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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Revolution in Moldavia which so rudely interrupted the wedding of
Amanda Carrington (Catherine Oxenberg) and Prince Michael (Michael
Praed) with the odious spray of machine gun fire resulted in a lot of
overpaid night-time soap actors hitting the floor of the extravagant
chapel perhaps with their characters deceased or merely playing dead.
Steven (Jack Coleman) watches as his beloved boyfriend Luke (Bill Campbell) succumbs to his wounds. Lady Ashley Mitchell (Ali McGraw) bought it too. Alexis, assumed dead was really just incapacitated as Joan Collins remained in extended contract negotiations. Claudia (Pamela Bellwood) ex-wife of a bunch of guys on this show, rumoured to be on the way out suffered no more than a grazed shoulder. Prince Michael was also winged.
The military junta comprised of formerly loyal soldiers aided by formerly loyal bureaucrats pack the surviving wedding guests/filthy imperialists on a one-way jet ride back to Denver.
If one happens to be entertained by watching terrible things happen to rich people (the main appeal of any soap opera I should think) then the shoot 'em up finish to Season 5 of Dynasty was a thoroughly enjoyable extravaganza.
In a season finale, a time when series regulars get killed off the logic suddenly was that you may as well have a cliffhanger where a whole bunch of actors who's contracts are up have a permanent exit from the show. It can be a plane crash or a boat sinking. Whomever has representation reasonable enough to lower salary demands can come back.
The brazen negotiating posture and violent product of it which aired on prime-time was viewed as being in poor taste. Some consider it the "Shark-Jump" (Moment in a series where it begins to decline) of Dynasty though it was the most discussed and watched TV moment on episodic network television of 1985 and had 60 million viewers. It was not the cliffhanger that was the Shark-Jump. It was this episode - the opener to the sixth season, one which saw the show drop from first place in the ratings to seventh.
Ali McGraw, who never should have been added was addition by subtraction. They should have dumped Catherine Oxenberg whom they would end up firing anyway but they wanted to keep the character as evidenced by the fact that they replaced her with a different actress in the same role a year later. Prince Michael could also have been killed off but his exit came later in the season.
As camp and absurd a series as it was one notes no decline or apex - just a lot of nice scenery, expensive clothing, luxury cars, bizarre directing choices and disappointed actors going through the motions of injecting humanity into characters with ruthless senses of entitlement. The original actor to play Steven - Al Corley split early on in the series. He was followed by Pamela Sue Martin - the original Fallon not long afterwards.
The series had deteriorated so much that they fell back on the old standby of a having one of the stars (Linda Evans) play the character she had been playing - Krystle Carrington, as well the role of her evil double Rita. Worse they became preoccupied with launching a spin-off series - The Colbys begun by having an amnesiac Fallon (Emma Samms) wandering L.A. looking for her past life and meeting Miles Colby (Maxwell Caulfield).
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