In Dark Shadows' 12 year run on The Sci-Fi Channel, Episode 54 was never broadcast. This was due to a film can labeling error, that always resulted in Episode 59 being shown twice, and Episode 54 not at all. In the 4 times that Sci-Fi ran the series, this error occurred thrice (since the pre-Barnabas episodes were skipped in the 3rd run), the final time being on June 25, 2001. Had Sci-Fi not cancelled the series, this episode would have been scheduled for another broadcast on or about February 19, 2004, causing people to once again shout...

"Episode 54, Where Are You?"

Pictures by Linda Cree
Text and Transcription by Graeme Cree
Lyrics by Linda and Graeme Cree
Images and Script copyright Dan Curtis Productions

There's a damsel in distress,
Bodies floating in the night.
There's a
"talk" 'tween Liz and Roger, that's become a full blown fight.
Joe is drinking at the Whale,
Devlin should have stayed in jail!
Episode 54, where aaaaare yooooooou?

Everybody complains about Episode 54, but nobody does anything about it... Well okay, maybe not absolutely everybody complains. In fact, very few people may have even noticed the problem, come to think of it. But it does seem that after missing out 5 times now, the public is entitled to see this episode... those 2 or 3 of you out there who want to, that is.

Over the years, a virtual cult has grown up around Episode 54 (though again, only among those 2 or 3 who have noticed the situation). Various legends, some true, some not, have sprung up concerning some of the things that can be found in this semi-Lost Episode, including:

  • The debut of Sheriff George Patterson
  • The truth about who Victoria Winters' parents really are
  • An attack on Collinwood by Zargon warships
  • The only time we ever saw a bathroom at Collinwood
  • We learn that Bill Malloy didn't know how to swim a single stroke, not even the Dead Man's Float
  • The episode in which Dan Curtis became so frustrated at David Ford forgetting his lines that he had them taped onto the back of Mitchell Ryan's head
  • The episode in which Louis Edmonds came out without his pants and had to be filmed from the waist up
  • The only episode in which the DS Fly received an onscreen credit
  • The episode in which, a prop department mixup at the Blue Whale, resulted in Joe Haskell's beer being served in Josette's Music Box instead of a beer stein
  • One of the few uses of the alternate version of the Dark Shadows theme

Now at last, the truth of these matters can be seen by all. But first, a brief introduction to the story at hand...

The (Relevant Part Of) The Story So Far

Burke Devlin, sent to prison for DWI Manslaughter 10 years ago by the false testimony of Roger Collins, has returned to Collinsport rich, and anxious for revenge. Bill Malloy, manager of the Collins Cannery, learns of Roger's guilt through a drunken confession by local artist Sam Evans. Fearful of the financial damage that Burke is planning to wreak on the family, Malloy makes a deal with Burke to provide proof of Roger's guilt in exchange for Burke's agreement to leave the rest of the family alone. Malloy arranges a meeting in Roger's office between the four of them, but fails to appear at this meeting.

The next evening, Collins heiress Carolyn Stoddard and governess Victoria Winters spy a body floating in the surf beneath Widow's Hill. Roger's sister Elizabeth sends the groundskeeper, Matthew Morgan to search for it. He comes back claiming to have seen nothing, but after further questioning from Elizabeth, admits to having seen the body of Malloy, and having pushed it back out to sea, to spare the family the notoriety of a death on the always-notorious Widow's Hill. Liz promptly calls Sheriff Patterson...

Dramatis Personae

  • Burke Devlin:  A vengeful, millionaire ex-con
  • Elizabeth Collins Stoddard:  Head of the Collins Family
  • Roger Collins:  Liz's brother, secretly guilty of Burke's crime
  • Matthew Morgan:  A grungy groundskeeper
  • Sheriff George Patterson:  Local Lawman, and one-time boss of Maxwell Smart
  • Victoria Winters:  Family governess and part-time narrator
  • Sam Evans:  Local artist and mystery witness
  • Carolyn Stoddard:  Liz's daughter
  • Joe Haskell:  Her boyfriend
  • David Collins:  Roger's Devil-Tot son
  • Barnabas Collins:  The undead man who is Dark Shadows to the man in the street is nowhere to be seen in this storyline, as he is sealed in a chained coffin in Eagle Hill Cemetery throughout. It's okay though, as the Collins Family can get in trouble even without him.

  • Bob Lloyd:
    "Dark Shadows, #54.
    VTR:  8-25-66.
    Air:  9-8-66.
    Take 1."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Vicki's Voice) My name is Victoria Winters. At night, ghosts from the past haunt this doomed house at the top of Widow's Hill, howling for revenge..."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Vicki's Voice) ...In the morning, although they cannot be seen, they're still there, waiting."

    Francis Swann:
    (Roger walks along the waterfront, and waves at a passerby on the street)

    Francis Swann:
    (He reaches the Cannery, goes in...)

    Francis Swann:
    (...And walks into his office, whistling)

    Francis Swann:
    (Roger's phone begins ringing; he looks down the hall for someone else to answer it, and finally answers it himself)
    "(Roger) Hello?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) Roger, let's not play any games any more."
    "(Roger) Who is this?"
    "(Burke) Burke Devlin. I'm really worried. Something most definitely must have happened to Bill Malloy."
    "(Roger) Why, have you heard anything?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) That's what I'm calling you about. I've called every place I can think of. No one has any idea where he's gone, or if he went, how he went, and why. You want to start answering those questions in order?"
    "(Roger) For heavens sake Burke, the man works for me, I'm not paid to look after him."
    "(Burke) Doesn't it bother you that the manager of your plant seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) Of course it bothers me. I've been making inquiries, I've been asking questions."
    "(Burke) With what result?"
    "(Roger) None at all. Perhaps I should ask my son to look into his crystal ball."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) Never mind the cracks."
    "(Roger) And you never mind sending gifts to my son, especially gifts of that nature."
    "(Burke) What's wrong with what I sent him?"
    "(Roger) It was possibly one of the most inappropriate things you could have selected for an oversensitive, overimaginative child. You must have gone to a great deal of trouble to pick out something in such poor taste."
    "(Burke) I thought he might get a kick out of it. Lord knows the kid has little enough fun in that tomb you call a home. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. What I wanna know is, have you heard anything from Bill Malloy?"
    "(Roger) No, I have not. (hangs up)"

    Francis Swann:
    (The phone begins ringing again...)

    Francis Swann:
    (Roger puts on his coat, and stares at the phone, debating whether to answer it...)

    Francis Swann:
    (...finally deciding not to. He leaves his office...)

    Francis Swann:
    (The phone continues ringing after he's gone)

    Robert Cobert:
    (Dark Shadows Theme Music)

    Robert Cobert:
    (Dark Shadows Theme Music)

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) Mr. Collins doesn't answer. I left word for him to call. I want to talk to you before the police come, Matthew. Why don't you sit down?"
    "(Matthew) I'm more comfortable standin'."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) How could you have done it? How could you have looked at the body of a man you've known all your life and do what you did?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) He was dead, Mrs. Stoddard, it didn't matter to him."
    "(Liz) It doesn't seem possible. How could it have happened?"
    "(Matthew) I looked him over careful. Best of my knowledge, he drowned."
    "(Liz) Could it have been anything else?"
    "(Matthew) I've seen drowned men before, Mrs. Stoddard."
    "(Liz) Poor Bill, he always was afraid of the water."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) Cause he couldn't swim. Sounds funny, a man runnin' a fishin' fleet and an old time fisherman himself, not being able to swim. But there's lots like that. They trust in Saint Elmo to bring 'em home safely."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) Saint Elmo brought Bill home. But not safely... You should have pulled his body out of the water and called the Police."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) I wasn't thinkin' of myself or of Bill. I was thinkin' of Collinwood. If the situation had been reversed and it was Bill Malloy that found me dead, he would have done the same thing."
    "(Liz) I don't understand."
    "(Matthew) Remember what I told you would happen if it got out that Miss Carolyn and Miss Winters thought they saw a body? Even a hint of one? Think what it would be like, say, if it got out that there really was a body down there."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) You can't hide a thing like that."
    "(Matthew) Why not? They'll find him up the coast somewhere where people can't say it was Collinwood that caused another death."
    "(Liz) Are you sure he drowned?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) I believe so."
    "(Liz) But where? Not right here on Widow's Hill, not here!"
    "(Matthew) I'd say not. Looked like he'd been in the water for at least 24 hours."
    "(Liz) How do you know that?"
    "(Matthew) It's not a pleasant thing to discuss. There are ways."

    Francis Swann:
    (Liz walks slowly around the couch, thinking)

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) What do you want me to tell the Police when they get here?"
    "(Liz) Tell them the truth."
    "(Matthew) Everything?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) What do you mean?"
    "(Matthew) I don't think too quickly, Miz Stoddard. If you want me to tell it any special way, you better coach me in advance."
    "(Liz) Tell them the truth. You have nothing to hide. There's nothing that you know about."
    "(Matthew) Yes'm."
    "(Liz) Are you positive that he drowned?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) You keep askin' that. Did you expect he might have died some other way?"
    "(Liz) No!"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) I wasn't really questionin' you, Miz Stoddard, but I was thinkin'. Those are the questions the police are goin' to be askin' you."
    "(Liz) You're right. And it won't be only the police who ask those questions."
    "(Matthew) Who else?"
    "(Liz) Burke Devlin. He'll have a lot of questions to ask."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) Maybe. Maybe I'll have some to ask Mr. Devlin."
    fade to commercial

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) I don't care what Mr. Malloy told you. From now on we're going to do it my way. I sent you a memo on it. Is that clear enough, or would you like me to take out an ad in the paper?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) All right, Townsend. I'm sure you'll find my new system will work out much more effectively."
    (hangs up)"

    Francis Swann:
    (intercom buzzes; Roger picks up the phone)
    "(Roger) No, I don't want to see him. I don't want to see anyone. And no phone calls."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke, entering) How considerate of you, Roger. To see that we're not disturbed."
    "(Roger) How did you get in here??"
    "(Burke) Don't start blaming people. I told them you expected me. You did expect me, didn't you?"
    "(Roger) I certainly did not! I'm extremely busy, so if you don't mind..."
    "(Burke) I do mind! Very much."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) You're not overly talkative on the telephone, so I thought I'd come over in person."
    "(Roger) You're even more objectionable in person, aren't you? Are you going to leave or shall I call the company guards?"
    "(Burke) Yes, why don't you call the guards? We'll start a search for Bill Malloy."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) Now, it's one thing to make threats and insinuations around Collinsport, but don't you dare come in here and tell me how to run my business."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) Is searching for Malloy a part of your business? Is he just another item in your books?"
    "(Roger) No. He's also a friend."
    "(Burke) Not of yours."
    "(Roger) What is it that you want?"
    "(Burke) I want to ask you some questions."
    "(Roger, smiling coyly) Why don't you ask Sam Evans?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke, sitting down and smiling) I did."
    (Roger looks troubled)

    Francis Swann:
    (sound of a car pulling up outside)
    "(Liz) Here's the Sheriff now. Now remember, all you have to do is tell the truth."
    "(Matthew) I will."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) Come in, George. Or should I say Sheriff?"
    "(Sheriff Patterson) Oh, George is fine with me, Mrs. Stoddard. Now, what's this about Mr. Malloy?"
    "(Liz) Matthew will tell you. Come with me."

    Francis Swann:
    "(George) Matthew, do you know where Bill Malloy is?"
    "(Matthew) He's dead. Drowned."
    (George, looks over at Liz, then back at Matthew again)
    "(George) Oh? How did it happen?"
    "(Matthew) I don't know."
    "(George) Where's the body?"
    "(Liz) We don't know that, either."
    (George turns to Liz, troubled and confused)

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) You'd better sit down, Roger. What I've got to tell you, you're not going to like."
    (Roger sits down)

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) I tried to see you yesterday. I even went up to your ancestral home."
    "(Roger) To Collinwood??"
    "(Burke) Don't look so panicky, I didn't discover any deep, dark secrets. I only talked to Carolyn and Joe."
    (picks up a handful of darts and stands up again)
    "(Burke) And their feelings are no secrets at all."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) What did you say to them? I mean, didn't they wonder why you were there?"
    "(Burke) Yes, I told them I wanted to talk to you..."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke, tossing a dart into the board) ...about Bill Malloy."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) But why? What right did you have to go up there in the first place?"
    "(Burke) I wanted to see you. That's where you live, isn't it?"
    "(Roger) And so you insinuated to my niece and one of my employees that I had something to do with his disappearance?"
    "(Burke) I didn't insinuate a thing to them. And I'm not insinuating to you. I'm telling you!"
    (throws another dart into the board)
    "(Burke) Loud and clear!"
    "(Roger) Why should I? Didn't I agree to meet you and Evans and Malloy, and right here in this office? Doesn't that prove I had nothing to worry about?"
    "(Burke) No."
    (throws another dart into the board)
    "(Burke) It only proves that Bill Malloy was right when he wanted to tell me something at that meeting. Something detrimental to you and Sam Evans."
    "(Roger) Oh, that doesn't make sense. I tell you I have nothing to do with Evans."
    "(Burke) Then why did Bill Malloy want him there last night?"
    "(Roger) I don't know. I've told you before, I think he went haywire. He's been saying all sorts of things for which he had absolutely no basis."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) Well, I think that he had a basis."
    (starts retrieving the darts)
    "(Burke) I think he wanted Evans to corroborate that evidence."
    "(Roger) Well then, why didn't he? When you and I were in this office for almost an hour. Why didn't Evans speak up then?"
    "(Burke) Maybe he was afraid."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) What have you got on him, Roger?"
    "(Roger) On Evans? I hardly know the man."
    "(Burke) Bill Malloy set that meeting up for a reason. One reason only! To clear me of that manslaughter charge."
    "(Roger) How could he?"
    "(Burke) Through Evans. And when Bill didn't show up last night, you must have talked to Evans and told him to keep his mouth shut."
    "(Roger) Oh, that's ridiculous. You're like a man with a jigsaw puzzle trying to force the pieces together when they don't!"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) Am I, Roger? Then suppose we sit down here and try to fit those pieces together correctly."
    (sits down in Roger's chair)
    "(Roger) Why should I? I don't owe you anything."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) You owe me plenty! You owe me 5 years! Five years I spent in prison because of you!"

    Francis Swann:
    (Burke tosses a dart into the bullseye and smiles at Roger)
    fade to commercial

    Francis Swann:
    "(George) Now, as I understand it, Matthew, you realized that it was Bill Malloy right away. Is that correct?"
    "(Matthew) It is."
    "(George) You knew him quite well. I mean, as well as I did."
    "(Matthew) I liked him. He was a good man."
    "(George) And yet you had no compunction about shoving his body back into the water."
    "(Matthew) I'd do the same thing again."
    "(Liz) George, Matthew was trying to spare us any notoriety resulting from a drowning connected with Collinwood."
    "(George) Oh, he wasn't drowned here, Mrs. Stoddard."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) How do you know that?"
    "(George) Well, with our tides, a body would get carried quite a ways in 24 hours."
    "(Liz) We're not sure it was that long."
    "(George) I know I'm only guessing, but most of the time my guesses are better than my logical deductions."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) I know Matthew should have notified you right away, and shouldn't have pushed the body back into the water."
    "(Matthew) You do understand, George, Miz Stoddard didn't have anything to do with it. She didn't even know about it, and the minute I told her, she got on the phone and called you."

    Francis Swann:
    "(George) I know, Matthew."
    "(Matthew) Aren't you goin' to arrest me?"
    "(George) I can't think of a proper charge. I suppose I could thumb through the books and come up with something, like uh, improper burial without a license. The only thing is, I kinda wish you hadn't a done it. Set Bill afloat the way you did."
    "(Matthew) You're right, George. I shouldn't have. I wasn't thinkin' good."
    "(George) Ah, a smart detective would say that you were thinking real good. That you pushed him back into the water to hide something else."
    "(Matthew, laughing nervously) What would I be hidin'?"
    "(George) Well, we won't be able to find that out til we find the body and have an autopsy."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) Autopsy?"
    "(George) Well, you have to in a case like this."
    "(Liz) What do you expect to find?"
    "(George) We'll see."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) I'm going to ask you some of the same questions I asked Sam Evans. And I hope you have the same answers."
    "(Roger) I tell you I had nothing to do with Evans."
    "(Burke) That won't do, Roger. You and Evans were thick as thieves!"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) I don't know what you're talking about."
    "(Burke) You set me up on that manslaughter charge, and you know it."
    "(Roger) I know nothing of the kind."
    "(Burke) And if Bill Malloy hadn't conveniently disappeared, he would have proved it."
    "(Roger) You not only jump at conclusions, you leap over them! Number 1, Bill Malloy has not disappeared, he's simply not appeared."
    "(Burke) I don't care what words you use, the fact is he's not here! He's nowhere to be found!"
    "(Roger) Maybe he doesn't want to be found."
    "(Burke) Oh. Oh, you mean he's hiding someplace?"
    "(Roger) Exactly."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) Now, why would he want to do that? Why would he set up this meeting between you and me and Sam Evans?"
    "(Roger) Well, I can't answer that, but I do know that he was drinking that day."
    "(Burke) Yes, I'm aware of that. He must have had a terrible worry on his mind, to make him do a thing like that. He must have been faced with a tremendous decision. The same way Sam Evans was."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) I've told you again and again, I don't know anything about Sam Evans!"
    "(Burke) But Sam Evans knows something about you."
    "(Roger) That's absurd."
    "(Burke) And Bill Malloy knows what that something is."
    "(Roger) I won't be badgered and bullied about it."
    "(Burke) Yes you will! Because Bill Malloy made me a proposition."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) What kind of proposition?"
    "(Burke) He wanted me to leave your sister alone, and Carolyn alone, and stop delving into the past."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) In return for what? What could he possibly offer you?"
    "(Burke) He offered me you, Roger."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) YOU! On a silver platter."
    fade to commercial

    Francis Swann:
    "(George) Well, let's see if I have this straight now. It was shortly after midnight when you found the deceased."
    "(Matthew) That's right."
    "(George) And how long after that did you put the body back in the water?"
    "(Matthew) Right away."
    "(George) Well, Matthew, you must have taken a little time. You said you looked him over carefully."
    "(Matthew) A matter of 5 or 10 minutes."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) He was back here in less than half an hour. He walked up the shore and back."
    "(George) What for?"
    "(Liz) ...I don't know."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Matthew) No, I didn't. I didn't walk anywhere. I stood there and studied the matter, trying to decide what to do. It was a good 20 minutes. Then I eased Bill's body back into the water, and watched to make sure the current was going to carry it away."

    Francis Swann:
    "(George) Can we say 12:30?"
    "(Matthew) Thereabouts."
    "(George) 12:30."
    "(Liz) Why is the exact time so important?"
    "(George) Well, it will help us find the body, figuring elapsed times and the tide."
    "(Liz) I see."
    "(George) Same as figuring backwards, if we can narrow down this time element here, we might be able to figure where Bill was when he fell in the water."

    Francis Swann:
    "(George) Matthew, I want you to go out and show my deputy. Uh, you know Harry Shaw. I want you to show him just where you found Bill."
    "(Matthew) I know him. You won't be needing me any more, huh?"
    "(George) I'll be needing you. Later. First, we have to find the body."
    (Matthew leaves)

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) What if you don't find him?"
    "(George) Then I'll have to figure out if Matthew didn't do something a little worse than just delay the recovery of the deceased."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) What do you mean by something worse?"
    "(George) Well, in a case like this, with a death under peculiar circumstances, I like to look around and see if somebody might have profited by that death."
    "(Liz, annoyed) How could Matthew possibly profit?"
    "(George) Well, profit isn't always a matter of dollars and cents. Do you know anybody who would have liked to see Bill Malloy dead?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Burke) And you and Sam Evans are the only two people who would profit by Bill Malloy's disappearance."
    "(Roger) I don't know anything about Evans. All I know is about me. Perfectly ridiculous."
    "(Burke) If I find out that you had anything to do with his disappearance, which is what I'm thinking, you'd better hope to God that the police find it out instead of me!"
    "(Roger) Your threats don't frighten me."
    "(Burke) They'd better! This isn't a case of the Collinwood money who can railroad an innocent man into prison!"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Telephone) Rinnnnnnnnng!"
    "(Roger) Yes. My sister? No, you were perfectly right in ringing through. Yes, Elizabeth?"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) Roger, I want you to come home right away."
    "(Roger) Oh?"
    "(Liz) I don't care what you're doing, drop it."
    "(Roger) Right away."
    (hangs up)"

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger) I'm afraid your inquisition will have to wait."
    "(Burke) I can wait, but not long."
    "(Roger) I'm sure that the next time I see you, you'll have forgotten this whole thing."
    "(Burke) Don't you believe it, Roger. I don't forget anything. Ever!"

    Francis Swann:
    (Roger leaves...)

    Francis Swann:
    (...Burke picks up a dart...)

    Francis Swann:
    (...takes aim...)

    Francis Swann:
    (...and tosses it directly into the bullseye)

    Francis Swann:
    "(Liz) I honestly can't think of anyone who would want any harm to come to Bill Malloy. Much less... this."
    "(George) Well, you don't get around much, Mrs. Stoddard. There's probably a lot you're not aware of."
    "(Liz) I realize that. I imagine my brother will be able to... know much more."
    (sound of car pulling up)
    "(Liz) Here he is now. Would you mind if I tell him myself?"
    "(George) We'll both tell him."

    Francis Swann:
    "(Roger, entering) Well, what's so important that I leave my labours at the plant to hurry home?"
    "(Liz) The police want to question you."

    Francis Swann:
    (Roger spies George standing in the Drawing Room...)

    Francis Swann:
    (...And looks very nervous about it)
    (fade to black)

    Robert Cobert:
    (Alternate version* of DS Theme plays)
    Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
    Burke Devlin...
    Roger Collins...
    Matthew Morgan...
    Sheriff Patterson...
    produced by
    directed by
    story created and developed by
    written by
    scenic design
    costume design
    associate director
    technical director
    lighting director
    sound effects
    assistant to the producer
    production assistant
    stage manager
    make up
    hair stylist
    music composed by
    music supervisor
    fashions courtesy of
    unit manager
    series created by
    executive producer
    Productions, inc.
    copyright ® 1966
    * Track 2 of Dark Shadows 30th Anniversary Collection

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              Episode 54:   Burke makes it clear to Roger that he owes him for the five years he spent in prison due to Roger's perjury.

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