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October 8, 1970
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- The great house at Collinwood in the year 1840, where Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman hope to change the family's history, and thereby prevent the destruction of Collinwood in 1970. Here in the past, they find the people they expected to see, but the relationships so far are mysteriously different. Daphne Harridge makes a sudden appearance, and then even more suddenly, disappears. When and how will she become a part of the life at Collinwood? Barnabas and Julia are unaware that another member of the family, Desmond Collins, will learn the answers to these questions before they do. But at this moment, Desmond Collins is far more concerned with another matter. The mystery of a strange disembodied head.
At Rose Cottage, Desmond becomes more and more obsessed with the Head, who watches over Desmond when he has his back turned. Eventually, Desmond falls asleep and the Head tells him in a dream "you must help me."
Desmond wakes up and approaches the Head, asking where the voice came from. Flora enters the room, and is disturbed with the fact that now Desmond is talking to the Head. Flora asks Desmond to get rid of the Head, saying she can sense evil coming from it all over the house. Desmond appears to become temporarily possessed by the Head while talking to Flora, but he recollects himself when Flora invites him to Collinwood to help her reunite Daniel and Quentin. Desmond also tells Flora that he met a girl whom he thought was very pretty, and wonders if he will ever see her again.
At an undisclosed location, Daphne reads an entry from her diary. She confesses that she wants to use Desmond to get to Quentin, but was frightened by his attraction for her, and she doesn't want to become romantically involved. She wonders how she can find Desmond.
At Collinwood, Flora helps Daniel down the stairs and reunites with Quentin.
Quentin and Daniel are reunited, but he tells Daniel that Tad is in Boston for the time being. Quentin declares that Daniel must move out of the tower room and back to his old room. Flora and Quentin leave to attend to the move, and Daniel and Desmond talk about Ben's death. Their conversation turns to the Bedford Atrocities, which Daniel says was a series of murders in October of 1803 where each victim was found decapitated.
Later, Desmond goes to the Collinsport Star to find out more and finds Daphne working there.
Desmond gets papers from Daphne from October of 1803, and finds references to the murders and a Pagan head. He asks Daphne if he can borrow the papers, which she says is fine as long as he signs a form, but he ends up signing the form "Judah Zachery." Surprised at what has happened, he fabricates a story that he is a writer and that is his pen name. He later asks Daphne to dinner at Rose Cottage with Flora and Quentin, and she agrees to come.
Later that night, Desmond speaks with Daniel again and asks about Otis Greene, a man whose name he found in the papers he got from Daphne. Daniel tells him that Otis was a man who claimed responsibility for the Bedford murders, but he was possessed by a strange, disembodied head at the time. Daniel says he still lives on a farm nearby.
At Rose Cottage, Desmond tells the Head that tomorrow Otis will visit him and tell him everything he wants to know.
Daphne, Desmond, Flora and Quentin have dinner at Rose Cottage. Afterwards, Flora reads the tarot cards she got from Gerard. She draws the Moon, the Emperor and Empress inverted, and the Death card, which breaks up the party.
Later at Collinwood, Quentin reads a letter in front of the fireplace and then crumples it up.
Meanwhile, Daphne writes in her diary that tonight she has finally met the man she is going to kill.
- Daphne: Tonight, I have finally met the man that I am going to kill.
- Desmond: (possessed by Judah) I kept telling them! Death was an extension of life! I kept telling them that!
- Daniel (about Quentin): He hasn't changed a bit! I haven't been in his presence five minutes and already he's made me furious!
- Joan Bennett as Flora Collins
- Louis Edmonds as Daniel Collins
- David Selby as Quentin Collins (1840)
- John Karlen as Desmond Collins
- Kate Jackson as Daphne Harridge
- Michael McGuire as Judah Zachery
Background information and notes
- This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 1124.
- Closing credits scene: Office of the Collinsport Star.
- The set design layout for the newspaper office of the the Collinsport Star was originally used for the sheriff's office in the Collinsport of the 1960s (26).
- Daniel was 20 years old in 1803, meaning he was 12 years old in 1795.
- Daphne works for the Collinsport Star, the local newspaper. An edition from October 1803 has the headline "Fourth Bedford Victim Found"; another says "The Strange Case Of The Pagan Head!" The article reads:
- "Otis Greene, the man of mystery, today caused a furor in the county courthouse. Mr. Greene insisted the state imprison him for dealing with the devil's son and for the adoration of a pagan head.”
- The death of Ben Stokes is said to be very similar to a series of murders known as the Bedford Atrocities, in which a mysterious decapitated, disembodied head played a significant part. They occurred in the fall of 1803 within a short span of time; each victim was found decapitated. The newspapers of the time chronicled the details. There were four murders altogether, and a man named Otis Greene came forward and confessed to all four of them. He claimed to have been forced to commit these crimes by a mysterious disembodied head that took control of him. The authorities never found the head, and Greene claimed that a young handyman who worked for him had absconded with it. The young man denied the claim and left town not long after that. Apparently, he shipped out on a schooner. About a year later, he was killed in Macau; his throat had been cut so badly that his head was almost severed from the body, much like Ben's. Greene became so obsessed by his encounter with the head that he had to be committed to an asylum. He was released from the mental institution about ten years ago, and he is said to live a quiet life on a farm not far from Collinsport and now deals in antiques. He's old now but not too old to have forgotten his own strange tale about the disembodied head.
- Desmond was once in love with a girl named Carson.
- Flora says 'Daphne' is one of her favorite names, having named several of her heroines that, including the flower girl in her novel Love Song from the Hills.
- DREAM SEQUENCE: Desmond dreams of Judah imploring him to help (reprised from the previous episode).
- INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: Daphne: (reads diary); Desmond: (reads newspaper).
- TAROT CARDS: Flora: Moon, Emperor (inverted), Express (inverted), Death.
- TIMELINE: Quentin is attending dinner at 7pm tonight at Rose Cottage; Daphne is also invited. 8pm: Dinner is ready at Rose Cottage. 9:30pm: Flora does the tarot.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- The photo of the sunrise that's used as the establishing shot in Scene 1 hasn't been cleaned, and there is a hair stuck on it.
- At Rose Cottage, when Flora enters the front room and reacts to the head that Desmond was talking to, a boom mic pokes into view.
- Rather conveniently, Daphne is able to immediately find the editions of the Collinsport Star from nearly 40 years ago that Desmond is looking for. It's unlikely these would be stored in a small cabinet at the front desk.
- Joan Bennett's voice is rather hoarse in this episode, and she needs to clear her throat a time or two.