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# 155 <6.28> Desperation
(revised 02/13/2023)
Different takes: The moment when Kit, after entering the courtroom, says, "Close, but no cigar!", was presented in a long shot in the preceding episode (screen grab 1) while it is featured in a close-up from a different direction (screen capture 2) in the recap before the main title of the current episode.
Different footage again: Kit's taking the blame ("I killed Roland Saunders.") after her arrival in court is from different takes (screen capture 1 is from the scene in # 154; screen grab 2 from the recap in the current episode).

San Francisco International Airport is established by a stock shot from a film library featuring the takeoff of a Boeing 747-200B aircraft owned by Northwest Orient, an airline that was taken over by Delta Airlines in the meantime.


Fictional entity: According to Melissa's ticket, she booked her flight to Caracas with an airline named Transcon (known from # 119).
The Transcon name was also used beyond "Falcon Crest"; check out the Beyond the Show – Identical Names section for details.


The filming location for San Francisco International Airport (parking lot) is a parking lot at Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, CA.

Mistakes in the scene with Melissa and Dan on the parking lot of the San Francisco International Airport:
The couple walking by in the background is strolling at a casual pace. They leave the frame (screen grab 1), and it takes less than two seconds until the cut towards the opposite angle, in which the man is just leaving that frame, the woman being out of the visible frame already (screen capture 2). They could not have walked by that fast.
Also, the light is different in various parts of this scene. The parts filmed in one direction are in an eralier stage of dawn while the parts filmed from across are filmed in much darker light. Obviously, filming took quite long, and there was much less sunlight in the parts filmed from across.
Again, this is the typical mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique — check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
FBI agent Taylor was originally named Jacobson in early script drafts. The writers' original choice of name was an inside joke since the name was "borrowed" from supervising producer GREG STRANGIS' wife at the time, JILL JACOBSON, who previously played Erin Jones on the show.
When Richard gives Meredith her severance pay, he also takes his baseball glove out of the safe in his New Globe office. The baseball glove is a tribute to CLYDE IRA SELBY (1916 – 2006), DAVID's father, who was a baseball manager for the local American Legion baseball team in Morgantown, WV for many years. He laid out the first Little League field for DAVID's hometown and also coached DAVID's little league team. He later became the state Legion baseball commissioner and the leader of the American Legion organization for Morgantown and the state. While the part of Richard's dialog about Meredith having had a good season, but that it was time to sign on with another club was in the script, it was DAVID's improvisation to introduce the glove with the following line: "This is my little league glove, Miss Braxton. I'm saving it for my boy."
Mistake: Richard places the gun on the table in his New Globe office with the handle facing the window. But after Richard and Maggie's embrace, the position of the gun has changed: the handle faces Richard and Maggie now.
Once again, this is the typical mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique — check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
Early script drafts suggested an act 1 night scene in Chase's office in San Francisco from which he calls Angela at 3 AM. She wakes up in her bedroom in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion and is furious how he got her private number, but he says he has had it for years. The only purpose of his phone call is to let all his anger out about Angela's involvement in Kevin's abduction by Melissa so he calls her a "venomous old witch". This scene was completely changed in rewrites so Chase's anger simply culminated in his throwing everything from his desktop during Taylor's presence in his office.

Maggie stays at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco during the FBI search for Melissa and Kevin. The name of the hotel is not mentioned on the show.
Original script drafts, however, suggested that an establishing shot of the Fairmont Hotel be inserted.

The San Francisco bungalow Melissa is seen nearby is on the backlot of CBS-MTM STUDIOS near the heavily filmed park (compare # 135). It was also used for other purposes in # 124 and 142.
LORIMAR's original map of this part of the studio lot including the set dressing for this episode is available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Exterior Sets section.
The location manager's original choice for filming this scene was the alley between CBS-MTM STUDIOS (now CBS STUDIO CENTER) and Ventura Boulevard. This was changed though.
Inside joke: Sirmons, the car wash and gas station (see logo on the employee's overall) where Melissa steals the golden 1987 Volvo 780 Bertone, is named after PAUL THORNTON SIRMONS, the show's first assistant director.
The filming location is the CBS-MTM warehouse / gas station of the transportation department known from # 113, 117 and 144 (compare each episode).
License plate number of the golden 1987 Volvo 780 Bertone stolen by Melissa: 99 968 U.

License plate number of the white 1979 Honda Civic 1500 GL at Sirmons car wash in San Francisco: 1AID889.


The establishing shot of the Port of San Francisco is actually a view of the Port of Los Angeles: San Pedro to the left, Terminal Island in the center. The Port of Long Beach can also be seen towards the right of the establishing shot.


The scene with Melissa, Kevin and the Latin ship captain is filmed near Pier A Place and Pier A Street at the Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington, CA.

Different footage: The moments when the captain tells Melissa the ship will leave in 24 hours and she replies that she does not have 24 hours, are from various takes: Screen grabs 1 and 2 are from the sneak preview while screen captures 3 and 4 are the variations used in the scene itself.
Early script drafts suggested that Kit be part of the act 2 scene in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion sun room when Peter and Angela watch the original video tape of Kit's statements and the one Richard doctored. This should have marked the reconciliation between Kit, Peter and Angela, with Kit confessing that she also stole Angela's checks and put the blame on Eric as Richard suggested. Rewrites eliminated Kit from this scene.
Richard and his San Francisco underworld contact, Mike Breslin, meet on the basketball ground near the factory and warehouse of Al's Bakery (yellow mark), an industrial bakery in San Francisco.
The scene is filmed beside stage 14 on the lot of CBS-MTM STUDIOS.
Mike Breslin's car parked in the background (red arrow) is a golden 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL (type W126).
It is, by the way, the same picture car that has been in use as Maggie's vehicle since # 132.
Early script drafts contained in the scene at the basketball court also Mike Breslin's son, Ken, who is introduced to Richard after he has already taken over a lot of his Mike's business. In rewrites, this rôle was regarded as superfluous and omitted.
Early script drafts staged the scene with Kit and Tony's conversation about her jumping bail and not facing a trial for attempted murder in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room — after Kit's reconciliation with Peter and Angela (see above). This scene was moved to the Del Oro suite in rewrites.

The establishing shot of the Golden Gate Bridge with the panorama of San Francisco in the background is stock footage from a film library. It is filmed from Conzelman Road (Golden Gate National Recreation Area) towards southeast. A later segment of the same footage was used in # 024 already.

Mistake: When Richard's gift is delivered to Maggie at the Mark Hopkins, the hotel employee is writing something on the paper on his clipboard first, but no longer does so in the next frame.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique — check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
Early script drafts suggested that, Maggie towards the end of Angela's provocative visit with her at the Mark Hopkins, pick a coffee cup and, in her attempt to throw it at her, smash it against the wall. This idea was dropped in script revisions.
Early script drafts contained a live hooded falcon (most likely Apollo, Lance's bird) in the scene with Emma at the Del Oro (her boycott speech) and in the following scene with her in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room. At the Del Oro, she theatrically plucks a piece of raw meat from a plastic bag and feeds it to the bird, symbolizing that Angela turns people's lives into raw meat, as she explains. After Angela and Lance's conversation in the living room, the script suggested a smash cut to the attic, showing Angela turn the key in the lock to the door of the attic, having locked Emma away in the rooftop studio. Chao-Li holds the falcon and steps down to the first floor with Angela whose comment is that Emma has always liked the attic anyway.
Both the falcon and the idea to lock up Emma — which would have been reminiscent of season 1 — were dropped in rewrites.
The establishing shot of San Francisco is a southwestern aerial view over The Embarcadero (Hyatt Regency and Embarcadero Center in the center), panning over various piers starting from the Ferry Building; the Financial District is in the background. It is footage taken during the filming of season 3. The sequence is a continuation of the same helicopter flight that was featured in # 098 and is currently featured as the background image on CESAR ROMERO’s main title card. Later aerial views from the very same helicopter flight were presented in # 053 (piers 47 and 45) and # 087 (Hyde Street Pier).
The conversation between Chase and Vickie was staged in a San Francisco coffee shop in early script drafts, but moved to the park when the writers added the conversation between Angela and Chase.
Uncredited stand-in MARTHA MANOR appears as an extra again — this time as a woman with a baby buggy in the park in San Francisco. She has quite her natural looks this time.
Compare # 202 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about MARTHA MANOR, compare # 001.
The small park area near office building 5 on the CBS-MTM backlot — known from # 135 (compare there) and other episodes — is used as a San Francisco park this time (Chase and Vickie's meeting and argument between Angela and Chase).
LORIMAR's original map of this part of the studio lot including the set dressing for this episode is available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Exterior Sets section.
Real-life allusion: Lance mentions the Formula 1 sports event.
License plate number of Lance's new racecar: DINA 1. But compare # 156.
The racecar in this episode is not a real car, but a prop made up just for this scene — i.e. a body assembled from various available parts. Compare # 156 for the real picture car in the following season though.
Product placement: Tires by Goodyear are on Lance's racecar.
Season time frame: As the validity sticker on the license plate of Lance's racecar reads "April 88", it must be April 1987 because plate validity is usually issued for one year by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The interiors of the garage are portrayed by a corner in the transportation department at the CBS-MTM STUDIOS (nowadays CBS STUDIO CENTER), which had already been used as the garage at Falcon Crest (see # 125 and 139).
Product placement: The exterior shot shows a sign of the E-Z Storage company (a real self-storage at the time).
This episode marks the first appearance of SHAHRAD VOSSOUGHI, who starts working as an extra. He will be seen in non-speaking parts in this and the following season and will finally be cast in a speaking rôle as Sharpe's chauffeur, Nick Massoud, in # 209 (compare there).
He plays Peter's chauffeur in this episode.
Compare # 181 for a list of appearances as an extra throughout the season.
The scene when Peter picks up Kit with his limo at the spa was filmed on the CBS-MTM STUDIOS backlot. The fence on Gunsmoke Avenue (see # 086) can be seen on the left. The building at curbside (on the right), which stands in for a building on the Del Oro grounds, is the front of bungalow 8. It portrayed the Ridley County Police Department in # 143 (see there); also compare # 160. The side and rear are known from other purposes, such as the Tuscany Valley Vinters Club from # 143 and the Play Mountain Day Care Center from # 149, for instance.
LORIMAR's original map of this part of the studio lot including the set dressing for this episode is available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Exterior Sets section.
License plate number of Peter's white stretched 1985 Lincoln Town Car rental limousine: 3E28889.
It seems quite obvious that this is not Peter's own limo (compare # 151) although it is the same model. Since Angela's hired a different plance for him to deceive the police, he certainly rented a limo, too, to cover his tracks. This theory is also confirmed by the Transportation Charter Permit, which is legible on the vehicle in the scene ("TCP 3422 P") although this real number was issued to the limo service company from which LORIMAR rented this picture car.

Both patrol cars at the Tuscany Valley Airport are 1984 Plymouth Gran Fury automobiles.


Wilkinson drives a black 1984 Chrysler Fifth Avenue.
By the way, it is the same picture car that was previously used as Frank Ryan's (compare # 128) car and as the vehicle of Saunders' henchmen (# 148).

Unsolved mystery: How can Tony know about the airport where Kit and Peter intend to depart from? — Did Angela tell him maybe in order to get Tony out of the valley finally?
The Stavros company jet where the police are waiting and where Wilkinson arrives (screen capture 1) and the jetliner Angela rented for Peter's departure (screen grab 2) are the same picture plane, an Israeli Aircraft Industries Westwind. Even the position of the plane on location is the same in both airport scenes (Wilkinson at the Tuscany Valley Airport as well as Peter, Kit and Tony at a small airport near the valley; actually Long Beach Airport). The segment with Wilkinson is just cleverly filmed from a different angle. Watching closely, however, the same colored stripes on the aircraft's fuselage (red, golden and blue) are recognizable in the scene with Wilkinson right before his car drives into the frame.
The jet Peter, Kit and Tony use to leave the valley is portrayed by three different planes:
The one used on the ground is, as stated above, an Israeli Aircraft Industries Westwind with three port windows (screen grab 1). The exterior footage of the plane taking off — filmed from the side — shows a different jetliner with six port windows and the lower part of the fuselage in black (screen capture 2); this is licensed stock footage of a Cessna Citation II (model 550).
The full frontal view of the jetliner already up in the air (screen capture 3) is also from a film library and features a 1969 Grumman G-1159 Gulfstream II aircraft. This clip was also used in a number of other TV productions and originated in the pilot of "Hart to Hart" (1979); that series kept using it as the opening sequence in its main titles. This scene's filming location on "Hart to Hart" was Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, CA. Different footage of this very jetliner that also originated while shooting the "Hart to Hart" pilot was already used in # 068 (compare there) for some shots of Richard's Windstream jet.
Allusion to Greek mythology: Peter calls his farewell letter to Angela a Pandora's box. Pandora was the first woman on earth who was created to punish manhood for Prometheus' theft of the fire and who brought evil.
In the scene with Chao-Li in Emma's bedroom in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion, a mysterious shadow moves from the left to the right (obviously from the crew or the filming equipment in front of the bed).

Emma's bedroom ist the redressed interior set of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion guest bedroom where Vickie and Eric had sex during the night of Vickie's disastrous engagement party.

The interior set of another hallway in one of the upper floors of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion, which was newly built for this season, is different from the upstairs hallways shown in # 001, 004, 005, 047, 066, 099, 102, 103 and 132 (compare # 066, 099 and 132 for details). It must be a different part of the house again.
Drawings of the Mansion (floor plans and architectural views) are available here.

The most striking thing about the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion attic set is the same characteristic stained glass window again — the window known from many different places in the Mansion (compare # 069, 099 and 152 for details).

Inconsistency: How can Emma, who — according to # 105 — suffers from acrophobia, climb up to the roof of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion and threaten to commit suicide now? — Or is this her special way of adding more dramatic irony to her decision to kill herself?
For the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion rooftop scenes with Emma, compare # 156 for details.

In Chao-Li's fall from the stairway in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion, CHAO-LI CHI is replaced by a stunt double.

The black and white flashback scenes with the young Angela after childbirth are real clips with JANE WYMAN from the 1951 movie "The Blue Veil". Even though the flashback scene is supposed to take place in 1942 (as # 157 will reveal), it is an absolutely terrific strategy!
In contrast to that, the writing staff paid less attention to Julia's age: Whereas the early years of the series seemed to suggest she might be the oldest of Douglas and Angela's children, it is mentioned in Peter's farewell letter that Richard was Douglas and Angela's first child — thus making Julia younger than Richard. Knowing from # 156 and 157 Richard was born in 1942, the earliest possible year of birth for Julia could be 1943. Considering Lance was born in 1960, as we know from # 001 (see there) and # 025, Julia must have been only 17 when he was born. Now, to make the confusion perfect — Lance's half-brother Father Christopher was supposed to be even older than Lance, making Julia even younger when she gave birth to him.
Although it is possible and the only logical solution, it seems a bit unrealistic that Julia was 17 when she gave birth to Lance and married Tony and even younger when she gave birth to Chris — especially in the late 1950's or early 1960's.
The revelation of Richard's true identity raises two questions that will remain unanswered in the series:

  • There is no information if the baby Angela delivered had been given a first name by her and Douglas before the baby allegedly died. The original first name certainly was not Richard because Jacqueline and Douglas would not have kept the same name since it could have been a threat to their manipulations being unveiled. It remains a mystery why the writers made no reference about the baby's original first name.
  • It is also a mystery where the body of Angela and Douglas' presumably dead son was buried.
    His grave was never shown at the Gioberti Family Cemetery so one can only speculate if his grave might be one of those two unidentified graves visible in # 012 (compare # 147 for more details).
    Another logical explanation would be that the body was not buried at the Gioberti Family Cemetery at all because he, most likely, was not baptized so soon after childbirth. According to a Roman-Catholic tradition, babies who died before being baptized did not go to heaven and, as a consequence, were forbidden to be buried on consecrated ground and denied a funeral service. Such bodies were usually buried in a non-designated area without any marker near a church.
The car chase for Melissa in the streets near the Port of San Francisco is actually filmed near the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) in Wilmington, CA. The first street with the three cars involved driving along is West Harry Bridges Boulevard, filmed in western direction. When the three cars turn right, the camera features South Neptune Avenue towards Terminal Island (south).
Inconsistencies in the car chase to the pier:
The earliest scene at the Port of San Francisco features Richard (first screen grab) driving along a street with industrial chimneys in the background. The filming location is a part of South Neptune Avenue in Wilmington, CA, which is on the grounds of the Port of Los Angeles (filmed towards north). This area looks entirely different nowadays.
The later shots of Melissa's drive in the Volvo 780 Bertone and of her chasers — Chase and Maggie in the Porsche and Richard in the Jaguar — are from the same street though. In the later shot of Melissa and Dan, however, the industrial chimneys in the background are much closer than in the preceding shot of the cars chasing her. The scene with Melissa was filmed too close to the chimneys, which might create the impression that she is behind the other cars, something that is not intended at all.
Cinematographic illusion: When Dan is right next to the Volvo Melissa has stolen, the motorcycle is actually attached to the camera dolly. As soon as Dan takes his hands off the handlebar to move towards the Volvo, the motorcycle would actually overturn instantly, particularly at such slow speed. This is prevented by the bike being attached to the dolly, finally creating the dramaturgical effect that the motorcycle keeps moving for a while until it overturns.
In the more dangerous parts of the segment when Dan climbs into the Volvo, ANA-ALICA and BRETT CULLEN are replaced by stunt doubles.

The truck in the background at Pier 52 (also in the following episode) is a yellow Peterbilt 352.
It is one of several identical studio trucks (seen before in # 102, 113, 117 and 125; compare there) carrying production equipment to the set.

Mistake: In the scene at the pier when Melissa shifts the gears (from reverse to drive) in the stolen Volvo 780 Bertone, the shots are from various takes that were combined in the editing process. This becomes apparent because Richard's Jaguar (seen through the Volvo's back window) is in different positions in subsequent frames.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique — check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
In the more dangerous parts of the car chase, particularly at the pier, ROBERT FOXWORTH, SUSAN SULLIVAN, ANA-ALICA and DAVID SELBY are replaced by stunt doubles.
The dive into the San Francisco Bay is at Pier 52. The filming location, however, is Terminal Island at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro with the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the background doubling as the Oakland Bay Bridge. The scene with Melissa's car diving into the bay is filmed at what used to be the Evergreen Container Terminal (Berth 229), which is now the Everport Container Terminal (Berth 226).
It seems to be an extraordinary coincidence that Dan's phone call earlier in this episode — he calls Chase's office to let him know Melissa was seen at the docks — was made from a payphone just at the same spot where Melissa finally drives into the bay. The choice of this location was apparently a matter of practicability.
The payphone, by the way, is a prop and was installed right in front of the blue gantry crane also seen in the background during the scene with the cars.

The bulk carrier at the docks is the Swedish Wieldrecht (4). Built in 1982, she was resold and renamed in 1991; after a series of ownership transfers and name changes, she was demolished in 2012.

Before the crew filmed Melissa driving the Volvo over the pier, they opened the hood of the car to prepare it for this stunt scene, so they could easily create dramatic effect of the hood flying open in the dive into the water. If you look closely, you will notice this special preparation because the clearance between the hood and the fender is too wide already when the car is going over the pier (yellow arrow on screen grab 2, which is an enlarged part of the previous picture). Screen grab 3 illustrates how the hood flies open when the car hits the surface of the water.
There are obviously stunt doubles of ROBERT FOXWORTH and DAVID SELBY diving into the Bay.
Mistake: When Chase hands over Kevin to Maggie, the close-ups are from different takes that were combined in the editing process. This becomes apparent because Maggie holds the baby to her left shoulder in one moment, but to her right shoulder in the subsequent frame filmed from across. This mistake happens several times during the scene. Only two examples are pictured here.
Again, this is the typical mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique — check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
The close-ups of Chase (and Kevin) in the icy waters of San Francisco Bay as well as the close-ups of Maggie (and Kevin) at the dock are filmed at the former water tank at CBS-MTM STUDIOS (now CBS STUDIO CENTER), cleverly intercut with the wide angle shots from Terminal Island and the Vincent Thomas Bridge. This is also the case with the close-ups of Melissa in the bay in # 156 and 158. Only if you know, you will discover the water tank's edge on one of the publicity photos from the current episode (yellow mark). There is also less distance between the water surface and the top of the pier structure in the close-ups. The water tank was removed in 1988 when this area of the studio lot was redeveloped for new buildings.
Score: Although, in this and the following season, the mandate for each episode usually was to use a new music score (with the exception of certain recurring character themes), MARK SNOW reuses the music cue from the final scene of # 144, "Green's Doublecross", for this season's cliffhanger, "The Plunge into the Bay".
Six different versions of the cliffhanger were filmed. Original plans also included Tony and Lance diving into the water. As far as the initial suggestions for Melissa are concerned, refer to # 158 for details.
When originally aired, a sneak preview for the next season was shown at the end of this episode (identical with the preview before the main title of # 156). This rather untypical gimmick became available at that time because the show continued filming episodes after the season finale was in the can. In anticipation of a writers' strike scheduled for summer and fall 1987, the crew got the first twelve episodes of season 7 filmed right after the production of season 6 had been wrapped up. For more details for the production process, compare # 156.
The producers made sure the preview contained no shots of ROBERT FOXWORTH, DAVID SELBY, ANA-ALICIA, BRETT CULLEN, MARGARET LADD and CHAO-LI CHI making the audience wonder which characters would not survive the season cliffhanger.
ERNIE WALLENGREN, one of the most creative "Falcon Crest" crew members, leaves the show after 155 episodes. Outnumbering any other writer with a total of 44 scripts, he was often referred to as the show's great historian by his colleagues. He was instrumental in developing major storylines, including the romance of Maggie and Richard.

Supervising producer and writer GREG STRANGIS also leaves, having worked on the set since 1984.


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