St. Louis After losing their big house, Orry and Madelaine live with their little son in a town. It's not easy, but they try to help people from the South. But one day, Elkanah Bent and Orry's sister ; Ashton, come and Bent kills Orry. Furious Ashton kills Bent (or at least she thinks so). Madelaine is forced to get back to their house that has burnt in a fire, right after the War. When George Hazard learns about Orry's death, he is very sad, but decidec to go and help Madelaine. Meanwhile, Bent turns out to be alive. He goes to Pennsylvania and kills Constance Hazard (George's wife), and then goes to St. Louis and kidnaps Charles Main's little son. Initially broken-hearted George, gets furious after learning about the kidnapping. He goes at the prairie to find Charles. Together, they go after Bent. Meanwhile, Madelaine must fight against the Ku-Klux-Klan, as well as her brother-in-law, who don't want her building school for Black kids ... Written by
I bought the box set and watched the first two books over the last couple of days. Today, I loaded the first disc of Heaven and Hell and gave up shortly thereafter.
In a word, awful. In four words, "Movie of the week".
The first two books reeked of quality. They were more along the lines of a motion picture, than something made-for-TV. This outing, however, appears to have been done solely for a buck, riding the coattails of books 1 and 2.
The first "uh oh..." moment came when Philip Casnoff's name was listed in the credits - a man who was blown to bits in Book 2. Then, there was no Patrick Swayze... And when they showed his character in shadow at the beginning, no face, well, that kind of said it all about Orry.
Elkanah Bent (played as a cartoon villain by Philip Casnoff) turns up again as a 19th century Snidely Whiplash (John Jakes' narration at the opening of the show tells us Bent died in an expolosion, then explains shortly thereafter that through a "quirk of fate, he survived"). Huh? As I'd just watched the episode where the explosion occurred, it was amazing to see Bent still walking around with his pretty face. Not even his eyebrows were burnt off! While he had some serious scarring on part of one shoulder, that wasn't bad for having been in the centre of a catastrophic explosion and huge fireball reminiscent of a mini-Hiroshima.
I'm assuming Bent's "resurrection" was only a plot device to deal with Orry and the absence of Patrick Swayze.
If this is supposed to follow on immediately after Book 2, then George must've done some serious pigging out in a few weeks, as his face appeared to be quite bloated.
Terri Garber (Ashton) did a great job with her character throughout. However, she looked "different" in this installement. I think this was made around the time when the pressure was beginning to be put on actresses to be stick-thin, and it showed in her face.
The Characters of Charles Main and Billy Hazard were played by different actors (this makes 3 Billys - was it that bad a part to play
or did Parker Stevenson wisely want no part of this stinker?).
The new Charles looks to be the same age as when he first came to Mont Royal. He didn't have the rakish charm of the original, nor did he wear the "life experience".
Again, I believe most strongly that this thing was thrown together for the money, and was not about continuity, or putting out a quality product.
Watch, if you're really bored with life in general. But you're better off to read the books.
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