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I've only been on here sporatically lately, and had hoped to be on the last couple weeks.  Unfortunately, health issues have prevented that. (So much for the episodes I watched and took notes on to try and catch up with watching project.  [ghost_mad].) Haven't read any posts in ages, and won't have time to read any tonight.  In a little over three hours I'm to be at the hospital for major surgery. (Before anyone gets worried, it's major, but not uncommon: an abdominal hysterectomy due to fibroids which are massive to the point of the dr wanting everything removed ASAP.)

Bottom line is between the surgery and hospital stay itself, plus the drugs I'll be on plus post surgery exhaustion, I can't predict when I'll be up to reading and posting (this is me: I won't be able to read without wanting to post about SOMETHING <G>).

I'll be back as soon as I have the energy and brain cells (people can make up their own minds whether that's a promise or a threat!)


Watching History Channel while posting, and what should just come on but a special telling the stories of people who were in the WTC Marriott on 9/11.  Since the Fest was held there a few times, including just a few weeks prior to 9/11, I thought this might be of interest to the cousins.


Calendar Events / Announcements '09 I / Semi OT: Geocities is closing
« on: April 28, 2009, 12:24:18 AM »
I just got this news from a multifandom list.  I don't know offhand what DS sites and or DS Fanfiction sites may or may not use geocities.  However given the sites we nearly lost lately when AOL closed their webhosting, I  thought people would want to know about this.  Whoever uses them for webhosting might want to start looking around for a new home now, as they've given no definite date for the closure.  That would also give the readers amongst us time to save any favorite works from websites which are endangered.

Here's a link to a news article:

A poster on the same fanfiction oriented multifandom list indicated that a group called The Organization for Transformative Work, is offering help and assistance to people looking for new homes for their fanfiction/fanfiction archives.  Here's a link with more information:


Current Talk '09 I / Semi OT spotting of the round couch from 1897
« on: April 17, 2009, 03:19:47 AM »
Kept forgetting to post about this till I had shut down the computer, but finally today I remembered in time (which surprises me after a 14 hr day at work).

In 1897 there's an unusual round couch with a high back that we see in the Old House.  If the color is accurate, it seems to be a lilac color.  Quentin was sitting on it during a recent (to those keeping up with Watching Project) scene with Angelique.

This dates back to the trip to Washington, and my visit to the National Gallery.  I went in the main entrance, checked out Civil War era portraits and headed down the corridor which led to both Revolutionary era materials and their special, temporary, Lincoln exhibit.

What should I see at the beginning of the corridor but a light grey version of the same couch.  Yes, I sat on it.  [ghost_grin].  But, since photography is strictly forbidden in that area, I don't have any pictures of the wandering prop to share.   [ghost_sad]

Any other cousins been there and seen this?


As I've said elsewhere on the boards, I attended the final performance of The Heavens are Hung in Black. I just got home from Washington last night. Since I return to work tomorrow, I know I won't have a completed piece on the trip ready for my website any time soon.  So, I did a really short account of the last performance and am posting it here in the interest of timeliness.

From  the moment I decided to go see The Heavens are Hung in Black,  I knew that if I could work it out, I wanted to attend the final performance.  Final performances always have something special.  Knowing it IS the last time they will play those roles, actors across the board want to knock it out of the park, so even an outstanding play and performances will hit an even higher level.

This final performance was all I expected it to be. From the opening notes of music, the lights going up to reveal a Lincoln in tears over his dead son, Willie, to the final line, a quote from the Emancipation Proclamation, the cast created true stage magic.  They knew the play, and knew where the reactions would be, and was adjusting their timing accordingly to cover laughs and other audience reactions. Each and every actor in this production, from the lead down to the kids, played reactions, gestures, tone, volume and other stage “business” slightly differently for every performance -- as true professionals do.  The script is of course the same, and the marks the actors must hit the same, but the differences in actions triggering different reactions is what makes live theater so interesting.

Selby, as before, has filled Lincoln’s “socks – size extra extra long” (as his secretary, Hay, describes a gift to Lincoln) to absolute perfection.  No holes, no seams, no darning – just a perfect fit.  Clearly a lot of hard work and research had to have gone into achieving this perfect fit, but none of that shows on stage.  There is only a man named Lincoln reacting naturally to the circumstances he is experiencing.

The audience, too, were eagerly collaborating in that special interaction between actors and audience that makes a play unique.  Applause, laugher, rapt interest were all there as the audience eagerly went along with the cast on their journey.  There was complete silence in the theater with the exception of the events on stage.

“…now and forever, FREE.”  A moment of silence as the stage went dark, and the audience burst into applause.  The applause continued, then the first set of actors came out for their bows.  The second set came out, and people started standing as they applauded.  Then Dr. Selby came out, and the applause became louder and louder, and those not yet standing stood to give him a standing ovation.  Everyone bowed and bowed again, Selby gestured to acknowledge his cast mates, and as the applause went on and on he blew kisses to the crowd and kept mouthing thank you.  He was visibly very touched by the tribute, and looked as if he was crying.  I had wondered beforehand whether anyone would make a speech after the play,but no.  And I doubt that Selby could have spoken anyway at that point.

Though the audience kept clapping for some time, the actors never returned for another curtaincall (another difference between this and the previews, where there had been two curtaincalls at both performances I attended.)

By sheer serendipity I didn’t leave the theater right away, but made a stop in the ladies then sat on a bench right outside. I needed a moment to decompress and come out of the reality of the play, especially since I was planning to go from there to the Pentagon Memorial.  I hadn’t sat more than a few moments when I suddenly saw, from the corner of my eye,  a frockcoat approaching me from the hallway.  Dr. Selby, still in costume, leant down, took my hand and thanked me for coming, then continued on to talk to others who had gathered in the lobby to wait for him.  He took me completely by surprise, so I was just thankful I didn’t slip and call him Mr. Lincoln – and that my grandmother ingrained my manners well enough that I complimented him on the performance without needing to think about it.


Seems like this might be a good time to add to this topic.  On the way back from DC this evening, I made the time to do a drive by on the Newark Renaissance Hotel.  DLA75 gave us a great selection of pictures
2009 DS Festival Hotel Preview -- Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
but I'd like to add some information to put the geography in perspective so everyone can make informed decisions.

A lot of Media and Science Fiction conventions use the Newark Airport Hotels, probably for the same reason as the Fest:  they're near the city, but cheaper, and also have airport shuttle service to what is usually the most reasonable of the NYC airports to fly into.  However, looking at the location and comparative locations of amenities left me wondering at the choice of THIS particular hotel.  [scratch] [hdscrt] Pity they seem to have a one track mind about Marriotts.  The Ramada and the two Holiday Inns have long experience with conventions, and both the rooms and the restaurants are much more suited to a fan's budget. [squeeze]

There are only the two hotels here in this location, surrounded by a down at heel area in what is a rough part of Elizabeth/Newark.  (Friends in Jersey City and Bayonne have confirmed that this is known as a bad area.) The main drag, 1 & 9, is not really designed for walking, and the two directions of traffic are divided by a concrete wall (known locally as Jersey barriers). The distances given are a big help, and I'm assuming DLA75 based them on where the openings are in the Jersey barriers to cross the streets.  Bottom line is that the best thing people attending the Fest could do is to plan around needing to use the hotel restaurant or restaurants (I don't remember if the one next door also has a restaurant, but I would assume so, given the area) more than most fans usually would.   [sour]

For those with cars, the restaurants shown are very close by car. (I recommend Perkins, as I've eaten there on trips through PA.  If you're not familiar with them, they're along the line of something like Bob Evans.)  Getting back to the hotel may be a nuisance; as the road is divided by the concrete barriers, and the restaurants are on the OTHER side of 1&9, you will have to go way out of your way to find a place where you can reverse direction.  You might also want to look at bringing basic groceries for snacking/meals, and maybe take one meal a day at the pricier restaurant.

Wish I had a better opinion, but since people are starting to plan NOW, I thought it would be better to warn people that their food costs will be a great deal higher than they usually are -- and their choices a lot more limited. [sad5]


Thought this might be the best place to announce that I have updated my DS Festpictures site with some Burbank pictures.

This is only a first installment; the bulk of my pics were taken with my roomie's digital,as  hers had a FAR better zoom than my point and shoot digital, and the old SLR with megazoom is getting harder and harder for me to use with my injuries. So, my apologies in advance that some of the shots are not what they should be.  However,I do have decent shots of Mr.Frid, and a lot of Robert Cobert which came out well. When I get the disk with the rest of the shots, I will be posting an update notice.

FYI at the same URL you will find pictures from Fests dating back to2003,as well as avaliable light shots of many of the plays such as Return to Collinwood and The House. I also posted after play photos and a review of Lara Parker in Mrs. Scrooge in NYC this past December.

The url for that site is:

I also do a fansite dedicated to reviews of David Selby's various works. I'm a bit behind on that at the moment, but the review of Lincoln's Better Angel is up. I hope that this will shortly be followed by completed versions of some of the reviews currently in progress.  The home page is at:

Not sure if I am unnecessarily duplicating here,but both the URLs are both in my signature below. (Sorry, but although I've had the sites for a while, I'm new to advertising them this way.)


I was minding my own business this morning, watching CBS Sunday Morning while I ate and did laundry. At the end of the show when they do the Bill Geist feature,my eyes got a shock.   [yikes]

The feature was on oddball sports which should have been in the Olympics, so as a departure point he was doing the intro from Chinatown in NYC.  What caught my eyeballs was what he was wearing in that pickup shot (and ONLY that pickup shot).

It was the twin brother of  Quentin's infamous eyespraining orange plaid sportsjacket from PT 1970.  [faint2]

Two scary points to ponder: I believe the news division wears their own clothes -- and I was told a long time ago that at one point  (80s and/or earlier) actors in contemporary soaps (esp.males) were asked to wear their own clothes too.

Alas, I've been looking on line and I can't find either a still or a vid of the infamous jacket's comeback to share.



Current Talk '08 II / Why do we love 1897?
« on: August 03, 2008, 09:13:59 PM »
1897 is always named as one of the most popular storylines. So, what is it about 1897 that connects with so many people? 

For me, it's the way everything gels.  Admittedly there's scads of period goofs big enough to drive the Deathstar through -- but the tone and FEEL of the period overall is spot on.  At least most of the time, the characters' attitudes are too. You BELIEVE these characters,weird and supernatural as their experiences may be, as a wealthy family of the late Gilded Age along with those who moved within their circle.

Most of the characters are extremely well detailed and interesting (though that falls apart a bit near the end),as well as being a nudge nudge wink wink to stock characters in classic Victorian melodrama: The stuffy, humorless and not too bright elder brother, the bright and competant old maid sister, victimized by a charlatan in the end, the charming Byronic wastel and rapscallion who ends up collecting the wages of his sins, and the eccentric brother underestimated by all -- and in the end, mourned by none. Outside of the family you have the innocent young governess,menaced by the evil priest in name only, the gypsy grifters who are more than they seem, and the obligatory mad wife in the attic. Finally, there's the aristocratic lady's maid (though they didn't always show it in her range of duties, they seem to be acknowledging that a ladies maid was normally an educated woman from a good family who had lost their money, forcing her into needing to work),who, against her better instincts fell in love with the rapscallion,and who had to die in the end as "punishment" for sleeping with him outside wedlock.

Of course, that's just the cliff notes version. As we all know, the writers  and actors  ran with the stock characters and turned them into someone unique to the storyline and the show. Another was intelligent writing.  They didn't talk down to the audience, but ASSUMED  that people had enough of a solid basic education (I call it that because I have to think hard to think of any novel they stole from that wasn't required reading in Elementary School, Jr.High or High School) to know of the works, and understand when they were being tweaked.

They also took risks,such as the Petofi bodyswap storyline, trusting again that their audience would "get it".  (Though those who weren't familiar with written science fiction or shows like Twilight Zone and Outer Limits might have found it a stretch.

Then there's the lynchpin character,Quentin, himself. Most people I know who like the storyline are those who -- perhaps "like" is the wrong word, as he can be very unlikeable at certain points in the story --  but enjoy the character and watching his progression, his "hero's journey" so to speak.  But, do you HAVE to like him to enjoy the storyline? I'd like to get some opinions on that.

For all that Quentin is dismissed as a self absorbed, one dimentional drunk and a consciousless womanizer,the character also shows a great deal of depth  and complexity in many scenes. One that comes to mind is when cynical,doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself Quentin has a scene with Edward where he tells Edward he has just come from his son's grave, and confronts Edward (seeming at one point on the verge of tears.These can't  be blamed on drunkenness, as he is clearly cold sober.) desperately asking Edward WHY he considered Quentin so far beyond the pale that he didn't even deserve to know he had children. Edmonds and Selby just shone in that scene, one of the two that permanenly hooked me on the show.

So,I've babbled on long enough on this overlong post. Who else has an opinion to share?


In working my way through back messages from the beginning of the year, I see someone posted about the DS mention in the Dracula Documentary on Set Three of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  However, theres another DS item of interest on the set. 

First off a cliff notes explanation of the series: it was conceived by Lucas originally as a way to use the character of Indy to interest young people in history, particularly the history of the first part of the 20th C.  (For any of the teachers on the board who might need to cover the WWI era, this series has some of the BEST, most realistic explanations of the history and the slaughter of such battles as the Somme.  You might want to check out the DVDs as a teaching tool -- I know during the original run there was an accompanying teacher's guide with lesson plans, etc.)   [book2]

The DVD sets were all released with documentaries keyed to particular episodes, giving more information on the time period and the historical figure or figures who were involved in the plot. Set Three has the Post WWI episodes. The documentary which accompanies the Paul Robeson episode (The Winds of Change, on Disk 4 of the set) is Alexandra Molktke Isles "Scandalize My Name" (one of a grouping of documentaries on disk 5 of the set).

So, if anyone hasn't seen this documentary, and is interested in doing so, you can rent it on this disk of the Volume Three Box set.  Hopefully  people will want to see the episode as well, and roadtest a really well done and underappreciated series which, like the DS remake, fell victim to the double whammy of musical time slots and the Gulf War. [sad6] [8311] [bawling2]


Thought those looking to fill holes in their dvd collection would want to know about this.  Barnes and Noble is having a buy one get one free sale on their TV boxed sets.

 They have a few, but not all of the DS sets included in the sale.  As of right now the site shows these sets avaliable: 10,  18, 20,  21, 23, 24, 25,26
With the buy one get one free, and free shipping, in addition to the additional discount you get if you're in their club, my dvds cost about $27 per set.  Only catch is no matter how many sets you buy only ONE comes free.

I got mine in three days or so, so delivery is pretty quick.  Site doesnt say how long sale will be, just the normal disclaimer on "while quantities last".

Hope this helps people fill holes at a good price.


I was surfing channels early this morning and (as usual) hit this in progress, this time on BlackStarz. I've seen it multiple times, but always in progress from different starting points.  (I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't caught it.)  Though I have this channel, it's NOT in my cable guide to know when something is on. [hall2_tongue]

Anyway, in watching the closing credits I saw something interesting.  A production assistant named VICKI MOLTKE.  Needless to say that made me curious.  Anyone have any idea who this (I assume) relative of Alexandra (Moltke) Isles is?

Current Talk '06 II / Period Costuming in Dark Shadows
« on: July 06, 2006, 12:19:01 AM »
One thing that's always struck me with the period timelines in DS is the costuming.  I've been involved with costuming fandom, have recreated both historic and movie costumes, and their costuming never fails to impress me with its accuracy, especially given the tight budget the production ran on.

In 1795, Naomi's costumes were spectacular.  And the other characters, too wore dresses and other clothing which might not have been, if torn apart, 100% period, but they without exception gave the right feel for the period in which they were used. (Needless to say we close our eyes to the visible zippers in the back of all the period dresses -- that's necessary on stage too, for changes that don't take a period accurate amount of time to make!)

1897 - again, with the possible exception of Magda (and after all, who DOES know what the well dressed gypsy was wearing in Maine in those days >:D), the costumes were just so right.  Even the hair, most of the time, was spot on (though you do wonder when Beth the sleepless marvel found the TIME to do that elaborate hairstyle on herself.  Maybe the one thing she refused to give up from her previous life before she had to become a servant?)

Even 1840, headache causing though it is for continuity, got the period right, as did 1841 right down to Julia's OOGLY beyond OOGLY striped dress.

My only gripe, in total, was the men didn't wear hats "outdoors" near as much as they should have been.

So, anyone interested in discussing the costuming or their favorite costumes?

I was doing some playing around yesterday with some signature tags that I had forgotten I had.  I have seen graphics, most often site banners, as part of various cousins' signatures when they post, so I tried to put one of the tags in my signature in my profile -- and failed miserably.  [7385] (I already have an avatar uploaded, so its not that location I am talking about, but a graphic included with my signature at the bottom of each message.)

I'm not very graphics savvy (my websites are built with the provider's site building tool) though I can clean up photos using various programs.  I tried to insert the file via a copy and paste (ctl c ctrl v). Could someone please let me know what it is I'm  doing wrong? (The graphic is saved as a paint shop pro file if this helps one way or the other.)

Any suggestions are gratefully and grovellingly appreciated. [beg]

Current Talk '06 I / Scenes you know HAD to have happened
« on: June 17, 2006, 10:30:55 PM »
Have you ever been watching DS and you realize that in the storyline you're watching, there is something that is set up, you know the scene HAD to have happened within the reality of the show, but it's never shown or even referred to?  AngeliqueWins/Judy and I compare notes on these a lot, what with our various stories; hers set in 1840 and mine in 1897.  I thought it would be interesting to compare notes and see how many people here have had the same experience.

Here's a couple of mine, both from 1897:

1) After Quentin finds out about his children.  He mentions in the later scene with Edward that he has just come from his son's grave.  Whether it was Magda, or, more likely Beth that took him there , I can't see him not piecing it together and realizing Beth knew and didn't tell him (For all Quentins myriad faults, he's VERY quick on the uptake -- the Lilachead he mutated into in of summer of 70 not withstanding.)  [flower] There had to be one seriously ugly scene between them, maybe even at the baby's grave itself.  And I am wracking my brain on this, but, without going back to the eps to confirm this, I believe that we didn't see her for a good while after that.  And that  sometime in here is when Amanda Harris first turned up.  Such a scene might even explain Beth's going from a strong and interesting character to one who cried all the time.  Guilt can do some really funky things to people. [cryg]

2) We know that Jamison told Q he hated him after the Beth and Angelique business, and that he wasn't able to make things right before the Petofi takeover.  Can't see Petofi bothering.  So, can you just IMAGINE the scene between Jamison and Quentin after the boy is told of Beth's death? (If Trask knew she was dead when he saw her ghost, apparently the whole family knew somehow from someone that she had died.) [Ghost00]

OK, there's some of mine to start the ball rolling.  Anyone else want to play?

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