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Dallas: Canon, Fanon and Headcanon

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Mel O'Drama, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    That's not the point I'm making. I said:

    It's not about being passive or being assertive; it's about what is normal in "Dallas world." When Pam and JR are in the hayloft in "Barbecue" she tells JR that she and Bobby are going to move away Southfork. JR replies: "You can't do that; you'll break up the family"! Later in the episode, Jock says to Pam: "I don't want to lose another son." Those aren't property attachments; they're family attachments.

    In Dallas when a man gets punched by another man, there is never an arrest or a lawsuit. That isn't about being passive; it's just how things are in their world. It is that nobody would be so petty as to involve the law over something that minor. In "Dallas world" men are expected to handle something like that on their own. It's a higher level of self-reliance, of being able to handle one's own affairs.
     
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  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Moving out (or away) appears to be the equivalent of "losing a son" or "breaking up the family". In other words, Bobby could only be his son as long as he lived on Southfork.
     
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  3. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    In my mind, I try to imagine the house and offices in the first 5 episodes were the same as the rest of the series. The way it stands, it’s as if the first 5 episodes were a different universe. The house was totally different, and all the boys had separate, smaller houses. In the first episode of the first long season, it is known that Pam had a miscarriage, so that ties in, but they have a totally different mansion, and the small houses are gone. In any episode after, the characters couldn’t refer back to living in the separate houses because it never happened.

    I don’t know why, but that’s always been tougher for me to explain away than even a different actor playing the same character, so I just imagine that parts of the first five episodes didn’t happen.
     
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  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    When I think back on the mini-series (without viewing it) my mind "forgets" and does very much the same thing for many of the scenes. The wintry atmosphere of the mini-series helps, because my headcanon glosses over the change by telling me that the ranch simply "feels" different because the climate is different.

    I'd like to be able to do it the other way round and visualise The Cloyce Box Ranch setup onto scenes from the series proper. The mini-series ranch certainly looked more substantial and impressive which, along with the separate houses, makes at least a little sense of why rich middle-aged men and their families are still living with their parents. But the Duncan Acres iconography is far too strong for me to airbrush it out.
     
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Just to make things even more enjoyably head-spinny, the exterior Southfork in the 1930s scenes in The Early Years use the mini-series ranch*, while the 1950s ones use the 'normal' ranch.

    *OK, apparently it's not the actual mini-series ranch, but one nearby that looks very much like it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Seaviewer

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    That's pretty much as I see it. Sometimes contradictions can be rationalised; sometimes they just have to be overlooked. I haven't read any of the novelisations but the von Wormer books are useful to fill in some details; if there's a contradiction there, the shows take precedence.
     
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  7. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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    I sometimes think that, between the Miniseries and Season 1, the Ewings finished restoring the "original" ranch, and that other house was something they rented just for that cold winter...Then it was sold to someone else who was a bit of a pyromaniac, but that´s another story...

    upload_2020-6-19_17-58-2.jpeg upload_2020-6-19_17-58-29.jpeg

    "Oh J.R., I remember that other nice ranch you had, the one with the six pillars..."
    "You what?"​
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
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  8. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    The 1986 prequel should've filmed at the Cloyce Box ranch. Because, in my head, Southfork was hit by a twister between 1978's "Barbecue" and "Reunion, Part 1" (where I envision workers on the roof hammering away as the family sits around by the pool and JR refers to Pam's buoys).

    But that's me.
     
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  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    They rented it from papi Ramos?
     
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  10. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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    Or maybe it was that old cheap Lucas Wade...Wouldn´t it be FUN if Jessie had retroactively killed Jenna´s dad too...?

    :danc::danc::danc::danc::danc::fp::fp::fp::fp::fp::fp::fp::fp::spinning::spinning::spinning::spinning::spinning::rip:
     
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  11. Seaviewer

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    I should probably qualify that.

    I haven't read the Raintree or Hirschfeld books; I have read some of the Soaps & Serials series but they stayed very faithful to the episodes as aired as I recall.
     
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  12. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    I love the Soaps & Serials books. They do more or less go by what was seen on the screen but with adding a few more details.

    I like the Laura Van Wormer books but they can't be taken as Canon since some of the details doesn't add up. For instance in the Dallas book she claims that Gary was born before Jock left for the war, which would be around 1942 or 1943. But in the Knots Landing book she states that Gary's birth year was 1945. So some things doesn't add up!

    I completely dismiss the Raintree book as a piece of fiction that didn't have much to do with the show. I mean Lucy was not JR's daughter!
    I think that book was a piece of Fanon at best.

    Which brings me to the original question. I am familiar with the expression Canon before as it was used in the fanculture books that I read while studying media and communication/film studies at the University in the first decade of the 2000s. But I have not kept up with the literature since I completed my master thesis in 2014 so I have never heard of the expressions Fanon and Headcanon before. So is headcanon similar to an alternative universe?

    Then as for Dallas. I consider everything that happened on Dallas (1978-1991) and everything that happened on Knots Landing to be canon, with the exception of that Bobby never died on Knots Landing either. I dismiss that detail since Bobby is alive in the Dallas universe and although Knots never went back on that he died and there is a separation between the shows at that point, I need Bobby to be alive there too to be able to have the characters interact with each other in a Dallas fanfic I'm writing:

    http://www.soapchat.net/threads/dallas-in-the-90s.596/

    I consider that fanfic to be an alternative universe of what happened after both shows went off the air. It's set in 1995 so the reunion movies or Knots mini-series reunion are not a part of it's canon. But everything that happened on the shows are except for the dream season and that Bobby never died on Knots Landing either. I guess you can call it a headcanon since in my head it's what really happened after the shows went off the air. But I prefer the term alternative universe. :)

    Because of this I consider Dallas TNT (2012-2014) to be an other alternative universe that is a bit separate from the original Dallas. The show is still Dallas and I guess it's the official continuation of what happened to the Ewings after Dallas went off the air. But since it has not stayed true to everything that happened on the original Dallas and changed a lot of details I prefer to think of it as an alternative universe. It is still Dallas. But it's a darker version of Dallas than the original show. Naturally since that also ended on a bad note I wrote another fanfic last year to tie up the lose ends. So for that story everything that happened on Dallas TNT is canon (+ most stuff that happened on the original show):

    http://www.soapchat.net/threads/dallas-tnt-forgiveness.8581/

    But if there are stuff from the original show and Dallas TNT that doesn't match, Dallas TNT's version is what goes. So well I guess you can call this another piece of headcanon...

    Then as for Fanon. I guess JR having an illegimate daughter has become Fanon. It was established on Dallas TNT and most fans have accepted it as being true even though we never met the girl. The idea of the daughter is also used in lots of fanfics that picks up after Dallas TNT. Although the idea was actually used already in the Return to Southfork fanfic that was written in the 1990s where JR had a daughter with Mandy that was called Jillian. So I guess some could argue that the idea of JR's daughter was actually borrowed from fanfics by Dallas TNT. But for that arguement to hold the writers on Dallas TNT would have had to have read RTS and I don't think they ever did. But yeah it's an interesting thought!

    But well to answer your main question, to me Knots Landing and Dallas belongs to the same universe and if I were to dismiss my Dallas fanfic as what really happened after the shows went off the air I would include the original shows and their reunion movies in the same universe too. But dismiss Dallas TNT.

    I guess technically Dallas and Dallas TNT could also be seen as a part of the same universe. But I think Dallas TNT was too contradictory to be a true continuation of the original story.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for bringing up this interesting topic for discussion @Mel O'Drama :hat:
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  13. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    It's decades since I read them, but I remember some characters' "thoughts" were added.


    Some of the non-canon details in the book were quite juicy. I can imagine a whole alternative continuing series of Dallas based on the premise set up here, where Lucy has to come to terms with being JR's daughter and Ellie has to live with her youngest son being named after her husband's mistress.


    They were new to me as well, Karin.


    Well, I suppose it's a type of alternative universe, but a very specific one that lives in the head of the fan in order to enhance the "real" universe.


    If memory serves, Knots did quietly resurrect Bobby in later seasons when someone (Gary or Karen?) mentioned speaking to him on the phone. Unless I dreamt it. :D



    I love that you have your own headcanon which combines the best elements of the main Ewingverse from '78-'93 and continues into the rest of the Nineties. That's a perfect example.
     
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  14. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    Thank you. :)

    I think "Ewingverse" is such an appropriate word to tie Dallas & Knots together. I can't remember them ever calling Bobby after he died though. They talked about calling Lucy though.

    Ugh, I had forgotten about the detail where they named Bobby after Roberta! :re:
    I think it was written before it was revealed that Jock's mistress during the war was an army nurse named Margaret Hunter.

    I love the style the Soap & Serials books used and that they added thoughts too. Reading them was always such a treat.
     
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  15. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Isn't it? I can't claim copyright on that one. @James from London - who possibly coined it - was using it long before I started using it for the very reason you've stated.


    I dare say you might be right. It's been many a year since I watched Knots and my memory's hopeless at the best of times. Maybe I am thinking of Lucy.
     
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    I think I stole it from the Buffyverse.
     
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  17. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    Maybe that's why "Ewingverse" sounds so good to me!
    I've been a fan of the "Buffyverse" for a little over 20 years now. :cool1
     
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  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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  19. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    That’s about as good of an explanation I suppose. I don’t know why, but it’s tougher for me to overlook physical changes without explanation. In this case, there was no explanation because it was supposed to be the same place. This would be like having a character in a wheelchair, and when a new actor takes over the character, he’s not in a wheelchair, and they act as though he never was.
     
  20. Seaviewer

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    Yes, it's often said that Bobby "stayed dead" on Knots Landing but there is no positive evidence for that. Only the negative evidence that they never addressed it.
    You dreamt it. ;) But there are post-dream scenes on Dallas where Bobby speaks about calling Gary.
    Adding -verse to something is quite common. I don't know where it originated.

    Rather than alternate timelines, in my headcanon time itself was reset at Bobby's return; the previous events happened but, for some unknown reason, were only remembered by Pam, who was then told it was dream. The same reset occurred in Knots Landing so that Bobby never died and no one remembered that he did.

    There must have been another reset before the TNT series (the decision to ignore the reunion movies) which allowed the appearance of Rebecca Sutter with no one remembering her as Pamela Rebecca from before - including herself.

    Arguably, an earlier reset could explain the change in Southforks and why no one remembers living in separate cottages.
     
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