Cover Story

Dynasty. Again.

The ''Dynasty'' reunion -- Linda Evans, John Forsythe, and Joan Collins revive the glitzy, greedy '80s

Did Krystle snap out of her coma? Did Blake get out of jail? And did Alexis ever recover from that over-the-balcony tumble she took with ex-husband Dex Dexter?

When Dynasty was yanked off the air more than two years ago, many such big, unresolved story lines were left dangling like rubies from Joan Collins' ears — and now, finally, we're going to get some answers: On Oct. 20 and 22, ABC will broadcast Dynasty: The Reunion, a four-hour miniseries bringing the Carrington chronicles into the 1990s.

For eight years, from Jan. 12, 1981, to May 11, 1989, Dynasty's eye-popping excesses and loopy plot twists made it one of the decade's highest-rated dramas; in the 1984-85 season, it even beat out Dallas to become the year's No. 1 show. Fans ranged from college kids to world leaders (both Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger did cameos). Its cancellation — caused by fading ratings and rising production costs that reportedly reached nearly $2 million per episode — marked the death of the opulent '80s on prime-time TV.

But for two nights, anyway, the Greed Decade will be back, and after visiting the set, we're happy to report that Reunion has everything that made the original Dynasty such a hoot: outlandish plots, fabulous wardrobes, lavish settings, and even a shin-kicking cat fight.

On these pages, a taste of what you'll see this week, when Lifestyles of the Rich and Heinous makes its gaudy return.

Dessert Storm
The evening meal is being served at the Carrington mansion. Blake Carrington stands at the head of the table, his champagne glass raised in a toast to his wife, Krystle, who has just returned from Switzerland, where she was detained by being in a coma for about three years. Seated at the table is the Carrington brood, including Blake's scheming ex-wife, Alexis (who tried many times to destroy his oil empire), his precocious daughter, Fallon (who once got amnesia and forgot whom she was married to), and son Adam Carrington, who once raped and beat his wife, Kirby.

''I am a very lucky man,'' Blake announces to the group. ''Everything a man could want is right here.''

Talk about forgive and forget.

''Don't try to analyze it,'' advises Kathleen Beller, the 36-year-old actress who plays Kirby. ''This is Dynasty. It's supposed to be fun, not profound. I personally could never figure out why all these rich people who didn't like each other lived in the same mansion. I'm sitting at the dinner table with a man who raped me? I mean, c'mon!''

Let's Get Physical
The place: the Merchandise Mart in downtown L.A. Joan Collins, 58, and Linda Evans, 48, are getting ready to film another in their ( series of famous cat fights. In past episodes, Alexis and Krystle have duked it out in a lily pond, a mud puddle, a beauty parlor, and a burning cabin. This time they'll be mixing it up in a fashion-house workroom — and don't ask why.

''It would be more interesting if I said that I really wanted to slug Joan,'' offers Evans before the cameras start rolling. ''But we've never had a (real) fight. Never screamed at each other. We respect each other.''

Standing nearby, Collins is chewing intensely on a piece of gum. ''I abhor violence,'' she says. ''I bruise very easily. I dread doing these scenes. I hate them.'' She turns to a group of onlookers. ''You're in my line of vision!'' she snaps. ''Stay still as stone!''

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