Rita Lakin Dynasty Season 7 writer speaks

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Tony, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Tony

    Tony Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    1,628
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +107
    Interesting extract from Rita Lakin's memoirs 'The Only Woman in the Room' about her time writing on Dynasty. She was paired with Laurence Heath during the latter half of Season 7 after the retooling. I imagine the producers wanted a more woman's point of view for the mothers storyline. Before Dynasty she was the showrunner/producer on Flamingo Road for two seasons.

    "I ought to mention Dynasty only because it was a famous show. Flamingo Road was cancelled and I was looking for work again. Then I thought I had a good idea. I would work with this other woman producer, Esther Shapiro, who was riding high with the very successful Dynasty. I was looking forward to a woman to woman camaraderie. I was eager to hear her war stories about being a woman in the business, and I would tell her mine.

    Larry Heath (not his real name, but the name he went by) was a strange duck and I never felt comfortable working with him. I didn't know what it was about him but the vibes were weird. We had to work together but it was all too stiff and unyielding, and we definitely were not a good match. It was only later that I discovered that Larry had actually violently murdered his wife and managed to avoid going to prison, or worse. He even wrote a book about it, relating what he said was his true story. It was called By Reason of Insanity.

    Yikes! Not that I was afraid of him, but he was way too odd for me. Working in story meetings with Esther and a couple, the Pollacks (Mike and Bob - Mike was a woman), I soon realised that this was the wrong environment for me. These were three non writers, and their ideas did not match mine. Esther wasn't into bonding with another woman. I'm guessing she was to busy being rich and famous. Luckily I had a very short contract, and I left the show as soon as I could. I just wanted out."
     
    • Informative Informative x 8
    • Winner Winner x 4
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  2. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    906
    Trophy Points:
    682
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +1,409
    Member Since:
    22nd June 2010
    This sounds very accurate for the later seasons of Dynasty, the tight atmosphere seeped its ways into the actors performance and it got progressively worse as the years went on, it was more apparent in seasons 7 & 8.

    Esther not wanting to work with other women closely showed the "Alexis" persona she was trying to uphold, but failed miserably
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,226
    Trophy Points:
    2,396
    Location:
    past orbit, on the way out of the solar system
    Ratings:
    +2,069
    Member Since:
    sometime 2005 (i guess)
    Oh man, i would *love* to read a book with interviews of ALL those involved people, producers, Line-producers, writers, directors and Cinematographers, composers, editors etc.. from their time on Dynasty!
    Even from the Pollocks and what they thought was "great", just for the laughs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    607
    Trophy Points:
    480
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +1,064
    Well, the Pollocks were writers, complete with Bible and episode breakdowns, for seasons 2-4. The problem was that they then left in season 5 (and then we got the Moldavia fairy tale) and came back in season 6 as "executive story consultants" which was a glorified title for "making sure Dynasty was all about the gowns and champagne and camp."
    I remember some articles in 1987 about Dallas and Dynasty having to soften because of the changing attitudes about greed and capitalism in the US public. 31 years later, I am still waiting to see these changes. :D
    Anyway, I hated S7B with a vengeance--the worst of DYNASTY, period. But I am not blaming the writer--she came in and I am sure had no guidance, just grand vision ideas tossed around by the trio of Esther and the Pollocks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Moldavia
    Ratings:
    +95
    Actually, they were executive story consultants in season 5 (minus the first 4 episodes that they missed before Esther Shapiro called them back) and from season 6 to season 8 they were executive producers (even though their primary task was still the same - being consulted by the seasonal producer in charge of the writing). They were also executive producers on "The Colbys".
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

    Message Count:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    480
    Location:
    Central Park West
    Ratings:
    +801
    Thanks for posting this. I'd seen her Emmy TV Legends interview and when they asked her about Dynasty, she spoke briefly about it before asking to move on so I was curious to hear what made her Dynasty experience so bad. I suppose working with an alleged wife killer would do the trick. She seemed to enjoy her time on Flamingo Road though.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,488
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Ratings:
    +1,246
    The fact that one of the writers was a supposed murderer does say a lot about why and how the scripts were what they were, during that time. ^^
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

    Message Count:
    6,558
    Trophy Points:
    8,250
    Location:
    somewherie on the prairie
    Ratings:
    +12,605
    Member Since:
    April 2002
    He killed the plot!
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Fan

    Message Count:
    407
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Ratings:
    +344
    Nothing alleged or supposed about it. Laurence Heath was the Leonard Heideman who killed his first wife savagely in a psychotic episode. Something that he couldn't recall doing, only remembering part of the aftermath. What happened was a tragedy all around. A couple of his children thought he'd never forgiven himself, was his own jailer. When one of his daughters-in-law asked him years later how he could live with what he'd done, he said by working, as he needed to be around people. He hanged himself in the end.
     
    • Informative Informative x 4
  10. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,226
    Trophy Points:
    2,396
    Location:
    past orbit, on the way out of the solar system
    Ratings:
    +2,069
    Member Since:
    sometime 2005 (i guess)
    I just remembered that he was also a writer on Joan Collins' "Sins".
    And now she's on American Horror Story! :eck:
    Oh man... seems like it's all coming full circle now..
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,488
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Ratings:
    +1,246
    A part of me is still hoping Joan will appear on the new Roseanne show (because she was on the old one as Roseanne's cousin Ronnie). I'm also hoping George Clooney makes an appearance since he used to be on it too, and it'd be fun to see him and Laurie Metcalf together again.

    What's that got to do with the current topic? Absolutely nothing. :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,226
    Trophy Points:
    2,396
    Location:
    past orbit, on the way out of the solar system
    Ratings:
    +2,069
    Member Since:
    sometime 2005 (i guess)
    I would say that's almost a sure thing. She will appear there! If the Collins-Barr-relationship is in a good condition at the moment, that is...
    The new Roseanne's ratings are shooting through the roof, it's HIGHLY successful and a 2nd season was already announced weeks ago.
    With George it's another thing, but if it continues to be THAT successful, you'll see him there as well! ;)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,488
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Ratings:
    +1,246
    Yes, I think they'll be able to get Joan, easily. Though I didn't know those two had a relationship at all; all I knew was that Joan did guest-starred for one episode and that was it. I know there was one scene where they both made fun of their reputations as being difficult to work with, which made it seem like they had similar senses of humor. But other than that... But yeah.

    I'd love it if Clooney came back and swept Aunt Jackie off her feet so she could have at least one storyline where she isn't a loser! :lol:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Majorfanofshow

    Majorfanofshow Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    74
    Location:
    Ny
    Ratings:
    +40
    So that’s the period of krystina heart transplant?!? I don’t care! I thought Cassie Yates was AMAZING and loved a non business non romance story! Yes I checked and she did do heart transplant story! Good for her.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

    Message Count:
    3,653
    Trophy Points:
    1,632
    Ratings:
    +5,933
    Member Since:
    July 2007
    Said no one EVER.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Majorfanofshow

    Majorfanofshow Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    74
    Location:
    Ny
    Ratings:
    +40
    Well that’s OK! It’s my extreme and strident belief.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

    Message Count:
    3,653
    Trophy Points:
    1,632
    Ratings:
    +5,933
    Member Since:
    July 2007
    [​IMG]
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    607
    Trophy Points:
    480
    Location:
    Alexis' studio
    Ratings:
    +1,064
    I think we all have some beliefs like that.
     
  19. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,226
    Trophy Points:
    2,396
    Location:
    past orbit, on the way out of the solar system
    Ratings:
    +2,069
    Member Since:
    sometime 2005 (i guess)
    Noone could ever stamp her dirty boots into the white Carrington carpet as amazingly as she did! Come on, give her at least that credit! :D
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    • Funny Funny x 2
  20. Gabriel Maxwell

    Gabriel Maxwell Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    761
    Trophy Points:
    1,186
    Location:
    Riverdale
    Ratings:
    +1,394
    Member Since:
    July 13, 2008
    Lakin does appear to corroborate what has been said on this board over the years about Esther Shapiro and the Pollocks. Her being more interested in business than the show itself and them not really being proper writers with strange story ideas.

    Then again I imagine the set was very different in late 1981/early 1982 when they were all still hungry for success.

    Once they achieved that, it got into their heads and by early 1987 the soaps in general had been on the decline for more than a year, everyone was pointing fingers at everyone else for the ratings decline, the Shapiros and Spelling were suing each other, Forsythe was fuming over Collins accepting an award, Collins was distracted with the spectacle of her divorce, people like Oxenberg were getting fired, the whole place was just a toxic mess.

    No wonder Hunley and Garber who also joined around this time had similar bitter experiences they'd rather forget and season 7B became (arguably) the nadir of the entire series.
     
    • Like Like x 3

Share This Page