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# 199 <8.16> Missing Links
(revised 05/15/2023)

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Since season 6, the series has 6½ filming days per each L.A. based episode. Contrary to the show's regular filming schedule, which means shooting one episode per the aformentioned interval, this episode and the preceding one were filmed simultaneously between 01/31 and 02/08/1989, which was logistically challenging because one part of the cast had to film with the so-called B unit of the crew and the director for # 198 while the other part of the cast filmed with the A unit and the director for # 199.
Different camera angles: The recap for the previous episode shows a wide angle of Richard taking the boys (right screen capture) before leaving the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion; the scene in # 198 (left screen grab), however, featured a close-up.
The real gate and driveway to the Channing Ranch is seen for the first and only time this episode.
This episode features many location shots of Saddlerock Ranch.

License plate number of the white 1984 Toyota Truck leaving the Channing Ranch: 3MOO844. It is the very same picture car that was used in # 184 for the laborers giving Pilar a ride.


The heavily used red Volvo 242 DL sedan (compare # 055 for details) is used again; this time, it is parked on the Queen of the Valley Hospital parking lot (near the two nurses in the background).

Tommy offers Paco a beer, but he refuses because he has to drive. Interesting how often this topic is dealt with this season.
Mistake: In the scene with Kevin, Richard, Mrs. Fraser and Garth on the terrace of the Channing Ranch, Kevin looks over Richard's shoulder in the wide angle shot, but towards Mrs. Fraser in the subsequent close-up. 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.
This is the only time the main stairway of Saddlerock Ranch is seen when Richard is looking for Michael.
Some of the scenes with Michael after he ran away from home and some shots of the search for him are filmed on the grounds of Saddlerock Ranch near its avocado grove (e.g. left screen grab).
The exterior scenes featuring the abandoned well covered with planks (e.g. right screen capture) is from the CBS-MTM backlot (jungle near lagoon); the interior scenes of the well are filmed on sound stage 10.
The storyline about the well is sort of a "trademark" of writers STEPHEN BLACK and HENRY STERN. They have used and will continue to use such a plotline on almost all of their shows.

The identification code of Tuscany Valley Deputy Marcia Moore's patrol car — a Chevrolet Impala Series 1B — is 7594.

The off-road vehicle at the Channing Ranch is a dark blue Geo Tracker (type SE416).
The Channing Ranch has 700 acres of land.
Scenic art: When Frank enters the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion and, also later in the episode, when Lance opens the front door, the background painting on the sound stage is visible. This one has been in use since # 175 (compare there) and will be used until the series finale. In the later scene with Lance, a huge tree can be seen in the background, which must be directly in front of the Mansion's entrance. This episode offers the best view of the painting, which is by far the best one in comparison with the previous backings (compare the notes in # 082, 099, 116, 164 and 168).
Although the art department did a much better job with this painting than with its predecessors, this backdrop also fails to capture the accurate surroundings of the Mansion: The palm trees, hedges, swimming pool and vineyards from the real Villa Miravalle are conspicuously missing from the painting. In contrast, there is no such big tree in front of the real Mansion. This backing is apparently modeled after a view of the walnut tree-lined driveway to Stags' Leap in the Napa Valley in southern direction, which doubles as the main driveway to Falcon Crest. It is similar to the photo on the left, but with the camera perspective at a slight angle.
On the one hand, presenting the main driveway as part of the surroundings of the Mansion seems consistent in a certain way with the view from Julia's bedroom window in # 132 (see there), which created the idea that the Falcon Crest main driveway is visible from the Victorian Mansion. On the other hand, this backdrop is not a perfect match though because the distance between Julia's bedroom and the tree-lined driveway was much farther and also at an angle from southeast towards northwestern direction whereas the closer view from the front door is straight from north of the driveway in southern direction.
The hillside command post for the search for Michael at the Channing Ranch grounds is actually near the stables at Saddlerock Ranch.
The patrol car of the K-9 Corps (the lettering on the car uses the usual onomatopoeic abbreviation for Canine Corps) is a Chevrolet Impala Series 1B (on the right in the second screen capture).

The Tuscany Valley Police's all-terrain vehicle is a white GMC S15 Jimmy.


Cast and crew background: This episode's director, MICHAEL PREECE, obviously likes working with actor BRAD HARRIS. When PREECE directed # 067, HARRIS joined the cast as Deputy John Duffy. Now he is back again in that rôle.


Product placement: Anna's gift for Ben is a Sony Walkman.

New license plate number of Lance's black 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL convertible: 2CDO891.
This is a horrible prop plate. It was used in # 165 on the same picture car when it portrayed someone else's vehicle at Valentino's in Beverly Hills (compare there); it was also used on Melissa's white 1980 Porsche 911 SC Targa (compare # 166). To make matters worse, Lance's car has had three different license plates up to now (compare # 156, 164, 171 and 184).
It is quite amazing neither Michael nor Richard have any injuries after their second and third fall into the well — their faces are just covered with dirt and dust.

Mistake: When Ben enters Gabriel's hospital room, he refers to his scar by touching the right part of his abdomen. The surgery, however, was performed on his spleen, which is on the left in the abdomen.


Cameraman's mistake: In the scene between Richard and Maggie on their ranch's terrace, the windjammer on the boom microphone can be seen in the upper corner of the frame for a short moment.


The interiors of San Francisco International Airport are filmed in the foyer of the CBS-MTM Administration Building, which was used as the foyer of the New Globe Executive Office Annex in # 071 (see there) as well as various hotel lobbies in # 147 and 153. Compare # 074 for the heavy use of this filming location.


Dr. Fong (played by uncredited extra GEORGE SASAKI) appears at San Francisco International Airport in this episode.
Compare # 222 for biographical details about this minor rôle and a list of appearances throughout the series.
For details about the extra, compare # 026.

In the close-up of Angela, an 8-lane freeway can be seen through the panoramic windows in the New Globe penthouse where Richard has taken her. But such a street does not exist in San Francisco's Financial District.
The filming location is a luxurious suite in the Universal City Plaza Building in Universal City, CA. The pinkish wall with the elevator, however, is not part of the real suite; these elements were put in the real room by the show's construction department to cover the real doors that grant access to the place.
Season time frame:
This episode opens on Wednesday, 03/15/1989 and closes on Friday, 03/17/1989.
Angela's visa stamps in her passport (see # 202) indicate that she was held captive between March 17 and 23, 1989. The kidnapping takes place at the end (day 3) of the current episode. On day 2, the Glenbraddoch stockholders' meeting that was referred to in the previous episode takes place (Thursday, 03/16/1989). This proves that some time must have passed between the end of # 198 and the beginning of the current episode; this is also hinted by Michael's saying he misses Maggie.
Although it is mid-March, the vegetation at the Channing Ranch looks more like winter because this episode was shot at the beginning of 1989. It is amazing, however, that it is mentioned that the night temperature is almost freezing — obviously a cold beginning of spring.
The Glenbraddoch board of directors meeting, which was scheduled for the 4th of the following month according to the previous episode, is now scheduled for "next week". It was apparently rescheduled.

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