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The Duchess Elena --- should she have stayed on the show longer?

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Snarky's Ghost, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I felt Elena, Duchess of How Now Kenneth Brown Cow (did someone call her that??), was a very effective character well-played by Kerry Armstrong, full of titled entitlement and dripping with aristocratic contempt. And she managed to slip out suspiciously just before the massacre in Moldavia occurred.

    Should she have been brought back to Denver the next year --- I mean, had the writers not messed up the royalty storyline in Season 6? She was a good actress and the character could have helped mix things up...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    She would have been a more interesting and realistic bed-companion for Adam than Claudia.
     
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  3. Tony

    Tony Soap Chat Member

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    I read in the Season 6 Bible that Elena was supposed to have an affair with Adam after meeting him in La Mirage, while Claudia is away.

    In the same way that Prince Michael was supposed to meet Sammy Jo.

    Yes Elena was good in a Camilla/Charles/Diana sort of way. But I think it was the right decision to lose all the Moldavians.

    As John Forsythe said, 'We have Kings, Queens, Duchesses, and people posing as nuns!'
     
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  4. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Active Member

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    If Moldavia is in the Carpathian mountains how is Elena Duchess of Branagh? Branagh is an Irish name, this makes no sense.

    I wish Ashley's photos somehow revealed Elena was mixed up with Uri and the attempt to overthrow the royal family - with Elena intended to assume the throne. I've imagined Adam having an affair with Elena and when he learns she was responsible for his family being put in danger he kills her - and gets away with it.
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    If only...

    I agree the Moldavians were written out at the right time, but I just wish they'd been used better in early-S6 before they were gone.

    Well, it makes some sense, since all the Moldavians were of different nationalities...

    Elena's sudden departure before the wedding suggests something like this might have been the original plan. But... y'know …. Dynasty.
     
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  6. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I would have introduced Elena earlier in Season 5 and intensified the Camilla/Charles/Diana-triangle aspect for her, Amanda and Michael. I also would have had Amanda slap the snot out of Elena when the latter claims that she and Michael have been having sex. I'd have her slap the Duchess like this:



    Adam would have seduced Elena in order to get her off Amanda's heels. In early Season 6, I'd take Grant Jennings' idea of Ashley's photos revealing Elena's involvement with the terrorists (which would have given Ashley some relevance), resulting in Adam killing her, and getting away with it.


    [Say, there was one idea around here that Cecil should have lived on into Season 3, and be killed by Adam. If we were to include that, then Adam would become this show's serial killer! Then again, both instances could be justified in that in both cases, he was only trying to protect his family: he kills Cecil when he finds out the latter has some dirt on Blake or Alexis that could land them a lifetime in jail; and of course, with Elena, she nearly got his entire family massacred - and there was a good chance she was going to try it again. So it would feel relatively justified that Adam never has to face jail-time... although karma still comes around for him when his son gets taken away from him... but that's a story for another thread.]


    Anyway, back to the Moldavians: King Galen dies in the massacre; Yuri also dies in the massacre thanks to Dex; Elena dies at Adam's hand a few episodes (4 or 5?) later; meanwhile, Michael has an affair with Sammy Jo, and Amanda only half-heartedly fights for her husband but soon realizes she doesn't care; Alexis, desperate to become royalty, blackmails Michael to call things off with Sammy Jo, who retaliates by revealing her pregnancy to Michael, who has her kidnapped and forced into having an abortion (Snarky's idea); later at the masquerade ball, which has exotic animals in cages on the Carrington grounds, after Blake comes face to face with Ben, Sammy Jo pushes Michael into one of the cages, where he gets mauled by one of the tigers (again, Snarky's idea, but I'd have Michael die this season instead of in Season 8, because two years is far too long to wait for Michael to receive his comeuppance).

    Thus, every Moldavian is dead by the middle of Season 6, and we never speak of them again. :D
     
  7. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I would have Prince Michael (in version Mikael since there was already a Michael on the show) have affairs with both Sammy Jo and Claudia in season 6 and both women become pregnant by him only Sammy Jo's baby is aborted and Claudia keeps her pregnancy a secret.

    As for Elena, she was the only actress to do an actual Eastern European accent which was convincing, I would have kept her around longer as a cat amongst the pigeons, she would eventually depart in season 7.
     
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  8. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Addict

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    There was no good way to have some key characters involved in a storyline half the world away. Camille Marchetta created a mess so big nobody could untangle without some unrealistic developments.

    In that context, I think Elena could have had a bigger role. Also the coup d'etat could have had a different outcome, one where the rebels demand that Moldavia votes on whether they want to stay a constitutional monarchy or a democracy. Elena and her father could be trying to undermine Galen's authority and end the royal line now that Amanda has taken her place, with Michael and Amanda having to actually campaign to keep on the status quo. And the tension could be on whether Amanda really wanted Michael and Galen to win, given that a loss would mean they no longer have to stay in Moldavia. Elena could be the one to double-cross more than one party: what if later on she tells Alexis that if she takes Amanda out of Michael's life, she and her father's clout could be used in support of the monarchy, with Galen as King and Alexis as his queen (and Elena back with Michael)? I mean, long term they would still eventually all leave Moldavia, but it would have made for more intrigue than Alexis as a nun and Galen pretending to be crippled.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Marchetta didn't create a big mess. The Pollocks' and deBlasio's job was to write their way out of it once Marchetta was gone in S6, and they were out of their league as per usual.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    That was always the funny thing about Moldavia --- was it in the Carpathians, next to Transylvania? Was it along the Mediterranean, next to Monaco? It can't really be both. Or is it supposed to be that little Russian state with the similar name that Praed and Oxenberg found on a map while shooting the show.

    And all of its native inhabitants spoke with accents from around the world.

    It's kind of like the principality of Moldavia was supposed to be AnyEuropeanCountry, the ultimate continental melting pot.

    [​IMG]

    But this is a show, even when it was still good!, that thought Italy was in the middle east.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  11. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Addict

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    Well, we will never agree on this, but I believe the problem was that she created the mess in S5, Regardless of whether the next team did badly in S6 (and that bible was written by Diana Gould, not the Pollocks or De Blasio), it was already a ridiculous arc.
    As I wrote in another thread...
    You said back then that had success with the "who shot J.R." plot on DALLAS, but that plot was not out of left field for that show. Amanda marrying a prince in a far away land was completely taking the focus off the Carringtons even more when all her other bible plots (Daniel, Lady Ashley, Nicole Simpson) were also doing that.
     
  12. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Active Member

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    "It had dead-end written all over it". Yes, it did. How are Daniel and Ashley viable threats to Blake and Krystle's marriage if they are "special guest stars"? The viewer knows neither of these characters is going to be around for very long so they pose much less of a threat than someone who could possibly become a permanent addition to the cast. Compare this to Abby coming between Gary and Val or Bobby and Pam being paired-up with Jenna and Mark.

    A plot involving international intrigue would make sense on "Dynasty" and jet-setter Alexis certainly should have done more jet-setting. Moldavia was a dead-end because there were really only two possible outcomes: Amanda and Michael wed and she is written off of the show or an unforeseen event (the wedding massacre) happens that causes Amanda to return to Denver.

    As much as we complain here about static acting, I'm just as upset - if not more so - with static plotting. Unlike most TV shows which are comfort-food where you know things won't change very much over the course of the show (which is probably why police and medical procedurals are so popular), a soap like "Dynasty" should give you a sense that anything can happen. Not shocking twists just for shock value but there needs to be some volatility. On "Dynasty" if Krystle left Blake you knew it would only be a few episodes before she would return. If someone died there was a strong chance they would be resurrected.

    Moldavia painted "Dynasty" into a corner, the cliffhanger (which I think was excellent) needed a payoff which they had absolutely no intention of providing. Luke was only killed off because Bill/Billy/William (whichever he was going by at the time) Campbell wanted off the show. At the time, the producers thought having Steven in a monogamous relationship was the best possible way of dealing with the AIDS crisis. The producers had considered sending Ashley over to "The Colbys" but decided to kill her off because she wasn't popular with viewers. They actually wrote and filmed a scene with heavily armed soldiers storming the chapel, firing rifles at all the guests with a possible outcome that NOT A SINGLE PERSON IS KILLED!!!
     
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  13. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    It was like Springfield from "The Simpsons." All you knew was that it was in America. It could be any state.
     
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  14. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Active Member

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    This should clear up some confusion:
    Dynasty Map Of Yurp.jpg
     
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  15. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I'm sorry, but the "regular" writers for DYNASTY proved over and over again, year after year, that they couldn't tell a story and they couldn't pay off on their cliffhangers. So we're going to blame Marchetta?

    To me, that's like blaming Paulsen for daring to actually have a cohesive plotline for Season 9 (which some fans indeed do, although they dress up their reasoning).

    Moldavia, a dead end? Well, like most plots, it couldn't have run forever. But if they'd allowed Alexis a brief three episode arc on the throne, before being coup d'etated once again, it could have been pretty interesting --- had the writers had a clue how to pull that off (which had been their original plan) although they would have botched that, too.

    There's lots they could have done with Moldavia, for a while. But they were monkeys with typewriters, routinely running off superior dramatists who'd signed on for a few months.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    OMG... I live in Brittekland! Who knew?

     
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  17. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Her father was, at least thats what she said at one point. She was plotting against her own father in the Moldavian underground movement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  18. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Addict

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    That's exactly what a dead-end arc is to me, one that does not allow the show to provide some genuine thrills because viewers can see miles away what will happen. No arc lasts forever, but good arcs allow for surprising the viewer. This one simply didn't and couldn't. And because Marchetta knew it, she came up with the one surprise she could provide, the massacre (that wasn't and couldn't be).

    Because the writers/execs after the beginning of season 4 decided that they had a winning formula (in their heads) and they would keep in intact. People would come and go (Tracey, De Vilbis, Ashley, Daniel, Nicole) but the main structure would remain the same. Even when in season 7 Alexis won back the mansion and DC, they did not want to do with it so they had her also buy a newspaper.

    Just because the writers have made mistakes doesn't mean she didn't make a colossal one (actually four if you count her other plots of intruders stealing screen time). She has been claiming in interviews that she was the missing ingredient that propelled the show to #1, so since she claims her Moldavia story did it, we can't blame any other writers for it. What happened in S6 wasn't her fault. What happened in S5 was.
     
  19. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Really? Marchetta has been claiming that?
     
  20. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I agree, there's no story that can't be told.
    I honestly don't think that people who watch soap are extremely demanding, a few more casualties would have done the trick.
    Definitely the king and also Claudia and Dominique who were about to outstay their welcome.

    Leaving Moldavia was the only option since that place had nothing more to offer.
    Back in America, they could have turned this into a media circus and Alexis, with her inside information of the Bank Of Moldavia, could try to incriminate Blake with that very information.
    The Prince would not be a happy camper of course, and I would have loved to see a mental breakdown, or some drugs or alcohol addiction.
    Enter Elena (together with some important Moldavian colonel).
    "It's not too late Michael, the people never supported the revolution. You've always been the people's favourite and you can turn this thing around".
    "But it's too dangerous for Amanda..."
    "She can join you later, and become the queen that you deserve".

    Etc etc.

    Colonel, Elena and Michael drive to the airport.
    (romantic music)
    "Promise me to wait for me, darling".
    "Oh yes Michael, I will! I'll follow you as soon as possible"

    They get in the car, but before Elena gets in, she turns around and smiles a devious smile. "Don't worry Amanda, I'll take care of everything".
    And poof! they're gone, and we'll never hear from them ever again.

    Final scene: Alexis is staring out of the window of the ColbyCo building and (in Knots Landing style) the episode would end with a song.


    It's really that simple.
     
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