Audiobook - Dark Shadows: The Skin Walkers

Dark Shadows The Skin Walkers

Susan Omand dives back into the Dark Shadows thanks to our friends at Big Finish and finds a Collinsport resident on the streets of New York...

Having tied up all the storylines in the previous thread I have been listening to in Dark Shadows, this time I’m following the strand that is Quentin Collins.

This episode gives some of the background to Quentin because it is a look back over his life after he first left Collinsport, as he tells it to Angelique. Quentin came to America for “a normal life” and in autumn 1899, he is walking home through the streets of New York when he is passed by a funeral coach and horses, going full tilt. He chases after them, having seen a pentagram mark on the hand of the coach driver, and discovers a funeral ritual in progress. He tries to leave unseen but finds he has been noticed.

At this point Angelique interjects, asking about the journal of a lady called Caitlin, and Quentin explains how he and Caitlin met at a party, where he was drugged by the Sin Walkers, who had the pentagram mark, taken back to their lair and brutally tortured, to try and bring out the beast inside him. The man at the centre of this cult is Jackson Lowell and he tells Quentin about the prophesy that he is there to fulfil, but only if he returns to the cult of his own free will and he is released. A few months later he meets Caitlin again by chance and, as they talk about their first meeting, they are being watched from the shadows by a wolf. Caitlin invites him to her house and Quentin goes, only to suffer a blackout because of the full moon.

When he awakes in her guest room the next day, he discovers he is covered in blood and there are reports of many murders through the night. However, again, someone is watching from the shadows of his room, this time a little girl, Brianna, who, with her brother Lucas, are Caitlin’s adopted children. Angelique deduces that Caitlin married into a cursed family and the children are werelings. Quentin reveals he never told Caitlin the truth about himself, he suspects she already knew. He knew Lowell’s brethren were also after Caitlin and her children so he resolved to stay and protect them. A month later, Quentin returned to the house to find Caitlin and the children gone. Upon hearing the sounds of sobbing, he rushes upstairs to find Caitlin alone in the centre of a wrecked bedroom and the children missing – the Skin Walkers had got them...

What was to become of the children? Why are the Skin Walkers, and Jackson Lowell, so interested in them? And what sacrifices would Quentin have to make?

After the more elaborate full cast dramas I’ve listened to from Dark Shadows recently, it was a change to go back to a two-hander with The Skin Walkers but the stripped back nature lent itself well to the story, which is essentially a narration by Quentin Collins (David Selby) with some prompting in the right places by the witch, Angelique, to link the different parts of the story. Because of this the acting and the writing, by Scott Handcock, came to the fore to make the story come alive and it did this very well. The descriptions were vivid and the action went at a very good pace. Because of the way it was told, in retrospect, the horror of some of the more graphic torture scenes seemed a bit more remote than in some of the other Dark Shadows which play out gory scenes in real time. This, to me, is no bad thing though. Another thing I must commend with this episode is the music which helped to lay the atmosphere very well.

All in all a good scene setting story for my introduction to Quentin Collins and I’m looking forward to finding out more about his place in Collinsport society.

Image - Big Finish.