The Cast System

Casting for the 25+ characters in Silver Shadows was something I dreaded for a long time, and quite honestly, was a big reason why it took me a while to get this project off the ground.  I considered not even casting characters, but I realized I had to because it adds some richness to the website.  So, I spent days racking my brain on who to cast in these roles. Since Silver Shadows is a period piece, it didn’t make sense to cast 2019 era actors in their current physical appearance.  The funny thing is, the time-period factor actually made the job easier. I don’t watch much current television, but I grew up watching TV shows from the 70’s, so it was not much of a challenge imagining actors in these roles.  

One of the other challenges in casting was finding younger versions of characters who already existed in The Blackthornes.  Some were impossible. so I wound up recasting them for the prequel.  Jonas only ever appeared in flashbacks in The Blackthornes, so I never cast anyone to portray him with the exception of slapping a picture of Eli Wallach on his StarLog bio.  I was glad to find an actor who I believed could handle a character as powerful as Jonas Lamont. I’d always loved Howard Duff and he was a staple to primetime soaps as the formidable patriarch, so it made sense to use him.

Other characters who appeared in The Blackthornes (primarily in flashbacks) but never got cast are finally given faces in the new series, so that was very exciting for me.  Royce Jennings, Renee’s parents Charles and Ann Merteuil, Marilee’s late husband Richard Wells, all play huge roles in Silver Shadows.  In addition, Topper Beachamp and son Troy are now given actors to represent them.  One of the most exciting to me was finally casting Deacon Edgewater, who was often talked about but rarely seen in the original series.  Here, he’s played by another primetime soap veteran, David Selby.

I struggled with who to include in the series. In 1975 many characters weren’t even a thought in their respective parents minds, so it was up to me to create characters to fill in the gaps, but still had a connection to the characters we already know. Those connections become more evident as the episodes progress. In this one, we learn that Ladys has some kind of resentment toward Jonas. Why? Sounds like a flashback in the making to me!

Thanks to everyone who read the first episode. I’m excited for what’s to come, and I hope that everyone likes this continuation of the Blackthornes universe.

Until next time…


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4 Responses to The Cast System

  1. Bre Drew says:

    Silver Shadows
    Ladys is a hoot! My favorite is part is when she got caught up watching the soap opera until the news bulletin about Jonas. I take it that she has a sordid past with the millionaire producer back in the day. In addition to Lola, who is one of my favorite characters thus far. Seems to have her own history with Jonas.

    Joy reminds me of Brooke from The Blackthornes. A well meaning younger woman married to a powerful Hollywood tycoon who isn’t motivated by the wealth like other characters seems that she is. Jackie, however isn’t the Miranda I have read thus far in The Blackthornes she seems like a strong woman who is a little more confident but dealing with a unhappy marriage and postpartum depression too.

    Alicia is 16 going on 35. She definitely has her mother’s brash and sassy personality. I like reading about Jordan who I am currently reading in The Blackthornes who is treated often as second best. But in this version as a teenager he is a old soul who is certainly is his mother’s favorite. They seem on the way to a sweet and complicated romance ahead.

    It seems Madleen might have something to worry about if Damon has romantic interest in Ann like I think he does. I did love Ann telling Kool that her husband can only call her baby. As well as Madleen with hating him calling her that too.

    Can’t wait to delve deeper in this world and The Blackthornes too!


    • Administrator says:

      Hey Bre! Great of you to drop in! Beyond thrilled you’re enjoying The Blackthornes universe. 🙂 You’re in a unique position that you’re reading both series at the same time. That means if you ever catch a flub, or inconsistency between the two series, you can let me know! Lol It’s been a while since I’ve read the original series from start to end, so most things I’m going off of memory, which is pretty good when it comes to these details, but I’m sure I’d miss something.

      Ladys is fun to write especially in this episode. And so is Alicia. I kind of modeled her after Daria or Debbie Downer. LOL But fun nonethless. And good point about Jordan. True, he was always second best, but here he’s kind of a mama’s boy.

      I’ve been reading some Town & Country and am looking forward to sharing some thoughts on that after I get caught up. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!


  2. Dallas says:

    You know what struck me about this episode? You’ve captured a time before the me too movement super well. Richard and the hostess and then with Daphne are proof of this. It was another time and these things happened. I don’t know if you meant to do this but it was in my mind this episode.

    I like how the majority of the episode was around the shooting – it made the cast feel connected. I like Joy, she seems to have a good head on her shoulders. And she gets along with Jackie (we know how often Miranda got along with James’ wives ). The last scene must leave her gutted as a result, even though I saw it coming.

    I love the set up of Jordan & Alicia too. It’s different seeing this quiet almost shy version of Jordan. People are always growing and evolving so it’ll be a great ride to see Jordan morph into the man we know from the original.

    Can’t wait for the next episode and seeing who is behind 21 Black.

  3. Administrator says:

    I definitely agree, this was a time far different than today as far as how women are treated. It wasn’t intentional, but now that you mention it, it makes sense. Obviously my big frames of reference are soaps from the 80’s, and even then, women were treated pretty badly a lot of the time. Oh and I am glad people are responding to this younger, more shy version of Jordan. With him being so young in this series, it’s fun to play that out and decide where he’ll go as he makes his way to adulthood. One thing I am also excited about is that in the original, I frequently made issue of the “Rydell Curse” so to speak, or rather, how fucked up the family was. Heather and Benji specifically. I always kind of alluded to the fact that it was a genetic trait from Suzanne, but who knows, maybe it’s from Jordan, and now I get to explore that.

    Thanks so much for reading, Dallas! I’ve been trying to catch up on ODaaT and CD so bare with me! 🙂

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