Irna Phillips created AS THE WORLD TURNS in 1955 and a pilot was shot in November of that year. AS THE WORLD TURNS debuted on April 2, 1956. In Part 1 of the original story bible for the soap, called AS THE EARTH TURNS at that point, some background details on the concept of the show and the locale were provided. In Part 2, the character of Christopher Hughes was described in detail. In Part 3, we found out more about Chris, his family and career. In Part 4, the original vision for the character of Nancy Hughes was explained. In Part 5, we saw the character description for Edith Hughes, who would be played by Ruth Warrick. In Part 6, the characters of Fred (Grandpa) Hughes Bobby Hughes were described. In Part 7, Chris and Nancy's other children, Penny and Don, were fleshed out. In Part 8 and Part 9, the first six months of projected story started to be revealed. In Part 10 below, the projection continues.
In addition to the general storyline, and while plotting in detail, and writing the first two weeks of scripts, the Lowell story has emerged as a most important reflection of the stories of the divorce courts, the actions taken by either husbands or wives for separate maintenance - the stories of children from broken homes. Divorce statistics show the rise in the percentage of separation between husbands and wives, but they do not give the stories behind the statistics. Incompatibility, financial insecurity and family interferences are reasons usually given for the increase in divorce and separation. What lies behind these three reasons?
The Lowell family cannot latch on to the financial insecurity, cannot use as a reason for the separation family interference, at least not at this point - and Jim Lowell did not leave his wife because of another woman. Jim and Claire Lowell have without knowing it been incompatible, and Jim without really knowing it has never been in love with his wife. The second five scripts give a very definite indication of what happened to Jim Lowell, not after he married Claire, but for a long time before he married her.
For so long, in practically every medium of entertainment, has the predatory woman been used - mother, wife, sister - to show the female influence on the male. Seldom, except in the nighttime field, has a man been portrayed who is responsible for the tragedies of his children. A classic example of course is Mr. Barrett of Barretts of Wimpole Street. Mt. Lowell is Mr. Barrett in Twentieth century garb.
Not infrequently does the male believe that only thru a son can he hope to perpetuate his name, his work, his very self. Such a man is James Lowell, Senior. Because of this father we know the younger Mr. Lowell. Because of this father Jim is an attorney, Jim married Claire, Jim lived with his wife for fifteen years. Lived? Hardly. In back of his mind he was waiting for the day when a daughter whom he loves devotedly, would meet a man of her choice; then he, Jim, would be free to really live.
Should Claire be blamed for what has happened? Hardly. She's a victim of circumstances, the victim of a father, her husband's father. Yes she's in love with her husband, or was. She knows that Jim would have asked her for a divorce a long time ago if it weren't for their daughter, Ellen.
The child from a broken home, who's continually torn between her love for her mother and her love for her father, is a post tragic figure, and brings to mind 'the sins of the father' - not her father, but her father's father - a bewildered 16-year-old girl who must forever be asking herself why; and the answer for Ellen is only an echo of her own question - why? There is no answer.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Typos included. Stay tuned for more of the first six months of project storylines.