Friday, April 2, 2010

Original Bible: AS THE EARTH TURNS, Part 9

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, the first six months of projected story started to be revealed. In Part 9 below, the projection continues.

Kit finds an ally in his sixteen-year-old sister Penny. No matter how well we may think we know our children, how well do we really know them? They are individuals as we are individuals, and much of what they think, they keep locked up within themselves, just as we do. The teen-age years are turbulent at best. The unconscious changes that go on within a girl or boy are rarely understood by them, and too often not understood by their parents. This should not have been true of Nancy and Chris Hughes. After all Nancy received her degree in Education, she had studied Child Psychology, and Chris is more than a little aware of today's teen-age problems.

Neither of them has thought of Penny as a problem, but Penn is a problem, first of all to herself, and she will soon be one to her family.

If only Nancy could have known how Penny felt about her sister who did six months ago. If only Nancy could have known how jealous Penny had been of her fourteen-year-old sister Susan. Well she didn't know. At the death of her younger daughter, Nancy needed Penny; and as much as Penny needed her the story opens there is no open conflict between mother and daughter, but that will come, it has to come.

The day Penny makes a confidante in her Aunt Edith will mark the beginning of a real resentment against her mother. Penny, young and vulnerable, hears a rather sordid story regarding her parents from her Aunt Edity. For the first time she is told about her Uncle John who ran away from home as a young boy because Penny's father had failed to keep a promise. Edith is quick to point out that everything that has happened to her is more Nancy's fault than Chris'. Every instinct in the girl wants to defend her mother, her dad, but somehow she just can't. She's in complete sympathy with her aunt's attitude toward Chris and Nancy.

In all fairness to Edith, it doesn't enter her mind that she's alienating her niece from her parents. The time comes when she realizes what has happened, but it is almost too late to rectify the situation. By this time Penny will have subscribed to her aunt's philosophy. "Take everything, give nothing". It will be sometime before the young girl inadvertently learns of her aunt's attachment to a married man, a man who with his wife are often guests in the Hughes home.

What does a brother do when he learns that his sister is interested in a married man, a junior member of the law firm, Jim Lowell? Even tho Nancy and Chris have during the past years made every effort to include her in so many of their plans, Edith wanted no part of either of them. Yet Chris knows that the relationship between his sister Edith and his friend Jim Lowell must come to an end.

It's at a time when Chris openly discusses her association with Jim that he is made aware of his sister's bitterness, almost hatred, against his wife and himself. It is at this time that Nancy realized the almost irreparable harm Edith has done to Penny.

Kenny of course is a sheer delight to all, a real boy who has spent most of his summers on his grandfather's farm, and who understands far beyond his years the values that Grandfather Hughes brings to the Hughes home in the suburbs.

At this point it should be mentioned that Edith's twin brother John will look up the family for the first time in sixteen years. Thru the years every now and then Fred Hughes has heard from his son. John had been notified when his mother had been taken critically ill, but he didn't even come home for the funeral. No one has heard from him for the past five years. With the return of John the day will come when Chris will go before a jury and plead for the life of his brother.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As previously mentioned, typos in the document are not being corrected here. Stay tuned for more of the first six months of project storylines.

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