With so much junk on TV these days,it is so refreshing to see The Waltons with it’s honest basic family values on the screen again. It’s nice to see a show that isn’t mean spirited as so many American shows are these days.
The Waltons made it’s debut in the US on Sept 14th 1972 and continued on for nine seasons.
At first it struggled in the ratings but picked up speed after getting many good reviews and went to number one in the ratings. This first season won five Emmy awards including best series,best actor Richard Thomas,best actress Michael Learned and best supporting actress in Ellen Corby.
It went on to win many more.
The First Season episodes are-
The Foundling- A six year old deaf girl is found abandoned on the Waltons doorstep.
The Carnival- When the carnival manager leaves with their money,four stranded carnival members are helped by the Waltons.
The Calf- Jim Bob and Elizabeth take a calf to save it from slaughter.
The Hunt- John-Boy reluctantly goes on a hunt and saves John’s life during a bear attack.
The Typewriter- John-Boy borrows the Baldwin’s sisters typewriter to type a manuscript and loses it.
The Star- When a meteorite falls,Zeb believes it is an omen of his death and takes to bed.
The Sinner- The new preacher Matthew Fordwick(John Ritter)arrives and upsets John with his strict preaching.
The Boy From The CCC- A boy from the CCC who is found with an injured ankle is taken in by the Waltons and causes trouble.
The Ceremony- Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany come to Waltons Mountain.
The Legend- John’s WW1 buddy comes to visit and is obviously living in the past. He accidently starts a fire.
The Literary Man- John Boy meets a writer and gets distracted from cutting timber therefore jeopardizing a timber contract.
The Dust Bowl Cousins-The Denby family,distant cousins,arrive on the mountain and upset everybodys life by stealing and fighting.
The Reunion- The Baldwin sisters cousin arrives for a visit and tries to scam the sisters out of their “recipe”.
The Minstrel- Mary Ellen feels trapped in her surroundings and runs off with a travelling minstrel.
The Actress- A famous actress finds herself stranded on Waltons Mountain with car trouble. Her driver absconds with the money.
The Fire- Lutie Bascomb objects to Miss Hunter teaching the theory of evolution to her students. He sets fire to the school.
The Love Story- John Boy discovers love in the form of Jenny Pendleton.
The Courtship- Olivia’s uncle Cody Nelson,laid off from his job,comes to visit the Waltons.
The Gypsies-a stranded Gypsy family refuses help until Grandma saves their babies life.
The Deed- The Waltons must raise money to register a deed to Waltons Mountain to stop a company from mining their mountain.
John-Boy goes into town to get a job and gets mugged.
The Scholar- A neighbor,Verdie Grant,asks John-Boy to teach her to read and write.
The Bicycle- John Boy agrees to help blacksmith Curtis Norton to write letters to his pen-pal fiancee.
She arrives to find him much different to the letters.
The Townie- After going on a date with John-Boy,Sarrah Simmonds(Sissy Spacek)sees him as a way to escape her boring lifestyle.
The Easter Story- Coming home from church,Olivia collapses and is diagnosed with polio.
After The Waltons was cancelled in 1981,there were some telemovies made,three rather average ones made in 1982 and another three much better ones,with Richard Thomas back as John-Boy,made in 1993,1995 and 1997. The final movie had John-Boy as a reporter on TV covering the 1969 moon landing.
One negative point-in what must have been a production error,the subtitles are in French only. There are no English subtitles.
Obviously someone at Warners Home Video has made a bad mistake in production. This makes it difficult for any elderly viewers or hard of hearing that might want to watch this show.
Subtitles are supposed to be standard on all DVD box sets and I note that overseas versions of The Waltons have corrected this mistake(just not the American version).
Hopefully,they will get that right when Season Two one day gets a release.
Was this review helpful to you?
Other reviewers have thoroughly reviewed the details of the Waltons first year on TV with titles and plot descriptions, so I won’t elaborate further. Instead, I will tell you why I feel this DVD set is perhaps is the best series that ever aired on TV, and is true family entertainment.
The Waltons first aired in 1972 on CBS. It was considered “hokey” by some of the critics of the day, yet it captured the hearts of the viewers and went on to be one of the finest long-running series on TV. It captured peoples hearts because it told stories of real people, real people in a family that loved and cared for each other. Although many of the stories are of course fictional, the writer, Earl Hamner (who is actually John-boy), weaves fiction with real-life drama and shows how his loving family dealt with the hard times they grew up in, and how they related to each other with love. In essence, the Waltons shows the viewer what all of us would like our families to be like. One cannot help caring about the characters because Hamner does such a great job of developing their unique personalities for us. The actors and actresses that play his family are perfect for the parts, and even though many of them are just children, their realistic acting makes one believe they are actually a real family. The series is carried on the shoulders of three central characters, John-Boy (Richard Thomas), his mother Olivia Walton (Michael Learned), and Father John Walton (played by Ralph Waite). All three are absolutely superb in their respective roles, and earned honors and accolades for their depiction of Hamner’s family. When these three characters eventually left ths show in later years, the show itself folded.
If you have never seen The Waltons on TV, this is the place to start. The first season is perhaps the best, with stories that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer. I watch the shows with my own 6 children and even in these modern days with so many other distractions, my kids are thrilled with the stories. Each child relates to a particular Walton child, and after finishing an episode, they beg to watch another.
Television does not get better than The Waltons. I recommend this series for those viewers who desire more family values and less violence, sex, and questionable language and topics in their tv viewing. This is true family values TV, and I wish we had something like it today. The Waltons will capture your heart, and you will come to love the characters and care about them. Thank you Earl Hamner for sharing your lovely family with us!
Jim Konedog Koenig
For your information, here is a complete episode list for season one of “The Waltons.”
The Foundling 9/14/72 A small deaf girl is abandoned at the Walton home. They lovingly care for her and teach her sign language, but their attention causes a crisis for Elizabeth.
The Carnival 9/21/72A carnival troupe comes to Walton’s Mountain. When the manager absconds with the money, four members are stranded at the Walton house. They thank the Waltons with a private performance.
The Calf 9/28/72The family cow, Chance, gives birth to a healthy calf, but John announces that it must be sold to make ends meet. Elizabeth and Jim Bob hide the calf to save it.
The Hunt 10/5/72John Boy prepares to go on his first hunt and distresses over taking an animal’s life. During the hunt he saves John’s life from an attacking bear. Meanwhile, Mary Ellen debates over a new dress or a baseball mitt.
The Typewriter 10/12/72John-Boy borrows an antique typewriter from the Baldwin sisters so he can send a story to a magazine. Mary Ellen then mistakenly sells it to a junk man.
The Star 10/19/72When a meteorite falls on the Baldwin’s house, Zeb believes his time has come. The Baldwin sistes are hoaxed by their cousin until Zeb and John come to the rescue.
The Sinner 10/26/72The Reverand Matthew Fordwick comes to Walton’s Mountain and upsets the family with his strict and forceful preaching. He innocently samples “the recipe,” and John helps him to be accepted within the community.
The Boy From The CCC 11/02/72Gino, a boy from the slums of New York City, runs away from a CCC Camp and learns about trust and love from the Waltons.
The Ceremony 11/09/72A Jewish family, escaping refugees from Nazi Germany, come to Walton’s Mountain for safety. Their 13-year-old son loses respect for his father in the son’s attempt to maintain his religious beliefs and practices.
The Legend 11/16/72John’s old army buddy, Tip Harrison, tries to cover his lack of success with childish actions and comments that culminate in an accidental fire and the shooting of Reckless.
The Literary Man 11/30/72John-Boy’s truck breaks down and he meets famed author A. J. Covington. John-Boy jeopardizes a timber contract badly needed by the family.
The Dust Bowl Cousins 12/07/72The Walton’s distant cousins arrive on the mountain and immediately upset everyone’s life by their shiftless and dishonest ways.
The Reunion 12/14/72The Baldwin sisters and “The Recipe” play a pivotal role in this story involving their unscrupulous scheming cousin, Homer Lee Baldwin.
The Minstrel 12/21/72Mary Ellen meets a traveling troubador, Jamie, and neglects her responsibilities of helping to pick fruit.
The Actress 1/04/73When her car breaks down, the famous and extravagant actress, Alvira Drummond, finds herself stranded on Walton’s Mountain. The children, especially Mary Ellen, are fascinated by her “Hollywood” ways.
The Fire 1/11/73A young girl’s father objects to Miss Hunter teaching evolution and takes drastic actions to prevent his child and others from learning more about it.
The Love Story 1/18/73John-Boy falls in love with Jenny Pendleton, who returns to Walton’s Mountain. Jenny’s father and new step-mother follow her to the mountain. Her father is killed in an auto accident and Jenny returns home with her step-mother. John-Boy suffers his first lost love.
The Courtship 1/25/73Olivia’s Uncle Cody Nelson comes to visit with the Waltons and finds love with a woman who has been divorced four times.
The Gypsies 2/01/73A gypsy family is stranded, but the leader refuses to accept help from the Waltons. His pride almost costs the life of his baby son.
The Deed 2/08/73It seems that the Waltons never officially registered the deed to Walton’s Mountain. In order to help pay the legal fees, John-Boy leaves home for a job in the city. He meets new friends, gets mugged, and earns a reward to help the family keep their home.
The Scholar 2/22/73A neighbor lady, Verdie Grant, asks John-Boy to teach her to read and write. He agrees to teach her as he helps Elizabeth. Things go wrong, however, and feelings are hurt.
The Bicycle 3/01/73Local blacksmith Curtis Norton has had John-Boy write letters to his bride-to-be. When she arrives on Walton’s Mountain, life and Curtis are much different than she expected. Meanwhile, Olivia is feeling new pangs for freedom and something “different” in her life.
The Townie 3/08/73John-Boy’s friend, Sarah, sees him as a way to escape her “trapped” life with her demanding mother. When John-Boy rejects her advances, she runs off and plans to elope with a townie.
The Easter Story 4/19/73(two-hour episode)The entire family suffers a crisis when Olivia is stricken with polio. Dr. Vance prescribes the accepted treatment, but Olivia does not get better. John-Boy learns of a new treatment…