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Number

421

Timeline

1796

Narrator

Alexandra Moltke

Writer

Sam Hall

Director

Lela Swift

Broadcast

February 13, 1968
(Tuesday)

Recorded

February 7, 1968
(Wednesday)

Video

Complete: Disc 46
Collection 6: Disc 2

427e
We have 8 images of Dark Shadows 427

Victoria's witchcraft trial begins, in which Abigail and Natalie testify against her.

Synopsis Edit

Teaser

A seance has been held in the great house at Collinwood, a seance which has suspended time and space, and sent one girl on an uncertain and frightening journey into the past, back to the year 1795. There each of the Collins ancestors resembles a present day member of the Collins family, but the names and relationships have changed, and Victoria Winters finds herself a stranger in a sea of familiar faces. Not friendly now, forced almost out of recognition by the hatred they feel for her.

Victoria Winters' witch trial will begin this day. Peter Bradford comes to her jail cell to bring her the bad news.

Act I

Peter is devastated to tell Victoria that her trial will begin today but to his surprise, she is relieved. She wants it to be over. Peter tells her that Josette Collins died the previous evening. Victoria is disappointed that the information given to Countess Natalie DuPres from the Collins family history book foretelling Josette's death was unable to prevent the tragedy. He has more bad news: Joshua Collins will not allow his wife Naomi to testify in behalf of Victoria. Peter and Victoria embrace before they leave for the courtroom.

Act II

Victoria pleads innocent to the charge of witchcraft. Reverend Trask gives her one last chance to denounce her master, the Prince of Darkness. Abigail Collins testifies that the reign of terror began when Victoria first arrived at the Old House. Abigail is excused after her testimony so that Peter can question Reverend Trask about the exorcism he performed at the Old House. His testimony is interrupted by a shouting match between Abigail and Victoria.

Act III

Natalie DuPres testifies that Victoria predicted the events that preceded the death of Josette. They were written in the Collins family history book which the countess once possessed. Natalie accuses Victoria of stealing the book from her room while she was still in her jail cell. Because she was in two places at one time, Trask believes this proves her guilt. Peter admits that he let Victoria leave her jail cell to retrieve the history book. While defending Peter, Victoria cries that she has hurt enough people. Trask gleefully claims that Victoria's plea is an admission of guilt.

Act IV

Back in her jail cell, Peter and Victoria discuss what to do about the history book. Victoria says Ben Stokes said he knows that she is not the witch. Peter suspects that there is something that Ben is not able to tell them. He leaves to talk to Ben.

Memorable quotes Edit

Abigail: Victoria Winters is a witch!

Dramatis personae Edit

Background information and notes Edit

Production Edit

Story Edit

  • Victoria's witchcraft trial of is probably the most glaring anachronism in all of the Dark Shadows time travel stories. The Salem witch trials took place over 100 years earlier, in 1692. The hysteria that brought on those trials proved such an embarrassment to the colony that by 1705, Massachusetts had removed all mention of witchcraft from its criminal statutes. By 1750, all the New England colonies had removed witchcraft from their statutes. While there were undoubtedly great believers in witchcraft in 1796 like Reverend Trask and Abigail, it would have been impossible to bring Victoria to trial on a charge of witchcraft. Later in the series during a storyline set in the year 1840, Quentin Collins is also tried for witchcraft. The events of 1162 go someway in explaining how such a trial could happen in a town like Collinsport.
  • A trial involving a prominent small-town family or one of their household employees would likely be of great interest to the townspeople. But apparently no one shows up in the court room to watch the trial.
  • Natalie's beauty mark is heart shaped and on the right side of her chin.
  • TIMELINE: It was last night when Josette died. Its morning at the start of this episode. Victoria's witchcraft trial continues tomorrow.

Bloopers and continuity errors Edit

  • The boom microphone is visible while Abigail is being sworn in.
  • Abigail says that the day Victoria arrived was October 12, 1795. She also gives the date that Joshua was turned into a cat as November 2, 1795. These dates are both about a month before the air dates of those episodes. However these dates don't match with previous information. In 366, the date of Victoria's arrival is given as November 20, 1795. Also, the passage of time suggested between Victoria's arrival and Joshua turning into a cat in 378 would seemingly have been eight on-screen days all occurring consecutively, making the date November 28, 1795, and not the gap of 21 days stated in this episode. (Abigail, who is somewhat of an unrealiable witness: most of those close to her, such as Joshua and Nataile, believe her to be a religious fanatic, could be misremembering the dates.)

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