The ABC Network's answer to the hugely-popular primetime soap "Dallas", DYNASTY was created by Esther and Richard Shapiro to be the most flamboyant, daring and outrageous of all night-time drama series. The lives of Denver's oil-rich Carrington family unfolded each and every week to the fascination of viewers all over the world, who couldn't get enough of their scandalous private affairs.
In the debut season, we first meet oil magnate Blake Carrington (John Forsythe), the tough but fair CEO of Denver-Carrington, as he's preparing to marry former secretary Krystle Jennings (Linda Evans). The show's opening story, "Oil", is spread over three episodes and sets up the characters and plots that would unfold throughout the season.
Sweet-as-pie Krystle is met with all-out resentment by Blake's stuffy butler (SORRY, "major domo") Joseph, played to perfection by Lee Bergere, and the staff follow suit. Meanwhile, Blake's grown children are causing their own headaches. Wild child Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin) proudly admits to bedding half the players on Carrington's football team and is also carrying on with studly chauffeur Michael (Wayne Northrop). In the midst of all the bed-hopping comes a tantalising deal from Blake's chief rival Cecil Colby (Lloyd Bochner): if Fallon marries Cecil's nephew Jeff (John James, of the quizzical expressions and upturned eyebrows), he'll absorb the $9.5 million debt owed by Blake and help the continued association between Denver-Carrington and ColbyCo.
Blake's son Steven (Al Corley) is another kettle of fish altogether. Returning to Denver after spending a year in New York with his...da-da-dum...gay lover Ted (Mark Withers), Steven's relationship with his father (and sexuality) goes through some particularly bumpy patches, to say the least. Steven was the first regular gay character on a soap and broke many boundaries.
On the other side of the social divide we find the middle-class Blaisdel clan. Matthew (Bo Hopkins) was kicked out of the Middle East, where he managed oil wells belonging to Denver-Carrington. Lovely wife Claudia (Pamela Bellwood) has suffered a breakdown and spent a long spell in a mental institution, and daughter Lindsay (Katy "New Adventures of Heidi" Kurtzman) spends all her time looking like she's on the verge of bursting into tears. Yawn. Audiences didn't really enjoy their involvement in the show, and the Blaisdel family was written out after the first year, except for good ole "Crazy Claudia" who provided lots of value in some of DYNASTY's best storylines in the years to come.
And what of the legendary Alexis (Joan Collins)? Well, you'll have to stick out the entire first season before she makes her dazzling entrance as the surprise witness in the last episode. Starting in Season 2, Alexis makes pulls no punches in her vendetta against Krystle and the war on Denver-Carrington. The show is still enjoyable without Alexis, but the last few episodes seem to drag a lot in their build-up to her arrival.
Season One includes the following:
Disc 1: Oil (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Disc 2: The Honeymoon / The Dinner Party / Fallon's Wedding / The Chauffeur Tells a Secret
Disc 3: The Bordello / Krystle's Lie / The Necklace / The Beating
Disc 4: The Birthday Party / The Separation / Blake Goes to Jail / The Testimony
The second season opens with the arrival of Blake's first wife Alexis Carrington as the surprise witness in Blake's murder trial. The one thing missing from the first season of DYNASTY was a real villainess, and Joan Collins' casting as the scheming Alexis gave the show a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Whether she's rolling around on the floor with Krystle or rolling in the sheets with Blake's rival Cecil Colby, Alexis is a complete one-of-a-kind soap creation, an almost epic combination of old school wicked witch and one-woman demolition derby. Did I mention the delicious studio catfight between Krystle and Alexis? It's a doozy.
Claudia Blaisdel awakens in the hospital to discover that Matthew has skipped the country with their daughter Lindsay, and is later pimped and blackmailed by Cecil into stealing valuable documents from Denver-Carrington. Things really go to pot when Claudia and Krystle struggle over a gun and Claudia's brain is literally shot to pieces - here comes "Crazy Claudia"!
Fallon and Jeff break up, and make up...then break up some more...but in between they manage to conceive little Blake Junior who is born premature after Fallon was involved in an auto accident. Nurse Susan (Christine Belford, aka "Wonder Woman"'s duplicitous Baroness von Gunther) is assigned as the kid's nanny. Should have smelled a rat right there...
New characters: In addition to the amazing Alexis, Season 2 also boasts the arrival Dr. Nick Toscanni (James Farentino), a psychiatrist/sometime neurosurgeon with an axe to grind about the role Blake (John Forsythe) played in his half-brother's death, who quickly falls into bed with Fallon and causes a few temptations for Krystle as well! Krystle's "gosh darn" niece Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear) also comes to stay for a spell...looking for her own piece of the Carrington pie!
Season Two includes the following:
Disc 1: Enter Alexis / The Verdict / Alexis' Secret / Fallon's Father
Disc 2: Reconciliation / Viva Las Vegas / The Miscarriage / Mid-East Meeting
Disc 3: The Psychiatrist / Sammy Jo and Steven Marry / The Car Explosion / Blake's Blindness
Disc 4: The Hearing / The Iago Syndrome / The Party / The Baby
Disc 5: Mother and Son / The Gun / The Fragment / The Shakedown
Disc 6: The Two Princes / The Cliff