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Season 1

Starring: Richard Thomas. Co-Starring: Ralph Waite, Miss Michael Learned, Ellen Corby, Will Geer as The Grandfather. Created by Earl Hamner. Produced by Robert L. Jacks.

Judy Norton (Mary Ellen), Jon Walmsley (Jason), Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin), Eric Scott (Ben), David Harper (Jim-Bob), Kami Cotler (Elizabeth), Earl Hamner (Narrator)1.

Lee Rich (Executive Producer), Neil T. Maffeo (Associate Producer/Production Manager), Earl Hamner (Executive Story Consultant), Jerry Goldsmith (The Waltons Theme), Russell Metty A.S.C. (Director of Photography), Ed Graves (Art Director), Marjorie Fowler A.C.E. (Editor 1-16,19,24), Anthony Wollner A.C.E. (Editor 1-13), Gene Fowler Jr. A.C.E. (Editor 1-17,19,23,24), Richard Lane (Editor 14-23), Michael McCroskey (Editor 17,18,20-22,24), John C. Howard (Editor 18,20-22), Gene Fowler Jr. A.C.E. (Post Production Supervisor 18,20-22), Lynn Guthrie (Assistant Director 1,5,7,9,11,12,15,17,19,20,22,24), Lynn Guthrie (Unit Production Manager 24), Ted Swanson (Assistant Director 2-4,6,8,10,13,14), Martin Hornstein (Assistant Director 16,18,21,23), Patricia Norris (Costumes), Richard Chaffee (Script Supervisor), William Flannery (Production Sound Mixer), Leon Schotter (Property Master), James Cane (Set Decorator), Victor Guarnier (Sound Effects Editor), Sunset Editorial Enterprises (Music Editing 1-13), Richard Luckey (Music Editor 14-24), Robert Sidell (Makeup Artist), Carol Meikle (Hair Stylist 1-15,19,22-24), Vivienne Walker (Hair Stylist 16-18,20,21), Pam Polifroni (Casting), Earl Williman Jr. (Electrical Gaffer), Fred Russell (Key Grip 1-4,12), Dick Borland (Key Grip 5-11,13-24), Alfred Cline (Camera Operator 2,3,5-24), Carroll Butler (Production Coordinator 24), Julie Waxman (Production Coordinator 24), Miles Tilton (Second Assistant Director 24), James White (Transportation Coordinator 24), Antique Automobiles by Movie World Buena Park Calif., Color by Movielab (24), Titles and Opticals by Pacific Title (24).

Copyright © MCMLXXII [1972] Lorimar Productions Inc. (1-14)

Copyright © MCMLXXIII [1973] Lorimar Productions Inc. (15-24)

1 Though heard, Earl Hamner is not credited as narrator on episodes 1 and 4.

It was slightly surprising to see CBS do a new country show when they were fast closing down other similarly themed shows as part of their famous "rural purge" of the early seventies. This saw successful shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mayberry R.F.D. and Lassie vanish from the screen in CBS' attempt to "urbanize" their image.

The whole saga of The Waltons opens in 1933 at the height of the Depression. The idea was that, across the show's run, each televised yearly season would also march forward by one year in Walton time and, in general, this does happen. However, the time-related continuity within a season is only loosely adhered to, with episodes toing and froing freely between different months. It's a futile exercise for fans to try to rationalize the dating closely as the show was simply not written to withstand that type of scrutiny. I guess that the Producers felt that after all, it's entertainment, not a history lesson.

The first season opens with a specially shot title sequence which shows John arriving in his truck with a new radio, and everyone gathering on the front porch to marvel at this state-of-the-art acquisition. Everyone claps and cheers when little Elizabeth leans over and switches the thing on – it's just a shame the radio isn't plugged into the mains! The accompany these visuals, veteran TV composer Jerry Goldsmith penned a highly memorable tune based around a wistful trumpet solo and plucked violins. His evocative theme would rightfully last until the end of the series' main run.

The period detail of the new show is excellent with only a few of the male cast members' non-thirties hairstyles letting the side down slightly, notably Ralph Waite's. Mercifully, the outrageous mop that David Harper sported on his head in The Homecoming has also been licked into shape.

The accents used by the cast are mostly standard Hollywood/southern California, rather than authentic Southern drawls. Perhaps, that's fair enough – better not to force actors to adopt accents they cannot manage properly and risk the end result sending the show up. Michael Learned and Richard Thomas do initially try slight Southern twangs, though these would all but vanish as the seasons progressed.

Often the "killer" factor in American TV was the sheer length of the seasons traditionally required each year. Very few television formats can generate 24 (plus or minus) consistently good episodes per year. The system always used in Britain – where seasons have a completely flexible length based on what a given format (and budget) can reasonably withstand – was, in general, a far better idea. So, like most shows of this time period, the individual episodes of The Waltons range from the excellent, down to the decidedly weak.

At the top end of the spectrum this season we have the emotional The Love Story. This sees the Walton family take in a girl, Jenny, who has run away from an uncertain family situation. John-Boy relates his family history to her and finds himself falling in love as the pair spend dreamy days on the mountain frolicking together and playing music. But an unexpected turn means their joy can't last...

Meanwhile, at the other end of things we get one of the weaker episodes: The Minstrel, in which the rascally 13-year-old Mary Ellen abandons her duty to her family to go off with a strolling troubadour to whom she lies about her age; the story teases us with the possibility that the relationship might move into sexual territory in a way that probably would not be attempted on a family show these days (given Mary Ellen's age). Meanwhile, actor Peter Hooten, playing the minstrel, struggles with the excruciating dialogue given to his character (he's "trying to see as much of this world as my two feet and this sad excuse for a burro will take me to. Now and then I sing a song or two for my supper."), while the lip-synched musical interludes are just as embarrassing as the dialog. Ultimately, the viewer is left wondering how Mary Ellen could have possibly been interested in this walkin', talkin' (and singin') cliché in the first place.

Many characters who would go on to be regulars were introduced in this season, notably easy-going local storekeeper Ike Godsey, and the hooch-making elderly spinster sisters, Emily and Mamie Baldwin. With hindsight, our first meeting with the local Baptist minister, Reverend Fordwick, is atypical as he is shown to be a hell-and-damnation, bible-thumping religious nutcase – the character would be mellowed considerably before his next appearance.

At first, The Waltons was a slow burner. Ratings only gradually picked up over the course of Season 1 but, by the end of the first batch of episodes, the show had reached the top end of the Nielsen ratings and was garnering critical (as well as popular) acclaim. The show was highly placed at the Emmys in 1973: Richard Thomas won for Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series (doing well to beat William Conrad of Cannon, Peter Falk of Columbo, David Carradine of Kung Fu and Mike Connors of Mannix) and Michael Learned won the female equivalent. Ellen Corby won for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. As a whole, the show was voted Best Drama Series.

The Foundling

Episode # 1.01 (1)  {S1,D1,sA}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Music composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast September 14, 1972, CBS   (UK: February 18, 1974, BBC2)

Charlotte Stewart (Ruth Collier), Richard Kelton (Anson Collier), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges)1, Joe Conley (Ike Godsey)2, Tammi Bula (Marcia Wollery)3, G. J. Mitchell (Dr. Dan Holloway). Erica Hunton (Holly Collier).

1 This is the first appearance of Sheriff 'Ep' Bridges (The Homecoming not withstanding).
2 This is the first appearance of Ike Godsey (The Homecoming not withstanding), the local storekeeper.
3 This is the first appearance of Marcia Wollery/Woolery.

The Waltons patiently teach a mute, abandoned girl sign language — a skill that later pays a priceless dividend when she helps a rescuer locate the missing, imperiled Elizabeth.

The Waltons logo for the first part of Season 1
Little Holly Collier

The Carnival

Episode # 1.02 (2)  {S1,D1,sA}
Written by Nigel McKeand
Directed by Alf Kjellin
Music by Arthur Morton
Broadcast September 21, 1972, CBS   (UK: not broadcast?)

Gino Conforti (Pete Harris), Billy Barty (Tommy), Barbara Davis (Belle), John Harper1 (Marco), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose Coverdale)2, Arthur Peterson (Homer), Jay Ripley (Sam Holden).

1 aka Kelton Garwood.
2 This is the first appearance of Martha Rose Coverdale.

John-Boy wonders about life outside Walton's Mountain, Jim-Bob breaks dishes trying to juggle, Mary Ellen mimics a tightrope walker — no wonder Olivia is fretful about the influence of a group of carnival folk!

Mary Ellen takes to the roof!
Pete Harris the clown

The Calf

Episode # 1.03 (3)  {S1,D1,sA}
Written by Jim Byrnes
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast September 28, 1972, CBS   (UK: May 13, 1974, BBC2)

Leonard Stone (George Anderson), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges).

After selling the beloved calf Bullet for $9, the Waltons attempt to rebuy him to comfort the distraught children. But the price is an unaffordable $12. What's more, Bullet is destined for slaughter. So Jim-Bob and Elizabeth take the bull by the horn to rescue the calf.

The kids with Bullet
Elizabeth and Jim-Bob

The Hunt

Episode # 1.04 (4)1  {S1,D1,sB}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Robert Butler
Music by Arthur Morton
Broadcast October 5, 1972, CBS   (UK: February 25, 1974, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Tom Peters (Charlie Sneed), Theodore Wilson2 (Hawthorne Dooley), James Nusser (Jake The Junkman), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose Coverdale), David Doremus (G. W. Haines)3.

1 The Hunt was the first episode filmed.
2 aka Teddy Wilson.
3 This is the first appearance of George William (G. W.) Haines.

A hunting trip for John-Boy makes him realize he's reluctant to destroy a life. Mary Ellen's tomboy ways are tested when confronted with the choice of buying a fancy dress or a catcher's mitt.

John-Boy about to make his first kill
Mary Ellen

The Typewriter

Episode # 1.05 (5)  {S1,D1,sB}
Written by Theodore Apstein
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast October 12, 1972, CBS   (UK: October 14, 1974, BBC2)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin)1, Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin)1, George Tobias (Vernon Rutley), Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter)2, Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Harry Hickox (Junkyard Owner), Robert Shayne (Clerk), John Hawker (Janitor), Elizabeth Harrower (Office Supervisor).

1 This is the first appearance (The Homecoming not withstanding) of sisters Miss Emily Baldwin and Miss Mamie Baldwin – the famous hooch-brewing old ladies.
2 This is the first appearance of Miss Rosemary Hunter, the local schoolteacher.

Encouraged by his teacher, fledgling writer John-Boy disregards his mother's wishes by secretly borrowing a typewriter from the Baldwin ladies. Mary Ellen in turn mistakenly sells it to a junkman.

Schoolteacher Miss Rosemary Hunter
Miss Emily and Miss Mamie are distressed

The Star

Episode # 1.06 (6)  {S1,D1,sB}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Alf Kjellin
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast October 19, 1972, CBS   (UK: November 11, 1974, BBC2)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), Iggie Wolfington (Polonius Baldwin), Jack Collins (Col. Henderson), Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter), Byron Morrow (Dr. Shackleford), Cindy Fisher (Nancy), Peter Haas (Mark), Jill Giraldi (Melanie).

Grandpa remains in bed, convinced his days are numbered, after he attaches a superstitious meaning to a meteor which crashes through the Baldwin ladies' house. But he's ready for righteous action when he learns of an outsider's attempt to exploit the superstitions of others.

Grandpa takes to his bed
Miss Mamie, John, Miss Emily and Zeb

The Sinner

Episode # 1.07 (7)  {S1,D2,sA}
Written by John Furia Jr.
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by (no credit)
Broadcast October 26, 1972, CBS   (UK: April 15, 1974, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker)1, Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Stars: John Ritter (Reverend Mathew Fordwick)2, Collin Wilcox-Horne3 (Reverend Ethel Prissom).

1 This is the first appearance of local bum Yancy Tucker.
2 This is the first appearance of the Reverend Mathew/Matthew Fordwick.
3 aka Collin Wilcox Paxton.

Grandma and Olivia are pleased when a new-to-the-community young pastor comes to stay with the family. He turns out to be a zealous bible-thumping preacher of fire and brimstone, whereas John believes in forgiveness and compassion. Caught in between this spiritual divide is John-Boy.

The Reverend Fordwick
Things are troubling Grandma

The Boy From The C.C.C.

Episode # 1.08 (8)  {S1,D2,sA}
Written by William Welch
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast November 2, 1972, CBS   (UK: April 8, 1974, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Michael Rupert (Gino), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges)1.

1 Uncredited on titles.

One act of caring, one act of trust at a time – that's how a family is formed. But is there still room for a hardened, injured Hell's Kitchen youth who, after running away from the Civilian Conservation Corps and accepting the care of the Waltons, betrays their trust?

Gino, the boy from the C.C C.
Elizabeth listens to her father

The Ceremony

Episode # 1.09 (9)  {S1,D2,sA}
Written by Nigel McKeand
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast November 9, 1972, CBS   (UK: November 4, 1974, BBC2)

Noah Keen (David Mann), Ellen Geer1 (Eva Mann), Radames Pera (Paul Mann), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Saul Silverman (Rabbi).

1 Ellen Geer is the daughter of Will Geer. She would guest again in The Pledge in Season 9.

A Jewish family from Germany fears that the persecutions they fled in their homeland are revisiting them on Walton's Mountain after Jim-Bob and a friend accidentally sling a stone through their cabin window.

Paul Mann and his father, David
Ellen Geer as Eva Mann

The Legend

Episode # 1.10 (10)  {S1,D2,sB}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Lee Philips
Music by (no credit)
Broadcast November 16, 1972, CBS   (UK: September 30, 1974, BBC2)

Guest Star: James Antonio (Tip Harrison).

For years, John has thrilled the children with stories of his army pal, Tip. Yet when Tip comes to visit, he reveals a flawed character very different from the man portrayed in John's tales.

Tip Harrison with John
John in his old army uniform

The Literary Man

Episode # 1.11 (11)  {S1,D2,sB}
Written by Colley Cibber
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast November 30, 1972, CBS   (UK: March 11, 1974, BBC2)

Guest Star: David Huddleston1 (A. J. Covington2). Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Victor Izay (Doctor).3

1 David Huddleston (misspelled on the credits as "Huddelston") had played Sheriff Bridges in The Homecoming.
A. J. Covington would return in The Abdication in Season 4, but played by George Dzundza.
3 John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges) is credited but does not appear.

God and family first, all else second. That's how things are for the Waltons – until John-Boy falls under the influence of a writer who insists that the way to find "the big story" is to put literary pursuits first and foremost.

A. J. Covington

The Dust Bowl Cousins

Episode # 1.12 (12)  {S1,D2,sB}
Written by Paul Savage
Directed by Robert Butler
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 7, 1972, CBS   (UK: March 18, 1974, BBC2)

Warren Vanders (Ham Denby), Jay MacIntosh (Cora Denby), Ken Wolger (Job Denby), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker).

The arrival of the Denbys – shiftless, nimble-fingered kin of the Waltons – roils the waters of the mountain brood's home life.

Job Denby and his father, Ham
Ham Denby admires Ben's model plane

The Reunion

Episode # 1.13 (13)  {S1,D3,sA}
Written by Earl Hamner
Directed by Jack Shea
Music by (no credit)
Broadcast December 14, 1972, CBS   (UK: March 4, 1974, BBC2)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Star: Denver Pyle (Cousin Homer Lee). John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Adele Clair (Daisy Burgess), Iler Rasmussen (Frank Winston), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey)1.

1 Uncredited on titles.

John-Boy's job with the Baldwin sisters puts him in the middle of a ne'er-do-well's attempt to turn the sisters' home brew into a thriving bootleg operation. Meanwhile, the Baldwins are also planning a get-together of their extended family. At school, Jim-Bob is teased for wearing handed-down clothes.

Miss Emily Baldwin
Jim-Bob in second-hand clothes

The Minstrel

Episode # 1.14 (14)  {S1,D3,sA}
Written by John Furia Jr.
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by Arthur Morton
Broadcast December 21, 1972, CBS   (UK: March 25, 1974, BBC2)

Guest Star: Peter Hooten (Jamie). Regis J. Cordic (Mr. Pickett), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley)1.

1 This is the first appearance of dizzy old Maude Gormley.

The Waltons will receive a bonus if they complete a neighbor's apple harvest on time... or pay a forfeit if they don't. Every family member is needed, but starry-eyed Mary Ellen is distracted by a wandering troubadour.

Singing minstrel Jamie
A tearful Mary Ellen

The Actress

Episode # 1.15 (15)  {S1,D3,sA}
Written by William Bast
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast January 4, 1973, CBS   (UK: September 16, 1974, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges). Guest Star: Pippa Scott (Alvira). Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), Dorothy Neumann1 (Fanny Tatum2), Ray Sutton (Rex McKay).

1 Spelled on the credits as "Neuman".
2 Fanny Tatum would appear again (this time played by Sheila Allen) later in the show's run as a semi-regular character.

Car trouble finds a famed actress stranded at the Walton home. The truth soon comes out that the lady is penniless. But a bravura local performance featuring a reading from John-Boy's diary could provide her return ticket home...

Actress Alvira Drummond does a turn
Too much slap: Mary Ellen

The Fire

Episode # 1.16 (16)  {S1,D3,sB}
Written by Earl Hamner
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast January 11, 1973, CBS   (UK: May 27, 1974, BBC2)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter), Theodore Wilson1 (Hawthorne Dooley). Guest Star: Laurie Prange (Lois May Bascomb). Special Guest Star: Richard Bradford (Lutie Bascomb). Scott McCartor (Beaumont), Mark Montgomery (Addison), Lisa Eilbacher (Jeanett), Nancy Jeris (Mother).

1 aka Teddy Wilson.

Lutie Bascomb's anger over what he considers to be unbiblical teachings by the local teacher, Miss Hunter, has consequences for the entire community when he drunkenly sets the schoolhouse ablaze.

Richard Bradford as Lutie Bascomb
Schoolteacher Miss Rosemary Hunter

The Love Story

Episode # 1.17 (17)  {S1,D3,sB}
Written by Earl Hamner
Directed by Lee Philips
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast January 18, 1973, CBS   (UK: May 6, 1974, BBC2)

John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Byron Morrow (Doc Shackleford). Guest Star: Sian Barbara Allen (Jenny)1. Diane Shalet (Eula Pendleton)1, Gordon Rigsby (Dave Pendleton).

1 Jenny and Eula Pendleton would return in The Thanksgiving Story in Season 2.

John-Boy is just about to burst with supper-time news: he's in love! But as events unfold, first romance also means first loss. Meanwhile, Mary Ellen and Grandpa figure out why her scheme to raise bullfrogs for profit hasn't gone according to plan.

Jenny Pendleton
Jenny with John-Boy

The Courtship

Episode # 1.18 (18)  {S1,D3,sB}
Written by Jeb Rosebrook
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast January 25, 1973, CBS   (UK: September 23, 1974, BBC2)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Stars: Eduard Franz (Cody Nelson), Danna Hansen (Cordelia Hunnicut), John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick).

What bachelor and long-time banker Uncle Cody needs is someone to spice up his life, especially now that the Depression has caused the closure of the banks. So John-Boy plays Cupid.

Cody Nelson
Uncle Cody marries Cordelia Hunnicut

The Gypsies

Episode # 1.19 (19)  {S1,D4,sA}
Written by Paul Savage
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 1, 1973, CBS   (UK: October 28, 1974, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Gregory Sierra (Volta), Celia Lovsky (Zena), Barry Miller (Craska), Karen Kondan1 (Franzia), Victor Argo (Zvelei), William Bramley (Matt Beckwith).

1 aka Karen Kondazian.

Suspicions surround the hardscrabble group of vagabonds recently stranded on the mountain. But John-Boy, who knows what an act of kindness can mean to a stranger, invites the travelers to stay at the family's place. The local sheriff, Ep Bridges, is soon called when events threaten to turn ugly.

Volta the gypsy and his brother Zvelei
Sheriff Ep Bridges

The Deed

Episode # 1.20 (20)  {S1,D4,sA}
Written by James Menzies
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast February 8, 1973, CBS   (UK: April 1, 1974, BBC2)

Jenny Sullivan (Cissy), Randall Carver (Monty), George Tobias (Vernon Rutley), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Shirley O'Hara (Mrs. Vandenberg), Garry Walberg (Mr. Guffy), Lew Brown (Mr. Tinker), Robert Karnes (Mr. Moffatt), Russ Grieve (Police Sargeant), Seamon Glass (Bartender), Bob Stephens (Robber #1), Bob Bralver (Robber #2), Stan Brown (Ringside Announcer).

As far back as anyone can remember, the area was called Walton's Mountain. However, no Walton ever filed a deed to the property, and now the family is in danger of losing everything.

John and the family
The family lawyer has some bad news for Grandpa and John

The Scholar

Episode # 1.21 (21)  {S1,D4,sA}
Written by John McGreevey1
Directed by Lee Philips
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast February 22, 1973, CBS   (UK: October 7, 1974, BBC2)

Lynn Hamilton (Verdie)2, Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter), Royce Wallace (Alice), Kerry Mac Lane (Henry).

1 This episode won John McGreevey an Emmy for Best Writing Achievement in Drama.
2 This is the first appearance of Verdie/Verdi Grant.

Verdie is 40. And just now learning to read and write. A proud mother of five who's overcome barriers of poverty and race agrees to let John-Boy tutor her – if he never reveals to anyone that she has no formal education.

The Waltons logo for the second part of Season 1
An angry Verdie Grant

The Bicycle

Episode # 1.22 (22)  {S1,D4,sB}
Written by Nigel McKeand
Directed by Alf Kjellin
Music by Arthur Morton
Broadcast March 1, 1973, CBS   (UK: May 20, 1974, BBC2)

Guest Star: Ned Beatty (Curtis Norton)1. Ivy Jones (Ann Harris)1, Lou Frizzell (Everett Cooper), Ruth Warshawsky (Martha Sheffield), Patsy Garrett (Lady), Kathleen O'Malley (Sarah Tyler), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 The characters of Curtis and Ann both reappear in The Fulfillment in Season 2.

John-Boy plays wordsmith to help blacksmith Curtis write love letters to Curtis's intended mail-order bride. When the smitten woman shows up with inflated expectations, John-Boy has some explaining to do. Meanwhile, Olivia is bored and looks for a way out of her humdrum life.

Ned Beatty as Curtis Norton
Ann Harris

The Townie

Episode # 1.23 (23)  {S1,D4,sB}
Written by Richard Fielder
Directed by Jack Shea
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Broadcast March 8, 1973, CBS   (UK: October 21, 1974, BBC2)

Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges). Guest Stars: Sissy Spacek (Sarah Simmons)1, Nicholas Hammond (Theodore Claypool Jr.), Allyn Ann McLerie (Widow Simmons)1. John Myhers (Theodore Claypool), Bill McLean (Mr. Purdy), Kelly Yagerman (Amanda), Mike McGaughy (Homer).

1 Sarah Jane Simmons and her mother would return in The Odyssey in Season 2.

Alter winning top honors in a Bible quiz, a repressed teen, Sarah Simmons, gains her mother's approval to go on a movie date with John-Boy. After the picture show, the girl surprises John-Boy with her advances.

Sissy Spacek as Sarah Jane Simmons
Grandma has some advice for John-Boy

An Easter Story

Episode # 1.24 (24) – double length  {S1,D5,sA}
Teleplay by John McGreevey, based on a story by Earl Hamner
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by Arthur Morton
Ironing Board Blues written and performed by Jon Walmsley
Broadcast April 19, 1973, CBS   (UK: April 29, 1974, BBC2, under the title The Waltons' Crisis in c.75-minute edit)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Don Collier (Dr. Miller), Victor Izay (Dr. Vance), David Doremus (G. W. Haines), Joseph Bernard (Snyder), Ann Carol Pearson (Admissions Clerk), Joe Frank Carollo (Tom).

Olivia develops polio and the stunned family unites to help her and each other. Olivia dedicates herself to two goals. She'll fight through the pain of therapy to walk again by Easter. And, now more than ever, she wants to inspire her children to fulfill their potentials.

Olivia Walton suffering in bed
John Walton comforts his wife
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01 The Foundling

02 The Carnival

03 The Calf

04 The Hunt

05 The Typewriter

06 The Star

07 The Sinner

08 The Boy From The C.C.C.

09 The Ceremony

10 The Legend

11 The Literary Man

12 The Dust Bowl Cousins

13 The Reunion

14 The Minstrel

15 The Actress

16 The Fire

17 The Love Story

18 The Courtship

19 The Gypsies

20 The Deed

21 The Scholar

22 The Bicycle

23 The Townie

24 An Easter Story (double length)