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DSAB049_taintedlove_1417

Amy Jennings-Cunningham and a no longer possessed David Collins (if you’re confused, see the events of last year’s Bloodlust) are accosted by a strange man demanding to know what they’ve done with his wife.

But an eerie chant banishes the man before their very eyes, and an old acquaintance returns from the dark and distant past…

“I’m hurt. I thought you’d recognize me.”
“…so what, you’re a demon hunter, now?”

Callie Stokes, fresh from her appearance in Carriage of the Damned, has returned to Collinsport, and she’s gained some occult knowledge in her ongoing pursuit of the sinister Gerard Stiles…

“Years ago, it had been a meeting place for a coven of witches.  And all that black magic had left an echo…residual energy, just floating around. Something from the other side had been attracted to that energy…and had tried to cross over.”

With Collinsport a well established locus for occult activity, and All Hallows’ Eve right around the corner, you can be sure there’ll be some dark doings in store…

Soon enough, the possessed begin to appear all over town, from the Collins mines to the most unexpected place of all…and is Hallie trying to get a bit more involved with David than teleseries veterans may have otherwise anticipated?  But when David becomes involved with Amy instead, there’s a potentially dangerous triangle in the making…

Despite returning to the monthly, ostensibly one off story format, it’s clear that the folks at Big Finish have taken the success of the soap-appropriate weekly Bloodlust to heart, incorporating lessons learned into a sort of monthly variant thereof.

As with the earlier Tony Peterson/Cassandra Collins stories or the ongoing wreckage in the wake of Beyond the Grave, just about all of the post-Bloodlust stories seem to be building off plot threads, character story arcs and general thematic signposts developed if not originated in last year’s generally quite excellent miniseries.  And for those who’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you can take that assertion as a decided positive.

Written by and costarring Bloodlust’s Deputy Hanley himself, Daniel Collard, Tainted Love is a well scripted and atmospheric little piece that proves especially strong on the characterization end.  In fact, it may well be the best Dark Shadows since Bloodlust, if not Beyond the Grave before it.

Pulling in sufficient Shadows-style spookiness and displaying a strong flair for soap dramatics, Collard’s script is well served by some particularly strong performances from our core trio of protagonists Stephanie Ellyne, Alec Newman and Shadows veteran Kathy (now Kathleen) Cody.

Collard himself, fellow Bloodluster Alexandra Donnachie and Beyond the Grave and Phantom Bride vet Simon Kent also appear, but appropriately for soap opera, it’s really all about the triangle.

Those as enamored of the aforementioned stories as myself should find plenty to appreciate here.  Recommended.

 

 

 

http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/tainted-love-1156

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