Big Finish is pleased to announce details for the Dark Shadows Christmas special, A Collinwood Christmas.
Dark Shadows (1966-1971) was a US TV series which told the story of the cursed Collins family. It was recently remade as a film starring Johnny Depp.
December audiobook release Dark Shadows: A Collinwood Christmas is set in the Collins family home and tells the story of what happens when the grieving and miserly Jamison Collins has to join forces with wild gypsy Ivanka Romano against vengeful spirits from the past. The story is written by acclaimed actress and playwright Lizzie Hopley, who also reprises her role as Ivanka.
We last heard Ivanka in The Blind Painter and The Crimson Pearl but this is the first audio appearance of Jamison. Last seen as a child in the television series, the character is now played by none other than Jamison Selby. The son of Dark Shadows regular David Selby, Jamison was named after the character Jamison Collins.
'When looking for someone to play the adult version of Jamison,' says producer Joseph Lidster, 'it felt so right to go to the actor named after the original character. Alongside the Christmas setting, it makes the play even more of a celebration of Dark Shadows.'
'We took some initial inspiration from A Christmas Carol', says writer Lizzie Hopley, 'and then let Ivanka and Jamison have their fun with some glorious ghosts from the past, present and future. Where better than Collinwood to out-do Dickens ghost-wise?! I can truly say I’ve been spoiled, not only in writing for the unique and exuberant Ivanka, but in playing her too.'
'Lizzie's script is beautiful. It's funny, dark, scary and exciting. There's a scene towards the end, where we discover what happened to Jamison's wife, which made me cry when I read it. It's a stunning piece of writing,' says Lidster. 'The story also features cameos from Kathryn Leigh Scott, Christopher Pennock and David Selby who all jumped at the chance to play ghosts of some of our favourite characters... but we'll keep who exactly is returning as a surprise for now.'
A Collinwood Christmas will be released in December.
In other news, the character of Grant in November's The Haunted Refrain will now be played by Jonathon Marx. 'We originally recorded the part with Andrew Collins back in February,' explains Dark Shadows co-producer James Goss, 'but when post-production began we discovered we'd only been sent half of the session. Normally this isn't a problem - we just contact the studio and get them to re-send it to us, but sadly, the studio we used has since gone out of business, so Andrew's brilliant performance is now lost. With deadlines looming, Jonathon Marx has stepped into the world of Dark Shadows.'
It's ten years since Nick Briggs became co-executive producer of Big Finish Productions. His friends and colleagues celebrate this fact in a not entirely serious tribute.