21 February 2015

Dark Shadows: Bloodlust xi


David Collins really is a nasty piece of work, isn't he? Whereas Andrew Cunningham was just self-interested and in for a quick buck, Collins is sadistic, bloodthirsty and - most terrifyingly - powerful. I think I've worked out the thing that slightly unnerves me about Dark Shadows: it could actually be happening. Collinsport is so secluded from the rest of the world, anything could happen there and no-one would ever know. As weird and supernatural as the events of Bloodlust have been, it doesn't seem so far-fetched after listening that there might be some godforsaken backwater where something akin to this might just be happening. Ooh-err.

Things really are turning in Collinsport. The few surviving residents are almost all headed for Collinwood, believing that its occupants are the source of recent troubles. Long-held grudges are beginning to surface and no doubt will continue across what promise to be two epic concluding episodes. I honestly have no idea what's going to happen. I do believe that all the characters have been introduced by now though, and that the true villain of the piece is amongst those heading for Collinwood. Although Rhonda believes Maggie is innocent, I'm not so convinced; after all, we still don't know exactly what the anomaly in her blood was, and she was unnaturally calm when killing Kate. Oh, sorry - spoilers. I can't be the only one who expected Maggie to be the one to bite the dust the second she entered the cell?

It really is a rewarding experience listening to this after the preceding ten episodes. This series started with numerous seemingly separate characters and plots that thanks to the murder of Melody Devereux have been thrown together. The writers seem to have revelled in creating chaos and putting the cast through hell, and in a twisted way, it's been a pleasure to listen to. With Frankie permanently dead, I got at least one prediction correct. Only Rhonda and Ed to go and I'll have been wholly correct! 

It seems at this stage that Petofi, a villain from the TV series, may be behind all of the recent supernatural occurrences. For fans of the original show, the clues may be notable in retrospect. One thing I've noticed is that in this episode, Petofi is said to transcend death, and the official synopsis for Bloodlust ends with 'death is never the end'. No doubt deliberately planted by the production team. From a quick Google, I've learned that Petofi was could swap bodies and possess others. This of course opens up endless possibilities, and as such he's the perfect choice for a murder mystery such as this. I retain my aforementioned suspicions of Mike, and not just because of the seeming guilt of Petofi. He studied with Amy at Salem, it's entirely possible he is able to practice magic.

I do hope that one of our main cast is the murderer. As undeniably epic and exciting as some kind of supervillain from the original series would be, it doesn't seem to me at the moment that it would be as narratively satisfying. I'm sure that if this course of action is taken, I'll be proved completely wrong. 

Big Finish really ought to be reading all the Bloodlust reviews. From the few I've read, and the threads on their own forums, I've not seen a single bad word (save for concerning the hospital nurse) written about this new series, which is virtually unheard of given I mainly checked sources run by Doctor Who fans! I don't know what story could be told with a second serial, but I'd trust in the same team that's behind Bloodlust to deliver again. There's some refreshingly untapped talent working on this series, and Big Finish would be mad not to note the positive reaction. This is Joe Lidster's final episode of Bloodlust, and he certainly goes out with a bang. Over the course of his four episodes, I've got the real sense that his strength lies in increasing scale, and throwing things together to see what comes out. It's worked beautifully, and made him an invaluable addition.

Lidster completes his part of Bloodlust by throwing together two old enemies, allowing Alan Flanagan to pick up the pieces. Maggie arrives at the cave, looking for Angelique. It seems crazy that these two pillars of the series haven't come together before now, but there promises to be fireworks. From the final line, I have no idea if they mean to work together to solve the mystery or if they intend to fight to the death. It has after all been stressed throughout this episode that Quentin, Angelique or Maggie must die to stop the murders. As always with Bloodlust, I'm clamouring to listen to the next part!


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