The Doctors

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How did this soap end? ;)

What happened to characters like Mona, Mike, Steve, and Carolee?

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I did not get to see the end of The Doctors. My mom had watched since day one but our affiliate chose to cancel The Doctors a few months before NBC did. So I forever missed the end.

I don't know what happened to most of the characters.

I can tell you that Mona was dead though. she had died of the mysterious illness that hit Madison due to the grave robbing.

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I hate to say this, but the small bits I saw of it were pretty awful.

Some really bad actress pregnant girl in the hospital, surrounded by cult members, banging on bongo drums. "The TIME has COME!"

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There was a wonderful episode from the mid-70s posted on youtube last year. I was very impressed with the acting and the writing. The characters were getting set to attend Mike Powers' wedding, and there was lots of good, soapy family drama surrounding it. I do remember seeing a bit of the later years in real time when I was a kid, and it was pretty awful. They had a quick succession of writers and producers, some of whom lasted less than a month. The show was getting something like a HH rating of 1.9 when it was cancelled. That's considered so-so now, but back in the early 80s that was pretty atrocious.

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It will reair on Hallmark Channel in Summer 09

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The Doctors final weeks from SOD summary

Billy has been murdered.Phillip tells Paul that Felicia Hnt has been impersonating her daughter Adrienne,Paul goes to arest Felicia ,but she has vanished.

Felicia has aged and begs Jean Marc to give her more serumbut h says it's too late.Felicia vows that Jeff will not marry Adrienne and rushes to tell him the awful truth-that it was she he came t love.

Before she can sa anything,Jeff welcomes her to Madion an tells her how much adrienne means to him.Felicia realises Jeff will never be hers.

So Adrienne an Jeff are married.Paul arrests Felicia for the murder of Billy Aldrich.

Paul arrives home to find Natakie holding a pair of black shoes. She tells him she remember seeing those shoes run by her the night of Billy's murder.Paul isBilly's other killer!

Adrienne declares her love for Jeff at the New Year's Eve reception.She says she's loved him since she was a little girl and knew they would be together.Jeff believes her,not knowing he fell in love with her mother.

Luke tells Julia he's not sure about them.Maybe Natalie is the one for him after all.

Danny tells Kit that Robin may come back to Madison.Mike and Kit make it clear to all they're in love.

With Felicia exposed,Jean Marc drops his plan to experiment on Althea.

Ivy leaves Madison to try her luck in New York.

Steve and Carolee take stc of a dismal year - his illness and Mona and Billy's deaths.Both believe the worst is over.

Matt and Maggi agree to remarry.

Barbara Morgenroth and Leonard Kantor were the final writers.

Gerald Straub was the exec producer.

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The Doctors was once a great show.

Even the last few months of the show were not technically bad. The show took a lot of risks in the last few months that the critics did not completely pan, but they were way early for their time. In the time of JER writing Days, The Doctors would have been a hit as that is the type of stuff fans wanted by that time - grave robbing, the science fiction of the woman deaged and taking over the life of her daughter, etc.

They were bold plots.

anyway back to the 70's and even the late 60's, The Doctors was one of the best. It had 3 great couples - three of the best in daytime in the 70's:

Steve Aldrich & Carolee Match - rich playboy doctor falls for poor virginal nurse

Matt Powers & his wife Maggie - 2 widowed or divorced characters finally finding true love with one another

Nick Bellini & Althea Davis - two very head strong doctors needing each other but too filled with pride to admit it

They were wonderful. Add to that the next generation.

Under first Eileen & Robert Mason Pollack with a great producer, Joseph Stuart - The Doctors excelled.

Then GH stole the Pollocks from The Doctors, to try and duplicate The Doctors success over at GH.

TD still did well - they hired former AW protege Douglas Marland and gave him his first head writing job. He was wonderful with The Doctors. While there he created the predecessor family for all his other poor big families (the Spencers, the Snyders, the Reardons & the Rescotts) he would create on later shows. This time it was the Dancy family - using current doctor Jerry Dancy (portrayed by Jerry Lacy) and building a family around him. He got a great set of actors to portray the family - soap vets Lawrence Weber and Elizabeth Lawrence portrayed the mother and father, Frank Telfer played playboy son Luke, Kathryn Harold played Nola (later portrayed by Kathleen Turner & Kim Zimmer), and Dorothy Fielding portrayed Sara.

The new family did not take over but they were blended in. The poor mother Virginia had been abandoned years ago by her husband Barney - of course he is going to show back up in town. Virginia was the housekeeper for the wealthy Aldrich family. The Dancy family were first heartbroken when young daughter Joni was killed - presumably by Matt Powers - but it would turn out another doctor did it to frame Matt for the murder.

Playboy son showed up in town having been living as a gigolo esp. as the young boy toy of the wealthy Doreen Aldrich, ex-wife of Jason Aldrich, who was now involved Nola Dancy - the housekeepers daughter. Jason's mother Mona was opposed to the union of course. This set up battles for years.

Sara arrived back in town after living life away for years. She soon fell for newly widowed doctor, Michael Powers, who was working to raise his son alone. Of course things weren't smooth for Sara and Mike as it was soon learned that while she was away young ingenue Sara had fell in love with married doctor and colleage Colin Wakefield - who of course came to Madison and joined the staff of Memorial Hospital.

Those were the mid to late 70's and things were great at The Doctors even then.

The Pollocks were not able to duplicate the success that GH wanted - so what did they do they went after The Doctors current writer Douglas Marland and they got him.

If I remember correctly Elizabeth Levin & David Cherrill were the next writers. They were there for several years, I know as late as 81 they were still there. They did well for the show - particularly writing one of the best death scenes ever in the history of daytime when Dr. Mike Powers sat at the death bed of his new wife Dr. Sara Dancy - who was part of the new family Douglas Marland created for the show.

Levin & Cherrill basically continued Marland's course and did very well with the characters IMO.

Doris Quinlan, who had been very successful at One Life To Live, in the early to mid 1970's was hired in 1979. She had a pretty successful career in daytime - all the way back to Young Dr. Malone in the late 50's.

She did good with The Doctors and led it during it's last critical success. The biggest thing I had against the show during this time was she made way too many changes in a short period of time. She had a big disaster storyline where the local hospital - not Memorial Hospital the main setting of the show - but a neighboring hospital was demolished in either of tornado or something.

It was to help establish her new characters which did pretty much take over The Doctors.

She tried to capitalize on the primetime success of Three's Company and set up a situation in which 2 new male interns would end up living with a new female intern - thinking it was another guy. These characters were played by 3 new soap newcomers - Richard Borg, Nana Visitor and Nicholas Walker - who would all have successful runs on others shows later.

She hired former OLTL favorites of hers - Nancy Pinkerton and Doris Belack - and put them in key roles. Nancy's character, Viveca Strand, tried to come in between happy couple Steve Aldrich and Carolee Match Aldrich. Viveca was very Dorian like - the character Nancy had created on One Life To Live. She also hired former OLTL ingenue Katherine Glass who originated the role of Jenny Wolek and hired her as the new M.J. Match, cousin of Carolee Match.

Doris Belack's character Dr. Claudia Howard was involved basically with three other brand new characters - Dr. John Bennett, his wife Ashley, and John's best friend Jack who was in love with John's wife Ashley.

These 4 characters pretty much dominated the show at this time and had no real ties to any other familiar characters. It hurt big time.

The best thing that happened under Quinlan's tenure was the introduction of Billee Aldrich back to the story. Billee was the "son" of Steve & Carolee Aldrich. Under Marland, Billee was part of his pre-Scotty/Laura coupling he would create at GH.

Marland had Billee impregnate young virginal Greta Powers. They had sex one time and she got pregnant. Of course that had put longtime freinds Matt & maggie Powers and Steve & Carolee Aldrich in a bad situation as they tried to force the teenagers to take responsibility.

Billee finally just left town.

Greta was not the natural daughter of Matt Powers but was the product of an earlier marriage that Maggie had to the evil Kurt Van Allen. Levin & Cherrill really did their homework when Billee Aldrich came back to town in 1980 - this time portrayed by sexy daytime newcomer Alec Baldwin.

IN the mid 1960's Kurt Van Allen's sister Theodora had been shown a few times. The Van Allens were wealthy but they had not even been mentioned since the mid-1960's. Well while Billee was out of town, Cherrill & Levin had him working in the household of the wealthy Theodora Van Allen and of course Billee had learned that Greta was the only living relative of Theodora and of course stood to inherit the complete Van Allen fortune.

He came back to town with the premise of finally growing up and wanted to make a home for himself and Greta and get to kinow his daughter Jessica. Of course he had a lover on the side - Natalie (portrayed by the sexy Jane Badler who had previously worked on OLTL under Doris Quinlan as well). Natalie had been Theodora Van Allen's nurse. She and Billee concocted a plan for him to marry Greta, then kill her and then the two of them leave and live off the money.

It was a wonderful plot and Alec Baldwin was wonderful as Billee and Jane Badler was wonderful as Natalie.

Even though it was filled with lots of new characters and new faces, this was the last real critical and exciting time on The Doctors.

Of all the new characters only Natalie would stay around until the end of the show. All the others would disappear soon. None of the OLTL actors she hired stayed with the show either after Doris Quinlan left or was fired. I don't remember which. NBC got rid of producers and writers a lot back then - trying to find writers who would do what they wanted in trying to make all the shows just like the ABC shows.

My Mom and I both watched The Doctors up until the day our affiliate cancelled it and would have watched it fully to the last day. We loved the show even though the last year of the show was really bad.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks so much everyone for the information, I've been looking all around the internet for information on this once great soap.

Steve thanks for the extra insight into the history of The Doctors. It clears a variety of confusion about the characters.

So Carolee's maiden name was Match, and not Simpson? For some reason I had thought that, but it makes sense as to why M.J. and Carolee were sisters.

Didn't realize that Doreen was Jason's ex-wife, not just another Aldrich since IMDb didn't have her maiden name listed. Of course its most of the info on IMDb that's caused the confusion for me.

As for other Aldrich's, Erich was Steve and Carolee's son, and Stephanie was(?) their daughter also?

Edited by MichaelGL

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Michael, I was wrong about Carolee's last name. It was Simpson. I am sorry. I looked back to see if I typed it right. M.J. and Carolee were cousins. I did have that right, but I had Carolee's maiden name wrong. It was Simpson.

Stephanie was Carolee & Steve's child.

Erich was Steve's son with some nurse I think. That was in the early 70's but I think it was an affair he had - he had several of those in the early 70's. She took off and left the child. It seems like it was the nurse played for awhile by Nancy Barrett. I forget her name. She may have went crazy. I will have to research that a little more.

Steve and Carolee raised Erich - just like they did Billee together.

Billee was not even teh natural son of Carolee. He was the son Carolee's abusive husband - something Allison. Billee's real name was Billee Allison - Steve & Carolee adopted him when they married.

As to M.J. - she was created by Douglas Marland I think and was sort of the forerunner of Anne Logan on General Hospital. It has been so long since I researched some of this but I do remember reading a lot of this.

Alot of the characters that Marland created on The Doctors in the short time he was there - he later kind of tried to finish them out on General Hospital. Bobbie & Luke were just like members of the Dancy family. Anne Logan was just like M.J.

Anne had never been mentioned before by Audrey or Lucille and just showed up as their niece. the same way M.J. was with Carolee.

Billee & Greta were already existing characters on the show just like Scotty & Laura were on GH. Marland penned very similar young love stories for both. Billee even had a black best friend just like Scotty did at the time.

I have always wondered what Marland's plans were for both. He said he never got to complete either young love story as he left The Doctors to go to GH and Monty put a kabosh on the story at GH in favor of the Luke & Laura pairing.

On and one more thing I had wrong.

Jessica Aldrich was the name of jason & nola's daughter.

Lee Ann Aldrich was the name of the child born out of wedlock to Billee and Greta. Both girls were about the same age and even back then I got their names mixed up.

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As soon as I get them all uploaded Michael, I will have a lot of pictures - well not a tremendous lot - but quite a few of The Doctors cast members and characters through the years.

I will put them over on my site SoapsWEB.

Right now I am having to spend most of time redoing all the old threads after I converted to Zetaboards - so not a lot of new going on right now but I hope to be through with the redo's soon.

I have a lot of pictures on the site already for various shows but I don't think I have any of The Doctors ones up on the site yet.

The address is: http://s15.zetaboards.com/SoapsWeb/index/

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Great thread on a show that doesn't get much attention .

Some thoughts/comments.

Marland set up the Dancy's to add new blood to the show.Despite many changes the show still had the solid core of the Powers and the Aldriches.

Was Joan already on the show and Marland used her to create a new family?

Shw was the victim in a 'pull the plug'story involving Paul Summers and Matt Powers.

I remember an interview where Marland said he inherited the story from a previous writer and he learnt from that experience in that if you inherit a story that's not working,wrap it up quickly.

The problem was that succeeding writers killed off Virginia and Sara.Her death scene may have been well written,but long term it damaged the show.Mike(a legacy character) and Sara had lots of story to tell and his second marriage was over way too quickly.

Also Jerry and Penny were written out and then Penny(another legacy character-Althea's daughter)was killed off.Later Jerry returned played by the guy who plays Locke on Lost- a good actor but hardly a leading man.This was in the 80's when all the shows were going for sexy young actors.

The Nola/ Mona rivalry had the potential to be another Jill/Katherine type story,but Jason was killed off.

The show was well set up for the future with Lee Ann,Jessica ,Michael Paul,Erich and Stevie .

The show had a promising young love couple with Luke/Missy,but she was killed off(anyone see a pattern here?)

Also,the show never cast a successful Mike Powers(i thinkit is the most recast role in history)

They recast MJ when Kathy Glass left for no reasom.Matt became involved with MJ(a dumb story)

80/81 saw some bad plots as the ratings fell.

I wonder if things would have bee different if the show had expanded to 60min like DOOL and AW.

The line up would have been Days at 1,DRS at 2 and AW at 3.

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Some amendments to my previous post.

Luke and Jerry were the first Dancy's on the show.I don't know who came first.

I'mnot sure when Marland began writing but I think he created Virginia Nola Sara and Barney.Not sure about Joan.

Margaret DePriest preceded Marland and Mel&Ethel Brez and Linda Grover wrote before Levin/Cherill took over.

Karen Werner was Erich's dad.Dr Dan Allison was Billy's dad.

I have only seen Billy's name spelt this way.

In a Marland story,MJ adopted her nephew Ricky,who was abused by her husband Tom.As MJ and Carolee were cousins,I wonder who Ricky's father was.

Mona is often listed as Mona Aldrich Croft.Winston Croft was her husband but I know nothing of how they came to be married and divorced.

Hopefully there will be more posts on The Doctors.

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Thanks for filling in the blanks on some of that.

As to the spelling for Billy you are right. I had been typing up some stuff on Billee Reed from Days and just kept typing Billee the same way.

****************************

Not sure of the date that Marland started but it was in 1976. He stayed until sometime in 1977. He was still with Another World early on in 1976, and then went to The Doctors.

As to the Dancy's Jerry was the very first Dancy in town. He was involved with Penny early in 1976. Then Joan showed up. When Joan got sick or overdosed, I remember Jerry talking to Penny about looking for his mother who was in Switzerland skiing - which I always found weird because they were supposed to be poor and it seemed like something a rich woman would do.

Virginia was then shown in Switzerland reading the paper and there was a mention of Joan's illness in the paper. Virginia flew back to Madison and for awhile it was just shown of the 3 of them. Virginia kept arguing with Jerry about not telling him about Joannie being addicted to drugs. I remember the outlook for Joan was bad and then of course the evil doctor pulled the plug and framed Matt for it.

Then we saw all the other Dancy's. All of the Dancy's showed up in 1976. I know that Margaret DePriest created Jerry. I am not sure if she created Joan or Marland did - I am assuming from your info that DePriest did or he created her to go with the Paul Summers story which was already going on. I know it was started by the previous regime. He started early in 1976 about the same time Jerry Lacy came on as Jerry Dancy.

I think if my mind is not playing tricks on me that Nola was seen before Luke. Luke had been out of town where he met Doreen and he came back when he heard about Joan. Then later Doreen showed up too. Of course after Jason who had not been heard of before that time. Marland created him as a brother to Steve and of course to set up the romance with Nola.

Then of course Doreen showed up. I think even that Mona paid to have her brought to town and then it was revealed that Luke had been her gigolo.

Sara was the last of the Dancys to show up. She was away (forget where) practicing as a doctor. Of course it was in 1976 that Toni was killed and Mike was widowed and thus was set up for Mike and Sara to romance. Then colin showed up and it was revealed that Sara had been his lover while he was married.

************************************

As to MJ, she was first portrayed by Lauren White. Jonathan Frakes played her husband, Tom. M.J. had actually showed up a few months before Marland started but he really explored the character more. Lauren White stayed in the role for almost 3 years and then was replaced by Katherine Glass - who left soaps after this and retired from the industry.

According to the backstage rumors that went around at the time and were later verified in Ellen Holly's autobiography, she was a real diva backstage and very racist. Both things played into her backstage problems at both One Life To Live and The Doctors. She was a very popular actress with fans, but I think no producers wanted to work with her after that - much the same way as none of them wanted to work with George Reinholt after his problems at One Life To Live.

*****************************

I never found it strange that Mike & M.J. would get together. I loved them together when James Storm & Katherine Glass were in the roles. The other actors to portray both roles just never had chemistry together. The setup of Mike & M.J. was good as both had been unlucky in love many times and I liked them finding one another - much more than when they toyed with Mike and Nola.

*********************************

And yes Mike is one of the most cast roles in the history of daytime but I am not sure he is the winner of the most - Patti Barron, Ed Bauer, Tom Hughes, and Mike Bauer have to be right there with him.

Edited by SteveFrame

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Did Toni actually die? I thought I read she simply left town, but I do know soap books are notorious for being spotty at times.

Ricky was the son of MJ's sister Betsy who died in a car accident with her husband in Vermont. I believe "Tom's child abuse" storyline was a result of him having Huntington's disease, which was genetic. Tom's ex-wife having aborted their baby because of fear their child might suffer from Huntington's. I read somewhere Doug Marland initially planned on outing Tom Carroll in daytime's second attempt at introducing a gay character to the canvas. Just like Lemay, the network nixed Marland's plan.

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Thanks for filling in the blanks on some of that.

As to the spelling for Billy you are right. I had been typing up some stuff on Billee Reed from Days and just kept typing Billee the same way.

****************************

Not sure of the date that Marland started but it was in 1976. He stayed until sometime in 1977. He was still with Another World early on in 1976, and then went to The Doctors.

As to the Dancy's Jerry was the very first Dancy in town. He was involved with Penny early in 1976. Then Joan showed up. When Joan got sick or overdosed, I remember Jerry talking to Penny about looking for his mother who was in Switzerland skiing - which I always found weird because they were supposed to be poor and it seemed like something a rich woman would do.

Virginia was then shown in Switzerland reading the paper and there was a mention of Joan's illness in the paper. Virginia flew back to Madison and for awhile it was just shown of the 3 of them. Virginia kept arguing with Jerry about not telling him about Joannie being addicted to drugs. I remember the outlook for Joan was bad and then of course the evil doctor pulled the plug and framed Matt for it.

Then we saw all the other Dancy's. All of the Dancy's showed up in 1976. I know that Margaret DePriest created Jerry. I am not sure if she created Joan or Marland did - I am assuming from your info that DePriest did or he created her to go with the Paul Summers story which was already going on. I know it was started by the previous regime. He started early in 1976 about the same time Jerry Lacy came on as Jerry Dancy.

I think if my mind is not playing tricks on me that Nola was seen before Luke. Luke had been out of town where he met Doreen and he came back when he heard about Joan. Then later Doreen showed up too. Of course after Jason who had not been heard of before that time. Marland created him as a brother to Steve and of course to set up the romance with Nola.

Then of course Doreen showed up. I think even that Mona paid to have her brought to town and then it was revealed that Luke had been her gigolo.

Sara was the last of the Dancys to show up. She was away (forget where) practicing as a doctor. Of course it was in 1976 that Toni was killed and Mike was widowed and thus was set up for Mike and Sara to romance. Then colin showed up and it was revealed that Sara had been his lover while he was married.

************************************

As to MJ, she was first portrayed by Lauren White. Jonathan Frakes played her husband, Tom. M.J. had actually showed up a few months before Marland started but he really explored the character more. Lauren White stayed in the role for almost 3 years and then was replaced by Katherine Glass - who left soaps after this and retired from the industry.

According to the backstage rumors that went around at the time and were later verified in Ellen Holly's autobiography, she was a real diva backstage and very racist. Both things played into her backstage problems at both One Life To Live and The Doctors. She was a very popular actress with fans, but I think no producers wanted to work with her after that - much the same way as none of them wanted to work with George Reinholt after his problems at One Life To Live.

*****************************

I never found it strange that Mike & M.J. would get together. I loved them together when James Storm & Katherine Glass were in the roles. The other actors to portray both roles just never had chemistry together. The setup of Mike & M.J. was good as both had been unlucky in love many times and I liked them finding one another - much more than when they toyed with Mike and Nola.

*********************************

And yes Mike is one of the most cast roles in the history of daytime but I am not sure he is the winner of the most - Patti Barron, Ed Bauer, Tom Hughes, and Mike Bauer have to be right there with him.

SteveFrame, it's so funny. I was going to start a thread today about the most recast roles in daytime history. You beat me to it LOL.

As for Kathy Glass, I try to take what Ellen Holly has said/written over the years with a grain of salt. She seems to find racism everywhere she looks. She's accused Rauch of racism. She's quoted Slezak out of context in the 1980s about "there being no room for minorities in today's OLTL." Not that racism doesn't exist in the industry, but something about HER claims never made sense to me.

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