Speaking to Ralph Thomas of the 'Toronto Star' in 1967, Marshall McLuhan said of Canada, "It's a backward country. We're in the 19th century, really. You can sit back and watch what's going on in the 20th century America and see it as it really is. They (the Americans) can't down there, you know. They are much too involved." Of Marshall McLuhan, Andre Sarris of the 'Village Voice' acknowledged, "He's given us a road map to tomorrow's culture. He has opened our eyes to further exploration. True, he didn't make the whole fire, but he did ignite the spark." 

Marshall McLuhan maintained, "I'm just an observer. Just an investigator. I'm not concerned with how my work is applied, or in seeing it put to any practical use. I'm concerned with discovering changes - changes which should have taken place long ago (in the mass media, the arts, and the way we live). That's all. Of course by doing this, it may look as if I'm really involved in some kind of practical endeavor."

At the time, Paul Klein of NBC declared, "Within two years (around 1970), most television on this continent (North America) will be McLuhan TV. There's not much now (in 1967), true, but next season there'll be quite a lot. And the season after that, a hell of a lot more. The only reason it hasn't happened faster is that the old guard, the 'in' clique of producers in the business, either don't want any part of McLuhan or don't know what to do with him – the same way nobody knew what to do with the theory of relativity in 1910. But that's going to change. It's inevitable. There are new, young men around who understand and dig the man, and they're just waiting to change things."

Jean-Claude van Itallie wrote the hit off-Broadway production, 'America Hurrah'. He made the comment, "I'm very much influenced by McLuhan, but it's very hard to say how. His ideas somehow get into the bloodstream and you notice the affinity between his ideas and your work only after it comes out. There are things in 'America Hurrah' that would not be there except for him."

Writer Herbert Gold added, "Because of McLuhan, there has developed a whole literary scene out here (in San Francisco) where there are no writers. They live in tribes and communicate orally – all very McLuhanistic." Robert Fulford of the 'Toronto Star' remarked, "McLuhan believes the world is 'retribalizing', that man is casting off individualism and returning to some kind of tribal soul."

All new art, Marshall McLuhan predicted would become "environmental art", "The day of simply creating pictures or sculptures for placement in a gallery is just about gone." Ralph Thomas clarified, "In this art form, the artist doesn't simply create a picture to hang in a gallery. He builds a completely new gallery structure of his own to create a whole new environment for people to see, touch, feel, and even hear and smell."

At the Royal Ontario Museum at the time, Harley Parker designed an "environment" display which included the smell of the sea, the noise of thunder, sand underfoot, and fossils and rocks people could touch. Pop artist Jim Dine opened an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the time admitted, "McLuhan is influencing everybody with anything new to say in the visual arts, whether they like to admit it or not."

Architect John Andrews created the internationally famous Scarborough College conceded he was not "specifically translating McLuhan ideas into architecture. But he's (McLuhan) an influence, sure. I've learned a great deal from him. The man should be the motivating influence in architecture today (in 1967). I'm afraid he isn't yet, though." In 1966, Marshall McLuhan addressed an audience at Kendall College, Evanston, Illinois, "There is not theory lurking in my words. I am simply making certain observations so that we can see the forces at work around us."

John Andrews continued, "All architects should be on his wavelength. It's bound to happen sooner or later, simply because the public will demand it. McLuhan sort of points that out, doesn’t he? He's really writing about people. The main trouble with architecture today (in 1967) is its damned linearity. We've got to get away from these bloody huge slabs of glass which don’t fit into their environment and create no environment of their own.

"They're just packages into which people are stuffed. We’ve got to start creating environments, not monuments." John Andrews argued building interiors should be designed so that "communications between people are maximized." The exteriors should reflect their settings. Scarborough College could change color and "feel" the rain or the sunshine, "They should respond to the elements."

Made for television movies in 1967 were called by critics as "purposeless drama". Herman Keld of MGM-TV begged to differ, "They were good McLuhan TV. Terrible movies, awful movies. Some of the scripts were literally written overnight. The plots were a mess, the photography and direction, very rough. They were real quickies. One ('How I Spent My Summer Vacation' starring Robert Wagner) made no sense at all. But it was good McLuhan TV – great McLuhan TV. It was so cool."

As noted, "a 'cool' medium did not provide a lot of information to the viewer's senses. The viewer never saw a TV picture clearly. As a result, the TV viewer had to become active and involved in order to fill things in. The viewer participated in the picture, if not intellectually, then by soaking up the emotional message." The "hot" medium of print, considered "obsolescent", where through one sense (sight) the reader had everything the reader needed given to him or her. It was all laid out logically (or should be) and the reader was "well-filled" with information.

Of the unsuccessful programs doing McLuhanistic things, “The trouble is that they're hybrids. They're made with movie techniques. Virtually all new shows last season (1965-66 season) were slick, movie-style programs. No wonder it was a complete washout."  Since 1966, "we cut out all the explainers, rough them up a bit and throw in batches of commercials, before we put them on.

"Movies really need commercials, lots of them, to make them good and McLuhan TV. The success of a movie on TV has no relation to its box office success, or the amount of money spent on making it a slick product. A grade B cheapy often does as well, if not better, than a slick big-budget picture. McLuhan TV is really quite cheap."

Ralph Thomas reported, "Now, 'hot' and 'cool' can and often are mixed, especially on TV. That's what's wrong with it today (in 1967), McLuhanites claim. A 'cool' medium should show 'cool' things, if it wants an audience. 'Beverly Hillbillies' is a popular success, because its characters are rustics ('cool'). Westerns are successful for much the same reason.

"But few watch NBC's 'Viewpoint', because it is filled with information, fact, logic, statement of opinion (all 'hot'). McLuhan says the most effective TV programs are the public affairs and news shows which carry little fact and information but plenty of atmosphere (it's better to show the prime minister in a press conference than simply making a statement); drama series with little or no storyline, little information about locale and characters (you should never fill in a character's background); and shows with great gaps in them the viewer can fill in himself.

"Cool programs also should 'present situations which consist of some process to be completed' by the viewer – such as a detective or spy story with more mood and action than story and which the viewer must puzzle out for himself. In Canada, Daryl Duke, producer of CBC's 'Sunday' says he's 'trying to create a sense of incompleteness on the show and present the emotional rather than be journalistic.'"

In 1985, 'Soap Opera Digest' made the point, "On 'Dynasty', plots and characters go out the window in favor of the quick fix, leaving that show with as much depth as a Saturday morning cartoon. Alliances change as often as the costumes with characters going from point A to point Z with no explanation as to how they go there. A typical scene on 'Dynasty' begins with a calm encounter between two characters and ends three to four minutes later with at least one party storming out of the room in a huff following a verbal blowout about lord only knows what or cares."

Aaron Spelling stated, "We didn't want an everyman serial. We felt that in times of recession, people liked to get away from their mundane lives. So we set out to capture the flamboyant opulence of the rich."

Elaine Rich elaborated, "I came on as the producer starting with show number 14. Jettisoning those actors from the cast (in season 1) had nothing to do with the actors themselves. It was just that our best stories centered on what went on in the Carrington mansion, not what went on outside. That's why we brought Claudia's character into the mansion. None of it is geared toward competing with 'Dallas'. 'Dynasty' is the story of very rich people and the lives that they lead and the problems they face.

"To me it has the continuing story elements of an 'Upstairs, Downstairs'. There is constant change and evolution of characters. It is a lot like life. Even the actors don't know the advance stories. This is done because nobody in life knows what is going to happen to them tomorrow. If they did they (the actors) might shade their performances. My instincts tell me that the Shapiros (Esther and Richard) put together a cast of characters based on composites of people we are seeing in the world today (in 1982)."

Joan Collins made the observation, "You know, of course, that both Mike (Eileen) Pollock and Esther Shapiro think that they are, in fact, Alexis. She is their favorite character because, let's face it, this is the time of the new woman, and of the powerful woman. And as Esther says, women don't get their power until they're in the 40s."

According to Richard Shapiro, Esther wanted to be Blake. Esther Shapiro told the press the British mini-series 'I, Claudius' "told the story of Roman kings and people in power. We don't have kings, but we do have oil tycoons and they are people whose lives affect the rest of us. These are people who do outrageous things. You have families fighting for power and love. You can get terrific drama from that.

"Conflict in a family is much more dramatic than conflict between strangers. 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. When you're a writer you're writing your fantasies. You've got your little doll house. But we became producers because we wanted control."

Of Blake, John Forsythe insisted, "Blake is a self-made man who’s built this gigantic empire, and since he’s getting older, he’s slightly wary of the younger men around him. He’s the quintessential American business tycoon – ruthless, manipulative, and demonic within that framework. And yet loving at home. A very contradictory fellow."

As Krystle, Linda Evans expressed, "I've always liked Cinderella and Snow White. I'm living my dream, and I wouldn't change it for all the bad girl parts in the world." Mike Pollock believed, "People have many needs and one of them is entertainment. Soap operas give people something to gossip about without hurting anybody. 'Dynasty' is simply a way for people to have fun, and I've yet to find somebody who has had too much fun."

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