Saturday, February 26, 2011

DYNASTY: Season 3 Volume 1 (Spelling 1984) Paramount/CBS Home Video

Dynasty Season Three - Volume One: represents something of a step backwards, as it were, in plot construction. This narrative awkwardness begins with the very first episode and the complete obliteration of the Nick Toscanni (James Farantino) character, who vanishes all too conveniently without a trace and to parts unknown - never to be heard or seen again. Realizing that something is desperately wrong in Blake's (John Forsythe) failure to return to the mountain cabin, Krystal (Linda Evans) trudges on horseback through a perilous storm to rescue her husband.

Meanwhile, Claudia is tracked down by the police, Jeff (John James), Krystal and Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin) to a high roof top, clutching what appears to be baby Blake. Tossing the bundle over the side of the skyscraper, it is revealed that Claudia actually had a doll in her arms - not Blake Jr. Frantic, Jeff suddenly recalls that a groundskeeper he casually met only once while visiting his father's grave, exhibited a curious fascination with his son. Together with Blake, the two successfully hunt this man down and recover Blake Jr. (Just a little bit too convenient for me!)

In Billings Montana an old woman dies, but not before revealing to her adult son, Michael (Gordon Thomson) that she was responsible long ago for stealing a baby from its crib in Denver to claim as her own. That child was Adam Carrington - the youngest heir to Blake (John Forsythe) and Alexis (Joan Collins). The woman now confesses to Michael that he is Adam.

After the funeral, Adam is determined to return to Denver to claim his birthright. Family friend, Dr. Jonas Edwards (Robert Symonds) makes a feeble attempt to discourage Adam from pursuing his destiny, revealing to Adam that the psychedelic drugs he experimented with in his youth might have permanently impeded his better judgment. Nevertheless, Adam arrives in Denver and after some initial apprehension, is accepted into the Colby fold by Alexis (Joan Collins).

After marrying Alexis, Cecil Colby (Lee Bochner) dies, leaving her a very rich heiress, whose controlling interest in Colby Co. Oil places Alexis in direct opposition to Blake's Denver Carrington empire. At the reading of the will, Jeff also inherits half of Colby Co., forcing him to quit Denver Carrington and go to work for Alexis. But Adam has other plans. He redecorates Jeff's office - presumably as a gesture of goodwill - but with paint tainted in mercurochrome oxide. The hallucinogenic properties of this compound eventually begin to weigh heavily on Jeff's ability to reason or even function properly.

Meanwhile, Joseph's (Lee Bergere) daughter, Kirby (Kathleen Beller) returns from her schooling in France to renew a childhood infatuation with Jeff. Unfortunately, Adam also takes an interest in Kirby, one that eventually leads to rape and a pregnancy.

The ever-scheming Alexis learns that Krystal's divorce from her first husband, tennis pro Mark Jennings (Geoffrey Scott) was never finalized in Mexico, thus rendering her present marriage to Blake null and void. Fallon, who has encouraged Blake to let her become the owner of one of his less popular hotels, La Mirage, now finds herself Alexis' unwitting accomplice when she hires Mark to be the new tennis pro at La Mirage. Shortly thereafter, Fallon falls in love with Mark but not before Alexis also seduces Mark with plans to use him to destroy Krystal's love for Blake once and for all.

Steven, who has departed Denver to work on an off shore oil rig is presumed dead after a deadly explosion. Although Krystal and Blake pursue leads in Indonesia, they are unable to locate Steven - forcing an extremely reluctant Blake to accept that his son is dead. After an absence of some length, Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear) arrives at Steven's memorial service, carrying Danny - Steven's son; an arrival met with mixed feelings and more than an ounce of scepticism. Thus, ends Dynasty Season Three - Vol. One.

Although Paramount Home Video remains in control of distributing Dynasty on Home Video, the exemplary results achieved on Season Two are slightly less so on Season Three - Vol. One with a considerable amount of edge enhancement and shimmering of fine details being the greatest distraction. Color fidelity is still excellent, as are contrast levels. However, background detail is a mess of digital distractions - not on all episodes - but enough to render the image quality inconsistent at best. The audio is mono as originally recorded and adequate for this presentation. There are NO extra features.

FILM RATING (out of 5 - 5 being the best)






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