The Colbys Writer Paul Huson Has Agreed To An Interview With Me

Tony

Telly Talk Active Member
Great interview thanks for posting.

Interesting what he says about Stanwyck being frail and not remembering her lines which is why they had to reduce her scenes.

I agree what he says about Miles and Channing.

And spot on about Heston and Beacham’s performance which is one of the best portraits of a long marriage in a night time soap.
 

Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
I also find it very interesting that they were not interested in doing a third season. And that they were really trying to distance themselves from the "Dynasty" look.
So no chance they could have been tempted to move over to Dynasty after The Colbys.

I think I would have liked the Pollocks to move over to do The Colbys season 3 an have Huson and Bast cross over and do their thing on Dynasty.

In a dream world of course.
 
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James from London

Telly Talk Winner
Well done, Alexis. Great stuff. And such fast delivery too!

When we saw Heston's and Beacham's performances for the first time we realized we had two gems, so that encouraged us to focus on them. They became the motors of the serial.
So exactly the same as JR and Sue Ellen on Dallas and Den and Angie on EastEnders then -- the same explosive chemistry, the same "can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em" dynamic that organically became the focus of the show.
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Was it always you and William Bast's intention to have the UFO plot be resolved by Fallon suffering some kind of mental Breakdown?
Yes. However it would have had to be handled carefully - we had already used Fallon's frail psychological condition as a major plot point in an earlier story, so we didn't want it to seem too deja-vu
Basically why I didn't want this to be yet another "Fallon's so confused" storyline.
On The Colbys it was less obvious who to root for, was this intentional or did the story write itself, as it were? Intentional. Every character has to have good reasons for all the wretched things they may get up to. The stories were exceedingly carefully crafted with all the emotions carefully laid out for the writer/dialoguer.
Ah, wonderful! And yes, they had good reasons from the character's perspective, but those were not always noble reasons.

Very surprised to read that they would have left The Colbys anyway.
 

Gabriel Maxwell

Telly Talk Addict
Thank you very much, Alexis. That was full of great behind-the-scenes tidbits.

No, Bill and I were planning on leaving the show. Two seasons working as show-runners were quite enough! We were exhausted.
After all these years, we can still learn something new. So, the show could've significantly changed - not necessarily for the better - had ABC renewed it for season 3.

Is it true that Esther Shapiro called up The Colbys writing team and told them about the proposed idea and said, "Anyone who laughs will be fired!"?
If I'm not mistaken, this rumor came from Gordon Thomson's 2009 radio interview, which I recall being discussed on the board at the time. Perhaps someone with an axe to grind made it up and spread among the cast back in the day?

I never felt Channing had enough going for her to justify Miles interest in her.
I think Channing was supposed to have been a poor man's Fallon that a petulant Miles married on a whim just to spite the real Fallon whom he was still unhappily in love with. I disliked her myself in the beginning, but grew to feel sorry for her, her manipulations notwithstanding. She was essentially a tragic character.

Where there any other famous actresses that were considered at first?
According to my own research from digital newspaper archives for that Colbys Development thread of mine I posted way back in 2008:

One of the frontrunners for the role of Jason Colby was Burt Lancaster. Charlton Heston was the producers' second choice after the negotiations with Lancaster failed in June 1985. Meanwhile, they were also talking to Hollywood superstars Faye Dunnaway and Elizabeth Taylor to play regulars on THE COLBYS. It was then reported Doris Day was also in negotiations to join THE COLBYS as was James Coburn, who would play - Blake Carrington's brother Ben. By early July, negotiations with Heston had almost been completed and the producers began talking to Angie Dickinson to play his wife Sable. The casting of Charlton Heston was officially confirmed on July 9, 1985. By July 29, it was reported that Angie Dickinson might not join the new series and that Susannah York and Elizabeth Ashley were next in line to take on the role of Sable Colby. The casting of Katherine Ross as Francesca was announced on August 5. Three days later it was reported that Stephanie Beacham "a household name in Britain, has beaten out Angie Dickinson for the role of Charlton Heston's wife on ABC's DYNASTY II: THE COLBYS.

Too bad I forgot to re-read that whole thread before coming up with my questions. Perhaps there would've been a doozy that Paul could've confirmed or denied. Oh, well.

How did you feel about Joan Collins and Linda Evans refusing to do episodes of The Colbys? Were you disappointed in that? Disappointed yes, because we would have had fun with the characters. I didn't know Evans had refused. Collins refusal just struck me as spiteful at the time, though I'm sure she had her professional reasons.
Yes, where did that Evans part come from anyway? Though she never appeared on The Colbys like Collins, I never read anywhere (except here) that she explicitly refused to do it or heard her say it in an interview -- unlike Joan Collins who was very vocal about her disdain for The Colbys, for her personal reasons, viewing it as a threat for her golden goose. In fact, by 1986 Evans seemed simply more focused on leaving Dynasty as a whole and had to be persuaded to renew her contract a couple more times through 1988. It just doesn't seem like Evans to follow suit with Collins on that one.

I'm afraid I only caught a glimpse of it and what I saw did not delight me. I felt our finely nuanced Colby characters were being bent into an arch, "Dynasty" mold.
One could of course somewhat patronizingly suggest if he had caught more than a glimpse and got fully immersed in the brilliant fictional universe of Dynasty's season 9, he might have actually liked what they did with his characters.

Or one might be very glad Huson said that, re-affirming one's own feelings about the liberties taken with the Colbys characters, e.g. Jason turning his back on Miles & Monica (as grateful as one may have been Beacham had re-appeared on Dynasty).

You'd have to ask the Shapiros.
LOL, there's your next interview, Alexis. The ultimate villains here at the lily pond.
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Or one might be very glad Huson said that, re-affirming one's own feelings about the liberties taken with the Colbys characters, e.g. Jason turning his back on Miles & Monica (as grateful as one may have been Beacham had re-appeared on Dynasty).
I thought SB was a lot of fun on Dynasty, but I liked her better on The Colbys. I didn't like that storyline about Miles and Monica not being real Colbys. Retroactively it's almost as if that Californian dynasty never existed, I mean, just Bliss??
 

Matthew Blaisdel

Telly Talk Enthusiast
Thanks Alexis for this great idea, it was absolutly worth the effort!
It was quite a surprise to read that Mr. Bast and Mr. Huson were leaving the show, i never knew that, otherwise i wouldn't have asked many of my questions in the first place! :lol:
So who knows... maybe it's better there never was a season 3.

So... your next interview target will be Esther?! :D

Does anyone know how to get in contact with Virginia Hawkins and William Beckley?
 
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Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
So... your next interview target will be Esther?! :D
Even if I was to track her down somehow, I just don't think she would ever agree to an interview. I guess we can only but try.
Does anyone know how to get in contact with Virginia Hawkins and William Beckley?
I luckily found Paul Huson on Facebook and was able to confirm it was him, by his artwork which I recognised and from the posts about his books and novels. It was luck really. I did search for Virginia Hawkins and William Beckley but they aren't as easy to find. And there are a lot more of them than there are of Paul Huson.
 

Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
Yes, where did that Evans part come from anyway? Though she never appeared on The Colbys like Collins, I never read anywhere (except here) that she explicitly refused to do it or heard her say it in an interview -- unlike Joan Collins who was very vocal about her disdain for The Colbys, for her personal reasons, viewing it as a threat for her golden goose. In fact, by 1986 Evans seemed simply more focused on leaving Dynasty as a whole and had to be persuaded to renew her contract a couple more times through 1988. It just doesn't seem like Evans to follow suit with Collins on that one.
I guess the Evans part probably came from this site and the fact that Krystle obviously didn't appear on The Colbys while Blake, Adam, Steven, and Dominique all did. It's even stranger since Evans and Stanwyck were reportedly such very good friends. And if Huson and Bast were open to having her on the show then why wasn't she?
I forget the details but what was the reason for her not being at Fallon and Jeff's wedding?
If you think about it, having Krystle at Fallon's wedding in California would have been great soap fodder. The mother not there to see her daughter marry while her "Stepmother" is. It adds more fuel to the Alexis and Krystle fire. And it's the kind of silly unjustifiable grudge Alexis would hold forever.
It also would have offered for a nice scene with Fallon, who was dealing with Sable's manipulations at the time. Sure it was nice having Blake there but Krystle's angelic presence would have been wonderful then.

Surely Krystle wasn't still in the attic at this time? No?
Did the same "fog" ground Krystle too? She should have flown with Blake.
 
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Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
The mother not there to see her daughter marry while her "Stepmother" is. It adds more fuel to the Alexis and Krystle fire. And it's the kind of silly unjustifiable grudge Alexis would hold for ever
And it would have been such a double whammy: Krystle on The Colbys and Linda Evans on The Colbys (how dare she!)
 

Matthew Blaisdel

Telly Talk Enthusiast
I'm afraid we won't be able to hear from William Beckley anymore. He passed away in March 2015:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0065778/

Oh no. :(
May he rest in peace.

Surely Krystle wasn't still in the attic at this time?
Nope, that was shortly after the retooling.
Just take a look at your Dynasty S06 Epsisode 24, Krystle asks Blake how the wedding was right at the beginning of the episode. ;)
And she was even mentioned by Blake in front of Fallon when they talk about Alexis on The Colbys. "She's probably just as frustrated as Krystle about being not here today [wedding]. And there's always tomorrow, it can clear up tomorrow [the fog] and everybody will be here."

I don't know if i recall it correctly, but i assume i heard Joan Collins ranting about The Colbys in an interview and she said she persuaded Linda as well NOT to appear there.
But could be as well that i've just read it somewhere on oldSoapchat.
I would have LOVED to see Krystle in that wedding episode of The Colbys!
 
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Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
I think Channing was supposed to have been a poor man's Fallon that a petulant Miles married on a whim just to spite the real Fallon whom he was still unhappily in love with. I disliked her myself in the beginning, but grew to feel sorry for her, her manipulations notwithstanding. She was essentially a tragic character.
I loved Channing from the beginning and actually found her more exciting to watch than Fallon. She had the spark in her eye where she could have been a very unpredictable character. I would have bought any outrageous backstory they cast up about her. I'm also a sucker for a Southern Belle/bitch type. I guess if she had have returned in a third season, and with Huson and Bast gone, she likely would have brawled and had catfights with Fallon. That's if the Pollocks and Shapiros were brought in to oversee production until new show runners were on board.
With Huson and Bast gone, someone would have to have come up with season three's bible and very quickly too.
 
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Alexis

Telly Talk Hero
If anybody has any idea how we could reach Esther Shapiro to request an interview please let me know. I doubt she'd do it, but what's the harm in trying. I cant find any contact info online. Perhaps someone here has IMDB pro?
 
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