Roman and Marlena – the Making of a Days of our Lives Supercouple
It was the early 1980’s – the beginning of the soap opera “super couple” era, where storylines no longer featured only hospital based tales but ones of adventure, danger and romance entwined.
Days of our Lives took notice of the popularity of this new type of storyline on General Hospital and penned one of their own – in a storyline that placed newly single heroine, Dr Marlena Evans (portrayed by Deidre Hall), in danger.
Marlena and Don Craig Divorced
Dr Marlena Evans had come to town years early and treated Mickey Horton while he was institutionalized. She and Don Craig, Salem’s one time District Attorney and more often, Mickey Hortons law partner, soon met, fell in love and married.
Don and Marlena’s relationship survived many challenges, most notably Donna Craig, Don’s newly discovered teenage daughter from a previous relationship, and Samantha Evans, Marlena’s out of work actress sister who at one stage institutionalized her sister and took over Marlena’s life! But it was the death of their young son DJ from crib death that brought their relationship undone.
Don blamed Marlena for working through her pregnancy and sought solace in songstress Liz Chandler’s arms. When Marlena learned about Don’s affair with Liz, Marlena and Don divorced though there were still feelings between Don and Marlena.
Marlena Hosts a Radio Talk Show
After her divorce Marlena threw herself into her work. She took on Jessica Blake, Sister Marie Horton’s illegitimate daughter, as a patient – she was suffering from multiple personalities; and Marlena also hosted a call in radio show for listeners seeking psychiatric help.
Dr. Evans’ radio show was popular, but one caller soon became to stand out. He initially called asking for Marlena’s help. “Please help me, I didn’t want to do it.” Was the tone of his plea. Over time, however, the caller turned from pleading for help to a more threatening tone. “You didn’t stop me.” He would accuse Marlena.
Someone is Murdering the Women of Salem
At the same time that Marlena Evans was receiving strange phone calls on her radio program from a man wanting her to “stop him”, women were being murdered in Salem by what was soon deemed to be a serial killer.
Could the caller to Dr Evans’ radio show be the troubled mind behind the murders? Don Craig thought so, and became very protective of his ex-wife, making Don’s new wife, Liz Chandler very jealous. But District Attorney, Don Craig wasn’t the only one who thought the pretty blonde shrink’s safety was in question.
The Salem PD wanted to Dr Evans to have round the clock protection, but Marlena refused on the basis that she wouldn’t be approachable to her patients with a police guard outside her office.
The Strangler Breaks into Dr Marlena Evans’ Office
When Marlena returned to her office one day and received another call from the Strangler there he told her to open the drapes in her office – it was such a pretty day outside.
Marlena hesitantly pulled back the curtains to find a blonde haired doll hanging there. The doll had a broken neck and was suspended from a silk scarf. A rattled Marlena found comfort in her ex-husbands arms and lashed out at the unseen super detective, Roman Brady who had been assigned to solve the Strangler cast, but Marlena had never met.
A New Patient Attacks Marlena!
It was a stormy evening when Marlena had an appointment with a new patient. Gretchen, Marlena’s receptionist had requested to leave early due to the weather, but Marlena asked her to stay.
Marlena and her new patient started the session. Marlena soon became alarmed when he began using the same language as the caller to her radio show. The patient became angry when Marlena caught him in a lie. Marlena excused herself to talk to Gretchen, but Gretchen was no longer at her desk. Marlena made a run for the door of her office when the patient, pulled a pink silk scarf from his pocket…
Don Rescues Marlena!
A terrified Marlena was rescued when ex-husband and district attorney Don Craig arrived at her office. He decked the guy threatening to attack Marlena and told Marlena to wait outside while he dealt with the attacker they believed to be the Salem Strangler.
At that point viewers learned that the new patient wasn’t the Salem Strangler, but Detective Roman Brady posing as the Salem Strangler. Roman was trying to make the point that Marlena needed 24/7 police protection.
If he could gain access to her office and get her alone, so could the real Strangler.
Still, however, Marlena was not convinced. But Roman Brady had another trick up his sleeve…he would protect the stubborn lady shrink despite her protests.