Pam Ewing: Dead or Alive?

Victoria Principal in her final episode and character replacement Margaret Michaels in 'Carousel' 1988

Victoria Principal in her final episode and recast Margaret Michaels as Pam in ‘Carousel’ 1988

The character of Pam Ewing (Mrs Bobby Ewing no. 1) is one that is much missed on the new series of Dallas by many fans, myself included. Originally played by former actress and skin cream mogul Victoria Principal, the character was in a fiery car crash at the end of the original Dallas’s 9th season (10th on DVD) in 1987. Since then Pam has only been seen twice more onscreen. Once was in the first few episodes of season 10 (11 on DVD) but this time she was played by a, heavily bandaged, extra. Soon after this, supposedly unable to allow others to see her with her horrific injuries, she left Dallas, the Ewings (including husband Bobby and adopted son Christopher) & brother Cliff behind.
She was spotted one year later by cartel member Jordan Lee (who would later be shot to death in a phone booth in Paris of all places) at a party. Jordan told Cliff who tried to get Bobby (now divorced from Pam) to go with him to bring her back to Dallas. Bobby refused (as if) but told Cliff to tell her that “I’m still here” (whatever the hell that means).
Cliff tracked Pam down with the help of friend April Stevens Ewing (who was previously married to missing Ewing cousin Jack Ewing and was also the future Mrs Bobby Ewing no. 2 before also getting shot to death in Paris on her honeymoon-how complicated does this get?)
Anyway, Pam was now played by daytime ‘Santa Barbara’ actress Margaret Michaels (in my opinion she did a very fine job but I know not everyone feels like that due to a long and enduring fondness for Victoria Principal in the role). At the time Pam told Cliff that she wasn’t going to return to Dallas because that part of her life was over and she wanted to stay where she was and get married to her plastic surgeon David. When Cliff left, quite distraught, Pam then revealed the truth of why she refused to return to Dallas and that was because she was dying of an unspecified illness and only had a few months left to live. The character’s final words were: “…in my mind I’ll have Cliff, and Christopher and Bobby will be with me. My love for them is all I really need”.
Since then the character has never again been seen and in the last seasons of the show her death was never announced, leading fans to believe that she never died and is still out there somewhere living her life (along with Donna, Jenna, Charlie, Jack, Michelle, James, little Jimmy, Debra Lynn, Lucas, Cally’s unnamed son, Sly, Phyllis, Jackie, Teresa, Raoul, Wes Parmalee, Punk, Mavis and many others) and many are hoping she’ll return to the new series.
Love her or hate her, I think it’s undeniable that the character of Pam Ewing is the missing piece of the jigsaw that is the new Dallas. Executive producer of Dallas 2.0, Cynthia Cidre has promised resolution for the character, and the fans, in this season of Dallas.
So is Pam dead or alive? Personally I think she has been alive, but by the time Christopher Ewing (Pam and Bobby’s adopted son) tracks her down she will have died. Thus removing her shadow from Ann Ewing (played very ably by Brenda Strong-I didn’t really like the character until she shot her ex-husband Harris Ryland (Ann that is, not Brenda)) who fans have compared unfavourably to Pam. I think she will have died because of Cynthia’s comments in a recent interview that we will find out, absolutely concrete, what has happened to Pam. I could be wrong, but that to me sounds like Pam’s died. Also there is that Victoria Principal recently released a statment saying she had no intention of ever returning to Dallas and that she compared the story of Bobby and Pam to Romeo and Juliet and she had no wish to tarnish it.
However, just because Victoria Principal has seemingly pulled out, doesn’t mean that the role couldn’t be recast. I think some fans, myself included, would support a recast-ideally I think Margaret Michaels should be offered the role (if a recast were to happen). I think having that would be better than no Pam at all.
In episode 12 of this new season of Dallas (titled ‘A Call to Arms’) the synopsis says that Christopher closes in on finding his mother, but will she be dead, or alive and will it be Pam or Kristen (his biological mother-supposedly drowned in the Southfork pool in 1981)? I guess only time will tell.

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One Response to Pam Ewing: Dead or Alive?

  1. Dallas 1.0 Pam & Bobby forevere says:

    Pam (the character – NOT VICTORIA) is still the missing piece. That’s how Dallas started – Pam and Bobby. Everyone was waiting for her return, so what now? It’s not Dallas anymore. They especially need that character with the unfortunate passing of the great Larry Hagman.

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