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Why oh why didn’t they resolve the Pam issue at the end of the original series?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Grangehill1, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    It does seem very strange that knowing Dallas was ending by the time of the last episode no attempt was made to resolve what had happened to Pam.

    We know Victoria Principal had turned down the offer to return for the finale as there was no guarantee it was the end.

    But surely by the time of filming and with so many old faces returning everybody knew it WAS the end.

    So even If Victoria didn’t come back, wouldn’t it have made a more effective ending to the series for Bobby to get a phone call at the end. It’s Pam (offscreen) and she wants to meet him at a gas station nearby. Just something like that. So at least in part there’s ‘some’ resolution.

    Even with the reunion movies no attempt
    was made to address the biggest issue fans had with the show - what happened with Pam. We had to wait 20 years for TNT.
     
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  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme EXP: 16 Years

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    Having killed off Bobby who then came back, they were wary about going down the road. Likewise, the recasting of Miss Ellie was mixed to say the least. So in many ways biding their time, hoping that Victoria decided to come back was the least worst option.

    Swami
     
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I never found that an issue. Dallas did more to describe Pam's fate than any other show I'd seen. They had that other actress play Pam (which I thought was kind of cheesy) for a scene. They told the audience Pam had terminal cancer so that's pretty damn final. I don't know what more they could have done or of what value it would have been to the show.

    She could have told Bobby she had terminal cancer in the letter she sent him, avoiding the recast scene in the process. I find recasts of well established characters to be a cheap ploy that takes the audience out of their suspension of disbelief. They're willing to suspend their disbelief to a certain point so that they can enjoy a show, but when you show a different person and present them as a well established character, the suspension of disbelief just crumbles.
     
  4. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    But we’re talking about the final episode here. How could producers be cautious when it was the end!
    And the producers KNEW how popular Pam was and that the audience weren’t satisfied with what had happened to her.

    Back in 1990 there was no hint of reunion movies or TNT. It was the end. The end. The audience deserved something regarding Pam.

    I still Remember clearly watching the final
    Episode on broadcast and wishing that Bobby would mention Pam in some form ‘in the real world scenes’. But no. Nothing
     
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  5. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    All we saw was a different Pam telling her doctor that she was dying. And then we never heard another word.

    But the producers knew that the audience weren’t satisfied hence they came up with the Pam double storyline a year later. And arguably that was the real end to Pam when Bobby looks up and actually says goodbye to her.

    My point is there should have been a resolution in the last ever episode.
     
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  6. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    There wouldn't be another word if, as she said, she were dying and then died.

    They could have read her obituary in the newspaper a few months later. Would that have helped? I still don't think the fans would have been satisfied. "Satisfied" isn't how fans typically feel when the female lead character in a show decides to leave to do other things.

    As for the character Pam, they missed her. As for Victoria Principal, maybe some Dallas fans thought since they had been loyal to her and had brought about a level of success in her acting career far beyond any she'd previously enjoyed, that she'd remain loyal to the show to its end. I didn't feel that way, but I thought they'd adequately resolved what happened to Pam. She became sick and died. I missed the character, but I knew Victoria Principal wanted to take her shot at becoming a movie star. I understood, because movie stars are held in higher esteem than television stars.
     
  7. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 8 Years

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    I agree snd think over all it was handled poorly. Main characters should never be killed off unless they actually die. They should never be replaced with another actor. The point is people invest on them and seldom does it work to increase ratings. So why not something else?

    BBG is ill so instead of replace her she goes some place to recoup - what person with money here and Clayton had only own one home?

    PD wants to leave so instead of killing him JR gets the governor to appoint him as a U.S. Senator and he goes to Washington - to me the character always loved politics more than business anyway.

    VP wants to leave so instead of who knows what after an explosion Katherine is shown kidnapping her and Bobby goes on a hunt after her disappearance only to give up once he’s convinced she’s dead, but we know she isn’t.

    Maybe none would cone back. We know BBG and PD came back. Maybe at the end Bobby looks at a picture and wishes Pam was still alive and Katherine tells a woman sitting with her back to her, “Well, this should make you happy Pam, Cliff finally took Ewing Oil. Now it’s my turn to take everything from Cliff.” So it looks like JR has possibly killed himself and Katherine has a way to win it all. The end. Fans then can dream that JR lived to fight Katherine and win and brings Pam home to Bobby or what ever fantasy continuation they want next. Maybe even one such fan fictions would have ended up a sequel movie or two.
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Those are some fun ideas. I agree to never recast an established character.

    I think politics was something Donna wanted for Bobby more than Bobby ever wanted. I think what Bobby would have wanted for himself, and they hinted at it once in a scene with Bobby, Jenna, Ray and Donna on Donna's little oil field. Bobby was saying things like how he missed being outdoors and participating in the starting of a company. Your US Senator idea works fine but I think I'd have had Bobby get into a huge argument with everyone and decide he was going somewhere far away to start his own oil company - maybe Alaska.

    Your Katherine idea for Pam works too. Bobby sure would regret letting Katherine go when he had her right in front of him but didn't call the police. It would damage the character some, making Bobby look so irresponsible as to have not called the police in the woman who tried to kill him, but it could be a very fun story.
     
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  9. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    I think you’re missing my point. The producers DIDN’T kill Pam off (because of what had happened to Bobby). So they created this ambiguity about what happened to Pam. If they wanted the audience to think she was dead then YES they would have written some sort of obituary scene in or Bobby has to go and identify a body or the doctor comes back. But they DIDN’T kill her in the hope she would return.

    Knowing what they’d created the producers should have ended the story in whatever way in the final episode
     
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  10. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 8 Years

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    I agree with you. As they did not KILL her off, and they certainly knew in the minds of many that they did not, the right thing to do was to give the fans something in the finally.

    Scene with Cliff looking at the back of a woman, “But Pam you didn’t die. Don’t you think Bobby and Christopher would rather see you alive than live with the idea of you being dead?”

    Or

    A lawyer approaches Cliff with a suite, Katherine Wentworth claims her father’s will prohibited her mother from leaving anything to anyone but her. She’s after everything which went to Pam and Cliff, including Ewing Oil which he acquired with her father’s money.

    Then you see Katherine and Wendell push McKay out of the way at West Star.

    Then right before JR fires the gun Bobby sells South Fork to someone who gives him the whereabouts of Pam. He runs in, “Oh my God Pam! Oh my God it is you.” Then using a former audio clip to hear Pam say, “Bobby.”

    Then Katherine walks in to South Fork, owning it with Wendell only yo hear the gun shot.

    THE END

    Yes a cliff hanger regarding JR and Katherine/Wendell, and a big one, but everything else settled, even Bobby and Pam.

    Or

    And such conclusion which wraps up the question for many about what happened to Pam.
     
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  11. CeeCee72

    CeeCee72 Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 3 Months

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    Maybe it's just me, but the unresolved fate of Pam pretty well fit everything they were doing in the final seasons...which was walking away from years of carefully crafted character development and loyal fans.

    JR constantly getting beat by his inferiors (I mean Cally and James and Michelle ALL outsmarting him???), Bobby's out of character acceptance of Pam's wishes to disappear (many disagree I know, but I'm not sure I will ever buy that he just gave up), the pure mess they made of Sue Ellen and her storyline when LG decided to leave.

    Pam's storyline being unresolved was a blessing to me. If they didn't show us, they had no opportunity to mess it up. (Although again, I find it u believable they had her run away in the first place. Leavibg Bobby? I believe. Leaving Christopher? Just can't wrap my brain around it).
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  12. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Neurofibromatosis.

    Turns out Pam was Digger's Daughter after all.
     
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  13. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    I think they knew the same week they shot the finale that they weren’t coming back. But Victoria wouldn’t have come back for that script, even if they had known weeks in advance. She wanted a script that put a “coda” (her words) on her time as Pam. In other words, she wanted Bobby and Pam to reunite or at the very least for Pam to return to her son. She did not want to be part of “another cliffhanger” (again her words) i.e. the dream sequence.
     
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  14. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    “But Pam, you didn’t die”? Said when Pam is sitting right in front of him? Very contrived. The second scenario doesn’t make any sense - what does Katherine care about Weststar?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  15. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 8 Years

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    Just example, the first was a quick resolve, much like Angela Channing saying to a shadow figure, “Aren’t you going to tell Maggie you’re alive.” It might be contrived but I think people (who were fans of Pam’s character) would have felt much better than just forgotten about. If they wanted more natural they could have dropped hints all along the way for the season. But really it would have been a nod, quick and simple, which says you weren’t forgotten and she’s alive. Also the line is obviously a response to some statement Pam mad but without the actress we do not hear it. Maybe she said, “They’re better off knowing I died.”

    I don’t think Katherine cared about any of it. I don’t even think she cared about Bobby as much as she liked and was obsessed about the idea of Bobby. But the whole idea was for something a bit longer than the first example, to wrap up everyone’s life nice and neat (I’d do something similar with all the characters) as JR walked through the idea of life without him. But the end would be a destroyed JR (and Cliff) and who would have loved to take everything away from the two of them that were also forgotten about? Katherine Wentworth and Jeremy Wendell. As a fan of the show I could take such an ending and make up my own resolution or I could eagerly await a reunion movie to do so. The point wasn’t what she wanted to own but that Jermey and Katherine had a desire to hurt JR and Cliff. It would have left the series on a cliffhanger beyond did JR kill himself. I’d also have Cliff in the same position having lost everything to his 1/2 sister. The point is she doesn’t care about West Star anymore than the South Fork ranch, but hurting JR would be a motive, and for Wendell (mentioned but you ignored) as well.

    I don’t really care what they might have done as I wasn’t a fan of the character, but they’re examples of an improvement to doing nothing with Pam, at least for those who would like to have seen her not totally ignored.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    JR fires the gun in the scenario where he's shooting at an apparition or a demon he sees in the mirror that's yelling at him. I'm guessing this ending doesn't use the It's A Wonderful Life gimmick with a satanic bent to it.

    I don't see how your second scenario arises naturally. If you want an ending that would make people say they didn't see that coming, then you'd achieve that, but you could also do that by having Wendell tell JR he's his real father from having raped Ellie when he was sixteen years old.

    It's shocking for the sake of it but where is the motivation for those things to happen and what does it accomplish? Are the fans supposed to be happy because the family they've loved watching for the last 14 years is damaged beyond all recognition?

    Does Bobby sell Southfork to Wendell out of ignorance, that he doesn't even know who he's selling it to? Or does he do it to spite the whole family?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  17. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 8 Years

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    No one who loved Dallas watched and believed JR was dead anymore they’d they’d believe the “family they’ve love watching” was “damaged beyond all recognition.” I was happy with the ending they choose with JR and I’d have been happy to see something with Pam, Katherine and Wendell. We all know Katherine and Wendell’s motivation and what it accomplishes is a desire for a movie to fix things and in that movie roles for Katherine and Wendell - two of the best antagonist imo.

    Your “I didn’t see that coming suggestion” is an absurdity which would have left fans angry. My suggestion would have left fans wanting to see more, wanting to see JR and Bobby get back what was their’s, plus it gives fans of Pam something to cheer about.

    No I don’t suggest they change the “It’s a wonderful life” story, just add around it to give people some of the people who were missing.

    There’s lots of ways Bobby could sell South Fork. The idea was to find Pamela. I’d guess it would be to someone filling in for Wendell and Katherine. The two would also need pardons to return.

    I don’t suggest the scenario as if I’m running the show but as an example of how they could have addressed some of these missing and unresolved characters.
     
  18. Kenny Coyote

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    It was supposed to be an example of doing something shocking for the sake of it. Giving the audience something they didn't see coming doesn't in itself doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

    Southfork is about as important to the Ewings as a piece of land could be to a family but he's going to sell it? Nobody but a Ewing must ever own Ewing Oil but he sold it. Then he sells Southfork too? By that point, Bobby has done more damage to his family than Cliff and Wendell combined ever could.

    I think if Bobby is so dumb that he doesn't even know who he's selling Southfork to, is too careless to find out for sure, after he was already so naive he didn't have Katherine arrested, and has so little respect or consideration for the family that he'd sell it at all, what value does the character have left? Wrecking the character of Bobby doesn't leave the fans angry?

    That would have to be one hell of a pardon to excuse Katherine for two counts of attempted murder and also excuse everything Wendell did. They not only both get these incredible pardons, but they're both able to ever set foot again in Braddock County despite the Ewings practically running it? Along with her amazing pardon Katherine can also take Pam and Cliff's money despite Rebecca having willed what was her own money to them? Is there anything Katherine can't do? She is still human isn't she?
     
  19. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 8 Years

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    It also doesn’t make it a bad idea.

    Good point regarding Bobby, but if he knows it gets him Pam I have no doubt he would. If it got him Pam, I don’t think anyone would see the character wrecked and that was the idea. If he held onto anything and knew Pam was out there, that would wreck his character. Any man who puts things above family is no man. So it would have to show that Pam is alive, without using the actress or using a full in and that was the point.

    Not at all. There are pardons just as absurd all the time, governors last day in office he signs pardons like mad. Very common unfortunately. Wills are often complicated with such estates. It’s not a super power to show a will that had been her fathers which Rebecca ignores bit prevented Rebecca from leaving anything to anyone but his daughter. This isn’t unrealistic at all. There are people like this which keep there estate held for years from paying out because they know there will be a fight.
     
  20. Kenny Coyote

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    It's not as if Pam doesn't know where to find Bobby. They were no longer family then either because she had divorced him for the second time. How is it that it wrecks Bobby's character to not go after a woman who has divorced him twice, abandoning their son in the process, yet her character s intact? Bobby never left Pam; she left him every time.

    He can't make her want to be with him. She's gone to extremes specifically to not be with him or even be seen by him. He moved on and married April, not because Pam couldn't still be out there, but because she expressly did not want to be married to him anymore or even see him or their son again.

    I'm not in the legal profession, but it seems to me that if someone wills you their money, it's then your money. If you can't do what you want with your money, it's not your money. So it's still his money even though he is dead? That can't be. If he wanted his money to be left to Katherine, he would have left it to Katherine. Otherwise, Rebecca could spend it all and Katherine would get nothing. If she only can't will it to her other kids and she wants them to have it she could give them each a half a billion dollars for their birthday presents. It's much more reliable to simply will money to Katherine.
     

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