Audio – Dark Shadows: Bloodlust Episode 1

Bloodlust 1

Susan Omand starts on a different journey through Collinsport as she listens to Episode 1 of Bloodlust from our friends at Dark Shadows...

As the episode opens Melody Devereaux introduces herself. She is a newly wed, with a somewhat mysterious past, and she and husband Michael are on honeymoon from the city of New York, heading for Collinsport, a place Melody feels inexplicably drawn to. As they alight from the train they discover there are no taxis at the station so, following Mike’s map and compass, the purchase of which caused Melody to call him a nerd. They are heading for the Collinsport Inn, run by Maggie Evans and, on arrival, they ask Maggie to recommend somewhere nice to eat out. She suggests The Blue Whale but warns them not to stay out too long after nightfall as “this town isn’t as quaint as it seems.”

Because this is a 13 part story, I wasn’t expecting much from the first episode other than scene setting and character introduction and, indeed, we did get that. It was almost comforting to have the familiar surroundings of Collinsport pointed out again, the station, the Inn and the Blue Whale, and I was pleased that the resident of The Big House at Collinwood got a passing mention because that helped to place the episode, and the series, in relation to the ones I had listened to in the past. I was also glad that there were some recognisable names and voices from before and that it wasn’t all new characters and the acting of all was up to the high quality I have come to expect. Benjamin “Frankie” Franklin and Ed Griffin’s mother Jessica will prove useful to the plot I have no doubt. I haven’t quite worked out yet where the “couple of kids”, Jackie and Cody, that meet with Maggie fit into things though.

With all that going on, as well as some back story explanation in the half hour episode, there wasn’t really much time for a fully fledged story to develop, although the foundations were laid for some very interesting longer arcs and the shocking cliffhanger ending came out of nowhere. Bravo to the writers Alan Flanagan, Will Howells and Joseph Lidster for being able to cram so much into a first episode without it feeling confused or rushed and yet still managing to turn everything upside down in the last thirty seconds so that we, the listeners, can’t begin to second guess how the story will continue.

Finally, I thought it was a really nice touch that the Dark Shadows theme music that has become so well-known to me got a bit of a revamp for the new Bloodlust series. It’s familiar enough to be comfortable and yet different enough to be innovative and I get the feeling that Bloodlust is going to be the same. Onwards to episode two!

Image - Big Finish

Bloodlust Episode 1 is available from Big Finish direct HERE.