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10, 23, 24 & 27 April 2010
30 June 2010
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"He’d gaze across time and see himself at the other side unchanged...”
Long since released from his vampire curse, Barnabas Collins has settled into a new life away from the supernatural. But when a powerful storm sweeps through Collinsport, the elements bring back memories of past sins. Who is the mysterious spirit whispering in the darkness, and what is its connection with Barnabas?
Jonathan Frid returns as Barnabas for the first time since 1971 in this all-new dramatic reading, based on the classic ABC-TV series.
A voice of a woman recalls the first time she saw him. His face hard and proud, but with sad questioning eyes. She knew immediately he would outlive them all. She has waited so long in the darkness to be heard. She remembers Barnabas Collins.
A stormy night. Barnabas instructs Willie Loomis to tend to the fire. Willie confirms everyone at Collinwood is safe. A voice calls out to Barnabas, Willie can’t hear it. The voice goads Barnabas and then disappears. He tells Willie that it was only when he spent time away from his father’s watch that he began to recognize the supernatural as an active part of his family’s existence. It was on the island of Martinique, each night the sun set it was as though the island came alive. He recalls a slave named Celeste, a delicate girl with dark skin. The girl made a claim of an impropriety against one man of his group, Silas Bradshaw. The inhabitants of the island now had a score to settle Barnabas' group and in the days that followed they all paid dearly. The accused man fell ill suddenly with a disturbing fever, the man couldn’t stop repeating the same words over and over in terror:
- I will be heard.
The next day the youngest of Barnabas’s party, a textile dealer’s son called Jacob Loxley fell ill with identical symptoms. The same sickness, the same words. The next day a third victim, then a fourth. There was no doubt in Barnabas’ mind that this was possession. It was five days when the first death came. They made plans to set sail for America immediately, however that night a hurricane broke out, tropical rains churned the ocean with fury. The whispers of the night had turned to howling. They were trapped. The day came when the last well man of Barnabas' group fell ill. This left Barnabas the only person free from the possession. For the good of his party he killed this man as payment in order to end the curse. The voices stopped, the storm cleared and his remaining men recovered from the fever. They were free to leave.
Willie's attitude has changed to that of scorn. He wants to know whether Barnabas killed the man to save himself. He starts rambling like the men in Barnabas’ story, he will be heard. Willie’s voice is now deeper, he is possessed by the spirit of the man Barnabas killed. The man accuses Barnabas of using his vampire curse as an excuse for his cruel and selfish behaviour in the past. Barnabas argues that he's fought hard to retain his humanity that if he learnt anything from his curse it’s that it was worth it all if it allowed him to protect those at Collinwood. Barnabas realizes that the more he talks to the spirit the stronger it becomes. He tells the spirit to remember all anguish and fear it’s seen through Willie’s eyes. Barnabas tells it to look into his eyes and see all the broken souls. The voices of those souls consume it completely.
The clock chimes five. The storm is clearing. Willie awakes, restored to normal. Barnabas says that Collinwood is his anchor, proof in a world so different that something of his past survives. Barnabas suggests they drink a toast to their battles won and their dawns to come. Whatever the future might bring.
Background information and notesEdit
- The audio drama featured the return of Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins, a character he had not played since episode 1198 of the original Dark Shadows television series in 1971, 39 years before the publication of this recording. This would be Frid's only ever reprisal of the vampire Barnabas Collins.
- Writer and producer Stuart Manning confirmed on his blog that the scenes between Barnabas and Willie take place in 1995. He also confirms that Barnabas' trip to Martinique occurred in 1755.
- Barnabas is free of the vampire curse by 1995.