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Colbys

By Wikipedia

The Colbys (originally titled Dynasty II: The Colbys) was a primetime television soap opera which aired from November 1985 to March 1987. This Aaron Spelling-produced series was spun off from the more successful Dynasty.

The series was set in California, and focused on the Colby family, introduced peripherally in Dynasty. Intended to surpass its predecessor in opulence, the series' producers were handed an immensely high budget, and cast a handful of film actors among its leads, including Charlton Heston, Katharine Ross and Barbara Stanwyck.

The major storyline that drove the series was the migration from Denver (and Dynasty) of Jeff Colby and Fallon Carrington. Jeff was Jason Colby's nephew, who came to California to start his life anew after the apparent death of his wife, Fallon.

Fallon, having survived the plane crash which supposedly claimed her life, in fact was suffering amnesia and found her way to California, and Jeff's cousin (and rival) Miles Colby. Using the name Randall Adams, she married her ex-husband's cousin, setting in motion a love triangle that spanned the series. Although Fallon eventually re-married Jeff, Miles held a torch for her.

In the early episodes, there were a number of cross-overs featuring members of the Dynasty cast, notably Blake Carrington (John Forsythe), his son Adam Carrington (Gordon Thomson) and half-sister Dominique Devereux (Diahann Carroll). Alexis Colby did not appear in the series (actress Joan Collins led a "boycott" of the spin-off show), even at the re-marriage of her daughter Fallon, and son-in-law (and nephew by marriage) Jeff Colby.

Major Characters

  • Jason Colby (Charlton Heston): CEO of Colby Enterprises and brother of Constance, Philip and Cecil. When the series opened, Philip and Cecil were both deceased - the former in Vietnam, the latter in Denver, during the third season of Dynasty. Married to Sable, and with her the father of Miles, Monica and Bliss. Jason's affair with Francesca Langdon, his wife's sister and his brother's wife, ended his marriage. He later discovered that he was the father of Francesca's son, Jeff.
  • Sabella "Sable" Scott Colby (Stephanie Beacham): British-born art gallery owner (The Colby Collection, in Los Angeles), wife of Jason, sister of Francesca and mother of Miles, Monica and Bliss. First cousin of Dynasty superbitch Alexis Carrington Colby, they shared a rivalry which was hinted at on The Colbys but reached full blossom a number of years later in Dynasty. Beacham's performance was arguably the strongest in the series, a mixture of high camp and flawless scenery-chewing.
  • Lady Francesca Colby Hamilton Langdon (Katharine Ross): Philip Colby's "widow," who re-enters the frame after years in "exile" as the wife of diplomat Lord Roger Langdon (David Hedison). She is Jeff's mother (though she abandoned him as an infant, bending to pressure from the boy's uncle, Cecil), but returns to Los Angeles at the invitation of Constance Colby, who is anxious to make amends. Frankie, as she was known, was Sable's estranged sister and later Jason's lover.
  • Jeff Colby (John James): The son of Francesca and Jason (though he believed his father to be Philip Colby), raised in Denver by his uncle, Cecil Colby on the Colby estate in Denver Nine Oaks, which neighbored the Carrington estate. As a young man he met and fell in love with - and eventually married - Fallon Carrington. He owned stock in his uncle's company, ColbyCo Oil. Co, and on the eve of The Colbys premiere, was gifted 50 per cent of the stock of Colby Enterprises.
  • Fallon Carrington Colby (Emma Samms): Jeff's on-again, off-again wife, also married to Miles; mother to L.B. and Lauren Colby. The role was originated by Pamela Sue Martin in Dynasty but she quit the role prior to the launch of The Colbys. To ease the transition, Samms re-filmed a number of Martin's early scenes for use in flashback, and a large portrait of her character, which hung in the sitting room in Dynasty's Carrington mansion was altered to reflect the re-casting.
  • Monica Colby (Tracy Scoggins): Jason and Sable's daughter, and general counsel for Colby Enterprises until she quit it to run the record label, Titania Records for Dominique Devereaux (Diahann Carroll). Protective of her twin brother, Miles, but held a high regard for his rival, her cousin (later revealed to be half-brother) Jeff Colby.
  • Miles Colby (Maxwell Caulfield): Jason and Sable's playboy son, noted mainly for his bad attitude, his disastrous relationships (first, with the amnesiac Fallon, and second, with the emotionally unstable Channing Carter) and his rivalry with cousin (later revealed to be half-brother) Jeff.
  • Bliss Colby (Claire Yarlett): Jason and Sable's youngest child, a young and idealistic woman who has strong political beliefs which often put her at odds with her father, an oil and industry tycoon. She did not want to lend her "name or presence" to the launch of the Carrington-Colby pipeline, in the series opening episodes.
  • Zachary Powers (Ricardo Montalban): European shipping tycoon, and would-be lothario, with designs on Sable. Powers was born into poverty, and was sacked as a young man from a job on a Colby yacht - consequently he harbors an intense hatred for Jason Colby.
  • Constance Colby Patterson (Barbara Stanwyck): Jason Colby's strong-willed sister, who set the stage for The Colbys by inviting Jeff Colby to California, hoping to mend the rift between him and his family, and then (believing her brother Jason was dying, and in need of an heir who could run the Colby empire) gifting to Jeff her 50 percent of the company's voting stock.
  • Philip Colby (Michael Parks): Former husband of Francesca and the black sheep of the Colby family, presumed dead in Vietnam. Initially a mercenary using the name Hoyt Parker, Philip makes his presence known at Jason and Francesca's wedding and proceeds to disrupt the lives of the entire Colby family.

Other Characters

  • Hutch Corrigan (Joseph Campanella): Love interest of Constance.
  • Garrett Boydston (Ken Howard): Lawyer and friend of the Colby family, and also an old flame of Dominique Devereux.
  • Channing Carter Colby (Kim Morgan Greene): Young woman whom Miles Colby marries on the rebound after losing Fallon to Jeff.
  • Nikolai "Kolya" Rostov (Adrian Paul): Russian ballet dancer who falls in love with Bliss Colby.
  • Cash Cassidy (James Houghton): Senator and former love of Monica Colby, with whom he had a son, Scott (Coleby Lombardo). Had to give up his relationship with Monica to further his own political career.
  • Adrienne Cassidy (Shanna Reed): Unhappy wife of Cash Cassidy, resentful and suspicious of his relationship with Monica.

Storylines

The show's storylines included construction of an oil pipeline, a space station (the "IMOS" project), the return of Jeff's father Philip (like Fallon, believed to be dead), the romance between Jason Colby and his sister-in-law Francesca, the subsequent collapse of Jason's marriage to Sable and the revelation that Jason, not Philip, was in fact Jeff's father.

The show's most infamous storyline was the abduction by UFO of Fallon, at the end of the series' second year. Although it stimulated media interest in the show, it was not enough to lift lackluster ratings or save the show. Ironically, however, what turned out to be the series final episode was in fact its most-watched.

The characters of Jeff and Fallon returned to Dynasty (along with, curiously, the UFO storyline - the only Colbys storyline to get a resolution of sorts on Dynasty). Several seasons later, the characters of Sable Colby and Monica Colby were written into Dynasty.

One confusing Dynasty storyline involving The Colbys involved the discovery that Monica was not Jason Colby's daughter, problematic because as Miles twin, it implied immediately that he was not Jason's son. The storyline was not resolved prior to the cancellation of Dynasty.

 

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: November 20, 1985 - March 26, 1987

Cast: Charlton Heston, Stephanie Beacham, Tracy Scoggins, Katherine Ross, John James, Emma Samms, Ricardo Montalban, Barbara Stanwyck

Network: ABC

Genre: Wealth Drama

Theme song

Spinoff of: Dynasty

Image courtesy of ABC


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