on April 19, 2005
Dynasty-The Complete First Season is now available on DVD for the very first time. The DVD set includes all thirteen episodes from the first season of the nightime drama which changed television forever.
Although the show is probably best known for it's vixen Alexis Carrington Colby, the show was not built around Alexis in the beginning although many of the storylines later tied into the character. The show was built around multi-millionaire business tycoon Blake Carrington, his children Fallon and Steven and his new wife, the former Krystal Jennings.
Krystal formerly worked as Blake's secretary. During season one Krystal has to make the transition from former working girl to the wife of a very rich man. She promises her friends that she will never change, but how can she remain the same with Blake and all of his money? After she weds Blake, Krystal instantly becomes the step-mother to two very complex adult children. Krystal also is dealing with a former lover who has recently returned from the Middle East.
Fallon is a wild child who is having an affair with Blakes limo driver. The first Fallon was played by Pamela Sue Martin. She molded that character and really brought the character to life. The character was later played by Emma Samms but many Dynasty fans still consider Pamela Sue Martin the real Fallon. Al Corley played Steven during the first season. Steven had a very interesting storyline. He was one of the first characters openly gay on a night time drama. Even though the character of Steven was gay, he still had a lot of interaction with women in his storyline, sex and the whole nine.
Missing from season one are popular characters Sammy Joe, Adam, and the aforementioned Alexis. The show is still chock full of drama and characters like Fallon and Claudia keep the storyline interesting. It's a really great show and the writing during the first season was great.
Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Knots Landing were the really big nightime soap opera like one hour series of the 80's. The first two seasons of Dallas are now available on DVD, and this is the first season of Dynasty released on DVD. Hopefully, future seasons will follow soon.
Extras included on the set include commentary from the shows co-creator on several episodes, character profiles for the characters of Steven and Fallon and a featured titled, "Family, Furs and Fun: Creating Dynasty." The thirteen episodes are included on four dual sided discs. The packaging is really amazing with bright color photos on the cases that jump out at you. Another nice feature is the original air dates are included with the episode title on the jackets.
on July 30, 2005
Dynasty is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. I got hooked on it when the show was in late-night syndication here in Canada in the late 80s/early 90s.
Since I never watched it during its original run I guess I never saw the first season episodes included in this set before, and so I was quite shocked and disappointed to find that my favourite element of the show and my whole reason for buying this set -- the delectable Joan Collins chewing up the scenery as deliciously nasty Alexis -- is completely absent from the first season episodes!
Yes the episodes in this set do give me a lot more background on various characters and storylines, but without Alexis the show really lacks that extra "something", and never really seems to rise above the level of your typical soap. So all in all, this set felt more like a prequel to the "real" Dynasty, which it looks like only actually got rolling in Season 2.
So hurry up and bring us Season 2, because that's the Dynasty that I really want to see!
As for the DVDs, since Dynasty started its first season as a mid-season replacement series, there are only 13 episodes here. In such a case I think it would have been smarter to include the full Seasons 1 & 2 in one set the way some other shows like "Moonlighting" and "Sliders" have, but oh well...
The set also includes a nice documentary on the making of the show plus commentaries on certain episodes from series creator Esther Shapiro and actor Al Corley (Steven Carrington).
The 4 discs are packed in a handy space-saving 2 slipcase format. And I loved the package and menu design which features beautifully glittering diamonds, capturing perfectly the spirit of decadent opulence which permeates the show.
All in all a nice little package, but I still need my Season 2 with Joan Collins. Come on Fox, get moving!
on February 11, 2005
Dynasty was a show that truly epitomized the 80's.
The first season of Dynasty follows the story of Krystle Jennings (Linda Evans), a whimpy woman who marries wealthy oil tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). As she struggles adjusting to her new life of wealth dealing with insubordinate servants as well as her new jealous stepdaughter Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin), Krystle is torn between loyalty to Blake and a lingering love for her ex-lover Matthew Blaisdel (Bo Hopkins), former employee and now business rival to Blake.
Dynasty was also one of the first television shows in history to feature a gay character as a series regular. Blake's son Steven (Al Corley) gets caught up in his own struggles as he gets a job working for his father's business competitor Matthew, as well as secretly getting romantically involved with Matthew's wife Claudia (Pamela Bellwood) while trying to forget his lover from college.
But the real highlight of the first season is Pamela Sue Martin, who plays Blake's spoiled daughter Fallon. Krystle is such a whimpy character, and it is always entertaining to see Fallon being mean to her. Fallon sleeps with her father's chauffer Michael (Wayne Northrop) and makes a deal with wealthy oil tycoon Cecil Colby (Lloyd Bochner) to marry his nephew Jeff (John James) in exchange that Cecil bail Blake's company out from having to file bankruptcy.
Without Joan Collins and Heather Locklear, who didn't show up until the second season, the first season of Dynasty was hardly the show everybody remembers and loves. It was more of a Dallas imitation. Blake was like J.R. Ewing, the antagonist of the show, Krystle was a boring, whimpy version of Pamela Barnes, marrying into a wealthy family while having torn loyalties, and Fallon was a more conniving Lucy Ewing, sleeping with the chauffer/ranch hand and not getting along with the new lady in the house. But once Joan Collins showed up to play Blake's scheming ex-wife Alexis, the show really started to come into its own and became one of the signature shows of the 80's.
on April 27, 2008
When was the last time you can recall your home life literally stopping when the hour arrived when a favourite night time program aired on prime time television? During the 1980's the big budget soaps like "Dallas", and "Dynasty" succeeded in doing just that all over the world. I know in my household at 8.30pm on Monday nights the phone was taken off the hook, the dishes were already washed and put away, and the popcorn was at the ready so that we could sit back and enjoy uninterrupted the latest larger than life traumas and heartbreaks encountered by television's most outrageously dysfunctional family, the hugely rich Carringtons. We didn't tune in expecting to see nice people like in "The Waltons", instead we, like people everwhere, tuned in to lap up the glamour, double dealings, infidelities and memorable bitchy cat fights that made "Dynasty" such totally great fun to watch.
Reliving the at times rather unglamourous beginnings of "Dynasty" in the "Complete First Series", has been a great joy for me over this last month and has been highly interesting viewing especially when one considers what the series became after the dramatic second season entry of the unforgettable villianess Alexis, Blake Carrington's long absent first wife, played to perfection by Joan Collins. Immediately a very different series was born however I have to give this first, (half) season its due in that while lacking the later season's glamour and over the top storylines and excitement, it still sustains great interest and sets up the scenario of the oil rich Carringtons and the Colbys. It also allows many of the performers such as the wickedly wonderful Pamela Sue Martin, Al Corley, and Pamela Bellwood the opportunity to really shine in their own storylines before the arrival of the "Alexis Juggernaut" changed the series forever.
on July 19, 2006
When are they going to release the rest of the seasons of Dynasty? How could it possibly take this long to put together the episodes on a DVD? Every other major show is finally out and progressing with all of their seasons while Dynasty still sits on a shelf somewhere. What is going on? Bring them on! I'll buy them all straight away. We LOVE this show and cannot wait any longer!!!!!
on April 17, 2005
Yeah I was a DYNASTY nut. It just kinda defined the 80's for me - and drove my exasperated parents to mental exhaustion. Born in 1970 I grew up in a house and with parents who definitely (and thankfully) did not buy into any form of materialism - so naturally my teenage rebellion - in true Alex P. Keaton style - consisted of total devotion to Lacoste/Izod clothing, Rolls-Royce & Ferrari automobiles and door-wide shoulder-padded Hugo Boss blazers. And religious DYNASTY patronage. Those nutty 80's ... hehe.
I'm a writer/producer today and creatively I have to say that this first season of DYNASTY might be a big, pleasant surprise to those who remember the show only as campy glitz. The writing is really top-notch and the acting matches it perfectly - Pamela Sue Martin's Fallon steals the entire show. She is amazing - I was totally in love with her back then. And you completely fall in love with her all over again - spoiled, witty, catty but with a true (if confused) heart of gold. TV characters don't come any classier than this. Al Corley is cute as heck as Steven. Very James Deansy and vulnerable. One forgets that the whole gay subplot was sensationally daring for its time. The chemistry between Fallon and Steven is great - so much love permeates their scenes together. It really is surprisingly touching.
DYNASTY was never about plot (most of them were pretty sloppy) - the show was about beautiful people in beautiful clothes living in beautiful houses doing ugly things to each other. It worked for most of the run - but the first three seasons really kicked butt. When Pamela Sue martin left after Season 3 it went downhill, I think. Too much camp ensued - though to me, admittedly, the entire run is a guilty pleasure.
An important note: Alexis only enters from season 2 - so don't look for her in this package. However, don't despair, there is plenty of drama and fun to be had still - arguably this first season cold be the best from an acting stand point. The writing is certainly some of the best in the entire series.
The DVD package is great. Picture looks crisp and the sound is good - the extras include recently taped interviews with Richard & Esther Shapiro, Pamela Sue Martin (who at 53 is still a knock-out in a natural, non-plasticized way. Wild) and Al Corley who also looks good. Esther Shapiro makes talky, enlightning and intelligent commentary on four of the episodes and is joined by a very pleasant, down-to-earth Al Corley on two of them. From the commentary it can be derived that there is still a lot of love and respect between the original actors on the show - they apparently still hang out and reminisce.
I'm hoping that the extras don't end here and that many more goodies will be included on the DVD releases of the other seasons.
Here is what I would like to see:
* Life during DYNASTY - what was it like?
* Where are they now? I want to know what Pam Sue, Al Corley et al. did after the show. What was life like after DYNASTY?
*Outtakes, bloopers, screentests etc. - and I'd like to see the discarded footage of George Peppard as Blake Carrington before he was replaced by John Forsythe. And, yeah, we all want to see the cast members "corpse" during a really serious scene, don't we? Bloopers wanted! :-)
* More present-day interviews with cast and crew members (Collins, Evans, Nolan Miller, Spelling, Forsythe, Locklear etc etc.)
* The fashions of DYNASTY - interview with cozzie designer Nolan Miller
The extras on the first season do seem a bit sparse, but maybe they're holding on to some of it for future releases. I definitely hope to see Linda Evans, Joan Collins etc. in interviews and hear them on commentary tracks. Also, the character profiles tend to be cut so that actual clips from the show get more screen time that close ups of the actors being interviewed - this I don't like. I want to see more of them as they look today. That's the fun part.
Anyway, I must be a real nutcase spending so much time writing up this review, but there it is, hehe.
I hope Season 2 hit stores soon - I'll put on my best power suit and count the minutes to the release date on my Rolex :-).
Most when you say soap opera-you think women gossiping. NOT with Dynasty
Dynasty was a class act. King Lear with Oil, instead of land. The land of the Rich, Famous and otherwise. It was Upstair Downstairs for American TV and most of all in the 1980's , it was one of the best!
John Forsyth brought an air of class to the role of Blake Carrington, playing against his so clear, nice guy type image he had played for 30 years since Batchlor Father. Linda Evans was brought out of moth balls to play Krystal, to see this world thru her eyes was eye openning. You must remember first season did not have the talent of Joan Collins (she came to the cast in season two).
Esther and Richard Shapiro created a King Lear for modern TV. A strong father and his two wayward kids. the tart daughter Falon, played to the hilt by Pamela Sue Martin (i wish she would do TV again)and Steven the openly Gay son who needs his father's approval when all he gets is belittlement. Al Corley does an amazing job in the role.
on trivia note, George Peppard was fired from the role of Blake after disagreements with the show's producers.If he would have stayed Mr T would not have a foil in the A Team
Is this set, good-YES! it hardly dates itself as a show, the power play is still there and is played out here with a zest most the other 1980's soaps did not have
I cant wait for volume two-the start of Joan Collins as Alexis
Bennet Pomerantz, AUDIOWORLD
on May 10, 2005
I have always been a huge 'Dallas' fan, so for years I felt that it was my obligation to remain faithful to that show and not cross over and watch its rival 'Dynasty'. Now that both are on DVD, I have decided to branch out and give 'Dynasty' a try. What a treat! They just do not make evening soaps the way that they did in the 80's. This is pure, complete fun recommended to anyone who has enjoyed other 80's soaps but has not yet seen this one. Dripping with money, intrigue, betrayal, romance, and scandal, I cannot wait for season two!!
on August 29, 2005
I saw this from the beginning in the 80s - but having now watched the DVD set of the first season again in the opulent packaging (wow, that's nice FOX!) : I learned so much that I have forgotten since 1981 - it laid the ground work for the series. I was young then and watched it with family and friends - it personified the 80s 'Reagan years' in the USA - and was far more interesting and glitzy than the rather 'country feel' of "Dallas". The writing was more witty and camp in season 2-9 due to Joan Collins - who made "Dallas" and it's villain J.R. Ewing look neutered by comparison. A wrath of big name co-stars that came and went over the years to viewer delight - and had the first openly Gay (albiet bi-sexual) character on television. With the real jewels, the furs, the cars, and the extremely expensive clothing from designer Nolan Miller (who was hired to create the "sparkling real look of wealth" for "Dynasty" series - this was 'the' night time soap that people are finding a liking to today - long before "The OC", "Desperate Housewives" of today's viewing (although great, not as opulent). Millions spent for one episode, it was escapism at it's best - and although this first season is more drama than glitz, when seasons 2-9 (plus the reunion from 1991 to end the series) come out - you'll be prepared for the most exquisite and entertaining show ever aired on network television. Now : come on FOX - give us seasons 2-9!!!
Jason E Davis
on August 28, 2006
Whether you're a fan of this super soap or not, you'll be hooked once you get your hands on Season1. It has all the ingredients of a great soap - new trophy wife, scheming stepdaughter, gay brother, ruthless patriarch and more. Now if only they would release season 2 and the rest of the seasons on dvd! It's been nearly 2 years since season 1 was made available. It's time now that Aaron Spelling has passed on that people get a look at one of his best productions - Dynasty! The show that gave us Alexis Carrington which is where she enters in Season 2.
FOX, are you guys listening??!!!
We can't wait for the rest of the seasons of Dynasty! Don't tell Dallas beat you again! That soap has already been released up to Season 5.