ABC got into the nighttime soap game in the 1980s with Dynasty, which debuted 40 years ago today, January 12, 1981. Originally titled “Oil,” Dynasty was set in Denver Colorado against the backdrop of the lucrative oil industry just as Dallas was. Viewers were introduced to Blake Carrington, his bride Krystle Grant Jennings, his children, Fallon and Steven, and the other characters who populated the guilty pleasure TV series.
Dynasty Celebrates Ruby Anniversary
Entertainment Hub is honoring the show’s anniversary by looking back at six dramatic moments from Dynasty’s first season.
1. “Million Dollar Spit In The Ocean”
Krystle (Linda Evans) went through a bit of an adjustment period after becoming Blake’s (John Forsythe) wife. When Blake was faced with a financial challenge, Krystle wanted to help by cutting back on getting a new wardrobe. Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin) explained to her stepmom that poor people cut back when times are tough — ‘that’s why they’re poor.’ She instructed Krystle how to behave to best benefit Blake. “Do I thank you for this?” Krystle asked her stepdaughter. “No,” a dismissive Fallon shrugged. “It’s not a gift.”
Krystle hocked an expensive necklace Blake had gifted her so she could lend ex-lover Matthew Blaisdel (Bo Hopkins) some money for his business. She got a fake replacement in order to hide her deception from Blake. Alas, Blake found out and played mind games with his bride, taking her with him to have the necklace appraised. Fearing the appraiser would reveal the item was a dud, Krystle was stunned to learn that Blake had replaced her phony jewelry with the real one.
3. Steven and Claudia Kiss
Dynasty was ground-breaking in that Steven (Al Corley), a core family member on the show, was gay. But he had moments of, what today is called, “fluidity.” Steven and a tortured Claudia Blaisdell (Pamela Bellwood) developed a friendship as they each grappled with personal struggles. One night, at the Blaisdell home, Steven, after quitting his job, knocked over a cup; he and Claudia both went to pick it up, their eyes locked and the couple shared a kiss.
4. Fallon’s Folly
Knowing Cecil Colby (Lloyd Bochner) could bail her father out of a business jam, Fallon agreed to marry Cecil’s nephew Jeff (John James), a man, whom Fallon did not find incredibly dynamic. After finding out his daughter’s sacrifice, a furious Blake demanded that Fallon make her marriage work!
5. Blake Kills Ted
Ted Dinard (Mark Withers) and Steven had a relationship while they were living in New York. Ted followed Steven to Denver, hoping to rekindle their romance, but that proved to be a fatal move. After finding out that Ted had come to visit Steven at the Carrington mansion, a furious Blake steamed: “In my house? I’ll kill him!” Blake came upon Ted and Steven sharing a farewell embrace; the patriarch pushed Ted away from his son causing Ted to fall, strike his head, and die.
6. Enter Alexis
Blake went on trial for Ted’s murder, his threat to kill Ted was used against him. His attorney Andrew Laird (Peter Mark Richmond) gave Blake a great defense, but the district attorney, Jake Dunham, (Brian Dennehy) was relentless in seeking justice for Ted. His surprise witness in Dynasty’s Season 1 finale was none other than Alexis Morel Carrington – Blake’s first wife. As Alexis entered the courtroom, Fallon said: “Oh, my God. That’s my mother.” Trivia: Joan Collins had not yet been cast so Blake’s veiled ex was played in this moment by Maggie Wickman.