Teaser trailer and the first cast announcements for the Dark Shadows 50th anniversary special (wot I wrote) – Blood and Fire. And would you look at that line-up?
Lara Parker (Angélique Bouchard), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Patience Collins), Mitchell Ryan (Caleb Collins), Andrew Collins (Joshua Collins), Daisy Tormé (Abigail Collins), James Storm (Abraham Harkaway) and Jerry Lacy (Malachi Sands) with John Karlen (Alfred Loomis), Lisa Richards (Euphemia Spencer Stockbridge) & Christopher Pennock (Uriah Spencer Stockbridge) with more cast members to be announced…
Here’s the blurb from the Big Finish website:
“Some are born with magic, some acquire magic, and others have magic thrust upon them…”
The year is 1767. Young widow Laura Murdoch Stockbridge is to marry Joshua Collins, heir to the Collins fortune. Meanwhile, Joshua’s sister Abigail is in love with disreputable sailor Abraham Harkaway.
But the course of true love never did run smooth… especially when the witch Angélique Bouchard is around.
For Angélique has been sent back in time. And she has one mission…
To destroy the Collins family forever.
And here’s Dark Shadows producers Joe and Davy talking about their plans for the 50th anniversary in more detail, including some nice words from Joe on Blood & Fire:
One of the highlights, for me, of 2016 so far was receiving Roy’s first draft of Episode One. The dialogue jumped off the page because it’s glorious. It opens with a woman arriving on the outskirts of town and, before you know it, she’s met a pirate and then we’re in a horse-drawn carriage as people travel to a big house for a wedding. It’s pure gothic romance and I love it.
‘Since joining Big Finish in 2015 and discovering the delights of Dark Shadows, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with Quentin Collins, and Panic sees him finally back home at Collinwood. In the aftermath of Bloodlust, the narrative deftly juggles some werewolfy family bonding and an impromptu cookery lesson to frame an unforgettable introduction to the formidable Lela Quick. It is hard to say much more about Panic without venturing into spoiler territory, but the casting of Susan Sullivan as Lela is inspired. She is every bit as awesome as you’d expect her to be, and the perfect foil to David Selby. (More please, Davy and Joe!)’
Big Finish have recently released details of a couple of projects I’m involved with.
‘The story itself is unlike any other we’ve told before,” explains [Producer / Director] Scott Handcock. “There’s an intensity that comes with the Great War setting. You’ve a responsibility to reflect the sheer horror of what went on there, and the impact it had on the men who found themselves fighting in the trenches. It’s the kind of story Roy excels at: claustrophobic, introspective, exploring the concepts of faith and hope at a time when both seem lost…’
The story features the return of Captain James Anderson (as played by the brilliant Dan Brocklebank) alongside guest stars Samuel Barnett (who, incidentally has just been cast in a new TV adaptation of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently novels) and Steven Cree. The character of James previously appeared in my very first script for Dorian Gray and for Big Finish – The Prime of Deacon Brodie. It was a genuine privilege to be asked to revisit James and to be able to expand on and illuminate his relationship with Dorian (Alexander Vlahos) – and the terrible circumstances under which they meet.
I had a chance to visit the recording for Angel – there are a couple of pictures from this fab day above. It’s going to be sad to leave the world of Mr Gray behind – I’m sure there are more stories to tell – but I can also understand Scott’s and Alex’s reasoning for bringing the series to a close. I’ve loved being on board – and I’m so glad that Scott brought me into the world of Big Finish. I think scriptwriting plays to my strengths as a writer, and it’s great to be working with passionate, clever people who really understand how stories work!
More news in the next update…
Panic sees Quentin Collins (David Selby) telling his great-great grandson Tom (Michael Shon) about how he came to be married to Professor Lela Quick. The story is written by novelist Roy Gill.
“I’ve long been fascinated by Dark Shadows. It’s a mixture of gothic horror, mad fantasy and epic storytelling, all of which I love,” says Roy. “Joe liked my work on the The Confessions of Dorian Gray range, and asked me to pitch a story that would explain how and why Quentin Collins got married. It was a challenge I couldn’t pass up!”
Lela is played by Susan Sullivan, currently a regular in the television series Castle. Panic sees her reunited with her Falcon Crest co-star, David Selby.
The further into the antique shop she explored, the darker it seemed to get, until Lela couldn’t see the walls at all…”
Lela Quick is a busy woman. She’s got essays to mark, journals to edit, books to write…
But every night she is tormented by the same dream: a nightmare of pursuit through a dark forest, the air filled with haunting music.
A chance meeting with Quentin Collins, the enigmatic owner of Pandemonium Antiques, adds to her growing sense of unease. Soon both their lives are in danger – – if they can’t escape the panic…
This was a fun script to work on and I’m looking forward to hearing the final edit!
I’m also pleased to see my last script – for The Confessions of Dorian Gray – is continuing to pick up some really nice reviews. Matt Cresswell said “We Are Everywhere (by Roy Gill) is something akin to Oscar Wilde rewriting the Saw films” while Doc Oho’s review site decided “this cat and mouse game between Dorian and Luke is another example of this series at its peak; uncomfortable, thought provoking and bolstered by fantastic performances: 9/10″
Positive and/or thoughtful feedback means a lot, folks. Keeps this writer going!