Parrallel Time Begins!
E. Hornaday | Lawrenceville, NJ United States | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 40 episodes in Dark Shadows Collection 19 includes the conclusion of the "beast" storyline, and the debut of a story arc dealing with the concept of parallel time that eventually involves the entire cast.
Dark Shadows, the only soap opera to have focused completely on gothic storylines and the supernatural, demonstrates its wide range in this boxed set with arguably one of its worst stories that will enventually transcend into one of its best. The "repertoire company" that is the cast of this remarkable show, consistently turns in memorable performances throughout.
The then young actor Christopher Pennock is introduced as Jeb Hawkes, the human form of the "beast," created to be the supernatural leader of the evil cult of the Leviathans. Pennock overplays much of this role, but eventually turns in a fairly memorable performance. Of all of the roles he would end up playing in the series, in my opinion, this was by far his best. (The actor is also interviewed in a special DVD feature, and comes off at best as egotistical and very peculiar.)
Hawkes' human half falls hopelessly in love with Carolyn Collins Stoddard, who as always, is played brilliantly by Nancy Barrett.
The Leviathan plan is to have the two wed in a dark arts ceremony performed by warlock Nicholas Blair, again played with menacing gusto by Humbert Allen Astredo. Carolyn was to become an inhuman creature like Jeb, and the two would rule over the Leviathans, whose ultimate goal was to rid the world of human beings, beginning with the residents of Collinsport.
Hawkes evolves from a blood-thirsty killer in his beast form who murders without conscience, including killing Carolyn's father Paul Stoddard (played by Dennis Patrick), to a man who loathes his beast form and wants to remain in his human guise forever and marry his lady love.
Barnabas, played brilliantly by Jonathan Frid, is returned to his former vampire state by a vengeful Hawkes, who discovers that Barnabas is a "traitor" to the cause and had been plotting the Leviathan leader's downfall and death. Frid is mesmerizing when the curse is once again upon him, demonstrating a heartbreaking anguish in a bravura performance seldom delivered better by a soap opera actor of any era.
Eventually, Hawkes makes an uneasy truce with Barnabas to save Carolyn from the fate that the Leviathans had planned, and the two men unite to prevent the unholy union in the midst of Blair's ceremony. Hawkes destroys the Leviathan box and its power, thus defeating his own "people," and destroying forever his beast form.
Expecting to die when the Leviathan's are destroyed, Hawkes maintains his human form and survives only by force of will because of his love for Carolyn. Jeb and Carolyn later marry, but Jeb is finally killed when he is pushed off Widow's Hill by an enemy and drowns.
Meanwhile, Barnabas has discovered an abandoned room in the east wing of Collinwood that sometimes opens to reveal an intriguing world of parallel time, where friends and family are living different lives based on different choices that they have made.
Hoping to free himself from the vampire curse, Barnabas is drawn to the east wing and steps inside the empty room when it suddenly transforms into the parallel universe, trapping him within the familiar -- yet completely unfamiliar world!"
There's this room in the east wing . . .
Marc Harshbarger | Chic-a-go-go | 08/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another great collection of 40 episodes from DARK SHADOWS (#942-981, Feb-Mar. 1970) that conclude the Jeb Hawkes story and begin the Parallel Time tale. I really enjoyed these episodes--Christopher Pennock is terrific as Jeb, making him more than just an evil jerk as his romance with Carolyn becomes far more serious. And the writers do a great job of slowly introducing the Parallel Time storyline as various characters go up to the east wing to check out the mysterious room, where their alter egos are living very different lives. It's fun to see Roger Collins watching himself and to discover dead characters suddenly returning to life in the other world. And speaking of dead characters, many bite the dust before the show switches over completely to Parallel Time. I won't give away any--that's half of the fun of the show, to see who will get bumped off. I will reveal that Barnabas' fangs return in gusto--which always makes things more interesting. But without the wonderful, talented cast--who take the campy storylines very seriously--DARK SHADOWS wouldn't be a cult classic. It's Jonathan Frid, Joan Bennett, David Selby, Grayson Hall, Louis Edmonds, Nancy Barrett, John Karlen, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, Humbert Allen Astredo (who chews up the scenery as Nicholas Blair like nobody's business) and Marie Wallace (one of my favorite actresses on the show) who make this show such a joy to watch. So if you enjoy a good gothic mystery with a bit of supernatural intrigue--and the occasional werewolf, warlock, witch or vampire--then I recommend that you tune in to DARK SHADOWS. But beware--it's highly addictive!"