I hope the return of Dallas isn't a disappointment

First published in Helen Mead Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Lancashire Telegraph columnist

AS a teenager, it was the highlight of my week. The opening credits were a bit like those of The Apprentice, a glistening cityscape filmed from a circling helicopter.

It was compulsive TV viewing, and I hated to miss it.

Now, after an absence of more than 20 years, Dallas is back. By the time this column appears, I’ll have seen the first of a new series – and I hope I’m not disappointed.

However, it will be hard for it to live up to the Dallas I knew and loved, with scheming, gloating JR, trusting, dependable Bobby, downtrodden alcoholic Sue Ellen, and beautiful Pamela.

I remember some of the storylines to this day, as well as the music. The glitz and glamour struck a chord, and I craved a bedroom like Pam and Bobby’s, with a fancy dressing table and giant wardrobes full of gorgeous clothes.

I’d watch Pamela getting ready for the Oil Baron’s Ball, clipping on her earrings – I ached to be her.

And you just knew there was going to be trouble at the ball. There always was – usually involving Sue Ellen and JR.

My mum liked it too, and my younger sister. Every Tuesday we’d settle down with tea and biscuits, and escape to Texas for an hour.

Everyone at school watched it, and on Wednesday mornings we would take the events apart and analyse them.

If there had been an O-level (that’s a GCSE to anyone under 30) in Dallas we’d all have come out with A-stars.

The famous scene in which JR got shot is etched upon my mind. I clearly remember the high-backed leather chair set against the floor-to-ceiling window in his office. For a long time, ‘Who Shot JR?’ became the most talked-about subject in homes, schools and in the press.

Despite being a fan, I can’t remember who actually did shoot him, and sadly the drama tailed off dramatically when Bobby, who was killed in a car crash, came back from the dead.

His absence over one whole series was dismissed as having been his wife’s dream. That’s when I stopped watching.

But I’ve never forgotten how it was in its heyday. A couple of years ago I saw Linda Gray, who plays Sue Ellen, in a theatre production in York. I had to pinch myself to believe I was in the same room.

I just hope the new Dallas is as riveting as the original. I’ve told my daughters all about it and am keen they develop the same affection for the show that I did. I’ll get the biscuits in, put the kettle on, and hope to turn back time.

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