Unlike Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark didn’t really have recurring villains or even characters outside of the kids who told the stories. But there were indeed two characters that we got to see plenty of times and they were Sardo the magic shop owner and Dr. Vink who got to appear in more than one story through out the shows run and were fan favorites so let’s talk about them for a while.
Not only the owner of Sardo’s Magic Mansion but also a bit of an amateur magician, Sardo. He is most famous for his catchphrases “That’s Sar-DOH! No Mister, accent on the do!” and “All right!, but I’m losing on the deal!” and he usually had some type of item that the character of the story needed. His store usually featured both phony stuff as well as real stuff which would usually get either him or others in trouble. He appeared in the following episodes: “The Tale of the Super Specs”, “The Tale of the Dark Dragon”, “The Tale of the Carved Stone”, “The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure: Part 1”, “The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure: Part 2”, “The Tale of a Door Unlocked”, “The Tale of Oblivion” and “The Tale of the Time Trap”.
He was Gary’s character, borrowed once by David and eventually Gary from the newer generation inherited him but still played by Richard Dumont. The character usually creates trouble which is somehow resolved by the end of the episode though at least once he kind of ruins the world by opening a portal, I guess that can be considered as the final episode taking place in the Sardo-verse or things went back to normal after the story ended. The character stayed consistent and the stories that featured him were usually some of the best, seeing that magic shop you knew that something wicked would come out of it.
Unlike Sardo Dr. Vink didn’t have as much consistency as he was a sorcerer or mad scientist but a generally mysterious man, with catchphrases such as “Vink’s the name. Dr. Vink.” Dr. Fink? Vink. With a va va va”. He was usually in Frank’s stories and sadly didn’t have many appearances. He was featured in the following episodes: “The Tale of the Phantom Cab”, “The Tale of the Midnight Madness”,”The Tale of the Dangerous Soup”, “The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure: Part 1”, “The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure: Part 2”.
As mentioned his role changed and he could either have a restaurant, be living in the woods or just a guy who made movies. He was always great and intimidating since he was usually portrayed as a villain and while in very different ways he was always excellent at it and I wish there had been more consistency with who he was but I guess we can go with him being a mysterious person with no background. The actor Aron Tager did appear in other episodes with memorable roles but I don’t count them here since he wasn’t portraying Dr. Vink.
Gary & Frank once told a two part story together and it featured a crossover called The Tale of the Cutter’s Treasure that had both Sardo and Dr. Vink. Sardo as usual was consistant while Dr. Vink wasn’t and the actual story was sadly not the greatest and a big let down. It was still cool to see the two awesome recurring characters who always had strong episodes together despite not living to expectations.
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