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I don't think the show ever got to explore the fact that Michelle Davenport and Carter Robertson had shared the same father. I believe the revelation came out in the very last episode. Given the number of cliffhangers, I wonder if producers were hoping that they would get a reprieve and this was simply a cliffhanger because so much seems to be racing to a conclusion in that final week. I do seem to recall reading that Patrick Chapin left Sara Gallagher something in his will, which may have been the origin of the Michelle Davenport parentage thread, but that would have been two writer teams prior to the one that revealed Michelle was Patrick's daughter. 

 

The incest storyline was included in the source material, Charlene Keel's book "Rituals." The title of that book referred to the rituals related to coming of age and attending college. In the final speech, which use to be on youtube, the rituals which Christina was talking were like life, coming of age, finding love, and dying. One of those rituals at Woodbriar (or whatever the school was called in the book) was sleeping with Judd McBroom, the local drama professor. Judd slept with mother and daughter duo Charlotte and Priscilla Lawson and impregnated both of them. At the end of the book, Priscilla leaves town to have an abortion after learning she's carrying her father's child. 

 

The Judd / Charlotte / Priscilla story does make its way into the soap opera version. Logan Williams is definitely a sanitized version of the original Judd McBroom character and the timeline of Taylor sleeping with Logan, marrying Carson Field, and having Julia all lines up for the possibility that Julia may have been C.J. or Logan's daughter. I don't know how much of that thread was played, but it was some foreshadowing that this was going to be the actual story. If JoAnn Pflug would have been scandalized by Taylor trying to bed Bernhardt, could you imagine her reaction to those scenes of having Julia confess that Logan had knocked her up? 

 

The one question I always had about the incest plots was regarding Jeff Robertson. If he was Christina's son and Christina was Sara's sister, weren't Jeff and Noel cousins? That was never something that seemed to be a big deal. 

 

Patrick was single when he died. Wasn't he? I know he had been sleeping with Christina, but I don't think they actually married. I'm not even sure if Marissa and Carter were legally married because I don't think he divorced Christina, but I could be wrong. Marissa Mallory is interesting to me because she is at the start of that Chalon formula story. I'm a bit ashamed to admit I recently realized it was a fabric. Jeez. 

 

The Marissa story climaxed in February 1984 at the end of the initial six month episode order. Episode 130 had a whole bunch of cliffhangers intended to keep the audience to press for the show to continue. It was also when they did the murder mystery contest. I believe this is also the point that Gene Palumbo departs the writing staff as headwriter and the role is assumed by Raymond Goldstone, Ann Marcus' brother. Goldstone probably dumped the Marissa story. By early 1985, almost no one was showing the show in primetime slots so I think they started to shift a bit towards daytime. Goldstone (and probably Jorn Winter) started the Lucky / Julia romance, developed the white supremacist group storyline, created the rivalry between C.J. Fields and Carter Robertson, and developed the Eddie Gallagher murder mystery.  

 

That latin revolutionary storyline sounds very 1980s. As I watch more day to day episodes of 1980s soaps, I find the emphasis on the "Luke and Laura" style storylines so off putting. On a funny side note, I remember spending the early years of the Internet searching for information on "Rituals" and only coming upon a site where someone was looking for the scenes of Kevin Spiritas being tied up on some bondage site. Oh the strange places the internet takes you in search of an obscure soap...

 

Characters definitely evolved. If you watch the clips of Mary Beth Evans Dakota Lane, who did go by Koty (pronounced like Cody), Andrea Moar's Julia Fields becomes a much more sympathetic character over time. Karen Kelly's Noel Gallagher also comes off less harshly as time goes on. I think the decision was to give a lot of the nastier parts to the women. I believe Christina Robertson (who may or may not have gone by Chris) was initially more ambiguous before they decided she was going to just be the heavy. 

 

I'm sure this show is an absolute mess, but I'd kill to see it from start to finish.

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@dc11786 It's funny you mention that about the bondage as sometimes those types of channels do have soap material that is hard to find elsewhere. I remember looking for some soap and the only channel that had the material from that period was some channel devoted to women cutting their long hair. The Domini story on Another Life had clips up at hypnosis channels. Emmerdale footage was on a men in bondage channel. And so on.

 

That mother/daughter story from the book makes me wonder again why the '80s  (especially the early '80s) seemed to be so prevalent with incest themes. I think that's around the time Judith Rossner wrote the book with the woman who ends up marrying a man who turns out to be her son. 

Edited by DRW50
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I suspect the success of "Flowers in the Attic" had something to do with a lot of the increase in incestuous themes in different works. I don't know when Keel wrote or published "Rituals," but I do think it might have been shortly before or after "Flowers in the Attic." I think Keel's book was meant to be racy. Priscilla not only gets knocked up by her father and has an abortion, the rumor is that Prisc is now performing in a strip club. Another character, rock star Ariel who attended the university, and now her daughter is attending, was involved in a threesome. When Prisc's half-sister Sandy confronted Charlotte Lawson, Charlotte claimed Sandy couldn't be her husband's child because he was gay. If there was much depth to any of it, i don't recall. I read the book in high school about 20 years ago. 

 

I still have to see if I can upload the pages I got off eBay several years ago of the second draft of "Rituals." None of the characters were in the final product and some were already altered from the pilot material. 

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2 hours ago, dc11786 said:

I do seem to recall reading that Patrick Chapin left Sara Gallagher something in his will, which may have been the origin of the Michelle Davenport parentage thread

 

2 hours ago, dc11786 said:

Patrick was single when he died. Wasn't he? I know he had been sleeping with Christina, but I don't think they actually married

From my recent reading of the plot from SOD on tumblr

 

Yes, Patrick was single and left $50,000 to Sarah in his will, which Noel later stole to give to Eddie the night she whacked him with a wrench, (and seems like a pittance considering her sister Christina inherited a diamond when Patrick's late wife died, just for being a good friend).  Noel gave the money back to Sarah to fund the expansion of the motorlodge to include the new nightclub (a misguided idea by Tom that college students would want to go to a motel/disco).  Why Patrick allowed Sarah to continue to be abused by Eddie, and the particulars of why Michelle was put up for adoption, but Carter was raised by the Chapin family butler, were never explored.

 

2 hours ago, dc11786 said:

I'm not even sure if Marissa and Carter were legally married because I don't think he divorced Christina, but I could be wrong.

Carter divorced Christina and married Marissa in Mexico.  But, Christina used her knowledge that Carter was with Eddie when Sonny the mobster was killed to get him to rip up the divorce papers (somehow the act of ripping the paper invalidated the divorce).  He later nullified his marriage to Marissa when he found out that he was a Chapin so that she would not have access to his new found wealth (even though he was specifically excluded from Patrick's will, somehow he gained controlling interest in the family's home and business).  Then, a few months later when thier blackmailer was presumed dead, Carter and Christina divorced for good.  From what I read here and elsewhere, Marissa disappears due to contract issues between the show and Patty Davis who played her, requiring one of the many Ritual recasts (she was President Reagan's daughter and a huge case of stunt casting). 

2 hours ago, dc11786 said:

The one question I always had about the incest plots was regarding Jeff Robertson. If he was Christina's son and Christina was Sara's sister, weren't Jeff and Noel cousins? That was never something that seemed to be a big deal. 

SOD specifically noted that Jeff was adopted, (although at times he was referred to as Christina's stepson, there was no mention of a first wife for Carter), thus clearing the path for his affair with Noel.  However, it still doesn't resolve the fact that they grew up together as cousins, at least that GL cousin couple met as adults.

 

2 hours ago, dc11786 said:

Andrea Moar's Julia Fields becomes a much more sympathetic character over time

For me, the lasting question was the fictional ages of the characters.  Was Carter born before Taylor?  Was Julia older than Brady? Why was Mike so close in age to his nephew Tom?  The Hadden Hall faculty and staff was full of plot-convenient late in life children.

 

 

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2 hours ago, dc11786 said:

The title of that book referred to the rituals related to coming of age and attending college. In the final speech, which use to be on youtube, the rituals which Christina was talking were like life, coming of age, finding love, and dying.

This all makes sense but I was referring to the clunky comparative made to people living individual lives.  It is like writing, "not all people look good wearing yellow, but we all die sometime."

Edited by j swift
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@dc11786that is a great resource, thank you for posting it! 

 

Interestingly in the SOD summaries Brady went to Yale (rather than Harvard as mentioned here) and Jeff went to Harvard.  The mystery of why Brady was kicked off the equestrian team was due to drug use (although it never reoccurred as an issue for him once he met Koty).  Funny how their family endowed a university but Patrick, Brady, and Jeff were specifically created as ivy-leaguers (no college admission scandals at the guy version of Hadden Hall, I guess).

 

It is also notable that Carter is older than Taylor, but Taylor and her mother must have had overlapping pregnancies since Brady is a year younger than his aunt Julia. 

 

The fact that Mike was Eddie's half-brother makes his age being close to his nephew Tom's age more probable. 

 

But, one wonders how Koty, a 19-year-old (with a brain tumor), would qualify as a surrogate.  And, at 27, Lacey seems young to be appointed the Dean of the woman's college.  Also, it is amusing that a lack of mention of Christina and Sarah's sister Lisa, probably meant that she was not part of the original bible. 

 

Edited by j swift
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On 1/16/2021 at 11:48 PM, dc11786 said:

I still have to see if I can upload the pages I got off eBay several years ago of the second draft of "Rituals." None of the characters were in the final product and some were already altered from the pilot material. 

Thanks.

 

July 2, 1985 Soap Opera Digest. I received it today.

 

Question : What do you like best about your leading lady ? 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/16/2021 at 10:21 PM, dc11786 said:

I don't think the show ever got to explore the fact that Michelle Davenport and Carter Robertson had shared the same father. I believe the revelation came out in the very last episode. Given the number of cliffhangers, I wonder if producers were hoping that they would get a reprieve and this was simply a cliffhanger because so much seems to be racing to a conclusion in that final week.

 

I think it might have to do with how these syndicated soaps were sold - since they're sold to invidivual markets they're dependent on them picking up/committing to the next cycle and whatever license fee they'll be willing to pay. Since Rituals seems to have at least had some following in France they might've hoped that they could've continued the show based on international sales in addition to sales in some markets in the US that hadn't dropped it. Obviously, that didn't happen, but it might explain why they left a cliffhanger.

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@te. You are probably right regarding the marketing piece. The show would natural want to end six month cycle with cliffhangers in order to get audience to press the show to be renewed by the individual stations to carry it had they decided not to continue with it. 

 

On a slightly different note, but related to syndication, I think something that got overlooked about "Strange Paradise" was that the show's American syndication deals fell through because of a lack of product. A lot of the American stations launched the show in September 1969 when the show was being filmed at one facility. When the show's initial 13-week order concluded, those episodes aired in the states in December 1969. The Desmond Hall episodes didn't start in production until January 1970. Prior to the video releases of "Strange Paradise," many of the shows original fans didn't know "Strange Paradise" continued after the fire on Maljardin. 

 

To bring this back full circle, I wonder how many people thought "Rituals" ended with Eddie Gallagher being killed off. 

 

 

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@dc11786Definitively. I think it's important to remember that these shows were basically funded by the licensing they could get from individual stations - so with Strange Paradise it was either entirely dropped from most markets or just pushed to an undesirable slot that made said stations pay less for the next cycle. I assume the same thing happened to Rituals - the first cycle of episodes were clearly prioritised by the stations and they were willing to pay a high license amount for it, but when it failed the production company had to inevitably drop the license fee and it became unprofitable.

 

I guess there was some small hope that they could convince the market it was successful in (France) to pay more to finance it, but it wasn't going to happen. Interestingly, we did see a lot of cross-Europe soap attempts in the 90s (and early 00s if you count Ocean Ave.).

Edited by te.
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Dec 84

Metromedia has renewed Rituals for remaining 23 weeks of 52 week cycle through September 1985. Metromedia carries syndicated serial drama from Telepictures on all seven of its stations in top eight markets.

Deal Telepictures made with stations said that stations would be released from their commitment to carry two 30- second spots included in show if Metromedia did not pick up renewal after 29 weeks.

However, some major market stations have dropped Rituals, including WRGB -TV Albany and wire -TV Buffalo, both New York; WXIA -TV Atlanta, Ga.; KMBC -TV Kansas City,Mo.

Stations must honor commitment to carry barter spots, how ever. Other stations have moved Rituals to noncritical viewing periods, such as WPIT -Tv Pittsburgh, which rescheduled it from 7:30 p.m. to 10 a.m., and WLWT -Tv Cincinnati, which moved it from 7:30 p.m. to weekend slots at I a.m. and 2 a.m.

In order to boos ratings, Telepictures has inaugurated contest with grand prize of $100,000 to viewers who solve murder mystery built into show's storyline. Clues will be dropped during February sweeps and viewers must identify victim, murderer and motive behind crime it order to become eligible to win prizes.

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On 1/17/2011 at 9:22 AM, DRW50 said:

9/24/85 Digest, From Reel to Real, Tony Rizzo's column.

It's always sad to see a soap opera leave the airwaves, especially when it has as many wonderful people as Rituals did. Telepictures, the producers of Rituals, decided to go out with a bash. The party was held on the set upon the completion of the 280th show, which, ironically, was probably one of the most powerful for the actors who wanted to give this last episode everything they had.

Tim Maier (Jeff) had been preparing for some time for this day, systematically having his picture taken with each and every cast member. At the party he presented all of them with a picture of him with them, sort of as a forget-me-not.

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Tim Maier, Wesley Pfenning and Christine Jones 

Source : Rivogliamo "Capitol" https://www.facebook.com/Rivogliamo-Capitol-145651828815729/

Edited by NadineC
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On 1/16/2021 at 1:21 PM, dc11786 said:

The incest storyline was included in the source material, Charlene Keel's book "Rituals." The title of that book referred to the rituals related to coming of age and attending college. In the final speech, which use to be on youtube, the rituals which Christina was talking were like life, coming of age, finding love, and dying. One of those rituals at Woodbriar (or whatever the school was called in the book) was sleeping with Judd McBroom, the local drama professor. Judd slept with mother and daughter duo Charlotte and Priscilla Lawson and impregnated both of them. At the end of the book, Priscilla leaves town to have an abortion after learning she's carrying her father's child. 

 

It's very wild to me that the producers cast Philece Sampler to play Priscilla. I remember seeing early press stills and was excited to see she and Barbara Crampton as adversaries! What's wild is that Philece played a similar incestuous storyline on DAYS. Her character on DAYS, Renee, falls in love with Tony DiMera, but then it's revealed she is his sister. After a long run, it's discovered that Tony was not fathered by Stefano. Even though they had amazing chemistry, it was still weird to have Tony & Renee together, so they killed her off. I find it almost weird that she would agree to play another character involved with incest knowing how distasteful a taboo subject it is. Maybe they weren't going to go down that road in the early TV version? But I do wish they had kept Philece as troublemaker Priscilla as Lacey was dull, dull, dull. 

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