01/04/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 60 minutes CD. Price: CD: £ 9.99 (UK), download: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: TBA. Voices: Jerry Lacy and John Karlen.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
The Reverend Gregory Trask is a good man. He's a holy man. Maybe even a saint. Except he's not. He's a wicked, pious hypocrite. Just like his father, he has led a life of evil masked as good which leads him to this point walled-up to die with just a revolver for company by his ever-loving wife, Judith.
Whilst in his confinement and as he contemplates the end of his existence, a demon confronts Trask and compels him to face up to his wickedness. Even in his early years, this man is a sanctimonious fraud who condemns his father's wife for her supposed adultery and follows his father into a church that denounces suffragettes as whores. It is only in the darkness where he might redeem his soul, if his eyes open at last.
We are in mega-Gothic territory again. Not one to shirk its responsibilities 'The Wicked And The Dead' is a gloriously over the top story from the 'Dark Shadows' audio collection.
The accents are pure corn and the plot even more maize-like but you cannot fault this Dynasty with Damnation approach. With news of a 'Dark Shadows' film bubbling under the news headlines with the super-Gothic Tim Burton about to take on the challenge it's never been a better time to get into this everlasting soap.
Perhaps it's the American voices, perhaps it's the choicest of sets, as furnished by your imagination, but 'Dark Shadows' is made for the times we live in. It's rich in imagination, cheap in translation, its economy driven drama and brilliant escapism.
One can only imagine how much spittle was wiped off the inside of the recording booths after this particular episode was recorded. The vainglorious Trask is superbly enunciated and Jerry Lacey amplifies the character's fire and brimstone. The only let-down is the lack of extras on this Big Finish release. I'm used to my fix of the actors chatting about how much fun they had and where they got their motivation. Perhaps it's not recorded in the same way as the other Big Finish audios but it would be a nice addition to the package.
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