If Fans Wrote ‘Dallas,’ Here’s What You’d See

Ann Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, Julie Gonzalo, Linda Gray, Pamela Barnes Ewing, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Fantasy gals

What would “Dallas’s” third season look like if the audience were in charge? Dallas Decoder asked four fans to pick up the storylines where Season 2 left off and describe their fantasy scenarios for the show. Here’s what they came up with.


Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, TNT

Such a sneak!

Emma’s Switcheroo

By Chris Donovan

The Ewings celebrate the victory of Ewing Global, then discover they have inherited former Barnes Global enemies, including a dangerous Las Vegas casino family. Bobby employs J.R.’s mercenary (and killer), Bum, to mediate and more.

Elena and Joaquin disprove Cliff’s season-ending claim and Elena turns down the proxy. Instead, she insists on finding Drew and takes mother Carmen with her on her search, the family Ramos leaving in the season premiere.

Cliff picks Pamela’s mother, Afton (a one-time owner of a record company), as the proxy replacement. She begrudgingly complies, hoping to work with her daughter.

Katherine Wentworth, prosecution-immune after 30 years, flies back to appear on a Dallas TV show. She apologizes to Bobby and donates $500,000 to the upcoming Clayton Farlow Charity Rodeo at Southfork. Katherine has it all together now, or does until a blond haired woman shows up at her condo….

The presumed-dead James Beaumont revs up to J.R.’s grave and talks with John Ross.  James has been living in New Zealand since the deaths of his wife and son.

Judith buys her way out of “rehab” and finds her long-lost son, Roscoe “Morrissey” Manley, in a plot to get Harris out of 50-year trafficking sentence. Will she succeed in an installment titled “Switched at Death”?

Ann becomes attracted to her probation worker, Devon Leeman. Will she add a love crime to her rap sheet?

Lucy’s gay twenty-something stepson, Henry Pattemore, is hired by Christopher for the ranch and then matched up by his boss with Sheriff Derrick.

Emma sabotages John Ross and Pamela’s pregnancy efforts by replacing fertility pills with birth control.

In the Sue Ellen stand-alone episode, “Come to Mickey,” Sue Ellen, after passing out at a restaurant playground, meets a 50-year-old Mickey Trotter in her car. Pushing her drunk past in her face (the pregnancy accident, his accident, her breakup with Don), he stops her from driving. She commits to rehab and AA, where she meets her new love interest: Lou, the Ewing attorney.

And Cliff redeems himself in the finale, giving his life for Afton: “Besides my daddy and my sister, you’re the only one I’ve ever loved!”

Donovan, a novelist, is the author of “AWOL.” 


Ann Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, TNT

Gettin’ lusty with Dusty

Oh, Annie!

By Andrew H.

The Ewings’ unity in the wake of J.R.’s “masterpiece” to take down Cliff becomes fractured following an environmental calamity on Southfork created by John Ross’s oil exploration. This infuriates Bobby, who sues his nephew.

Emma feels pulled in both directions — a predicament Harris and Judith are more than happy to exploit. Working as Cliff’s secret pawn, Elena unknowingly has a hand in the disaster, but this doesn’t become apparent to her until later, as she remains unaware of the depth to which Cliff is willing to sink the Ewings to achieve his revenge.

As the Ewings become caught up in the Bobby/John Ross legal battle, their romantic liaisons become entangled too. Sue Ellen, fleeing sobriety, begins an affair with Ken Richards, and Ann, feeling neglected by Bobby, finds comfort in the arms of one of Sue Ellen’s old flames: Dusty Farlow.

Distracted by the lawsuit and their affairs, the implementation of Cliff’s diabolical scheme to get even goes largely unnoticed until Pamela discovers it. Irritated by her philandering husband, she must weigh whether to remain loyal to the scattered Ewings or rebuild the Barnes legacy by becoming the final piece in her father’s plan to sabotage the Ewings’ financial holdings and destroy their good name forever.

Andrew, who blogs about food at Cook In/Dine Out, is the creator of the “Dallas Drinks” and “Dallas Desserts” series. He’s also married to Dallas Decoder.


Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Give ’em hell, honey

Call Her Madam Mayor

By Corina H.

Riddled with guilt, Bum tells Sue Ellen he accidentally sent her the wrong letter from J.R., one he penned before developing cancer, and only realized it when she read it at the burial. Bum reveals the truth about J.R.’s death and gives Sue Ellen the intended letter in which J.R. again professes his love and regret for squandering it, but also says goodbye and urges her to stay strong.

When Sue Ellen confronts the Ewing men about their deception, they dismiss her as emotional and John Ross cites her relapse as an example of how she can’t handle the truth. Heartbroken, Sue Ellen briefly flees Dallas and befriends Vanessa Ruiz (Shannen Doherty), a down-on-her-luck waitress with whom she develops a mother/daughter bond, leaving John Ross feeling threatened.

Back home, Sue Ellen voluntarily enters rehab, where she falls for fellow patient Royce Lee Caine (William Shatner), an eccentric cattle mogul who has J.R.’s power and charm but none of his dastardly ways. With Royce’s encouragement, Sue Ellen gets sober and is elected mayor — only to be challenged anew when Harris is released from jail and sabotages her efforts to aid her constituents after a major tornado.

Back at Southfork, the family takes in Lucy, who is newly divorced and broke. Ray also returns and — to Bobby’s dismay — rekindles his romance with his half-niece. The relationship is strong but challenged from all sides, prompting Lucy to use her Ewing Global shares like a weather vane depending on which family member is hassling her and Ray.

Meanwhile, when John Ross impregnates Emma, Ann is appalled but also secretly thrilled at a second chance at motherhood, which drives a wedge between her and Bobby. Feeling frustrated, Bobby seeks comfort from an old friend who, unbeknownst to him, is put in his path by Judith. Pamela is furious and issues an ultimatum: She’ll allow John Ross this one indiscretion if he ends the affair and Emma terminates the pregnancy. Looking for a distraction, John Ross develops a poker habit, defaults on markers and starts stealing Sue Ellen’s fortune.

Elsewhere, Elena aligns with Cliff and appeals to Sue Ellen’s integrity to try and get Cliff released from jail on false charges, putting the freedom of all involved Ewings at stake. Later, Christopher’s chance encounter with June Leigh Taylor (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a.k.a. “June Bug,” a beautiful farm girl, leaves him wondering: Is it time to give up his stressful career at Ewing Global and start a new life?

Corina, also known as “Team Sue Ellen” on Twitter, writes about her favorite “Dallas” character at FanFiction.net.


Dallas, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

Go see Daddy

Don’t Forget Cliff!

By James Holmes

Mostly, I want the show to keep on surprising me the way it has done. However, these are things I’d be happy to see more of:

• Cliff in prison. I hope he gets a lot of visitors because I want to hear him talk — about how he ended up as the man he is today, how repentant he is or isn’t for his actions, or just to hear Ken Kercheval find more ways to say “I did not kill J.R.!” — the soap equivalent of Laurence Olivier’s “Is it safe?” mantra in “Marathon Man.”

• Joaquin! We haven’t seen him, we know nothing about him, but after his impressive non-entrance at the end of last season, he’s already my new favorite character.

• Multi-faceted Sue Ellen. We’d seen her be supportive, maternal, shrewd, aloof, devious and drunk before, but not until last year did it occur to anyone that she could be all of those things at the same time. I guess she’ll have to sober up sometime, but I’d love a drunken confrontation with John Ross first.

• I love the glimpses we’ve been given into the parallel “Dallas” that was happening at the same time as the original series — a dyslexic John Ross throwing toys at his mama’s head, the Ewing boys shooting hoops with the McKay brothers — but as well as playing fast and loose with the Ewing mythology, the new show has been able to honor and explain Pam’s convoluted departure in a way the original never could. In “New Dallas,” everything is up for grabs — the past as well as the future. I hope it continues to scramble my brain like this.

• Becky Sutter. I know Frank supposedly killed her off-screen, but is too much to hope she’s still out there somewhere — maybe holed up in a motel watching “Law & Order” reruns?

• Carmen needs to start stirring the mole or get off the pot. Either give her some scenes she can sink her teeth into or kill her off. This half-life is too cruel.

Holmes, also known as “James from London,” is a regular contributor to the SoapChat.net discussion board.


Whose ideas do you like best? Share your comments below and read more features from Dallas Decoder.


  1. I am impressed by my fellow DALLAS Decoder contributors scenarios. Class all the way! I had planned 2 marry Miss Texas myself so i could have 5o% ctrl. Of her Ewing Global shares. But i will leave that up 2 ken richards.

  2. Jennifer Irons says:

    Everyone of the 4 people came up with wonderful and credible ideas so it is very hard to choose which I like best!! However, I think Chris Donovan’s and Corina H.’s ideas were my two absolute favorites! But well done from all of the people who contributed their scenarios!

  3. All I know is with this nasty winter weather the whole nation has had, I want those ice storms Dallas experienced to show up in the show just like the snow of the original series mini-series.

  4. Kelley Tyler says:

    My gosh! I thought I had some good ideas but, after reading this post, my ideas don’t hold a candle! Wonderful story lines!! Great job!!

  5. So fun to read the different ideas! I’m interested in all of them and would want to watch them unfold. I love the creativity in the Dallas fandom! Thanks for the cool post, Chris.

  6. I don’t wish to dampen the mood here, but even a modicum of good storytelling in Season 3 would be a very welcome change that is long overdue. As I have already stated elsewhere, there is no storytelling on TNT Dallas, it’s a succession of sensational set pieces and non sequiturs that jettisons every opportunity to develop characters in a meaningful way.

    We are 2 years in and I still don’t know why people do what they do or say what they say. Characters are given the flimsiest of pretexts to generate the next stabbing, shooting, abduction or assassination. I don’t believe them and therefore I am unconcerned by their fate – however increasingly grisly it might be.

    Dallas never had any pretence of being Chekov: it never yielded a complexity of characterisation but it perfected the art of character driven storytelling in a popular idiom. It did so by allowing characters to breathe, sometimes in mundane contexts, but in a way that allowed the viewer to contextualise their actions in an overarching family drama propelled by an ancient grudge.

    Fewer bombs, please – more Dora Mae; less drug cartels and more breakfast barbs; fewer CSI ballistic montages and more heart to hearts at the cattle market. If we get more of this, then when the Ewings are in peril we’ll start to care.

    The essence of drama is conflict, but if it’s unalloyed to our concern about the fate of characters we know, then it’s pornography – without even the compensation of vicarious pleasure.

    And yet erstwhile discerning commentators on the parent show continue to wax lyrical about the TNT incarnation. I still find this unfathomable.

  7. I’m honestly not that impressed with any of those scenarios, but I respect the amount of thought they clearly put into it. I have various ideas myself, heck my brother and I have gone over how we’d continue Dallas a bajillion times since the original show went off the air, but I’ve never sat down and actually written down a cohesive set of storylines. Don’t really have the time now, but y’know I gave my general idea in an earlier post, that it would be the current crop of Ewings against a new slightly younger crop of Ewings,

    Of course, you are correct Chris B., in that the cast can’t just all Ewings (& Krebbs’, Wade’s, & Beaumonts), there has to be outsiders for the others to get involved with. So we might not need all of the potential cousins brought in right away, but I feel that we need two in particular, Lucas Wade Krebbs, Bobby’s biological son, and Terrance Harper, Callie’s son with J.R. I’m kinda torn on James and Jimmy. I don’t think James is really needed for a major role, I’d be more interested in Jimmy (him being a blank slate), but his role could easily be filled by Terrance. Plus, they’ve already brought Callie back in the new show, so her past history with J.R. is intact in this continuity, which should include that she had a secret son. You could very easily have her show up with Terrance, to introduce him to John Ross and the rest, feeling guilty that Terrance never had the chance to meet his father, and thinks it’s time he at least got to know this side of his family. Similarly, have Lucas show up, as Jenna and Ray finally told him the truth of his parentage, and now Lucas wants to get to know Bobby better. So now you have the two younger neglected sons of J.R. and Bobby who are resentful of John Ross and Christopher (& think of how insecure Lucas’ presence should make Christopher feel, since Lucas is a “real” Ewing), and maybe end up in some scheme to hurt them.

    And I’d probably make one of them gay, just because.

    For other stories, I don’t know what I’d do with Elena. I want to keep her on the show, I think she’s necessary. As I’ve debated with others on the Ultimate Dallas forum, with Larry Hagman (R.I.P.) passed on, I think Jordana Brewster is technically the biggest star on that show now, just thanks to her role in the Fast and Furious franchise. She’s got a higher profile than the other younger stars, which means there’s greater exposure to the show when putting her on talks shows and in magazines. So as long as she’s available and willing to continue, I’d use her as much as possible. If the idea is to make her a villain now, that’s one thing, I just really don’t like the idea of her working for Cliff. As I’ve also said here before Cliff needs to be gone. I love Ken Kercheval as much as the rest of you, but if he’s still causing trouble on the show then that J.R. didn’t really “win.”Cliff needs to be beaten for good. I think the analogy I used before is that Cliff was Wyle E. Coyote and J.R. was the Road Runner. Cliff’s sole purpose on the show was to be the antagonist that always got defeated. If the Road Runner is dead, then we don’t need the Coyote anymore. They could still use the idea that Jordana found out that J.R. cheated her father and ruined her family, and that’s why she wants to bring down the Ewings now, but it should be strictly her own vendetta, nothing to do with that malignant little troll, Barnes.

    The other main thing I’d do on the show is more focus on the corporate side. Many of the best original Dallas schemes were J.R.’s business deals and the fallout therein. I want more action in the Ewing Global offices. If Christopher’s methane patents are so valuable and a potential replacement for oil, then that should make a lot of oil businesses and political interests nervous. Let’s see the Ewings up some Middle Eastern oil cartels, and the Russians and the Chinese. And wasn’t Barnes Global involved in gambling, too? So now that the Ewings have inherited that part of the business, that could put them in conflict with the Mafia.

    That ended up being longer than I thought, but those are just some basic ideas I have.

    • J.R., these are great ideas. I’m sorry I didn’t ask you to contribute to the piece above! I especially like your ideas about Lucas and Cally’s son (it’s never really been established that his name is Terrance, though, has it?). I wonder if you need two resentful younger half-brothers? Lucas seems like the best bet, especially if it would bring Steve Kanaly back to the show for something more than a cameo.

      I also see your point about Cliff. I believe he needs to stay in jail, but as long as Ken Kercheval is willing to don a purple jump suit and so his scenes on the dingy prison set, I’d be willing to keep him on the show. Besides, who knows? Maybe there’s a second half to J.R.’s masterpiece that we don’t know about. Perhaps J.R. will drop the guillotine on Cliff for good in the coming season(s).

      Your point about the corporate storylines is right on, too. I love your idea about Christopher’s methane patent having both political and business ramifications. I hope the writers are listening on that point especially.

      Thanks for reading Dallas Decoder and chiming in with your thoughts. I always appreciate hearing from you.


      • Thanks. And you’re right, I’m not sure if the name Terrance Harper was ever officially established, I just remember reading it somewhere years ago, and I’ve seen other fans use it online. So it’s as good a name as any to use when referring to J.R. and Cally’s son, who’s out there somewhere.

        I think, if it were up to me, Lucas would be the clear “bad” guy, I’m thinking similar characterization to Adam Newman on Y&R. Terrance would be like an innocent naive guy, due to being overly sheltered by Cally all these years. Lucas befriends him and corrupts him in an attempt to get him on his side.

      • Bad Lucas and Sheltered Terrance … sounds like two interesting characters. I like the idea of Bobby having a “bad” son and J.R. having a “good” one.

      • Dan in WI says:

        But being the fan of Ray that I am I’d hate to see Lucas turn out as a bad son. I just don’t want to think of “Ray” as a failed parent.

  8. The thing I like about speculating on Dallas storylines is that anything is possible. Dallas is a soap opera and soap operas have crazy weird storytelling and twists. Season 2 had to endure the loss of the heart and soul of the show. It was clear while watching season 2 that things were “odd” with the storyline. I feel that they did the best they could possibly could do, considering the circumstances. Most shows, even most entertainment entities, would fall apart after someone as important to their show, as Larry Hagman is to Dallas, passed away.

    I also believe that Emma and John Ross will have a child together. Oh what fun!!!

  9. Jennifer Irons says:

    This is in no way an intent to offend this person, but whoever keeps suggesting that the role of JR Ewing should be recast clearly does not understand that Larry Hagman, in almost every way, OWNED that role. No one could ever duplicate his ability to be charming and bad at the same time and I do not believe that any of his castmates would want JR to be recast! Larry may not have had a problem with a recast, but I am sure Patrick and Linda might!

  10. Brandon Childers says:

    What i would like to see is The Ramos’ not turn into the barns. Lou become as important as Harv was in the original. Ann has another long lost kid, Cliffs

    • Brandon, I love the idea of finding out that Brenda Strong was, indeed, playing Ann when she appeared on the original show as Cliff’s one-night stand in 1987. What a twist that would be.

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