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10/10
Lots of fun
preppy-36 November 2003
I remember when this showed on TV back in 1985. It was testing the waters to see if there was any interest in starting a night time soap of "Peyton Place". Sadly, this bombed. That's too bad. It was well-acted and directed and never dull.

It was no masterpiece but a very good, well-done TV movie. You didn't have to have seen the original series to understand this--the movie introduces all the characters and situations. Also there are "flashbacks" to the old TV series (in b&w of course) which are fun. It's REAL interesting to see Mia Farrow and Ryan O'Neal so young and healthy.

Recommended--but it probably doesn't pop up often.
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7/10
The Way They Were
wes-connors3 May 2012
In a big improvement over the prior "Murder in Peyton Place" (1977) TV-movie, "Peyton Place: The Next Generation" finds a more respectable nine original players back in town. As in previous versions, super-blonde Dorothy Malone (as Constance MacKenzie) and "Clarion" editor Tim O'Connor (as Elliot Carson) have returned to the cast. Doctor do-gooder Ed Nelson (as Michael "Mike" Rossi) has presumably been cleared of murder charges (but appears without fiancée "Marsha Russell"). Favorite couple Christopher Connelly (as Norman "Norm" Harrington) and Patricia "Pat" Morrow (as Rita Jacks) are reunited, and have their much hoped-for child, curly-haired Tony Quinn (as Joey Harrington)...

Truth be told, several of the originally popular characters could be a bit of a bore (which is why several of those playing them left town). Apart from George Macready's delightfully manipulative old "Martin Peyton", the more exciting players were beautifully figured Barbara Parkins (as Betty Anderson) and determined lawyer James Douglas (as Steven Cord) - both are back, and in fine form. Veteran supporting players Evelyn Scott (as Ada) and Ruth Warwick (as Hannah) are also nice to see. And, handsome John Beck (as Dorian Blake) is a good newcomer...

"The Next Generation" is led by the very sexy coupling of Bruce Greenwood (as Dana Harrington) and Marguerite Hickey (as Megan MacKenzie). The new story presents a new set of continuity errors, but they are far less pained. The most mind-bending is the presence of Deborah Goodrich (as Kelly Carson) as the Carson's daughter, in place of the inexplicably absent baby "Matthew". Nobody seems to recall that baby "Kelly" was ultimately found to be the daughter of "Jill Smith" and "Joe Rossi" - probably DNA testing turned the town upside-down. This sequel was most successful at updating the original "Peyton Place" tone, and it would have made a good launching pad for a new series.

******* Peyton Place: The Next Generation (5/13/85) Larry Elikann ~ James Douglas, Barbara Parkins, Bruce Greenwood, Marguerite Hickey
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