Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Return Of Dallas

I'll admit to tuning in with curiosity to the new series of Dallas on Wednesday evening. For a period of around five years in the early 80s I must have caught every episode that went out on BBC 1.

The interesting thing is from my memory it started off as a bit of a joke, as Terry Wogan used to constantly refer to it on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show. The South Fork Ranch based antics of the Oil Baron Ewing family Miss Ellie, Jock, Bobby, Pamela, Sue Ellen, J.R. and Lucy (the poisoned dwarf) were undoubtedly ideal blarney fodder for Mr Wogan to entertain his listeners with.

The huge sensationalism surrounding ta series finale with the shooting of J.R. Ewing contributed enormously to the series rise in popularity and the perfect excuse for the BBC to pull in ratings with a rerun. Even the BBC went to great pains to show the new series episodes arrive at Heathrow airport accompanied by security guards. And the truth? JR had been shot by the late Bing Crosby's daughter Mary AKA Kristin Shepard .

"Follow that J.R.!"

The series gained popular recognition here in the UK, even comedian Eddie Large who feature in The Little and Large Show used to end each weeks edition with the comment "Follow That J.R.!" as The Little and Large Show usually preceeded each weeks edition of Dallas.

Yes there seemed to be no stopping Dallas, even though casualties happened, the death of actor Jim Davis (who played Jock) Miss Ellie changing appearance for a season (Barbara Bel Geddes replaced by Donna Reed) , JR and Bobby making guest appearances in the show spin-off Knots Landing and oh yes Bobby getting shot and then a little later even killed.

Killed? I hear you cry, well not exactly, Bobby died then he didn't when Pam woke up from a year long slumber and dreamt a whole series climaxing with Bobby resurrected from the shower.

That's when I sort of fell out with Dallas, I didn't really follow the subsequent series but I was curious to see this weeks opening episode featuring a cast of younger actors and a few old faves.

Dallas: The Next Generation

It seems cousins (and J.R. and Bobby's offspring)  John Ross and Christopher are now doing all the work at SouthFork, Bobby's dying and J.R. is in an institution. Yep its the Dallas of old (but still cant work out how John Ross and Christopher are around ten years younger than they should be - hey thats American drama!).

There were some fun performances in the first episode of the new series (yes it was great to see Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman, back in their old roles as Bobby and J.R.) and some pretty good ones from young cast members Josh Henderson (John Ross), Jesse Metcalfe (Christopher) and Jordana Brewster (Elena) (who was pretty cool in Chuck).

Can Dallas continue? Well there are already rumours of a second series and no doubt has an appeal to the newer fans as well as the old... stay tuned, y'hear!


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