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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.