Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Farewell to Vicki #1


Run Vicki run while you can!
And it finally happened. Alexandra Moltke Iles left Dark Shadows. Well, she kinda did it over 40 years ago but I've witnessed it only recently, so my wound is fresh. Episode 627 was her final appearance. I knew from very early on that she would eventually depart from the show (to my disappointment) and I've kept on hoping she'd go with a bang than a whimper. Well, if it was a bang it probably was on a smurf scale. Her character Vicki has been fading into the background for some time now. Once the tractive character of the show, she has eventually become a monotonous being that didn't have much going on for her. 

And just when she was getting a new storyline, Miss Iles decided to leave the show. From what I gather from the interviews, her departure was due to some complications with her pregnancy at the time as well as the reluctance to keep playing this rather dull role. I can't really blame her but considering the place she left the show, it makes me wonder couldn't the writers tie up some loose ends if she agreed to do an extra week or two. But that's obviously not how things work and what's done is done.

Alexandra's final moment before
she disappears into Collinwood
Although the character of Vicki was getting a new spotlight again, Ms. Iles' last episode was rather.. how shall I say.. unceremonious. She had two scenes one of which was more about Eve's death and Jeff's feelings rather than her own and the second -the final- one was a very brief conversation with Julia before she ran deeper into Collinwood. It is as if the great house has her now. Forever.

Not yogurt!
The character of Vicki isn't gone yet but apparently neither one of her two replacements last long enough to gain acclaim from the audience, so the character was eventually written out. Well, trying to replace a pivotal character like Vicki is like trying to replace ice-cream with yogurt. It may be good but it ain't what you paid for. Same goes for other untouchable characters like Barnabas and Liz or Julia. Dan Curtis played that gamble with Vicki and lost. Twice. Yet, Dark Shadows moved on and I'm grateful for that. I'm actually excited to see what the other actresses' takes on Vicki were like. I also wonder, without actually knowing what the future will bring, what that future would have been like with Vicki. And I'm also curious what the actual future of the show is like.

I remember Alexandra Moltke joking in an interview that she was scared her pregnancy would be used in a Rosemary's Babiesque fashion because the film came out the same year. Or maybe she was serious. She was also contacted periodically whether she wanted to come back to the show or not, and once she agreed to do so if they let Vicki be possessed or something; she wanted to be evil for a change and they friggin' did not let that happen. It would have been the ultimate shocker of the series: To have a long lost character return with a  big twist but Mr. Curtis said no and there was no deal. What a pity!

Monsters always had
a thing for her
When I conclude this entry devoted to Alexandra Moltke Iles aka Vicki #1, I can't help recall the very first scene where we met her. "My name is Victoria Winters; my journey is beginning" she said sitting on a moving train. That journey of self-discovery took her to very unexpected places: To the dark corners and corridors of a great house; to the tombs and crypts; to encounters with supernatural beings as ghosts, vampires, witches, warlocks, phoenixes; and even back in time. 

Now let's watch and see how it will eventually come to an end. Ok, someone hand me a tissue.


Aged 65, Ms. Isles has been directing documentaries
on human rights since the mid 90's.


Kelly said...

I just stumbled on this blog a couple of nights ago, but I've enjoyed reading it. I didn't fully read the last two entries because I haven't seen those episodes yet (just watched the one where Eve goes back in time for 6 hours tonight), but I love seeing a website with thoughts on the episodes I've seen so recently myself, written from the same perspective I have, that of someone who has never seen this series before.

I've known about Dark Shadows for years, having seen the 1990's remake when I was growing up and hearing about the original from my mother, who was one of those people who ran home from school to see the last ten minutes of it daily. Starting on this year's Mother's Day, we both decided to watch all the episodes, beginning with Barnabas's arrival (although I did backtrack slightly to see the arrival of Willie and what he was like pre-Barnabas). I love your takes on the episodes, reading about your perceptions of the plot and characters, and where we agree and disagree. It's nice to see that there are others who notice some of the same things that my mother and I have. I especially love your descriptions of Julia's facial expressions and her screams.

I hope you continue to write about the episodes. Although I plan to keep watching at my quick pace, I intend to keep checking back. Good luck on your marathon.

Efe X said...

Hey Kelly, thanks for your interest in the blog. It's always great to interact with other fans. I'd especially like to hear your points on where we disagree.

And I have to admit I am very jealous of your quick pace. I go slow mostly because I stop at some point to write a new entry before having too many episodes on my hand to cover. Like the latest one: I was planning to write about more than 10 episodes but I got carried away and it got so long that I've decided to divide it in two.

And sometimes it takes a week or more between me watching the newest episodes and having the time to blog about them.

But anyway, I hope you check back from time to time and share your own opinions. And your mothers' too :)


Kelly said...

Take two on this. Not sure if my first response got posted or not, but since I don't see any indication of this, let's try it again.

Sorry I didn't get back to you before now. I just completed rereading you blog up to this point. It's kind of nice to go back and refresh my memory, since I am now on episode #963 (my mother is almost done with the series). Don't worry, I won't spoil you at all.

Where do we disagree? I think mainly about Roger and Sarah. Since I didn't start watching at the very beginning like you did, I've never hated Roger, mainly because I think I came in after all the bad things he did in the earlier episodes. He will never be my favorite character, but I never hated him, and I'm even starting to sort of like him now that I'm almost done with him.

As for Sarah, I think I like her more symbolically than anything. I've always liked what she represented to Barnabas, although I expected her to actually speak to him when she was a ghost more than one time (probably because I first saw the character on the 1991 remake version). I did like the original Sarah for herself as well, though. I felt sorry for this poor, lost, lonely little girl. I admit the actress wasn't the best, but her character was one of my favorites in the pre-1795 storyline (Willie being one of my other favorites). I did have to shake my head, though, that when Sarah was alive, she spent a lot of time on the show taking naps. Apparently the Collinses still thought she was three years old.

I would probably go a lot slower if I was trying to blog about it, too. I commend you for still watching and blogging, and hope you keep it up.

RCS1988 said...

Just wondering, the picture of Alexandra Moltke sitting by the water, is that from a documentary or interview she did? Also, they should have let her atleast be under the influence of the Levitihans in 1969 or have her play a character in the 1897 storyline.

Brenda Frie said...

I am so addicted to Dark Shadows, I bought all the episodes through YouTube and am now on my third time around!..I watch them while I fall asleep every night. Vicki was my favorite charactar and I wish they would have brought her back in some way...too bad they did not agree to the possessed thing, that would have been so cool. Anyway I am currently on, for the third time around, the episodes where Mathew Morgan has Vicki hidden in the secret room at the old house. I wish I had someone to watch them with me, my husband shows no interest in the series.

Efe X said...

Hey Brenda,

Wow, 3rd time 'round? You weren't kidding when you said you are addicted :) 3 years ago when I first started to watch the show, I used to play the episodes when my friends were around and they'd get interested eventually, but not as much as to follow it as I did. It's fun to watch other people react to it.

And I like Vicki too. Who doesn't like a damsel in distress who happens to sass out and kick ass every now and then? Too bad the story line of her heritage was never completed.