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# 214 <9.09> Merry Christmas, Charley
 
 
(revised 09/07/2020)
 
 

The picnic scene with Sydney and Chris, which creates the illusion the picnic blanket might have been laid out near the pond known from # 213, is actually filmed nowhere near a pond, but under a tree in the heavily filmed park on the CBS-MTM backlot.

 
Towards the end of Michael Sharpe's first conversation with the temp secretary in his office, he is humming / whistling the melody of the traditional English Christmas carol "Deck the Hall".
 
Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion interior set - inconsistency: The upstairs hallways have changed again:
Just like Charley in # 213, Emma uses the wrong door to her and Charley's bedroom (screen capture 2) when filmed from outside the room - i.e. the door that actually opens into Angela's bedroom (compare # 213 for details).
In that hallway usually leading to Angela's bedroom, a new door is now visible - from the camera POV - at the end of the corridor (screen captures 2 and 3). Earlier this season, there was no door in that place (compare screen grab 1 from # 212).
The same hallway is featured when Sydney leaves the guest bedroom at night (screen capture 3). The door to the guest bedroom is diagonally across from Angela's bedroom door (or, to make matters even more confusing, diagonally across from the door Emma incorrectly opens to her and Charley's bedroom in the current episode).
Compare # 215 for more information on the set's layout.

Click here for a rough sketch of the interior set of the upstairs hallways in the Victorian Mansion.
For DFCF members, LORIMAR's original blueprints of this set and many others are available in the Show - Production Office - Filming Locations - Movie Studios - Interior Sets section.

 
Edited scene: After Sydney told Emma about Daniel having been murdered, the scene in Emma's bedroom in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion continued in the director's cut: Frantically, Emma begins to search Charley's things, finding Angela's gun in his bathrobe in the closet.
Deleted scene: The following scene in the study was also removed - she shows Chao-Li the gun, and he replies he has not seen it since Angela went into her coma, but he believes the gun has been in Charley's possession since. What was kept, however, was Emma's subsequent phone call with the Las Vegas Police Department.
 
ROGER HAMPTON, the actor who plays Bert Gervis, the Las Vegas Police Department lieutenant, in this episode, also portrayed Judd Sloan, a wine distributor, in season 5.
 
During the Daniels' Christmas Eve party, the Christmas carol "Adeste Fideles" plays in the backgorund.
 
The mismatch of exterior and interior shots of Michael Sharpe's black limousine continues: Whereas, according to exterior shots, he has a stretched 1985 Lincoln Town Car (screen grab 1 from # 212), in which this episode's interior scenes are filmed, this episode features exterior footage of a shorter anthracite gray 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 - actually the same picture car as Angela's limo, which has been in use since season 7 and was prominently featured recently this season in # 209. The exterior shot of the Cadillac was filmed in the Wine Country during early season 7; the clip is used for the first time in the current episode though.
Car shots (interiors and exteriors) for Sharpe's limo were incorrectly matched in # 207 and 212 (compare there) already.
 
Ridiculous: Sydney is under 21 and drinks wine. - This season's producers are really incompetent. In season 8, alcohol was discussed as a problem many times - now, an 18-year-old girl drinks wine!
On the other hand, it seems obvious that Ian never had a sexual relationship with Sydney. - Now is that because of her age? The initial script draft of this episode contained a scene with Sydney telling Chris she is a virgin before they make love near the pond. It was deleted before the episode aired, as was a scene in # 213 that originally had Sydney spank Ian, lying on the bed, with a paddle upon his request. The strange sexual relationship between Sydney and Ian seems to have no point and meaning; it is a storyline that is rather hinted than told and finally leads to nowhere - as many other minor plotlines this year. This season's bible originally planned for more details about the couple's sex life: Ian was supposed to be impotent; Sydney spanking Ian was meant to be some sort of a substitute for their missing sex life. It remains a mystery why the writers skipped these strange plans in the end.
 
While Lance is at the bar in the Spa Restaurant at the Del Oro, a group of Christmas carolers appears in the background, singing "Silent Night", the popular Christmas carol that originated in German language, composed by FRANZ XAVER GRUBER (1787 - 1863) to lyrics by JOSEPH MOHR (1792 - 1848) and first performed in 1818.
 
License plate number of Lance's silver 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL Convertible (type R129): 2PEK314. - This must be a new car (same model) since he wrecked the previous one in the crash between # 212 and 213. Of course, production continued to use the very same picture car though.
 
Editing mistake: When Lance's car comes to a stop at the roadside, no turn signal can be seen. But when he leaves the car a few moments later, the right turn signal is on.
 
The filming location for that Tuscany Valley road is North Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Topanga, CA.
The very dark night scene with Chris in Frank's Jeep running by and Charley tailgating him (cars shot from outside) is also from that road.
 
At the Daniels House, "Silent Night" (compare above) is playing from the stereo during the Christmas Eve party also.
Another popular English Christmas carol playing in the background is "What Child Is This?", which includes 1865 lyrics by WILLIAM CHATTERTON DIX (1837 - 98) set to the tune of "Greensleeves", a traditional English folk song.
 
Lauren and Richard are dancing to the 1939 "Moonlight Serenade" by GLENN MILLER (1904 - 44).
 

ROD TAYLOR is replaced by a stunt double when Frank jumps through the living room window of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion. The stuntman, however, has a slightly different hairdo. During Frank and Ian's fight, ROD TAYLOR and DAVID HUNT are also replaced by stuntmen in some shots.

 
Original script drafts planned for Ian to be killed unintentionally by Charley who then goes mad and attacks Sydney; Emma shoots and kills Charley to save Sydney. - These plans were changed in the rewriting process.
 
Season time frame:
Since # 213 opened the day right after the final night of # 212 and - as it can be concluded from Lance's trip to Mexico - both these episodes have quite a tight time frame (depicting only six days), some time must remain unseen both between # 213 and the current episode and during the current episode. The latter conclusion can be drawn from the fact that, on day 2 of the current episode, Frank's phone call with the police implies that Chris has been gone for a longer period of time; so some time must have gone by between Chris' departure in night 1 and day 2.
Day 2 of the current episode is 12/24/1989 (Christmas Eve with the dinner at Falcon Crest). Ian St. James dies in the night of 12/24-25/1989 (Sunday to Monday).
Emma is in her second month of pregnancy according to her statement on day 1 of the current episode. So she must have been pregnant since about mid-October 1989.
 
 


 
 
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