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# 186 <8.03> Dust to Dust
(revised 03/13/2023)
Tentative title: Ashes to Ashes.
The episode title and the tentative title are allusions to the phrase "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" in Christian burial services.
The picture of DAVID BEECROFT, who is now added to the main title, is specifically filmed for the current version of this season's main title.
It was shot 09/29/1988 during filming # 185 at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu Canyon (the filming site for the Channing Ranch). What might look like vines behind DAVID BEECROFT is actually the avocado grove at the ranch.

The scene with Lance and Pilar in his car is filmed on the driveway of Saddlerock Ranch.

Pilar mentions a restaurant in Sonora, a real town southeast of northern California's Wine Country — about half way between Oakland and Yosemite National Park.
Mistake: The flames as Pilar and Lance see them from the road are much heavier than in the following scene (the first shot of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion).
Also old clips of the season 5 fire at the Mansion (# 103) were reused — see the back of the house with the additional gable.
Uncredited stand-in MARTHA MANOR appears as an extra again — this time in a black wig with long hair and a bandana as Maria, a Falcon Crest Winery worker, who is told by César to get a hose.
Compare # 202 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about MARTHA MANOR, compare # 001.
Mistake: Although Melissa poured gasoline over the blue leather armchair in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion study in the previous episode, it is not engulfed in flames when Lance enters the room in this episode.

Fire Chief Elkins' official car is a red 1980 Chevrolet Impala.

The scene with the fire engines (screen grab 1 from the current episode) driving up the way to the Victorian Mansion (before they arrive at the gate) is an old clip filmed for # 103. Compare screen grab 5 from # 103 with the ambulance shot from the same point of view. Parts of the segment in the current episode had remained unused in # 103. This red fire engine and the white one that moved along the driveway earlier are 1963 Ford C-Series vehicles.
Comparing this old footage from # 103 with the newly filmed segments, it becomes apparent that these are different fire engines. In the newly filmed parts,
the first vehicle — a 1958 American LaFrance 900 Series — is fire engine number 275 (screen capture 2),
the second one — a 1950 Seagrave B-900 — number T 32 (screen grab 3) and
the third one — a 1961 Crown Firecoach F-Series — number 256 with license plate number 61 CROWN (screen capture 4).
In the old footage from # 103, neither a fire engine number nor a license plate number is legible on any of the fire trucks.
Since Spring Mountain is no longer used as a filming location, all the exterior fire scenes are filmed on the studio lot of CBS-MTM. The interior fire scenes are shot in the usual set on stage 10. A Swedish pyrotechnics company is in charge of the preparations.
The surroundings of the Mansion are quite different from the real grounds:
The gate pillars at the driveway to the Mansion are the same props as used for the gate to Richard's second home in the Tuscany Valley (see # 080).

The driveway from which the characters stare at the Mansion engulfed in flames is the street in front of the heavily filmed fence on the CBS-MTM lot (compare especially # 086 and 195). The position of the driveway on the one hand and of the Mansion on the other hand is rather mysterious in the following scenes:

As Lance runs from the fence towards the front veranda from the east, the part of the driveway with the fence seems to be located north of the Mansion.

When the firefighters come out of the Mansion later, they run straight towards a lawn area (eastern direction), which is in front of the fence where the fire engines are parked now — just the same place where Lance, Pilar and the others stared at the Mansion a couple of scenes ago.
A few seconds later, Frank stares at the Mansion just from that very same lawn area — but from his point of view, it is not the front, but the back of the Mansion (again an old clip from # 103)!
Contrary to that, César and Pilar are standing on the driveway and staring at the front and the cupola of the main tower.
The front of the engulfed Mansion is also reflected in the windows of Angela's limousine, which is parked next to the fire engines (in front of the fence!).
It is also mysterious that there seem to be less flames in that reflection than in the other scenes.
Furthermore, it is strange that when the two firefighters leave the Mansion, the lion statues are placed on either side of the front door (as in some previous scenes) whereas they are usually placed on the driveway in front of the entranceway on the property of the real Villa Miravalle (see photo above).
Inside the Mansion, neither the floor of the study nor the stairway is in flames although Melissa poured gasoline all over.
The upstairs hallways in the Mansion are the same interior set as in season 7:
All the hallways featured in this episode are portrayed by the very same interior set, which only undergoes slight changes in decoration to minimize production costs. The four screen captures (above) pose as the hallway to Melissa's bedroom in the first interior scene — refer to the vase standing on the left (yellow arrow) and later falling down to the floor as well as the lamp on the wall in the background (red arrow) as examples of the differences in the decoration.

In the second interior scene (refer to the three screen grabs above), the same set poses as another hallway; there are less flames in here, there is no lamp on the wall in the background, and there is no vase anywhere.

It seems strange where all the wooden beams on the floor of yet another hallway come from. At that stage, the fire could hardly have damaged the ceilings, especially giving respect to the fact that Lance later escapes through the attic.

After that, Lance and Melissa take a fall, after which he returns to Melissa's bedroom with her — this, again, is in the hallway that was shown in the first interior scene (screen grabs 2 to 7 above).
Different camera angles in the sneak preview and the scene itself: The fall is filmed as a close-up in the sneak preview before the main title (screen capture 1), but as a wide angle shot in the scene itself (screen grab 2).
The fall itself was filmed in another corner of the sound stage. One of the wall elements was placed on a platform whose floor collapsed during the scene.
In the last interior scene, the same interior set poses as a fourth hallway: less engulfed in flames, with a lamp in the background like in the first hallway (green arrow) and with a plant instead of the vase from the first hallway (blue arrow). This, by the way, is the same hallway where the guest bedroom from season 7 is located as it is revealed by the door to the attic diagonally across from the guest bedroom door.
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. To see how the same set was dressed differently as each of the hallways, check out the pattern B compendium of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion second floor set.
Angela tells fire chief Elkins that there is another way out through the attic — this is mentioned for the first time. It has not been revealed so far that there is an exit in the cupola atop Emma's rooftop studio.
Floor plans of the Mansion are available here.
There are several inconsistencies in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion exterior set, which was specifically built for this episode and burnt down:

The replica of the dining room window is a two-casement French door. The real dining room window to the east, on the contrary, is not a door, but just big three-casement window without being divided in so many panes; the top of each of the three casements is in semi-circular shape.
Another mistake is that the three steps from the driveway to the veranda are missing in the set.

The little border in the roof atop the entranceway and the eastern gable (to the left of the main tower) are missing (see red arrows and mark).
The sloping roof to the left of the main tower is not steep enough. In the real Villa Miravalle, the ledge around the main tower and the top of the sloping roof meet in one point (see yellow arrows).
The two circular ornaments in the limestone wall of the main tower are too dark (see blue marks).
The limestone walls in the replica of the main tower seem to have a much smoother surface compared to the real walls.
The northern gables (to the right of the main tower; atop the dining room) are missing, too (see green arrow).

The third "window" in the rear of the main tower's studio is not a complete window anymore in the real Villa — this is another mistake in the replica (see red arrow).
The roof of the main tower seems to be much too short compared to the real Mansion (see yellow arrow).

The replica's main tower cupola is much too wide compared to the real Mansion's.
A really nice gimmick in the set, however, is that the designers replaced the compass sign with an iron falcon coat of arms.

The ambulance taking Melissa to the QVH is a 1974 Dodge Sportsman.

Early script drafts contained a scene in the kitchen of Maggie and Richard's ranch during the night of the fire. Richard is getting a glass of milk from the refrigerator and runs into Maggie. They talk about The Thirteen having been murdered. While walking towards the living room, Richard says that only very few people knew where The Thirteen were being held, Senator Ryder being one of them. At the end of the scene, Maggie tells Richard she trusts him and knows he is not capable of killing The Thirteen. She touches his face, he takes her hand in his and kisses it. But she takes her hand away, turns and goes. This segment, which underlined Maggie's contradicting emotions, was omitted.
Comparing the remains of the Mansion with the real Villa Miravalle, there is one striking similarity: When Angela is standing amidst the debris, she seems to be in what used to be the living room and looks towards west — there are two windows and a fire place in the eastern wall behind her like in the Mansion (compare this photo from season 4, for example). Richard enters through the former front door, goes through the foyer and enters what used to be the living room.

It is mysterious, however, where Richard and Chao-Li walk along since this part does not resemble the Mansion's architecture.
When César joins Angela in a later scene, red bricks can be seen in the remains of a wall. The use of brick by Joseph Gioberti in building the Mansion at the beginning of the 20th century is not unrealistic. The real Villa Miravalle (built towards the end of the 19th century) is a brick house underneath with a totally separate shell as its decorative exterior.
In the background behind César, there are two windows in semi-circular shape, which do not exist in the real Mansion.
Finally, the white wall Angela is standing in front of is nowhere around the real Villa Miravalle.
The inconsistencies in the architecture are caused by the use of a real filming location that is different from Villa Miravalle, of course. LORIMAR used the remains of an elegant manor at the corner of South Oakland Avenue and Woodland Road in the Oak Knoll neighborhood in Pasadena, CA, which was built in 1913 for HENRY HOUSE, a lumber company executive. This manor — compare the screen grab of its rear from the "Hart to Hart" episode "In the Hart of the Night" (# 075 <4.08>; original U.S. airdate: 11/30/1982, ABC) on the left — was, when still intact, a heavily filmed location. Besides "Hart to Hart", it was also used on "Barnaby Jones", "The Bionic Woman" and in the original "Knight Rider" series, just to name a few — as well as in the classic "Dallas" series where it portrayed the rehab center where Sue Ellen was institutionalized at the end of season 1 (original count) / season 2 (DVD count).
The manor burnt down in 1988, and its history as a filming location even endured after it was gone: The debris was the perfect setting for "Falcon Crest" because some of the architectural elements remind of the Victorian Mansion, such as the semi-circular shape of some windows, which can be mistaken as the stairway window in the main tower, or the banisters around the veranda. In the first of the above screen captures with DAVID SELBY and JANE WYMAN, the terrace banisters and a tall Mediterranean cypress are visible — this frame indicates that this segment was filmed in southern direction through the remains of the house; it is the same tall tree as on the left in the screen capture from "Hart to Hart".
On the site in Pasadena, a new monstrosity with a mix of styles was built, which is loosely based on some elements of the architectural style and shape of the historic manor; it is said to be the biggest private residence in Pasadena.
Uncredited extra PAUL VAN appears in his usual rôle as the mustached Tuscany Valley doctor again — this time at his place of work, the Queen of the Valley Hospital, where he walks along the hallway to Melissa's room, reading a patient's medical record.
Compare # 227 for biographical details about this minor rôle and a list of all his appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 014.

Product placement: A cardiac monitor by IVY Biomedical Systems Inc. can be seen in Melissa's hospital room.

Melissa's room number at the QVH (also the place of her death) is 105.
The decision to write ANA-ALICIA off the series was mainly made by MICHAEL FILERMAN who did not want the Melissa character on the show anymore. It remains a mystery whether he ever understood the character's importance, considering that Melissa first appeared on the show in # 011 (portrayed by DOLORES CANTU in that episode), that FILERMAN gave up his active duties as executive producer after # 012 and that he had Melissa killed immediately at the beginning of season 8 when he came back to produce the show.
ANA-ALICIA had signed a new contract for two more production years just after the end of season 6. As she was fired after only one year, she had to be paid for the second year (i.e. all episodes of season 8). According to a 1988 interview, however, her being fired from the show did not come untimely for ANA-ALICIA because, back then, after her long presence on the show, she was looking for more time for her private life and new projects. That was only the story played to the media on a mutual agreement between LORIMAR and ANA-ALICIA though; the actress was actually disappointed and angry at the time. In retrospect, however, ANA-ALICIA felt she was lucky because her being fired actually gave her the opportunity to start a family.
It seems strange that, more than 24 hours after the fire at Falcon Crest, fire chief Elkins has not found out yet that it was arson. Angela's pin was found quickly, but the real big gasoline containers, which were quite close to the pin, have not been found yet.
Emma uses the false name "Emma Cooley" for her secretary job with R.D. Young. What a nice choice of name (re: Dwayne Cooley, her former fiancé)!
Daniel Cabot was called Daniel Brompton in the seasonal bible.
Prop: One of R.D. Young's mystery books is called "The Count of Mendocino" — probably an allusion to the real book "The Count of Monte Christo". For more titles of his novels, see # 184, 188, 189 and 201.
Mistake: Richard's hand is in different positions on the phone receiver in subsequent frames — first at the bottom, then in the middle of the receiver.
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.
Odd props: In Angela's Del Oro suite, the same photo of Lance is on the fireplace mantle twice, just in different sizes and with slightly different cropping. The photo is a publicity still from # 025 taken near the Falcon Crest Stables; picture 2 is a very similar pose from the series of photos LORIMAR took on the set and sent out to the press.
In # 184 (compare there), two identical photos were also placed in the Channing Ranch master bedroom.
Mistake of the same kind: In subsequent frames during Melissa's funeral, Lance first looks down on the floor in the close-up, but looks straight forward in the wide angle shot.
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 hearse that took Melissa's casket to the cemetery is a black 1968 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Landau Traditional Funeral Coach.

The cab in which Nick and Ben arrive at the cemetery is a 1977 Ford LTD. The phone number of the Rapid Taxi company is 555-4328.
It is, by the same way, the same picture car that was used in # 046 for Michael Ranson's arrival at the Tate Hotel and in # 065 for Terry and Michael's ride to the airport.
The filming location for Melissa's funeral at the Tuscany Valley Public Cemetery is Live Oak Memorial Park in Monrovia, CA.
The driveway with the palm trees near Melissa's grave where the cars were parked was remodeled in 2016. The palm trees and the asphalt were removed, and another lawn area with new graves was established in that place.
The season 8 bible, by the way, planned for Melissa's funeral service to take place in a church. During the scriptwriting process, however, it was decided the scene would be staged at the cemetery.
Mistake: After Melissa's funeral, the red-haired extra walks along the same section at the Tuscany Valley Public Cemetery — between Angela and Frank on the one side and Nick and Ben on the other — twice, depending on the different filming angles.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique — check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
One of the mourners' burgundy Jaguar XJ (Series III) is parked between Angela's limo and Lance's convertible. It is the same picture car that was used as Louella's vehicle in # 123 and for another purpose in # 078; compare there for a list of other episodes featuring this picture car.
For LORIMAR's further use of this picture car, check out the Beyond the Show – Props – Picture Cars section.
Mistake: When Ben reaches for Frank's hand to exchange greetings, Nick's head is turned to look at Ben first; Ben and Nick are standing shoulder to shoulder with each other. In the subsequent long shot, however, Nick is now facing directly towards Frank, and Ben's body is turned on more of an angle and a little farther back compared to his and Nick's previous positions.
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.
Agretti Residence interior set: The shape of the den and the patio is still the same, but the wallpapers, carpets and furniture in the den have completely changed compared to the end of the previous season. One wall in the patio is no longer made from brick, but is now half-timbered. It cannot be the usual den, but must be a similar room and patio somewhere else in the house.
LORIMAR's original blueprints of the den set and many other sets are available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Interior Sets section.

Peter Ryder's rental car (also driven by Delaney in a later scene) is a beige 1985 Buick Electra.


Emma drives a dark blue 1988 AMC Eagle Premier now.

Mistake: In subsequent frames on the veranda of R.D. Young's house, Emma's right hand is first in front of the envelope, but in the other frame filmed from across behind it. 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 Spa Restaurant is accessible from the new lobby in the spa building (not identical with the lobby in the country club main building from seasons 6 and 7). Screen captures and further information in # 190.

PETER PAUL EASTMAN (uncredited extra) plays the white-haired gentleman again; this time, he is in the lobby of the Del Oro Spa Building.
Compare # 221 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 021.

Uncredited extra BARBARA SMITH appears in this episode again as the platinum blonde Tuscany Valley socialite — in the lobby of the Del Oro Spa Building, just a few seconds after her real-life husband PETER EASTMAN.
For details about the extra, compare # 066.
Compare # 221 for a list of appearances throughout the series.
Nick and Ben stay in suite 423 at the Del Oro.

The filming location for Guns B & B Sales, the gun store where Albie Carver, the guy who was hired to take The Thirteen to Switzerland, works, is a then-real store by the same name on Oxnard Street in North Hollywood, CA. The store closed down in 2002 though; the building houses a small supermarket nowadays.
KEVIN McDERMOTT, the actor who is introduced as Delaney, Ryder's assistant, this episode, also portrayed Webster, a State Department official, in season 7.
Sheriff Sanchez appears for the first time without any explanation about why Buckman is no longer the sheriff.
Season time frame: As this episode opens in the night of Nov 1-2, 1988 (compare # 185), the day of Melissa's death must be Thursday, 11/03/1988. As it can be derived from # 187 (compare there), Lance's arrest in the current episode's finale takes place on Tuesday, 11/08/1988. A few days obviously went by between Melissa's death and her funeral.

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