For those unfamiliar with the series, "Dallas" was a groundbreaking prime-time drama that looked into the lives of the wealthy Ewing family - mainly J.R. Ewing (Hagman), the ambitious CEO of the family oil company. There's also the nicer brother, Bobby (Patrick Duffy); J.R.'s wife, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), Ewing matriarch Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) and many other characters. The series remains likable, soapy drama more than twenty years afterwards, as while it looks a little dated, the performances are still first rate and the writing offers enough twists and surprises (most famous being the "Who Shot J.R." plotline of the fourth season, which was sharply spoofed by "The Simpsons" years later) to stay engaging.
Seven seasons of "Dallas" now on DVD, seven more to go. Season seven opens with Bobby coming to the scene of the fire that closed out season 6 and the aftermath of the incident. The seventh season looks into, among other things, relationships, as Sue Ellen takes up with Clayton Farlow, while Pam and Bobby split. The season also tracks the ongoing battle over Ewing oil, as well.
Some of the highlights of the season include the opener, "The Road Back" (the aftermath of the fire in the previous season's closer), "Check and Mate" (Ray is arrested, Cliff steals a deal from JR and Jock's will has a stinger in its tail), "The Oil Barron's Ball" (Shuffling the deck: Bobby attends the annual ball with Jenna Wade and Lucy is with Peter Richards), "To Catch a Sly" (J.R. uncovers the identity of the Ewing Oil spy. But hey, why get mad when you can get even?), "Some Do, Some Don't" (Life is nice for JR: He has two blackmail schemes going, plus a plot against Bobby), "Fools Rush In" (Cliff Barnes has only 12 days to save his company from ruin, which makes J.R.'s day) and the finale, "End Game" (The season ends with amazing revelations, threats, gunfire and one moment of joy as a marriage occurs.)
132. 7- 1 172101 30 Sep 83 The Road Back
- The aftermath of the fire from last season.
133. 7- 2 172102 7 Oct 83 The Long Goodbye
- Sue Ellen tells JR she wants separate bedrooms. Bobby tries to woo Pam to Southfork.
134. 7- 3 172103 14 Oct 83 The Letter
- Katherine tricks Pam into signing a letter that may end her marriage.
135. 7- 4 172104 21 Oct 83 My Brother's Keeper
- Bobby and Pam's divorce leaves the ex-Mr & Mrs. grieving, but many of their friends and relatives grinning.
136. 7- 5 172105 28 Oct 83 The Quality of Mercy
- Cliff recruits a pretty young thing named Sly to spy on J.R. Mickey's ordeal comes to a surprising end.
137. 7- 6 172106 4 Nov 83 Check and Mate
- Ray is arrested, Cliff steals a deal from JR and Jock's will has a stinger in its tail.
138. 7- 7 172107 11 Nov 83 Ray's Trial
- Ray faces the death penalty, while Bobby testifies for the defense and Lucy testifies for the prosecution.
139. 7- 8 172108 18 Nov 83 The Oil Baron's Ball
- Shuffling the deck: Bobby attends the annual ball with Jenna Wade and Lucy is with Peter Richards.
140. 7- 9 172109 25 Nov 83 Morning After
- The oil baron of the year (not JR or Bobby) makes a surprise announcement - and the ball turns into a brawl.
141. 7-10 172110 2 Dec 83 The Buck Stops Here
- - Ride 'em, cowgirl: Pam and Jenna compete in a mechanical bull contest. J.R. realizes that there's a spy in his organization.
142. 7-11 172111 9 Dec 83 To Catch a Sly
- J.R. uncovers the identity of the Ewing Oil spy. But hey, why get mad when you can get even?
143. 7-12 172112 16 Dec 83 Barbecue Four
- Miss Ellie and Clayton have a surprise for the family.
144. 7-13 172113 23 Dec 83 Past Imperfect
- J.R. looks for skeletons in Clayton's closet and Katherine goes to Rome to check out Jenna's past.
145. 7-14 172114 6 Jan 84 Peter's Principles
- Sue Ellen and Peter get into bed, while Afton accuses Cliff of sleeping with Marilee Stone.
146. 7-15 172115 13 Jan 84 Offshore Crude
- Clayton's reticent about his sister Jessica, but Lucy's gushing about Peter, much to the discomfort of Sue Ellen.
147. 7-16 172116 20 Jan 84 Some Do . . . Some Don't
- Life is nice for JR: He has two blackmail schemes going, plus a plot against Bobby.
148. 7-17 172117 27 Jan 84 Eye of the Beholder
- Miss Ellie gets out of her engagement to Clayton, but he's not ready to change partners.
149. 7-18 172118 3 Feb 84 Twelve Mile Limit
- Depressed by Miss Ellie and Clayton's reconcilliation, JR cheers himself up by driving Edgar Randolph to the deep end.
150. 7-19 172119 10 Feb 84 Where is Poppa?
- A traffic accident sends Sue Ellen to the hospital and leads to news for both J.R. and Peter.
151. 7-20 172120 17 Feb 84 When the Bough Breaks
- Who is Charlie's father? Who is the father of the baby Sue Ellen lost?
152. 7-21 172121 24 Feb 84 True Confessions
- Ray and Donna discover Edgar's secret and Jenna reveals the story behind Charlie's birth certificate.
153. 7-22 172122 2 Mar 84 And the Winner Is. . .
- Don't tell J.R. that cheaters never prosper - he tricks Cliff into bidding too high for an oil lease.
154. 7-23 172123 9 Mar 84 Fools Rush In
- Cliff Barnes has only 12 days to save his company from ruin, which makes J.R.'s day.
155. 7-24 172124 16 Mar 84 The Unexpected
- - Clayton's sister Jessica arrives, giving J.R. competition for the title of biggest snake in Southfork.
156. 7-25 172125 23 Mar 84 Strange Alliance
- Cliff Barnes is on the ropes and J.R. sets his sights on bringing down rival Peter.
157. 7-26 172126 6 Apr 84 Blow Up
- J.R. engineers an ugly fight between Peter and Lucy.
158. 7-27 172127 13 Apr 84 Turning Point
- Cliff is desperate for cash, while J.R. gets Peter arrested for a phony rap.
159. 7-28 172128 4 May 84 Love Stories
- Three weddings and a funeral in Southfork.
160. 7-29 172129 11 May 84 Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie
- A crazed Jessica kidnaps his future sister-in-law days before the wedding.
161. 7-30 172130 18 May 84 End Game
- The season ends with amazing revelations, threats, gunfire and one moment of joy as a marriage occurs.
VIDEO: "Dallas" is presented by Warner Brothers in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The presentation quality isn't without some issues, but the episodes seem as if they've mostly held up pretty respectably. Sharpness and detail are alright, as while a good chunk of the episodes look fairly crisp, some scenes can look on the soft side.
Some dirt and wear (light specks, marks and other debris) are occasionally seen, but I didn't think that there was enough to ruin the viewing experience by any means. Some slight shimmering was also noticed on a few occasions, as were some minor artifacts, but none of the problems were major, considering the age of the series. The show's natural color palette didn't appear faded or otherwise problematic.
SOUND: The mono soundtrack sounds perfectly fine, considering the age of the series. Dialogue remains clear and easily understood, and music sounds fine enough. Audio quality is a little thin, but not bad.
EXTRAS: The one extra is a new featurette, "The Music of Dallas", which takes a look at Emmy winner Bruce Broughton's work on the show and Jerrold Immel's memorable main title theme.
Final Thoughts: Halfway through "Dallas", the series still entertains, with terrific performances from the ensemble cast. The DVD offers satisfactory audio/video quality, as well as one minor supplement. Recommended.