SoapLand - The Battle Of New Character Introductions: The Result

Discussion in 'SoapLand - The Battles' started by Willie Oleson, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    The battle isn't over yet, and this time we're looking for the most interesting, spectacular or whatever introduction of a new SoapLand Citizen, including those who were just passing through.
    How were they written into the story, what was so peculiar about their first appearances etc etc.

    upload_2018-4-13_20-26-38.png

    Do you have 5 favourites?​
     
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  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I had to think on this one for a bit! Typically the 'finalists' come to me rather quickly.

    1. Ruth Galveston, Knots Landing--all the shadowy on-screen movements and fancy camera work was for naught, since the Enquirer had blasted "Ava Gardner joins Knots!" on its cover and blown the secret. The fun was in trying to figure out just how she figured in this tangled tale of Greg Sumner's life. When the camera finally showed her face....well, it all seemed to be a perfect mix of casting and great plotting. All the cinematography tricks seemed to suit such a famous film star.

    2. Paige Matheson, KL--yeah, it's a soap cliché for someone to drop by and say "Hi, I'm your long-lost kid!", but when you drop by to drop your bomb just as your stepmother has dropped off the face of the earth...well, jaws dropped.

    3. Kit Marlowe (or..."Kit Marlowe"), Falcon Crest--the hat alone made her a finalist. Definitely a case of an actress (Kim Novak) having the perfect type of character written for her, almost a wag-the-dog situation.

    4. Francesca Gioberti, FC--again, a character whose splashy arrival seemed well-tailored to the actress (Gina Lollobrigida) and her strengths.

    5. Cathy Geary, KL--Gary's face turned whiter than those towels "the hotel maid" brought to his room. What better way to introduce a doppelganger? And to have her disappear as quickly as she appeared only made the whole scene even more memorable. Maybe if Gary wasn't such a lousy tipper she would have stuck around.
     
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  3. Jock Og

    Jock Og Soap Chat Active Member

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    1) Alexis Morell Carrington – DYNASTY: The character had arrived who would shake up the Colorado show and provide the impetus for a formidable competition to DALLAS, for many years to come. Fallon uttered the sentence triggering the start of Alexis: “Oh my God, that’s my mother!” Joan Collins from 1981 on would become as much a 80s icon, as Larry Hagman.
    2) Richard Channing – FALCON CREST: A spanner was thrown into the works of the mainly wine producing show, when Angela and co. learnt that Douglas (deceased) had sired a love child. The child was adopted but strangely the mother wasn’t known, at this point. Eventually the puzzle would come together, amidst the drama. ‘Dick Dastardly’ Channing would evoke sourness, contempt and humour, from 1982 – 1990.
    3) Rebecca Blake Barnes Wentworth – DALLAS: Putting up with a drunken Digger and having two children die in infancy took its toll on Rebecca. She blew town after having an affair with Hutch McKinney. For many years the Barnes family thought she was dead. When Digger died in 1980 Pamela wanted to discover what actually happened to her mother. She got the surprise of her life! Rebecca came back to Dallas.
    4) Abby Fairgate Cunningham – KNOTS LANDING: Sid’s sister arrived in Sea View Circle at the beginning of the 80s decade. Donna Mills’ blonde vixen character brought much heat to the show and while originally a down to earth kind of gal it wasn’t long until we saw many sides to Abby. Richard; Gary, Greg, Peter, Charles and Greg saw those sides as well.
    5) Jamie Ewing – DALLAS: Jamie’s arrival and claim on the most coveted family oil company understandably left JR seething. His daddy’s business was actually jointly owned after all these years, by Jason (Jock’s brother) and Digger (Jock’s nemesis). Jamie was Jason’s daughter. JR et al had been in the dark about their existence. Jack would turn up later, in the Donna Reed season.


    The family has returned to Southfork, after welcoming Ellie (played by Donna Reed) and her new husband Clayton, at the airport. Ellie is very pleased to be back at the ranch and knows about her niece in law (Jason’s daughter) Jamie’s arrival, (a scene from season 7, DVD – 8, 1984 – ‘85):

    The family are all at the patio area, when Jamie introduces herself.

    Jamie: “Hi. Welcome home!”

    Sue Ellen: “Miss Ellie I’d like you to meet your niece Jamie Ewing.”

    Jamie and Ellie shake hands.

    Jamie: “Hello!”

    Ellie: “Jamie.”

    Sue Ellen: “Jamie this is Miss Ellie’s husband, Clayton Farlow.”

    Clayton: “Hi Jamie!”

    Jamie: “Hi there!”

    Ellie: “Jamie you’re so young. I would have thought Jason’s daughter would have been older. Someone close to Bobby’s age or JR’s age but you’re only…….?”

    Jamie: “25 and I don’t even know what to call you, Miss Ellie or Aunt Ellie?”

    Ellie: “Well, whatever you are more comfortable with dear.”

    Jamie: “I like Miss Ellie!”

    Ellie: “Well, you seem to favour your father. He was tall and so are you. I think Jason and Jock were the same size.”

    Bobby says, while standing with Jenna: “Well, why don’t we all go inside? Have something cool to drink?”

    Ellie: “Well, Jock always said Jason was hopeless in the marriage department so I’m not surprised that he married late.”

    Jamie and Ellie go into the living room, as they do Ellie hears about Jamie’s mother. They walk past JR who gives them a discreet smile, as he stands with his back against the pillar.
     
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  4. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    1: Alexis Carrington - Dynasty: "Would you state your full name please?" "Alexis Morrell Carrington". From her veiled cliffhanger entrance - "My god, that's my mother" - to her ten minute tour de force on the witness stand, Alexis had such a great entrance. And they didn't let us down with the follow on introduction, moving into the art studio and steamrolling her way back into everyone's lives before marrying into a fortune and clawing her way up in the oil business, wreaking havoc for all those who came in contact with her.

    2: Ruth Galveston - Knots Landing: swathe in cigarette smoke, the shady Ruth's arrival and stay was all too brief but she was an intriguing character during her run. Her meddling in Greg's life bore all the hallmarks of the classic "I know what's best for my son" soap matriarch. I've read that they wanted to keep her on the show but Ava Gardner wasn't arsed because she (a) was only doing it for some quick cash and (b) she was based in London at the time.

    3: Phillip Colby - The Colbys: the late lamented Phillip got plenty of mentions in the run up to his arrival but given that he was supposed to have perished in Vietnam, his return at the wedding of his wife to his brother, was a pretty explosive entrance to begin with. Add to that, the revelations that he was using a stolen identity, was involved in dodgy arms deals, may have had something to do with his sister's death and had a dictator's widow played by Bianca Jagger as an ex-lover, Phillip's missing years were a Pandora's Box just ripe for mining melodrama. It's just a shame they left it so late to bring him into the show.

    4: Kit Marlowe aka Skylar Kimball - Falcon Crest: I've only watched bits and pieces of FC but I do recall watching this storyline in reruns and thought it was quite compelling. The scene where Kit is sitting in front of the mirror, dying her hair sticks out in my mind as well as pretty gruesome mob shooting that propelled Kit on her path towards Tuscany Valley.

    5: Caress Morell - Dynasty: Alexis was often seen as unsinkable, falling to Blake in business only to rise again with another scheme or feud. Then her sister arrives into town, fresh from a five year jail stint in Caracas and for a brief moment, Alexis was shitting herself. Caress knew where the bodies were buried, so to speak, and could cause her sister considerable damage if she wanted to. She was one of the few links on the show to Alexis' "exile years" and her proposed tell-all book was a tantalising prospect. It's a shame that producers quickly forgot about that arc, despite the fact that Blake had given copies to the press and Alexis' reputation remained somewhat intact. Even more of a shame that they didn't know what to do with Caress but her arrival did add an extra dimension to Alexis' life, if only for a brief moment.
     
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  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    1. Dynasty: Alexis Carrington - The unexpected return of "mother" who also happened to be the ultimate surprise witness.

    2. Dynasty: Adam Carrington - Alexis selfishly and inappropriately drops the bombshell about that other kidnapped baby.

    3. Knots Landing: Ruth Galveston - I knew she was coming but that didn't make it look less exciting.

    4. Dallas: Joaquin/Nicolas Trevino - If this man grew up with the lovely Ramoses, then why is he living in a fortress?
    upload_2018-4-15_0-50-11.png

    5. Dynasty: Mystery Woman In Limousine
    upload_2018-4-15_1-0-0.png
    And a mysterious and shady introduction is all she got, but the speculations never stopped.
     
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  6. Gioberti84

    Gioberti84 Soap Chat Active Member

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    1. Alexis - Dynasty
    2. Kit - Falcon Crest
    3. Lady Jessica - Dallas
    4. Ruth - Knots Landing
    5. Richard - Falcon Crest
     
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  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Alexis Carrington
    Dynasty
    [​IMG]

    Soapland's most legendary introduction. Filled with mystery, drama and some of soap's sharpest lines. And all this from a woman who from this point on would need no introduction.




    2. Ruth Sumner
    Knots Landing
    [​IMG]

    This excited me no end when it first aired in the UK in 1989. At that point I'd heard about Joan Collins's legendary Dynasty introduction but never actually seen it so this was my "mystery arrival" experience. This was as soapy as Knots entrances got. Indeed, it ticked off several early Alexis tropes in short succession: the extra in the veiled hat; the deathbed marriage; the long-absent, jetsetting mother swathed in cigarette smoke, making quips at her child's expense. Nonetheless, it was effective and even knowing who the character was ahead of time added to the anticipation. I particularly love the moment where the mystery woman is marrying Paul Galveston and the scene teasingly cuts away a milisecond before the person conducting the ceremony says her name.




    3. Sable Colby
    Dynasty
    [​IMG]

    I love that reveal. The first shot spoke volumes about the character of Sable: the slender leg onto which she is indulgently rubbing oil; the purring, velvety rich voice teasing her husband ("He reeeeeally got under your skin, didn't he?"); the diaphanous pink dress. All with a backdrop of designer bags strewn across the floor. Then we follow her petite hands as they select the pearls, bring them up past her impressive cleavage to finally reveal the woman to whom all these things belong. Even playing opposite Charlton Heston, it was Stephanie Beacham who took the Dynasty universe by storm. Immediately.




    4. Cathy Geary
    Knots Landing
    [​IMG]

    Apparently dead character waltzes into a room, smiles politely and waltzes out again. Being Knots, though, the writing took the audience through the whole experience with the equally incredulous characters and gave it a satisfying truth. The story was soap's own D'entre les morts (or more specifically, Hitchcock's Vertigo with an Eighties twist). It's great fun seeing Gary get off on other characters' shocked reactions when he introduces them to Cathy. This cheeky introduction allowed Knots to have its cake and eat it by combining the chutzpah of a sudden "back from the dead" with the carefully woven introduction of a new character designed to allow existing characters to work out their grief for a former character.




    5. Adam Carrington
    Dynasty
    [​IMG]

    There's more than a hint of fairytale to this one, with Adam as Aurora and Kate Torrance as one of the three good fairies, revealing the secret that he's actually soap royalty. This allows plenty of scope for the audience - if they feel so inclined - to engage with the fantasy of sudden wealth, power and new opportunities. I enjoyed the effect Adam's arrival had on some key characters, their reactions ranging from disbelief, insecurity and rejection to unconditional acceptance and alliance. Without him, it would have been a far less enjoyable Dynasty.








    Incidentally, I had to discard a couple of my initial choices as they were really re-introductions of characters who hadn't been in the show for a while, or who had previously been played by a different actor. Maybe re-introductions could be a theme for a future round. ;)
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Ha, and I was looking for that phone call scene with Alexis (I believe she was taking a bath) but I couldn't find it and eventually I gave up.
    I guess it happened after this, not before
    Do you mean recasts, or when (for example) Sammy Jo popped up, triumphantly showing the Carringtons their brand new heir?

    .
     
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  9. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    For your viewing pleasure



     
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  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I wonder if it was already decided to give Alexis a sister before they showed us her cousin (not counting Rosalind, who was sensible enough to stay in England).
     
  11. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    I think a bit of luck and good timing is how we ended up with Caress. The Hollywood Wives miniseries had been a big hit in early 1985 and Jackie Collins was hot property, so if there was a time to try and capitalize on this and introduce a Jackie-esque sister for Alexis, the 1985-86 season was it. Kate O'Mara auditioned for The Colbys, also presumably in early to mid-1985. And then when things started going tits up with the Moldavian storyline in season 6, the producers knew they needed to fill the gap in storylines left by the soon to depart royal family. So I don't think it is something they set out to do but thanks to a series of coincidences, we were gifted Caress in early 1986.
     
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  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I was thinking about Sable's return in Season Nine, which was huge fun. And also Jack Coleman's introduction as Steven which I actually quite enjoyed. So both, really.

    But probably more the Sammy Jo kind of return. That moment where you're glad (or not) to see them appear back on screen after a bit of a gap.
     
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  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I think it's a great idea. The battle themes are getting more obscure anyway, and eventually (like the soaps themselves) it will come to an end.
    Incidentally, all suggestions are welcome.
     
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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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  15. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Champian

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    1. Richard Channing - FALCON CREST
    2. Michael Tyrone - FLAMINGO ROAD
    3. Jessica Montford - DALLAS
    4. Kit Marlowe/Skylar Kimble - FALCON CREST
    5. Abby Cunningham - KNOTS LANDING
     
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    How about battle of the soliloquies?

    So all those speeches delivered to gravestones or portraits or to Blake Carrington once he's already walked out of the room would qualify.
     
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  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I am sooo going to use this.

    "Thank you, you have voted in the final SoapLand battle".
     
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  18. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I have copy-pasted it to my excel list. Thanks!

    Btw, does anyone find these written pronunciation-translations completely useless?
     
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  19. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Voilà la list of introductions of moi: :danc:

    1- Jessica Montford (Dallas)

    Maybe because at the time I wasn´t spoiled about her character and plot (I didn´t even know Alexis Smith had been hired!), this is my favorite introduction of a soap character ever. The writers did a great job with their buildup around her being Clayton´s "long-lost relative" and the actress was superb in her role, with all her "shades of craze" reminiscent of the "grand guignols" starring Bette Davis and / or Joan Crawford.

    How incredibly fun was watching her first scene, with her talking non-stop at the Southfork living-room and well, all those looney monologues...When she returned in the penultimate season, though, it wasn´t the same thing...She had become a conventional villain, a serial killer indeed, but more conventional...


    I always imagine this scene with Donna Reed´s Miss Ellie...and I love it!​

    2- Katherine Wentworth (Dallas)

    If Kristin was somewhat wasted for being killed off too soon, this new incarnation of the uber-bitchy sister-in-law who ends up shooting the object of her affections was a properly developed character...who even left us wanting for more, even when she was killed off-scene on TNT Dallas. Look at the first scene below, when (the very bigamist) Rebecca introduces her apparently innocent daughter Katherine to her half-brother Cliff. Look at the way she smiles a la Snow White...Watch out if someone smiles at you like that!!

    Katherine deserved her own spin-off: "Dressed to Kill".
    3- James Beaumont (Dallas)

    Say what you want, but when I met this very hot bastard son of J.R., I wished he had shown up much earlier. I loved him in his first season, but by the second one, it was obvious that the producers didn't trust him as an actor. Why that...? Nobody wore those suits like him, and he looked even better without them.

    upload_2018-4-16_1-7-9.jpeg
    The only thing I didn´t like of James was his Mama...
    (Ugly Witch alert!)​

    4- Rebecca Wentworth (Dallas)

    Pam´s runaway mother only appeared in 4 scenes of her first episode but David Paulsen did a great work writing them. First, we see her talking to her maid at the door of her (very) big mansion. Poor Pam thinks Rebecca is the maid...The second time, Mama Wentworth is seen at her home, agreeing to meet Pam by phone and then talking to her (soon deceased) millionaire husband...The third time, she hardly speaks: she just listens to VP´s powerful speech while she stands by a column, cold as ice, at the patio of her very Howard Hughes-esque property.

    In her last scene, she finally shows her true emotions to dear Pam, aka the little girl she left behind with her drunk dad and his very dumb brother. When she returned a few weeks later, she seemed a bit reconned: more human and plot-device, and less of a millionaire.

    upload_2018-4-16_1-5-49.jpeg
    Rebecca darling, you made Joan Crawford look like Mother Teresa...
    5- Greg Reardon (Falcon Crest)

    Angela´s replacement for her late hub and lawyer Phillip came really on time because nothing was more needed in this Lorimar soap than a resident attorney. In his first scene, Simon MacCorkindale's character appears all sweaty and smiles, and wins the job and the viewer´s heart right away. I wish he had stayed all the way until the very end of the show.


    "Anyone needs a lawyer? Another stud for Melissa...?"
    Honorable mention: Anna Cellini (Falcon Crest). This supporting character from the series´ penultimate season is a favorite of mine too because she was played by a very good Spanish actress, Assumpta Serna. Considering that the producers had just axed Ana-Alicia and replaced her with that bore-fest Kristian Alfonso, Anna was indeed one of the best additions of this year. She was to guest-star in 2 episodes and did 8 instead. And the actress still is asked about FC when she gives interviews in my country...Watch her in her first appearance below. Isn´t she glamorous? :love2:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  20. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    1. Alexis Carrington. It doesn't get any better than this.
    2. Richard Channing. I don't remember the exact quote but before his arrival Melissa quoted someone as saying "the two things I fear most are death and Richard Channing" which nicely set the stage for the arrival of one of Soapland's most complex and ruthless characters.
    3. Melissa Agretti. Ana Alicia's first episode in the role of Melissa will always be memorable for me. She was just so dynamic, erratic, sexy and passionate. It was like a bolt of lightning that set every scene she was in ablaze.
    4. Adam Carrington. Something dark this way comes.
    5. Rebecca Wentworth. What kind of woman would walk out on her two children? This kind.
     
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