“Ragged Isle,” a new web series that will debut its first episode Wednesday, March 9, is “set on a remote Maine island shrouded in mystery” but its roots go back to Belfast.

The series, which will comprise two seasons of 10 episodes each, is being produced by The Entertainment Experiment, a video production company owned and operated by Barry and Karen Dodd of Gorham. Both grew up in Waldo County and graduated from Belfast Area High School. While most of the series’ locations are in southern Maine, parts of the first season’s finale were shot during last summer’s Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland. There also are scenes shot along the Shore Path in Bar Harbor where Karen’s mother and stepfather live.

The episodes, which run around 10 minutes each, will be available to view anytime at raggedisle.com. The plan is to post a new episode every week, although a week before going live only the first was completely ready to go.

“They’re all in a state of being almost done; there’s some color correction and voiceovers to be added — it’s been a long process,” said Karen, who is producing the series.

The couple have a lot of film experience under their belts. Karen, whose day job is working at a group home for developmentally disabled folk, went to film school in New York; and Barry, who attended the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, manages the commercial production department of Portland’s Fox23. The relatively recent arrival of high quality digital video shooting and editing also contributes to the existence of “Ragged Isle.”

“Digital video and iMovie have definitely leveled the playing field,” said Barry.

The web serial playing field is filled with series that offer five-minute episodes. “Ragged Isle” is a different animal in many ways and one is the length of its installments. Barry said the idea is to leave the series’ site up indefinitely, so people can go back and re-watch episodes, especially after “Ragged Isle” runs its two-season course. He said the show will encourage such repeat viewing because there are clues and foreshadowing woven throughout every episode.

“Most of them run about 10 minutes; the longest is about 15. We want people to know that going in so they make themselves comfortable and give in to the experience,” Barry said.

Part of the reason “Ragged Isle” is going a tad long-form is because its genesis was in a network soap opera competition. A few years back, the cable station SOAPnet held a contest that someone in the Dodds’ writers group brought up.

“I’m not much of a soap opera fan, but I knew ‘Dark Shadows’ and remember really digging it,” said Barry.

That gothic soap, which inspired a generation of youngsters to run home after school each weekday, was set in the fictional town of Collinsport, Maine which, given the 50 miles it was said to be from Bangor, many presume to have been Bar Harbor, Barry said. It was atmospheric and spooky, a change from most soap settings.

“So we said, OK, let’s do this, we can totally win this contest,” Barry said.

In the end, they did not win the SOAPnet contest but did place among the top five finalists, which meant the network flew a team out from Los Angeles to meet with the writers.

“It got a lot of buzz and was a lot of fun to do,” said Barry.

To find a setting for their story, the writers looked at a map of Maine. Barry was intrigued by the Knox County island of Criehaven, in part because he was unaware of its pronunciation and thought it was pronounced “cry.” Criehaven ended up serving as narrative inspiration for “Ragged Isle” while Casco Bay’s Little Diamond actually provides the visuals for much of the fictional location.

Having produced a storyline and some scripts for the SOAPnet contest, the Dodds and their cohorts decided to go the web series route. The costs are coming out of the couple’s own pockets, and both are quick to call the production a collaborative effort.

“It’s been kind of people to let us shoot in places we would normally have to pay for,” said Barry, who is the series’ director.

“And it’s amazing all the creative talent we have. I mean, no one gets paid — we feed people and provide some transportation, but that’s really it,” said Karen.

Donations also are a big help in making “Ragged Isle” a reality, said Barry. The website offers a donation option, as well as T-shirts, to help fund the production.

The action of the series is all set within a couple of summer weeks, which means filming in the state’s busiest time of year. Karen said they tried to work around events and did a lot of weekday filming in public parks and the like. Still, there was a lot of start and stop as people wandered through their “sets.” Sometimes, the interlopers ended up in the shoot.

“There was a couple from Michigan who asked if they could be extras and we said ‘sure, come on in,'” said Karen, adding that their parents — Barry’s live in Morrill — and her sister Kimberly Sanders, a waitress at Darby’s in Belfast, show up in season one.

“One of our writers, Jacob Lear, is from Morrill and graduated with us at BAHS. He’s been my friend since kindergarten,” added Barry.

Also showing up ever so briefly is Matinicus actress Suzanne Rankin, but Barry said her role will be much bigger in season, whose principal photography will be shot this summer.

“I saw her in a music show and wondered if she could act, then was told she’s one of the best around. Then we found out she lives on Matinicus, which is right near Criehaven,” said Barry.

Having been freed from soap opera constraints, “Ragged Isle” is more a suspense story, although Barry said there is some romance. Judging by the trailer, there also is the kind of gothic elements that informed “Dark Shadows” and much of Stephen King’s writing.

“When we brought it back, it was more like a ‘Twin Peaks’ primetime soap … in some ways, we’re doing this to show what we could have done had we won,” said Barry.

It is hard to image the Dodds doing much more. In addition to their day jobs, their Entertainment Experiment has them filming community events and local theater and dance productions, as well as such side projects as the Salem, Mass. Haunted Passport. But “Ragged Isle” has a lot of personal resonance for the couple, whom Barry describes as high school sweethearts. Doing a Maine story in Maine with Maine people, including a number of bands on the soundtrack, is a driving force for them.

“We grew up here, and we love Maine. We wanted to reflect the way Maine really is, not just a stereotyped accent. The true Maine has a mystery and we want to capture that,” said Karen.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.