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