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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 3/7/17 11:58 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In the final story of this set, looking to escape Collinsport after her disastrous marriage to Andrew, Amy Jennings (Stephanie Ellyne) has travelled to Paris to visit Roger and Elizabeth. But when she arrives, she finds that neither are there, and she meets and befriends a local man named Didier. But is there more to Didier than meets the eye, and could he be linked to Roger and Elizabeth’s disappearance? Stephanie Ellyne always sounds wonderful as the grown-up Amy Jennings, sounding fantastic in 2015’s *Bloodlust*, and her strong performance continues here. I quite liked how well Ellyne was able to portray Amy’s flustered nature throughout the story. Penelope Faith’s script was rather fantastic, with the idea that Amy was imagining dark forces the entire time, rather than there being logical explanations for everything. It was a nice twist on the regular Dark Shadows audio format, and elevated this story a lot. Overall, the last story of Phantom Melodies was a delightful story that gave a new twist on an old format; compounded by an interesting script from writer Penelope Faith and a strong performance by Stephanie Ellyne, this was an enjoyable release.

Overall, Phantom Melodies is a solid release. The second and final stories in particular are quite good, and while I felt that the opening story was a little lackluster overall, the release as a whole was extremely enjoyable to hear. Waterhouse and Collins both gave fantastic performances in their respective stories, and writers Penelope Faith and Ian Atkins delivered some excellent scripts for their two stories. I also quite enjoyed the different narrative styles used in nearly every story, from the first and final stories’ more straight usage of a dramatized audio book reading, the second story’s use of letters as the means through which the story is told, to the third story’s use of a telephone call to move the story forward. Overall, this release felt like an enjoyable, varied release, that was interesting, exciting, and great, at times. Final Grade: 7.25 (average of four scores)
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 3/7/17 11:57 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In the penultimate story of this latest Dark Shadows short stories release, Carolyn Stoddard (Nancy Barrett), a fresh-faced young student at Salem University, starts receiving calls from her future self, guiding her in order to save the future. However, is this caller from the future really Carolyn’s future, or are dark forces attempting to influence her life? Nancy Barrett does an admirable job here as both a younger and older sounding version of Carolyn, impressive given the nearly 50 year difference from when she last played Carolyn. Barrett does a fine job leading the story and adding her own personal flair to the story with some fine acting. Ian Farrington’s script is a pretty standard affair, but manages to be quite interesting as a story that constantly moves forward in time. I quite like the framing device used here in this story of phone calls; one of the nice things is that each story in this set have felt different due to their varying narrative structure, and I liked the choice Farrington made with his script. Overall, the third story was an enjoyable forty-minutes of Dark Shadows; featuring some nice acting and a nice little script, it was everything one could hope for in a *Dark Shadows* script.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 3/7/17 11:57 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In the second story of Phantom Melodies, Barnabas Collins (Andrew Collins) is going over old letters written by a woman who he once had a tragic run-in with, Agnes. This woman is plagued by nightmares of a man with grotesque features and glowing eyes; but soon, her dreams will become a reality. Andrew Collins (with just the most perfect last name) has always been superb as Barnabas Collins, a role once inhabited by Jonathan Frid. He always gives stellar performances, and has just a fantastic, semi-hypnotic quality to his voice that makes him absolutely perfect as the vampire Barnabas. This story, he is on top form, like always, delivering a powerful, dark performance, especially when describing his savagery on the fateful night he finally met Agnes. Similarly, Ian Atkins delivered a brilliant, dark script. Dark Shadows is at its best when it’s playing to the gothic horror element of the show, so anytime a writer delivers a dark story, my interest is picqued. Here, Atkins delivers a dark, tragic story of an engagement gone horribly wrong. I quite liked the fake outs with the “other woman” for Agnes’ husband-to-be, though I disliked how the fact that her future mother-in-law’s possession of her letters to her own mother were never explained. Overall though, I quite liked The Scarlet Bride, with a strong performance by Andrew Collins and a strong script by Ian Atkins, making for an extremely enjoyable, dark release.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 3/7/17 11:56 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In the first story of the latest Dark Shadows release, Harry Johnson (Matthew Waterhouse), a petty criminal, has been thrown out of Collinwood by his mother, and is waiting in the Blue Whale for the next train. However, after running into Roger Collins and Elizabeth Stoddard, Harry meets a mysterious sailor with a purse full of coins and an evil mission; will Harry leave town or will he have to struggle to escape town. Matthew Waterhouse is in rare form in this story; all of his appearances in the Dark Shadows range have featured him in a more villainous role than the Doctor Who appearances he’s best known for, and this character is no exception. Waterhouse ably plays Harry as a conflicted thief who may or may not feel guilt over his actions. This kind of amoral character is surprisingly perfect for Waterhouse, and it’s easy to see why he keeps returning to the range. Rob Morris’ script for this story was quite good as well, though I did feel that the ending was a bit of a cop-out. I quite liked how Morris gave a bit more depth to Harry, describing his emotions while committing crimes, as it really made the main character pop, but I felt that the ending with Harry simply turning over a new leaf should’ve really featured some sort of ironic ending for Harry. But overall, the opening story of Phantom Melodies was an enjoyable affair, buoyed by a strong performance by Waterhouse and a lovely script by Rob Morris.

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