Audio - Dark Shadows: The Harvest of Souls

Dark Shadows: The Harvest of Souls

Susan Omand returns to Collinsport in the immediate aftermath of the events in "Beyond the Grave." Spoiler warnings for both episodes in this article...

It's the day after the traumatic events at Eagle Hill Cemetery and the radio is explaining it away as a gas leak causing mass hysteria, with those still worried about friends and family to phone an emergency number. This causes Maggie Evans, owner of the Collinsport Inn to lament the deaths of all her friends the previous day, including the Sheriff, decides that she can never be happy again and she attempts to take her own life by overdosing on sleeping pills. Collinsport resident Gerald Conway turns up just in time to save her and does so by throwing her into the ocean from the jetty, where she encounters a strange creature. Spluttering but now conscious again, Maggie returns with Conway to his house and changes into the clothes laid out for her. She informs him of recent events including that of the sheriff's death, but soon begins to feel sleepy, falling into a dream where she experiences the first time she met Jim when they were children.

On awakening, Maggie discovers that Gerald had drugged her and she then recognises Gerald for who he really is and she starts to relive her past in flashback again before discovering that the town is now deserted, with Gerald claiming to have sent everyone else away and wanting to know what would make Maggie happy once again. But who is Gerald really, why has he sent everyone from the town away and what does he want with Maggie? What of the strange sea creatures? And will Maggie really ever be happy once more?

This episode suffered a little for being the one after the epic piece of audio drama that was the Beyond the Grave episode. It could not hope to live up to that in story or execution, however this is still an intriguing and engaging tale providing a great character story for Inn owner Maggie Evans herself and how she fitted in to Collinsport. The acting by the whole cast is, as ever, solid and the dialogue, especially of the flashback scenes and Maggie's ending monologue, is very well written by James Goss and acted by Kathryn Leigh Scott, rounding out her character well and giving her a depth that was previously missing from the episodes I have listened to. Mention must be made too for the legendary Colin Baker, of Doctor Who fame, who took on the opposing role of Gerald Conway, as he is always a joy to listen to.

As a follow on episode it tidied up the fallout from the previous episode very well and left enough dangling to keep me listening for another week. However, I have now come to expect greatness from the Dark Shadows team and this, although I am prepared to be proven wrong, seemed a bit of a filler episode but still very very good.

Image - Dark Shadows.