The November 8 episode of Days of our Lives left fans completely shocked. vJennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves) woke up from the coma she entered after Princess Gina (Kristian Alfonso) pushed her off a balcony.
But this wasn't the cause of wide disbelief. The creators of the show opted for a highly unusual treatment, having decided to jump ahead a year in the narrative. Clueless viewers are to learn about the new array of unexpected twists via flashbacks.
The Days of our Lives time jump coincides with the show's 54th anniversary.
To celebrate the big event in style, the creators decided to venture into a new territory, experimenting with a narrative tool unheard-of for soap operas and jumping ahead in time with an entire year.
As head writer Ron Carlivati explained in a previous interview with TV Insider, the creative team behind the show was hesitant at first. "It's something I wanted to do for a very long time," Ron explained.
"We thought about doing it a year ago and the timing just did not work out [...] we realized with the anniversary show coming up, it would be a perfect time and stories were in the right place, we started to steer in that direction," he added.
What can we expect from the forthcoming Days of Our Lives episodes?
There's no shortage of surprises for Jennifer — or us. Chad DiMera (Billy Flynn) and Abigail Deveraux (Kate Mansi) finally return from Paris to offer their unmediated support to Jennifer who is still caught up in the aftermath of a life-threatening incident.
Several cast members were imprisoned, including Will Horton (Chandler Massey) and Eve Donovan (Kassie DePaiva), the latter of whom was wrongfully convicted for Jennifer's attempted murder.
The show's most popular couples went through some rapid changes as well. Chabby is still going strong, unlike Lani Price (Sal Stowers) and her fiancé, Eli Grant (Lamon Archey). On the other hand, the past year allowed some romances to enter into bloom — including Sarah Horton' (Linsey Godfrey) and Xander Cook's (Paul Telfer) affair.
"For every couple we broke up, there's a couple that stays together," explained Ron the delicate logic behind the complex narrative development to TV Insider.
The time jump posed unexpected complications.
"I didn't realize at the time [of the pitching] what a big undertaking this was, Ron told to TV Insider.
"There were production issues for how many flashbacks to do because it means, let's say in one show we have to recreate something from six months ago, those characters have to be in different clothes, maybe a different time of day, lighting changes, all of that," he said.
Although the time jump turned came with a whole lot of logistics and unprecedented complication, it's safe to say that the creators pulled off the inventive move beautifully.