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When the Financial Times quote James from London

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Michael Torrance, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    Shale oil gluts, 1980s Dynasty and Dallas edition

    If history really does repeat itself, then the upside of the oil glut of 2014 could be some top quality kitsch TV drama moments in the not too distant future.

    We’re going by Season 3, episode 7 of Dynasty, which first aired December 8, 1982.

    The episode features Blake Carrington, CEO of Denver-Carrington, despairing about the prospect of becoming an oil tycoon in distress due to the 1980s oil glut and having to rely on ex-wife Alexis Colby (Joan Collins) for a bailout if his loans go bad.
    Check out the opening two minutes and later at 24.30 for the scene between Carrington and the chairman of the subcommittee on energy policy and technology.

    A little flavour of the dialogue:

    Chairman: I certainly understand you not liking the possibility of your company going under. And your concern for putting a few hundred men out of work.

    Blake: Closer to a 1000. I’ve got a 1000 men at least and their families dependent on my shale oil operations. Those men and their families are my constituents economically and yours politically.

    Chairman: I know that. Blake, before I came here I put out some feelers on this whole situation…

    Blake: And?

    Chairman: I’ve got to tell you something, Washington’s attitude to these shale oil development projects has hardened somewhat.

    Blake: yes, yes I know.

    Chairman: Nobody but nobody wants to listen to pro arguments anymore.

    Blake: Well you’ve got to make them listen. You’ve got to shout.

    Chairman: You don’t understand. They won’t listen.

    Blake: Now listen, you’re the chairman of the sub-committee on energy policy and technology, you mean to say they won’t listen to you?

    Chairman: No sir. At least not right now.

    Blake: Why not? Don’t they realise this oil crisis is never going to end? According to the way I estimate it, if Denver Carrington is allowed to continue we can increase our daily output of jet fuel by fifteen per cent! And diesel by 30 per cent! Do you know what that can mean?

    Chairman: Yes I do. And I’m highly impressed by those figures. But as I said before they just won’t listen.

    Blake: Yes I heard that. Now listen to me. You happen to be one of the most persuasive pitch men in congress. Alright. Now get back on the phone again to Washington, or cut home this trip short and fly back there and let those people know what this project could mean to Colorado.

    Chairman: Well, I’ll try but don’t count on anything.

    Blake: Neil you’ve always had a good and helpful friend in me.

    Chairman: Yes I have.

    Blake: And you want me to stay that way.

    Chairman: No question.

    Blake: About your powerful friends on Capitol Hill, you get out there and you twist their arms, do you understand? Or my company and your future, not to mention the future of this country… (threatening).

    Though, this being the reality TV generation, we guess the 2014 version will more likely consist of a “Real Housewives of North Dakota” edition or some such.

    In any case, here’s a delightful review by way of Soapchat.net of the oil dynamics fuelling soap scriptwriters’ imaginations back in the 80s:

    'The oil surplus that has served as a backdrop to much of the action on this season’s DALLAS now hits DYNASTY, where it also provides a springboard for a new story-line. It’s a little complicated, but from what I can make out, the surplus – or “oil glut” as Blake and co refer to it – means that the government have lost interest in finding alternative sources of fuel – which was what Denver Carrington’s research into oil shale extraction (the very research Cecil Colby had Claudia spy on Jeff for last season) was all about.

    “The government,” grumbles Blake, “beg us to come up with alternative energy answers, we go into hock to accomplish it, and suddenly an oil glut comes along and we’re yesterday’s option.” The upshot is that Denver Carrington is now financially vulnerable.

    Meanwhile on DALLAS, the same surfeit of oil is causing many to wonder what JR could possibly doing with all the crude he’s been pumping since he got his variance. Two OLM members – including KNOTS LANDING record producer Jeff Munson, seen chatting with Abby Cunningham at a polo match in the previous night’s episode – share with Bobby their own theory – that JR is selling the oil to an embargo nation. Bobby spends the rest of the ep investigating this possibility. He’s got his work cut out for him as JR’s machinations are also pretty hard to keep track of.

    Of course, it’s when the characters’ business ideals collide with their personal lives that sparks really begin to fly. On DYNASTY, Blake invites Adam to Denver Carrington in the hopes of burying their differences. Having apparently reached an understanding, Blake is called away from his office, giving Adam the opportunity to sneak a peek at the oil shale contract file marked “confidential” left lying conveniently on Blake’s desk. Quick to take advantage of what he reads, Adam then suggests to Jeff that Colby Co bail out Denver Carrington in exchange for the use of their oil shale extraction process.

    Given that the extraction process is far more valuable than the loan, Jeff dismisses Adam’s proposal as “rotten”. “The name of the game is winning,” Adam insists. “There happens to be room for both empires,” argues Jeff, “I mean, do we have to be barracudas to exist in this world?” '

    Related links:
    Oil price wars, then and now – FT Alphaville

    For the record, the FT were right that such a drama, "Blood and Oil," came to be. But it was no Dallas or Dynasty...
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Wow, I tried to read the comments underneath and it's like a different language.
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