Dark Shadows: Review: Big Finish Audio 11: Blood Dance

Starring David Selby and Lisa Richards

Written by Stephen Mark Rainey, Directed by Darren Gross

In which Quentin Collins (Selby), living in Chicago in 1929, is smitten by the enigmatic Chandres Tessier (Richards), proprietress of the Arcadia Club, a glamorous speakeasy which hides a terrible secret…

A metropolitan city, a secret cult and a female love interest for Quentin who has connections to said cult? Oh no – it’s The Skin Walkers all over again!  But this time, these familiar ingredients come together much more pleasingly, I’m glad to say… While one might expect more use of the Roaring Twenties/ Gangland Chicago setting, Blood Dance instead concentrates on Quentin and Chandres’s relationship. As a result, it remains contained and engaging as the peripatetic immortal finds himself ensnared by her charms in more ways than one.

David Selby is in fine form here, but Lisa Richards – who played Sabrina Stuart in several dozen episodes of Dark Shadows – is rather less so. Compared to Selby’s nuanced deliveries, hers seem flatter and more one-dimensional, like a “first take” that often lacks the ranges that both story and character demand.

While undeniably atmospheric, the script rather meanders as it progresses, culminating in a resolution that feels less than organic and thus not as satisfying as it could have been, which is a shame.

VERDICT: Selby gives it his all, but Blood Dance is hindered by an increasingly meandering script and its second lead’s performance. 7/10

John S. Hall

Click here to order Blood Dance from Big Finish

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