Another Life was a soap opera which ran on the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) cable television network from 1981 to 1984 which starred Mary Jean Feton.
Created by soap pioneer, Roy Winsor and Bob Aaron, the former head of daytime at NBC, the series was a traditional soap opera, but it had a lot of Christian conversions, some of which were so extreme, that Bob Aaron quit the show in a fury, calling the writing "deplorable".
The series was set in the fictional east coast town of Kingsley (ostensibly located in Virginia), and focused on the lives of the many and varied citizens of that community.
Feton headlined the cast as the heroine, Terry Davidson, the compassionate head of nursing at Kingsley Hospital. She was a very faithful and devout woman who was married to Scott (John Corsaut) a news anchorman at the Kingsley television station and had two children with him, sensitive college student Lori (Jeannette Larson, Debbie McLeod) and wisecracking son, Peter (Darrel Campbell).
In a nod to how Search for Tomorrow and The Secret Storm (which were also created by Roy Winsor) began with tragedy, Scott Davidson and his mother in-law, Nora Lindsay (Naomi Riseman) were killed in a New Years Eve car accident, six months after the premiere of the show. It was possibly because of his investigation which had angered members of an organized crime syndicate. The deaths of her husband and mother devastated Terry but she clung to her faith to help her through this dark time.
Terry's closest friend was cllinic receptionist, Ione Redlon (Edye Byrde), a devoutly faithful woman who often despaired over the antics of her reporter son, Gene (Eddie Hailey) who worked with the late Scott Davidson, and his troubled marriage to singer Carla (Elain Graham).
Boarding with the Redlons was former prostitute Barbara "Babs" Farley (the late Julie Jenney), who was actually a very nice and good natured woman, with a lively and bubbly sense of humor. It was the loving Ione that helped Babs break out of being a prostitute and helped her get a better life.
Next door to the Davidsons lived the Cummings family. They were husband Jeff (Tom McGowan) who was a hard-drinking, smoking and adulterous businessman; his stay-at-home wife, Liz (Carolyn Lenz) and their daughter, Jennifer. Despite their next-door neighbor status, Jeff did not like Scott and disliked Liz's constant reliance on Terry.
When Jeff contracted cancer (in one of the most heavy-handed moments in soap opera history), a beam of light came into his hospital room supposedly curing him. As such, he recovered from the disease and became a Christian. It was that story that caused Bob Aaron to quit the series. Liz was also one of Terry's friends, and was always in need of her support. After Jeff was cured, he, Liz and Jenny moved out of Kingsley.
The three main villains in the story were Terry's half-sister, Nancy Lawson (Nancy Mulvey), Miriam Carpenter Mason (Ginger Burgett); and her father, local businessman, Charles Carpenter (Randolph Kraft). Nancy was the daughter of Nora from her marriage to the man who was Terry's father. The money-mad Nancy was always bringing in wealthy men and seducing them, but she never had a career of her own. She was one of Charles' side women (he was married to Helen Carpenter, who was nothing like her husband and daughter).
In the series beginning, it was also revealed that a drug network had been connected with the wealthier members of the Kingsley community and a criminal syndicate in Chicago. This criminal syndicate was perhaps the ones who were responsible for the death of Scott Davidson and Nora Lindsay.
Miriam had a reputation of being the show's female J.R. Ewing. She had spread malicious gossip about Lori Davidson sleeping with her husband, Paul Mason, the father of her son, Erick. To get even, Miriam tried to take Dr. Ben Martin (Matt Williams) who had married Lori after the destruction of her engagement to Russ Weaver (Christopher Roland), a Kingsley College student who had cheated on her with her friend, Becky Hewitt (Susan Scannell). Later, Miriam had recanted the story when she was revealed to have lied.
Later on, Miriam was kidnapped by a man named Hugo Lancelot (Kelly Gwinn) and held hostage. When she was released, she embraced Christianity with a vengeance, having already divorced Paul and moved on with Hugo's nicer twin brother, Jeremy (also played by Kelly Gwinn). When Miriam left town, her cousin Courtney came into town. She was as much of a troublemaker as Miriam had been before her conversion. Mirian tried to be a Christian, but she fell short numerous times, but she never gave up.
Another featured character was Harold Webster (Alan Sader), Charles' long-time lawyer, who had defended the Carpenters against the Davidsons. After his defeat, Harold became a nicer person, although he still worked for the Carpenters, and fell for the bubbly Babs.
One of Another Life's alumna, Susan Scannell (Becky Hewitt), later became Kristin Carter, Warren Carter's sister, on the series, Search for Tomorrow. She was married to, and divorced from Christopher Roland (Russ Weaver); another actor, Paul Gleason, the original actor who played troublemaking Lee Carothers, would be better known for his movie role of Richard Vernon, the nasty assistant principal who aggravated five students in detention (and had a formidable foe in Judd Nelson's character of John Bender) in the 1984 movie, The Breakfast Club.
In the series finale, wealthy Lee Carothers (Jim Williams, Paul Gleason) who had murdered his wife, Kate Phillips Carothers (played by Somerset-Edge of Night-Loving veteran, Dorothy Stinnette) was planning on running for public office, only to be defeated in this endeavor by his long-time adversary (and Kate's first husband), Dr. Dave Phillips (Tom Urich, brother of the late Robert Urich), a doctor at Kingsley Hospital. Dave then went on and married widow Terry Davidson.