You cannot spell Dynasty without drama, and it definitely feels like the Carringtons were born with DNA specially wired for it. If there’s one exception to this, it’s Steven Carrington, the non-toxic environmentalist.
In S1 and S2, scenes with Steven felt like a breath of fresh air. Then poof, like a magic trick gone horribly wrong, he disappeared from the show.
Why did the show let go of the character? Was it caused by some complications off-camera? Did the actor leave the show?
While the show has not stated any particular reason for writing Steven off, actor James Mackay confirmed that he was let go without a choice.
Ushering a new S2 episode, Mackay posted on Instagram that he would not be appearing on the show. His exact words were, “While Steven had a choice to leave, unfortunately, I didn’t.”
He is, of course, referring to the plotline in which him leaving to do some humanitarian work in Paraguay was Steven’s “choice” to get away from his family.
There are quite a few theories about why Steven’s character was cut, even though Mackay wanted to reprise the role. Mackay’s remark about “TV show decisions,” makes it seem like it was a network decision that he couldn’t fight.
It is no secret that CW does give TV shows notes on what they need to do or not. But why would they cut this particular Carrington? A simple answer is that Steven wasn’t dramatic enough for Dynasty, which is always larger-than-life and scandalous.
Don’t get me wrong, he had some really wacky plotlines circling his relations with his mother and Sam. Not to forget, the whole bit where he gets tricked by Adam into believing he was going insane.
But his personality by and large is non-confrontational and drama-free. It’s not enough that his views don’t gel with any of the Carringtons—if he was aggressive about his opinions, there would’ve been more of a chance for him to continue being on the show (like being an environmentalist that goes against Blake, instead of just hiding away doing his own thing).
Plus, by the end of S2, Dynasty had just too many characters in the main cast but they had to still introduce bigger characters like Adam and Liam in full-time capacities. Because of this, characters like Steven and Monica had to be snipped off.
Still, it is an utter disservice that Steven continues to be absent since his last appearance in S2, especially because the show introduced yet another new Carrington sibling, Amanda, in S4.
Fans are also not thrilled that cutting Steven meant doing away with an LGBTQ character that was part of the main cast. (What a huge shame, since Steven in the original Dynasty series was one of the earliest gay portrayals on American TV).
What’s worse is that, in an Instagram post, Dynasty writer Paula Sabbaga has teased Steven’s comeback in S4 as well via a political career arc—all that never ended up happening. If you’re wondering what happened to that arc, it actually became part of Blake’s storyline.
Seeing the way Steven’s character was built up, it is unbelievable for him to not be present in the seasons thereafter—he is a lovely, caring soul, who is incredibly close with Anders and Fallon. Yet the show wrote him off to miss his own father’s funeral and sister’s wedding without a mention or excuse.
As there are only three more episodes left in the final season, there is very little to no chance for Steven to return now. On the bright side, one can hope that Steven is living a very fulfilling life without the constant mess that the Carringtons seem to make.
Dynasty is a prime-time television soap opera based on the 1980s series of the same name. It follows the lives of the Colbys and the Carringtons, two of the richest families in America. Their children fight for control over the company’s fortune, and the show reveals the dark underbelly of backroom deals that shape corporations.
The story unfolds primarily through two women at war, Fallon and Cristal, who are the daughter and fiancée respectively of Blake Carrington, owner of the Carrington Atlantic.
Dynasty was developed for The CW by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Sallie Patrick.