When 24-year-old Max Marshall pitched us an oral history of Dallas, he’d never watched an episode of the show. He knew that it had been globally famous and shockingly influential—it might have helped bring down the Romanian government, you know!—but he later admitted to us that he couldn’t name two of its characters. Somehow, that didn’t stop him from pitching a story about a prime time soap opera from the eighties, nor did it stop us from assigning him the story.
In order to catch up, Marshall spent the next four months with Dallas. He watched more than two hundred episodes, read half a dozen books, and interviewed dozens of cast members and crew. When he began watching, he was somewhat repulsed. Halfway through the first season, he was somewhat confused. Then, at some point, he got seduced. He joined the world of superfans, and then he flew out to Los Angeles to meet the people who’d turned Dallas into a global phenomenon on par with any show in television history.
This podcast tells that story in two parts. In the first episode, Marshall walks us through the experience of watching Dallas. He replays moments from some of its strangest and greatest episodes, and he captures some of what made the show so addicting and long-lasting. In the second, he shares intimate clips from talks with Linda Gray, Charlene Tilton, Patrick Duffy, and others. The former stars recount fights on set, get emotional about Larry Hagman’s death, and give a rare window into real life at Southfork.
In addition to the podcast, you can read the oral history here.