductory narrations
were always done by one of the regular actors.
For some reason, I like to imagine this one being done by Henry Fonda.




Barnabas fell into trap set by Angelique to kill Eve.

SLIDE 1 (From Episodes 605- 606; Broadcast 10/18 - 10/21/1968)

An exclamation of dismay escaped Barnabas' lips. The form beneath the covers was not Eve at all but an artful dummy. He had been lured into a trap! But who ... how ... ?

From the darkness came a low, mocking laugh and he whirled, stared incredulously. "You!" he burst out, his voice hoarse with sudden terror. "But I thought you - I thought Nicholas ..."

Again came the laugh. "You thought Nicholas had destroyed me - Angelique, your old love. Well, he didn't. At the last he let me live. And now, Barnabas -" She moved a step toward him. He tried to recoil but the heavy bed stopped him. "And now, this is what I am!" The lovely lips parted in a smile and Barnabas froze in horror. In her mouth were not ordinary teeth - but fangs!

As the hypodermic clattered to the floor from his nerveless fingers, she lunged, clasped him in her arms and he felt those wicked fangs pierce the flesh of his neck.



NOTES:

  • The problems begin right away. Barnabas Collins, who's supposed to be our hero (at least according to the package blurb), is sneaking into a house to kill a defenseless woman in her bed. Huh? I thought it said he didn't start doing evil deeds until he was forced to. Why is he doing this? Well, it's difficult to explain (and remember that Viewmaster's motto throughout this story is that if it's difficult to explain, then DON'T!). They offer some half-reasons about her being an evil genius (which is not quite true on the actual show) and about Barnabas being driven by a desperate (unspecified) necessity. He doesn't really want to, but he has to, he's just obeying orders, and besides, he was in Switzerland during the war. The moral here is that if your heroes appear to be doing something that would ordinarily be wrong, to shut up, don't ask questions, assume that they've got a good and valid reason for doing it, and don't get in their way by demanding to know what the reason is. Though outwardly an escapist fantasy, this show actually turned out to be excellent training for kids who would later live through the Nixon and Clinton administrations.

  • In the television show, Barnabas does not live at Collinwood at all, but rather in another building on the estate known as the "Old House". Since it might have taken as much as another sentence to explain this, the Viewmaster Version (henceforth called the "VV") has him operating out of Collinwood.

  • Why exactly does Angelique want Eve killed again? Well, she doesn't really. In fact, in the TV show, they worked closely together during this period. But saying that she does helps establish how evil Angelique is, you see (if the fangs hadn't done that already).

  • Who is Adam again, and what was that bit about his man-made body housing Barnabas' life force? The VV never bothers to explain this reference, possibly because it also never makes the slightest reference to the fact that Barnabas was ever a vampire himself. If you'd heard that Dark Shadows was a vampire soap opera and picked up this booklet, you'd naturally assume that Angelique was the vampire of the series, but this is nothing of the sort. She's merely slumming at this part of her career. The real vampire of the show is Barnabas Collins himself, who was merely vacationing among the living during this storyline. If you knew that Barnabas Collins was a former vampire who had fanged half the population of Collinsport in the past, and was now getting a taste of his own medicine, the resulting hilarity would not be at all conducive to the somber atmosphere (and colors) that the booklet cover promises.

  • Okay, so no fooling this time. Who IS this Adam guy? All right, all right. Not that it will help you understand the VV in any way, but basically Adam is Frankenstein's monster. He was created as part of a convoluted attempt to cure Barnabas (who is basically Dracula) of being a vampire, by setting aside a part of Barnabas' Life Force in another body that the vampire curse can't get at ("It's so crazy it just might WORK!"). Adam was taught to read, write and talk by Professor Stokes (who is basically Mr. Rogers), but was led into evil by Nicholas Blair (who is basically Screwtape), who has some idea that Adam can be the forerunner of a new race of human beings that God won't have any kind of claim on, even though they're made from parts and spirits of the old humans ("It's so crazy it just might... not work!"). To better keep Adam in line, Nicholas blackmailed Barnabas and Julia into creating Eve (who is basically the Bride of Frankenstein), who was brought to life from the Life Force of a ghost ("It's so crazy it just might... oh, forget it."), namely the ghost of one Danielle Roget (who was basically Madame Guillotine). Keep in mind now, that NONE of this will help you understand the VV any better.

  • Who was Angelique again? Well, for once, Viewmaster has gone into enough detail simply by saying that she is a person of some supernatural power who used to be involved with Barnabas. You really don't need to know any more than that, and after the last explanation, you probably don't want to, either.

  • The Instant Heart-Attack-O medicine in Barnabas' hypodermic is probably the same stuff he used to murder Dr. Woodard in Episode 341, when Woodard found out about Barnabas' little daylight problem. Naturally, the VV doesn't go into any detail about this or other past indiscretions, not only because most of them are irrelevant to the current situation, but also because they might lead one to falsely (?) conclude that Barnabas isn't really that nice a guy.



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    by Graeme Cree, pictures by Linda Cree