November 12, 2003

3:10 PM Out Of AfricaDigest had a very nice, unexpected (well, sort of unexpected) visit from OLTL’s Fiona Hutchison (Gabrielle, OLTL) and her 7-year old son, Hutch, this afternoon. On her way into the studio she came by our digs for a quick tour and to drop off some pictures. As you may know, Hutchison and Ricky Paull Goldin (Gus, GL) traveled to Africa over the summer to help with an organization called The Gabriel Project, which provides heart transplants to children who desperately need them. A whole photo essay will be appearing in our December 2 issue (on sale November 24), but the pictures she was bringing us were of when some of the African recipients and their parents dropped by the OLTL studios! Those will appear online here soon — so watch this space.Noted Hutchison of their trip to Tanzania, “We brought little gifts, little sweets, bottled water, which we gave out. We didn’t mean to cause a stir, but in one village we practically started a riot because water is more valuable than gold there. And it took a lot of men to calm everybody down and get the chief of the tribe of the local village tribe to calm everyone down and distribute the water evenly. We had about 96 bottles of bottled water, which we brought over from America. You can buy bottled water when you get there, but part of the fascination was it was a bottle with totally different writing on it than they’d ever seen, and naturally the water that was inside. That was the naive tourist in us.”10:05 AM Shadowy DecisionsHey, sorry about the shortened entries from yesterday — we had our annual Best and Worst meeting at Digest yesterday afternoon, and it ran a little long. Why? Well, the debates and discussions can get rather heated (and hilarious), and we have to make sure we’re picking truly the best, and the worst, of the year. (Boy, will some of you be surprised.) Look for that in the issue dated December 23, on sale December 16.So, on to other info: Have you heard that DARK SHADOWS might be making a comeback? (Hopefully they’ll have hammered out those boom mic problems.) That’s right — the ghoulish vampire soap (which pre-dated PC by airing from 1966-71) might be ripe for a remake, in prime-time. According to the trade papers, deals are still being made so we can’t get too excited (or scared) yet, but look for news updates in upcoming Digests.That said, now might be a great time to brush up on your DS knowledge. To say it is one of the most popular ex-soaps is probably an understatement — DS fills pages upon pages of the Internet, and is being re-run on the Sci-Fi channel as we speak. Additionally, according to the Dark Shadows Web site, the two feature films made from the DS universe were just aired on Turner Classic Movies in October.So what’s all this clamor over a long-gone soap? Truth is, as PC recently proved, vampire myths are, well, undead. According to the DS Web site, the creator and producer of DS, Dan Curtis “had a dream in which he saw a young woman riding a train to an old gothic mansion.” That woman became the heroine of the series, Victoria Winters; the plot was “based on a previous work by Art Wallace (Story Creator and Writer), THE HOUSE,’ ” a teleplay about a woman whose husband has long been missing. That woman became character Elizabeth Collins Stoddard — and the house, Collinwood. Not long after the series debuted, ghosts began appearing, then a Phoenix, and at last: a vampire, Barnabas Collins. Since then, well, it’s been virtually impossible to drive a stake through the heart of it. (NBC revived it briefly in 1991 with a brand new cast and a more extravagant production setup, but it didn’t last.)Good thing OLTL got Michael Easton (John; ex-Caleb, PC) when they could….

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