Days of Our Lives head writer Ron Carlivati is crafting a compelling murder mystery. The scribe spoke to Soap Opera Digest about how the plan was always to kill off Charlie (Mike Manning), which classic soap inspired him, and the length of the story arc.
From the beginning, Carlivati knew Charlie was going to meet his maker after raping Allie (Lindsay Arnold). He explained:
Mike knew it was short-term from the beginning and he’s a lovely guy and a lovely actor. If the person playing Charlie wasn’t a good actor or wasn’t appealing, you wouldn’t care. So, yes, I’m sure there were some people who were disappointed that we 'wasted' this guy. I saw a response to the character right away, which was great, but my heart kind of sank. And I was already thinking, 'Well, maybe he’s got a twin brother.' I never thought about changing the story. I always knew that I didn’t want to redeem the rapist; I wanted him to die, and it’s tragic because we did play a lot about his backstory and there is no excuse for somebody doing something like this but you felt for him. You saw that he felt unloved and I think that haunted him his entire life.
Just about everyone in town could be a suspect, a plot that Carlivati carefully crafted. He shared:
I remember when GENERAL HOSPITAL did the “Who Killed Susan Moore?' story, something like 10 characters had gone in and had an argument with her before. I was like, 'That must have been one busy parking lot outside her apartment.' So you always have that to consider: How do these people not all run into each other? That’s why you have to construct a timeline, of maybe this person came and they had an argument, and then maybe this person came and that happened. So once you have that map, you can go, 'This week, we’re going to focus in on John [Drake Hogestyn]' or, 'This week, we’re going to focus in on Allie,' and see where they were that night.
How long will the murder mystery play out? Carlivati answered:
It’s one of those things where it’s a judgment call. You want to have fun with the story and the different suspects but you don’t want it to go on so long that you don’t care anymore, so it’s a two- or three-month arc.