Open main menu

Adam Carrington

Adam Alexander Carrington is a fictional character from the ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty, created by Richard and Esther Shapiro. Introduced at the beginning of the series' third season, the role was originated by Gordon Thomson in 1982. He continued to appear as a series regular until the series finale in 1989. For the 1991 miniseries continuation, the role of Adam Carrington was recast with Robin Sachs as Thomson was unavailable.

Adam Carrington
Gordon Thomson as Adam Carrington
Dynasty character
Portrayed by Gordon Thomson (1982–1989)
Robin Sachs (1991)
Duration 1982–1989, 1991
First appearance "The Plea" (1982)
Last appearance "Catch 22" (1989)
Created by Richard and Esther Shapiro
Dynasty: The Reunion (1991)
Other names Michael Torrance
Occupation Attorney
Business executive
(Denver-Carrington and ColbyCo)
Residence Denver, Colorado
Billings, Montana
Robin Sachs as Adam Carrington (1991)

The addition of Adam to the cast provided a male villain to the show. Over the next seven seasons, Adam would be motivated primarily by jealousy, undermining the professional successes of his brother Steven and brother-in-law Jeff, in an attempt to curry favor with his parents, especially his father. Adam would betray both his parents multiple times but would be forgiven, even when his acts were criminal, due to residual feelings of guilt for Adam's difficult childhood. When circumstances arise that truly make Adam sympathetic, he squanders that good will due to his selfish, jealous nature.


Original seriesEdit


In 1986, the New Sunday Times called Adam "one of the truly imaginative, despicable villains on television", noting that "Adam has raped the butler's daughter, painted poor Jeff Colby's office with poisonous, lead-based paint, tricked Blake into signing over power of attorney while he lay at death's door—and blew a competitor out of the water by plastering his son's homosexuality all over Denver's front pages."[1]


Gordon Thomson originated the role of Adam Carrington in "The Plea", the September 1982 season premiere of Dynasty's third season. According to Thomson, "They had planned on Adam being an impostor but they liked him so much they decided to keep him on. They tested me for 13 shows, then extended that to 24."[1] Thomson played the character until the series finale in 1989.

Adam was recast with British actor Robin Sachs for the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion because Thomson was unavailable, filming the daytime series Santa Barbara.[2]


Season 3Edit

Former spouses Blake Carrington and Alexis Carrington make a televised plea for the return of their kidnapped infant grandson L.B. Colby. While on the air, Alexis confesses a dark secret from their past: their firstborn son, Adam, had been kidnapped as a baby and never recovered. Traumatized by the event, they had hidden his existence from their subsequent children Fallon and Steven. (Alexis first mentions Adam during an argument with Blake in episode 36 during season 2.)

In Billings, Montana, an elderly woman named Kate Torrance watches the broadcast from her deathbed. Afterwards, Kate tearfully tells her grandson Michael—who she has raised since he was a baby, telling him he survived the car crash in which his parents died— that he is really the Carrington heir. (In fact, the real baby Michael had died along with his parents in the crash. A grief-stricken Kate subsequently kidnapped baby Adam, and raised him as her grandson Michael.) To prove it, she shows him an engraved silver baby rattle with the monogram A.A.C. Michael is stunned by the news. As her dying wish, Kate tells Michael to find and rejoin his real family. Michael agrees, telling Kate, "My name is Adam Carrington."

Still using the name Michael Torrance, Adam travels to Denver and checks into the La Miranda Hotel. He meets a beautiful woman, and while they flirt with each other and share a kiss, she playfully refuses to tell him her name. Adam first goes to meet his father. Blake assumes that he is a con-man who saw the TV broadcast. Stunned by Blake's abrupt rejection, Adam leaves without showing him the baby rattle. In episode 41, "The Will," Adam meets his mother, Alexis. She immediately accepts him as her lost child, and they have an emotional reunion. When Alexis introduces Adam to his sister Fallon, they are shocked—she is the woman from the hotel! Adam isn't bothered by their close-call with incest, but notices that it troubles Fallon. Over time, their relationship will remain strained. Alexis and Adam also visit a doubtful Blake, who gradually accepts the idea that Adam could be his son.

Alexis offers Adam, a lawyer, a job at ColbyCo. When she also recruits Fallon's husband Jeff Colby[3] Adam is jealous. Revealing his devious nature, Adam has Jeff's office painted with toxic paint. Gradually, Jeff's behavior becomes increasingly erratic. In episode 51, Alexis sends Jeff away on a vacation. Realizing that Jeff will "recover" when he's not breathing toxic fumes every day, Adam confesses to Alexis. Alexis orders Adam to have the paint removed from Jeff's office. Adam warns his mother that if she betrays him, he will implicate her in the scheme, since Alexis used Jeff's poor health to trick him into signing over his son's shares in Denver-Carrington to her.

During this time, Adam also is attracted to Kirby, Jeff and Fallon's nanny. Jeff protects Kirby from Adam's unwanted advances, increasing tension between the two men. In episode 48, a drunken Adam rapes Kirby. In episode 55, Adam attacks Kirby again but she is rescued by Jeff, who proposes to her.[4]

Blake and his wife Krystle are suspicious of Alexis when they learn from Jeff's doctors that there was poison in his bloodstream. But Fallon suspects Adam and vows to learn the truth. She notes that Adam is distressed that his family doctor from Billings is in Denver for a conference. Fallon questions Dr. Edwards, who reveals that Adam once won a court case that involved poisoning by toxic paint fumes.

Season 4Edit

In episode 66, Alexis warns Adam that if Fallon learns the truth about Jeff's illness that he is on his own. In return, Adam tricks Alexis into signing documents that make it look like she ordered the office to be painted. Alexis travels to Montana to investigate her son's background and learns from Dr. Edwards that Adam had experimented with drugs as a teen and suffered a psychotic breakdown. Alexis is somewhat more sympathetic to Adam at this point, feeling guilty that they gave up the search for their lost son so many years ago, condemning him to such a tragic life. As she does not want his past drug addiction to be widely known, Alexis is resigned to suffer the consequences of his actions. She gives up her control of Denver-Carrington. In episode 71, Adam is attacked by Jeff. Jeff tells him that Kirby (who is now married to Jeff) is pregnant with Adam's child. Surprised, Adam tells Kirby that he wants to be a father to their baby. When he learns that Kirby and Jeff plan to divorce, he proposes. In episode 75, Kirby accepts his proposal. Adam confesses to Blake that he raped Kirby, who is disgusted by his son. Kirby is diagnosed with eclampsia and must be hospitalized. She suffers from seizures and convulsions and doctors are forced to operate. In episode 77, Adam is distressed to learn that their baby girl has not survived. He tells Kirby gently, devastating her. Stunned with grief, Adam apologizes to Blake and Alexis for the pain that he has caused them. He and Kirby decide to proceed with their wedding plans. However, Alexis blackmails Kirby into leaving Adam, who is crushed when Kirby breaks off their engagement and moves to Paris in the season finale.

Season 5Edit

Adam causes great concern when he unwillingly is duped by Sammy Jo, his former sister-in-law into helping her kidnap her son, his nephew, Danny. Steven's wife Claudia sympathizes with Adam and encourages him to re-kidnap the child back, mollifying the situation.

Adam is also called upon to defend Alexis against charges that she murdered Mark Jennings. Adam and Dex are able to identify Congressman Neal McVane as the killer, and Alexis is acquitted. During this time, Adam mourns the death of his sister Fallon[5] and discovers that he has another sister, Amanda.[6]

Adam also grows closer to Claudia, and steps in to comfort her when her marriage to Steven falls apart. Despite Blakes admonition not to become romantically involved with Claudia, he invites her to accompany him to Amanda's wedding to Prince Michael of Moldavia. Adam promises Blake that he'll end the relationship after the wedding, which is interrupted by a terrorist attack.

Season 6Edit

After surviving the terrorist attack on Amanda's wedding, Adam proposes to Claudia in episode 121. After they elope in episode 123, a furious Blake disowns Adam and cuts him out of his will. Meanwhile, Claudia pressures Adam to help her acquire an oil well from Blake that she believes is rightfully hers. Adam takes advantage of Blake's health problems[7] to trick him into signing a Power of Attorney.

Adam is also working with Denver-Carrington on a pipeline project with Colby Enterprises. When he travels to California for a meeting, he encounters his sister Fallon who is alive and suffering from amnesia. Fallon becomes hysterical upon meeting Adam, and accuses him of raping her. Jeff is ready to believe her accusation, but upon further counseling, Fallon realizes that her unresolved conflict over her sexual attraction to Adam when they first met was what triggered her mental breakdown and subsequent disappearance and amnesia.

As part of his work on the pipeline, Adam attempts to bribe State Senator Bart Fallmont. When Fallmont refuses the bribe, Adam investigates and learns that he is a closeted gay man. Adam leaks stories to the press that Bart is sleeping with Steven, which infuriates his family but ultimately causes Bart to resign, effectively ending opposition to his pipeline deal.

Claudia has been increasingly obsessed with regaining an oil well from Blake. When Adam cannot help her, she reveals to Blake that Adam took advantage of his illness. Later that night, in the season finale (episode 148) Claudia accidentally sets fire to her hotel room while Adam drowns his sorrows at the hotel bar.

Season 7Edit

Adam escapes the hotel fire, but is devastated to learn that Claudia has perished in the blaze.

Adam, working for Alexis at ColbyCo, attempts to seduce his father's assistant Dana Waring. Dana is furious when she learns Adam has used her, but he convinces her that his feelings for her are true. In episode 165, Adam proposes. Dana accepts, although in episode 166, it is revealed that Dana has a secret which she fears could come between them.

In episode 167, Neal McVane is released from prison. He tells Adam that, while in prison, he learned that the real baby Adam Carrington had died during the kidnapping—that he is a fraud. He also claims to have evidence. McVane begins blackmailing Adam who, who has recently reconciled with Blake, is panicked that he will lose everything. Adam feeds McVane insider trading information but his depression causes him to drink heavily. In episode 170, Adam is arrested for DUI. Blake vows to learn what is causing Adam's troubles. In episode 174, Adam confesses to Blake and Alexis that he has learned he is not their son. Adam plans to leave Denver with Dana, but Blake convinces him not to go. In episode 176, the season finale, Adam and Dana are married. Just prior to the wedding, Blake and Alexis present a stunned and grateful Adam with adoption papers—regardless of what McVane says, they consider him to be their son, faults and all. Later, in the 1988 episode "The Scandal", McVane leads Adam to the source of the story about Adam actually being Michael Torrance. Adam discovers that it was fabricated, and that he really is Blake and Alexis' son.[8]

Season 8Edit

On their honeymoon, Adam tells Dana that he wants to start a family. He grows suspicious when Dana keeps avoiding the subject. He follows Dana to her doctor and is crushed to learn that Dana is unable to have children. They decide to hire a surrogate mother, and in episode 181 meet Karen Atkinson. After she becomes pregnant, Adam showers Karen with presents and affection making Dana feel excluded.

Meanwhile, Adam finds himself in conflict with his mother's new husband, Sean Rowan. Sean is hell-bent on destroying all the Carringtons. Sean blackmails Dana who must eventually confess her secret to Adam. Dana cannot have children due to a botched abortion during high school. What's more, Dana was a student at Adam's high school in Billings (when Adam was still Michael Torrance, naturally). One night during a drunken blackout, the shy and mousy Dana slept with Adam who has no memory of the incident. She was obsessed with him which is what ultimately led her to Denver last year. Adam is stunned by the news and reacts badly, accusing her of killing his child. Adam turns to Karen for comfort. Eventually, Adam forgives Dana and threatens to kill Sean if he hurts Dana again.

Undaunted, Sean pays Karen's ex-husband, Jessie, to reconcile with her, throwing the surrogacy into question. Adam attempts to bribe him to leave town, but Sean forces Jessie to stay. After the baby is born in episode 194, Karen tells Adam that she and Jessie want to keep the baby. During the trial, Alexis reveals that Sean bribed Karen and Jessie. Dana sympathizes with Karen and states that Karen is the rightful mother. Adam moves out of their bedroom.

Just before the end of the trial, the baby is kidnapped. Adam is the primary suspect, but he and Steven discover that Sean is the kidnapper and are able to rescue the baby. In the season finale, custody is awarded to Karen and Jessie.

Season 9Edit

A drunk and depressed Adam alienates his family. Dana leaves Adam and moves away from Denver. Adam continues his manipulative ways, attempting to double-cross Jeff on their pipeline work by sleeping with Steven's former secretary, Claire. He also seduces Virginia, Krystle's cousin, and learns of her mysterious past with Dex. Adam learns that Virginia was a prostitute and humiliates her into leaving Denver. When Dex learns of Adam's actions, they come to blows. Dex tells Blake about Adam's behavior causing a rift between father and son.

Adam also flirts with Joanna, Sable Colby's vice-president of mergers and acquisitions, in an attempt to help his mother with a vendetta against Sable. Blake eventually fires Adam who returns to ColbyCo, and offers Joanna a job when Sable fires her. Adam assists Alexis in investigating a mysterious mine on the Carrington property, where a 20-year-old dead body was recently found. Adam discovers a witness who claims he saw Blake put the body in the mine. Adam passes this information to Blake, and then finds the witness dead just moments after seeing Blake leave the witnesses apartment. Blake accuses Adam of setting him up, but Adam insists that something more nefarious is going on. As the mystery deepens, Adam and Alexis learn that the mine holds stolen Nazi treasure and artwork.

Out of spite, Adam has photographs of Jeff and his supposed-sister, Monica, doctored to look like they are sharing a romantic moment. In the chaos that follows, Alexis reveals that Monica is not Jeff's sister and only his cousin as before.

In the final episode of the series, Adam taunts Dex when he learns that Sable is pregnant with his child. The men fight while Alexis, Sable, and Monica watch in horror. When Dex turns his back, Adam rushes him. Dex falls backward into Alexis, sending them both crashing through a railing falling off a second-story balcony.[9]

The Reunion (1991)Edit

Three years after the final episode, Adam is still working for Alexis, having sold out Denver-Carrington to a foreign cartel while Blake was in jail. After Blake's release and subsequent recontrol of his company, Adam and Blake are reconciled once again. In addition, a remorseful Adam is reunited with Kirby.


A Dynasty reboot premiered on The CW on October 11, 2017.[10]

Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) is kidnapped in the January 2018 episode "I Answer to No Man", prompting Blake (Grant Show) to confide in his wife Cristal (Nathalie Kelley) that he and Alexis had a son before Steven and Fallon. The baby, Adam, was kidnapped at six months old and never returned. In "Don't Con a Con Artist", Alexis (Nicollette Sheridan) tells Steven (James Mackay) about Adam, and admits that she spent all of her money trying to find him. A tip from Alexis leads Steven to El Paso in "A Line from the Past", where he finds Adam living under the name Hank Sullivan (Brent Antonello). In "Trashy Little Tramp", Steven brings Hank/Adam home, but Blake refuses to accept him. Hank's missing finger convinces Blake that he is Adam, but Hank is actually Alexis' lover with whom she is conspiring to amass enough Carrington Atlantic shares to seize control of the company.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "From Despair to Success". New Sunday Times. June 15, 1986. p. 6. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  2. ^ Teeman, Tim (September 25, 2017). "'I'm Gay': Gordon Thomson, Dynasty's Adam Carrington, Comes Out—and Trashes CW's Reboot". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ Alexis had been married, briefly, to Jeff's uncle Cecil, from whom she inherited ColbyCo.
  4. ^ Jeff and Kirby are married in the following episode.
  5. ^ It will turn out that Fallon is alive and suffering from amnesia
  6. ^ In an interesting scene, Adam and Amanda exchange stories about being "new additions" to the family.
  7. ^ Blake is being slowly poisoned by a Krystle look-alike named Rita Lesley.
  8. ^ In episode 195, Adam confronts McVane's source on the kidnapping, and learns he is, in fact, really Adam Carrington. Adam later discovers that McVane was lying, and that he is actually Adam Carrington after all.
  9. ^ In Dynasty: The Reunion, it is revealed that Alexis survived the fall, while Dex's fate is left unclear.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2017). "The CW Sets Fall 2017 Premiere Dates For Dynasty & Valor And Returning Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 8, 2017.