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Messages - Gothick

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6586
Current Talk '02 I / Re: PRIMARY PROP
« on: April 17, 2002, 09:16:41 PM »
Interesting topic.  Unlike many fans, I've never felt the impulse to own Josette's music box, Barnabas' ring or his cane, though the latter is VERY cool and magickal.

What I did crave and demanded until my own set was given to me were Magda's tarot cards (I didn't realize that they were originally owned by the Countess du Pres until many years after the run of the original broadcast).  I went to the library, checked out Eden Gray's tarot books, and made my own traced copies of the major arcana cards until I got my own deck as a Christmas present in 1970.  The deck I was given was the "IJJ" Swiss one (so called because of the Jupiter and Juno cards that are said to be unique to this deck), which was the same one used by Magda.  Back in the Sixties, it was still very difficult to find tarot cards.  I really wanted a Pamela Colman Smith (aka "Rider Waite") deck because I loved the images so much, but had to wait until just a few years ago when I finally bought one for myself.

Other props I loved on the show were the painted Egyptian-looking coffer that held Count Petofi's hand (and was often glimpsed on an end table in the upstairs corridor in the present-day episodes), the Naga box, Laura's scarab, and, of course ... THE AFGHAN!!!

Does Cassandra Collins' wig collection count as a prop?  That would be on my list, too.

Gothick

6587
Current Talk '02 I / Re: E.A. Poe and DS
« on: April 17, 2002, 07:24:04 PM »
The Vincent Price vehicles inspired by various tales of Edgar Allan Poe should be required viewing for all DS fans.  Even when the actual plots weren't borrowed for the series, there are always scenes or just an atmosphere that are strongly reminiscent of life at Collinwood.

I recommend the House of Usher, The Tomb of Ligeia, and The Masque of the Red Death, in addition to the Pit and the Pendulum.

There is actually a film version of the Cask of Amontillado (btw back in the 70s you could still get lovely smooth Amontillado bottled by Harvey's).  You haven't lived till you've seen Vincent Price and Peter Lorre play out this story. I think it was one of the segments in an omnibus film titled Tales of Terror.

Has anyone ever heard the old records of Basil Rathbone reading Poe stories and poems?  Wonderful stuff.  I wish Jonathan Frid would put out a CD of readings from Poe.  Such a divine voice.

Gothick

6588
Current Talk '02 I / Re: Noah
« on: April 17, 2002, 04:26:17 PM »
Wow, I'd forgotten that Craig had diabetes.  I believe I had read it somewhere, can't recall where.  I lost an online friend to that illness last year. Please forgive me if I hit a nerve with my crass comments.  I'm just cheap white trash from Chesapeake Bay country.

At least Cheryl you have the consolation that Craig isn't forgotten since his performances are currently on the air.   He'll have some new fans at this year's DS Festival!

Best wishes,

Steve

6589
Thanks for sharing these memories, Raineypark. I surely hope others enjoyed them as much as I did.  I'm glad it gave you pleasure to recount them!

Wish Sharon Gless could finagle a role for John Karlen on Queer as folk!  Maybe he could play a friendly cousin of her character and her brother's.

Steve

6590
Current Talk '02 I / Re: Noah
« on: April 16, 2002, 08:54:34 PM »
Jennifer, he was licking his lips because he kept noticing how TIGHT Big Nathan's trousers were!  hee hee!

Wasn't there a character on Hogan's heroes who wore one of those little caps like Noah had?  He looked really cute in that little hat.

Now I'm thinking of him as "Keebler Cookie Elf Noah"!

Steve the terminally silly

6591
Current Talk '02 I / Re: Tapes Or DVD?
« on: April 16, 2002, 08:51:14 PM »
A friend made a video for me of some of the episodes of the Judy Garland Show (from 1963) released on DVD.  Even with the transfer in format, these episodes looked fantastic. It's exciting to think that the DS episodes could look this great!

That said, I still think that 60 bucks for 4 weeks of episodes is about 30 bucks too much (and I'm talking retail here!).

It would be interesting to see sales figures a few weeks into the DVD release, but I don't expect MPI to make them available.  We'll know if the DVD series is a success if they keep issuing them.  Staying on schedule would help.

Gothick

6592
Current Talk '02 I / Re:  Adding some Special Effects
« on: April 16, 2002, 07:02:59 PM »
Count me among those of the "less is more" school as far as special effects are concerned.

I think why I keep going back to DS is because the fact that it is basically live theatre on tape gives it an edgy quality and dynamism that makes it unique.  As I've said elsewhere, it creates its own category.

Entertainment today has become all about effect.  Substance has gone by the wayside.  One of the many reasons I feel strongly not in favor of remaking DS is that the kind of theatricality that made it so colorful and so compelling is no longer permitted in media entertainment, except for a small handful of visionary directors (Todd Haynes comes to mind as one).

Plus, the squeaky little toy bats are just so damned cute.

Gothick

6593
Agree with you about this, Vlad.  I generally use terms such as "daytime drama," "Gothic serial," or "cult daytime series."  If I'm being flip or using verbal shorthand however, I will refer to it as a "Gothic soap opera" (or variation upon that).

I do think it created its own category, and it broke nearly every rule about what was supposed to be done on soaps.  Ironically I have read that the popularity of DS was responsible for the creation of a whole new type of publication, soap opera magazines.  The first one of these was Afternoon TV and it certainly did feature DS very heavily in its early years.

As I recall it, there was a lot of ambivalence towards DS in the industry.  I think actors found it an exciting opportunity because they got to do such different kinds of work on the series.  I think a lot of the people behind the camera, producers, directors and such, were baffled by it, though.  In the Sixties pop culture, genres and such did not have the kind of media acceptance that they do today.  Contrast the press Buffy the Vampire Slayer has enjoyed with typical media reporting of DS back in the Sixties (e. g., the Cleveland Amory review in TV guide).  Most critics and reporters simply failed to get the show at all.

Gothick

6594
Current Talk '02 I / Re: REDRUM REDRUM
« on: April 16, 2002, 06:32:51 PM »
This was hysterical!  It's been close to ten years (maybe more) since I last saw these shows, though I have them on tape.  Reading your hilarious comments really makes me want to take them down and look at them again.  Thayer must have had a blast in those tavern scenes.

Looking forward to future comments from you, Henry. And your little dog too!  Arf!

Steve

6595
Current Talk '02 I / Re: DS LAW
« on: April 16, 2002, 05:00:23 PM »
I'd choose Frank Garner, just for the excuse to take him out to dinner, get him lightly toasted and try to have my way with him.  What a honey!

I don't think one could be optimistic about encounters with the law in DS-land, given how loopy all those trials are!  

Steve

6596
Current Talk '02 I / Re: Grading Grayson
« on: April 16, 2002, 04:15:41 PM »
Since I have an innate dislike for rankings, gradings, and those ENDLESS top 10 lists with which our media industrial military entertainment complex insists upon saturating us, I'll simply comment upon Grayson's different roles.  I cherish every moment she was on the screen ... words spoken from the heart.

Dr. Julia Hoffman--the first role I saw her in as a child in 1968, and I instantly fell under her spell.  Never had seen anyone like her before, and there never will be another like her again.  My sister used to get annoyed by her distinctive "Julia" way of chopping up a sentence--note that that is JULIA's way of speaking, not Grayson's, because in other roles she didn't do this.  I often wonder whether Grayson actually knew a woman doctor (or academic?) who spoke in this peculiar manner and based Julia's speech patterns upon her.  Even as a child I loved her way of speaking; it turned even the most banal statements into little bits of poetry, to my ears.  I also loved Julia's movements, a unique mixture of awkwardness and grace, that seemed to embody a rare spirit of courage, tenacity, and feistiness.  I can't help thinking of Julia when Bob Costello described Grayson as "a gutsy broad" (and made it quite clear that that was also a description that came from the heart--he really doted on her).

Magda was Grayson's favorite role, and I'm often amazed by the subtle moments she weaves into the brash, extravagant, proud gestures, the fiery speeches, the deft put-downs, the peppery bits of Rom wisdom.  Sam came up with the role of Magda, one fan who knew the family told me, because Grayson actually had Rom bloodlines in her heritage.

Natalie is wonderful to watch because Grayson played this kind of role onstage so much (and, incidentally, Magda may have had a bit of her 1962 role in The Buskers in her).  She could have easily let Natalie's humane wit and emotionality get lost in those huge costumes, those endless bits of business with the tarot cards, beauty marks, and so on, but from start to finish, you never forget that Natalie is a woman with a fierce loyalty to her family and her own unique code of conduct.  

I personally think that some of Grayson's finest acting on the series was in her scenes as housekeeper Julia Hoffman in Parallel Time 1970. What Stuart said about her performance as Carlotta is even more true of her work as Hoffman; for some reason I like Hoffman better as a character, perhaps because they were not able to excise Hoffman's essential attachment to Angelique (in the NoDS film, it is Carlotta's physical body that enables Angelique to materialize in this world, and whenever Angelique and Quentin make love, she feels their passion within her own being--these scenes were cut from the final version of NoDS).

My favorite scenes of PT Julia Collins (1841) were the very early ones at the tail end of the 1840 storyline.  I loved seeing G with long hair, and I thought it would have been more interesting if she had played the Matriarch as seemed to be suggested by the fact that she was originally "MISSUS Collins."  In the actual PT 1841 storyline, I liked her scenes with Kendrick (John Karlen) best because both actors seemed to be on the same page, and G got to play Julia's genuine desire to keep her niece from getting hurt.

Constance was hardly more than a walk-on, but she did have a bit of fun with it.  I enjoyed seeing her in the costume and do (even if it seemed completely wrong for 1660--oh well!).

Goddess, what a screed!  I did try to avoid posting to this topic ... now you see why ...

Gothick

6597
Current Talk '02 I / Re: Quick Question--Bookcase Hidden room
« on: April 15, 2002, 11:06:34 PM »
Hi darling,

Since nobody else has replied, I'll tell you what I remember.  Unfortunately I haven't seen most of 1795 in years--the one time I watched it from start to finish was when I was living in New Haven back in 1991-92.  And that is ten years ago.

I think they first use the Old House drawing room Secret Room (behind the bookcase) in this storyline in episodes that are coming up next week.  In other words, during the concluding arc of 1795.

Of course the bookcase Secret Room was first used in the series in 1966 in the Matthew Morgan storyline.

It gets used in each storyline after that, I believe.  In 1897, Greggie Trask and Crazy Eddy find the room using Joshua Collins' blueprints for the Old House, stored in the Collins family Library at Collinwood.

Best,

Steve

6598
Current Talk '02 I / Re: Don Juan
« on: April 15, 2002, 11:01:23 PM »
Hahaha Jennifer!  Well, if I were Carolyn, it wouldn't be Chris' NECK I would be feasting upon, if you know what I mean ...!

And Henry, I believe that in the 1990 interview in Fangs for the Memories, they actually asked Don whether anyone had suggested he play that scene sans pj BOTTOMS! (dreaming & sighing)

Best,  Gothick

6599
Thanks for that info, Raineypark.  I've never had the chance to research Karlen's career, so I was unaware that he was doing "Roses" at that point in '67.  Do you remember much about his performance? Makes one long for the existence of a time machine (or at least a videotape!).

It's always a treat watching Karlen.  His scenes with Grayson were a special highlight during the final "PT 1841" storyline (which otherwise I found rather heavy going).  Fascinating that he already knew in Nov. of 1967 that he was going to be returning to DS.  Glad to hear that they let him know that the welcome mat was still out.

Any news of Karlen's current activities?  He's such a great guy.  I wish him nothing  but the best.

Steve

6600
Wonderful comments as always, Luciaphil.  I haven't watched these shows in several years, so I won't add any of my own comments--the memories are far too vague.

I'd be surprised if Ben Stokes were ever intended as a John Karlen role.  In the 1970s fan gathering interview Nancy so kindly posted, Karlen mentioned that DC had plans for a big story arc involving Willie in '67 when Karlen had to opt out of the series due to another commitment (not at all sure what that was).

He was presumably brought back in 1968 due to deluges of fan mail demanding the return of Willie.  I can't think of anything else that would make DC interested in having him come back. It's interesting how closely they read the fan mail back in those days, given that today's TV shows seem to completely ignore fannish reactions.   Don Briscoe was brought back as a regular due to the fan mail response.  I have even heard one fan who was around in the old days recalling a fan picket line demanding the return of the actor to the series back in 1968!

Gothick

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