ONE of the most popular shows in television history has to have been Dallas.
The series started in 1978 and ran until 1991 and the careers of actors Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy were made and cemented during their time on the show. Even if they had not ventured into other projects, they would still have been big names in the industry.
In recognition of the influence Dallas had back then, we now have the remake of the series for the younger viewers. Unlike other remakes, in which the idea is to reinvent an old show to make it “fresher”, the new Dallas took a bold step by telling its story as a continuation of the original series.
So from the original show we have characters (who are now much older) like Duffy (who played Bobby Ewing), Linda Gray (who played Sue Ellen Ewing) and the late Hagman (who returned as JR Ewing). To make it even fresher, we have the likes of Josh Henderson (who plays John Ross Ewing III, JR’s son), Jesse Metcalfe (who plays Bobby’s son, Christopher Ewing) and Julie Gonzalo (as Pamela Rebecca Barnes).
The new Dallas is made in such a way that both you and your mother can watch it. Some of the actors who star in the show gave insight on what viewers can expect.
“With Dallas, the serendipity hit in the casting. Try to imagine the cast of Dallas with anybody else and then there is the fact that we all became so close and did 13 years with every single person still being in love with each other at the end of those 13 years; and then we were able to come back and do it again. It’s magic,” said Duffy.
He never imagined he and his fellow cast members who started in the late ’70s would come this far.
“My wife used to tease me because I would leave the house early to get to work. I was always at work 15, 20 minutes early because I couldn’t wait to get on the set, I couldn’t wait to get to Larry’s dressing room. We’d have a glass of champagne at 6.30am and the day would start, and I was having fun all day long,” he recalled.
With the show ending after just more than a decade, Duffy did a lot of other work, including on the soapie The Bold and the Beautiful, starring as Brooke Logan’s father.
The new season of Dallas is about to air and Duffy has to star next to youngsters like Metcalfe who might have been fans of the original show while growing up.
“I was born the year that the show premiered in 1978 and I did see bits and pieces of some later episodes. It was certainly on in my household, although I wasn’t sitting down every Friday night and watching Dallas,” confessed the actor we previously saw on Desperate Housewives.
To get a sense of what he was signing up for on Dallas, Metcalfe had to do some research.
“Before we started shooting I watched as many episodes as I could, like most of the new cast members did. I really went back to get a sense of tone more than anything, but also to get a sense of how dysfunctional this family really was and what Christopher’s childhood would have been like and how it impacted on him and formed the man he became,” he said.
• Dallas airs every Sunday at 9.30pm on SABC3.