Erika Slezak by Donna Svennevik/ABC
Long before Passions came along, One Life to Live was daytime's wildest soap - especially back in the Reagan era, when Viki ( Erika Slezak) had an out-of-body experience during brain surgery and wound up on a space ship to heaven. To celebrate the ABC soap's 40th anniversary next month, OLTL head writer Ron Carlivati will revisit that celestial 1987 plot by having Viki die - just momentarily, of course! - in a car crash.

"This time, heaven will be a very modern high-rise - Viki will go up the elevator floor by floor, encountering all sorts of dead characters along the way," said Carlivati. Among the former stars making angelic returns are Phil Carey (Asa), Mark Derwin (Ben), Stephen Markle (Mel) and Jessica Tuck (Megan). OLTL's legendary creator, Agnes Nixon, will also appear in heaven.

That's not all. Carlivati will redo the famous '80s plot where Tina ( Andrea Evans) survived a plunge over the IguazĂș Falls in Argentina, only this time, creepy Carlo ( Thom Christopher) will force Tina to watch in horror as he sends her daughter Sarah (Justis Bolding) over a waterfall in Mendorra. Fan favorite John Loprieno will return as Tina's ex-hubby, Cord.

And remember the time Clint (Clint Ritchie) was knocked unconscious and time-traveled to the Wild West? Carlivati will riff on that plot, too. "Bo (Robert S. Woods) and Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) are hit by lightning and wake up in 1968 - the same year OLTL hit the air," Carlivati says. The kicker: Bo has become his pop, Asa, and Rex has become the young Bo.

All three homages air July 21 22, but the Bo-Rex twist will play out for several weeks, maybe with dire consequences. Says Carlivati: "If they can't find their way back to the future, Rex will be drafted and sent to Vietnam." - Michael Logan