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The Doctors


MichaelGL

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Sad...

He did have a part in a Florida soap that never got off the ground, in 1978.

It sounds like a lot of the changes to the show (changes that ultimately were fatal to it) that we've already heard about. A part of me isn't even sure if I want to see up to that point, although I guess I probably do (realistically I don't think Retro will go that far though).

I remember thinking that he looked a lot like CC Courtney. It's funny that they did too.

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Sad...

It sounds like a lot of the changes to the show (changes that ultimately were fatal to it) that we've already heard about. A part of me isn't even sure if I want to see up to that point, although I guess I probably do (realistically I don't think Retro will go that far though).

I would ascribe a good deal of the change in atmosphere at The Doctors to the new producer Joseph Stuart, who assumed the position from Allen Potter in 1973. Quite frankly, I never cared for Stuart as a producer or as a person. His comments in Jeff Giles' book annoyed the hell out of me. To this day he finds it a personal affront that he was let go from The Doctors when (as he tells it) he won the show its Emmy. What gall. He had hardly walked through the door when that award was presented, and it was for material that was largely produced by Allen Potter.

Stuart is an egoist. He was not an artist or creative, either. He was a suit hired by the network to work the numbers. Under Stuart, the show's ratings dropped significantly. This was in a period when it became the first series in seventeen years to regularly beat The Edge of Night.

Peter should have been paid what he was worth. Some of the actors following him were fairly good, and some fairly miserable, but none of them ever captured the soulfulness he brought to the part. The idiom was not used at the time, but he played a "legacy character," and his loss was felt from that point onward as later producers and writers furthered damaged the moral center of the story by turning Matt into a belligerent alcoholic and Maggie an adultress. Linda Grover and Chuck Weiss gave an admirable attempt to turn the tide in 1978, but it was to no avail. The damage had been done, and too many in the audience had defected.

Edited by saynotoursoap
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Illness played a role in it, too, I imagine. He and his lover Gerry Mast were positive. Gerry died of an AIDS-related illness about a year and half after Peter committed suicide.

We lost so many wonderful people to that disease...sometimes it still hits me, on days like today. It's so unfair.

As for Stuart, I've heard so many bad things about his OLTL run. It's unfortunate to hear he was the same at The Doctors.

Sometimes I feel like daytime's only had a handful of good producers and sometimes I feel like they've had more but the bad ones are just so bad.

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We lost so many wonderful people to that disease...sometimes it still hits me, on days like today. It's so unfair.

As for Stuart, I've heard so many bad things about his OLTL run. It's unfortunate to hear he was the same at The Doctors.

Sometimes I feel like daytime's only had a handful of good producers and sometimes I feel like they've had more but the bad ones are just so bad.

I agree. There was some wonderful material at OLTL under Stuart, but again, it was very much the hard work of Gordon Russell, the directors, and the fine ensemble of actors. Stuart generated conflicts between actors. He was just a junior version of Paul Rauch, though Rauch, cretinous as he was, possessed some creativity and flair on occasion.

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I'm into Sept 1968 now. Nick has been hilarious with his impatience and sexual frustration over no nooky before the wedding. In Matt's office with Althea:

Nick: That's more than a month from now. I'm telling you, I don't know if I can hold out that long.
Matt: What's the difficulty? I mean, you've waited all these years. What difference does it make?
Nick (with a look at Althea): Yeah, sure, Coach. I got the idea. Take plenty of cold showers there and play lotsa handball!

That scene cracked me up. Looked like it genuinely cracked James Pritchett up. tongue.pngtongue.pngtongue.png

Were Pritchett & Gordon good friends off camera as well? They have a very easy camaraderie on screen.

Edited by applcin
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I don't know how they got along off-camera but Matt and Nick's friendship is one of the most delightful parts of the show. (The scene with them in Matt's hotel room getting drunk and then putting on each other's sports jackets over the credits is one of my favorites. Priceless!!)

You're in for a treat when Matt becomes Nick's best man and they are getting ready for the wedding. There are some real gems in those scenes. September 1968 is a lot of fun, but things really get cooking in October and November. I won't spoil it for you but there are tons of fun scenes coming up!!!

Likewise, the Althea/Maggie friendship is one of the best I have ever seen in either daytime OR primetime. Amazingly, whether it was Bethel or Lydia playing Maggie, both had the incredible best friend chemistry with Liz Hubbard (and Bethel and Liz stayed good friends even after Bethel left and headed west).

As for Peter Burnell - saynotoursoap used the perfect word to describe his performances - soulful. He looked young for his age but his Mike was such an old soul. Still, he was often immature. I find it hard to fathom that both Peter Burnell and Armand Assante played Mike. While Armand Assante may have had more of a physical resemblance to James Pritchett, I just can't see anyone else capturing the essence of the character as Peter Burnell did. (The only other "Mike" I've seen was the last one - Stephen Burleigh - in the final episodes from 1982 posted.)

Edited by amybrickwallace
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It's interesting to read the circumstances of Burnell leaving.I had assumed he left voluntarily after a long run in the role. The next Mike didn't last long and the Armand Assante took over.He seems an enormous contrast to Burnell's Mike.

I wonder if at some point they should have invited Burnell back.

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I think they definitely should have brought him back. As mentioned before, he was the DEFINITIVE Mike Powers.

When did the theme music change? I've heard a snippet of the theme used in the 70s on saynotoursoap's channel soap trailer. It's beautiful. Who composed it?

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