Dynasty Season 1 [DVD] 
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All 15 episodes from the opening season of the long-running US soap, which follows the mixed fortunes of a wealthy Denver oil business family presided over by Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). Scandalous love affairs, dirty business deals, power struggles, catfights and bulging shoulder pads all add to the drama in the show that epitomised the glamour and greed of the 1980s. Episodes are: 'Oil (Part 1)', 'Oil (Part 2)', 'Oil (Part 3)', 'The Honeymoon', 'The Dinner Party', 'Fallon's Wedding', 'The Chauffeur Tells a Secret', 'The Bordello', 'Krystle's Lie', 'The Necklace', 'The Beating', 'The Birthday Party', 'The Separation', 'Blake Goes to Jail' and 'The Testimony'.
Aaron Spelling's addictive primetime soap opera, Dynasty, ran for nine seasons on ABC, a saga of the rich and super-rich, family feuds and betrayals, class conflicts, revenge, corruption, and power. The 13 episodes included in this first-season boxed set introduce a wide range of characters (quite a few dispensed by season 2) in the orbit of oil empire Denver Carrington and its acquisitive, stop-at-nothing CEO, Blake Carrington (John Forsythe, who was simultaneously providing the off-screen voice of Charlie in Spelling's Charlie's Angels). Of particular interest is the way Blake and Denver Carrington's business problems--a groundswell of anti-American sentiment in oil-rich Arab nations, the recent energy shortage in the U.S., disagreement about developing alternative fuel sources with tax dollars--are a window onto real-world events when Dynasty debuted in 1981. But drama ripped from yesterday's headlines is not what the show is about, and it isn't long before Blake's conflicts with, well, just about everyone move to center stage. Above all is his pending marriage to former secretary Krystle Grant Jennings (Linda Evans), who loves Blake but worries that he sees her as a possession to be charmed or bullied into compliance with his tyrannical worldview. Complicating matters is Krsytle's old romance with a Denver Carrington geologist, Matthew Blaisdel (Bo Hopkins, leaning hard on his soulful, James Dean impression), who is struggling to make his marriage to the mentally ill Claudia (Pamela Bellwood) work out. Meanwhile, two of Blake's grownup kids, Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin) and Steven (Al Corley), are home for the wedding but at serious odds with dear old dad. (Blake wants Fallon to marry a competitor's son in the interest of preserving Denver Carrington. He also refuses to speak with Steven after discovering the latter has been in a gay relationship.) On the horizon is Blake's troublesome former wife, Alexis, who wasn't cast yet (she's eventually portrayed by Joan Collins in season 2), but who makes a veiled appearance (played by another actress) at a particularly inauspicious moment for poor Blake in the season finale. There's more: industrial sabotage, Fallon's affair with a chauffeur, an unexpected bond between Steven and Claudia. Dynasty wouldn't be as much fun without its endless cascade of broken hearts and dire circumstances, and it reminds us that wealth can sometimes be a peculiar kind of hell. --Tom KeoghSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There's something I need to promise anyone who only knows Dynasty from it's media image of big hair and shoulder pads, or from later seasons. Season One will be a revelation.
I for one consider Season One to be a hidden gem. It's different in tone and content to anything that follows it. This is well worth a look - even to someone who is put off by the image that is usually associated with Dynasty (it may help if I tell you that this takes place BC - before Collins)!
Ok, I won't bang on about the story too much. Either you know it, or the blurb on the cover will tell you all you need to know. Suffice to say this is about watching ridiculously rich people suffer.
Surprises about this seminal season, when compared to later years, are many. John Forsythe's Blake Carrington is not the white knight he became. This Blake Carrington is a brutal tyrant, who will do anything to have his own way with his business - and his family. He is also prone to outbursts of violence towards the people closest to him.
The focus this season is split between the wealthy Carringtons and the "poor" (that's middle-class!) Blaisdel's. The connection between the two families brings together several stories that bubble away through the first season to a gripping court case in the last episodes. The glamour in Season one is also balanced by the machismo of workers at the oil wells.
Standouts for me in acting quality (yes - really) in this set are Pamela Bellwood, Al Corley and Brian Dennehy.
Bellwood as the dangerously vulnerable Claudia, who is recovering from a nervous breakdown really has to be seen.Read more ›
The triple-length premier episode, "Oil", kicks off the series, and even
without any commercials it runs to a whopping 2 and a quarter hours, making it a beast to get through in one sitting. It definitely does drag, however the majority of regulars are set up nicely in it. Oil company Denver-Carrington is established, as run by tyrannical patriarch Blake Carrington, who resides in his fully-staffed extravagant mansion. The episode sees the return to the fold of his children: Fallon - who has been enjoying a jet-set lifestyle of indulgence and casual sex; and Steven - who has just cameback from New York where he was living with, and engaged in romantic relationship with another man, Ted. The final member of the Carrington family we meet in the premier is Krystle, well, rather she is soon to be a family member, as she is to marry Blake. Krystle comes across as the star of the show from the outset, as an outsider entering into this world she is the audience's point of reference, and is easily the heart of the show.
Her ex-beau Matthew Blaizedale is the only other character who makes a
significant impact in the premier, he is set up as a rival to Blake, both
romantically and professionally, as by the end of the episode he has set up a rival company, along with Walter Lankersham - a walking Texan cliche.Read more ›
Of course, this first season was about setting the tone of what was to come. One of the key storylines concerned Blake Carrington struggling to come to terms with his son's Steven homosexuality. Another was his daughter, Fallon, whose strange marriage to Jeff Colby highlighted his rivalry in business with Cecil Colby. On top of all that, there was the relationship between Matthew Blaisdale and his mentally unstable wife, Claudia and their daughter. Guest starring was Dale Robertson so well known from his Wells Fargo days made during the 1950s, a veteran actor who sadly only stayed for one season.
Including the first episode "Oil" which was a 135 minute episode with the pilot and first two episodes crammed together, there are 15 episodes all told. A short season then until later seasons which were made up of about 26 episodes on average. The opening theme music is brilliant, and it was changed slightly for later seasons.
Picture quality is rather good on my copy with a decent soundtrack. A good first season for Dynasty. Roll on Season Two when Joan Collins playing Alexis makes her presence known.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect. Straight back to the 80s. Buy this you will love it. Will buy all other series. They don't make them like this anymorePublished 1 month ago by tellemthetruth
I am really enjoying watching dynasty over again . It's as gripping as I remember it . The fashions have changed and seeing Joan Collins with her shoulder pads makes me smile .Published on 28 Nov. 2013 by M. Arnold