Monday, September 18, 2006

FLASHBACK: ANOTHER WORLD'S RACHEL/STEVE/ALICE

AOL's Classic Soap Channel is currently running episodes of Another World starting in 1980. Which means that Steven Frame (as played by David Canary before All My Children, Adam Chandler, and all those Emmys) is about to return from the dead.

Why is this such a big deal, you ask? (After all, who among us – in the soap world, that is – hasn't returned from the dead once or twice?)

Well, it's a big deal, because Steve Frame was one third of daytime's hottest triangle, the one that put the show on the map, Another World near the top of the ratings and Robin Strasser (before One Life to Live and her own Emmy) into America's living rooms.

Robin Strasser began playing Rachel Davis on Another World in 1967. At the time, her hiring was considered rather risky, as she was an ethnic (read: Jewish) type. (Had Strasser not made the huge splash she did, it's unlikely that Rachel's creator, Agnes Nixon, would have been allowed to, three years later, cast another ethnic (read: Italian) type on her new show, All My Children, by the name of Susan Lucci – perhaps you've heard of her?).

Rachel was from the wrong side of the tracks. But she didn't intend to stay there for long. Her path to respectability included marrying Dr. Russ Matthews. Alas, Rachel couldn't fight her attraction to fellow striver Steve (George Reinholt). Steve and Rachel seemed to have a lot in common. Both were born poor but determined to make something of themselves. Both were outsiders in middle-class, respectable Bay City. And both were unnaturally good looking. They should have been the perfect match. Except for that whole, Rachel being married to Russ thing... and Steve being in love with Russ' golden haired sister, Alice (Jacquie Courtney).

This being a soap and all, Rachel didn't let either of those little details stop her from seducing Steve. (To be fair, he did willingly participate). Or, later, from crashing Steve and Alice's engagement party to announce that she was carrying Steve's child.

The Rachel/Steve/Alice triangle went on until 1975 (after Steve had taken turns marrying both women, finally ending up with Alice in 1974). A new headwriter, Harding Lemay, had a problem with actor Reinholt and so killed Steve off in an Australian helicopter crash. (Reinholt and Courtney both showed up the same year on One Life to Live as star-crossed lovers Tony and Pat. Courtney ended up staying in Llanview until 1983. Reinholt barely made it to the end of 1977).

By 1980, however, with Rachel was coming off a marriage to dashing older man Mackenzie Cory (Douglas Watson) and played by Victoria Wyndham, it was time for Steve to shake off the outback residue and return to Bay City. (His and Rachel's son, Jamie (Richard Beakins), was, by then, out of college. A neat achievement for a young man born about a decade earlier).

So how did Rachel, Jamie, Alice and Mac respond to Steve's return?

Tune into Another World on the AOL Classic Soap Channel and see for yourselves!

Got a favorite Rachel/Steve/Alice memory? Share it in the Comments section below!

1 comment:

Mike said...

I'm really enoying seeing Another World on AOL. Please continue to release episodes from the archives. You're making many fans of Another World very happy, including myself. I am getting a chance to see the show before I started watching. In 1980 I was only two years old and, obviously, not watching soaps.

Keep it up.