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What Were Five Times Soaps Went All Sci-Fi On Us? Think Clones, Aliens, Satan & Passions!

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

Now over the decades devoted soap viewers have been put through the ringer with some very implausible plots.  However, while some have been “out there,” some have been quite entertaining and memorable.  And yes, there are those that are remarkably unmemorable, as well.

In a hilarious tribute to the five times soap operas went sci-fi insane, SYFY Wire has posted a hysterical look into these storylines which include: The Reva/Dolly clone story on Guiding Light, Marlena’s possession on Days of our Lives, Casey the alien from Lumina on General Hospital and so much wackadoodle from the defunct Passions that you will have a great chuckle when you go through the review in the video.

So soapers, check out this video ditty to kick your 4th of July holiday weekend off after the jump!. Then in the comment section below, let us know which of all was the zaniest, most outlandish sci-fi stories of them all on the soaps represented here in this video, or not, is your all-time favorite!

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29 Comments

  1. Jay

    June 30, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    No Dark Shadows?

    • Christy

      July 12, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Dark Shadows was all reality – in the realm of Collinswood that is. Port Charles and The Edge of Night were in betweeners. Passions was a whole other world to itself. Regular soaps are more “realistic” for the most part…. Except when there’s a crystal lovin’ – not from this world – alien hiding in your garage that your child is secretly feeding and becomes friends with.

      Or when you and some people you know go down under… And live in a place called The Lost Underground City of Enterna.

      Or when you go thru a time travel vortex next to a ranch fence to Texas in the 1960s and people you know from the future and there in the 60s but they’re other people.

      Or when you go back in time 100 years so the 1880s and meet your wifes great grandma who is the spitting image of your wife.

      Or when you go to heaven and get to see and talk to all your old friends and relatives and you get to come back even if you were there for days. Oh, and you get to do this three different times in 1987, 2008 and 2012.

      Or when you’re possessed and you levitate over your bed.

      Or you control machines that do fantastically evil things – like a satellite that can brainwash people. Or a device that can freeze the whole world of at least downtown in New York state.

      But otherwise normal.

      😀

  2. Mary SF

    June 30, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    And all that crazy, silly stuff that Passion was and is being laughed at now was the reason NBC cancelled one of the best all time soaps Another World for— Big Sigh

    • Alan

      June 30, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      ANOTHER WORLD was always a pretty classy show but that Jordan Stark/The Lumina Foundation storyline was a real stinker.

    • Celia

      July 1, 2017 at 6:18 am

      You’re right. “Passions” was not worth losing “Another World”, my grandmother’s favorite soap.
      As an adult I can laugh at “Passions”, but, in retrospect, as a thirteen-year-old, and through High School, it was so much fun. The ridiculous, unfathomable stories, made it all that more attractive.

      • jaybird369

        July 2, 2017 at 5:55 pm

        Celia…more and more, Passions used to make me LOL…most of the time anyway. As far as I’m concerned, as a duo, Timmy and Tabitha were COMIC GOLD…MORE LOL!!!!! Liz (Eve’s sister) was clearly disturbed and unhinged…but ENTERTAINING AS HELL!!!!! Edna (the mother of that WHACK-A-DOO Beth) was (among other things) bitchy, cranky, foul-mouthed, mean and ornery…and a LOL RIOT!!!!! My dear, I could go on and on here……….

        Later, my friend.

  3. su0000

    June 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    A colne- possession- alien- time travel- etc //
    I MISSED IT !! all of it.. I MISSED THE GOOD STUFF!
    Now, that is fun great soap !!!

    A1,0000 times better than than the crapola now, for sure..
    Imagine– actually having fun watching a soap- AWESOME!
    All we have is doom&gloom and 8 months of Morgan died !

    I would pay for some outlandish sci-fi , anything but Morgan is dead..

  4. jenny

    June 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    my picks:

    1. Marlena possessed by the devil DOOL

    2. Casey the alien GH

    3. Marlena kills half of Salem then they all are alive DOOL

    4. Viki travels back in time to the Wild West OLTL

    5. The Ice Princess freezes Port Charles GH

    • dmr

      July 5, 2017 at 6:53 am

      Oh, I remember watching Marlena being possessed, Casey the Alien, and Viki traveling to the Wild West.

  5. Steve

    June 30, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Eterna! Eterna! Eterna!
    The wardrobe for the lost city under Llantano Mountain added to intrigue. Add to that Viki’s prolonged heaven dream and Clint’s trip back 100 years were totally over the top!

  6. Alan

    June 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    ONE LIFE TO LIVE had some of my favorite sci-fi storylines: Viki goes to Heaven; Clint time travels back to 1888; the underground city of Eterna; Bo and Rex time travel back to 1968; Professor Delbert Fina uses his magical remote control to show Rex and Gigi what really happened in the basement the night “Gigi” died. The least successful sci-fi story on OLTL was Bo trying to find a way to extract the mysterious solarimite to power Georgina Whitman’s prototype car.

    PASSIONS was unlike anything seen on daytime since DARK SHADOWS thanks to James E. Reilly’s wild imagination. The Vincent storyline that played prominently during the show’s last few years on NBC was totally original.

    • Shay

      July 3, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      @Alan….Thanks for your “Ryan’s Hope” reply….Alas, “Aristotle Benedict White” came before my regular viewing days of this soap, but I’m sorry I missed him given that he was played by Dynasty’s Gordon Thomson!!! (I looked it up….) I think I randomly caught that Delia/King Kong thing simply by happenstance….and I recall reading about it, too! By the time I really began watching this show in the mid-80’s, it was mainly comprised of days filled with more down-to-earth Irish-American references like “Danny Boy,” and corned beef and cabbage, along with those second-generation characters of Rick, Ryan, Johnno, Katie, Ben and Maggie, plus that fabulous villain, Max DuBujack!!!! With plenty more of real-life NYC-style embellishments thrown in for good measure! As for Delia’s ESP? You know, that deliciously daffy dame was always such a hot mess with her many meltdowns that in retrospect they all sort of meld into one big incomprehensible impression in my mind…when did her intuitions actually start becoming reality???…Was there a major storyline attached to this particular talent or was it just sprinkled throughout the series???? Regardless,I truly treasure the inspired insanity that Ilene Kristen brought to that role—still love her!—although I can vaguely visualize GH’s Robin Mattson briefly portraying Delia when I first checked into this soap on a daily basis ala VCR. (P.S. I’ve always thought a tongue-in-cheek run-in at Port Charles’ Kelly’s between these two actresses would be a total treat….”Dueling Delias!”)

      • Alan

        July 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

        I don’t remember all the details of Delia’s ESP (we didn’t have a VCR back then so I would flip back and forth to the soap with the most interesting storyline) but I recall it having something to do with her playing the stock market and later it was revealed that she was reading the cosmic forces that she believed dictated Maeve’s likes or dislikes on any given day. I think the plot was dropped fairly quickly and never referred to again.

        The Meritkara mummy storyline was a pretty atypical story for RYAN’S HOPE but I was a teen back then and was totally into the whole Faith was a reincarnation of Meritkara, the curse that was killing people connected to the mummy, and the seal on the tomb that was supposed to reveal the location of a “River of Gold” that the show never got around to pursuing.

  7. Barbara from Atlanta

    June 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    And this type of plots are a part of the reason that soaps are in such bad shape these days. I rarely watched Guiding Light after Reva was cloned. Likewise, I permanently turned off Days when Marlena became “possessed.”

    Cheap, gimmicky plots that insult the viewer’s intelligence.

    I realize that all soaps have plots that really stray from day-to-day experiences. It is one thing to give us a plot where one woman has a relationship with every male member of a family. It is another to have the heroine kidnapped by aliens who take her to an unknown planet.

    IMO, the main thing soaps have going for them are the relationships of the characters. By airing five days a way for decades, the shows have one advantage over every other type of show (or even a movie) —- The viewers can get to “know” the characters and want to keep up with their “friends.”

    Clones, aliens, devils, “towering infernos”, etc. are the type of plots that only work in HUGE budget films that are gone in 2 hours of viewing. The soaps have no business pursuing these types of story lines as they don’t take advantage of the formats strengths. Moreover, the soaps don’t have the budgets to make these type of plots remotely attractive — They just look cheap because the show doesn’t have the huge budget to make it look even remotely “realistic.”

    Mr. Fairman, I like your site and visit it frequently. However, we definitely have different opinions on the need to honor or celebrate these types of plots. The only way they should be remembered is as the type of story NOT to put on a soap.

  8. rose

    June 30, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I remember Casey, the alien. I’m a big sci-fi fan, but even this story seemed strange on GH at the time. But lets don’t forget vampires and Lucy as the slayer along with Caleb/Michael Easton, Livvie/Kelly Monoco, and Rafe. Another plus is that Anna Devane was in both.

  9. Beth

    July 1, 2017 at 6:45 am

    All My Children was a very down-to-earth show (as much as any soap could be), but even they visited the Twilight Zone when they had Erica Kane’s previously-thought-to-be aborted fetus implanted in Greg Madden’s wife, where she gave birth to Josh Madden. What a disastrous storyline.

    Casey the alien on GH was pretty out there, and I remember it well. I’d also add the Ice Princess storyline, which was out of comic books, not a daytime drama. It gave us great Luke and Laura and introduced us to Robert Scorpio, but it was way out there.

    • Steve

      July 1, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Erica’s unabortion may be the worst soap storyline of all time! Not sure if Agnes lost veto control at that time.

      That storyline and those poisonous pancakes started a downward spiral the show never recovered from.

  10. Jamesj75

    July 1, 2017 at 8:54 am

    This clip was indeed entertaining! And I can’t argue with the choice of Passions, given its bizarre, unbelievable plots throughout.

    As a soap purist, however, I am no fan of sci-fi plots as a rule because they defy logic and reason. Some would argue that soaps in general defy logic and reason. Great storytelling is no easy feat, which is why some soap scribes succumb to strange, suffocating scripts (including trying to make a hero out of an abusive, foul-mouthed crime boss/murderer) — yes, I managed to squeeze in an anti-Sonny rant! — and also why some writers explore science fiction. And then when the storyline has run its course, things go back to normal, almost as though the characters (and viewers) experienced a bad dream.

    I am indeed a fan of some science fiction, but I don’t want the genres of soaps and science fiction intersecting. Put another way. I like chocolate and I like nuts, but I don’t like nuts in my chocolate (insert double entendre here). So no Snickers (or snickers) for me!

    All that being said, I did enjoy the Eterna storyline (briefly mentioned in above clip) on OLTL!

  11. Ashleigh

    July 1, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    “BAR BAR OF THE BLACK LAGOON” ON As the World Turns, when somebody sent Barbara, Lily, and Emily, (I think) to some place in Sweden where some mad scientist doctor did experiments on them to make them old. “DOCTA VESTON IS A CHEENIOUS!!!” As stupid as it was, we were glued to our tv in my house!!

  12. Reed

    July 1, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Since I’m 90+ episodes behind on GH and testing the limits of my DVR, I can’t weigh in on anything current, but well said by a number of you already–no church and state and no sci-fi with my soaps! Having just binge watched 5 seasons of House of Cards, focus on great story telling and turn in strong performances and you’ll keep us watching. These shows are on thin ice as it is without another Ice Princess story line…although that’s about when I started watching. There’s so much savvy, enthralling television being done, so tap into that renaissance before you go all “Port Charles” on me and I wake up one day to find my show is now all about vampires. (Alas, I still hung in to the bitter end, but today I wouldn’t subject my DVR to that.) There’s just too much good stuff out there competing for our attention, so don’t you dare do it (going sci-fi), just stick to the formula! Sure, improve the wheel if you can, just don’t try to reinvent it.

  13. nicholas

    July 1, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Days of our lives was so good this week . please watch the replay and tune back in . This soap is finally taking a turn for the best .

  14. Jimh

    July 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Another World did a stupid story about a gorilla in love with Cass…it wasnt sci fi but just as dumb!

    • Shay

      July 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      And how about when Ryan’s Hope went all “King Kong” with Delia (though not in the form of Ilene Kristen..) being kidnapped by a primate suitor??? For a soap that was generally quite rooted in reality, that storyline was truly out there….

      • Alan

        July 3, 2017 at 10:23 am

        Jim: The Carolyn the gorilla thing paled in comparison to the Jordan Stark/Lumina Foundation story that had 1880’s scientist Jordan Stark time travelling to 1990’s Bay City because the soul of his dead love was inside Amanda Cory and he needed to make love to Amanda in the secret garden on the Cory estate that housed a tear in the time/space continuum so that his lover could take control of Amanda’s body and they could be reunited.

        Shay: Don’t forget Aristotle Benedict White’s search for the tomb of Meritkara, the mummy who was a previous incarnation of Faith Coleridge. Or Delia’s bout of ESP!

  15. Eric1972sea

    July 1, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Poor James E. Reilly died not long after Passions was cancelled by Directv. He probably lost his will to live after not having a sci-fi storyline to write.

  16. Rodd

    July 2, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Too stupid for words! LOL!

  17. rebecca1

    July 3, 2017 at 4:28 am

    LOL!!!! I thought the compilation was absolutely hilarious! And in the midst of real life drama, big or small, it only reinforced for me how such escapism, is, just that! Hahahha…to see these people, LOL, singing, dancing, talking to aliens in such wry, campy style is too fun. I really wish they had pursued Michael Easton’s Caleb on GH (I love a good-looking vampire!) rather than the stuff I find intolerable like Michael forgiving Sonny or almost every single person in AJ Q’s family putting him down when he was alive. Some of the emotions and reactions that are supposed to be realistic are just non-relatable to me.

    I personally think there’s plenty of room for real life drama…friendships, family, romance…with a little alien (ala the gorgeous Casey) thrown in!

    Kudos to SYFI Wire for taking the time to gather such “ancient history” and compile such a hilarious clip and “tribute” to the crazy soap genre, such as it is/was.

  18. blake

    July 5, 2017 at 10:45 am

    You just had to remind us of Reva’s clone, didn’t you? She also walked through a painting to a past life, and I think the other characters jumped in there too lol. Guiding Light really jumped the shark with Reva’s over-the-top stories. When they lost Cynthia Watros’ Annie they felt they had to make up for it, and it backfired. Even the replacement Annie was a bad recast and couldn’t pull off the crazy stories like Watros.

  19. Allen Saint James

    July 17, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Soap Operas are fantasy fiction. end of story
    When these stories are well written and acted they can be fully engaging and create the kind of drama you dont see much of these days. I like the stakes high.

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