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# 091 <4.23> The Trial
 
 
(revised 12/04/2023)
 
 


 
 
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Script | Credits | Filming Locations
 
 

 
 

The Tuscany County Courthouse interiors are portrayed by Alhambra Municipal Court in eastern Los Angeles again (compare # 079).

 
Inside joke: The name of D.A. Caroline Earle is a portmanteau of the first names of EARL HAMNER and his daughter, CAROLINE, who is the show's production coordinator.
 
Mistake: In the opening scene in the courtroom, the shots from the various angles come from different takes combined in the editing process. This becomes apparent because none of the district attorneys is visible at the prosecutor's table in the background during the shot of Lance and Greg while, immediately after the cut, D.A. Caroline Earle and the A.D.A. are featured in a close-up at said table.
In the usual process of making a movie or a TV show, scenes are shot at least twice — as a wide angle shot and in close-up, which bears the risk of inconsistencies. Compare # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for the advantages and disadvantages of this shooting procedure.
 
DAVID GUST, the tall, black-haired and mustached uncredited extra, who also plays different rôles in the series, is prominently featured as the assistant district attorney sitting next to district attorney Caroline Earle in this episode (compare screen grab 2 above) and the following one; similarly as in # 154 (compare there).
Compare # 187 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 063.
 

PETER PAUL EASTMAN (uncredited extra) plays a white-haired gentleman, who is a court spectator at Lance's trial in this episode.
Compare # 221 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 021.

 
Office building 5 on the backlot of CBS-MTM STUDIOS (now RADFORD STUDIO CENTER; compare # 082) is used as an exterior set to portray a part of the Falcon Crest Winery Building complex (screen grabs 2 through 4); a sign near the exterior stairway can be seen stating that the offices are on the first floor and the laboratories on the second floor.
LORIMAR's original blueprints of this set (My Three Sons Street at CBS, now RADFORD STUDIO CENTER) and many others are available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Exterior Sets section.
 
The establishing front shot of the real winery (screen capture 1 above), however, is a 1983 clip with Chase and Maggie's Mercedes-Benz 300 TD parked on the driveway. This old clip creates the illusion the building from the current scene might be a side wing, an annex or something similar. The problem about the old clip, however, is that the car has the previous license plate from seasons 2 and 3, not the current one.
 
According to early script drafts, Angela — instead of Greg — was to take part in the meeting in Cass' office about a possible Falcon Crest promotional campaign.
 
The wicker furniture in the Agretti Residence guest bedroom (including the desk, chair, armchair and bed) is the same set of props that was used in Julia's room at de Bercy's "sanitarium", the Gianinni home (compare the screen capture from # 087 on the left).
 
In the hallway to the guest bedroom in the Agretti Residence, the picture "Pinkie" (the original is oil on canvas) by English painter Sir THOMAS LAWRENCE (1769 -1830) is hanging on the wall. It is a portrait of SARAH MOULTON at the approximate age of 11.
Since the original painting is much larger, it is pretty obvious that Melissa owns a reproduction only. The original of the aforementioned artwork is located at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA.
 
The number of Lance's criminal case at the Tuscany County Courthouse is 8254 (legible on the chalkboard near the witness stand in the courtroom).
 
Uncredited extra KEVIN G. TRACEY appears as the thick-eyebrowed Tuscany Valley gentleman again — this time as a jury member in Lance's trial at the Tuscany County Courthouse.
Compare # 185 for a list of all his appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 001.
 

Uncredited extra ROBERTA STORM appears in this episode again as Mrs. Winslow — this time as a jury member in Lance's trial.
Compare # 219 for biographical details about this minor rôle and a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 035.

 
Dr. Fong (played by uncredited extra GEORGE SASAKI) is among the jury members in Lance's trial.
Compare # 222 for biographical details about this minor rôle and a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 015.
 
 
The curly haired blonde played by uncredited extra BETTY JEANNE GLENNIE is one of the jury members in this episode and the following one. It seems kind of surprising at first sight that she became a juror because she was in pre-trial detention in # 041 and 045 and persons with a criminal record cannot become a juror in California. This indicates she was not convicted, but acquitted of whatever she had been charged with.
Compare # 175 for biographical details about this minor rôle and a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 015.
 
This episode marks the first appearance of uncredited extra RAY POURCHOT, an American actor. As a football player, he was drafted by the U.S. Marine Corps during his senior year in high school. After his enlistment in the military was up, he started to appear in movies that needed football players as extras. His premature balding look got him assignments as an extra in an abundance of TV series and movies between the 1950's and 1980's, preferably as prison inmate, workman or dark fellow.
He plays different characters in the series and is a spectator at Lance's trial in this episode.
Compare # 177 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
 

Uncredited extra JACK DOUGLASS appears in this episode again — this time as a spectator at Lance's trial.
Compare # 130 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 032.

 

Uncredited extra GAYLE FRANK plays the court stenographer again — this time in Lance's criminal trial at the Tuscany County Courthouse.
Compare # 215 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 017.

 

The picture in the hallway at the fertility clinic in San Francisco is the same prop that was previously used in Dr. Monroe Mitchell's office in # 065 and 088. Before that, the same prop was used in a Tuscany Valley Hospital corridor in # 043 and in Spheeris' hotel room in # 061.

 
Chase mentions he and Doug Eberhart worked together at Trans Atlantic Airlines. The only airline Chase worked for was referred to as AIA in season 1 (compare # 001). Trans Atlantic Airlines must be a subsidiary of AIA. Original script drafts of # 001 already referred to it as Trans Atlantic, but the episode — as it was filmed — spoke of AIA.
 

Uncredited extra DOUGLAS MAIDA appears as Dave in this episode again — as usual, as a Tuscany Downs Turf Club waiter.
Compare # 224 for biographical details about this minor rôle and a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 034.

 
The picture above the fireplace in the library at Greg's ranch house is a lithograph of Château du Saumur, the castle in the town of Saumur between Nantes and Tours in the Loire Valley in France.
It is not a prop, but a picture that actually hangs in the filming location (the privately owned mansion in Pasadena, CA, which has been in use also as the Agretti Residence this season).
 
The courtroom scene with Lance being on the witness stand himself reveals in particular a trick the producers used in order to create the illusion of a full gallery of spectators while, in reality, there are less extras on the set than the TV viewers might think. The secret is that, depending on the camera angle, the atmosphere persons are reseated and wearing different clothes. PETER PAUL EASTMAN (yellow arrows) is a noticeable example: Wearing a bright plaid shirt, he is sitting in the gallery on the jury's side when filmed in one direction; in other camera angles, he is wearing a dark suit and sitting behind the prosecution's desk more towards the center of the courtroom.
 
Real-life allusion: There is a book about American landscaping painter EDWARD HOPPER on the table in the sitting room in the Agretti Residence.
 
Product placement: Richard mentions the "Who's Who" encyclopedia.
 
Odd: In the scene with Maggie and Connie in the Gioberti House kitchen, Chase can be heard in the background saying goodbye to Doug Eberhart at the front door. The time passing between the sound of the front door closing and Chase appearing in the kitchen is way too shot, even if Chase ran from the front door to the kitchen. From the standpoint of the production process, it seems likely that ROBERT FOXWORTH was waiting for his stage direction behind the wall and rushed into the picture too early.
 
Uncredited stand-in GORDON HODGINS appears as an extra again — this time in his usual rôle as a Tuscany Valley gentleman at Lance's trial at the Tuscany County Courthouse.
Compare # 182 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about GORDON HODGINS, compare # 001.
 
The same trick with rotating extras in the courtroom as described in the above scene with PETER PAUL EASTMAN as an example is used again during the final courtroom scene at the end of this episode. This time, the director's trick becomes apparent due to the reseating of extra RAY POURCHOT (yellow arrows): First, he is sitting in the gallery behind Caroline Earle whereas, in the final segment, he is sitting way back in the corner of the courtroom.
 
Season time frame:
Lance's trial started at the beginning of this episode. According to Greg's statement at the end of # 091, the first day of the trial was a Monday. As it was mentioned in the last third of # 089 that the trial would start in two weeks, this two-week period must have gone by between that point of time and the beginning of the current episode.
Melissa and Cole have been married for two and a half weeks (since # the end of # 089) according to the information given at the end of the current episode. Since, according to Melissa, Robin wanted to come visit during her mid-term break — which is usually scheduled at the end of October / beginning of November in U.S. colleges — it must be around the beginning of November 1984 now (Robin's arrival). This seems to be quite accurate, giving respect to the fact that Cole and Melissa got married shortly after the date they had set originally for their wedding (10/12/1984; see # 088).
This means the first day of Lance's trial must have been Monday, 10/29/1984.
 

The last name of the guest star playing Doug Eberhart, RON MĀSAK, is misspelled: The diacritical mark on the first "A" in "MĀSAK" is missing.

 
 

 
 
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