Friday, September 20, 2013

An avid "Dynasty" collector shares his story -- and his photos!

When you love classic TV shows like we do, it can certainly add to the love to collect items that celebrate the show. Take "The Dukes of Hazzard," for instance, and the zillions of items lining store shelves over the years celebrating that show. For a show like, "Dynasty," though, the licensed collectibles have been not quite so abundant. Perhaps that makes them even more of a treasure. And the wonderfully rare items that were actually used in the production of the series that pop up on sites such as eBay? Precious!

As an avid “Dynasty” fan, Bjørn Erik, 43, of Norway has quite the dream collection. BRBTV recently quizzed him a bit via email about his treasures, and here's what we learned ...

When did you first start collecting “Dynasty” items?
“It was in 1983, after the show started airing here. It was mostly clippings, a paperback came out in Norwegian, then the Carrington biography in an international bookstore. I also got a nice letter and signed photos from John Forsythe and Linda Evans, it was a huge deal; brought it to school, as well. ;) That was about it. Then in later years I was offered some props and costumes on eBay, nothing major, but I bought what I found, and never really thought I’d end up with any of the good stuff.”

“Now, of course, I own a stunning Nolan Miller gown Alexis wore in several episodes, a nightgown worn by both Krystle and Sable on ‘The Colbys,’ stationery from Colbyco, a magazine Alexis throws on the fire when Blake is running for governor, etc. ... I have a PSM version of Fallon’s oil painting, hats and tons of jewelry and other costumes from the show. My favourite piece is the emerald necklace Dex gives Alexis, featured in several episodes. I like to collect the stuff that was important storywise as well as being beautiful items. My latest find is the earrings Amanda wears in the Moldavian royal wedding massacre. Cool to have. ;)”

How do you find your “Dynasty” collectibles, typically?
“I found stuff on eBay, but the best stuff comes from other collectors. Have come in touch with some personal assistants that were very helpful, and now I even chat with some of the show’s cast on Facebook. All of this is keeping the magic alive for me. ;)”

What item from the show are you on the lookout for, that you haven’t found yet?
“Alexis’ ruby necklace from when she is arrested, (I have the earrings ), Fallon’s red dress (outbid at auction a few years back when several Nolan Miller gowns went for next to nothing on an online auction. Guess they didn’t see the DVD sales coming ...) I’d like Alexis’ mirror Rashid Ahmed gave her, several outfits and props. But I got my favourite Alexis dress, some amazing props and jewelry, so even if I don’t find anything else, I have a stunning collection that gives me lots of joy. Some collect stamps; I collect ‘Dynasty.’”

Do you have other “Dynasty”-themed items that aren’t actually screen-used (collector plates, etc.)?
“Well, it’s easier to list what I don't have. ;) I have the dolls, the plates, the lunchbox, all the autographs, photos, posters, the calendars, the board games, the pens, the mugs, the puzzles, the books, etc., etc. Of course, most of this has been bought in later years; there was nothing available to us when it was actually on the air.”

Did you watch the show when it originally aired?
“Yes, I did. The show started airing in Norway in 1983. I was 13. The country had one national TV station, and ‘Dynasty’ was the first ever soap opera aired in Norway. We had, of course, series on television, usually gritty BBC series about Welsh coalminers. There was no glamour on TV; the most we had was the yearly 50-minute edit of the Academy Awards. Soon ‘Dynasty’ would be there once a week, giving glam-starved Norwegians a luxury overdose. At the time, Norway was a rather poor country, just starting to drill for oil in the North Sea. Today, the country is one of the richest in the world. A survey in August 1983 showed that 45 percent of the Norwegian population was following the series regularly, while 31 percent saw it once in a while. 24 percent responded that they used to watch. The same survey showed that those who used to watch the series were largely people who normally don’t watch TV much.”

“Fun fact: The scenes from Moldavia were actually preceded by a stock photo image from Ulvik in Hardanger.

“What the Norwegian wikipedia says about ‘Dynasty’ in Norway, in my slight rewrite and some added facts (from
“’”Dynasty” was in the early years very controversial in Norway. Stein-Roger Bull, who was the entertainment manager at NRK, the country’s only television station at the time, said that “there was a fierce dispute within the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation after the film department refused to buy “Dallas.” He describes the process as a painful generational battle and further describes that “when NRK was offered ‘Dynasty’ I said clearly that my department was going to buy the series if they did not do it.” “Dynasty” helped to make the Norwegian broadcasting ready for the competitive situation that may arise with more channels, says Bull.

“’On the evening news TV boss Otto Nes had to defend that he had yielded to “the people” to show the series. It was Jon Michelet who was the strongest opponent of the series. He was at the time a member of the Broadcasting Council and wanted the series, which he described as “smooth, speculative and cynical,” off the air. After a debate with magazine editor Knut Haavik, he was accused of being worse than Hitler. Despite his opposition to the series, it didn’t stop Michelet from traveling to the United States in 1985 to interview Pamela Sue Martin, who played the character Fallon. Michelet was at that time known as the leading “Dynasty”-hater. Rolf Wesenlund, a well-known actor, defended the series with a full-page article in the biggest newspaper. Featured politicians stamped Krystle as designing and Blake as a psychopath. Christian people were deeply concerned, as support for churches and chapels sank. The TV station's switchboard almost melted, recalls Berit Rinnan, who worked at NRK as “Dynasty” went on the air. Such a debate has never seen its equal in any other country, says Rinnan.'"

“’The series also received tremendous popularity in Christian circles, says media researcher Jostein Gripsrud. Gripsrud thinks this was because the series was chock-full of moral dilemmas. Gripsrud released a book about the series called “The Dynasty Years.” The fan club “Dynasty friends” was formed by father of three and driving school teacher Freddy Andersen from Haugesund. And on March 16, 1984, there was a crisis when a local TV transmitter fell out after a power failure. The broadcasting company had no choice but to rerun the episode, an unprecedented move by strong demand from the people. It was unpopular to work evening shifts on Wednesdays in Norway when the series was at its most popular. Few wanted to miss an episode and video recorders were few at the time. Some dressed up in formal wear to watch an episode. It was also claimed that some chapels had to reschedule their meetings from Wednesday to another day , simply because people did not come. All the fuss about “Dynasty” has been called the century’s biggest cultural debate in Norway, and the series is considered to be the TV program that has affected the Norwegian society the most. The series was also helping to usher the yuppie era in Norway.’

“The series was taken off the air, to give room for ‘Falcon Crest’ in its slot, and the two series would alternate. A shrewd business man bought the rights to ‘Dynasty’ and made it available to subscribe to video rental. I did this, and it was the direct reason I bought my first VCR player, at 15 years old. It also brought Gordon Thompson to Norway, to make an appearance he thought would be quite standard. Instead, he met an audience of over 2,000 people gathered to see him basically say hello. He seemed stunned, and I was there of course. ;)”

Who’s your favorite “Dynasty” character?
“Alexis, of course. The show wasn’t really anything until she came aboard. But I liked Dex, Dominique, all the characters with some bite. The goodie-two-shoes was never my thing.”

Is there a certain storyline on “Dynasty” that you would’ve changed if you would’ve been one of the show’s writers?
“Several! The whole Moldavia aftermath, Krystle’s double Rita, the UFO, new Fallon’s entrance to the show should have been written better, and the departure of Amanda, Dominique and other key characters. The show was actually getting better in its last season storywise, but by then it was too late for the ratings, I guess. And the ‘Reunion’ was horrible! Whoever wrote that couldn’t have been watching the show in the past. It was all let down terribly in the end, but when it was good, it was REALLY good. ;)”

Many thanks to Bjørn for sharing his story!

Photos courtesy of Bjørn Erik; please do not copy without permission.


Anonymous said...

great stuff!
You´ll see me and my collection in this video. It was filmed by German TV to celebrate 30years of Dynasty.

Anonymous said...

Nice, I have most of the same things ;) Do you have some original costumes and props, other than the earrings you show ?

montey987 said...

Hi, It is strange yet I have an identical green emerald necklace as well? do you sell any of your items i.e the hat with the veil - I have nine Nolan Miller/Joan Collins costumes from Dynasty including shoes etc
you can contact me

montey987 said...

Hi - I have the same Alexis necklaces? Strange to see the same items in another's collection? Wondering do you sell any of your items? I have nine Nolan Miller / Alexis costumes and other items i.e shoes, bags, hats etc - Drop me a line

Anonymous said...

Hi, montey/stephen, Bjørn here.
Contact me on
Same necklace you say? We need to get to bottom of this !;)