Who would have ever thought soap fans would live to see the day that two of the most prolific daytime actors of all-time, both hugely popular, both unique in their own way, would end up finally sharing screen time together in a tale that could only be told and made plausible on the soaps. And in doing so giving the genre, and most of all the fans of One Life to Live, some of the greatest dramatic must-see moments in recent memory. After all, who wasn’t clamoring to find out which one of these guys was the real Todd after so many false starts?
Now, we know, we know, that the convoluted plot and explanation via psycho-momma-baddie, Irene Manning was a little far-fetched, and also hard to follow, but c’mon. We are soap fans, we get it. How on earth were we going to get around to why we have two Todd Mannings? And, how could everyone in Llanview not know Todd was Todd, plus he had another face altogether? Well, as the tale of what went down via Irene to her two twin sons, Todd and Victor Jr., was revealed, we were so upset to learn that Victor Jr. had his face sliced thanks to mom, and then reconstructed, thanks again to mom, to look like Walker Laurence! And, how upset we also had been finding out that the original Todd had been kept in captivity for 8 years away from all the people he loves. And that is just scratching the surface here!
But all of this story repositioning has given way to amazing performances this past week from Trevor St. John (Victor) and Roger Howarth (Todd). And so… On-Air On-Soaps is proud to name Trevor and Roger this week’s Power Performances of the Week! From the moment of Irene’s reveal, the subtlety, anger, horror, disbelief and sadness, and relief (in the case of Howarth’s Todd) portrayed was watching two actors at the very top of their game. We don’t think we will ever forget, Howarth’s Todd asking his sister, Viki for a hug after they realize they are true brother and sister, and that he had been so isolated from everyone he loves for so long…a truly beautiful moment. Subsequently, when Todd goes to see Starr after the bombshell and they reunite, and then he sees his granddaughter Hope for the first time, this is the stuff that soaps are made of and it was played to perfection.
And then on the flip side: there is St. John’s, Victor Jr. completely destroyed, lying to this family that has come to know him as Todd, that he is still Todd, till the gig is up thanks to Starr. What followed was an amazing moment when all of Todd’s children tell Victor Jr. they still love him no matter what. St. John played every moment of this, and the desperation to get out of town to perfection, and we can’t wait for Victor and Tea to have their emotional showdown.
In our book, Howarth and St. John are true originals; they played magnificently off of each other and made creative, daring and exciting acting choices along the way with the material given to them. All we can say is, it has been a pleasure to watch. More please! For now, watch some of the clips below of the moments over the last few airshows we have discussed, and tell us your thoughts on the performances and the story.