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# 127 <5.29> The Cataclysm
(revised 07/12/2021)
In the original CBS broadcast, this episode aired on a Thursday night instead of the usual Friday night timeslot.

Cameraman's mistake: During Chase's conversation with Maggie near Wainwright's cabin, there is a reflection of the microphone in Chase's sunglasses.


Building inspector Bill Pike and his assistant Swift's car of the Tuscany County Department of Building and Safety is a white 1985 Nissan Stanza.

Melissa's nickname for Angela is the "Wicked Witch of the Tuscany Valley". In # 031, Maggie used almost the same nickname ("Wicked Witch of the West").
"Wicked Witch of the West" is an allusion to the children's novel "The Wizard of Oz" by L. FRANK BAUM and the stage play and film version by the same name where this name was first used.
Real-life allusion: In Sheriff Gilmore's office, a picture of U.S. President ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809 - 1865) is on the wall on the left next to the door.
Uncredited stand-in MARTHA MANOR appears as an extra again - this time as a Tuscany Valley County Deputy when Jordan is released from jail. MARTHA 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 black / beige Buick LeSabre turning into the driveway of the San Francisco Metropolitan Hospital is the usual picture car that has been known since # 013 (compare there for details).
The establishing shot of the hospital, by the way, is footage that was filmed while shooting # 096. This specific shot had remained unused in previous episodes.
All San Francisco Metropolitan Hospital interior shots are filmed in the building complex of what used to be the Pacoima Hospital (nowadays Phoenix House Foundation) in Lake View Terrace, CA.
The establishing shot (exterior view), however, is stock footage from a different location, the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Diego (formerly San Pedro Peninsula Hospital). Although these facilities were introduced as "Metropolitan Hospital" in season 4, the script wrongly refers to it as "Memorial Hospital"; no name will be mentioned at all in the episode as aired. This writing inconsistency will lead to another question in # 128 (see there).
For J.J. Roberts' grave, a different cemetery from the one known from the funeral in # 115 is used this time (compare that episode and see the left screen grab).
The new location for the current episode is Pierce Brothers Valley Memorial Park in Westlake Village, CA. All headstones are props. The real cemetery has plaques lying in the lawn only.
The London cemetery where Cassandra Wilder's grave is located is actually the famous cemetery in the Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood, CA. All the headstones are props here, too. In contrast to this, there are only plaques lying in the lawn in the real cemetery.
Cassandra's tombstone is the same prop as the one used as Jacqueline's headstone at the beginning of season 3. Contrary to the current design, Jacqueline's marker boasted with an additional top piece and was also provided with a fake marble plaque for her name. As visible from the outline above and below the plaque with Jacqueline's name, that plaque actually covers another plaque, which is now visible and inscribed with Cass' name.

Harold Wilkins' car is a black / green 1964 Daimler 2½ Litre V8.


Real-life allusion: There is a picture of U.S. President GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732 - 1799) in judge Robert Archer's office.

Inside joke: Judge Robert Archer is named after CBS best boy electrician, BOB ARCHER.
Inconsistency: During the tremor, everything is shaking around Melissa and Eric in the Agretti Residence. The door leaves to the den, however, stay surprisingly still even though the double doors are open. This is particularly odd because one of the door leaves visibly moves when Eric accidentally touches it with his back shortly after. Also, the picture in the hallway is perfectly back in place when the tremor is over.
Of course, it is only the camera that creates the quake effect, not the set on the sound stage itself. Again, shaking or falling props were prepared by the special effects department prior to filming.
The inconsistency with the picture relates to the various takes of this scene. Again, this is the typical mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique - check # 001 (Gus in the Gioberti House) for details.

An art print of the "Sausalito" poster by American watercolor artist NOAL BETTS (1927 - 1993) hangs on the wall in the hallway to Chase's room at the San Francisco Metropolitan Hospital.

Fictional entity: Eric mentions the Royal Hotel in Monaco.
Real-life allusion: One of the deputies who are on their way taking Jeff Wainwright to psychiatric observation mentions the state penitentiary in San Quentin, CA.
BUCK McDANCER, who portrays one of the Tuscany Valley County Deputies (driver) this episode, also portrayed various rôles before and will play various other characters in the future; compare # 083 for details.
The police car carrying Jeff is a 1984 Plymouth Gran Fury. Its identification code is 4078. It is the exact same patrol car that chased "Monica" in # 126. Thus, the license plate number is 99988.
Identification code 4078 used to be on Sheriff Robbins' usual patrol car, a 1982 Dodge Diplomat; compare # 032. That patrol car must be out of service now because otherwise the ID code could not have been reassigned. Just as a side note, for a prop error concerning this ID code, compare # 082.
Inconsistency: When the earthquake is starting, everything is falling and shaking around Richard and Terry in Richard's house. The door leaf to the sitting room, however, stays surprisingly still even though the door is open.
Of course, it is only the camera again that creates the quake effect, not the set on the sound stage itself. Again, shaking or falling props were prepared by the special effects department prior to filming.
Different takes: The scene in the current episode when Peter, Angela and Julia are surprised by the earthquake in the Falcon Crest Winery Building contains Peter's dialog in a long shot only (last screen grab). The sneak preview before the main title, however, also featured Angela and Julia with their respective lines before Peter's dialog (the first four screen captures) - all of them in close-ups while speaking.
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 (Gus in the Gioberti House) for the advantages and disadvantages of this shooting procedure.

Mysterious: Where does the wooden beam come from that crashes into the stained glass element of the front door in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion? There is no such element around the entranceway of the Mansion that could have possibly fallen down.


DANIEL GREENE is replaced by a stunt double during the final frames when parts of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion foyer collapse in the earthquake scene.
LORENZO LAMAS, MARGARET LADD and JOHN CALLAHAN are replaced by stunt doubles in some frames during the quake, too.


When the ceiling beam drops down in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion, it appears to be on a rope. The crew up in the greenbeds of the studio had to make sure it was a controlled "fall" in order to prevent it from hitting MARGARET LADD's stunt double.


JANE WYMAN, CESAR ROMERO and ABBY DALTON are replaced by stunt doubles during some frames in the earthquake scene.

The scenes with Jeff Wainwright in the patrol car, Greg and Jordan in Greg's Mercedes-Benz and both of them being taken hostage by Jeff (on California Road in the Tuscany Valley) are filmed near Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, CA. It is the same place where "Monica's" car crash was filmed in # 126 - very close to the construction site of the Agretti Stavros Winery (compare # 124), which means it is being built on California Road.
Deleted scene: The director's cut contained one more scene with Greg, Jordan and Jeff: While Greg and Jordan are forced by Jeff to give him a ride in Greg's car, Jeff regards Jordan for a beat: "You're a very pretty lady. I've always had a soft spot for blondes..." Both Jordan and Greg react to the menacing tone in Jeff's voice. - This scene was filmed, but removed in post-production.
Season time frame:
As it can be concluded from # 129 (details there), the earthquake takes place on a Thursday. Richard's son, Michael, was born - as it can be derived from the phone call Cindy received from the London hospital - on day 2 of # 126, i.e. in the second week of May 1986 (given it was after the usual time of pregnancy); this can be concluded from the fact that Cassandra got pregnant in # 108 - at the beginning of August 1985. # 126 depicts only two days; # 127 depicts three days; the last day of # 126 is identical with the first one of # 127. Therefore, Michael was born Tuesday, 05/06/1986, and the earthquake takes place on Thursday, 05/08/1986.
J.J. Roberts shot himself to death four months ago as Jordan says two days prior to the quake. So he died on 01/13/1986 (at the end of # 114).
Original storyline plans:
Initial plans for the dramatic final weeks of the season included a turning point in the marriage of Angela and Peter. Their marriage should have fallen into a crisis; the producers thought about Peter starting an affair with a local widow and Angela being stuck in a financial disaster. These plans were dropped in the script doctoring process.
The writers also originally planned to introduce a crazed killer, who was supposed to be stalking the family. He was thought to be out for revenge, but his motives were intended to be disclosed only in the dramatic final weeks of the season. This idea was dropped, too.
Shortly before the earthquake, Peter receives an unpleasant phone call in the season finale. - The producers' idea was to reveal the following season that the person who called was Peter's brother, whom they intended to be portrayed by movie star ANTHONY QUINN. They planned exploiting a long-lasting feud between the two brothers. As the negotiations with the star failed, the phone scene turned out to be meaningless.
LORIMAR thought about luring new big name guests into the following season, including AUDREY HEPBURN and - one of DAVID SELBY's favorite colleagues in the movie industry - CATHERINE DENEUVE. These plans, however, were dropped with the show's era under the aegis of EARL HAMNER coming to an end.
ROBERT FOXWORTH wanted to leave the show. Chase's struggle for survival after being shot was the preparation for writing him off.
The season finale is SIMON MacCORKINDALE's last episode of "Falcon Crest". He leaves in order to spend more time behind the scenes as a producer and director. - Although SIMON was taken into consideration by United International Pictures to replace ROGER MOORE in the 1987 movie "James Bond 007: The Living Daylights", his career never became bigger than in his "Falcon Crest" days; in the end, TIMOTHY DALTON won the James Bond rôle.

EARL HAMNER, the series creator and executive producer, quits his regular producing duties after 127 episodes. He will be back next season, however, as a creative consultant.

Executive supervising producers ROD & CLAIRE PETERSON also leave the crew.

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