Patrick Duffy’s ‘Dallas’ Costars Were ‘Pissed’ About Bobby Ewing’s Return from the Dead

After an infamous plot twist rendered all of season 9 a dream, ‘Dallas’ star Steve Kanaly tells PEOPLE many actors were unhappy “because their storylines were lost”

It was a famous moment in primetime-soap history when Bobby Ewing made his return to Dallas at the end of season 9. While many were happy to see the beloved character alive and well, others were not as thrilled — including his costars.

After seemingly being killed off at the end of season 8 when star Patrick Duffy left the show, Bobby’s death and the entire ninth season were retrofitted as a lengthy dream by Bobby’s wife Pam (Victoria Principal), who woke up in the final scene of season 9 to find Bobby in the shower.

“It was about a 10 percent audience loss, at least from that, because people were offended to see the [death] storyline just tossed,” Steve Kanaly, 77, who played Ray Krebbs on the show, told PEOPLE at a cast reunion in Palm Springs, California

As the cast reunited ahead of Dallas‘s 45th anniversary in September, Krebbs noted, “I don’t want to mention them, but various cast members were pissed because their storylines were lost as a result of that. And it had a big impact.”

The show’s writers knew they were taking a big risk by devising such a then-unheard of plot twist.

“We’ve got Patrick back,” Kanaly recalled. “Patrick comes back in the show. How do we explain what went on for all of season 8? It was not an easy decision. I know everybody in production was looking for their way to do it, and the least confusing thing was to just throw it all out the window and say, ‘Oh, it was all a dream.’ And then you can pick up where you left off and skip that whole year.”

Despite the mixed reaction to the resurrection of Bobby Ewing, Duffy told PEOPLE viewers who were happy to see him back on the show that they should thank his costar Larry Hagman, who played the main antagonist — and Bobby’s big brother — J.R. Ewing.

“I had an answering machine message, and it was from Larry Hagman, saying ‘Patrick, I want you to come out to the house, get drunk in the jacuzzi. I want to talk to you,’” recalled Duffy, 74. “I told my wife that Larry was going to ask me to come back on the show … and I did it because Haggy asked me to.”

It was Duffy’s wife’s “literary knowledge” that helped the couple predict how his return would happen. “My wife said instantly, ‘Well, you can’t come back on the show unless that whole season was a dream,’” the actor says. “We’ve talked about what she said years and years after that, and she based it on just her literary knowledge. Half of Shakespeare’s plays have dreams.”

Speaking on the legacy of Dallas, Linda Gray, 82, who played J.R. Ewing’s wife Sue Ellen, tells PEOPLE, “Because the show ran for so many years, the audience got to know the characters so genuinely and they really cared for [them] and the characters all went through so much.”

“And I think the fans really loved to relate to the stories that were bigger than life. I think that they were definitely bigger than life so they could live vicariously through those characters. Dallas was so influential.”

All 13 original seasons of Dallas can be streamed on Amazon Freevee.