The original “Dallas” TV series began in 1978, one year before my move to Texas, and lasted until 1991. If you were alive at that time, chances are you saw at least one episode. I think it was a requirement if you lived in Texas…
With the 2nd season of the new “Dallas” airing this Monday, January 28, 2013, I thought another trip to the ranch was in order (my third), and new activity is definitely taking place at the ranch.
I’ve always felt my trips to the ranch were worth the drive from Houston. It’s a great Texas icon, and I always love touring homes. Keep in mind, however, as you walk through this home, if you are in a room, and remember a scene from the original show, well I’m sorry to say that your memory is incorrect. The fact is, with only a couple small exceptions, none of the inside scenes from the original “Dallas” were shot in the home, and to be honest, while this is not a small home at around 5,600 square feet, the house you see on TV would have to be almost double that size. Especially considering the staircase that exists in the TV series. You will be surprised at the difference when you visit the ranch.
But when it comes to the pool and patio shots, all were taken at the ranch. In fact, the original cast was flown to Texas during its hottest months (June, July, and August) to film all outside shots needed for the season.
However, while no filming was done inside the home for the original series, this doesn’t seem to be the case for the new series. The soundstage used for the show is in Dallas, and the day following my visit to the ranch, filming was going to take place in one of the halls of home. There are three rooms in this hall. During the tour you can peek into Lucy’s and Bobby’s room (still decorated has I have seen in the past), but the third room has a deadbolt on it. In addition, the hallway has been painted black, and room numbers placed on the doors. Our tour guide informed us that they have no idea what is going on, and do not know what’s inside the locked room, but they speculate they are attempting to make it look like the hallway of a hotel. I guess we will have to watch the series to find out what is behind Door 22.
I’ve never been disappointed in my trips to Southfork, and there definitely is new excitement in the air with the new series. Furthermore, I don’t know about the rest of you, but just seeing the driveway leading to the ranch causes me to start humming the “Dallas” theme song in my head; still used in the new series. Looking forward to Monday.(Sadly, on November 23, 2012, Larry Hagman died, he was 81. We were told at the ranch that Larry had arranged a tour of Southfork with his five granddaughters on that day. When the tour bus arrived, only the granddaughters got off. Apparently Larry was in the hospital, and died later that day in Dallas. I find it fitting that Larry Hagman’s (born in Fort Worth) long life ended that day in Dallas. We were also told that it was still uncertain how they will remove him from the show.)