"I Love Lucard" -- The Tag
by "I Love Lucard" writer Stu Woolley
My Tag [see below] was conventional, comedic and shallow (that's a descriptive, not an evaluative, term). It's the typical, expected upbeat ending that closes the character arcs of the episode.
While mine is certainly workable and does the job, you can readily see how vastly superior—and risky—the actual Tag was. That was written by the LDB&L creative team.
The Wagnerian epilogue in Lucard's castle caps the episode in a dark, chilling and entirely vampirish manner. If ILL made us a little more inclined to like Lucard for his polish, his sophistication, his education, his proto-human qualities, the creative team reminds us that he is, au fond (as the French say) a ruthless, self-serving immortal who is as dangerous as arsenic.
This coda plays operatically without a shred of comedy. That's the genius of it. It's dark, brooding, upsetting even. And underneath the homicidal cruelty, there is just hint of tragedy. Lucard's despair at being, irrevocably, what he must be. Lucard is not free. He is a prisoner of eternal conditions; his fate is determined for him. In this moment, Lucard is Macbeth or Don Jose ("Carmen") acting out a nature that he cannot overcome in a world that he knows will one day destroy him.
It is these moments that lifted a campy family-entertainment TV series from mere veggie-vision to something qualitative—dare I say profound? It's the kind of transcendence of TV room existence that you get from some of the best "Star Trek: Next Generation" episodes (Picard's bogus "lifetime" on a planet awaiting destruction, the myth of external return in the dime-store novel in the Hotel Royale, and many others). And it's for these entertainment moments that your webpage exists—and, likewise, the feeling that the series, killed in infancy, had more of the same to offer. Had there been but time!
"I Love Lucard"
INT: GUSTAV'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
Carrying a portable tape recorder, Max interrupts Gustav at the table. He's snowed under by documents & receipts: "tax time".
|Gustav goes back to his adding-machine. Max moves on. Sophie & Chris are watching music videos on TV.|
|Max turns off his tape recorder & walks off screen, deadpan. CHRIS doesn't get it:|
|...Max?...Uh, I get the feeling you're not listening, Max...Hey, I haven't even gotten myself outta diapers yet!|
Sophie & Gustav laugh.
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