Footprints Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum

On Footprints' fifth anniversary, producer Michael Ross reflected on the stories that
were never supposed to be -- and the ones that never saw the light of day.

In the summer of 1997, I drafted an 18-page document that outlined the storyline of a soap opera through 2007. Though the town was without a name in the original draft of that document, it would soon become the bible for Footprints. And when I began writing episodes based on that outline and posting them on the Web, that bible was my guideline.

Five years later, little of what I plan and write for FP has much to do with what is found in the original outline. It's amazing to see how much my original vision of the series has changed; as my influences morphed and my perspective on writing and the soap opera genre evolved, so has the series undergone a wild amount of changes. Gone from the stories of today and the foreseeable future are the Days of Our Lives-esque escapades and gimmicks. The tale of Tim and Claire being held captive in the jungle might have made it to your computer screen, but plenty of similar stories never will.

Just as certain stories have been scrapped from my plans for the series, so have plenty of elements found their way in that were never a part of my original bible. Here I've assembled some of the more interesting additions and omissions so that you can have a peek "behind the screen"...

She's Come Undone Although there was a Matt character planned, his eventual entrance into the series was to be much different. In fact, a full Sarah/Brent/Molly story was supposed to play out after Craig's demise, with Brent and Sarah eventually leaving King's Bay to go work in New York. They would have been off-screen for several months, only to return expecting a child.

Molly still would have not have gotten over her feelings for Brent and eventually would have realized that Sarah's child was the result of an affair she had while in New York. The father was a man named Matt Parker, who wouldn't have been seen yet. In the meantime, Brent and Sarah would have divorced following the reveal. Crazed with jealousy, Sarah was going to crash Brent and Molly's wedding with a gun. Though she was to be caught and remanded to a mental institution, Brent would have been shot in the fray.


Sarah Fisher

The path that Sarah Fisher Taylor's life wound up taking in the story is very different than what was originally planned.

Months later, Paula was to pay a visit to the institution, only to realize that Sarah had planted an imposter at the facility. Simultaneously, Brent would have gone missing from the hospital. Dr. Smith (yes, he was still around!) would have told Molly that Brent was dead, though as everyone was about to discover, Sarah was really holding him captive in an abandoned house on the outskirts of KB. (Gasp!) Several years down the line, Sarah would have been released and, after reconciling with Molly and Brent, would have found love with Matt, the father of her son.

Fall from Grace The original outlines contain no mention of Sally or Alex Marshall. Sally entered the picture when Christina Potter, then FP's storyline consultant, decided it would be funny for Don Chase to take a spill off his ladder. Thus was born the concept of Don being a victim of Dr. Smith and waking from his coma to find his long-ago ex at his bedside.

Extended Lease Since there was no Sally, there was no Alex. Lauren wasn't supposed to emerge as a major character, either, which means that Jason and Courtney's original plotline was much different from what has played out. After Shannon was locked away, Jason and Courtney were going to be married and then re-focus on their skating career. They were to qualify for the World Championships, only to have Courtney be murdered in the dressing room by an escaped Shannon moments before she and Jason were to take the ice.

True Colors The bible had Ryan as Claire's true rapist. Though they reconnected for a time following Tim's death, ultimately Ryan was supposed to revert to his evil ways and kidnap Claire, raping her again during the ordeal. Obviously there were a number of problems with that setup, what with it being completely insensitive to the issue of rape and making the character of Claire look like a moron...

Building a Mystery Danielle Taylor was scheduled to be a main character, but not for several more years. The idea to bring on the Fitches and a mystery centering around a missing maid came from a novel that I happened to read, and I liked the idea of broadening the canvas beyond just the Fishers, so I decided to bring in Brent's sister as the love interest for Andy so that there would be some connection to the core group of characters.

On the Fly An assortment of relationships were never meant to be but struck me and seemed to fit so well into my plans, including the Katherine/Nick, Sally/Stan, and Matt/Sarah pairings. The big beneficiary of this on-the-fly style has been Brian Hamilton, whose relationships with Molly, Kelsey, and Katherine were all last-minute additions to the story.

The Other Side Originally, another group of characters was set to step up to front-burner status in the period following Tim's death. Susan Johnson and Byron Willis, both bigwigs at Willis Advertising, were to be married--until Susan's presumed-dead husband, Mark, showed up at the wedding with their teenage daughter, Jennifer. Though Susan was introduced as one of Molly's superiors at Willis, the storyline never materialized because it was so disconnected from the rest of the FP canvas.

Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher was supposed to have become involved with psychotic, murderous Kim Willis... after losing his true love, Courtney Chase, at the hands of psychotic, murderous Shannon Parish.


The Johnsons were planned to bring a new set of storylines to the series. Susan and Mark would eventually reunite after Byron was killed in a hit-and-run accident, for which Jennifer would have been falsely accused. Later, Jennifer would become involved with Trent Walters, the son of P.I. Robert Walters, who was scrapped because of Sarah's career turn as a P.I. Trent's psychotic ex-wife, Emma, was going to come to town and wreak havoc for Trent, Jennifer, Danielle, and others -- including a scheme in which she would implant Danielle with Jennifer and Trent's embryo, a tasteless twist lifted from Sunset Beach and Days.

Meanwhile, Byron Willis' daughter, Kim, was set to become fixated upon Jason -- but when she couldn't have him, she'd have gone mad and eventually been presumed dead, only to surface with a new identity and trap him into marriage. She'd have met her actual demise after planting a bomb in the Fishers' home and then being trapped in there.

Jumping the Gun The Alex/Jason/Lauren story, though not originally planned, was based upon a storyline that was written for an aged Travis Fisher and his circle of friends, to be played out in 2006. Travis would have played the Jason role in the story, with his new friend, Drew, filling the Alex role.