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9 February 2012
30 April 2012
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Dress Me In Dark Dreams is an audiobook produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in April 2012.
"Now touch the mirror, and I will take hold of you.”
Collinwood in the nineteenth century is a lonely place. While her brothers experience the world, the young Judith Collins must stay and tend to her grandmother, Edith.
Judith, though, has secret dreams of romance. She sees herself dancing in a beautiful dress with a dashing stranger. But the man of her dreams is becoming steadily more real.
Soon Judith must fight for the man she loves. But should she, instead, have heeded the warning words of her bitter grandmother?
- Collinwood in the winter of 1874, a young woman stares out at the ocean. All the men of this sad house have gone out into the world to find fortune, fame and adventure. But one unhappy girl stays at home, she has just turned twenty-one. Once a happy occasion when a Collins woman would have had a ball in her honor. But on this night, Judith Collins is alone with nothing to look forward to but the drudgeries of a dutiful granddaughter.
A bell rings. Judith Collins responds to the call. She enters her grandmother, Edith Collins, room. Edith, in a disgruntled state decides she wants to read copy of the Lord Bryron’s Manfred as she last night had a dream containing lines from that poem. Judith tells her there is a copy in a bookcase at the far end of the west wing. Edith tells her to take her there.
In the west wing, they look for the book. Judith, on a ladder, notices that something is disturbing the books from behind. At that moment a crow flies out causing Judith to fall.
Edith checks to see if Judith is alright. She is. Judith notices that the bookcase is covering a door, she is curious as to what’s through there. The crow flies back though the bookcase, they follow it and find a ballroom; the walls are covered with mirrors. There’s another room that Edith doesn't seem to want Judith to go into. It is a bedchamber. Judith wonders what happened to the crow as it seems to have disappeared. There are more mirrors and behind them is a large wardrobe running the length of the room, containing many beautiful dresses. Judith selects a ball gown featuring a sapphire butterfly pin. Edith wants her to put the dress back; she declares she’d rip it to shreds if she had the strength, she slams the wardrobe door shut and a bit off a mirror breaks off cutting Judith’s hand. A couple drops of blood drip onto the copy of the book they were looking for, inside it contains a pressed butterfly.
Judith writes in her diary:
- Alas dear diary, after finally experiencing an incident worth recording I must conclude by noting a resumption of dreary normality. At last I retired Grandmother to her bed and have now escaped here to my own where dreams of something better might take hold of me. Dreams of…
She falls asleep; a voice of man speaks quoting the poem from earlier. She seems to awake and sees the man in her mirror. She decides to go the ballroom, she can hear music coming from inside. She goes inside, the man is in those mirrors too. She seems to be conversing with him, she thinks it a dream. She goes to the wardrobe and pulls out the dress from earlier. He asks her to put it on, she complies. He invites her to join him by stepping though the mirror, she does so and now stands before the man. They dance.
A bell rings. It’s morning, Judith wakes. Edith is summoning her who informs her she’s overslept. She suspects that Judith went back to the ballroom and warns her that there’s a terrible risk with what she’s flirting with. Judith tells her it's a risk she’s willing to take.
At the ballroom Judith calls out for the man in the mirror. He appears and informs her that he will not be trapped there very much longer. She starts to doubt whether she should be doing this. He speaks unfavorably of Edith describing her as old, decaying, loveless, and murderous to youth and passion. He tells Judith that she should ask Edith about the murderous part. He tells her to re-open the cut on her hand so that she can bleed on the mirror and come through to him. He pulls her through; there they discuss how her life is being wasted away at Collinwood. At her request, he tells her his name is Redmond Van Buren. They kiss.
Judith wakes. She realizes she’s overslept again, she runs to check on Edith. She finds her hiding behind the door in her bedroom. Edith wants Judith to look at herself the mirror. Judith seems reluctant but Edith struggles with her forcing her to look. Judith observes that she’s still wearing the ball gown. Edith suggests that the very thing that tempts Judith now put Edith in the condition she is in. Judith asks her if she’s ever heard of a man named Redmond Van Buren. Edith knows who he is and says that she saw another woman waltzing around in that dress and she saw her get what she deserved. They struggle again; Edith wants her to take the dress off. Judith falls back and breaks another mirror; she picks one of the shards up, seems confused for a moment and then declares that she ought to be with Redmond and not her grandmother.
Back at the ballroom Judith calls out to Redmond, she's in distress. She hears laughing coming from the mirrors, a woman can be heard tormenting Redmond about Judith. Redmond notices Judith; he tells Judith the woman is an old flame who is still very much alive. He tells her that he is dead and it was the woman that killed him. He tells her to unscrew the top end of the bed post, inside she finds knife, its the weapon used to murder him. He leads her to another part of the house; he can be seen in the mirrors around, the moment of his death is played before Judith. He points to a door that belonged to the woman's room. To Judith the door seems to be floating about, she can quite focus. She goes inside, the woman sleeps calling out for Redmond. He tempts and goads Judith to stab the woman with the knife. The woman wakes, it’s Edith, she pleads with Judith to stop. Judith seems to recognize Edith. Redmond declares Edith was his lover and murderer, she should kill her now. Judith wants to hear what Edith has to say, much to Redmond’s anger. A mirror smashes and Redmond disappears. Edith tells of how she was seduced by Redmond. Edith realizes she needs to finish him off for good this time.
They use an alternate route to go to the ballroom that has fewer mirrors. On the way they encounter the crow. It attacks them; they manage to set in on fire but it still flaps around in the air. In the ballroom Redmond appears and begins to taunt Edith. He tempts her with her youth again by showing her in the mirror what she used to look like. Edith starts to smash the mirrors in an attempt to destroy him. As she does so she cuts her hands and they start to bleed. He steps out of a mirror and announces he’s been made solid by the shedding of his murderers blood. He attempts to seduce Judith, as they kiss a buttery pin that is attached to her dress cuts into her. Judith destroys it and it kills Redmond. The ball gown Judith is wearing bursts into flame and with Edith's help Judith barely manages to get it off, suffering only minor burns. All the mirrors smash. They leave.
Back in Edith's room, Judith tends to the wounds on Edith's hands. They agree to seal the ballroom up. Judith goes back to it more time and disposes of Redmond’s body in the ocean. As she watches his body drift out to sea, she laments on what her own future will be at Collinwood.
- Terry Crawford as Edith Collins
- Amber Benson as Judith Collins
- James Unsworth as Redmond Van Buren
- Paris Campbell as Ballroom Guest
- David Johnson as Ballroom Guest
- Adenya Knight as Ballroom Guest
- Michael Salami as Ballroom Guest
Background information and notes
- Included at the end of this release are trailers for The Blind Painter, The Creeping Fog & The House By The Sea.
Bloopers and continuity errors
In the 1897 flashback of the original series, we meet an Edith Collins, Grandmama of the Collins family. However, later in the series when they travel back to 1840, Edith (also played by Terry Crawford ) is actually killed on screen and her dead body is seen for a while later before being buried. The true timeline of this audio drama is set before 1897 and importantly before Julia and Barnabas go back and change the events of 1840.