In 1987,Viki was reunited with everyone she knew when she traveled out of body to Heaven during brain surgery.
Clint's marriage had started to crumble and another blow was dealt when
Viki witnessed a fight between Clint and Tom Dennison, the identical twin of her
late husband, Joe Riley. When she awoke, Viki discovered that she had no memory
of the previous eight years. She had wiped out her entire history with Clint.
She thought that Tom was her late husband Joe.
Viki and Clint
were heading for a divorce and the judge refused to grant the divorce as long as
Viki had no memory of her relationship with Clint. At the urging of Tom, she had
some tests ran. The tests revealed that Viki had a brain aneurysm which required
immediate surgery. During the surgery Viki 'died' and went on a journey to
heaven with the guide of her guardian angel, Virgil. She met up with her dearly
departed family and friends, including Joe Riley. Joe urged her to return to
earth and reunite with Clint. After facing her demons, Viki recovered and
returned to reunite with her estranged husband.
beautiful, it was fun, I got to talk to everybody and see all these wonderful
friends who had "left the show. And I was comfortable the whole time~ I wore
flat shoes and white chiffon. I always said; 'I hope when I die, that's how I go
-- in white ballet flats and white chiffon with my hair neatly combed and almost
no makeup on."
Soap Opera Weekly's 100
Most Memorable Moments, September 30, 1997
#74-Viki in Heaven
Possibly the most far-out
of any soap opera premise, Viki's temporary visit to heaven was also the most
far-fetched. In a coma during a brain operation in March, Viki found herself
beamed up to a starship on its way to heaven. In a magnificent, all-white set
that had to be built in a separate studio, at enormous expense, Viki came face
to face with a host of deceased loved ones, family members, friends – and
enemies. Her late father, Victor Lord, was among those present, and a lot of
loose storyline ends could have been tied up had she thought to ask him directly
who caused his death. But despite this and other missed opportunities, the
elaborate gambit was successful in rebuilding OLTL's audience. The show had
slipped to sixth or seventh in the ratings, and Viki's heavenly starship beamed
it back up to the top three. It didn't do Erika Slezak any harm, either, as it
provided the actress with much juicy material.
This storyline was a
favorite of Erika's because it reunited her with Lee Patterson.
Comments From Erika:
Viki's out-of-body-experience, which featured all the dead characters from the show coming back for several weeks, was a wild affair that kept actors and crew on hand almost 24 hours a day. Viewers loved it.
"I had such an extraordinary reaction from that story, says Erika Slezak. "People stopped me on buses and instead of saying. "We'd really like to meet you,' they said 'It made me feel so much better about dying because it gave me another alternative.' We all say, 'What is it when we die, where do we go, what do we do? This gave you a picture. Granted, it was entertainment, but everybody's looking for an answer to that question." Performing in Heaven was one of Slezak's toughest assignments. "I think that probably that was the biggest challenge because it was the most rewarding when it was done." she says. "I just loved every second of it. I wasn't bored because I never had a chance."
Comments From Executive Producer Paul Rauch: In addition to the love story of Clint and Viki, Heaven is one of the stories that Rauch thinks have come off best. One day he'd like to take a look at the flipside of the hereafter. "I'd love to go to hell sometime," he chuckles, "but no one will let me. And I've got a great bunch of people for that. Don't ask me who."