…except UKTV Gold. If you want a perfect example of a broadcaster disrespecting their viewers – just check out what UKTV Gold has done to Dallas fans. Reflecting on this as I prepared my tribute to the soap’s 30th anniversary made me a very unhappy bunny. The channel aired the iconic series from the first episode, giving it a daytime push and a red-eye slot for repeats and catch-ups. There were highly frustrating, unexpected pauses in the UKTV Gold run for the likes of The Bill and Doctor Who but, in the main, Dallas continued on its merry way. And then came season five.
J.R. wooed Sue Ellen and put the boot into Cliff Barnes, driving him to a suicide attempt. Cliff’s in a coma and he’s been there since the last episode aired on Friday October 12 2007. So where’s Dallas? The broadcaster hasn’t bothered to inform the loyal fans who tuned in daily when, or
if, subsequent season(s) will be shown. Understandably, viewers have been venting about the lack of communication on UKTV Gold’s Dallas message board. Pleas and requests for information have fallen on deaf ears and some users complaining about the absence of the soap report that their posts have been deleted: from Mikeblag: "all 3 of my posts have been removed, none of which were insulting or rude." From DALLAS FANtastic: "why have my posts been deleted? They were not rude. Very J.R. like." And you thought free speech was alive and well? Not the freedom to criticise UKTV Gold it seems.
Some of you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. For my money, until Pam’s dream, Dallas was the best-scripted, most highly-addictive slice of family dysfunction ever. Its gift to the world was J.R. Ewing, a phenomenal pantomime villain with stronger lines than Keef Richards: "Once you give up integrity the rest is a piece of cake" and "What’s a family for if it can’t take care of its losers?" are just two of many gems.
In the early years, all the characters were soooo right: tough patriarch Jock Ewing; firm but fair earthy Miss Ellie (WE ARE NOT WORTHY!); amoral, devious, bed-hopping J.R.(WE ARE NOT WORTHY! WE ARE NOT WORTHY!); handsome, goody-goody Bobby (WE ARE NOT WORTHY!); lip-quivering, sexually frustrated, southern-belle Swellin’ (WE ARE NOT WORTHY!), plastic porcelain Pammy; sly vixen Lucy; perennial loser Cliff (WE ARE NOT WORTHY!)…memories!
UKTV Gold allowed older fans to revisit Dallas, but it also introduced the fussin’, fightin’, feudin’ Ewings and Barneses to a new generation of fans. And now they’re all left high and dry. Shame on you UKTV Gold. It’s not much, but I’ll take any Dallas fix I can get – check out this brief taster of a fantastic show that still holds up after 30 years.
Today I am mostly lovin’ – The fact that I am now the proud owner of series 1-7 of Minder on DVD. Uncut. Take that, UK censors!
Today I am mostly hatin’ – OK. Why does that bloomin’ annoying woman have to go all the way to London to buy Heat magazine?
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