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Season 3

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

Judy Norton (Mary Ellen), Jon Walmsley (Jason 1-8,10-241), Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin), Eric Scott (Ben), David W. Harper (Jim-Bob), Kami Cotler (Elizabeth), Earl Hamner (Narrator).

Neil T. Maffeo (Executive Production Manager/Associate Producer), Earl Hamner (Executive Story Consultant), Carol Evan McKeand (Story Editor), Jerry Goldsmith (The Waltons' Theme), Russell Metty A.S.C. (Director of Photography 1-4,6-9,11-17,19), Fred Jackman (Director of Photography 5,10), Emil Oster A.S.C. (Director of Photography 18,20-24), Ed Graves (Art Director), Marjorie Fowler A.C.E. (Editor 1,4,5), Gene Fowler Jr. A.C.E. (Editor), Michael McCroskey (Editor 2,3,9,10,14,16,21,24), Bill Mosher A.C.E. (Editor 6,8,11-13,18,19,22,23), Samuel E. Beetley A.C.E. (Editor 7,15,20), Anthony Wollner A.C.E. (Editor 17), Harvey S. Laidman (Unit Production Manager/Assistant Director 1,2,6,7,9,10,14,17,19,20,22), Ralph Ferrin (Unit Production Manager/Assistant Director 3-5,8,11-13,15,16,18,21,23,24) James Cane (Set Decorator), Patricia Norris (Costumes), William Flannery (Production Sound Mixer), Pam Polifroni (Casting Director), Victor Guarnier (Sound Effects Editor), Bill Wistrom (Sound Effects Editor), Ken Runyon (Music Editor), Leon Schotter (Property Master), Robert Sidell S.M.A. (Makeup Artist), Carol Meikle (Hair Stylist 1-4,6,9,12), Edith Lindon (Hair Stylist 5,7,8,10,11,13-24), Carroll Newman Butler (Production Coordinator), Julie Waxman (Production Coordinator), Richard Chaffee (Script Supervisor 1-17,19-24), Frank Hale (Camera Operator 16-24), Earl Williman Jr. (Electrical Gaffer), Armando Contreras2 (Key Grip), Doris Hamner (Technical Consultant 5,7-24), Antique Automobiles by Movie World Buena Park CA., Color by Movielab, Sandy Dvore (Main Title), Filmed at The Burbank Studios Burbank California.

Copyright © MCMLXXIV [1974] Lorimar Productions Inc. (1-15)

Copyright © MCMLXXV [1975] Lorimar Productions Inc. (16-24)

1 Though credited, Jon Walmsley does not appear in episode 9.
2 Spelled as "Conteras" on credits.

For Season 3, the money crunch chez Walton appears to be largely off, so there is less emphasis in the stories on making ends meet. We also see some of the older kids' interests start to crystallize: Mary Ellen starts to move away from her tomboy nature and develops an interest in nursing; Ben shows entrepreneurial/business leanings; and we see the first plot movements on Jason's love of music as he takes up playing in a country band with Bobby Bigelow. The younger actors, too, are allowed to carry more story weight on their shoulders, such as when Jim-Bob runs away from home in The Runaway.

Following on from the previous season, John-Boy starts college at Boatwright University in Westham (one of the few fictional place names used in the show) and the episodes which follow his experiences there (The First Day and The System) provide the first real geographical break from Walton's Mountain.

Even though the show only has two previous years under its belt, there is already some repetition creeping in this season. In The Caretakers, Grandpa and Grandma feel unwanted and leave home – territory covered previously in both The Separation and The Awakening. Additionally, maybe just one or two episodes too many are relying upon plots centering on dysfunctional short-term visitors to the mountain?

More positively, for a show which generally relied too heavily on neat-and-tidy (and often predictable) endings, some episodes have refreshing twists to them which raise them into a higher class. In The Conflict, for example, the old adage "you can't beat the system" certainly comes true as Martha Corinne Walton and her family are successfully evicted from the mountain by developers backed by law-enforcement agencies. A few episodes later, in the excellent The Marathon (a sort of The WaltonsThey Shoot Horses, Don't They? hybrid), John-Boy enters a grueling dance marathon and becomes attracted to the girl he randomly ends up partnered with. Ultimately, John-Boy retires exhausted from the marathon leaving his determined companion to continue by herself. The twist here being that the writer of the episode deliberately doesn't let us in on how she fares in the end, thus giving a nice change from the "too self-complete" feel that many other stories of The Waltons possess.

This season also sees the introduction of a stalwart to the series: Ronnie Claire Edwards begins her stint as Corabeth, the supercilious wife of Ike Godsey. The series would get much mileage from Corabeth's many ill-conceived society-climbing schemes which risked bankrupting Ike's simple country store time and time again; it was no surprise that the character would go on to stay till the end of the series.

On the production front, the only real negative point (which tends to rather date the look of the series when viewed today) is the increased use of bad back projection for scenes in vehicles, whereas previously the show had tended to use genuine outdoor filming for this.

At the 1975 Emmys, Will Geer and Ellen Corby picked up the brace of awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series for their work on this season.

The Conflict

Episode # 3.01 (49) – double length  {S3,D1,sA}
Written by Jeb Rosebrook
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast September 12, 1974, CBS   (UK: November 24 & December 1, 1975, BBC2, in two-part version)

Special Guest Star: Beulah Bondi (Martha Corinne1). Guest Stars: Morgan Woodward (Boone2), Richard Hatch (Wade3), Lindsay V. Jones (Vera3), Mills Watson (Blake). William Quinn (Senator Burgess), Bill Erwin (Senator Rogers), Casey Tibbs (Flagman), Harry Pugh (Slim), Randolph Dobbs (Construction Worker), Hilliard Livingston (Oldest Boy), Eddie Rayden (Youngest Boy) and Paul Fix (Lucas Avery).

1 Martha Corinne Walton would appear again in The Pony Cart in Season 5.
2 Boone Walton reappears in The Moonshiner in Season 7.
3 Wade and Vera Walton reappear in The Estrangement in Season 4.

Progress has its price: Walton kin prepare to stand their ground against developers – using guns if necessary.

Beulah Bondi as Martha Corinne Walton
Stand-off on the mountain: Zeb, Martha Corinne and Boone

The First Day

Episode # 3.02 (50)  {S3,D1,sA}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast September 19, 1974, CBS   (UK: December 8, 1975, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ted Eccles (Michael West), Devon Ericson (Polly Thompson), Dennis Redfield (Paxton), David Ankrum (Hobgood), Jack McCulloch (Crouch) and Lawrence Dobkin (Professor Ghote), Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter), Nadyne Turney (Miss Monsell), Joel Kimmel (Randolph), Michael Kearns (Shanks), Johnnie Collins III (Davis), Damon Douglas (Eubank), Kim O'Brien (Eileen), Greg Vigen (Ichabod), Tom McAllister (Andrew).

Now a college man, John-Boy enters Boatwright University but finds his first few days far from easy. Back at home, Jason tries to fill his shoes.

John-Boy starts university
Polly Thompson

The Thoroughbred

Episode # 3.03 (51)  {S3,D1,sB}
Written by Michael Russnow and Tony Kayden
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast September 26, 1974, CBS   (UK: December 15, 1975, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Brendan Burns (Carl Jensen), Kathleen Quinlan (Selena Linville1). Frank Janson (Colonel Linville1), Jim Gammon (Mr. Roswell), Glen Gordon (Professor Foster).

1 Selena Linville and her grandfather would reappear in The Collision in Season 4 (though her grandfather is played by Eduard Franz on that occasion).

A race pits John-Boy, astride the family mule, against a rich classmate riding the descendant of three Derby winners.

John-Boy in the saddle
Kathleen Quinlan as Selena Linville

The Runaway

Episode # 3.04 (52)  {S3,D1,sB}
Teleplay by Larry Bischof and Carol Evan McKeand, story by Larry Bischof
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 3, 1974, CBS   (UK: December 22, 1975, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Geoffrey Lewis (Elwood Dobbs), Ann Noland (Amy Partridge), Herb Nelson (Bennett Holmby). Gary Vinson (Sgt. Strong), Jimmy Weldon (Railroad Clerk), Elizabeth Kerr (Miss Tibbs), Chris Beaumont (Greg Walker), Brad Wilkin (Boy #1), Michael Le Clair (Boy #2), Ben Wilson (College Student), Kathi Sawyer1 (Waitress).

1 aka Kat Sawyer-Young.

The class guinea pig dies in Jim-Bob's care. When the family seems not to care, Jim-Bob heads for the open road.

Jim-Bob with the class guinea pig
Jim-Bob

The Romance

Episode # 3.05 (53)  {S3,D1,sB}
Written by Hindi Brooks
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 10, 1974, CBS   (UK: December 29, 1975, BBC2)

Guest Star: David Selby (Joshua Williams). Roger Price (Mr. Evanston), Ysabel MacCloskey1 (Mrs. Riddle), Iris Korn (Mrs. Hallet), Biff Warren (Don Millman).

1 Spelled on the credits as "MacClosky".

At John-Boy's urging, Olivia takes evening classes in art. But Olivia and the teacher discover there is more between them than just painting.

Art teacher Joshua Williams
Olivia on a high

The Ring

Episode # 3.06 (54)  {S3,D2,sA}
Written by Nigel McKeand
Directed by Philip Leacock
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 17, 1974, CBS   (UK: January 5, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Stars: Kathleen Cody (Audrey Butler), Ted Eccles (Mike West). Adrienne Marden (Mrs. Breckenridge), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose), Roy Engel (Vernon Rutley), Jason Johnson (Arthur Jackson), Deborah Newman (Girl Student), Alpha Blair (Girl Student), Leigh Webb (Tedrow), Jay McKenna (Boy Student).

Mary Ellen, by accident, finds an expensive ring which belongs to a friend of the family. Her intentions to return it "later" are frustrated when she loses it at a dance.

Mary Ellen with the titular ring
Mary Ellen dances with Grandpa

The System

Episode # 3.07 (55)  {S3,D2,sA}
Written by Jeb Rosebrook
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 24, 1974, CBS   (UK: January 12, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Stars: Richard Masur (Tom Povich), Jacques Aubuchon (Victor Povich). Dennis Redfield (Council President), Tom Lacy (Dr. Emory), Don Matheson (Coach), Glen Gordon (Faculty Member), Tim Haldeman (Townsend), Stuart Taylor (Council Member), Barbara Litsky1 (Council Secretary).

1 IMDb spells the surname as "Lipsky".

Boatwright's honor code creates a crisis of conscience for John-Boy when he sees a friend cheating during an examination. Back at home, Ben gets caught smoking...

Tom Povich cheating in an exam
Ben trying the evil weed

The Spoilers

Episode # 3.08 (56)  {S3,D2,sA}
Written by Caryl Ledner
Directed by Jack Shea
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 31, 1974, CBS   (UK: January 19, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Star: Barbara Cason (Susan Hanover). Special Guest Star:  Mark Miller (Ted Hanover). Linda Purl (Alicia), David Gruner (Charles).

John-Boy dreams of going to New York, but the city comes to him when a New York family moves nearby. Erin has boy trouble.

Townie Alicia, played by Linda Purl
Erin

The Marathon

Episode # 3.09 (57)  {S3,D2,sB}
Written by Nigel McKeand
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 7, 1974, CBS   (UK: January 26, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Stars: Deirdre1 Lenihan (Daisy)2, Bernie Barrow (Bracket), Joyce Jameson (Helen), Lennie Weinrib (Spanky). Ellen Moss (P.M.), Charles Haid (Fred), Don Miller (Steve), Lindsay Workman3 (Mr. Patterson), Brad Trumbull (Radio Announcer).

1 Misspelled on the credits as "Dierdre".
2 First appearance of Daisy Garner, who would figure from time to time in John-Boy's life.
3 aka C. Lindsay Workman.

Against Olivia's wishes, John-Boy enters a week-long dance marathon with a pretty girl he just met.

Daisy Garner and John-Boy
Daisy and John-Boy hours into the marathon

The Book

Episode # 3.10 (58)  {S3,D2,sB}
Written by Joseph Bonaduce
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 14, 1974, CBS   (UK: February 2, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Paul Jenkins (Professor Parks), Granville Van Dusen (Mr. Andrews). Robert Sorrells (Caspar Tice), Garry Walberg (Mr. Guffy), Gerald McRaney (Tim Collins), Julie Rogers (Miss Webb), Gene Massey Jr. (Mr. Carpenter), Bruce Reasman (Mr. Tatlock), Kathy Cronkite (Miss Barstow), Melissa Mahoney (Secretary) and Mayf Nutter (Bobby Bigelow).

John-Boy thinks his writing is simplistic and unworthy, so Olivia tries to boost his confidence by finding him a publisher. Jason searches for an outlet for his music.

Olivia is pleased to have found John-Boy a publisher
Jason sings with Bobby Bigelow, played by Mayf Nutter

The Job

Episode # 3.11 (59)  {S3,D2,sB}
Written by Nigel McKeand
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 21, 1974, CBS   (UK: February 9, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Star: Elayne1 Heilveil (Ruth Thomas). Peggy McCay (Mrs. Thomas).

1 Spelled on credits as "Elaine".

John-Boy accepts a job reading to a young blind woman consumed by bitterness and self-pity.

Angry young woman: Ruth Thomas
Mary Ellen samples blindness

The Departure

Episode # 3.12 (60)  {S3,D3,sA}
Written by Joanna Lee
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 5, 1974, CBS   (UK: February 16, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Joanna Moore (Mrs. Champion), Panos A. Christi (Stavros). Anne Loos (Hester White), Seamon Glass (Clerk), Jack Garner (Mr. Gary), Kelly Gilmore (Lady #1), Colby Haines (Lady #2), Don "Red" Bealle (Bartender), Bob Bralver (Sailor #1), Louie Elias (Sailor #2), Jimmy Don Moore (Donovan).

Weary of his routine life, John takes a machinist's job in a Norfolk shipyard. Grandpa has toothache and is feeling miserable but has a phobia of dentists.

Olivia and John
Zeb has toothache

The Visitor

Episode # 3.13 (61)  {S3,D3,sA}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Ralph Waite
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 12, 1974, CBS   (UK: February 23, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: John Beal (Mason Beardsley), Madge Sinclair (Minnie Doze). George Garro (James Lee Beardsley).

Grandpa's old friend cannot admit that his beloved wife has died. Elizabeth is teased for having an imaginary friend.

Grandpa and his old pal, Mason Beardsley
Elizabeth

The Birthday

Episode # 3.14 (62)  {S3,D3,sA}
Written by Nancy Greenwald
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 19, 1974, CBS   (UK: March 1, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Rance Howard (Dr. McIvers), Brion James (Henry Ferris Jr.).

Grandpa's spirit seems crushed when he survives a heart attack but is confined to bed by the family doctor.

Zeb in bed after his heart attack
Dr McIvers

The Lie

Episode # 3.15 (63)  {S3,D3,sB}
Written by Hindi Brooks
Directed by Jack Shea
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 2, 1975, CBS   (UK: March 8, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Stars: Cindy Fisher (Nancy Madden), Warren Kemmerling (Eustace Madden). Don Barry (Deputy Sheriff), John Pearce (Waiter), Tom Henschel (Boy), Susan Blu (Girl), Ric Militi (Ira), Stuart Lee (Orin), Peter Neilsen (Donny), Tim Wade (Man in Car) and Hersha Parady (Victoria Madden).

Ben borrows John-Boy's car and gets involved in an accident – his lies just dig him deeper and deeper into trouble.

Ben
Eustace Madden: an angry father

The Matchmakers

Episode # 3.16 (64)  {S3,D3,sB}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Jack Shea
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 9, 1975, CBS   (UK: March 15, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Star: Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth)1. Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Audrey Berindey (Rebecca), Lanna Saunders (Mrs. Cook), Jon Locke (Belden) and John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick).

1 The first episode for Corabeth. She would marry Ike Godsey and become a fixture on the show.

Olivia helps a spinster cousin and Ike, the local shopkeeper, to find love. Erin's self-esteem is low and John-Boy takes her to be professionally photographed.

Cousin Corabeth Walton
Erin

The Beguiled

Episode # 3.17 (65)  {S3,D3,sB}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 16, 1975, CBS   (UK: March 22, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Darleen Carr (Sis Bradford), Beeson Carroll (Tom Comley), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer). Glen Gordon (Professor Whitley) and Willie Aames (Danny).

John-Boy meets a girl whose attention-grabbing ways cause trouble all along the line.

Trouble: Sis Bradford
Sis Bradford

The Caretakers

Episode # 3.18 (66)  {S3,D4,sA}
Written by Richard Carr
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 23, 1975, CBS   (UK: March 29, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Britt Leach (Easy Jackson), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Dan Priest (Henry Townsend).

Feeling old and unwanted, Grandpa and Grandma pack and move out.

Zeb and Esther have had enough
Son John talks sense to his father

The Shivaree

Episode # 3.19 (67)  {S3,D4,sA}
Written by Max Hodge
Directed by Lee Philips
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 30, 1975, CBS   (UK: April 5, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Bruce Davison (Bob Hill), Deborah White (Young Olivia1). Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), E. J. Andre (Hyder Snow), James Gammon (Roswell), Wilford Brimley (Horace), Lee Philips (Minister)2.

1 Young Olivia reappears in The Loss in Season 4.
2 The director in a cameo role.

"Kidnapping" the groom, a mountain wedding tradition, backfires when the target is a city slicker.

Bob and Olivia getting married
Bob Hill is unamused by the mountain custom

The Choice

Episode # 3.20 (68)  {S3,D4,sB}
Written by Nancy Greenwald
Directed by Alf Kjellin
Music by Alexander Courage
The Maiden And The Soldier written and performed by Jon Walmsley
Broadcast February 6, 1975, CBS   (UK: April 12, 1976, BBC2)

Mariclare Costello (Miss Hunter), Adrienne Marden (Mrs. Breckenridge), Mans Kjellin (Boy).

John dreams of a Walton & Sons lumber yard. But Jason, like John-Boy, wants his own career.

Jason sings
Jason Walton

The Statue

Episode # 3.21 (69)  {S3,D4,sB}
Teleplay by Earl Hamner, story by Sumner Long
Directed by Ralph Waite
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 13, 1975, CBS   (UK: April 26, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer).

To Grandma's annoyance, Grandpa wins a statue that's a dead ringer for his old girlfriend. John-Boy attempts to fictionalize Miss Emily's romance with Ashley Longworth.

Grandpa and the statue
A distraught Miss Emily

The Song

Episode # 3.22 (70)  {S3,D5,sA}
Teleplay by Richard Carr and Armand Lanzano, story by Richard Carr
Directed by Richard Thomas
Music by Alexander Courage
Will You Be Mine written and performed by Jon Walmsley
Broadcast February 20, 1975, CBS   (UK: May 3, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: Erin Moran (Sally Ann Harper), Doney Oatman (Betsy), James Gammon (Zack Roswell), Britt Leach (Easy Jackson), Wilford Brimley (Horace Brimley), Mary Jo Catlett (Elvira Roswell) and Mayf Nutter (Bobby Bigelow).

Jason has a pretty new singing partner and Ben feels jealous.

Sally Ann Harper and Jason sing
Mayf Nutter as Bobby Bigelow

The Woman

Episode # 3.23 (71)  {S3,D5,sA}
Written by Hindi Brooks
Directed by Harvey S. Laidman
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 27, 1975, CBS   (UK: May 10, 1976, BBC2)

Guest Stars: Laura Campbell (Madeline Bennett), Paul Jenkins (Professor Parks), Sally Kemp (Mrs. Parks). Julie Rogers (Gloria Webb), Kathy Cronkite (Sally Barstow), Gloria Stuart (Saleswoman), Ernie Brown1 (Railroad Conductor), Jeffrey Winner (Bellhop) and John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick).

1 aka Ernie Lively.

Twenty years after their elopement, John and Olivia decide it's time for a proper ceremony. A female poet is lecturing at Boatwright and John-Boy falls in love.

A pensive Olivia, with John
Visiting poet Madeline Bennett and John-Boy

The Venture

Episode # 3.24 (72)  {S3,D5,sA}
Written by Joseph Bonaduce
Directed by Ralph Waite
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast March 6, 1975, CBS   (UK: May 17, 1976, BBC2)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey). Guest Stars: M. Emmet Walsh (David Fletcher), Rance Howard (Dr. McIvers). John Carter (Walt Catlett), Craig Hundley (Joseph), Claudia1 Bryar (Nurse Howard), Herbert Anderson (Mr. Bennett), James Gammon (Zack Roswell), Celia Bonaduce (Barbara), Jerry Crews (Music Judge).

1 Misspelled on the credits as "Caludia".

Building of the new lumber mill must be completed or the family will be unable to meet their mortgage repayments. But when bad weather and illness strike, things look bleak.

John works on the new mill
John ill in bed
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01 The Conflict (double length)

02 The First Day

03 The Thoroughbred

04 The Runaway

05 The Romance

06 The Ring

07 The System

08 The Spoilers

09 The Marathon

10 The Book

11 The Job

12 The Departure

13 The Visitor

14 The Birthday

15 The Lie

16 The Matchmakers

17 The Beguiled

18 The Caretakers

19 The Shivaree

20 The Choice

21 The Statue

22 The Song

23 The Woman

24 The Venture