Audiobook – Dark Shadows: The Crimson Pearl

Dark Shadows The Crimson Pearl

Susan Omand dives headlong into Dark Shadows adventure, The Crimson Pearl, from our friends at Big Finish...

The year is 1690 and Isaac Collins is sailing to America to establish a new life for him and his family. Suddenly a blizzard hits the ship and disappears as soon as quickly as it hit, leaving a red pearl on the deck that Isaac gives to his wife as a lucky charm. Ten years pass and Isaac, who has by now got a small fleet of fishing boats and is the founding father of a town called Collinsport . However, Isaac finds his luck is changing and decides that they must have kept the pearl for long enough so he passes it to his cousin Silas.

Silas receives the pearl at his home back in England, just as his wife Grace is meeting in a secret tryst with the gardener and, on her return, he presents it to her saying it will bring them luck. With that the gardener falls to his death and Grace decides that the pearl has given her a sign and she decides to stay with her husband. Twenty years pass and Grace, driven to distraction by disembodied voices after their son Gregory drowns, pens a suicide note. Is the pearl to blame? Some 14 years further on, broke and with a litany of bad luck behind him, Silas decides the whole estate must be sold off, including the pearl. This is how, after a period of almost 50 years, it finds itself in Martinique. And so it goes on, passing from hand to hand, generation to generation, a pearl that brings with it both good luck and bad, until it finds its way back to Collinwood and is destroyed... or is it?

The Crimson Pearl was released as a 45th Anniversary piece and is definitely one for the fans with upwards of 30 characters taking part and many obscure references to other episodes being dropped in.

The history of the pearl as it travels between people, times and indeed parallel universes makes for an incredibly rich feast as it is told in a collection of short scenes. Even though I have now listened to several Dark Shadows audios, I must admit this one took a couple of listens to take it all in but it was very much worth it and I’m sure, still there are references I have yet to pick up on. I really did enjoy the ones I found already, especially the gypsy and Charles Tait, a story which was filled out in the last Dark Shadows I listened to, The Blind Painter. The writing is wonderful, managing to keep the flow of what could just be a patchwork of standalone events in time and to have such a large ensemble cast is a testament to the production and direction for keeping it all together so well.

However, I wouldn’t class this one as for the casual listener, as I say you will miss a lot if you don’t know the rest very well. Although if you are a true fan of Dark Shadows, this is definitely one for the collection.

Image - Big Finish.