DARK SHADOWS – TAINTED LOVE

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Dark Shadows began life as an American daytime TV drama series. This regular show featured supernatural elements such as vampires, ghosts, demons and witchcraft, set in the remote town of Collinwood, a town controlled by the Collins family. It was cancelled in the ‘70s, but like the vampires it features, it keeps coming back from the dead.

Dark Shadows – Tainted Love is a Big Finish audio drama that returns us to this cult TV series. Big Finish are the go-to team to bring a well-loved TV series back to life, after all. The plot is appropriately soap opera-based. David Collins has taken control of the town’s factory and his friend Amy Jennings (now Amy Cunningham) is on hand to help him out and provide moral support. Both are recovering from the horrifying supernatural events detailed in the previous audio drama, Bloodlust. Their mutual friend Hallie arrives in the town, hot on the trail of a demon that possesses people and uses its victim’s passions to create havoc.

As this is an equal mix of supernatural action and soap-style drama, the three main characters pretty much form a love triangle straight away, with poor David Collins slap bang in the middle. Add to this the usual supernatural conspiracy, and the result is a compelling and entertaining listen.

The plot cleverly inserts itself into Dark Shadows canon. There are some rather smart references to previous adventures, beyond those produced by Big Finish. The play is lovingly filled with Easter eggs for hardcore fans. All of this is done without alienating new listeners; someone new to Dark Shadows will pick up the main themes pretty quickly and may well find themselves dragged into the drama.

The acting and production is of the high quality that we’ve come to demand of Big Finish. Kathleen Cody is particularly delightful as Hallie Stokes, reprising her role from the original TV series. Overall, if you ever wanted to get into Dark Shadows, this is a great place to start, especially if you ever wanted shows like The Archers to feature more ghosts. Fans will also be very pleased by this rather entertaining take on the show.

DARK SHADOWS – TAINTED LOVE / AUTHOR: DANIEL COLLARD / DIRECTOR: JOSEPH LIDSTER / STARRING: KATHLEEN CODY, ALEC NEWMAN, STEPHANIE ELLYNE, DANIEL COLLARD, SIMON KENT, ALEXANDRA DONNACHIE / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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