Donna Culver Krebbs first appeared in episode 27 of the original series of Dallas. Titled ‘The Outsiders’ we learnt that Donna was the much younger wife of elderly politician Sam Culver. Meeting Ray Krebbs by chance in a bar they hit it off and though they shared a mutual attraction Donna would not leave her husband for Ray and they parted. Perhaps due to the popularity of the character and/or the impressive acting skills of Susan Howard (who played Donna from 1979 to 1987) she returned in episode 44 and became a regular in episode 61 with her and Ray eventually marrying following the death of Sam. Sadly, as often happens in television and for some inexplicable reason, Susan Howard was let go and made her last appearance in the episode ‘Fall of the House of Ewing’. In her final scene, which was truly bizarre as it gave no closure to the character whatsoever, Donna held new born Margaret Krebbs (Ray’s daughter, also missing from Dallas 2.0-in spite of it supposedly being about the next generation) and talked with her new beau, Senator Andrew Dowling, in her swanky new mansion in Washington DC.
With the launch of Dallas 2.0 in June 2012 many fans, myself included, hoped to hear what had happened to some of our favourite characters in the preceeding two decades. However sadly and for some truly puzzling reason, Donna has yet to even be mentioned let alone seen-despite being a good friend of the Ewings and someone who would most certainly have been at JR’s funeral.
The mystery of why she didn’t appear was soon solved by Susan Howard herself who released a statement saying that she would have loved to have been there but simply wasn’t asked.
If the statement did come from Susan, it makes me question why the producers would be so short sighted as to continue to deny what the viewing public want to see on Dallas 2.0 which is a mix of the new characters (and some of them are very good) and the old favourites (Donna, Lucy, Ray, Jenna, Pam etc etc). The show is supposed to be a CONTINUATION of the original, which Executive Producer Cynthia Cidre has said herself. But I don’t know of any other tv series which gives so many beloved characters the old heave-ho, erases them completely from the history of the show and just fails to reference them ever again as has happened with the new ‘Dallas’ (which appears more and more each week to be Dallas In Name Only or DINO) why can’t there at least be closure if they aren’t going to appear again? Why are viewers left hanging on wondering? I want to know what happened to the characters I grew up watching and I know I’m not the only one. It’s little wonder the show is losing so many viewers as it alienates more than it gains with puzzling plot twists, seemingly endless re-writing and erasing of established Dallas history. Despite this I do hope the show gets renewed for a third season as this will be the only chance to see some of the old favourite characters-hopefully the producers are actually going to start listening to what the fans want-should it be cancelled no-one will touch Dallas again for love or money for many years to come.