Audiobook - Dark Shadows: The Flip Side

Dark Shadows The Flip Side

Susan Omand finds herself in the pub (what's new?) as she listens to the next Dark Shadows production from our friends at Big Finish...

The Blue Whale bar in Collinsport is a beacon of light for all the townsfolk, a place to gather and socialise, and is run amiably by Bob Rooney and his nephew Jonah. Yes, the Jonah and the Whale joke is mentioned. When this story begins, Carolyn Stoddard, known for enjoying a refreshment or two, is having a few drinks with some friends at The Blue Whale - Amy Jennings, Maggie Evans and the Sheriff, Jim Hardy. The "girls" have arranged to meet Sabrina Jennings there too, instead of at the Library, her usual haunt. Just as their evening is starting and they have chosen music on the jukebox, the power goes out in the bar.

Jonah goes down to the cellar to investigate, puts the power back on and discovers Uncle Bob dead at the hands of someone who looks very familiar. Up above in the bar, Carolyn's friends start to act strangely, responding in a hostile fashion towards her until they all leave her at the bar, alone with Jonah. They start talking about the Collins family, her relatives, and her place in the family, with Jonah become more friendly, dancing and showing her magic tricks with a coin until the phone rings with news of an accident. From then on the story gets much darker and a lot more twisted as Jonah, seemingly uncaring about the accident, starts to make advances towards Carolyn, forcing her into a more and more uncomfortable situation. Why is Jonah acting so out of character? What, or who, caused the accident? And what is the significance of the coin?

This was an intense story of murder and manipulation. The theme of decision making runs throughout, making not only the actual events physically disturbing but the implication of what could be done on the flip of a coin even more psychologically unsettling. The whole piece was incredibly well written by Cody Quijano-Schell who really put his characters through it in this episode. I must also commend the great acting of the two main characters in the piece, Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard and especially Christopher Ragland as Jonah, for taking their characters to the edge without overplaying what could have become a much too theatrical drama. Instead the tension was palpable, the emotions a roller-coaster and the story utterly gripping. The next one I listen to will have to be fantastic to beat this one, they just keep getting better and better.

And there's that tune again, just subtly being hummed...

Image - Big Finish.