The good old Days

ANDREW FEN­TON takes a look at the five most ridicu­lous plot­lines from Days of Our Lives

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

SOAPIE fans were aghast when Nine last year axed Days of Our Lives af­ter 45 years on Aus­tralian TV. But on Tues­day it re­turns to its new home on Fox­tel where it is be­ing fast-tracked just hours af­ter its US broad­cast.

Fans have missed six months of the show, so Arena has been screen­ing a se­ries of 10 key episodes to help them catch up.

MAR­LENA’S EX­OR­CISM

In late 1994, Ste­fano DiMera (Joseph Mas­colo) started drug­ging Dr Mar­lena Evans (Deidre Hall) night af­ter night so he could have his wicked way with her. Un­for­tu­nately, this left her open to de­monic pos­ses­sion. Van­dal­ism, drought and bee at­tacks be­came reg­u­lar oc­cur­rences in Salem and view­ers be­came fa­mil­iar with the sound of Mar­lena’s eerie devil voice and the sight of her eyes glow­ing green, not to men­tion her le­vi­tat­ing, mor­ph­ing into other char­ac­ters and, on one oc­ca­sion, trans­form­ing into a pan­ther. She was fi­nally freed thanks to an ex­or­cism per­formed by John Black (Drake Ho­gestyn), who luck­ily “re­mem­bered” he’d been or­dained as a priest. Long­time view­ers may have thought the show had jumped the shark, but the plot­line brought about a spike in rat­ings.

MIND CON­TROL

One of the evil Ste­fano DiMera’s great­est brain­wash­ing suc­cesses was us­ing a re­mote­con­trolled satel­lite to turn on a chip in Hope Brady’s brain con­tain­ing all of the mem­o­ries of skanky art thief Princess Gina Von Am­berg (right), thereby con­vinc­ing Hope she was Gina and get­ting her to help him with more art heists. Kris­tian Al­fonso played all three char­ac­ters – Hope, Hope when she thought she was Gina and Gina her­self. For­tu­nately, view­ers could tell the dif­fer­ence thanks to two blonde streaks that mag­i­cally ap­peared in her hair when she be­came Gina.

THE SALEM STALKER

Mar­lena was killed by the Salem Stran­gler in 1982 (though it turned out to ac­tu­ally be her twin sis­ter who died). So it was all the more shock­ing when she was re­vealed as the in­fa­mous and sim­i­larly named Salem Stalker (above), re­spon­si­ble for mur­der­ing many of the town’s long­time res­i­dents through­out 2003 and 2004, us­ing un­con­ven­tional weapons in­clud­ing tigers and killer donuts. Mar­lena then died, but woke up on an is­land called Me­laswen (New Salem spelled back­wards) that looked ex­actly like Salem with all of the other sup­posed “vic­tims” alive, too. Turns out she’d been brain­washed by An­dre Dimera (Thaao Pengh­lis), who had faked ev­ery­one’s deaths in a ridicu­lously elab­o­rate scheme to break up all of Salem’s great cou­ples. Batcrack­ers.

ELVIS AND THE QUADRU­PLETS

In 1996, Kris­ten DiMera (Eileen David­son) suf­fered a mis­car­riage and, des­per­ate to give John a baby, hired a preg­nant looka­like named Su­san Banks (also David­son) to give up her baby af­ter Su­san had fallen preg­nant by sleep­ing with Ste­fano, who was dis­guised as Elvis Pres­ley at the time. Su­san then fell head over heels in love with John and not only re­fused to give up Elvis Jr but im­pris­oned Kris­ten and Mar­lena in the DiMera dun­geon and as­sumed Kris­ten’s iden­tity. The grand plan went awry on “Kris­ten” and John’s Elvis-themed wed­ding day af­ter she lost her false teeth. David­son not only played both roles, but also played Su­san’s sib­lings: Sis­ter Mary Moira, Pene­lope and hit­man brother Thomas.

THE GAR­DEN OF EDEN

De­rided by some as one of the sil­li­est sto­ry­lines in the his­tory of the soap opera medium was Austin (Austin Peck) and Greta’s (Ju­lianne Mor­ris) 1999 trip to a weird ex­tra-di­men­sional Gar­den of Eden (above), where they dressed in leaf-based cloth­ing and had to pass a se­ries of odd tests to de­feat evil. This was in­ter­spersed with Greta’s at­tempts back in Salem to help or­phans. In the end, you’ll be pleased to learn, the pair did man­age to de­feat evil.

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