Fans of Stephen Markle or his popular One Life to Live character Mel Hayes will be pleased to see him appearing in Llanview again this week, on Friday, January 8.
Mel was a washed-up reporter with a penchant for alcohol when Dorian discovered him in Washington D.C. and managed to find him a home as a newspaper reporter at The Banner, where he worked closely with Viki and Clint while battling his demons and falling headlong into a passionate – and often rocky – relationship with Dorian, who he eventually married.
While their relationship was filled with strife, it was clear that they did, indeed, care about each other deeply and fans seemed to love the daytime romance. While juggling Dorian and her dramas with a career he took very seriously, Mel also managed to become very good friends with Viki.
When Clint had to miss a newspaper conference in the Bahamas, Viki asked Mel to fill in for him, and a furious Dorian was convinced that the two were plotting a romantic getaway. She schemed to keep Mel at home by having a note about an emergency delivered to his seat on their plane, but he had switched seats with Viki and she left instead.
With Viki safe and sound, the plane crashed and Mel was never seen again. During his memorial service, Dorian publicly blamed Viki for his death. However, Dorian channeled her husband with Madame Delphina’s help, and Mel convinced Dorian to let go of her grievances. The spiritual guidance might have led to Dorian and Viki becoming friends, but fate – as is usual with Viki and Dorian – stepped in to prevent reconciliation.
Stephen Markle last appeared on One Life to Live in July 2008, when Viki and Dorian were involved in a car accident in which Viki died. Mel appeared to Dorian to try to set her straight in her ways – scolding her for pouring liquor down Charlie’s throat during her hostile takeover of Buchanan Enterprises and lying to Viki by saying she slept with Charlie. Mel convinced Dorian to attempt to save Viki, and with a little inspiration from David, Dorian managed to bring Viki back before Mel disappeared into the night.
Shortly thereafter, Tia Dionne Hodge – more recently known for portraying Dorian’s campaign manager and “fiancée” Amelia Bennett, always played the mysterious person named “Mel”.
Now fans will get “the real deal” as Stephen Markle reprises his role as Mel Hayes. Spoilers indicate that this appearance will be similar to his last visit, and Mel will be acting as a sort-of spiritual guide for Dorian.
Many fans would love to see more of Stephen Markle on One Life to Live and hold to the soap opera philosophy that if a body was never shown, the character is not really dead. Time will tell what Mel’s appearance means for Dorian, and just how much of Stephen Markle fans will be able to see in the future.
Be sure to tune in on Friday, December 8, at 2:00 p.m. on ABC or 9:00 p.m. on SOAPnet; and don’t forget to call the comment lines and write in with your thoughts about the show.
For more information:
“Stephen Markle rumors confirmed!” December 3, 2009
“Rumor has it – Dorian, Mitch, and a long-lost favorite” December 2, 2009