Your eyes will be the size of flying saucers at the final The Colbys episode…
Re-enjoying the craziest soap opera ending ever… with some stories endings still alien to me.
The Colbys (5/6) Fallon Boards a UFO (1985), Shout Factory!
Last year, I was tagged by Rebecca by Taking Up Room, HERE for her tag, where you will have your fellow bloggers at your mercy. This is as you choose them to write on a topic you give them. Mwahahahahaha. Rebecca challenged me to review a film from 1986. So
months later I reviewed Never too Young to Die (1996) and tagged some lovely bloggers with meaningful requests of all sorts. Job done, I chilled out and looked forward to reading their posts…
However, Gabriela from Pale Writer – aka my blogging partner in the Bond Not Bond blogathon last year, and a future blogging partner for two more blogathons this year – continued this tag almost immediately. I can only think she was suddenly inspired by the subject that I asked her to write about, as I gave her the then believed arduous task of “a list of the choices of your top five film or TV (or both) hotties and why”. This tag also applies to Taking Up Room‘s monthly challenge to review something in my to review pile…
Eagle eyes will know I did a similar tag relating to eye candy content with Thoughts All Sorts. But this task is harder than it looks (as even my post HERE is out of date), so I was superimpressed by the speediness of her response. Anyway, Gabriela tagged me right back and my challenge was to review my favourite episode of The Colbys (1985-87) aka the Dynasty (1981-89) spin-off.
So here we are with my review of the latter’s final episode…
The Colbys, Crossroads, Se 2 Ep 25 (1987)
It all kicks off with a recap of the previous episode’s cliffhanger of this soap where Frankie, aka Lady Langdon (Katherine Ross), has left town to decide on her love life. She’s caught in having to decide between her feelings for long lost husband, Philip (Michael Parks) and her love for her sister Sable’s (Stephanie Beacham) ex-husband and Philip’s brother, Jason (Charlton Heston).
So because of her tangled web of confusion for two brothers. And because one of these men is her sister’s ex-husband, Jason. And Jason is the same brother that Frankie had a fling with years ago that resulted in her son, Jeff. And this affair restarted again leading to his divorce, Frankie has decided to drown herself in the sea (in her swimsuit). Her son Jeff (John James) tracks her down, and he appears in the nick of time
naturally and dives in to save her. Cue credits, mid-dive.
In this episode, Jeff saves his mother’s life and then he blames Jason. Jeff then calls his wife Fallon and asks her to come over and stay with his suicidal mother, as Frankie tells him she doesn’t want to go home. Jeff and Fallon have a fight about if Jason should be told and off Jeff toddles to confront his father and tell him.
More or less as soon as he leaves, Fallon sees some spooky lights (as you do). Then Frankie is confronted by Jason who has tracked her down. He tells her he loves her and she tells him it’s Philip she loves… and then Frankie gives Fallon the slip. Fallon has been fighting with Jeff about his parents’ relationship all day and blames herself for Frankie taking off. (Still with me?).
Meanwhile, Jason and Sable’s daughter Monica (Tracy Scoggins) tells him she wants to resign from the family company, as she wants a “clean break”. She’s devastated as the man she used to love, Cash and who she had a kid with years ago, is leaving town with his wife and this child. In previous storylines, it turned out, Cash adopted the kid that Monica gave up and in soap style, she discovered this fact, eight years later.
Later Sable (Stephanie Beacham) watches Monica’s heartrending and tearful final goodbyes with this eight-year-old kid, Scott. Scott gives a sappy speech where he tells his (long lost) mother, Monica he loves her, will never forget her and he’s happy he has two mummies. Later, Sable kidnaps Scott after school, and tells him she wants some granny time… (this child abduction is never mentioned when the women end up in Dynasty after this episode and reprise their The Colbys’ roles).
Jason’s son with Sable and Monica’s twin Miles has discovered his wife Channing Carter (Kim Morgan Green) is pregnant. But she’s having nightmares showing her mother died in childbirth and is petrified this will happen to her. In these nightmare flashbacks, she is a wee girl and is told the bad news about her mother dying by her father (Kevin McCarthy).
Miles is both superhappy – and superdense – and superconcerned he talks about her fears and then he tells her not to dwell on them! So after arranging to meet Channing for lunch to celebrate, he goes to work and she f…. off to the airport. Then she calls Miles to tell him she’s left him and she’s having an abortion… (and this storyline is never mentioned again).
Sable is told by a loved up Zach Powers (Ricardo Montalban) that it was Jason’s brother, Phillip who tried to kill Jason (in a previous episode) and the gun is hidden in his wardrobe. She tells the besotted Zach, that she loves Jason, then she calls Jason and tells him about Philip and the gun.
Jason confronts Philip with this gun, tells him to be good to Frankie and lets him off for nearly killing him! Then Frankie is knocked out, kidnapped by Philip and he takes off in her car. He heads to the Mexican border, after they stop at a garage, she comes round and calls the Colby mansion for help and talks to Fallon. (Phew!)
Fallon (Emma Samms) has been seeing spooky lights in the sky and has been following this “freak weather condition” on the telly news. She then decides to rescue her mother in law from Philip and jumps in a car. Jason and Jeff instead – are more practical and – “get to the chopper” Arnie style.. and then as the pilot, Jason causes a possibly fatal accident with Frankie’s car driving off the road. And Frankie dies? falls unconscious? But not before she tells Jason that she loves him but that he has to go back to Sable as she loves him too…
Fallon runs out of petrol on Route 61, and she phones for help on her car phone. Then she loses contact with the operator and sees some lights ahead, so
naturally, she leaves the car. Cue Fallon’s close encounter of the third kind as a spaceship lands. Fallon seemingly in a trance walks up the ramp of the spaceship.
There she joins a silhouette of a mysterious man… and my Darlin Husband excitedly does a perfect Charles Hawtrey impression saying “ooh hello”. Then Darlin Husband asks “is it Richard Dreyfuss?” as the spaceship takes off again with Fallon in it, and the blxxxdy final credits roll.
I loved this episode for a number of reasons… as it has everything that was in The Colbys that I held dear the first time around. There is soapy dialogue, cliffhangers of all kinds, forgotten guest stars and practically all the cast.
The script is performed beautifully in this episode, with a special mention to that scene with Channing and incredibly nice but dim Miles (Maxwell Caulfield). As Miles, he passionately says the line which possibly set off alarm bells in his wife’s head. And this proves that he didn’t have and never would have a clue of her ongoing torment regarding her mother’s death… Yet Miles says this, in a way that makes you want this Maxwell Caulfield character to be the father to your children…
Sweetheart, you just brought me back into this family. You just gave me back my name, my future. I’m gonna sticking by you like bubblegum to a bedpost.
And then after going on about possible names including her dead mother’s, and then he tells her not to dwell on it and leaves for work. So she takes this chance to leave… doh!
As for the actresses’ performances, this honour goes to Stephanie Beacham as Sable who in a touching scene makes the kidnapping of her grandson seemingly much more acceptable. This is after Scott joins her for a wee trip with his new granny to the beach… and this happens…
Scott Cassidy: Are you crying? Sable Colby: Only because you called me grandma.
I also loved seeing the actor Kevin McCarthy in a flashback to reinforce the content of his scene. So seeing McCarthy reminded me of this soap’s terrific cast and guest stars with big Hollywood names including Charlton Heston, Ricardo Montalban, Maxwell Caulfield and David Hedison.
Actresses also in this series had included Barbara Stanwyck (until she left at the end of season one) and Diahann Carroll. The cast that could have been was just as jaw-droppingly awesome and included Doris Day, Diana Rigg, Angie Dickinson, James Coburn and Faye Dunaway.
Not forgetting that ending where it jumped the shark, which made this the benchmark final episode that every final episode is compared to for the craziest ending to a show ever. I adored this ending where Fallon gets abducted by aliens. The storyline of how this came about is related to HERE which quotes from the journalist Hilary Kingsley’s book Soap Box (1988)…
Its writer, Robert Pollock, told me later that the idea had been that of co-producer Richard Shapiro. ‘Apparently Richard had had a dream. He was tremendously excited. At the time the novel Communion was a smash hit. The supernatural was being discussed over dinner-parties everywhere. I couldn’t discourage him. I was very worried about our writing ourselves into a corner. How would we get Fallon back? Richard said: “We’ll worry about that next season.” The scene was not received with enormous enthusiasm, as I expected. It will never be done again.’
And this was not the only ingenious twist in this episode, as there was one where some spooky real-life foreshadowing was related to the casting of two minor characters…
This happened in two casting moments, that relate to those two child stars featured in this episode. Young Scott was played by Coleby Lombardo and this child stars as a Colby kid. And the wee girl in the Channing Carter flashback is played by a Molly Carter. Both their real-life names foreshadowed their future roles in two spooky serendipitous soap off-screen moments, in a double coincidence that you couldn’t really make up…
And now to continue the tag…
Here are the rules… (as cut and pasted from Rebecca’s post…)
How it works is very simple:
Nominate one or more people to review the film or films of your choice. Or you can request they review something from a certain year, genre, or star. Everyone can review the same thing, or you can request each person cover something different. As long as it’s something they haven’t written about yet, you’re good.
Nominees are allowed to request a different pick for whatever reason no more than five times. Stuff happens. We all know it.
Nominees must thank the person who nominated them and provide a link their blog.
Nominees may nominate others to keep the tag going. Picking the person who nominated them is allowed, or they can nominate someone else. Maybe both.
All participants need to include these rules in their post, whether they’re nominees or picking nominees.
All participants should use the “Pick My Movie” banner or something similar in their posts.
So now for my nominations… and nominating some new and old blogging names for this challenge…
- Barry at Cinematic Catharsis … a list of five favourite films from 1978
- Terence at A Shroud of Thoughts at Five Fave Eighties TV Episodes
- Kevin at A Scunner Darkly.. a post on his favourite soap opera episode.
- Ari at Classic Movie Muse... a list of 5 Classic films which she would take to a desert island.
- Emily at The Flapper Dame… a list of 5 Royal biopics which she hates.
- Michael and Andrew at Maniacs and Monsters… one for each of you… and you can choose who does what, 5 favourite Guillermo De Toro movies and 5 favourite 70s horror movies.
- Eric at Diary of a Movie Maniac… 5 Favourite TV Movies
- Jillian at Classic Film Connection… 5 Actors She Would Like to Be Stuck in a Lift With…
- Ruth from Silver Screenings… Dream Dinner Party with three actors and three actresses who you would invite.
Finally, I’m going to tag anyone else who wants to join in, if you comment here, I’ll give you a subject… So looking forward to reading your posts and remember to tag me so I can check out those replies…
And that’s that…
The 8th Annual Favourite TV Show Episode 2022, No 6
This post was added to A Shroud of Thoughts The 8th Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon. Other reviews with this cast include Charlton Heston in Skyjacked, Airport 75 and Earthquake. Stephanie Beacham in Tam Lin and Dracula AD 1972. Katharine Ross in Voyage of the Dammed, The Swarm and The Graduate. Maxwell Caulfield in Beverly Hills 90210, Grease 2 and Tributing Tab Hunter. Ricardo Montalban in Fantasy Island. Michael Parks and David Hedison both starred in North Sea Hijack aka ffolkes. Barbara Stanwyck appeared in Charlie’s Angels. The Lady and the Highwayman starred Emma Samms.