Saturday, 15 July 2017

737 The Colbys

First  viewed :  28  January  1986

I  purposefully  left  out  mention  of  this  in  the  Dynasty  post  but  in  reality  the  two  series  were  inextricably  linked. The  Colbys  was  a  spin-off  from  Dynasty  plucking  out  the  dullest  character  Jeff  Colby  ( John  James )  and  transplanting  him  and  Fallon  Carrington  ( Emma  Sams )  to  California  where  his  relatives  operated. It  was  messily  set  up  in  the  parent  series  around  the  same  time  as  the  Moldavian  massacre. Fallon  wanders  into  town  as  an  amnesiac  and  gets  picked  up  by  playboy  Miles  Colby  ( marginal  Brat  Packer  Maxwell  Caulfield ). They  get  married  which  comes  as  an  unpleasant  surprise  for  Jeff  when  Miles  brings  his  new  bride  home. The  series  was  originally  titled  Dynasty  II :  The  Colbys  in  the  UK  and  ran  in  tandem  with  Dynasty  in  1986  with  The  Colbys  on  a  Wednesday  and  Dynasty  on  a  Friday. When  Dallas  returned in  March  though ,  it  claimed  the  Wednesday  night  spot  and  The  Colbys  and  Dynasty  alternated  on  a  Friday  which  was  very  aggravating,  especially,  I'm  guessing , to  those  who'd  previously  shunned  the  spin-off.

The  Colbys  had  some  big  names  up  its  sleeve  with  Charlton  Heston  and his  toupee  as  patriarch  Jason  Colby,  veteran  Barbara  Stanwyck  as  his  sister  Constance, Stephanie  Beacham  as  his  wife  Sable , Katherine  Ross  as  her  sister  Francesca  ( Jason's  true  love )  and  Ricardo  Montalban  as   vengeful  business  rival  Zack  Powers.

Alas, that  didn't  save  it  from  being  a  lukewarm  copy  of  its  parent  with  nothing  new  to  bring  to  the  table  apart  from  some  really  terrible  acting. The  worst  offender  was  Caulfield , a  posing  pretty  boy  who  thought  he  was  James  Dean  and  either  flicked  his  quiff  around  or  tried  an  Elvis  lip  curl.  in  lieu  of  acting.  Stanwyck  quit  after  the first  series  but  she was  bad  as  the  rest  and  it  was  painful  to  watch  her  hamming  whilst  clinging  on  to  the  furniture  for  dear  life.

The  Colbys  was  an  inevitable  failure. Joan  Collins  recognised  that  from  the  start  and  refused  to  make   any  guest  appearances. She  later  said  that  the  show  had  damaged  the  Dynasty  brand   and  was  probably  right  about  that  too. With  its  cancellation  confirmed  before  the  end  of  season  two  , the  writers  ensured  it  would  be  remembered  for  at  least  one  thing  by having  Fallon  abducted  by  aliens  in  the   final  scene, leaving  Dynasty  with  a   silly  plotline  to  untangle  when  she  and  Jeff  returned  to  the  main  show. Sable  and  dullard   daughter  Monica  ( Tracey  Scoggins  )  were  subsequently  written  into  Dynasty's  final  season  two  years  later.   

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