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February 21, 1968
|We have 7 images of Dark Shadows 437|
- A seance has been held in the great house at Collinwood, a seance which has suspended time and space, and sent one girl on an uncertain and frightening journey into the past, back to the year 1795. Fear of the unknown has turned others against her, and placed her very existence in peril. And the forces of evil, which have surrounded her fate, now threaten a deadly end to her journey.
Peter Bradford has retrieved the Collins Family History Book and brings it to the jail where he tries to talk Victoria Winters into telling the truth at her trial. She doesn't think the judges will believe her but Peter says that it is the only chance they have left. She'll be convicted and hung unless the judges change their minds.
Reverend Trask and Nathan Forbes meet in the courtroom before the trial begins. Trask wants Nathan to testify again, this time claiming that Victoria had him under a spell. Nathan is appalled at the suggestion and refuses. Trask threatens to harm his military career and lets Nathan reconsider his decision. Victoria tells Peter how, as a child, she often had nightmares but would always be able to wake herself up. She becomes hysterical, convinced that this is all a dream although she is unable to wake herself now. Peter slaps her, then holds her until the jailer comes to take her to the courtroom.
Nathan is called to testify again. When Trask asks if it's true that he helped Victoria earlier because of his friendship with Barnabas Collins, Nathan changes his story. He tells the court that it is possibe that he had been bewitched. Peter cross-examines Nathan about the first time he met Victoria and how Nathan tried to kiss her. Peter suggests that Nathan helped Victoria because he was attracted to her, not because he was under a spell. Nathan is dismissed and Peter calls Victoria to the stand. She begins her testimony by stating that she was born in 1946.
Victoria describes how she was raised in a foundling home in New York. She left in 1966 to be governess to a boy named David Collins in Collinsport. She tells them she was in the drawing room at Collinwood and was knocked unconscious. When she awoke, she was at the Old House, 150 years in the past. She tells them that everyone, even Nathan Forbes, has a counterpart there. She also tells about the Collins Family History Book that she brought with her from the future while Peter presents the book as evidence. Peter finishes his examination of Victoria by asking if she is a witch. She denies the charge. Trask cross-examines Victoria about the events leading up to her unconsciousness. She is forced to tell Trask that she participated in a seance just before she was transported to 1795. Trask calls her a bride of the devil and declares that she must die.
The judges deliberate and after an hour they still have not reached a decision. While comforting Victoria, Peter declares his love for her. She says their situation is hopeless but Peter is not deterred. Nathan accuses Trask of blackmail but he claims he was showing him the error of his ways. Nathan has the urge to confess to the judges everything. The judges return; Nathan hopes Victoria is freed. The judges find her guilty of witchcraft and sentence her to be hanged until dead. Victoria collapses.
- Peter: Vicki, I wish I could tell you that the law was simply a matter of evidence, facts, proof... but it isn't. Emotions count.
- Victoria: I'm beginning to learn that.
- Peter: This is a frightened little village, so we have to show them that they have nothing to fear from you.
- Roger Davis as Peter Bradford
- Alexandra Moltke as Victoria Winters
- Jerry Lacy as Reverend Trask
- Joel Crothers as Nathan Forbes
- Hal White as 2nd Judge (uncredited)
- Tom Gorman as 3rd Judge (uncredited)
- ← Anthony Goodstone → as Bailiff (uncredited)
- Peter Murphy as Gaoler (uncredited)
Background information and notes
- The original color print of this episode is lost, however a black and white kinescope version exists.
- Hal White replaces Hansford Rowe in the role of 2nd Judge.
- The clock in the courtroom is an Aaron Willard clock. Aaron Willard was a Boston clock maker known for making relatively inexpensive clocks, inexpensive compared to other clock makers of the time, and as a result, his clocks were more affordable to the less wealthy. He manufactured clocks from 1785 to 1823.
- Victoria gives her year of birth as 1946.
- How incredibly dumb it is for Victoria to tell the court she attended a seance just before finding herself in the past. This practically guarantees a death sentence. Anyone in this situation would make up another story. Peter should be furious at her for stupidly ruining his case. (Stupid or not, some people actually believe in telling the truth when under oath.)
- TIMELINE: Day 176 takes place. Peter got the Collins family history book last night. The judges are going to deliver their verdict today. 2pm: Victoria in jail cell. It was the "other day" when Nathan testified, (occurred in 433). 5pm: An hour since the trial ended. 5:30pm: Verdict revealed.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- Victoria says she went to work as a governess at Collinwood in 1966. This is the first time that a year of 1966 has been mentioned in reference to the episodes aired in 1966, 1 to 135. There is no way to reconcile this as the on-screen passage of time indicate that that run of episodes take place over no more than a month, and as such can be presumed to be part of 1967, as it's the only way for the year to plausibly change from 1967 to 1968 after Victoria's return to the present considering no time passes in present whilst she is in the past. (It's common soap opera practice to match the date in synch with the real-world date, even though it rarely matches the time elapsed in the narrative. Viewers don't usually keep track of narrative elapsed time.)
- Peter Bradford is not very good at math. Victoria has just said that she came to Collinwood in 1966, then Peter says she was transported 150 years back in time. That would make the present year 1816, not 1795. Or if you consider that the seance took place in 1967, then it's 1817. In any case, the writers seem to be rather haphazard with the numbers they throw out. (People very often use round and approximate numbers while talking rather than having to do more complex arithmetic in their heads. 1966 is close to 1950, 1795 is close to 1800, so it is quite natural to round the time difference to 150 years.)