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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parrallel Time Begins!, August 22, 2005
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This review is from: Dark Shadows Collection 19 (DVD)
The 40 episodes in Dark Shadows Collection 19 includes the conclusion of the "beast" storyline, and the debut of a story arc dealing with the concept of parallel time that eventually involves the entire cast.

Dark Shadows, the only soap opera to have focused completely on gothic storylines and the supernatural, demonstrates its wide range in this boxed set with arguably one of its worst stories that will enventually transcend into one of its best. The "repertoire company" that is the cast of this remarkable show, consistently turns in memorable performances throughout.

The then young actor Christopher Pennock is introduced as Jeb Hawkes, the human form of the "beast," created to be the supernatural leader of the evil cult of the Leviathans. Pennock overplays much of this role, but eventually turns in a fairly memorable performance. Of all of the roles he would end up playing in the series, in my opinion, this was by far his best. (The actor is also interviewed in a special DVD feature, and comes off at best as egotistical and very peculiar.)

Hawkes' human half falls hopelessly in love with Carolyn Collins Stoddard, who as always, is played brilliantly by Nancy Barrett.

The Leviathan plan is to have the two wed in a dark arts ceremony performed by warlock Nicholas Blair, again played with menacing gusto by Humbert Allen Astredo. Carolyn was to become an inhuman creature like Jeb, and the two would rule over the Leviathans, whose ultimate goal was to rid the world of human beings, beginning with the residents of Collinsport.

Hawkes evolves from a blood-thirsty killer in his beast form who murders without conscience, including killing Carolyn's father Paul Stoddard (played by Dennis Patrick), to a man who loathes his beast form and wants to remain in his human guise forever and marry his lady love.

Barnabas, played brilliantly by Jonathan Frid, is returned to his former vampire state by a vengeful Hawkes, who discovers that Barnabas is a "traitor" to the cause and had been plotting the Leviathan leader's downfall and death. Frid is mesmerizing when the curse is once again upon him, demonstrating a heartbreaking anguish in a bravura performance seldom delivered better by a soap opera actor of any era.

Eventually, Hawkes makes an uneasy truce with Barnabas to save Carolyn from the fate that the Leviathans had planned, and the two men unite to prevent the unholy union in the midst of Blair's ceremony. Hawkes destroys the Leviathan box and its power, thus defeating his own "people," and destroying forever his beast form.

Expecting to die when the Leviathan's are destroyed, Hawkes maintains his human form and survives only by force of will because of his love for Carolyn. Jeb and Carolyn later marry, but Jeb is finally killed when he is pushed off Widow's Hill by an enemy and drowns.

Meanwhile, Barnabas has discovered an abandoned room in the east wing of Collinwood that sometimes opens to reveal an intriguing world of parallel time, where friends and family are living different lives based on different choices that they have made.

Hoping to free himself from the vampire curse, Barnabas is drawn to the east wing and steps inside the empty room when it suddenly transforms into the parallel universe, trapping him within the familiar -- yet completely unfamiliar world!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 9, 2008 12:11:28 AM PST
In "The Dark Shadows Almanac", Chris Pennock recalls how difficult it was for him to play Jeb Hawkes, and that he felt he'd finally nailed it just as the character was killed off. He got a lot of criticism from the directors and Dan Curtis about his performance. Perhaps the ratings drop during the Leviathan sequence had something to do with this.
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