swans banner

      - last updated 15 February 2020

site search by freefind advanced
SWANS CROSSING aired 29 June to 25 September 1992 and Ran 13 weeks (65 episodes) in syndication. 50 episodes ran on USA network in 1993-94. The show was created by Ned Kandel and Mardee Kravit and taped at Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York.


Imagine Alexis Carrington at 16. That would be Sydney.

Sarah Michelle Gellar described the character thusly in an interview with TEEN PARTY magazine: "Sydney is kind of like the town witch. She doesn't really care about anyone else's feelings and she feels that everything revolves around her, and it usually does."

The full name is Sydney Orion Rutledge. The middle name is not shown in the credits and is only mentioned once in the show. The pronunciation given to it (by Nancy) suggests it might be spelled Orien or Orienne. IMDB, however, is going with Orion and so am I. She was born 13 March 1978 around 11:45 pm at Swans Crossing General Hospital during the Great Flood. See Sydney's Horoscope. Sandy Swan was born at approximately the same time and place. The daughter of Mayor Margaret Rutledge and granddaughter of the late Cyrus Rutledge, Sydney has the same initials as her grandmother (S.O.R.). There is no reference in the series to Sydney's father, a fact which lends itself to speculation as to what could make an entire community refuse to mention him or his side of the family at all.

Sydney looking out her bedroom window toward the Booth house Sydney tried to never wear an outfit more than once, only bit her nails when she was really stressed, read books about horses (she was an accomplished equestrian), was always in the mood for shopping, and had her own phone line and answering machine message (pre-cell era). Her horse's name was Sugar, and the riding collar had her initials on it. Sydney got her first horse before Nancy and got the name for the horse that Nancy wanted (which was Sugar).

She loved a challenge, couldn't think when nervous, and always liked finer foods, lemons, and Garrett.

The following observations were made during the course of the show, possibly to cause the audience to perhaps give some credence to the notion that Sydney and Sandy might have been switched at birth:

  1. Margaret once said "ten generations of Rutledge women and Sydney is the first one not to have light eyes." (If Mayor Rutledge found this significant, it would imply that the Mayor had little knowledge of genetics. The inheritance of eye colour is a complicated thing and no single gene controls it.)
  2. Sydney is not exceptionally smart (that she was actually worried by the eye colour observation is some evidence of this), and the extension of this is her mother's observation that she was "an ordinary baby". That her mother regarded Sydney as unexceptional as a baby implies a lack of maternal bonding, as Sydney was her only child.
  3. Sydney has smaller feet than Nancy. (A point was made of this, and that sort of thing might well be a family characteristic.)
  4. In the fifth grade Sydney had "pigtails and buck teeth". (Don't know if any other Rutledges or Swans were so afflicted.)
  5. Sandy is the only Swan to have been born a blonde. (The genetics of hair colour is not fully understood. This indicates nothing about lineage.)
  6. The signal Garrett used to tell Sydney he wanted to meet her in No Man's Land was the hanging of a shade with a picture of Fabian on it in his sister Glory's bedroom window.

    Garret always gave Sydney a red rose. He gave her one before he left for France

    Sydney and her mother the Mayor (played by Ziska Beveridge) Sydney was insecure, and felt that no one ever helped her and everyone she cared about left her. She was afraid of the rumors, suspicions, and even just what the gossip would do if Garrett revealed that she "was Sandy"

    Her favorite color was red

    Her mother (the Mayor) named her Chairperson of the Rock Concert Stage Commitee

    When Nancy got a horse without telling her parents, Sydney helped her hide it in her room (evidently a very large room) and the plan worked until Nancy jumped over her bed with it. Nancy got to keep the horse. (This is discussed but not shown.)

    She had three dream sequences, all rather nightmarish. These dreams occur in episodes 28, 53, and 55. The first involved a wizard who transformed her into Sandy Swan; the second an antique slot machine (in the background were coloured lights and giant dice); and in the third, several of her friends mock her while being served canapes by Ralph.

    After the third dream sequence, at 5 am, she went to the dock and dropped her grandmother's locket into the water. After diving in to retrieve it, she got her hand stuck under a rock and Callie had to save her.


    "All men love surprises."
    "Watch out for the boys that always smile at you"
    "Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride."




    The Fabian Shade in the window of the Booth house on Swans Crossing

    About that Fabian shade that Garrett displayed whenever he wanted Sydney to meet with him at the wall between the properties of the Booths and the Rutledges. Fabian was a pop star whose career flourished between 1958 and 1963. He did release one single in '89 but the question is: Why Fabian? Of all the popular recording artists or personalities to choose from in 1992, why pick Fabian to put on the shade? Were they just too cheap to buy the rights to use a current performer's image? It just seems unlikely that Garrett, Sydney, or Glory would have listened to any of Fabian's music. It's something that Mayor Rutledge might have enjoyed.


    The Swans Crossing Theme was written by Steve Lane and Richard W. Winzeler. They most recently teamed to do the music for the musical production of GREAT EXPECTATIONS at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in 2010.


    Mardee Kravit (Producer and Head Writer) was born in Chicago, raised in Milwaukee, and attended Northwestern University. She also wrote for ABC's RYAN'S HOPE. In 1992, she described the show's concept this way to the Chicago Tribune:

    "We're more of an action-adventure soap-serial. We decided not to do problem/solution stories like teenage alcoholism, child abuse, drugs. Instead we asked what is the most obvious concern of adolescents? When the world is falling apart around me, what am I most concerned about? Who likes me? Who is my friend today? Who will ask me out? We decided to make them rich to give them more freedom to get where they wanted to go."


    Swans Crossing Campground, Australia

    The only actual place named Swans Crossing seems to be a large camping area in Kerwong State Forest, Australia.


    Spike Lee (?) - at Swans Soda Shop

    At the very beginning of episode 14, there is a brief scene with a waitress who is never seen again on the show serving a milkshake to a man sitting alone at a table in Swans Soda Shop. The man looks a lot like New York filmmaker Spike Lee. And there is a possible connection between Lee and the show. Both Spike Lee and David Toney (who played Bryce Atwater) were in the 1990 film LONELY IN AMERICA.


    Cast of Swans Crossing with Gellar at center

    Devin Doherty - 1/2/78 - Larchmont, NY
    Kristen Mahon - 1/13/79 - New York City
    Jason Culp - 1/15/61 - Los Angeles, CA
    Holter Graham - 2/11/72 - Baltimore, MD
    Carisa Dahlbo - 2/12/77 - Kansas City, MO
    Laurie Kennedy - 2/14/48 - Hollywood, CA
    Brittany Daniel - 3/17/76 - Gainesville, FL
    Charlie Sara - 3/19/67 - Teaneck, NJ
    Eddie Tyclus Robinson - 4/2/78 - ?
    Sarah Michelle Gellar - 4/14/77 - New York City
    Susan Ward - 4/15/76 - Monroe, LA
    Shane Mcdermott - 4/24/76 - Middleton, NY
    Evan Ferrante - 5/6/79 - ?
    Nick Wyman - 5/18/50 - Portland, ME
    Alvin Lum - 5/28/31 - Honolulu, HI
    John Cunningham - 6/22/32 - Auburn, NY
    Don Symington - 8/30/25 - Baltimore, MD
    Tom Carroll - 9/13/75 - Bucks County, PA
    Gerry Bamman - 9/18/41 - Independence, KS
    M.B. Battisti - 9/26/65 - Ephrata, PA
    Mira Sorvino - 9/28/67 - Tenafly, NJ
    Alex Tanaka - 11/2/74 - Huntington, NY
    Kristy Barbera - 11/3/77 - Fair Lawn, NJ
    Wai Ching Ho - 11/16/43 - Hong Kong
    Barry Papick - 11/16/xx - Jersey City NJ
    Stacey Moseley - 12/20/75 - Chesapeake, VA


    The phone number for Swans Soda Shop was mentioned in the show (234-643-xxxx The last four digits add to 19. All four digits are different. Three of them are even numbers. The largest of the digits is the second and the smallest is the fourth. Digits one and two divide evenly by a common third number >1, as do digits three and four. None of the digits is twice any of the others.) At the time the 234 area code did not exist. Presently, however, it is located in northeast Ohio. The number does belong to someone now, but it is unlisted.


    Swan periscope belonging to Captain Walker's submarine

    Captain Walker's undersea houseboat had a periscope disguised as a swan. This wouldn't be good camoflage everywhere. Swans live in temperate climates although they migrate northward as far as Alaska and Siberia. There are few if any in the tropics and none in Africa.



J.T. (Tom Carroll) delivers a poem to Glory Stars shine, but you shine brighter.
Gold glitters, but you're worth more
Diamonds are hard and cold
But you are sweet and pure
Because of you in every soul I see a miracle
You flash in my heart like a light from the sun
And I take your warmth with me all day long
Through you, I know every soul is a miracle

    ---  J.T. Adams

3 More poems by J.T. Adams
are in the EPISODE GUIDE


A letter written by Brittany Daniel while she was doing Swans Crossing. The letter reads: "Lynne, Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much we appreciate all of your support for Swans Crossing. Hope to meet up with you at the Youth Film Awards in L.A. My twin sister and I will be attending the awards, as I have been nominated Best Young Actress on an Off-prime-time Series. I also believe three other Swans Crossing cast members have been nominated as well. Thanks again for all your support. See you soon! - Brittany"