spinoff that spent its first season in marked contrast to the latter series' tales of power-grabbing, greed, corruption, conspiracies, and fraternal rivalries. WhereDallas
concerned travails of an ultra-rich and influential Texas family, and its many enemies0--all great fantasy stuff--Knots Landing
initially evolved as a drama set among Southern California's suburban middle class. Built around the character Gary Ewing (Ted Shackelford), a recovering alcoholic and brother ofDallas
' scheming J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman),Knots Landing
is set on a cul-de-sac in a seemingly peaceful neighborhood of modest houses. Gary, one might recall from several episodes ofDallas
, is the black sheep of the Ewing clan. His marriage to the mousy Val (Joan Van Ark) was sabotaged by J.R., and their troubled teenage daughter came to live with J.R. and his parents on their expansive ranch.
Knots Landing begins with Gary and Val making a fresh start on the West Coast. If their second try at marriage works, they reckon, their daughter can come live with them in a stable environment. Gary, who wants nothing to do with the Ewing oil business, takes a job selling classic cars for his new neighbor, Sid Fairgate (Don Murray). But he reluctantly becomes embroiled, along with Val, in several local issues, the most complicated being J.R.'s plans to drill for oil just off the shore of Gary's adopted community. (Hagman, as a guest star, brings a lot of fun to that episode with his affable ...