TNT sneaked a teaser of its planned 2012 reboot of “Dallas” last week — and apparently sparked a colossal commotion among fans of that granddaddy of prime time serials. “It’s unbeliveable,” Patrick Duffy tells us. “All around the world, people I’ve had contacts with through the years are already planning how they’re going to have their traditional ‘Dallas’ dinners and parties to watch it. On the Facebook page, they’re so excited.” reports the actor still remembered as the relatively nice Ewing brother, Bobby.
Patrick reports that production is due to begin in October, and he and his wife Carlyn are moving to Dallas for the duration of the first 10-episode season shoot. As “Dallas” followers are already aware, this time around, much of the action will center on the young generation of the rich and rowdy Texas oil clan (played by Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo) — with dastardly J.R. (Larry Hagman), his ex-wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and Bobby all still on the scene.
“The three of us will be integral to the storyline, but not overpoweringly so. We will be pulling our end of the wagon,” says Duffy. Brenda Strong of “Desperate Housewives” is playing Bobby’s wife of 15 years, Ann. “We’re already a long-established married couple,” he notes. As far as his beloved Pam (Victoria Principal), Duffy reminds, “Pam actually died on the show, so her participation was never an option. It’s the same with Mama and Daddy not coming back. That’s not to say that certain old cast members won’t appear.”
Hagman, Duffy and Gray have remained close pals since the original “Dallas” finsihed its run in 1991. According to Duffy, “Over the years we’ve been approached about redoing ‘Dallas’ in some form, but I never read a script that was not laughable, and that includes the feature scripts involving film stars,” none of which ever saw production. The new “Dallas” Executive Producers Cynthia Cidre (“The Mambo Kings”) and Mike Robin (“The Closer”) “wrote to all three of us simultaneously. They knew we would talk amongst ourselves first, and we did; we discussed and tore apart the script. We all knew we were going to do it. We all felt Cynthia had finally gotten it right and come up with the perfect way to bring ‘Dallas’ into a new generation. We are totally committed to this project.”
It’s definitely a walk down memory lane kind of time for Duffy, whose first TV movies and series, “The Man From Atlantis,” have been remastered for a new DVD release Tuesday (7/26) through the Warner Archive Collection on-demand online service (www.warnerarchive.com). Though the show lasted but one season, it gained an avid cult following and proved popular internationally, including in China. Duffy played an amnesiac amphibious guy who just might be the last citizen of the lost continent of Atlantis.
“The most discomforting thing was the lenses in my eyes; they covered the entire eyeball and were put on with suction cups,” he says. Also, to get an electric green look “they were colored with what was essentially airplane paint and another clear layer of airplane paint covered that. That was the worst part. My eyes just burned at the end of the day. They threw me out in the bay in September, October, November and it had to look like a day in the park, but it was cold,” he recalls. “I couldn’t do it now, at 62, but, you know, at 28 you’re bulletproof.”