Friday, 4 October 2013
No, my admission is this - I have only seen one episode of the TV series Dark Shadows. I know, I know. I claim to love old telly, and am happiest wittering on about 70s sitcoms and 30s movies, Larry Grayson and Lon Chaney, Paula Wilcox and Louise Brooks, but I'm not what you'd call a major fan of old American telly. The references are lost on me, the laughter tracks are irritating and it's all too brightly lit.
So I came to 'The Flip Side' almost a DS virgin. True, I'd seen that one episode, though all it was missing was Joey from Friends, playing Dr Drake Ramory in a 'Days of Our Lives' style. And I listened to Mark Passmore's (also very enjoyable) preceding DS audio too. But that's it.
And you know what, dear reader, I loved it.
It helps that the story is self-contained and spooky, obviously, and so no previous knowledge was required. And obviously - like Mark's earlier audio - it helped no end that it was well written and directed, and moved along at a good pace. But it was the little things I liked most, the teasing suggestions of the thousands of episodes before this - the Leviathans, a planet covered in sand, parallel times and a jukebox which has played the same handful of songs for decades. It was evocative without crushing the listener under the weight of continuity, a skilfully rendered tapestry in the background against which an intriguing mystery takes place.
Recommended, even if your experience of Dark Shadows is 20 minutes of two charcaters standing talking in a cemetery...
You can buy it here.