The Dark Shadows audio saga continues with this forty-seventh installment, In the Twinkling of an Eye. Interestingly enough, though, other than a very brief appearance at the beginning by David, Amy, and Hallie (and when I say brief, I mean a less than 30-second appearance), the story does not feature any of the traditional Dark Shadows characters. Instead, this installment features the character of Jessica Griffin (as portrayed by DS veteran, Marie Wallace), who is the mother of Ed Griffin, a character introduced in the very first DS audios. The story also features Jackie Tate, the daughter of Collinsport's current sheriff, and introduces the character of "Nate."
The story takes place not too long after the conclusion of the Bloodlust mini-series, and finds Jessica released from the hospital (where she was placed after being violently attacked and left in a coma during the mini-series) and back to working at The Blue Whale. Jackie Tate is helping her out, despite her young age, and the two women have formed a friendship of sorts. Enter the enigmatic stranger - Nate!
While the characters may not be drenched in DS history, the story definitely falls in line with your typical Dark Shadows storylines. A mysterious stranger blows into town and immediately strikes up conversations with both Jessica and Jackie - and while both women feel a connection, it turns out that only Jessica has a real connection to this stranger - one that could have dire consequences if she doesn't figure out what it is before it's too late! In true soap opera style, we get gradual flashbacks throughout the story, as we learn slowly but surely the true nature of Nate's connection to Jessica. There's a supernatural element to the story that is played subtly, which makes the story creepier than if it were overly dark. Plus, in true soap opera fashion, we learn a lot about Jessica Griffin's past that, up till now, has not been revealed.
An interesting tidbit is the t-shirt that Nate wears. It's sort of a running gag through the story that Nate is always wearing the same t-shirt, and eventually, Jessica becomes somewhat hypnotized by it, as it reminds her of the garden she used to have at home - a garden that she seems to be reliving while she was in her coma (during the flashback scenes) - yet, sadly, it sort of gets dropped as the story wraps up, and there is no real explanation or connection made for the t-shirt or why it resembles her garden.
I wouldn't say this was one of my favorite stories, as it is missing the regular Dark Shadows cast, but I suppose the DS universe does need to expand to keep Collinsport alive and real.
RATING: 7 glasses of delicious lemonade out of 10 for offering up something different and giving some supporting characters a shot at the limelight.