USA / ABC / 1633 x 30 minute episodes / 2 June 1997 – 3 October 2003
A spin off from General Hospital that launched with a prime time special on 1 June 1997. The show initially focused on the lives of three characters from GH:- Scott Baldwin, Lucy Coe and Kevin Collins.
The doctors were resident at GH and one early plot strand had them being targeted by a serial killer called the General Homicide killer, initially the shows producers seemed content to to go down the normal Soap route but as ratings dwindled things started to get a little bit strange (some would even say Dark Shadows tinged) with the introduction of vampires and werewolfs.
Around this time the shift of the series changed from on-going storylines to 13 week self contained story arcs. This allowed the show to be filmed quite a bit in advance however it also meant that when the show was cancelled quite a few threads remained tangled.
Definitely something of a strange brew Port Charles clearly didn’t know what kind of show it wanted to be and in the end that meant the audience didn’t know either.
Debra Thorson contributed the following about one of the key story arcs called “Tainted Love” which gives a great indication of just how the show played out…..
The story has Kevin Collins, the local shrink, his wife of 1 year (they married Christmas of 2001) Lucy Coe Collins, the local vampire slayer, her cousin Rafe, who was a vampire slayer also, but was killed by Caleb 10 years previously, he was a angel who volunteered to come down to be his cousins guardian angel–to protect her from Caleb, also to help her learn her gifts of being a slayer. He falls deeply in love with the town good-girl, Alison. He knows that he can’t tell her who he is, but if she guessed, that was different–she did guess and also fell in love.
Caleb/Michael is of course the ultimate badboy of Port Charles. Caleb–being the vampire, his talisman is the good that tries to calm his evil soul, Father Michael–we find that they are one in the same, Michael, tries to protect the woman that he has fallen in love with, Eve, from his evil (brother) Caleb, as Eve and her love, Ian are expecting a child, and Caleb, who cannot father a child wants to take the baby and be a family with the woman he has fallen in love with, the exact look-a-like to the woman he almost wed, but after finding out his true identity, fought him, and he lost control and killed her the night before the wedding. Kevin, the town shrink’s daughter is the exact double to the true love of Caleb’s–even down to the name “Olivia”. Livvie, is in love with Jack, whom Caleb met and bit in the woods, Jack, Livvie, Alison, and Alison’s boyfriend at that time was Jamal–they were on a motor-cross race, when Jack was involved in a terrible accident–he died—or did he? He had been bitten by a vampire–not understanding what had happened to him. Livvie, Alison and Jamal bury Jack.
Caleb sees Livvie, and is immediately smitten– he will do everything in his power to get her. Jack, not being human any longer comes back, to the amazement of Livvie, Alison & Jamal. He is acting a bit strange now–and Jamal steals some blood from the hospital to find out if his friend could be a vampire–he is–but is desperately fighting to keep Livvie safe from Caleb, who ultimately does get Livvie, bites her, then marries her. Jack will not give up, and saves her. The good and evil battle inside of Caleb–ultimately he looks to God and asks him to end it, and take him, which he does. But the love that Caleb has for Livvie is much, much too strong– his ring winds up in Livvies hands and he does find the way to come back to the love of his life, no matter who gets in his way.
Prominent cast members included…
KIN SHRINER as Scott Baldwin
LYNN HERRING as Lucy Coe
JON LINDSTROM as Kevin Collins
JENNIFER HAMMON as Dr Karen Wexler-Cates
LISA ANN HADDEY as Dr Eve Lambert
MICHAEL DIETZ as Dr Jospeh Parnell Scanlon
JAY PICKETT as Francis Xavier Scanlon
NOLAN NORTH as Dr Chris Ramsey
MITCH LONGLEY as Dr Matt Harmon
ROB HILLIS as Dr Jake Marshak
DEBBI MORGAN as Dr Ellen Burgess
ANASTASIA HORNE as Lark Madison
EDWARD ALBERT as Dr Bennett Devlin
GEORGE ALVAREZ as Det Alex Garcia
LESLIE CHARLESON as Dr Monica Quartermaine
JAMIE FARR as Ernie
ERIN HERSHEY as Alison Barrington
JOSEPH KELL as Zach Owens
LISA LORD as Nurse Grace Sullivan