Hear The Fear
Dark Shadows on Big Finish
By Jessica Dwyer
Dark Shadows is one of my favorite things in the world. Creator Dan Curtis brought together the best of Gothic literature and broadcast it for American audiences to see during daytime TV. The shadows cast in the afternoon were long and lingering for fans and the series still lives today via conventions, reruns, a feature film by Tim Burton, and through the wonder of Big Finish Audio.
Big Finish is based in the UK and has brought to audio life some classic British TV. Their library of series like Doctor Who is HUGE and continues to grow with new stories specifically written for the audio drama universe. They’ve also brought back The Avengers (the Steed and Peel series, not the one with Iron Man) and even the eternally young Dorian Gray.
A few years ago Big Finish brought together some of the original cast of Dark Shadows including David Selby whose son Jamison (named after the character in the series) also wrote the first audio drama and would go on to play the CHARACTER of Jamison (and a few others) in the ongoing series of dramas. Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, and even Jonathan Frid (alongside icon Barbara Steele in his last performance as Barnabas Collins) would return to the town of Collinwood thanks to Big Finish.
The library for Dark Shadows continues to grow and grow with new actors taking on classic roles and classic actors taking on new roles. The latest stars Kathleen Cody, Stephanie Ellyne, and Alec Newman and is called Tainted Love and focuses on the younger generation of Collinwood now grown up.
Newman is actually not a new comer to the world of Dark Shadows as he played vampire Barnabas Collins in the unaired pilot of Dark Shadows that was not picked up for broadcast. In this he plays David Collins who is returning to Collinwood after nearly destroying the town and causing death and destruction while being under the power of evil forces.
It’s atmospheric and beautiful to hear, just like all of the Dark Shadows entries. They keep the mood by using the music and score of the original series along with new arrangements. These are so good that Big Finish has actually made them available for purchase on their own.
Members of the original cast have returned in another new entry, part four of Dark Shadows: Kingdom of the Dead. This mega series stars David Selby, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, John Karlen, Marie Wallace, Nancy Barrett, and Jerry Lacy from the original series alongside genre vet David Warner. Jamison Selby joins his father and actor Andrew Collins (aptly named as well) continues the role of Barnabas Collins.
If you are a fan of great gothic horror and especially if you are a fan of the original series you owe it to yourself to start listening to these great stories. You can order them in physical CD format or get them instantly via download on the Big Finish Audio site (you can also subscribe as there are releases every month.)
You can download the file in audio book format or via MP3 which allows you to listen to it on virtually any electronic audio device which is really handy.
Go to Big Finish now and get travel through the mists of time back to a village by the sea and a house called Collinwood.
Visit Jessica’s website at Fan Girl Mag