Jump to content


Welcome! Please take a second to register.


Photo

ANOTHER LIFE


  • Please log in to reply
80 replies to this topic

#1 Sedrick

Sedrick

    Sedrick Soap Lover 4 LIFE!!!

  • Members
  • 276 posts

Posted 29 November 2008 - 01:53 PM

ANOTHER LIFE was arguably the most successful non-broadcast network soap opera in American television. It ran from 1981-1984 on cable's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which today is ABC Family Channel, as well as being syndicated on about two dozen or so broadcast stations. The show was billed by CBN as "the soap with hope", with the religion and spirituality of the characters being an integral theme running throughout all the storylines.

I got hooked on the show back in the early 90's when it was rerun on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) weekdays at 3:00PM CST.

Any other fans out there? Here's the excellent opening credits...


ANOTHER LIFE opening
  • 0

#2 EricMontreal22

EricMontreal22

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 16,641 posts

Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:00 AM

Isn't this the one where someone's cancer was cured by a holy light? :S
  • 0

#3 Sedrick

Sedrick

    Sedrick Soap Lover 4 LIFE!!!

  • Members
  • 276 posts

Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:37 AM

QUOTE (EricMontreal22 @ Dec 3 2008, 05:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't this the one where someone's cancer was cured by a holy light? :S



Yes, that was the story of Bob Cummings, a cheating, hard-drinking louse of a husband who was stricken with what doctors told him was terminal cancer. Bob then turned his life over to the Lord and became a Born-Again Christian, and just as he was about to kick the bucket, a beam of light entered his hospital room and cured him. That plot twist led to the angry resignation of series co-creator/producer Bob Aaron (formerly a NBC Daytime exec), who quit in disgust.

The Cummings tale happened during the show's rocky first year or so. At that time it was obvious that TPTB didn't quite have a handle on how to incorporate the religious/spiritual aspects of the program's theme into the actual drama, and the results were...uneven, weird, and basically very dull. The storylines moved at a snail's pace and were often silly and boring (innocent young heroine Lori Davidson and her family spend WEEKS ringing their hands about nasty gossip being spread around town that Lori was sleeping with a married man).

However, in its second season, the show brought in more seasoned actors and backstage personnel from the NYC soap scene (ANOTHER LIFE was taped in the CBN studios in Virginia Beach, VA) and eventually the series began to jell. While the show was never the best soap ever, it was quite entertaining, and the drama flowed from well defined, memorable characters like Babs Farley, a wacky reformed hooker who was the show's answer to AMC's Opal; Nancy Lawson, an unapologetic venomous bitch; handsome Dr. Ben Martin, a good man who struggled to do the right thing and maintain patience with his fragile, whining wife Lori; sisters Amber and Stacey Phillips, one a bitchy glamorous model and the other a mousy bookworm who ended up stealing her sister's sexy hunk of a boyfriend; and Miriam Carpenter Mason, the town's rich bitch villain who was kidnapped and held for ransom, and when she was rescued she too became a Born-Again...but then discovered that she wasn't quite up to being good all the time.

The show often was very good, especially during the extended Kate Phillips Carothers murder mystery, a tale with so much suspense, red herrings, and surprising twists that it seemed to have been lifted right out of EDGE OF NIGHT. The show also featured one of the most diverse casts in soaps during the 80's, and the African-American characters weren't just window-dressing...they had substantial storylines of their own and were fully integrated into the program.


  • 0

#4 JackPeyton

JackPeyton

    Star.

  • Members
  • 17,718 posts

Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:43 AM

there is actually a lot of this up on youtube.

Maybe you should write into hulu.com and ask them to pick it up? ya never know...
  • 0

#5 SarahJoyBrownFF

SarahJoyBrownFF

    Recurring

  • Members
  • 334 posts

Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:57 AM

Me! I just posted a question about this wonderful show. Do you know where I can find the entire 3 years? I would LOVE to buy them.
  • 0

#6 DRW50

DRW50

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 54,621 posts

Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:39 AM

I'm surprised there haven't been any more religious soaps in recent years. Christopher Schmering's soap encyclopedia mentioned the original press release for Another Life, which said the show would involved drug addiction, homosexuality, and (I can't remember now) maybe pornography. I'm not surprised they decided not to tackle these issues in 1981, but it does make me wonder what their original plans were.

Is this the show where the main villainess became born again? That idea also interests me, because on most soaps, a villainess becomes good through love, or through rape, or some type aof horrible trauma.
  • 0

#7 David V

David V

    Recurring

  • Members
  • 263 posts

Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:00 AM

I recall a possession sort of storyline on the show, in fact the gimmick and effects may have even inspired Days' Possession storyline.
  • 0

#8 DRW50

DRW50

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 54,621 posts

Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:45 AM

LOLFanme has put up more episodes. They're all very interesting. They include the 1983 Christmas show, which is a mixture of family, friendship, some spiritual talk (they even mention Hanukkah, which tends to be ignored on soaps more often than not), and singing. Some of the songs are that cheesy stuff where someone's voice suddenly starts booming in their living room (like what used to happen with Karen on Knots Landing when she sang at Christmas), but others are more stripped down and fun to listen to.


  • 0

#9 SFK

SFK

    Just your average hot damn bam bam baby sex scorcher icon.

  • Members
  • 18,068 posts

Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:11 PM

LOLFanme has put up more episodes. They're all very interesting. They include the 1983 Christmas show, which is a mixture of family, friendship, some spiritual talk (they even mention Hanukkah, which tends to be ignored on soaps more often than not), and singing. Some of the songs are that cheesy stuff where someone's voice suddenly starts booming in their living room (like what used to happen with Karen on Knots Landing when she sang at Christmas), but others are more stripped down and fun to listen to.



L!O!L! That Michele is a warbler, I heard her sing live once.

Regardless of one's beliefs, I'm just impressed by the fact that Pat Robertson and whoever threw together a soap down in VA that looked just as good as (in some cases, better than) what was going on up in NY or over in CA. I feel like anybody could do it if they really tried, we were talking about this months ago, the idea of soaps relocating to less expensive cities, but now I'm totally threadjacking. At any rate, this is interesting material, I'm glad somebody out there pressed "Record"!

Edited by SFK, 08 October 2009 - 12:12 PM.

  • 0

#10 SFK

SFK

    Just your average hot damn bam bam baby sex scorcher icon.

  • Members
  • 18,068 posts

Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:44 PM

Okay, I just had to come back and say that I am in stitches over those clips. Those musical numbers are a trip, it's like that one time Natalie sang to baby Tommy on OLTL x 4 in ONE episode, like watching a Broadway musical. Especially the older black lady's number, with the other characters it could kinda pass off as just singing, but she basically breaks out in a sung monologue standing up in the kitchen no less while that boy with the parted blow-dried '80s hair just stares up at her for what feels like five minutes. Good times, good times...
  • 0

#11 DRW50

DRW50

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 54,621 posts

Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:04 AM

An advertisement for the show, from a 9/29/81 SOD. Sorry for the slant.

Posted Image
  • 0

#12 DRW50

DRW50

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 54,621 posts

Posted 31 August 2010 - 02:22 AM

From the October 13, 1981 SOD. There's also a small photo of the Davidson family. If you want to see that let me know and I will scan the photo!

Another Life

A new soap is being aired which has no connection with any of the major networks. It is "Another Life" presented by the Continental Broadcasting Network. Appearing on cable in some areas, and on independent stations in others, "Another Life" debuted on June 1st of this year.

Conceived as an "alternate soap," the show deals with contemporary themes presented within the framework and philosophy of the Christian Broadcasting Network, parent company of Continental. The half-hour continuing drama is available to about fifty million television households.

"Another Life" is attempting to portray families of today, and how problems common to all of us can be faced with courage and convictions based on a strong religious faith.

According to the show's producers, the principal family, the Davidsons, will show by example - rather than sermonizing or preaching - that people can be decent and still live a rich, full life.

Scott Davidson is a respected television newscaster in Richmond, Va. His wife, Terry, is a homemaker and registered nurse. Lori is a college sophomore and Peter is still in high school.

The Cummings are their neighbors. Jeff is a man with big dreams and small chance of making them come true. Liz, his wife, is becoming disillusioned with Jeff and his unadmitted alcoholism.

Paul Mason is a dedicated professor in a small, scholarly Virginia college. Miriam, his self-centered wife, is bored with him and life in a small college town, and she relishes plotting and scheming to get her own way. Her parents, Charles and Helen Carpenter, live on Chicago's "Gold Coast." Charles is as unscrupulous as he is wealthy, and Helen is his polar opposite.

Scott Davidson's friend and colleague, Gene Redlon, is a stabilizing force at the station. A divorced single parent, Gene lives with his mother, Ione, and his son James.

Veteran producer Roy Winsor, former producer of "Love of Life," is very enthusiastic about his latest show, "Another Life."


  • 0

#13 edgeofnik

edgeofnik

    Veteran

  • Members
  • 1,652 posts

Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:27 PM

I actually followed this show for some time during original run. What I liked about the show was that it had characters/people who seemed a little more 'real'.
  • 0

#14 MontyB

MontyB

    Telling it to you straight up and live!

  • Members
  • 1,599 posts

Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:21 AM

I saw every Another Life episode during it's original run. It ran here in NYC on WPIX channel 11, but then they took it off and I caught it on CBN, which was great because they repeated the days episode at 11 PM. I have old VCR tapes with episodes on them and I keep saying I'm going to go through them because that opening on YouTube is not original opening from when the series first started. It was much shorter and it didn't have the actors in it.

One of my favorite characters was Becky Hewitt played by Sue Scanell. There was story line with her in the recording studio and I'll never forget that little ditty she sang, "met a girl with a smile" (I don't remember the rest).
  • 0

#15 DRW50

DRW50

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 54,621 posts

Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:01 PM

It's great to hear from some fans of the show. I keep meaning to watch more of what is on Youtube. I agree that the characters, some of them at least, seem more real.
  • 0

#16 saynotoursoap

saynotoursoap

    Contract

  • Members
  • 614 posts

Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:41 PM

Is this the show where the main villainess became born again? That idea also interests me, because on most soaps, a villainess becomes good through love, or through rape, or some type aof horrible trauma.


Yes, the villainess was Miriam Carpenter. Miriam was a real piece of work and beautifully played by a gorgeous actress named Ginger Burgett. I have no idea why Ginger did not go on to other soaps or films, because she carried Another Life in its dreadful early months. Miriam was mistakenly kidnapped by Hugo Lancelot and Blue Nobles, two goons who were after hooker Babs Farley. They held Miriam captive in a gardener's shed on a deserted farm. Miriam was held hostage for what seemed like six months of storyline. Probably it was closer to three or four. I would have to check my tapes to see, but the point is that the story was not a short one, and it was well produced.

For example, Ginger Burgett stopped wearing makeup. Her clothes were dingy and dirty. Her lovely blond hair looked as if it had not been washed in weeks. Miriam truly suffered at the hands of her captors. Kelly Gwinn, who played Hugo, personified evil. He was slimy and sadistic with one of the creepiest grins I have ever seen on soaps. Gwinn played the part so well. He is another one who should have done more. Chandler Hill Harben, who had been the second Ben Harper on Love of Life, played Blue Nobles. Blue was also unnerving. He was always dressed in denim and wore a baseball cap. He had a stutter. Harben played Blue as slightly mentally retarded. It was Blue who attempted to rape Lori Martin. He was imposing and unsettling presence. The episode in which Blue attacks Lori is on Youtube. You should watch it, because it's very, very well done and is a perfect example of how good a non-network soap can be.

Back to Miriam. Miriam began to lose her mind during the months of imprisonment. She had a Bible in the shed and started to read it. Over the months of captivity, the Bible, and her developing faith of being rescued, motivated her to keep going. This is what precipitated the change in her character. I felt this story was one they got right and fell in line with what the series attempted to convey about faith.
  • 0

#17 saynotoursoap

saynotoursoap

    Contract

  • Members
  • 614 posts

Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:55 PM

I saw every Another Life episode during it's original run. It ran here in NYC on WPIX channel 11, but then they took it off and I caught it on CBN, which was great because they repeated the days episode at 11 PM. I have old VCR tapes with episodes on them and I keep saying I'm going to go through them because that opening on YouTube is not original opening from when the series first started. It was much shorter and it didn't have the actors in it.


Right, Monty. The original opening had shots of seagulls soaring over the ocean and the sunrise on the horizon of the water, like the final shot of the opening and closing credits. The music was the same as the end theme, slow instead of the jazzy version of the later opening credits. One thing that should be mentioned regarding the title sequence is that Another Life changed its opening every time the storyline changed. For example, when Lori and boyfriend Russ Weaver crashed their car, leaving Lori paralyzed, shots of the car flipping down the highway embankment were put in the opening credits, along with a shot of Lori paralyzed, and another one where she meets Dr. Ben Martin, who eventually cured her. I thought this was very clever because viewers new to the series could quickly catch up on the plot just by watching the opening credits, and this was nearly 30 years ago.
  • 0

#18 DRW50

DRW50

    Lifetimer

  • Members
  • 54,621 posts

Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:41 PM

That's all fascinating, and so well told. Miriam is the one who left town eventually, and her father was still a schemer?

I love the way you tell the story. I wish I could see all that. And the way they do the titles is very groundbreaking.

Do you think if the show had been great from the start it might have had a longer run or do you think considering that it was a Christian soap which might have alienated believers and non-believers, and also syndicated/on CBN instead of on a network, it ran probably as long as it could have?
  • 0

#19 SFK

SFK

    Just your average hot damn bam bam baby sex scorcher icon.

  • Members
  • 18,068 posts

Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:54 PM

Interesting stuff. Was/is Roy Windsor a particularly religious man, or was he simply writing to the producers' desires for the show?
  • 0

#20 SFK

SFK

    Just your average hot damn bam bam baby sex scorcher icon.

  • Members
  • 18,068 posts

Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:58 PM

It really is something, how much times have changed. I very much enjoyed my childhood as is, but it would have been nice to have been a bit older and more conscious of these syndicated soaps at the time. AL, Rituals, The Catlins, to think that there was even a demand for at least three syndicated soaps really says something about the popularity of the medium at the time. -_-
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users