Daytime TV, May,1991:
Playing Viki Buchanan has certainly
been a challenging endeavor for Erika Slezak. As always, Erika has
lived up to the high expectations of her many fans. She's never let
them down. Erika believes that this current stroke storyline is her
most difficult ever.
With A Stroke
Written by M. Schade
January 29, 1990 Viki
threw her hat in the ring and declared herself a candidate for Mayor of Llanview. Little did she know this decision would make her a candidate for threats, a kidnapping attempt, a smear campaign, and the possible loss of her life. Viki defeated Herb Callison much to the frustration of Llanview's new crime boss, Carlo Hesser, and Michael Grande. Grande was distributing drugs, and Viki exposed Carlo as the drug boss by splashing his name on the front page of "The Banner."
Viki vowed to stamp out drugs and corruption in Llanview. However, she had no way of knowing that her trusted police commissioner, Harding Richards, was corrupt and in cahoots with Carlo's son, Johnny Dee. On Johnny's orders Harding attempted to assassinate Viki during a telethon on WVLE TV. After suffering a severe gunshot wound and extensive surgery. Viki appeared to be on the road to recovery when she suffered a debilitating stroke in August.
Viki came home from the clinic in a wheelchair September 18. She was paralyzed on her right side and couldn't walk or talk. Sheila Price was hired as her therapist, and during her 3 or 4 months of therapy and rehabilitation, Viki encountered many trials and tribulations.
Sarah had been kidnapped, and Viki took the phone call but was frustrated when she couldn't relay the message to the family. She experienced more frustration while playing dominos with Megan and being fed pudding by Jessica. To add to her problems Niki reappeared on several occasions and mocked her, and Dorian continued to be a thorn in her side. Viki also experienced heartbreak when she tried to walk down the aisle at Tina and Cord's wedding and could only take one step and almost fell.
Meanwhile, Johnny was obsessed with Tina, and he threatened Viki and tried to get her to convince Tina to go away with him. Viki and Tina thought the nightmare was over when Troy Nichols, the newly appointed police commissioner, told them Johnny's car crashed into the river after a police chase, and Johnny was resumed dead. But the horror only began because Johnny was very much alive, and Viki and Tina were alone in the house when Johnny returned.
P>With Viki downstairs in a wheelchair and Tina upstairs alone, Tina's fate was sealed. But was it? Unbeknownst to everyone, Niki had reappeared, climbed the stairs and shot Johnny!
The animosity between Viki and Carlo was heightened by Johnny's death, and Carlo vowed revenge. Months later after discovering Niki's involvement in Johnny's death, Carlo set a plan in motion to
destroy the one person Viki cherished Megan. Viki eventually went on to make a full recovery and she continued to do good work for the citizens of Llanview.
young Jessica comforts her mother.
Viki's on-screen husband, Clint (Clint Ritchie) sees
her through yet another difficult time in their tumultuous marriage.
“This was one of the most fun times I've played Niki, when I
had the stroke,” remembers Slezak. “Niki would pop out of Viki's head,
yell at her and say, 'What are you, a lazy bum?' Viki couldn't deal
with her, but it was a wonderful sort of twist: 'Wait a minute, where
did she come from?' Niki was kind of all over the place.”
1990: "Freeze..!" shouts a gun-toting Niki Smith as
she stops the evil Johnny Dee (Anthony Crivello) from carrying
away unconscious Tina Roberts (Karen Wittier). Moments later, Niki
fired the shot that killed the ruthless mobster.