Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Brian Carrington Colby, Sep 25, 2016.
The Thorn Birds maybe?
Conversely Alexis did a similar thing in the Season 7 opener. Triumphant in the mansion, she looks at photos of Amanda (new), Steven and Adam, saying something like all mine. No mention of Fallon.
I don't blame Alexis for not wanting to claim as her own anything from THE COLBYS
In all honesty - I wonder if the supposed "boat accident" scenes were ever filmed and just scrapped as they (obviously) went in a different direction after episode 13. Cellini's final scene is so abrupt and yet so Dynasty.
They messed up season 7 worse than season 6--yes in season 6 they had some horrible storylines (Moldavia, Rita/Krystle) and they had to seriously revise them, but both the first and revised versions were at least consistent plots. Season 7 feels like a set of writers are bumping the scripts as in a pinball machine, going in a different direction every few episodes, and the changes are not only narrative but tonal as well.
I don't think they shot the scenes but the scripts were ready. The productions had to throw away like they did in seasons 4 (when Helmut Berg was fired) and 6.
Unfortunately, Lawrence Heath did not give his production documents to some university like Camille Marchetta or Diana Gould did so I guess we will never be able to find out what was the original story of Amanda's murder.
With Joan Collins being the exception. I've been watching excerpts from lots of her movies and TV appearances recently and her American accent is so bad, it's actually shockingly bad, to the point I can hardly believe she was let get away with it. She fluctuates between completely forgetting to do it and just speaking with an English accent, to just doing the occasional word, to speaking in a weird old Hollywood Betty Boop meets Mae West voice. And she's consistently bad, pretty much every time she attempts it.
I don't know, I saw her in "The Opposite Sex" and thought her American accent was alright... although I did think she sounded kinda funny... but then again, a lot of women during the '50s sounded a little weird. They all spoke a different way back then.
Actually that's one of her better ones, but it just seems to get worse as the decades go by, weirdly.
Even the season 6 retooling was a bit clumsy with Alexis just waking up one day and deciding she was still in love with Blake, but at least they properly resolved previous storylines and most importantly of all it was mostly good. Season 7 was just a huge mess with characters suddenly changing personalities and abrupt endings (like Amanda's departure).
Supposedly it was set to be a boating accident that might or might not be an accident and Michael was set to be accused of it. It's funny that Amanda seemed to be constantly on the verge of being killed off though - first in the fire until they found Cellini, then the original plan was to have the season 7 cliffhanger involve Michael and Amanda's limo being shot at by mobsters, potentially killing her and finally the boating accident that was scrapped.
It speaks more to the quality of writing at the time and especially the short-sightedness of producers (the fire death was due to Oxenberg raise demands) ; while I have a big problem with the premise of Amanda (Alexis siphoning her away to England for 18 years when she claimed she wanted to be a mother), once on screen the character and Oxenberg had the same capture of lightning effect that Steven/Corley Fallon/Martin and Adam/Thomson had.
Are you claiming that Dynasty wasn't a well-written show with consistent plots and a strong vision of what it wanted to be?
I had reported this as an error and asked it be deleted, but now I don't wanna lose my creative points.
DALLAS had Katzman (and Paulsen) and KNOTS had Jacobs. FALCON CREST had McCullough thru S3.
But DYNASTY rarely had any clear-headed spirit guide. S1 had the Shapiros working diligently, but we're not sure why S2 worked or who made it work (I'm reluctant to credit the Pollocks for that), and then Paulsen came in for S9.
Otherwise, if any of DYNASTY's writer/producers were up to the challenge, they were neutralized by the Pollocks' rock-solid banality.
But Season 7 is a kind of distilled Dynastic experience: they're just throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks, and then using what doesn't... The mid-season shift to everyone becoming nicey-nice was a deliberate response to the re-ascension of TV sitcoms in the mid-'80s, and the brass decided that DYNASTY's ratings crash was because the Carringtons were "too mean" and not cuddly like The Cosbys.
But everybody from John Forsythe to Kate O'Mara to Karen Cellini said that the producers didn't know what they wanted. And, then and now, it couldn't be more painfully obvious.
I don't mind believing the Pollocks brought a lot to S2--also because I think there are some obvious problems with S2 (Steven going NASCAR and straight, the Toscanni mess who was changing motivation and character every few episodes) which are also theirs. I think they were more reigned in during S2 and then were progressively left to their own unbalanced devices. Season 3 is still solid plot-wise, but the characters are losing credibility, because the Pollocks did not care for that. I think the Shapiros' lack of engagement was the show's Achilles' heel. When I read that Esther would be "involved" with the new show I just could not stop laughing.
Though it turns out one Cosby was too cuddly.
I remember reading an article that it was the zeitgeist of prime time soaps at that time to turn nicer, and that DALLAS and DYNASTY were changing tone as a result. I did not stick with DALLAS that long to have an opinion, but I know for DYNASTY it just didn't work. The main reason it didn't work is that these characters HAD real feelings and emotions back in the early seasons, and then they turned into caricatures, and trying to turn them back to real humans made them somehow more grotesque.
But what made Season 2 work -- despite the racing arc, or Logan Rhinewood, or Dr Toscanni's bipolar diagnosis -- was smoothness of execution. And the fact there was more structure underneath the surface than it appeared.
With Season 3 (in fact, the very first episode of Season 3) the actors had S.A.D. forced upon them, the musical score increasingly began telling its own autonomous story, and the resulting stiffness began to give the show a disoriented, laughably cardboard, amateurish feel --- which made the quirky illogical to the scripts and dialogue much, much more obvious.
Oh, I know. She turned 90 yesterday.
I didn't really see the shift in DALLAS myself, just writing making a downturn as Paulsen was leaving.
But on DYNASTY, the shift to being "nice" felt pathetic and wrongheaded and transparently desperate. I'm not sure how it reads today, as I rarely re-watch that period of the show because it's too painfully disappointing.
It is interesting to speculate as to whether they ever shot the scenes of Amanda's supposed murder/drowning. What is very evident though, in watching Amanda's last scene, is that it was written and shot as a lead up scene to her possible demise. The character of the older man helping Michael with the boat serves two functions. One, his dialogue with Michael at the beginning of the scene sets up the fact that sailing to the island is an hour's journey, he questions Michael's skill as a sailor, to which Michael replies that he "is an old swabbee" and not to worry, and the old man also mentions that the weather can turn bad quite quickly. This seemingly casual dialogue sets up what could be the scenario of a storm overtaking the couple while they are on open water in the sailboat.
Meanwhile, Amanda is on a payphone finishing a rather pointed call with Steven. She finishes the call and then promptly gets into an argument with Michael over the fact that he has filed a lawsuit against Blake over mismanagement of the Crater project. Amanda demands that he drop the lawsuit, to which Michael refuses and angrily storms off. During this argument, the scene cuts twice to the old man, who watches the couple with concern. Function number two, the old man is now a witness who has seen Amanda and Michael argue, and if Michael is accused of murdering Amanda, the old man could back up that accusation.
It makes one wonder, when did the powers that be decide to change the direction of the story and not kill off the Amanda character? Obviously the death of Amanda was enough of a go that her final scene was shot and edited in such a way to set up her death or disappearance. Otherwise, the role of the old man really didn't need to be as involved as it was, and his two reaction shots while Amanda and Michael are arguing could of been cut out entirely and the scene would of worked fine as is.
To me, it seems as though the decision to change the Amanda story came quickly, and with the next two episodes being the "Love Remembered" episodes, that heavily focused on Blake, Alexis, Krystle and Dex, Amanda didn't need to appear at all. After those two episodes the whole tone of Season 7 changed, and Amanda's storyline ends with nothing more than a mention that she has gone back to Europe never to be seen, heard, mentioned, or thought of again.
Again, it just adds to the slap-dash handling of the show in Season 7. From start to finish, the handling of the Amanda situation, from firing Catherine Oxenberg, to hiring mis-cast Karen Cellini, to giving Karen no guidance in how to approach the character, to having no clear idea on what direction the character was to go in Season 7, to deciding to kill the character mid-season, setting it up as such, then not following through, then she just disappears from the series as though she never existed.... just incredible and just a slap in the face to the show, and it's fans.
Very good analysis of the last scenes.
"A Love Remembered" was not in the original bible--because how could Alexis, even being Alexis, care about leases and deceiving Blake if their daughter is dead or murdered? I think once they decided to do these episodes, Amanda's storyline was initially put on back burner and then just forgotten. The original decision to have a Carrington offspring murdered is the sort of short-term and short-sighted thinking Esther Shapiro is known for--she is the one who wanted *Madeline* to be a six episode role (and the Pollocks insisting she be Alexis and a full season character is probably why she was thankful to them) and also the one who, supposedly, offered advice to the peach DYNASTY to kill Matthew in the first episode. I am not saying it was her idea to kill Amanda (could have been the season writers) but she would have to have approved it as a major decision on core characters.
But even "A Love Remembered" looks like a sweeps quickie to bump ratings and interest and while it does soften interactions between Blake and Alexis, there is no further story to follow--we are drawn into the black hole that is Krystina and Sarah Curtis right after. Maybe Amanda and Dominique ended up somewhere in Europe together.
Actually, Wayne Northrop shot two scenes for "A love remembered - part 2" which were cut during the editing process and replaced by two new scenes (a minor scene between Sammy Jo and a nurse and a scene between Krystle and Blake's doctor).
In the first scene, Dobson (the old man from the lake) asks Michael where his girlfriend is and Michael answers that she is at her cabin.
In the second scene, Steven calls Amanda at her cabin but it's Michael who answer the phone. He tells him that Amanda is on the dock in the boat, waiting for him (him = Michael of course).
I also know that two or three scripts after "A love remembered - parts 1 and 2" were written. They were scrapped and a few scenes from them were combined with new scenes that lead to a new script, "the portrait". That's why Edward DeBlasio is co-credited with Joanna Lee for this one (it's the only episode of the entire show in which he gets a collaborative credit instead of a full credit for a teleplay).
Separate names with a comma.