At Elizabeth's request, Matthew investigates Widow's Hill but reports he found no body, only seaweed.

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Victoria Winters (as Alexandra Moltke)
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At Elizabeth's request, Matthew investigates Widow's Hill but reports he found no body, only seaweed.

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5 September 1966 (USA)  »

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"The Light Plays Strange Tricks"
9 September 2011 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Recapping Friday's climax, Vicki (Alexandra Moltke) and Carolyn (Nancy Barrett) see a body washed up on the rocks below Widow's Hill. Back at Collinwood, Liz (Joan Bennett) tells Roger (Louis Edmonds) she's sure something has happened to the missing Bill Malloy, who has never missed a day of work. Returning, Vicki declares, "Out there, at the bottom of the cliff, there's a dead man!" Roger reacts uncomfortably. Liz sends Matthew (Thayer David) out to confirm Vicki and Carolyn's sighting, but he finds nothing. Vicki shares David's "crystal ball" prediction that Malloy would be found dead, and that Roger would be the murderer...

At this point, executive producer Dan Curtis and the "Dark Shadows" writers were probably planning to reveal Roger as Malloy's murderer, as originally outlined. This would make David's "crystal ball" a contender for the series' first definitive evidence of the supernatural. Note, the "ghostly sobbing" would eventually be explained; and, the reappearing "crystal ball" would come to represent David's thoughts - mostly accurate, but clouded by his desires.

Soon, it was decided to keep Mr. Edmonds with the show; originally, he was to have stumbled off Widow's Hill during an encounter with Vicki and David. Edmonds' "replacement" in the cast would have likely been an actor playing "Ned Calder". Frankly, Edmonds was too good to let go; he worked especially well in frequent scenes with Ms. Bennett, though their sister/brother relationship precluded romance.

While the first "crystal ball predictions" changed, an event in the next episode confirms that, at this moment, "Dark Shadows" would be featuring real "unexplained" supernatural occurrences. This was a big step, but the show's real promise was fulfilled with the introduction of an actual supernatural character - though not the one most remembered as the series' first. Late afternoon television viewers were in for a shock..

****** Dark Shadows 1966 ABC #51 (9/5/66) John Sedwick ~ Louis Edmonds, Joan Bennett, Alexandra Moltke, Thayer David...


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