Two of the most popular characters in the Dark Shadows range come together in fresh way for this excellent set from Big Finish.

A tale of love, despair and redemption for the past, ‘Maggie & Quentin – The Lovers’ Refrain’ goes to some surprisingly dark places and the stories are all the better for it.

The Girl Beneath the Water by Lila Whelan

Author Lila Whelan pens the opening story in the familiar vein of the Dark Shadows series. Many audios from this range concern family matters and ‘The Girl Beneath the Water’ is no different. In this case, the worst fears of Maggie & Quentin are brought to life. Quentin, still imbued with his werewolf curse is afraid of any future children inheriting his issues. Maggie is afraid that she won’t be a good mother. Meanwhile, something in the house is amplifying those fears and using it against the pair, culminating in an all-out battle for reality. The story hits upon an incredible, heartbreaking twist that only reveals itself in the last second. To say any more would be to spoil the surprise of this story but it is clear that Lila Whelan has a real handle on the characters. There is an incredible mystery at the heart of this tale, one that will shock, surprise and probably leave you a mess of tears. But it is an incredible listen.

The Sand That Speaks His Name by Mark Thomas Passmore

The second story takes the set in a different direction. Right off the bat, we are greeted by some hilarious narration between the main characters to establish the story. Writer Mark Thomas Passmore makes a great decision in taking Maggie and Quentin out of Collinswood  and depositing them in the heart of New York. Right in the middle of summer and straight into the action. With a Golem on the loose and Quentin’s past coming back to haunt him, ‘The Sand that Speaks his Name’ is a story that is designed to show us what a brilliant team Maggie and Quentin are. They work brilliantly together due in no small part to the excellent chemistry between Katheryn Leigh-Scott & David Selby. This impressive story gives us a glance into Quentin’s mysterious past and Passmore does a good job of setting up and executing an unfolding mystery. It also hints at a new conflict to be explored later.

The Hollow Winds That Beckon by Cody Schell

Where the last story did a good job of bringing Maggie and Quentin together, this script succeeds in tearing them apart. Stuck on a mysterious island, the pair not only have to learn to survive but to overcome their fears of one another. Maggie and Quentin are quite literally put through the wringer in this powerful tale from Cody Schell. In a story that feels a little reminiscent of ‘Lost’, ‘The Hollow Winds that Beckon’ has a good supernatural theme with Daisy Torme putting in a fantastic performance as the mysterious woman Jacquèlope, someone who isn’t who she first appears to be. This is another fantastic instalment.

The Paper to the Flame by Alan Flanagan

It all culminates in the final story, ‘The Paper to the Flame’, which sees the pair go from the halls of the Windcliff Asylum to an abandoned mining town burning itself to the ground. The pair must face up to the sins of the past in this story from Alan Flanagan. The script sets up early on that the duo are playing with some very real stakes. Flanagan revels in changing things up, playing with the lore of ‘Dark Shadows’ and the character of Quentin Collins. But most importantly, ‘The Paper to the Flame’ brings this excellent set to a thrilling conclusion. Flanagan does such a brilliant job here and even goes against the grain for ‘Dark Shadows’.

Overall

‘Maggie & Quentin – The Lovers Refrain’ is simply a fantastic release. It’s range of incredible scripts from some very experienced writers terrify and delight in equal measure. There can be no doubt that the sparkling chemistry between the two leads helps to sell these stories as much as the writing. They are aided by a powerhouse quartet of directors who keep the pace and the tension strong throughout.

‘Dark Shadows: Maggie & Quentin – The Lovers’ Refrain’ is available to buy now from the Big Finish website.

Synopsis

This title was released in June 2018. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until July 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.

The Girl Beneath the Water by Lila Whelan

“If I don’t leave now something will try and stop me! Don’t you see what’s happening here? Something doesn’t want us to leave.”

As Maggie Collins welcomes her children home to Collinwood to celebrate her husband Quentin’s 65th birthday, she is blissfully unaware of the cruel magic at work underpinning the heartwarming scene.

In a battle for reality, Maggie and Quentin must come together to protect their children against an ancient magical force that knows no mercy. But in doing so, they risk losing everything they love. For who can be trusted when you can’t trust yourself?

The Sand That Speaks His Name by Mark Thomas Passmore

“‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here…’ Just the standard disclaimer – nothing to worry about.”

A mistake from Quentin’s past casts a dark shadow over his and Maggie’s weekend getaway in New York City. A Golem is loose, threatening innocents and only Quentin knows how to stop it. But first, he must learn how and why the creature has come back to life, a task which takes Maggie and Quentin on a quest through the hidden supernatural network of the Big Apple.

Will Maggie’s foray into the perilous life Quentin used to live drive an irreparable wedge in their relationship? Will the rampaging Golem give them the chance to find out?

The Hollow Winds That Beckon by Cody Schell

“Ghosts. The seas are haunted. By the spirits of men – and women – who left land searching for something or other. A new land. Treasure. A new life. They keep searching.”

A sunny day of fishing is interrupted by dark clouds as Quentin and Maggie find themselves swept up in events beyond their understanding. They’ll do their best to escape a mysterious island, even if their failure means joining those who have failed before them – the ghosts on the waves.

The Paper to the Flame by Alan Flanagan

“Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet / She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet…”

When a group of Windcliff patients start chanting a centuries-old song, Maggie and Quentin investigate – and find themselves drawn to an abandoned town with haunted streets and a fire burning deep below. There they must face an enemy far stronger, and far more unhinged, than they could ever have imagined – one with a grudge that stretches into both their pasts, and will have a profound effect on both their futures…

Producers Joseph Lidster & David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Flanagan
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs and Jim Pierson

Written By: Lila Whelan, Mark Thomas Passmore, Cody Schell, Alan Flanagan
Directed By: David Darlington, Joseph Lidster, Alan Flanagan, Jim Pierson

Cast

Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), David Selby (Quentin Collins), Clark Alexander (Ronan Collins/ Tommy Lee Woods/ Mathias Woods/ Train Conductor), Johnny Myers (Mr Brewer/ The Librarian/ McCray/ Lucien Cray), Brendan O’Rourke (Doctor Hilary Cooper), Zara Symes (Emily Collins/ Angie/ Sally Evans), Daisy Tormé (Ms Bailey/ Jacquèlope)

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