I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"The Colbys" (1985-1987)

In some places, this show is listed as "Dynasty II", which is appropriate, since it was a spin-off of the popular 1980's nighttime soap opera. The focus was on Jeff Colby's (John James) family, who had just as many issues as the Carringtons on the other show (Jeff was married to Fallon Carrington). Fallon had gone missing, and Jeff was determined to find her. His travels led him to California, where he also intended to be a part of his uncle Jason's (Charleston Heston) vast corporate empire.

Jeff had an ally in his aunt Constance (Barbara Stanwyck), but Jason's underhanded wife Sable (Stephanie Beacham) viewed Jeff as a threat to the inheritance her three children should have. Sable was a cousin to Alexis Colby Carrington (Joan Collins), the resident mean witch on "Dynasty", proof that evil runs in families. Some of Sable's low down actions included trying to make strong-willed Constance look as if she was senile. She was so busy pulling games on people that she failed to see that Jason was in love with her sister Francesca (Katherine Ross). Sable was also hiding a secret: years before, she had been raped by a rival of Jason's, a man named Zachary Powers (Ricardo Montalban). Her twins, Miles and Monica (Maxwell Caulfield, Tracy Scoggins) were Power's children, not Jason's. Bliss (Claire Yarlett), a somewhat naive young woman, was the only child she actually had with Jason.

The usual messy twists and turns associated with these glossy soap operas took place, but unlike "Dynasty", "The Colbys" didn't have enough staying power to keep the various storylines going. The show came under fire for one of the most improbable cliffhangers ever: Fallon (Emma Samms), who had amnesia and showed up in time to have an affair with Miles (who didn't know she was married to Jeff), was kidnapped by aliens and whisked away in a spaceship. When the show was canceled at the end of its second season, Fallon was back on "Dynasty" with nary a mention of her outer space adventure.

My favorite character on this show was Barbara Stanwyck's character, a tough old chick who had Sable's number. Her character was killed off in Napal at the beginning of the second season. I believe Ms. Stanwyck was in failing health at that point and passed away a few years later. She was in the classic film noir, Double Indemnity (1944) as well as the TV Western, "The Big Valley" (1965-1969). Charleston Heston was in the films Ben-Hur (1959) and Planet Of The Apes (1968). Maxwell Caulfield appeared in Grease 2 (1982). Katherine Ross was in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Ricardo Montalbon was Mr. Roarke on "Fantasy Island" (1978-1984) and the granddad in Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002).

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