Hi all. Apologies for the sporadic postings, but I figured it’s probably better to spend any time working on the book rather than writing blog posts. That said, I am extremely excited to let you know that Susan Harris has graciously shared with me that Holy Grail of Soap research: the Soap “bible.” For this I am forever in her debt.
As you’ll remember, it has always been the practice for television programs to draft a rough blueprint for any series they’re seriously pitching to a network. This usually includes character breakdowns, as well as different story lines the writer foresees occurring throughout the run of the show. Essentially this is to give the network an idea of what to expect, and back in Soap‘s day, the Standards and Practices people early warning about story lines that might spark controversy. Usually show bibles are only used as a jumping off point, with only a small percentage of plot points actually making it to air.
However, in the case of Soap, the series bible is a wealth of information that clears up a few mysteries, and above all demonstrates just how much thought went into the making of this series. Though I must hasten to add that there is nothing in this 36-page document to suggest what would have happened in Season 5, it does shed some light on the motivations of some characters that were never fully explored. The bible, taken together with the memories of cast and crew, go a long way toward demonstrating just how ahead of its time Soap was. My thanks, once again, go to Susan Harris for sharing this.