Saturday, October 20, 2007


"O San Cristobel! Our home and native land!
True patriot love and all thy sons command!"
One of the most controversial developments in the history of GUIDING LIGHT has been the 1999 creation of the island nation of San Cristobel, home to the royal Winslows, the ambitious Spencers, and a cavalcade of other characters. Introduced to provide story for Reva after her second marriage to Josh, San Cristobel would go on to be a setting for front-burner story for years to come, much to the consternation of many a viewer. The dominance of this non-Springfield setting for so much of GL's action was even more distressing in light of the fact that what was occurring in Springfield was being overrun by the brand new Santos mob family. These two creations brought with them a host of popular new characters that enjoyed massive amounts of airtime and entwined pre-existing characters in their stories. As a result, this era of GL is most memorable (and only sometimes in a good way) for characters like Richard, Edmund, Olivia, Danny, Tony, and Carmen and the relationships they shared with Springfield's populace.

It's at the beginning of the San Cristobel era that we find ourselves today in these episodes from August of 1999. It's highly revelatory and more than a little alarming to see the early versions of characters that would go on to such prominence the show. The prim Olivia and the desperate Richard that we see here bear almost no relation to what the characters would become even two years later. In Olivia's case, the character is practically unrecognizable in comparison to today's Liv. By contrast, David Andrew MacDonald's Edmund hits the ground running, already flashing the electrifying and mesmerizing presence and persona that he's best remembered for.

Springing from the minds of notorious show-wreckers Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown, this plotline features all the overblown dialogue and baffling story development that we've come to expect from these two. At the time, it didn't seem so outrageous (at least to me), but looking back, it's easier to see how horrifying and egregious this scenario was for long time viewers, especially in light of the prolonged dominance of the San Cristobel setting.

This clipset is also a very interesting look at the beginnings of the (unseen) Jonathan character. It's quite interesting to listen to the tender reminiscences of Richard and Reva in contrast with the shrieking caveboy whose path of destruction GL is still reeling from.

And so, as we prepare for the much anticipated 2007 return of Edmund, enjoy his beginnings in Touché--


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