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# 184 <8.01> Changing Times
(revised 04/10/2023)
Inside joke: # 058 was STEPHEN BLACK & HENRY STERN's (script writers & executive script consultants) last episode before they left the staff in 1984. Now returning after being invited by their friend, MICHAEL FILERMAN, their first episode has the same title: Changing Times. What an omen!
This episode, there is only a recap before the main title to remind the audience of the events of the previous season. No sneak preview is featured. The following episodes, however, will contain both a recap of the past episode as well as a sneak preview of the current episode.
The recap shows some scenes from the previous season from a different camera angle or shows even different takes of the respective scenes:
The exact wording of Angela's line in her dialog with Lance about the key is slightly different from the one in # 182. The recap before this season's opening scene is the original version filmed for # 182 — Angela: "That key is going to destroy Falcon Crest. I think one of us should be there when she finds it. Don't you?" In the final version of # 182, however, Angela's line was: "That key is going to destroy Falcon Crest. I think one of us should be there to see what it opens." — Strangely enough, this was looped by JANE WYMAN before # 182 went on the air (compare there).
The scene when Eric says "goodbye" to Richard is a close-up in the recap whereas # 183 featured a shot from the distance. There was also a pause between Eric's statement and his pulling the trigger in # 183.
In the recap, we hear Angela speak an extra phrase from her eviction scene (# 183) — after "You won, Melissa...," her extra phrase is: "...for now." This line of dialog was not included in the season finale before Angela walked out of Falcon Crest.
Also, in Angela's original eviction scene, it is Angela's point of view we see looking around the first floor of the Victorian Mansion in the finale. When the camera swings back to her, Angela says, "I'll be back", when she is already facing the front door (screen capture 1). However, to save time in the recap, the alternate take of the scene shows Angela from Melissa's perspective turning to face the entrance. The rest of the recap shows Angela exit the house the same way she did in the previous episode.
Typography error in the show's title: From this season on (also in season 9, except # 206 where a completely different logo is used), the lettering forming the "Falcon Crest" name is still in the Benguiat Book typeface, but the letters are not written as accurately as in seasons 5 through 7. Comparing the logo title card from season 7 (screen capture 1), significant inaccuracies are visible in the shape of the "C" in "Crest", which is considerably thicker than usual in the lower left quadrant (even thicker than it appeared from season 6 on, see # 128; also compare the same letter in the word "Falcon" to see the difference) and which sits a little beneath the baseline, and particularly in the "E" in "Crest" whose uppermost arm is much too long and which appears too thin in general (screen grab 2).
It remains a mystery what happened here since production materials and press kits (where the usual logo typeface was kept in used without these flaws) do not suggest a deliberate change.
The pictures on the main title cards of JANE WYMAN, ANA-ALICIA, DANA SPARKS, CHAO-LI CHI und SUSAN SULLIVAN are identical with the ones from season 7; see there for details.
The shot of Richard in his New Globe office in the current version of this season's main title (right screen capture) is from a scene in # 158.
The shot of Lance in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion dining room in the current version of this season's main title (right screen capture) is from an unused version of a scene in # 167 (compare the left screen grab for the version used in that episode).
The vineyards in the background on ANA-ALICIA's main title card are previously unused parts from a helicopter sequence filmed for # 052 — compare there for details.
The shot of Emma in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room in this season's main title (right screen capture) is from an unused version of a scene in # 170 (compare the left screen grab for the version used in that episode).

The aerial shot of the vineyards in the background on DANA SPARKS' (or, beginning in # 186, DAVID BEECROFT's) main title card is a southwestern view from a helicopter over the main vineyard and barrel room of Lincourt Vineyards in Solvang, CA (Santa Ynez Valley).

Ranch interior set: Maggie has a different bedroom now. The fireplace looks similar to the one from last season (it is actually the same reused part of the set), but the entryway and the bathroom access is different; the sitting area has disappeared. There is a new door on the left next to the fireplace. The furniture is no longer native American style (compare # 174), but ordinary and contemporary.
It remains a mystery if this is a continuity error or if this implies that it is a different room at the ranch Maggie moved into because she did not want to stay in their old bedroom since there were too many memories of the "late" Richard. If the latter is the case, this raises the question why some of Richard's clothes (the ones Maggie is packing up now) were in this room.
It is striking that Maggie's nightmare of Richard disappearing is filmed in her new bedroom set. Richard left their old bedroom in # 183 of course, but Maggie is just dreaming in this episode — and reliving an imaginary scene in her new room.
In Maggie's nightmare, Richard wears the same shirt he already wore in # 138, 164 (compare there) and 169 despite LORIMAR's "new wardrobe for new season" policy.
Series time frame:
According to Vickie, Richard died three months ago; this means the new season opens more than one month after the end of season 7 (after Richard's "death", two months passed until Melissa got control over Falcon Crest and the season closed in # 183).
Giving respect to the fact that day 3 of # 185 (compare there) depicted the events on Sunday, 10/30/1988, the end of # 184 (day 5) must have been Friday, 10/28/1988 (which is identical with the airdate). As Angela always sees Michael on Friday, which occurs both on day 2 and day 5 of the current episode, day 2 must be Friday, 10/21/1988 and a four unseen days must have passed between day 2 and day 3. So the season begins in the night of Oct 20-21, 1988.
So it seems to be a late harvest in Lance's vineyard.
A part of Rancho Maria in Placerita Canyon near Santa Clarita, CA (see # 168) is used for the exterior scenes at Falcon Crest, the Agretti Vineyards and Tuscany Hill. LORIMAR's prop department specifically dressed fallow land at Rancho Maria with a few rows of grapevines to create the illusion of real vineyards.
Not a single scene for this season will be filmed in the Wine Country in Northern California and in San Francisco. Except a few scenes shot around Los Angeles, any vineyard scene is old stock footage.
The opening credits contain two spelling mistakes:
The last name of coordinating producer VICTORIA LaFORTUNE is misspelled with a space between "La" and "FORTUNE" although there is actually none since the name is written with a medial capital ("F"). The same error will occur through # 187.
Also, the first name of the actor playing César Ortega, CÁSTULO GUERRA, is misspelled: The acute accent on the "A" of "CÁSTULO" is missing. The same error will occur through # 197. The same mistake already happened in the end credits of # 117 (compare there).
CÁSTULO GUERRA, the actor who is introduced as César Ortega this episode, also portrayed Esteban Fierro, a Mexican police captain, in season 5 (# 117).
In the season 8 bible and the original drafts of script # 184, the character names of César and Tomás Ortega were swapped. At one time, the writers even planned to use the name Tomás for both the father and the oldest son, but also use the nickname Tommy for the latter. It was only shortly before filming started that the producers decided to eventually name CÁSTULO GUERRA's character César (previously Tomás) and DAN FERRO's character Tomás (previously César).

License plate number of César's blue-gray 1987 Ford F-250 pickup truck (in the background on the screen grab): 3W77156.

Michael has amazingly grown very much. He and Kevin go to school now — probably a pre-school or a kindergarten, certainly not elementary school yet.
ROBERT GORMAN was not a good choice for the Michael rôle because the actor is way too old for this character: Michael was born in 1986 and is just two years old now!
Odd props: In Maggie's bedroom at the Channing Ranch, the same photo of Maggie and Richard is on a nightstand and on the fireplace mantle. One might guess that it could be the very same prop whose position changed during filming from different angles, but this is clearly not the case because the one on the mantle is bigger, particularly wider. The photo is a publicity still from # 161 taken on the terrace of Richard's former house; the photo on the left is a similar black & white version LORIMAR sent out to the press.
Lance's vineyard is a gift from his father. So it has to be Keys Creek, the vineyard Tony bought in # 132, because he had no other vineyard in the valley.
In # 191, it will be mentioned Lance's vineyard is called Tuscany Hill now. He probably renamed it.
The establishing clip of the Del Oro — a season 7 shot of the Silverado Country Club, first used in # 164 — was retouched in post-production, eliminating the historic Country Club mansion. As Silverado was no longer in use as a filming location, the new producers obviously thought it might be better to remove the building. In # 200 through 204 and in season 9, however, old clips of the Silverado will be reused — including the Country Club mansion.
Many lead actors have new hairdos — Tuscany hair stylists (or rather LORIMAR's!) must have had a hell of a lot of work this summer!
Historic allusion: Emma mentions the Borgia family, an Italo-Spanish noble dynasty during the Italian Renaissance.
Prop: Angela reads a whodunit book entitled "Efrem Babcock: The Widow Wore Red" by R.D. Young — a subtle preparation for the storyline about R.D. to follow in the course of this season. For more titles of his novels, see # 186, 188, 189 and 201.
Especially Angela and Emma read a lot this season because of that storyline.
Edited scene: The segment with Vickie opening the door for Peter Stavros at Maggie and Richard's ranch was initially longer: It began with Vickie's phone call with Cole, discussing the possibility she might visit him in Australia, just before the doorbell rang. The phone call was edited in post-production.
Parts of the problems in the Agretti family history that occurred in the previous season (compare # 173) are solved now: According to Angela, Melissa is the only family Frank says he has left — but he has a son, Nick, indeed.
Family trees straightening out all the problems are available here.
Labeling name: The choice for Nick Agretti's first name indicates that this character is "one of us". Nicholas (Greek origin) means "victory of the people", and just like a people can take over the reign in a state by revolution, Nick will also try to fight for the leadership in the long-lasting feud between the Agrettis and Giobertis, particularly towards the end of this season when he will attempt to prove Angela's manipulations in the matter of the forged Falcon Crest deed.
Early script drafts contained a scene with Emma and Lance at the bar in the Del Oro Spa Restaurant: They talk about how Angela has changed and that she does not seem to be herself anymore. This segment was removed during script revisions.
The blueprints of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion Melissa is looking at in the study are the real drawings of the Mansion set from LORIMAR's art department. The original screen capture is on the right; a copy of the screen grab (on the left) was enlarged and rotated 180 ° for better viewing. Recognizable are in particular:

  • elevation of the interior wall of the living room towards the foyer (yellow arrow);
  • elevation of the double pocket doors between the foyer and dining room plus, on the right hand side, the stairs with a higher wall element (red arrowhead) for the staircase;
  • elevation of the interior wall between the foyer and living room with a sectional drawing of the wall and front door on the left hand side (entrance); the three stairs (green arrowhead) that used to lead from the entrance down to the foyer are visible here and give away that these blueprints are from the first three seasons and not the current year;
  • elevation of the exterior study wall with the window (blue arrow).
License plate number of Pilar's green 1972 Buick Skylark convertible: Illinois M56 825.
Original prop plans called for the use of a Karmann Ghia car.
The filming location for the highway Pilar drives along is a country road near Rancho Maria in Placerita Canyon near Santa Clarita, CA.
Labeling name: Pilar Ortega's first name very well alludes to her social background. Pilar (Spanish origin) stands for "pillar" and refers to the Hispanic working class Falcon Crest partly grounded its making profits on. On the other hand, Pilar is also a pillar of her family and the other Hispanics in the Tuscany Valley as she vows to radically improve their working conditions and status in the community.

The Fixx Trucking pickup truck is a white Ford F-350.

In early script drafts, a scene with César, Tommy and Gabriel discussing Pilar's return was staged inside the Ortega House. It was addressed that Gabriel now has to share a room with Tommy to make room for Pilar. In the final draft of the script, such non-issues were dropped.
Channing Enterprises is mentioned as the name of Richard's media group for the first time.
Uncredited extra KEVIN G. TRACEY appears as the thick-eyebrowed Tuscany Valley gentleman again — this time in the hallway to the executive office at Channing Enterprises.
Compare # 185 for a list of all his appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 001.
Channing Enterprises interior set: Richard's office has been repainted, refurnished and redecorated. Maybe, Maggie did it her style after Richard's "death".
LORIMAR's original blueprints of this set and many others are available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Interior Sets section.
The Hispanic laborers' truck giving Pilar a ride is a white 1984 Toyota Flatbed Pickup. It license plate number is 1CZO923.
This number was on various other cars before; on Spheeris' white Imperial in # 057, on the Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue used by Spheeris and Intlekofer in # 064, on the pickup giving Julia a ride to the Tuscany Valley in # 065, and on the Ford Bronco used by Pamela in # 100 — not an appropriate way to trim down production costs!

The black / beige Buick LeSabre, a picture car that has been known since # 013 (compare there for details), drives by on the highway when Pilar is picked up by the Hispanic laborers.

Deleted scene: Angela and Peter are walking nearby the Golf Club Restaurant building on the Del Oro grounds (see below for the filming location). Peter asks Angela if she thinks that Eric's disappearance is somehow connected with Richard's "death". This scene was removed in post-production.
License plate number of Frank's new gray 1987 Jeep Wrangler YJ: 2CSI908.
It is the license plate already known from Chase's red Porsche 928 S4 (season 6) and Eric's gray Chevrolet Corvette C4 Convertible (# 156) as well as Angela's Mercedes-Benz 380 SL (late season 7). What a horrible prop policy with those license plates!

Prop inconsistency: The photo of Richard, Michael (played by ROBERT GORMAN!) and Kevin is supposed to be taken before Richard's "death", but Michael was not played by ROBERT GORMAN last season!

Early script drafts contained a scene in the living room at Richard and Maggie's ranch with Peter Stavros asking Garth about any connection between Richard's death and Eric's disappearance. Garth pretends not to know anything. Just like Vickie, Peter thinks he is lying. This scene was omitted during script revisions.
The Del Oro scenes are no longer filmed on the grounds of Silverado Country Club in the Napa Valley, but at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, CA.
The Golf Club and its restaurant (modern brick building) are apparently supposed to be another building on the vast Del Oro property.
The North Ranch Country Club building was extended in the late 1990's and looks slightly different from what it used to be like during the shooting of the series.

The Golf Club Restaurant at the Del Oro is the real restaurant at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, CA.

Despite LORIMAR's "new wardrobe for new season" policy, this episode, Angela wears the same outfit like in # 136 in season 6 (both the knit dress and the jewelry, just minus the jacket).
Mistake: At the Del Oro Golf Club Restaurant, the same extras (TOM MYER in the lilac sweater and ROBIN TERRELL in the light blue sweater) are visible behind Angela several times while walking from the reception to the dining room although they are already seated behind Melissa whenever the scene cuts to the opposite angle.
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.
Perfect irony: The blue in Angela's dress and the background of the new falcon coat of arms Addison Kent designed for Melissa is the same. "Are you sure you're going to like the blue?!", Angela comments on the draft of the new logo.
Angela mentions to Peter she has other vineyards than Falcon Crest and other businesses. It would be interesting to know what she refers to besides the Del Oro (compare # 005).
The exteriors of the Ortega House are seen for the first time (night shot; second screen capture). As the first clear day shot in # 188 will prove, it is the same exterior set as the Fixx Cabin on the CBS-MTM backlot (Duchess Ranch), which was also used for various other purposes (see # 121 for details; also compare # 132, 142 and 152). For the current use, however, a white fence is built around the front yard and the kitchen windows (left side wing) are slightly modified.
Click here for a sketch of the multi-purpose use of this exterior set and its surroundings. LORIMAR's original map of this part of the studio lot is available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Exterior Sets section.
The interior set is newly designed for this season.
The director's cut of this episode contained the following scenes, which were deleted:
  • At the Del Oro Spa Restaurant at night, Melissa asks the bartender, Joe (Don in early script drafts), to let her know the number of Lance's suite. When he refuses, she throws her drink at him. Frank, who comes in, is shocked at seeing Melissa's cheap looks with overdone make-up and an inadequate dress; he warns her not to run around like a whore. Before she leaves the restaurant, he witnesses how she is having sort of an anxiety attack.
  • When Maggie enters the Channing Enterprises executive office, she sees the big armchair turned around, with its back to the door; she only sees the hand of the man sitting in the armchair, holding the telephone receiver. When the chair swivels around, she sees that it is Garth. Larry Mishima comes in from the side. Garth says they thought she was still in the New Globe editorial meeting, which is why they already started working. Maggie is holding her temper. After that, they discuss the possible sales of less profitable subsidiaries of the media conglomerate, including the Beecher & Stowe publishing company (obviously, an allusion to the real American author HARRIET BEECHER STOWE), the KKSD TV station and a movie studio. The names of these subsidiaries were not mentioned on the show after this scene was deleted.
    The channel identification of KKSD starting with the letter "K" indicates that the station is west of the Mississippi. Just as a side note, channel identifications east of the Mississippi begin with the letter "W" in the U.S.
The following scenes, which were part of act 3 in early script drafts, were omitted during script revisions:
  • Carly sees Angela on the patio of the Del Oro Spa Restaurant and asks her for advice about Dan.
  • When Pilar revisits the scene of her youth in the Falcon Crest vineyards, she runs into Melissa, who is riding up. While Melissa tries to start some polite and friendly small talk, Pilar is very rude and aggressive out of the blue. She says she heard about Melissa's many divorces and her son living half a world away. Provocatively, Pilar also states Melissa will make the same mess of Falcon Crest as she has made of her personal life and slyly asks if she, in all her incompetence, might want to replace César with a butcher maybe.
Angela mentions Two Oaks, another Tuscany Valley winery, which will never be mentioned again.
The scene with Angela and Michael, her horse and his pony is filmed in the back yard at Saddlerock Ranch. Stock footage of the founder's vineyard of Falcon Crest (Stags' Leap in the Napa Valley in real life) is inserted.

Interesting prop: Angela is seen wearing her falcon diamond pin for the first time.

As Chao-Li tells Frank, he has two children: a daughter (Li-Ying) in Beijing and a son in Hong Kong — strangely enough, his son was never mentioned before and will never be mentioned again either. In # 207, a reference will be made to Chao-Li's family (compare there).
New license plate number of Lance's black 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Convertible: 2KRI905, which used to be the license plate of Maggie's golden Mercedes-Benz SEL the two previous seasons. What the hell happened to Lance's two different (!) license plates from season 7? This prop policy is a disaster!

Surprise for DAVID SELBY: Contrary to usual filming practices, SUSAN SULLIVAN does not only pretend to hit him, but slaps him in the face, indeed!
This happens the third time to him, by the way (compare # 090 and 107).

The final title card after the end credits no longer shows the LORIMAR-TELEPICTURES logo as it was in use during seasons 6 and 7, but now shows the new logo of LORIMAR TELEVISION (the newly formed subsidiary of LORIMAR-TELEPICTURES for the production of TV shows after the parent company underwent major restructuring).

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