In the 1980s, 'Dynasty' and 'Dallas' were "the 2 best-known American cultural exports, watched and analyzed around the world." John James remembered, "I'm changing plane in Lagos, Nigeria and somehow it's 3:00am in the morning and there are a thousand people out there waiting, (screaming) 'Jeff Colby'!" In describing the TV series, 'Dynasty', viewers were told, "It’s not just drama, it's 'Dynasty.'" 

Esther Shapiro explained, "We were doing a show about a family where we talk a lot about the values of love." Like the 1976 British mini-series, 'I, Claudius', Esther pointed out, "You have families fighting for power and love. You can get terrific drama from that." John Forsythe observed, "Compared to existing shows on the air (up to 1981) of the night time soap genre, it's quite different. It's much better written. If it's possible to do one of these things with distinction, I think we may pull it off." 

"Conflict in a family is much more dramatic than conflict between strangers," Esther continued. "Blake Carrington is a 19th-century man. If only his family would do what he wants everything would be all right. So 'I Claudius' is the framework." On reflection, John Forsythe remarked, "Playing Judge Fleming in that (1979) film ('...And Justice For All'), doing an absolute villain, is responsible for a curious kind of renaissance in my career (at 63 years of age). I even think that this part in 'Dynasty' came to me because of 'Justice'. Had I not played the evil Judge Fleming, I don't think they would have thought of me for this tycoon, who can be very rough on occasion." 

"Older actors have back stories. They're older, they've lived, so they can have an exciting past that we can explore," Esther added. "When you're a writer you're writing your fantasies. You've got your little doll house. But we became producers because we wanted (artistic) control." John James enthused, "I'm excited about the show, the scripts – it's quality stuff. Our producers really care.

"Jeff Colby is an idealist. At one point, he told Pamela Sue Martin's character, Fallon Carrington, 'Look. Your money is not a gift; it's a responsibility.' But, slowly, his eyes are being opened to what's been going on around him." Esther expressed, "I'm not sure money brings happiness but it does bring control. I'm not endorsing (then President) Reagan but there are certain things the Democrats could learn from him, like being effective." 

Esther told the 'New York Times' back in April 1985, "A while ago, I heard that the Russian poet (Yevgeny) Yevtushenko was in town, and I kept thinking, what if we could get video cassettes of 'Dynasty' into the U.S.S.R. So, I got Yevtushenko on the telephone, and he said, 'I have no time,' and I said, 'If you have 15 minutes and can meet me, any place, I'll come.' And he said, 'I don't know why, but there's something about you, I'll be over in an hour.'

"So, he came over and I gave him some video cassettes of 'Dynasty' to give to (Mikhail) Gorbachev. I kept thinking, you know, I've read about Gorbachev's wife (Raisa), and she likes nice clothing. She'd love it. And they'd really learn something about our system. I mean, why would they want to hurt the society that created this program? And maybe, if he was thinking of having a war, maybe his wife would say to him, 'Darling, could we just see one more episode of 'Dynasty?' And if they got caught up in it, who knows? We might save the world."

In 1999, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart wrote the song about political idealism, 'I Saved The World Today', "Some days there's nothing left to learn; From the point of no return; Hey Hey I saved the world today; Everybody's happy now; The bad thing's gone away; And everybody's happy now; The good thing's here to stay." Clive Davis of Arista told 'Billboard', "Annie and Dave have given us a gift of music that touches every phase of contemporary music. Simply put, this (the 'Peace' album) is the act at their absolute best."

Elbert Hubbard argued, "I have a deal more faith in the average businessman (a creator) than I have in the average reformer (a theorist)." To elaborate, "The right-thinking men and women have more faith in the businessman than in the reformer because the man in business is creating something. He is in the service of the people, filling a positive demand. But what is the reformer? At best he is only a theorist.

"The businessman renders his service before demanding his pay, while the reformer demands his pay and then promises a service, guaranteed only by his word. Reformers have never been overly popular, because theory is ever hypothetical and there has never been found a method of separating the sincere from the imposter." Richard S. Childs clarified in 1927, "A reformer is one who sets forth cheerfully toward sure defeat. It is his/her peculiar function to embrace the hopeless cause when it can win no other friends and when its obvious futility repels that thick necked, practical, timorous type of citizen to whom the outward appearance of success is so dear.

"His/her persistence against stone walls invites derision from those who have never been touched by the religion. He/she never seems victorious, for if he/she were visibly winning, he/she would forthwith cease to be dubbed 'reformer'. Yet, in time the reformer's little movement becomes respectable and his/her little minority proves that it can grow, and presently the statesman joins it and takes all the credit, cheerfully handed to him by the reformer as bribe for his support. And then comes the politician, rushing grandly to the succor of the victor!

"The original reformer is lost in the shuffle then, but he/she doesn't care. For as the great bandwagon which he/she started goes thundering past with trumpets, the crowd in the intoxication of triumph leans over the side to jeer at him/her – a forlorn and lonely crank mustering a pitiful little odd-lot of followers along the roadside and setting them marching, while over their heads he/she lifts the curious banner of his/her next crusade."

After 4 years living in New York, Minneapolis-born but Connecticut-raised John James moved to Los Angeles in 1980 when he joined the cast of 'Dynasty'. "It's really difficult to meet people out here, to make contact," the then 24-year-old said. "Everyone hops in a car for transportation. In New York, you walk constantly. (However) I'm enjoying California, being on the (20th Century-Fox) studio lot at Stage 8 where Tyrone Power held court for more than 14 years – the history of it all."

Before 'Dynasty', John described his 2 years on the New York-based daytime soap, 'Search For Tomorrow' as "a God-send! The hours were fairly regular, my work was close to home and I was able to do some off-off Broadway (such as the Kansas City Production of 'Butterflies Are Free')!" John reiterated, "I've done both (daytime and prime time soaps) and the difference is tremendous. A series like 'Dynasty' produces 25 shows a year. (Daytime) soaps do more than 300 episodes in one year.

"It's obvious the storylines in prime time have much more impact. The episodes move ahead much faster. TV is the medium of today (back in 1985) and the future. Feature films are becoming like Broadway with only 7 to 10 quality pictures being made a year. In a continuing TV drama we do 45 minutes of dialog involving human relationships and emotions every week … TV is constantly improving, especially 2-hour movies which deal with important issues and significant stories. Their impact is 10 times greater on the public."

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