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February 4, 2012
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Publisher's summary Edit
"Every man's a gambling man, don't you think?”
Tony Peterson is a lucky man. He's just caught the last train back to Collinsport. It's been a good day – he's renewed an old friendship and been offered a job he cannot refuse. His life is about to change.
Only, Tony Peterson's luck has run out. The last train home will turn out to be a very long journey. Will Tony be able to trust the only other survivor? And what decision will Tony make when he's presented with another offer he cannot refuse?
- Private Detective Tony Peterson has been summoned once more to assist the mysterious Cassandra Collins, who has attempted to steal the sacred bracelet of narack. A theft which has resulted in their capture by a sinister and terrifying cult. And on this night of terror and intrigue they await their execution.
Tony Peterson and Cassandra Collins are locked up in a cell. In order to pass the time he decides to tell her a story about the time he caught the night train from Boston, a journey without end.
Tony returns to Collinsport on the train from Boston after visiting a lawyer friend named Patrick Bloom. Whist on the train, Tony observes his fellow passengers. One in particular attracts his attention; an apparently drunken man who wears tatted clothes, has a grimy appearance and smells like rotting meat, almost like he’s been dug up from the ground. The man approaches Tony and attempts to strike up a conversation. Tony reluctantly engages him. The man manages to guess where Tony is from, much to Tony’s surprise. The man apparently saw Tony’s ticket when he showed it to the conductor. Tony closes his eyes and attempts to go to sleep as it’s a long journey back to Collinsport, in the hope that the man takes the hint and leaves him alone.
Tony wakes. Still on the train, he is now alone except for the man he encountered earlier. Tony looks out of the window to find nothing but an empty darkness. He suspects the train might be in a tunnel. He notices his watch has stopped. The man tells Tony about the history of the tunnel, that they are apparently in, and all the mysterious deaths associated with it. It is said to be haunted. The man mentions that Tony is a lawyer, despite Tony never telling him, he claims to have made an educated guess from Tony’s appearance. Tony becomes agitated by the fact he still can’t see anything out of the window. They can't still be in the tunnel. He attempts to open the door to the next carriage but finds it locked. He hears the sound of whispering voices. The conductor enters from the door at the other end of the carriage, who thinks he fell asleep on the job. His watch has also stopped and he can’t tell where they are. The man attempts to stop the conductor from going through the locked door. The conductor also hears the whispering. He goes through the door and falls downwards, vanishing into the night. The man tells Tony about the conductor’s less than virtuous past and the kind of fate someone like that might expect to find. The man remarks upon the morality of being a lawyer and of defending someone who is obviously guilty. He mentions Tony’s name, despite Tony never telling him it.
Tony reflects to Cassandra upon what was happening to him on that train, upon not being able to admit it to himself.
Tony wants to know how the man knows so much about him, and where they are. The man mentions Tony’s friend Patrick, and an offer that Patrick made to Tony regarding a job at his law firm in Boston. The man tells Tony to call him Legion, although he goes by many names. Legion wants Tony to do his bidding at Patrick’s law firm. If Tony works with Legion then he will be rewarded with whatever he wants. Legion reveals that they are currently in hell. He vanishes leaving Tony alone. Looking out of the window he sees faces in the darkness staring at him. People he’s lost and loved as pale lifeless figures, all screaming. Legion reappears. In order to get off this train, Tony has to accept Patrick’s offer and give up his life in Collinsport. Tony will not allow himself to be manipulated by Legion, there are others in Collinsport who need him. Legion transforms into the Dark Lord who tells him he is free to go. The Dark Lord holds dominion over men’s weaknesses not their strengths; if Tony had accepted his offer he would own him. If he had refused out of concern for himself then he would own him. But Tony turned him down to protect others. The Dark Lord vanishes. The conductor enters the carriage. Tony is surprised to see him still alive. The man who Tony spent the most of the journey with doesn't recognize him.
Upon leaving the train, Tony finds a telephone and rings Patrick and turns down his offer of a job. Tony notices that the man is still on the train and is the only one left on it, he stares directly at Tony and smiles. The telephone rings, a man’s voice tells him he’ll see him around. The train departs.
Cassandra is impressed that Tony met the Dark Lord, although questions whether or not it was a dream. Tony laments their predicament of being stuck in a cell for all eternity. Cassandra is more hopeful, and expects to be out of the cell within the hour. His story gave her time to come up with a plan of escape.
- Jerry Lacy as Tony Peterson
- W Morgan Sheppard as Lou
- Lara Parker as Cassandra Collins
- Nigel Fairs as The Dark Lord
- Andrew Collins as Conductor
- Brigid Lohrey as Passenger
- James Unsworth as Passenger
Background information and notesEdit
- A working title for this play was This Train Terminates.
- Lara Parker features in two short framing scenes only, at the beginning and end of the play, and doesn't take part in the main section of the story.
- W Morgan Sheppard's character is credited as Lou, however this name is never mentioned during the play.
- On the train journey from Boston to Collinsport there are at least three tunnels, “The Hoosac Tunnel”, “The Crawford Notch” and “The Israel Washburn”. The Israel Washburn is the longest tunnel in the state of Maine and is only a few miles from Collinsport. The construction of this tunnel began in 1851. It cost 25 million dollars to build, and took 800 men 25 years to finish it. It is nicknamed “The Bloody Pit” on account of all the deaths associated with it. During its construction it claimed 197 lives. It is about 6 miles long. In 1895, there was a crash during the week of Thanksgiving. At that time there was only one train track running through it. The signalman, named George Washington Fuller, had a heart attack and died at 38 years old, causing two trains to go into the tunnel at the same time. The two trains, one from Boston to Bangor and another from Bangor to Providence, carrying 237 people between them crashed into each other causing a big explosion and some of the tunnel wall to collapse. 131 of the passengers came out alive, and only 70 bodies where found. Meaning 36 were never accounted for.
- The fictional ‘Israel Washburn Tunnel’, which features in this play, was named after, a United States political figure. Israel Washburn, Jr. Born in 1813 in Livermore, Maine to a prominent political family, Washburn organized the Maine Republican Party from 1854 onward. He was the 29th Governor of Maine from 1861 to 1863. He was probably also the first politician of his rank to use the term "Republican", in a speech at Bangor, Maine on June 2, 1854. Washburn represented the district which included Bangor and the neighbouring town of Orono, Maine, where he had his home and law office. Washburn is a town in Aroostook County, Maine, United States. It was incorporated on February 25, 1861, and named after Israel Washburn. He died in 1883.
- There is a real tunnel named ‘The Washburn Tunnel’ is a two-lane underwater motor-vehicle tunnel connecting Galena Park and Pasadena, two suburbs of Houston, Texas. Completed in 1950, it travels north-south underneath the Houston Ship Channel. It was named after Harris County, Texas Auditor Harry L. Washburn. It is largest and first toll-free vehicular tunnel in the Southern United States..
- “The Crawford Notch” is a real location. It is a steep and narrow gorge of the Saco River in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, located almost entirely within the town of Hart's Location. Roughly half of that town is contained in Crawford Notch State Park.
- “The Hoosac Tunnel” also exists, also called Hoosic or Hoosick Tunnel, is a 4.75-mile-long (7.64 km) rail-road tunnel in western Massachusetts which passes through the Hoosac Range, an extension of Vermont's Green Mountains. Work began in 1848 and was finally completed in 1875. At the time of completion, it was the second longest tunnel in the world (after the 8.5-mile-long (13.7 km) Mont Cenis Tunnel through the French Alps). It was the longest tunnel in North America until the completion of the Connaught Tunnel under Rogers Pass in British Columbia in 1916, and remains the longest active transportation tunnel east of the Rocky Mountains."Hoosac" is an Algonquian word meaning "place of stones".
- “Legion” are a group of demons referred to in the Christian Bible. The New Testament outlines an encounter where Jesus healed a man from Gadarenes possessed by demons while travelling, known as Exorcising the Gerasenes demonic.
- Patrick Bloom’s law firm is called “Bloom & Gershevitch”.
- “41 Clinton Street” is place that Tony wanted to buy his parents in their retirement. However Tony’s father died in a boating accident.
- Marsha Hendricks was a girl Tony fancied when he was younger.
- Tony was born in Collinsport.
- Included at the end of this release are trailers for The Death Mask, The Voodoo Amulet, The Carrion Queen & Angelique's Descent.
- At the end of the last track, the trailer for Angelique's Descent, W Morgan Sheppard says in a sinister voice "Dark Shadows is a Big Finish Production" and then laughs manically.