lasairlinerenth
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Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:38 am

Although I didn’t watch it throughout its entire run, I was a big fan of the television series, Dallas (R.I.P. Larry Hagman) back in the day. Due to a busted ankle/knee, I’ve been re-watching the early seasons on DVD. There is an episode called “The Silent Killer,” that was the third episode of the series’ second full season that aired from 1979 – 1980; this was the season that ended with the famous “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger.

In any case, in “The Silent Killer,” the third episode from season two, the show opens with a shot of a very old-school Northwest Orient 747 – 100 or 200 (?) landing at an airport. According to the story, it’s landing at Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport carrying the mother and sister of one of Dallas’s major characters (Sue Ellen Ewing). However, the interior scenes look like they may have been shot at Love Field; the skyline of Dallas circa 1979 can be seen through the windows and I would swear there is a Southwest 727 taxiing to the terminal outside. Also, if you look closely, you can see signs for the Dallas Playboy Club scattered throughout the terminal.

I’ll try to make some screen caps from my DVDs when I’m back on my feet and can get into my office and use my computer there, but – Dallas and aviation geek that I am – I wanted to throw some questions out to the folks at Airliners.net:

Did Northwest Orient ever serve the Los Angeles to Dallas/Ft. Worth route? And, if so, would they have used a 747-100 or 200 on the route? Again, this would’ve been in the late spring / early summer of 1979 when the Northwest Orient plane was filmed. My guess is that the production company or its affiliate filmed a Northwest Orient 747-100/200 landing at LAX and the script just called it Dallas/Ft. Worth because the writers would never expect someone like me to question their verisimilitude 30 some-odd years later.

Was Southwest using 727s in the late spring / early summer of 1979?

Why would the production company Lorimar have filmed at Love Field instead of DFW?

I'm curious to hear what y'all think.

Best,
T in Las Vegas
 
Viscount724
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:05 am

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Thread starter):
Did Northwest Orient ever serve the Los Angeles to Dallas/Ft. Worth route?

Not as far as I can recall. In the November 15,1979 OAG there were 20 daily LAX-DFW nonstops, 7 AA, 7 DL, 4 Braniff, and 2 Texas International.

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Thread starter):
Was Southwest using 727s in the late spring / early summer of 1979?

Yes Southwest had just one 727-200 leased from Braniff from March 1979 to January 1980. They leased 6 other 727-200s for a year or two during the 1983-85 period.

This is the one they had in 1979.


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SPREE34
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:40 am

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Thread starter):
Why would the production company Lorimar have filmed at Love Field instead of DFW?

I recall that scene. The main terminal area at Love offered much more filming area than anywhere at 1979 DFW. As I recall, JR is standing on the 2nd floor mesanine, looking down to the ground floor in the open part of the terminal. Where he is standing, is in front of the old Frontiers of Flight museum entrance.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
SPREE34
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:42 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Yes Southwest had just one 727-200 leased from Braniff from March 1979 to January 1980. They leased 6 other 727-200s for a year or two during the 1983-85 period.

Yup. I rode jumseat in them several times. The latter ones had the better paint job, and it looked good on a 727.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
notdownnlocked
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:44 am

NW did use 747's at DFW much later around the 1985 time. Routing was DFW-SFO-NRT-other cities but just lasted a short time.
 
lasairlinerenth
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:48 am

Thanks for the info, Viscount!!! It's much appreciated, good Sir!!!!

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Quoting lasairlinerenth (Thread starter):
Did Northwest Orient ever serve the Los Angeles to Dallas/Ft. Worth route?

Not as far as I can recall. In the November 15,1979 OAG there were 20 daily LAX-DFW nonstops, 7 AA, 7 DL, 4 Braniff, and 2 Texas International.

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Thread starter):
Was Southwest using 727s in the late spring / early summer of 1979?

Yes Southwest had just one 727-200 leased from Braniff from March 1979 to January 1980. They leased 6 other 727-200s for a year or two during the 1983-85 period.

This is the one they had in 1979.


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LoneStarMike
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:52 am

There's a 40-second clip showing J.R. & Sue Ellen waiting at the jetway as the mother & sister come off the plane on youtube here

The low ceilings, wood-paneled gate podiums with white counter tops, and red carpet (seen towards the end as they all begin to walk away) make it look like that part was filmed in the West Concourse, where Southwest was. IIRC, Southwest wasn't fully using all the gates in that concourse at that time. The higher numbered gates were vacant, so it would probably be easier for the film production crew to film there instead of DFW as SPREE34 noted.

LoneStarMike
 
lasairlinerenth
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:52 am

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 2):
I recall that scene. The main terminal area at Love offered much more filming area than anywhere at 1979 DFW. As I recall, JR is standing on the 2nd floor mesanine, looking down to the ground floor in the open part of the terminal. Where he is standing, is in front of the old Frontiers of Flight museum entrance.

Awesome. As I said, when I can drive myself to my office . . . I'll try to put some screen caps up so that everyone can see what the heck I'm talking about.

It's interesting that in 79 Love Field had more filming area than DFW. At the start of the very next season -- following J.R. being shot -- there is a brief scene where Sue Ellen Ewing wakes up after being drunk all night in the parking lot outside what is clearly one of the DFW terminals. It opens with a shot of an orange Braniff 727 landing.
 
lasairlinerenth
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:55 am

Thanks, LoneStarMike!!! That is exactly the scene I was talking about. I couldn't find a clip of the Northwest Orient 747 landing or where J.R. and Sue Ellen are waiting before they go to the gate to get her mother and her sister -- that's where you can see the Dallas skyline and what I think is a Southwest 727.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 6):
There's a 40-second clip showing J.R. & Sue Ellen waiting at the jetway as the mother & sister come off the plane on youtube here

The low ceilings, wood-paneled gate podiums with white counter tops, and red carpet (seen towards the end as they all begin to walk away) make it look like that part was filmed in the West Concourse, where Southwest was. IIRC, Southwest wasn't fully using all the gates in that concourse at that time. The higher numbered gates were vacant, so it would probably be easier for the film production crew to film there instead of DFW as SPREE34 noted.

LoneStarMike
 
lasairlinerenth
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:59 am

I was only a rather young teenager at the time this episode aired -- but, even then, Northwest Orient always seemed like a rather exotic airline. They didn't fly to ONT near where I lived at that time (I think they started service there in the 90s), which was filled with 727s/737s/DC-9s from the likes of TWA, American, United, PSA, and AirCal -- so seeing a Northwest Orient plane even on television was a treat!

Quoting notdownnlocked (Reply 4):
NW did use 747's at DFW much later around the 1985 time. Routing was DFW-SFO-NRT-other cities but just lasted a short time.
 
WesternA318
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:27 am

Its funny y'all mention this scene, I just watched it (got seasons 3-4-5 and 6 for xmas), and knew the 747 shot had to have been stock footage, or filmed at LAX, while the inside terminal shots were at Love...but just my guess....
 
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yyz717
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:09 am

When Dallas (the series) was in its heydey, DFW was 722 territory with AA and BN as the dominant carriers.  
Quoting lasairlinerenth (Reply 7):
there is a brief scene where Sue Ellen Ewing wakes up after being drunk all night in the parking lot outside what is clearly one of the DFW terminals. It opens with a shot of an orange Braniff 727 landing.

I remember that! Braniff WAS DFW at the time, and it was fitting that a BN 722 was filmed even though it was free advertising.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:12 pm

Didn't NW fly DFW-SFO-NRT direct with a 747 for awhile in the 80's pre-AA's DFW-NRT nonstop with the SP? I don't think it was operating '79-'80 at the time of the episode's filming, but I could be wrong.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
28L28L
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:44 pm

Interestingly (at least to me), the NW 747 that operated to DFW around 1986 also appeared in the Dallas series.
Sue Ellen and Pam were returning from Hong Kong. They were shown walking down air stairs, deplaning the 747, presumably at DFW.
One was heard saying to the other "I'll never complain about the traffic on the Central freeway again."
I also seem to recall the actress Linda Gray participating in the inaugural festivity of the inaugural NW7, DFW-SFO-NRT flight.
Cheers.
 
PictionaryMan
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:42 pm

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 6):
The low ceilings, wood-paneled gate podiums with white counter tops, and red carpet (seen towards the end as they all begin to walk away) make it look like that part was filmed in the West Concourse, where Southwest was. IIRC, Southwest wasn't fully using all the gates in that concourse at that time. The higher numbered gates were vacant, so it would probably be easier for the film production crew to film there instead of DFW as SPREE34 noted.

Is it just me, or is that a WN gate/ticket agent in the background?
 
cargolex
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:15 pm

It's likely that the exterior footage was just canned - The Rockford Files often used canned airplane footage, including, once, footage of the 747's first flight, complete with Boeing titles, or saw the main character flying from L.A. to places like Las Vegas or Seattle on incongruous things like, once, a Tunisair 727-200. Other times, the planes were realistic - Western and AA 707s and 727s, or PSA aircraft, which would have been normal in California in the 1970s. PSA is featured in one episode of that series which involves a ramper at SAN. On the other hand, once they used a corner of what looks like Ontario to pretend that they were shooting at LHR.

Even much later productions use stuff like this - one episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer has a character stowing away in the front hold of a Northwest Orient 747-200, which is displayed on the tarmac alongside a few Air Florida 737-200s. Obviously that didn't get filmed in 1997 when the episode takes place. It's possible that the same 747 used in this Dallas sequence is the one used on Buffy.

[Edited 2013-01-03 14:18:44]
 
FI642
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:38 am

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Reply 9):
I was only a rather young teenager at the time this episode aired -- but, even then, Northwest Orient always seemed like a rather exotic airline. They didn't fly to ONT near where I lived at that time (I think they started service there in the 90s), which was filled with 727s/737s/DC-9s from the likes of TWA, American, United, PSA, and AirCal -- so seeing a Northwest Orient plane even on television was a treat!

The first time I saw a Norhtwest Orient bird was a DC-10-40 that diverted to my airport. I was awestruck by this exotic
airline.....
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:57 am

Quoting FI642 (Reply 16):


The first time I saw a Norhtwest Orient bird was a DC-10-40 that diverted to my airport. I was awestruck by this exotic
airline.....

I remember when I was a kid we were driving to ORD from the west and there was a NW 747 on approach and it must have had the headwind from HELL because that thing floated and I mean for ages as we drove around the south side of ORD and it took that beast FOREVER to land...and of course "Fly Northest Orient -GONG-.....Air - lines". Awesome memories....
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Dallas TV Series And DFW/Love Field?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:48 pm

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Thread starter):
In any case, in “The Silent Killer,” the third episode from season two, the show opens with a shot of a very old-school Northwest Orient 747 – 100 or 200

Almost certainly it wasnt even filmed at DFW. It might have been stock footage.

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