Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Audio Dramas: A Chronology

As regular readers will know, one of my main connections to the Dark Shadows world is my work on Big Finish's series of officially-licensed Dark Shadows audio dramas, which I've been working on, variously, as producer, writer and director since 2006. Over the past five years, we've recorded over 20 new installments in CD format, reuniting over a dozen original Dark Shadows actors, including David Selby (Quentin), Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie), John Karlen (Willie) and even a special one-off appearance from Jonathan Frid recreating Barnabas.

One of the things I get asked most about the range is its chronological placement within the show's continuity. In the early days, when we began our full-cast stories, continuing where the show left off, we were very wary of explicitly stating dates for two reasons: Potentially we might have to incorporate dozens of new episodes in time, and didn't restrict ourselves too early on, and more importantly, everyone involved wanted the stories to unfold as a new continuation. To the casual listener, saying we were in 1982, however factually correct that might have been, would have just sounded distant and less exciting – the crucial thing was that these events were happening to our characters now.

But, times change, and now it doesn't seem quite so necessary to keep these things under wraps. We still avoid using explicit dates in the ongoing full-cast dramas, but for interested listeners, below is a guide to the various stories. And, if you want to catch up on the audio dramas, click on the linked titles in the story key below to purchase online. Beware, spoilers lie ahead...

Also, speaking of the audio dramas, Dark Shadows: The Night Whispers, last year's audio drama starring Jonathan Frid, has been nominated for a Rondo Horror Award in the Best Horror Soundtrack category. Public voting is open until March 28; to vote for the story online click here.

Full-Cast Dramas

c1755 Barnabas Collins travels to Martinique, where he murders a man to end the curse of Celeste (TB12)c1792 Feud with Oswald Gravenor and the Collins Family (AD1.4)
c1825 Nathan Hawkins is born (TB4)
c1855 Ten year old Gregory Trask is adopted by Elias Trask (TB7)
1859 Living in Massachusetts, Elias Trask marries Matilda Bentham (TB7)
1860 Gregory frames Matilda Bentham (TB7)
1861 Civil war begins and Gregory and Elias begin preaching in the western territories (TB7)
1865 Gregory and Elias settle in Salina, KS (TB7)
1868 Elias Trask dies (TB7)
c1870 Gregory leaves Salina as his church falls empty (TB7)
1871 Gregory leads a witchhunt in Derby, CT (TB7)
c1886 Jade is murdered and buried at London’s Empire theatre, beginning her curse (TB13)
1897 The ghost of Carl Collins appears to the dying Gregory Trask (TB7)
1899 Quentin visits New York and encounters the Skin Walkers (TB5)
1906 In November, Quentin visits London where he meets Rosie Faye (TB13)
c1918 Quentin visits Paris (TB11)
c1915 Chandres Tessier escapes the cult of the Blue Rose (TB11)
1925 Charlotte Howell comes to Collinsport (AD1.2)
1926 Charlotte is trapped by the book (AD1.2)
c1929 Quentin returns to Collinwood (TB11)
1929 Quentin visits Chicago, where he becomes involved with Chandres Tessier and the Blue Rose cult (TB11)
1941 In wartorn London, Quentin reunites with the dying Rose Faye (TB13)
c1948 Six-year-old Maggie Evans meets the Sandman (TB3)
1955 Construction begins on the new Collins Enterprises premises (TB11)

c1963 Willie Loomis and Jason McGuire visit Singapore and later Jamaica (TB8)
1967 Maggie encounters the Sandman while at Windcliff (TB3)

1968 Angelique visits Willie Loomis during his time at Windcliff (TB8)
1971 Quentin leaves Collinsport in mysterious circumstances; Maggie returns from Windcliff during the summer and is dismissed (TB4); David Collins sent to boarding school (TB4); Nathan Hawkins arrives in November (TB4)
1973 Dr. Gretchen Franklin comes to Collinwood (TB8)
c1973 Disgraced minister Reverend Hartswood begins retirement as the new caretaker of the Eagle Hill Cemetery (AD2.1); David begins medical studies (AD2.3)
c1977 Mr Strix sends the Collins family into hiding, with Barnabas dying at his hands (AD1.1); Collins Enterprises ceases trading (AD1.1); Lost people stalk Collinwood soon afterwards (AD1.1)
c1979 Ed and Susan Griffin take over the Blue Whale after an accident forces Ed to retire from his job at Collins Enterprises; David arrives incognito at Windcliff (AD2.2)
1982 Quentin returns to Collinsport (AD1.1–1.3)
1983 The Lorelei comes to Collinsport (AD1.4); Seraph escapes from the Underworld; Carolyn Stoddard and David return to Collinsport; Quentin and Barnabas leave town; Jessica Griffin arrives in town (AD2.1–2.4)
1985 Angelique begins self-imposed exile near Collinsport (TB6)
c1986 Barnabas reclaims his true body (unplaced)
1990 The stairway of Isiah Mason appears at Collinwood and Angelique is reclaimed by Diabolos (TB6)
1995 Barnabas is haunted by the ghost of Celeste (TB12)


Chad Moore said...

Thanks so much for the comprehensive timeline!

Hurricane Martha said...

This has been extremely helpful. Thanks.

vderricks said...

Thanks for the timeline."The Night Whispers" was such a great insight into the character of Barnabas. I would love it,if you could get Jonathan Frid back as "Barnabas" for more reminiscences.

Travis said...

I agree; great compilation. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Stuart, for posting this here as well as on the Facebook page for the Dark Shadows Big Finish audios. I love every one of them, and while not essential to fully appreciate them all, it is quite a valuable tool!