Alfie Chapman and Emma Finney, two British students travelling across America, are forced to stay overnight in the town of Collinsport when their car breaks down. But their problems are only just beginning as they're about to discover that Collinsport isn't any ordinary town... They're about to enter the world of Dark Shadows, in upcoming audio Beneath the Veil.
Dark Shadows (1966-1971) was a US TV series which told the story of the cursed Collins family. Set in the town of Collinsport, it featured witches, vampires, werewolves and warlocks plotting and scheming against each other. It was remade as a film starring Johnny Depp, released last year.
“The story of Dark Shadows spans centuries” says co-producer Joseph Lidster, “but this year we've decided to focus on a specific period in the mid-1970s. Each disc in this run features a standalone story, but by setting the entire series within the span of a few weeks, we're able to tell a bigger story. It's a story about a seemingly normal community and the people who live there but it's a town with secrets stranger than Twin Peaks and a body count higher than The League of Gentlemen’s Royston Vasey. This is the story of Collinsport.”
The story begins in June's Dark Shadows: Beneath the Veil, although elements of it have been seeded in May's Dark Shadows: The Phantom Bride. Details for Dark Shadows: Beneath the Veil – including the cover, trailer and behind-the-scenes pictures - are now available. An interview with the writer, Kymberly Ashman, appears in this month's free issue of Vortex magazine and teaser blurbs for the following stories are also available on their product pages.
The story also sees the return to Dark Shadows of Amy Jennings – now played by Stephanie Ellyne. “Denise Nickerson, who played Amy as a child in the original series, was at one point keen to reprise her role,” says co-producer David Darlington, “but she wasn't available when we needed to record this series – and in any case, with this run of stories being set quite soon after the end of the TV show, we realized that this was an instance where the discrepancy between the ages of character and performer might have undermined the drama we wanted to convey. Instead we decided to recast Amy – and as soon as the part was available, I knew exactly who I wanted for it. Steph Ellyne has exactly the right balance of intensity and enthusiasm! Fans of the original Amy should not fret, though, as we're currently taking steps to ensure that Denise will soon be making an appearance in the audio range as another character entirely...”
The mystery of where Amy Jennings has been since leaving Collinsport – and what's happened to her brother, Chris – is just one of many ongoing storylines that will be explored over the next five stories.
“It's the perfect jumping-on point for people who have yet to experience Dark Shadows,” says Kymberly Ashman, “as we meet the residents of Collinsport alongside Alfie and Emma.”
Welcome to Collinsport... you'll never leave alive...
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.