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Patrick Duffy Talks About Changes In Bobby After He Returned

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    These are excerpts from a Patrick Duffy interview I found on ultimatedallas.com

    It's a very long interview so I quoted the parts where he specifically talked about how his character changed after he returned to to Dallas compared to before he left.


    UD - What was different when you went back? Was the part different?

    Patrick - Interestingly enough I did not leave the show thinking, well if I leave the show I will get a lot of press and when I come back I'll have more attention. I left and died, I wanted to die because I didn't want people to think I may come back. But when I did come back on the show it almost became an ensemble cast with two, although Larry was always top of the pinnacle, I went up another couple of notches just because of the press that was generated when I came back on the show. They had to write to it which was my great fortune, I was the benefactor of the added attention that came to the resurrection of the character of Bobby. They devoted more time in developing the character of Bobby once he came back on the show. So the last five years were quite different for me as a character, there was more to do, the character of Bobby was more pivotal. It really was a JR/Bobby kind of format. So in that sense it was even more beneficial the last five years than the first seven years for my character and for me. Two weeks following the cancellation of Dallas I had a new television series, which was Step by Step. It happened the way I thought it would happen but happened five years late (laughs).

    UD - Bobby was far more macho post dream.

    Patrick - Yep, that's what happened and became a Leonard Katzman decision. It wasn't ever discussed with me. It was never part of any arrangement for me coming back. Leonard is extenuating those parts of the character it was very nice for me. I don't know if I enjoyed the second part of Dallas more than the first, but it was different, so it was refreshing.

    (later in the interview)

    UD - It was that season. The season you returned.

    Patrick - Yes, it was just the way things worked out. The Bobby character ascended a bit. Its show business, a lot of that is not decided on personal whim but what those people in charge decide will add another year longevity, another ratings point. If it hadn't worked in year nine I would have been back to wimpy Bobby. They call it show business for a reason, ultimately its the business.
     
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  2. Via The Void

    Via The Void Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 3 Years

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    When they turned the show into a JR/Bobby format as Duffy says that was the beginning of the end for Dallas, especially after the departures of Susan Howard & more significantly Victoria Principal. :(
     
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  3. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 2 Years

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    It really was the end... they were a fun duo but not as the primary relationship for the show to revolve around.

    I can understand why Patrick was happy with and/or stood by the decision however because, as he says, it was "refreshing" to play a different side of Bobby.
     
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  4. MenaceTheDennis

    MenaceTheDennis Soap Chat Member

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    They did what they did to keep Duffy happy. I think it would be unheard of nowadays to wipe out one season of a series to accommodate one actor. Bobby just wasn’t as likeable when he returned. And giving Katzman and Hagman free reign in the post dream seasons turned Dallas into a joke.
     
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    ...to the detriment of the series. The strength of Dallas was its core cast, beginning with Jim, Barbara Bel, Larry, Linda, Patrick, Victoria, Charlene, Steve and Ken. Later additions like Susan Howard and Howard Keel added weight to this ensemble. No one is disputing the brilliance of Larry's portrayal as JR Ewing - he was the breakout star. But JR was only worth watching when those other core characters played an even greater importance.

    At the time I was excited to see Bobby return from the dead - though he was never dead in the first place - but hindsight now informs me his return killed my obsessive passion for viewing Dallas. To accommodate Bobby/Patrick's return other characters suffered. The powerhouse actresses of Barbara Bel, Victoria and Susan over time were diminished. Miss Ellie became a shadow of herself with the occasional glimpse of how good she was. The scene of her meeting up with Cliff in the park after Pam's death/disappearance is a case in point. Pam was thrust back in the shadow of Bobby upon his return and Donna was shipped off to Washington because of some mean spirited buffoonery behind the scenes.

    So Bobby was back. Was it worth it?
     
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  6. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    That's an interesting question. We discussed it some on the thread "If You Had Been In Charge Of Deciding Whether To Rehire Patrick Duffy."

    I wouldn't have because there wasn't any good way to do it without killing the credibility of the show. As unliked as the dream explanation is, I've never heard another explanation that's any better. Still, the ratings remained virtually the same in the season when Patrick Duffy came back as they were in the previous season. Actually I liked season 10 better than season 9. I think they looked lost in the season without Bobby. Getting involved in a deal with some Greek billionaire we'd never heard of, with the basis of it being Jack had to be part of the deal because he looked so much like the Greek tycoon, and that Jack was his long lost son, then became even more convoluted. We found out Jack wasn't his son after all, but still Jack had to be part of the deal because now they wanted Jack to impersonate the man to prove he was in good health. Except he wasn't in good health; he was dead. So actually the plan was to kill Jack. Then that bizarre Neros woman would inherit the empire. JR would die too because she decided it would be even better to kill both Jack and JR. Then there was the emerald mine story. Pam went to South America looking for emeralds and got kidnapped in the process. The stories just weren't good!

    The next season they had Bobby, but they still had the rest of the ensemble. They had the choice to use the ensemble any way they wanted. The actors were available. They were there. The problem was, the writers couldn't write any good scripts. The stories remained tacky and contrived, every story had to be bigger, more spectacular and more outlandish than than the last. Bobby came back from the dead, so maybe we can bring Jock back too! How about blowing up oil wells in Saudi Arabia to save the Texas oil industry?

    It wasn't Dallas anymore and it had nothing to do with the actors or which actors they had because the scripts sucked! As much as I'd like to say they shouldn't have brought Patrick Duffy back because of the credibility factor, the writers were obviously going in a direction that would kill all credibility anyway, so ultimately, what difference did it make whether they brought Patrick Duffy back or not? The whole creative department had run out of creativity. The producer and writers had run out of any ability to discern: "Is this a quality story or is it just spectacular for the sake of being spectacular? Does this story have any substance to it? Is this the type of show that belongs in Dallas - the type of story our viewers will want to see?" They ran out of all those things and without them, there wasn't any cast of actors that could have saved Dallas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
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  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    How do you figure that? How was Pam used any less prominently than in, say, in season 4 - the most successful season Dallas ever had? Or season 3? Or season 5?
     
  8. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic EXP: 8 Years

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    No it was not. The show needed to progress, characters, including JR, needed to evolve. The “business” people were scared so they went back to what they knew and boiled it down to just the two bits. Instead they should have pushed forward and had characters evolve, not double down. Take a risk. Thought I agree with PD - the move gave him a second series to follow.
     
  9. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    Here's something I was surprised Patrick Duffy said about Bobby:

    Do you agree with him? Was Bobby "wimpy" during Patrick Duffy's first run on Dallas?
     
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  10. Taylor Bennett Jr.

    Taylor Bennett Jr. Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 1 Year

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    I found that a bit curious, too. I haven't watched much of the later seasons, but maybe he meant Bobby didn't agonize over the moral implications of everything in later years?
     
  11. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it curious he'd say that. I'm trying to think of an example of a time when Bobby acted wimpy in seasons one through eight. I can think of times when he acted entitled! That's easy. In early Dallas he goes from being the road man for Ewing Oil, to briefly working with JR, quits that to get into construction, then goes back to work with JR for a little while, quits again and goes into solar energy. He goes into politics briefly, but quits that.

    Is there any way that such an indecisive man would have any reasonable expectation that just because he was filling in for JR while he was recovering from being shot, that he should be able to decide to just keep JR's job? Bobby had no management experience and he wanted to get into the top management job in the whole company. He's so entitled that he can't conceive of actually working his way up to that position; he just wants daddy to hand it to him. Then when he gets any criticism from Jock, Bobby says if he can't run daddy's company exactly the way he wants to, with no questions asked, he and Pam will pack up and move to California. He's like the kid who if he doesn't get his way he's gonna take his ball and go home!

    Bobby definitely feels entitled. He can really be a spoiled brat. Was that what Patrick Duffy was referring to?
     
  12. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I have always believed that once Bobby had been killed off he should have remained so - his sudden return from the grave didn't so much harm the show, it caused a chain reaction that eventually led to it's demise.

    However - during the year that Bobby was dead we really didn't see the women of Dallas coming to the fore. The writers just threw in more tears, more depression etc, not one of the women became stronger, quite the opposite, they became even less significant than they had before.

    As for the Bobbby/JR double act - in my opinion it was always there, it was something that drove the show forward, but when Patrick returned the writers/producers turned that dial up from a 5 to a 10. When it had been on a 5 other characters got a look in andwere not cut out or over shadowed, but when it got turned up to 10 we ended up with virtually an entire new cast of nobodys who couldn't act their way out of a a paperbag - and so the show was over.

    But I'm pleased that Patrick was happy with his upgrade. :fist:
     
  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    When you mention the women didn't become stronger, that they became the opposite, it made me think of Pam's character. There was a comment by the interviewer in the interview I took the quotes in the OP from, that: "Then there was also the character of Pamela who became incredible weak post the dream season."

    Is the reason some people perceive Pam being weak in season 10 because she was so afraid that something would happen to Christopher? Pam became overprotective of him, didn't want him to go on a school field trip because he might get hurt, etc.

    Suppose they'd had Pam be stronger. Would that mean she wouldn't have insecurities like that one, the feeling of inadequacy because she couldn't have a baby, and the feeling of needing to meet Rebecca so she'd have a more complete sense of her identity? Pam wasn't strong enough to be able to wait to adopt. That's what led to the storyline of Bobby telling Pam yes when she asked if the baby he was bringing into the house when he thought she wouldn't be home was for them. He was bringing Christopher to JR; he thought Christopher was JR's child! He didn't have the heart to tell Pam that though and it led to that storyline.

    Wasn't that quality of vulnerability that Pam had part of what made the audience be able to identify with her? If they had made Pam stronger, she'd have lost that vulnerability. Do you think that would have made the show better?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  14. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan

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    Although I didn’t like Pam and Bobby’s divorce, I thought the Pam character was more interesting and stronger in a way after the divorce. Finally, she had a place of her own and was living away from her husband’s awful brother. When Bobby proposed to her again, she should have taken him up on his offer to not live at Southfork (she even said a few episodes before that that they should have had their own place - “it would have been better for us.”).

    Going back to Southfork seemed like a big step back for her. She seemed less interested in her career, and more interested in being a helicopter mother.
     
  15. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    Yeah, but it's Dallas-world, and the top rule is: The Ewings must live at Southfork. Having them all live in the same house is what makes Dallas what it is.

    Being a good mother was more important to Pam than having a career. That's very admirable.

    I don't think s stronger Pam is necessarily a better Pam. I don't think she'd have been as popular of a character if they'd made her like that. If you make her stronger you take away from her vulnerability that makes her so relatable to her fans. I think that's what made Pam such a popular, beloved character - she showed her fans it's alright to be vulnerable and sweet and kind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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