|Return to Collinwood|
September 1, 2003
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Return to Collinwood was a stage play first performed at the 2003 Dark Shadows Festival, it was later adapted as an audio drama released by MPI Home Video.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
In this all-new, one-hour forty six minute audio drama, the original cast reunites for the first-ever sequel to the classic Gothic suspense television series Dark Shadows.
Following the passing of matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, family and close friends gather at the great estate of Collinwood for a seance to contact her spirit. The wandering Quentin Collins returns from South America after an unsuccessful search for the clan's youngest heir, David Collins. As mysteries surrounding the Collins family unfold, including the reading of Elizabeth's will, the future of Collinwood is threatened with the unexpected arrival of Cassandra Collins. Alias Angelique, the immortal witch, Cassandra shares a secret with Quentin about each other's dark, supernatural pasts. Quentin's girlfriend, Maggie, finds herself looking for answers to the strange and frightening events unravelling around her.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
- The sun rises once again on the house on the hill. Collinwood wakes to a new day. Many changes have come to the house and to those who reside therein, as the years of time have swept by. The old guard has fallen to the onward rush of time, and a new generation has risen to take control of the Collins legacy. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has passed away joining her brother Roger who died only two years earlier. Elizabeth Stoddard's daughter Carolyn now finds herself the reluctant leader of the clan. Following Elizabeth's last wishes, a summons has been sent out to gather the family and those close to them for the reading for Elizabeth's will. The wanderer Quentin Collins, at last tired of his travels, returned to the family fold some years ago and made Collinwood his home once more. To fulfill Elizabeth's request, he headed south the high mountains of Peru to search out Carolyn's long absent cousin David and bring him home. Despite his best efforts, Quentin's journey has ended without success and he returns to Collinwood alone.
Maggie Evans meets Quentin Collins at the train station.
Quentin and Maggie enter Collinwood to be greeted by Ned.
The voice of Angelique Bouchard calls out to Carolyn. Maggie enters startling Carolyn. Maggie is impressed by the portrait of a mysterious blonde woman with piercing eyes that Carolyn has been working on. Once Maggie leaves, Angelique instructs Carolyn that Maggie and the others are not to be trusted and should be destroyed if they interfere with their plans.
Quentin, Maggie, Carolyn and Ned finish eating dinner. Carolyn and Ned retire to bed and Maggie departs for her job at Windcliff Sanitarium.
Willie discovers a package hidden along with an envelope addressed to him behind a section of wall in the Old House.
Maggie visits a comatose Sebastian Shaw at Windcliff. After she departs, the voice of Angelique awakens him with an offer of help if he does her bidding. He agrees.
Carolyn hysterically wakes from a nightmare in which a woman was shot.
Willie and Jessica arrive at Collinwood. Mrs. Franlkin sends them through to the drawing room.
Ned greets Willie and Jessica; along with Carolyn, Quentin and Maggie. They will be holding the seance to contact Elizabeth as per the instructions of her will.
In the study, Carolyn conducts the seance as the clock chimes 8pm. The air in the room suddenly falls cold. They call out to the spirit. Carolyn becomes frenzied; she has in fact gathered them to summon Angelique. Angelique makes her presence known, victoriously announcing her return from the dead. Carolyn cries out and faints. They stop the ceremony and Carolyn recovers seemingly with no memory what just happened. Maggie takes her to bed. Quentin and Ned discuss the identity of the woman they just contacted. They realize it was not that of Elizabeth.
Dr. Harper surveys the aftermath of the seance with Ned. Harper suspects that Carolyn deliberately sabotaged the ceremony.
Maggie brings Dr. Harper to check on Carolyn, who is in great spirits.
Quentin and Maggie show Dr. Harper the tower room in which Carolyn has been using to paint the mysterious portrait. Quentin reveals its subject is Angelique.
Sebastian arrives at the Old House and attacks Jessica.
Dr. Harper discuss Angelique's role in the Collins family histories with Quentin. Maggie enters with news that Sebastian has escaped from Windcliff, followed by Ned and Mrs. Franklin who announces the arrival of a another Collins family member.
Angelique, posing as Cassandra Collins, gets acquainted with Quentin, Carolyn, Ned and Dr. Harper. Ned receives a phone call from Willie with news of the attack on Jessica.
At the Collinsport Hospital, Quentin discusses Jessica's state with Willie.
Dr. Harper believes that another entity has been manipulating Carolyn.
Quentin discusses Angelique's return with her.
Dr. Harper discusses the timing of the seance with Carolyn, which occurred at the exact same time of year when Angelique was murdered in 1840.
Willie gives Quentin the letter he found. Quentin reads it:
- Willie, my friend, you have done me great service over the years. You have stood with me when you had many reasons to stand against me. I ask you to assist me one more time. I have left this here in your care. If anyone finds it, I expect it to be you. This does not belong to me, but I ask you to keep it safe. I cannot leave it in the open, and I cannot take it with me. It is a portrait of Quentin. Should he return to Collinwood, I ask you to see that this portrait finds it way to his hands. Keep it safe Willie. It is a powerful thing. Its destruction would bring great harm into the world. Be well old friend. Barnabas.
Willie tells Quentin that the portrait has gone missing. Quentin is certain Cassandra is responsible and where she is keeping it.
Ned discusses Carolyn and Dr. Harper's research into Angelique with them. As Harper begins to make a deduction about the similarities of Angelique's appearance with another, Cassandra enters disturbing them, who has apparently lost her way around Collinwood. She leaves. Harper has now mysteriously forgotten what he was about to say.
Cassandra and Quentin have dinner together. They discuss Quentin's portrait. She threatens to destroy it.
Willie's search for the portrait leads him to Eagle Hill Cemetery.
Mrs. Franklin goads Maggie over an apparent relationship between Quentin and Cassandra.
Quentin refuses an offer from Cassandra to form an alliance with her. Willie returns, his mission now completed, which prompts Quentin to inform Cassandra that she has lost her power over those at Collinwood.
Cassandra finds a distressed Maggie and takes the opportunity to berate her further over Quentin. Maggie gives her a slap across the face drawing blood. Cassandra relishes its taste having not bled in a long time.
Elizabeth’s will is read with Ned, Carolyn, Quentin, Willie, Maggie and Cassandra in attendance:
- My friends, my family, all those I love. Thank you for indulging the whims of an old woman. I’m supposed to begin with "I Elizabeth Collins Stoddard being of sound mine and body" but I didn't bring you all here to listen to legal ramblings. Forgive me Ned. The legal pages are all here for you gentlemen in your suits but I wanted to speak to you all in my own words. Carolyn, my daughter, and David, you are Roger’s son but you let me be a mother to you as well. I love you both with all my heart. Leaving you is hard to imagine but it is the way of things. I’ve had such a good life with you. I hope you make the most out of the time you have. It’s never as long as you expect. To Carolyn, I leave the house of Collinwood. I hope you and Ned will make this place a living home again. David, you are always the wanderer and I know you will not settle here, my personal fortune I leave to you. I hope to takes you around the world and back until you find whatever it is your heart is seeking. My interests in Collins Enterprises amount to a fifty percent share. These holdings I leave to Carolyn and David to share equally. Quentin, your return to this family was a blessing. Roger saw fit to vest control of Collins Enterprises in your hands and I will not countermand him. Roger's fifty percent interest in Collins Enterprises is left in your hands. Guide them wisely.
- Willie, my friend, you have been good to this family though many dark times. Before Barnabas left on his travels he asked me to let you remain living at the Old House. It was a wise request and I am glad I listened to his words. The Old House has blossomed under your care and I think it's best to leave it there. The Old House, the ground it rests on, I leave to you with all my thanks.
- Cassandra, I never knew you well but I know Roger felt there was unfinished business between you. It was his will that Rose Cottage and its grounds be left to you. Collinwood opens its gates to you and welcomes you home.
- There remains one thing left to do and I find myself trying to compose the words I should have spoken so many years ago. I cannot believe I have held this secret in my heart for so long. Carolyn, my daughter and my love, I have hidden a truth from you and so many others. The time has come for the truth. When I was young, several years before Paul Stoddard came into my life, there was a man. I loved him. It was short lived and the details they don't matter now. What does matter is the consequences of that relationship. I discovered I was pregnant. I didn't want anyone to know. At the time I was terrified of scandal and shaming the family name. I didn't want to be the black sheep who gave birth to a child out of wedlock. I didn't want my parents to be ashamed of me. I didn't want Roger to know. I swore he never would. I left Collinsport to have the baby. I gave birth to a daughter. I gave her up. I saw no other way out. I hope and pray both you and she will forgive me. I've always planned to tell you both but the time never seemed right. Then she was gone and I still don't know where the path of her life has taken her. Carolyn, the woman you know as Victoria Winters is your sister and my daughter. When I brought her here as David's governess I intended to bring her home. I thought I could make her a part of the family but life is full of the unexpected and the best conceived plans of the imagination fade when confronted by the harsh light of reality. This family has been through so many tribulations. Carolyn, I ask you to do what I could not. Find Vicki and bring her home. Tell your sister who she is. I cannot undo the mistakes of my past. I can only look forward to the possibilities of your future. I leave the cottage we called Seaview to Vicki. She always said she felt her heart was at home there.
Carolyn is distraught at this revelation. Mrs. Franklin enters who announces the arrival of another guest, Violet Collins, David's wife. Violet reveals that David sent her in his place, as he is unable to attend due to the sensitivity of the research that he is conducting in Peru.
A few months later, Quentin is suspicious of Violet's true nature despite her identity checking out; David is still incommunicado; and Sebastian is still on the loose.
Maggie discusses with Quentin his connection to Cassandra. She doesn't want there to be any more secrets between them.
Memorable quotes[edit | edit source]
- Quentin: A séance is a doorway. Some are best left locked shut.
- Willie: Why does it always have to be a graveyard?!
- Ned: Try not to scream in your sleep.
- Carolyn: (reading her mother's will) Find Vicki, and bring her home.
Dramatis personae[edit | edit source]
(in order of appearance)
- Roger Davis as Narrator / Ned Stuart
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as Maggie Evans
- David Selby as Quentin Collins
- Donna Wandrey as Mrs. Franklin
- Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard
- John Karlen as Willie Loomis
- Marie Wallace as Jessica Loomis
- Lara Parker as Angelique Bouchard
- Christopher Pennock as Sebastian Shaw
- James Storm as Dr. Robert Harper
- Terry Crawford as Violet Chavez Collins
Background information and notes[edit | edit source]
Production[edit | edit source]
- The character that became Violet Chavez Collins was originally written to be played by Diana Millay with hints that she really was Laura Collins, however Millay dropped out of the play due to disagreements with the plot.
- It was first performed on stage in Brooklyn, New York, on August 31, 2003 at the annual Dark Shadows Festival. The next day, the cast reassembled in a Manhattan recording studio to record the play for release on CD.
- Unlike the format of the original series, the theme music plays before the opening narration.
- A sequel, titled Vengeance at Collinwood, was written by Jamison Selby and performed at the 2005 Dark Shadows Festival. However, in this case it was decided not to record the play to audio.
Story[edit | edit source]
- Due to an argument with Roger Collins, David Collins has not set foot in Collinwood in over ten years, even missing his father's funeral. This suggests that Roger died during the 1990s.
- In a nod to Night of Dark Shadows, Carolyn has taken to painting in the Tower room. Also, the character of Mrs. Franklin seems to have been inspired by Carlotta Drake (a character from that film).
- Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman are said to be on a spiritual retreat in the mountains of Hong Kong. Presumably the pair are making sure to stay as far away from Collinwood as possible to prevent any chance of Angelique's curse on Barnabas being reactivated (one of its specifics being that he would harm his loved ones).
- During the reading of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard's will, the mystery surrounding Victoria Winters (which was never revealed in the TV series) is finally resolved. Carolyn learns that her mother had a child out of wedlock; Victoria is actually Carolyn's older sister. In the late 1960s, Victoria was transported into the past and has not been seen since. In the will, Elizabeth implores Carolyn to find Victoria and bring her home. Victoria's biological father is not identified, however.
- Willie Loomis is married to Jessica. The first meeting between them takes place in Kingdom of the Dead. They are the proprietors of the Blue Whale tavern. He bought a jukebox from eBay. They live in the Old House. Willie has installed plumbing and electricity to the building.
- Carolyn and Ned Stuart have been married for over a year. Mrs. Franklin insists on referring to Carolyn as Miss Stoddard despite this. Ned works as a lawyer. Carolyn has been at university and returned to Collinwood about a year ago. Carolyn was Dr. Robert Harper's best student; she ran the parapsychology department at the university of Maine for the last 10 years.
- Maggie Evans and Quentin Collins have been dating for over a year. Maggie works as Head of Administration at Windcliff Sanitarium. Sebastian took Maggie as a patient to Windcliff in 1108. What happened when they got there is recounted in Dreaming of the Water. Although history was successfully changed in the final TV storyline featuring the present-day characters, the events which sends Maggie to Windcliff Sanitarium still occurred.
- David Collins is said to be an archaeologist working in Peru - a nod to actor David Henesy, who currently lives in South America. David married Violet Chavez six months ago. They met whilst Violet was with the Archeology department of the university of Cairo. David was looking for an expert in Egyptology. She then joined his team in Peru. Violet has power of attorney of David's share in Collins Enterprises. Quentin has friends in Cairo which he contact to check out the validity of Violet's identity. Violet's maiden name of Chavez alludes to the character of Beth Chavez a role also played by Terry Crawford. Quentin's warning to Violet her about the danger of the cliffs near Collinwood alludes to Beth’s fate in 876, in which she died after falling from them. Quentin notes a resemblance between Violet and Beth. Violet claims never to been to Collinsport before.
- The portrait of Angelique that was acquired by Victoria Winters in 463 is recreated by Carolyn.
- Angelique first arrived at Collinwood in 368/369. Carolyn's nightmare alludes to Angelique’s murder, said to have been over 150 years ago, as seen in 1198. She uses her alias of Cassandra Collins, sans black hair, as in 473. Her first marriage, to Barnabas Collins, occurred in 397. She became a vampire in 555.
- The seance requires six members in order to form to triangles that make up a pentagram. David was meant to participate; as per Elizabeth's will, however due to his unavailability Jessica takes his place to make up the numbers. According to records, Angelique's death occurred at sunset. The same hour of the day the seance was held. According to the diary of Josette DuPres, Angelique was born on August 31st. The same day of the year the seance was held.
- Elizabeth developed arthritis in her hands in later life.
- Joe Haskell regained his sanity and married Maggie, but died ten years prior to Return to Collinwood (i.e., in about 1993).
- Mrs. Johnson trained Mrs. Franklin.
- A Dr. Cooper works at Windcliff.
- Quentin has been adding grey to his hair to disguise his immortality.