Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman/Many Dr. Quinn questions
Dear Tiffany: Can you please answer the following questions for me?
#1. Why were there so many cast changes after the pilot episode?
#2. Knowing how CBS handled the show's demise, is there anything that Beth Sullivan believes she could have done differently to retain more control of the show, leading to its 7th and final season--if not, more?
#3. In watching the episode when Dorothy had female problems, I was horrified in one scene in which Dorothy was laying on the clinic's table, her butt, pointed toward the door in full female stirrups view, when another character opened the door to race out. Did anyone not notice how awful it was to depict the scene in this manner?
#4. Since James Keach directed many Dr. Quinn episodes, how did he come to terms with Jane's and Joe's relationship?
#5. Were the scripts involving Indian stories considered authentic by Larry Sellers? What led to Mr. Sellers' decision to leave acting?
#6. Is there no one actively pursuing CBS to sell them the rights to Dr. Quinn? If a show makes money, how could Moonves kill it, simply because he didn't like Beth? Wouldn't stockholders override such an egotistical decision? Doesn't money rule Hollywood instead?
#7. What was the order of casting for the first five major roles? Did Jane come before Joe or vice versa? Any stories about when the majors decided to join the cast?
#8. Does Orson Bean still believe in Orgone?
#9. Was the Dr. Quinn saga created by Beth Sullivan or was it based on a book or someone else's story idea?
#10. Was Wolf the same dog throughout the show? Oftentimes, you see dogs responding to their trainers off-camera. I never saw such interaction with this dog. Also, this dog seemed close to Joe Lando. Are there any particular reasons why actor and animal were able to achieve this perceived bonding on camera? Who trained the dog--or, were there more than one?
I always find your answers detailed and well written. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise.
Wow! You're not kidding with your subject line of many questions. :) And I apologize for taking so long to reply, but with 2 little ones underfoot, I don't have as much free time as I would like. I'll do my best with the questions you have.
1. The Pilot was filmed as a test with the belief that it wouldn't be picked up as a series, so aside from Jane and Joe, the casting director and producer (Beth Sullivan) went with those they could get, not asking for commitments of any kind from any of them. When the show WAS picked up, though, several of those who starred in the Pilot weren't able to commit to a weekly series. So, replacements had to be made.
2. Unfortunately, no. Les Moonves made up his mind that he did not like a woman-produced and woman-starring show doing so well on his network. He was able to cite enough proof of a decline in viewership and loss of revenue to persuade all those who made decisions to give the show the ax. More in #6.
3. You know, I don't believe anyone has ever pointed that out before. Even now, I can't recall anyone opening the door to rush out while Dorothy was on the table, though I do remember her being on the table in that position. But I thought Dr. Mike was the only one in the room. My guess is simple oversight on the part of the directors for that episode.
4. I'd say James came to terms with Jane and Joe's past the same way any man does with his girlfriend's or wife's previous relationships. He recognized the depth of their affection, but he also knew from Jane that she had put her feelings for Joe behind her and was ready to move on. Jane and Joe have admitted they've never stopped loving each other, but their love changed when they realized they didn't have a future together. As for James, some have said he directed so many so he could keep an eye on them. :) But that's only speculation.
5. Yes. Larry became an adviser on the show after the first season, and he verified the authenticity of all portrayals involving American Indians. He left acting because he wanted to return to his roots and do more to further the education/continuance of his tribes over remaining in the acting industry to entertain. He felt working with his people and focusing on instruction there better suited his passions.
6. Oh, there have been many attempts over the past 15 years, all of them unsuccessful beyond the syndication rights being granted to various networks. CBS and Les Moonves didn't want the show, but they also didn't want anyone else to have it either for fear it would bring great success on another network or channel. So, CBS still retains the rights to the characters and show, preventing it from being revived in any way. Although Dr. Quinn was making money, it wasn't enough to justify keeping it from a profitability standpoint. As I mentioned above, Moonves cited a decline in viewership and loss of revenue from sponsors in the last 2 seasons, so from all appearances, his decision was nothing more than a financial one. Those of us "in the know" are aware of the truth.
7. Joe was actually signed before Jane, as Jane came in at the 11th hour, so to speak. And Chad, Erika, and Shawn, were also signed before Jane. But again, initially, it was only for that Pilot episode. Once the show was picked up, Jane's contract was the first one presented for long-term, followed by Joe, Chad, Erika, and Shawn, in age order. I'm not sure what "stories" you're looking to hear about the other majors joining the cast, but I don't know much about the process beyond knowing they had to scramble for some of them, and one or two had wanted to do the Pilot but weren't available, so they jumped at the chance when the show was picked up for a series.
8. As of 10 years ago, yes. He agreed to have the book republished in 2000, and I must say Orson is quite a character. The term "dirty old man" could fit him in a good way, meaning he was a lively fellow with rather colorful jokes that often contained a sexual undertone to them. Whether he continues to receive any form of therapy related to it, I don't know.
9. It was created by Beth with facts loosely based upon multiple women pioneers from that time period. Not all of them were from Colorado, but Beth did a lot of research to get the idea rolling, then let the writers take it from there while she oversaw the development of the story lines to remain in line with her overall plan.
10. No. You can find a great deal of information about the dogs at the Dr. Quinn web site: Wolf Profile
. As for them responding well to Joe, that's because Joe spent a great deal of time with them off-camera. He was often there for their training and involved so they would respond as well to him as their trainer. They formed a very special bond while working together.
Ahh...I made it. Hope these answers help and are what you were expecting. If you need or would like further clarification, feel free to submit a follow-up.