Saturday, May 14, 2011

Were They Right to Bring Wayne Northrop Back in Season 7?

The producers considered bringing Wayne Northrop's season 1 character Michael - Blake's nosy chauffeur and Fallon's part-time lover - back in season 3. Once they finally got around to it in season 7, I'm not sure I really cared for seeing him on the show again.

And my indifference to seeing Michael return doesn't really have anything to do with the whole Karen Cellini mess. I don't think I would have enjoyed watching his tired schemes had he been paired off with the lovely Catherine Oxenberg instead either.

Back in season 1 it was a lot of fun watching the spoiled brat Fallon (played by the brilliant Pamela Sue Martin) jerk Michael around, while hmm... exchanging ideas on the upcoming football season with members of daddy's team.

But then they reintroduced him with that sloppy re-enactment of the infamous bathtub scene (the frame-by-frame comparison was one of my first YouTube videos in 2008) and I couldn't have been more underwhelmed.

Once they got rid of Cellini (both Amanda and Michael were originally supposed to have stuck around till the season finale when the mob would have had the limo carrying them and Blake to a court hearing bombed) they didn't know what to do with him.

Perhaps the original idea for season 3 would have worked better - Fallon was supposed to battle it out with Adam in court over the control of Jeff's estate, while he lay ODed on paint at the hospital.

Adam would have brought Michael back to testify at the hearing and help him defeat Fallon (I'll tell you more about the original plans for season 3 in an upcoming post - a big thanks to Gilles for supplying me with season 3 bible).

Did you think Michael was a good character worthy of coming back who just happened to fall victim to a messy season? Or should they have never bothered once he served his purpose in the inaugural season? 


  1. A revenge of Michael C. over the Carrington could have been exciting if Fallon was wandering around (instead of packing for her journey in space)But the season was definitely a messy one whatever the ideas... Put the blame on writters, not characters or actors... Emma Samms proved in season 9 she could be a wonderful Fallon. Karen Cellini (with a stronger plot and decent lines) might have been a passable Amanda...
    Blake's amnesia was a very good idea, so stunning, but it lasted only for a couple of episodes! I guess american housewives couldn't endure watching Blake separated from his beloved (and dull) Krystle... Even if I DO enjoy Dynasty, sometimes I daydream about what it could have been... Giving back his mansion and fortune to Blake was a mistake... The struggle between Alexis and Blake was the core of the show!

  2. Based on what I've heard - I'd say it was John Forsythe himself who objected to the idea of Blake being separated from his beloved Krystle.

  3. I don't know how things are going on in America, but in France money has the last word... Producers and directors (and channels) take all decisions... I've never heard of an actor (even a star like John Forsythe) ) changing the plots... (some lines maybe, but nothing more) Power is not in actor's hands...

  4. Of course, but Forsythe supposedly did have such clout - at least concerning the general direction for the character. Even that awful and often-ridiculed "Making of a Guilty Pleasure" behind-the-scenes pic (which I actually thought was very funny) emphasized that. Then again, Forsythe was also said not to have liked the scripts of season 9 and yet he had to go along with them.

  5. OK, I managed to find Forsythe's quote from "USA Today" (responding to his portrayal in the above-mentioned movie as a stick-in-the-mud who was constantly complaining about his storylines):

    "Of course I worried about the scripts and story lines. That's what a responsible actor does when one is starring on a long-running TV show. And being the member of the cast with the most seniority, experience and long-standing work history with Aaron Spelling, I would proudly and yes, sometimes defiantly take my concerns to the executive producers for discussion."

    And I believe the Shapiros also confirmed Forsythe insisted on keeping Blake and Krystle a stable couple in their 2008 web interview.

    On the other hand, such privilege appears to have only been reserved for Forsythe. The rest of the cast had to do what they were told.

    Gordon Thomson said in 2009 that when the UFO storyline was announced they threatened if anyone had laughed would have been fired on the spot.

  6. Charlton Heston also had much power than anyone else in "the Colbys". He was able to help creating his character and he got the power to change his lines. According to Michael Nader, the other actors weren't able to change a single line of the script!

    Concerning Michael Culhane, I agree the character worked with Fallon, not with Amanda. But that's because Peter Roth (one of the executives of ABC) hated the character and asked the producers to write her à la Fallon. Hence the story with the chauffeur...
    By the way, the whole concept of Season 7 was to return to the roots of the show, with other former characters being back as Ray Bonning and Jack Dunham (eventually replaced by Gary Tilden and another D.A. - probably because the actors weren't available or interested). The filming locations were also less "Hollywood" and more "Denver" with a lot of scenes shot at the Bronson Caves (Hollywood Hills) and Mission Canyon (Santa Barbara).
    Blaming the writers would be unfair, they surely did a bad job, but the main responsible is Peter Roth and his completely wrong ideas about how the show would be.

  7. Fallon and Adam battling it out for Jeff's estate would have made a far more interesting story line than Fallon simply running La Mirage and getting involved with Mark. It would have helped Fallon retain her edge, fighting for Jeff's shares would have meant fighting for what was rightfully her son's future inheritance., set up some great scenes between Fallon and Adam and Alexis. Besides we may have been spared the awful Jeff Kirby story line.

    Wayne Northrop was a worthy character to be brought back and just fell victim to a bad season, and the same applies to Bo Hopkins. Matthew should have been brought back only of they were going to write something substantial for him. Dunham, Tosccani, Ray Bonning, there were several interesting characters in the first 2 seasons that could have been utilized in the later seasons. Dunham as Blake's rival in the Governor's race could have been interesting.

    I didn't mind Emma Samms as Fallon, the writers chose to write the character as a certain way, and much as I love the Colbys and thought Bill Bast and Paul Huson did a great job overall, changing Fallon into a victim was a bad idea. Emma Samms rose to the challenge and was good at the end of Season 8 and in season 9 when Fallon was not a victim.

    LB, thanks for taking the time to set up this blog and your YouTube Channel :)

    Please forgive any typos as I'm on a mobile device and can barely see what I'm typing.

  8. Thanks for your kind comment, FallonJeff4ever, you're very welcome.

    Yes, Ray Bonning, Michael Cullhane (or was it Cullahan, as Fallon said in season 2?) and Zach Powers were supposed to have been involved in some filthy business together (that's how Michael was to have become rich), but then Michael would have become engaged to Amanda and decided to leave his mob days behind, leading to an end-of-season assassination attempt on Michael, Amanda and Blake. In the end, however, the network ordered another mid-season overhaul... But, we can talk about that in a separate post...

  9. Michael's pecs were a pleasing addition to Season 7, but that's about it!

  10. Well yeah
    they were right to bring him back
    The guy has the best body on the show!!!!