Return to Southfork

Dallas is back. The iconic theme tune will haunt anyone old enough to remember the oil-baron soap from the 1970s and 80s. The drama’s themes of big oil are back in fashion, even if the womenfolk of Dallas are dressed a little sharper these days.

The new series is both an exercise in nostalgia and a camp cable television (the TNT channel) piece of froth with a few passing attempts at political relevance. Unusually for a reboot of a classic television show, many of the principal actors return in the roles that made them household names.

So Larry Hagman is back as JR Ewing, one of soap’s darkest villains, still plotting, scheming and cackling in that boyish way of his, even if he happens to be living in a retirement home rather than at Southfork these days.

Patrick Duffy is also back as Bobby Ewing, the man whose death turned out to be his wife’s series-long dream in the most audacious plot twist ever attempted on a TV drama.

Linda Gray also returns as Sue Ellen, famously called a "drunk, a whore and an unfit mother" by JR. She has cleaned up her act, lost the shoulder pads and is thinking of going into politics. Dallas addicts won’t be fooled though, and will know that she is just one vodka martini away from mayhem.

There are no plans for an extended run of the new series, but it will be interesting to see whether it heralds a whole new swathe of nostalgia for 80s classic TV. Dynasty has plenty of fans out there still . . .

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