|The House of Despair →|
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The House of Despair is an audio-book produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in November 2006.
Back cover[edit | edit source]
After years of wandering the world, Quentin Collins is coming home. But the Collinwood that awaits him is no longer the sanctuary he remembers. As the town of Collinsport hides in fear from otherworldly powers, Quentin vows to unite old friends and reclaim his birthright…
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Part 1[edit | edit source]
Angelique Collins cackles hysterically
- My name is Quentin Collins. I come from an old family, and old families have long held secrets. Long ago I might have prided myself on being one of their oldest. Now I beginning a journey I hoped I’d never make, back to my home town of Collinsport. I thought that if I ran fast enough I need never turn back. But now I find myself compelled to return, just as I always knew I would be. Soon I shall return to a lonely place at the ocean’s edge, high atop Widows’ Hill. Where the house of Collinwood awaits me.
Quentin Collins is on a train heading to Collinsport. He encounters a stranger; they talk about the Collins family.
Angelique is delighted that Quentin is back in town. A malicious voice says it will feast on him. Angelique is not pleased to be in the presence of the voice.
Quentin learns that strange things have been happening. Collinwood has been abandoned and his family has left town. Maggie implores Quentin to leave, but he is determined to stay. She warns him that many of Collinsport's residents are wandering around at night like empty shells, and have become known as ‘the lost’. She is reluctant to divulge any more information. She tells him to find Willie Loomis.
Willie finds Quentin. A half-crazed Willie reveals he’s been looking after the estate best he can in the Collins family’s absence. Quentin accompanies Willie inside the Blue Whale. They encounter its owner Ed Griffin who has nothing but contempt for Quentin and his family. Susan Griffin, Ed’s wife, enters and claims that she is being kept prisoner. She demands to be let outside. Willie states she is one of ‘the lost’. She is taken back upstairs. Quentin loses his patience and argues with Ed about the current state of the town.
Quentin goes to Collinwood with a reluctant Willie. They find the mansion overrun with malevolent birds and are menaced by a terrifying force. Willie yells out in terror.
Part 2[edit | edit source]
- These are dark days at Collinwood. As storm winds attack the great mansion, a tormented man finds himself forced into an alliance with dangerous forces.
Quentin is certain the birds are an illusion; he tries to convince Willie of this and the birds fly away. Fearing they are still unsafe in the mansion they decide retreat to Willie's cottage.
The malicious voice declares the house is its.
At the cottage, Quentin finds that Willie has stored a haul of Collins possessions there. Quentin decides he needs supernatural help in order to fight the power that has taken over Collinwood. Much to Willie's horror, Quentin decides to summon Angelique from the dead. Finding her unmarked grave, Quentin instructs Willie to dig up Angelique’s bones while he conducts a ritual. Angelique’s spirit appears. She agrees to help Quentin, but on her terms.
Quentin and Willie search the grounds. They find the gravestones of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Roger Collins, David Collins & Carolyn Stoddard. Angelique appears and tells Quentin that his family isn’t really dead, they are hidden away somewhere living their lives. She draws there attention to a blank gravestone. This graveyard is his forgotten memories. Back at the cottage, Angelique reveals to them that a malevolent force inhabits Collinwood.
Quentin and Angelique enter Collinwood through the underground tunnels. They find Barnabas Collins’ onyx ring. Angelique takes it as a sign that Barnabas is dead. They discover a room where many of the birds swarm. Inside there is a table where three places have been set. Quentin and Angelique are expected. The malicious voice is glad they are joining it; it has waited a long time.
Part 3[edit | edit source]
- Collinwood, a house occupied by dangerous forces. As an old friend is mourned, one woman vows to unleash her devastating revenge.
Quentin and Angelique come face-to-face with the malevolent Strix.
Strix, a powerful creature originating from the Underworld, feeds on the souls of the living, and implants them in his birds. Angelique begins an incantation against it, and it recoils distress. It calls upon Willie, if Angelique doesn't let Strix goes then Willie will die. Angelique refuses to stop. Willie cries out in pain. Angelique wants to know where Barnabas is. Strix feasted upon Barnabas’ soul, and transformed him one ‘the lost’. Barnabas calls out from within Strix’s aspect, pleading for her to let him live. Angelique realizes it is not Barnabas but Strix. Angelique enraged uses her powers to transfer them all to a new location.
They arrive in the graveyard of Quentin’s memories. Strix is powerless here. Angelique gives it ultimatum surrender to her powers or remain here in pain for all eternity. It is to agree by signing its name in blood on the blank gravestone. Strix reluctantly agrees. Quentin’s forgotten memories will contain Strix. Quentin remembers and the place ceases to exist. As Strix is devoured, Angelique claims Strix physical form and restores the rest of the souls it has taken. With Barnabas' body destroyed, she places his soul into Strix’s form.
Barnabas and Angelique stare out at the ocean in the moonlight. They discuss his life in his new form, Barnabas has been returned to his former vampire state. Willie is close to death, his mind has been shredded by Strix. In order to save him Barnabas' bites him restoring his hold over him. Quentin takes Willie to the Collinsport Inn, Maggie looks after him.
Quentin, Angelique and Barnabas take up residence in Collinwood to wait for the rest of the family's return.
Memorable quotes[edit | edit source]
Dramatis personae[edit | edit source]
- David Selby as Quentin Collins
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as Maggie Evans
- John Karlen as Willie Loomis
- Lara Parker as Angelique Bouchard
- Andrew Collins as Strix & Barnabas Collins
- Robert Rodan as Man on the Train
- Jamison Selby as Ed Griffin
- Ursula Burton as Susan Griffin
- Steven Wickham as Lost Voice
- Kellie Ryan as Lost Voice
- Scott Alan Woodard as Patron
Background information and notes[edit | edit source]
- The first Big Finish Productions' full-cast Dark Shadows audio plays, The House of Despair takes place sometime after we last saw the present-day TV characters in 1970.
- The Collins Family gave the Collinsport Inn to Maggie Evans following her release from Windcliff to encourage her not to tell people what she had seen at Collinwood.
- Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Roger Collins, Carolyn Stoddard Hawkes, and David Collins all fled Collinwood when the house became possessed by Strix. The fate of Dr. Julia Hoffman and Chris Jennings, who are briefly mentioned, is unknown. Strix's attack on the house would finally be heard (in a flashback featuring Carolyn, David, Willie and Strix) in Bloodlust.
- The Enemy Within reveals that Chris died on his wedding night after marrying Sabrina Stuart ten years before the events of this story. Tainted Love has Julia return to Collinwood after being found by Barnabas two years after the events of this story, albeit in a different condition yet undisclosed than usual.
- When Ed Griffin lists the many horrors that have taken place at Collinwood, he remembers Victoria Winters and the fact that the town has not forgotten how she inexplicably disappeared.
- Ed calls out to "Joe" for help with his wife Susan. Whether this is meant to be Joe Haskell is not known. It is later revealed that Joe Haskell immediately left town after his incarceration at Windcliff so this must refer to a different Joe.
- Among the relics Willie Loomis managed to save from Collinwood was a portrait of Joshua Collins.
- Robert Rodan's brief performance at the beginning of the drama, marks a return to acting for Rodan after a 40 year absence.
- Included at the end of this release is a trailer for the The Book of Temptation.