Barbara Stanwyck in DYNASTY II

Michael Torrance

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Original Dynasty did this wrong match of actress to character later with Terri Garber in season 7 (and tried to correct it a season later), but it makes no sense to me why they cast Stanwyck as Jason's loyal sister. She was a powerhouse as a controlling and powerful matriarch in "The Thorn Birds," and I assume the show was trying to capture the excitement around that performance. So why not have her be something similar on THE COLBYS?

Here is how this could have worked. Best scenario is that Jason Colby is played by someone much younger, and Stanwyck is his mother. She decides that Jason is not the person he used to be, taking less risks and playing it safe, so she decided to bring Jeff in as a partner in the company. Not with a 50% share, because she owns the majority of the shares, and plans to pit Jason and Jeff against each other. There could be better possibilities all around: Jason may try to wrestle control of the publicly owned stock even with an unholy alliance with Zach Powers, for instance. Plus in the season 1 that unfolded, Jeff and Jason became pals pretty quickly (especially after Jeff's paternity was revealed and Jason got together with Frankie again), but that way they would be at each other throats' all the time. But the biggest benefit would be having Constance be a puppet-master, rather than wallpaper.
 

GillesDenver

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I don't think the show was trying to capture her performance from "the Thorn Birds". She was not the first choice for the role, the producers wanted Doris Day. Constance was clearly Dominique's counterpart in "The Colbys" : the sister helping her dear brother. In the bible, the writers wanted her to be seen from time to time in the garden, taking care of roses.
It's only because Barbara Stanwyck complained that the role was a little bit spiced.

That being said, Constance SHOULD have been more manipulative and if the role had been written this way, then Barbara Stanwyck would have been the perfect cast.
 
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Michael Torrance

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I don't think the show was trying to capture her performance from "the Thorn Birds". She was not the first choice for the role, the producers wanted Doris Day. Constance was clearly Dominique's counterpart in "The Colbys" (the sister helping her dear brother) and it's only because Barbara Stanwyck complained that the role was a lit bit spiced.

Oh my god, in trying to duplicate DYNASTY they were even going to duplicate the parts that did not work? Darn.
 

Snarky Oracle

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I don't think the show was trying to capture her performance from "the Thorn Birds". She was not the first choice for the role, the producers wanted Doris Day. Constance was clearly Dominique's counterpart in "The Colbys" : the sister helping her dear brother. In the bible, the writers wanted her to be seen from time to time in the garden, taking care of roses.
It's only because Barbara Stanwyck complained that the role was a little bit spiced.

That being said, Constance SHOULD have been more manipulative and if the role had been written this way, then Barbara Stanwyck would have been the perfect cast.
They did -- they wanted Doris Day? (Whos shoulda been Krystle's aunt).
 

GillesDenver

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Oh my god, in trying to duplicate DYNASTY they were even going to duplicate the parts that did not work? Darn.
I edited my message while you wrote yours. ;-)

It's just my opinion that they were trying to duplicate Dominique's role, but after I remembered the thing about taking care of the roses, I start wondering if they were not duplicate Miss Ellie's role actually. In any case, it was wrong (for Stanwyck).

They did -- they wanted Doris Day? (Whos shoulda been Krystle's aunt).
Yes, apparently.
Charles Heston was not the first choice for Jason Colby either. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas were asked first.
 
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Michael Torrance

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It's just my opinion that they were trying to duplicate Dominique's role, but after I remembered the thing about taking care of the roses, I start wondering if they were not duplicate Miss Ellie's role actually. In any case, it was wrong (for Stanwyck).

Well, that role as it ended up was completely as useless as Bliss (and Monica in the first season).
 

GillesDenver

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Once they removed Hutch and emphasized her hostility towards Sable, it was starting to work I think.

I would have not completely rewrote the part, simply making clear that she purposely brought back Jeff in order to use him as her puppet in the boardroom (as she was too old to stay in the business) and also brought back Francesca deliberately to destroy Sable's marriage (as she thought it would be easier to manipulate Frankie than Sable).
 

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I wouldn't have called her Constance, either -- too PEYTON PLACE. I'd call her Rubenstein "Ruby," Stanwyck's real name and in keeping with DYNASTY's fur-and-jewel inspired character monikers. But then I also want the Colbys on DYNASTY for several weeks before spinning off.
 

GillesDenver

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Maybe Francesca and Constance could have traded their names ?

But then I also want the Colbys on DYNASTY for several weeks before spinning off.
I would have done the opposite. Having the Colbys for several weeks further delayed the start of the main plots (most notably having Rita in the mansion). I would have lauched "The Colbys" at the same time than season 6 but kept it on wednesday until the cross-over ("The Titans"). Then, in late November, "Hotel" would have been back airing after "Dynasty" and "The Colbys" would have started airing on thursday.
 

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I re-read Paul Huson's interview yesterday on this board, and its interesting what he says about Stanwyck, in that she was approaching senility and her lines had to be reduced. Hence she ended up being a 'mouthpiece for the good guys'.

Even Kate O'Mara acknowledges in her biography that Stanwyck appeared dotty as she couldn't remember people's names, she'd ask 'Who's Joan? Alexis?' to which an exasperated Nolan Miller would say 'oh never mind.'

A shame because only a couple of years earlier, she seemed lucid when accepting her Emmy for her role in The Thorn Birds.

She's introduced in Dynasty: The Californians in the garden, so it seemed to fit her character, as Mr. Milano the gardener is often mentioned in her exchanges with Sable (who cut down her favourite willow tree because it had blight!)
 

Michael Torrance

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I would have done the opposite. Having the Colbys for several weeks further delayed the start of the main plots (most notably having Rita in the mansion). I would have lauched "The Colbys" at the same time than season 6 but kept it on wednesday until the cross-over ("The Titans"). Then, in late November, "Hotel" would have been back airing after "Dynasty" and "The Colbys" would have started airing on thursday.

I don't even know if you needed both shows to air at the same time from the beginning. Start "Dynasty II: The Colbys" on Dynasty's slot on 9/25 until 10/30. Keep that ridiculous pipeline story out. A truncated season 6 of Dynasty quickly sends the Carringtons back from Moldavia and when Jeff returns Constance awaits him with a double carrot: come back to help run Colby Enterprises, and you may be interested in that new bride of Miles: a picture of Fallon appears, and the freeze frame of the Colbys episode ends the two hour crossover.

But I still think that the spin off should have been after Dynasty the whole season. Move Hotel to Thursdays and keep The Colbys against serious competition in its first year but rather against another new show (Equalizer).
 
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GillesDenver

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She's introduced in Dynasty: The Californians in the garden, so it seemed to fit her character, as Mr. Milano the gardener is often mentioned in her exchanges with Sable (who cut down her favourite willow tree because it had blight!)
I remembered that she was first seen in the garden (even though she was not gardening) but I completely forgot about Sable asking to cut Constance's favourite willow tree! That was REAL drama ! :haha:
I don't even know if you needed both shows to air at the same time from the beginning. Start "Dynasty II: The Colbys" on Dynasty's slot on 9/25 until 10/30. Keep that ridiculous pipeline story out. A truncated season 6 of Dynasty quickly sends the Carringtons back from Moldavia and when Jeff returns Constance awaits him with a double carrot: come back to help run Colby Enterprises, and you may be interested in that new bride of Miles: a picture of Fallon appears, and the freeze frame of the Colbys episode ends the two hour crossover.
That's an interesting idea ! A lot of TV viewers would have watched "The Colbys" to fill their frustration of waiting "Dynasty" to be back and might have continued to watch the spin-off afterwards.

But I still think that the spin off should have been after Dynasty the whole season. Move Hotel to Thursdays and keep The Colbys against serious competition in its first year but rather against another new show (Equalizer).
I don't think "Hotel" was strong enough for thursdays. That was the timeslot for the last episodes of season 5 and they completely bombed.
 

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From what I have seen thus far, Stanwyck brings a lot of gravitas to much of the drama, although I think it's ridiculous that her younger brother brought his wife home to his sister's house. Maybe Constance should have been Mercedes McCambridge in Giant, minus the horse whipping?
 

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From what I have seen thus far, Stanwyck brings a lot of gravitas to much of the drama, although I think it's ridiculous that her younger brother brought his wife home to his sister's house. Maybe Constance should have been Mercedes McCambridge in Giant, minus the horse whipping?

I think the Colby House Belvedere was supposed to be Colby community property i.e.; anyone who is called a Colby can live here as Constance tells Sable.

Later on when Sable tries for the house as part of her divorce settlement, Jason tells her that he and Constance own half the house each.
 

Alexis

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I think the Colby House Belvedere was supposed to be Colby community property i.e.; anyone who is called a Colby can live here as Constance tells Sable.

Later on when Sable tries for the house as part of her divorce settlement, Jason tells her that he and Constance own half the house each.
It's still a tacky thing to do though. To move in your mistress who happens to be your wife's sister. He was the one who committed adultery, which was degrading enough to Sable any way never mind that it was her sister. Then he wants to put Sable out and have Frankie live in the house that Sable had basically ran for years and years. A house she loved and obviously was proud of. Jason and Frankie were the actual scum of the earth.
 

thomaswak

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It's still a tacky thing to do though. To move in your mistress who happens to be your wife's sister. He was the one who committed adultery, which was degrading enough to Sable any way never mind that it was her sister. Then he wants to put Sable out and have Frankie live in the house that Sable had basically ran for years and years. A house she loved and obviously was proud of. Jason and Frankie were the actual scum of the earth.

Frankie and Jason, the new old love of her life. Frankie, wanting to live in her sister's house, wanting to be a work partner too because she was jealous of Sable being so important. Frankie, wanting her sister out, wanting to get married to Jason. And yet, she gave her cookie to Philip almost as soon as he came back. Like some people say in France :
"Moi je dis puuuuute"*

And what about her son, Jeff? Sure, we all knew she wasn't mother of the year, after abandoning him when he was a kid. But look at Sable, how much she cares about her 3 children. She fights for them. She protects them. She needs to hug them. We can see so much love in her eyes.

Frankie's love to Jeff seemed just theoretical. And it felt so cold. In much scenes, it was like watching the Iceberg (Frankie) saying to the Titanic (Jeff) : "You know that I love you"

* "I say whooooooore"
 
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Michael Torrance

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Frankie's love to Jeff seemed just theoretical. And it felt so cold. In much scenes, it was like watching the Iceberg (Frankie) saying to the Titanic (Jeff) : "You know that I love you"
Well, that is the thing with Frankie: She was not flawed. A flaw, we are told, is "a mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance." She had no substance. A flaw means that something has value, but that flaw detracts from it. Sable had flaws. When one looks at her warmth toward her children and her husband, one then sees the flaw in how ruthless she became toward Connie. She is a flawed gem.
Frankie was a zero, and her flaws simply took her to subzero temps. Instead of a shiny flawed gem, she was a vapid shiny icicle.
 
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