1 9 7 0 – 1 9 7 1 (Australia)
23 x 60 minute episodes
Not to be confused with the glossy 1980s American soap opera, this Dynasty was an Australian series revolving around the intrigues and conflicts of a powerful media empire called the Mason Corporation.
Headed by autocratic owner-publisher Jack Mason (John Tate), the Mason family controlled a daily newspaper called The Standard and a television station known as MSN Channel 6.
Jack had three sons; John (Ron Graham), the eldest at 42, was his father’s lieutenant on the newspaper with ambitions of making it his own; lawyer David (Kevin Miles) was the administrator of the whole media empire, and youngest son Peter (John Tate’s real-life son, Nick) managed the television station.
The sons were often professionally hostile to each other, continually trying to manipulate events to achieve their personal goals and strengthen their own power base.
The fifth member of the Mason Corporation board was Jewish financier Jacob Goldberg (Owen Weingott) who bought his way into the company after fleeing Germany.
Nigel Dayton (former Hunter lead Tony Ward) was a trouble-shooter and hatchet man for Coriolan Motors, a firm in which David Mason had some financial interest. “Unk” Martel (Ben Gabriel) was the editor of The Standard and an old and trusted friend of Jack Mason.
Other regular characters included John’s wife Kathy (Anne Haddy); Peter’s wife Patricia (Pat Bishop); Jack’s secretary Maggie Tench (Lyn James); and John and Kathy’s university student son Christopher (Serge Lazareff).
The character of Jack Mason was written out for series two as John Tate had work commitments in the UK. His character was killed in a plane crash.
Guest stars included Cornelia Frances, Cecily Polson, Rowena Wallace, Peter Sumner, Ken James, Shane Porteous, Pat McDonald, Kirrily Nolan, Peter Adams, Ruth Cracknell, Ross Higgins, Cul Cullen and John Meillon.
A pilot and 23 episodes were produced in black & white (using film for exterior location work and video for studio-based scenes) by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC).
The series had high production values and received critical acclaim from the start, quickly establishing a solid viewing audience. Tony Morphett won a Logie Award for Best Scriptwriter for the second series.
Episode two – a story called ‘Catwalk’ concerning a glossy women’s magazine – spawned a 13-part spin-off series in 1972 (also called Catwalk) starring John Forgeham, Cornelia Frances, June Salter, John Wood and Cecily Polson
Gran Turismo | Catwalk | Counterpoint | Young Jim Westlake | Cry Me A River | Paper Of The People | Second Pressure | The Champion | Have You Got The Numbers? | When All The Bets Were Off || Dead Man’s Chair | The Killing Ground | The Coorabungle Deposit | Corrida For A Stunt Man | Who Wants A Bridge? | Detour To Power | Nothing Personal | Whatever Happened To Jamie Brooks? | Two Reds Don’t Make A White | Countdown | Full Circle | Man In The Middle | A Half Tone Block Is Black And White