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Season 5

Starring: Richard Thomas. Co-Starring: Ralph Waite, Miss Michael Learned, Ellen Corby (1-141), Will Geer as The Grandfather. Executive Producers: Lee Rich and Earl Hamner. Created by Earl Hamner. Produced by Andy White.

Judy Norton-Taylor (Mary Ellen) (1-5,7-242), Jon Walmsley (Jason), Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin), Eric Scott (Ben), David W. Harper (Jim-Bob), Kami Cotler (Elizabeth), Earl Hamner (The Narrator).

Neil T. Maffeo (In Charge of Production), Earl Hamner (Executive Story Consultant), Paul West (Story Editor), Jerry Goldsmith (The Waltons' Theme), John M. Nickolaus A.S.C. (Director of Photography), Ed Graves (Art Director), Bill Mosher A.C.E. (Editor 1,6,7,9,11,14,16,19,22), Michael McCroskey (Editor 2,4), Marjorie Fowler A.C.E. (Editor 3,4,7,14,17,20,23), Peter Harrison (Editor 5,8,10,12,15,18,21,24), Marvin Adelson (Editor 13), Gene Fowler A.C.E. (Editorial Supervision), Ralph Ferrin (Unit Production Manager/Assistant Director 1,4,5,8,11,12,14,16,18,20,22,23), Walter Alzmann (Unit Production Manager/Assistant Director 2,3,6,7,10,13,15,17,19,24), Michele Ader (Unit Production Manager/Assistant Director 9), Joe Florence (Unit Production Manager/Assistant Director 21), James Cane (Set Decorator), Jeanne Malone (Costume Supervisor 21-24), Patrick Norris (Costumer 1-20), Linda Henrikson (Costumer 1-9), Mary Lou Reinbold (Costumer 10,11,13-24), Jeanne Malone (Costumer 12), William Flannery (Production Sound Mixer), Polifroni/Sabba (Casting), Claylene Jones (Production Coordinator), Victor Guarnier (Sound Effects Editor), Dick Kupper (Sound Effects Editor 1-6,11,13-16,24), Jack Wheeler (Sound Effects Editor 7-10,12,23), Tony Ippolito (Sound Effects Editor 17-22), Ken Runyon (Music Editor), Fred Westcott (Property Master), William Reynolds (Makeup Artist), Edith Lindon (Hair Stylist), Richard Chaffee (Script Supervisor), Doris Hamner (Technical Consultant), Dick Rawlings Jr. (Camera Operator 10,11,13-20), Al Bettcher (Camera Operator 21-24), Al Rohm (Construction Coordinator), Duane Smith (Electrical Gaffer 1-11,13-24), Christopher Lynch (Electrical Gaffer 12), James Buchanan (Key Grip 1-11,13-24), Charles Lish (Key Grip 12), Antique Automobiles by Movie World Buena Park CA., Knott Limited (Special Effects 11), Panavision®, Color by Movielab, Sandy Dvore (Main Titles), Filmed at The Burbank Studios Burbank California.

Copyright © MCMLXXVI [1976] Lorimar Productions Inc. (1-13)

Copyright © MCMLXXVII [1977] Lorimar Productions Inc. (14-24)

1 Though credited for all episodes, Ellen Corby does not appear in episodes 15 onwards.
2 Though credited, Judy Norton-Taylor does not appear in episode 6.

As the shadow of events in Europe hangs over Walton's Mountain in Season 5, Jason is studying at the Kleinberg Conservatory of Music and plays at the Dew Drop Inn roadhouse in the evenings for extra money. Erin is, initially, still at school with Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth, but helps out Fanny Tatum on the telephone switchboard part-time. John-Boy's publishes a local newspaper, The Blue Ridge Chronicle, in the spare time from his degree at Boatwright University. Working from a telephone-less garden shed with only Ben as occasional help, it does stretch believability at bit that bringing out an eight-page, weekly newspaper under these conditions is even vaguely feasible. Nevertheless, many episodes this season revolve around the paper and John-Boy's budding aspirations in journalism.

In The Inferno, John-Boy wins a competition to cover the fateful 1937 landing of the airship Hindenburg in New Jersey. The episode would have worked fine had the Producers covered the disaster in an abstract way with, say, John-Boy reporting on the radio as a guest correspondent. But instead, there's a brave but woeful attempt to integrate John-Boy into original newsreel footage of the time via back projection coupled with stagehands wafting burning bits of paper into shot – a sequence which has attained legendary reputation in certain quarters of the Internet!

The Inferno isn't the only the only episode with an unbelievable facet. In The Ferris Wheel a sleepwalking Elizabeth ludicrously manages (unseen by us) to climb 30 feet up a Ferris Wheel in the middle of the night. And why, in flashbacks which were "years ago", does she look the same age as currently? Just as daft is Jim-Bob's Pied Piper routine in The Hiding Place where he attracts a snaking following of inquisitive (adult) shoppers by blowing a car horn across town (well, I guess the idea may have looked good on paper...)

Meanwhile, in The Wedding, nursing student Mary Ellen ditches her doctor fiancé (David Spencer) on the way to the alter, only to decide to get hitched to a different doctor (Curt Willard), whom she hardly knows, in the closing few moments of the story.

Away from the nonsense, there are many superior moments in this season. The Cloudburst has a familiar Waltons plot: once again developers want to take over the mountain. But this time the issue is handled more evenly and both sides of the argument are presented. There's a nice touch at the end of the episode where John-Boy assumes that Shelby the developer, now thwarted, will simply sell the land back to him. Instead, Shelby wipes the smug smile from John-Boy's face when he decides to hang onto the land anyway to keep his foot in the door for the future.

In The Great Motorcycle Race we have another reused plot: a race around Walton's Mountain. It was horses last time (in The Thoroughbred), motorbikes this time, and would be horses again (in The Wager). The bonus feature here is the first appearance of Aimee, the cute adopted daughter of Ike and Corabeth Godsey, well played throughout by Rachel Longaker, perhaps the consistently best junior actor in the show.

The Best Christmas is probably the best of the show's festive episodes (and I'm including The Homecoming here) and seems to have a much more generous budget than most other episodes. It manages such a nice Chrismassy feel that one can almost forgive the occasional view of soapsuds standing in for snow!

In John's Crossroad, a work shortage causes John to reluctantly take an office job in town. But it's one of those offices, where the workers sit in silence under the watchful eye of the ogre of a boss – something many of us in the real world can relate to.

This season also sees the first major change in the line-up of the regular cast. Ellen Corby suffered a major stroke on November 10th, halfway through shooting the season, and was found collapsed on the floor of her apartment by producer Andy White after she failed to report for work that morning. The actress was rushed to hospital and, ultimately, Corby's recuperation prevented her from appearing again on The Waltons until the end of the following season. Now with both movement and speech difficulties, the actress never again played a full part in the show and subsequently only appeared in a guest capacity.

Feeling he could expand into other roles, Richard Thomas had decided to leave the show at the end of the season on the expiry of his five-year contract with Lorimar, and went straight into rehearsals for a stage play, Merton Of The Movies, at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles. On screen, John-Boy's departure (for New York) seems rushed and forced: there is no gradual build up of his desire to leave the mountain and his decision is made, seemingly on a whim, in the final few minutes of The Achievement. What about The Blue Ridge Chronicle and, moreover, the last year of his degree?

The First Edition

Episode # 5.01 (97)  {S5,D1,sA}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast September 23, 1976, CBS   (UK: March 1, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Guest Starring: Conrad Janis (Graham Thornbury). Featuring: Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Hal Riddle (Mr. Lowenthal), John Crawford (Sheriff Ep Bridges), Meegan King (Louie), Laird Fenwick (Tinker), Brad Rearden (Chuck), Michael McDonough (Joe), Rick Meyer (Wally).

The Blue Ridge Chronicle is ready to publish its first edition, including a story about a local housebreaker: Ben. Corabeth announces she is expecting a baby.

Ben in trouble with Sheriff Bridges
Corabeth embraces Ike

The Vigil

Episode # 5.02 (98)  {S5,D1,sA}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast September 30, 1976, CBS   (UK: March 8, 1977, BBC1)

Guest Starring: Robert Merritt Woods1 (David Spencer)2, Sheila Allen (Fanny Tatum). Featuring: Victor Izay (Dr. Vance), Dee Carroll (Mrs. Vance), John Crawford (Sheriff Ep Bridges), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 aka Robert S. Woods and Christopher Woods.
2 This is the first appearance of David Spencer.

Nursing student Mary Ellen is sure she knows what is causing Grandma's stomach pains. Erin starts work part-time on the local switchboard.

Grandma, in bed, is visited by Grandpa
Erin at the switchboard

The Comeback

Episode # 5.03 (99)  {S5,D1,sA}
Written by Seth Freeman
Directed by Harvey S. Laidman
Music by Alexander Courage
Ho–Down and Ironing Board Blues by Jon Walmsley
Broadcast October 7, 1976, CBS   (UK: March 15, 1977, BBC1)

Guest Starring: Merle Haggard (Red Turner1), Pat Quinn (Wilma Turner1), Jay Robinson (Professor Thaxton). Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Cissy Wellman (Sissy), Dorothy Shay (Thelma). Featuring: Logan Field (Tom), Jillian Lieder (The Student), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 The Turners had previously appeared in The Gift in Season 2, though with Red played by Ken Swofford.

To the horror of Olivia and Grandma, Jason starts work at the rough local watering hole, The Dew Drop Inn. Meanwhile, Yancy is being pursued for marriage, and John tries to get Red Turner to play music again after the death of his son, Seth.

Marriage in the air: Sissy and Yancy
Merle Haggard as Red Turner

The Baptism

Episode # 5.04 (100)  {S5,D1,sB}
Written by Andy White
Directed by Ralph Waite
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 14, 1976, CBS   (UK: March 22, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Starring: John Karlen (Rev. Ezekiel Henshaw), John Ritter (Rev. Matt Fordwick), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker). Featuring: Cissy Wellman (Sissy), Judy Motulsky (Woman Convert), Ellen Nickles (Texas).

Everyone's excited that a famous evangelical preacher, the Reverend Ezekiel Henshaw, is coming to town... except John, that is.

The Reverend Ezekiel Henshaw
Looking towards heaven: the family

The Fire Storm

Episode # 5.05 (101)  {S5,D1,sB}
Written by Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 21, 1976, CBS   (UK: March 29, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Guest Starring: John Ritter (Rev. Matt Fordwick), Pearl Shear (Zuleika Dunbar), Barry Cahill (Buck Vernon). Featuring: Robert Merritt Woods1 (David Spencer), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Jason Wingreen (Nat Clayton), Jennifer Rogers (Florabelle Tait), Don Carter (Vandal #1), Larry Hayden (Vandal #2), Art Gilmore (Newsreel Announcer).

1 aka Robert S. Woods and Christopher Woods.

Folks don't take kindly to John-Boy's attempts to educate them about current events when he publishes extracts from Mein Kampf in his newspaper. In a lighter vein, Erin wants to enter a beauty pageant.

John-Boy challenges the book burning
Erin in an old-fashioned bathing costume

The Nightwalker

Episode # 5.06 (102)  {S5,D1,sB}
Written by Paul West
Directed by Harvey S. Laidman
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast October 28, 1976, CBS   (UK: April 5, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Starring: Peggy Webber (Eva Hadley), Gary Tomlin (Lorin). The Rhythm Kings: Brian Longley (Lou - sax), Larry McNeely (Tex - banjo), Ralph Henley (Eddie - drums). Featuring: John Crawford (Sheriff Ep Bridges).

A mysterious being stalks the area and has everybody spooked; a woman living in seclusion on the mountain seems to know more but won't say anything. Meanwhile, Jason and Ben organize a dance.

An anxious Corabeth
Eva Hadley

The Wedding

Episode # 5.07 (103) – double length  {S5,D2,sA}
Written by Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 4, 1976, CBS   (UK: April 19 & 26, 1977, BBC1, in two-part version)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Starring: Tom Bower (Curtis Willard)1, John Ritter (Rev. Matt Fordwick), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Kaiulani Lee (Miss Nora), Robert Merritt Woods2 (David Spencer). Featuring: David Doremus (G. W. Haines), Debbie Gunn (Patsy Brimmer), Peter Brandon (Dr. Spencer), Jean Howell (Mrs. Spencer), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Russ Marin (Mr. Bradley), Molly Dodd (Miss Lynch), Glenn Robards (The Chairman), Art Gilmore (The Radio Announcer).

1 This is the first appearance of Curt Willard, the new doctor on the mountain.
2 aka Robert S. Woods and Christopher Woods.

The family is thrilled when Mary Ellen announces she will become Mrs David Spencer, but she seems more interested in the town's new doctor than in her fiancé.

David Spencer and Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen in her bridal gown

The Cloudburst

Episode # 5.08 (104)  {S5,D2,sA}
Written by Paul Cooper
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 11, 1976, CBS   (UK: April 12, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Guest Starring: Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), John Ritter (Rev. Matt Fordwick), John Carter (Mr. Shelby), William Bryant (Lyle Carter). Featuring: Mariclare Costello (Rosemary Fordwick), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose), Ron Hajak1 (Russell Travis), Shirley Slater (Woman in Congregation), Dennis Cross (Man in Congregation).

1 Spelled as "Hajek" on credits.

Will John-Boy sell his land on the mountain – handed down to him by Grandpa – to keep The Blue Ridge Chronicle publishing? Mary Ellen has doubts about her suitability as a nurse when she faints as Curt operates on her old schoolmate, Martha Rose.

Zeb up on the mountain
An injured Martha Rose Travis

The Great Motorcycle Race

Episode # 5.09 (105)  {S5,D2,sB}
Written by John Joseph
Directed by Richard Thomas
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 18, 1976, CBS   (UK: May 3, 1977, BBC1)

Guest Starring: Rachel Longaker (Aimee Louise)1, Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Lewis Charles (Eddie Stoker), Eileen McDonough (Patsy Brimmer) and Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Featuring: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 First appearance of Aimee Godsey, Ike and Corabeth's adopted daughter.

Jim-Bob tinkers with Ike's old motorcycle hoping to ride it to racing glory. Ike and Corabeth plan to adopt a child.

Jim-Bob on Ike's motorbike
Aimee Godsey

The Pony Cart

Episode # 5.10 (106)  {S5,D2,sB}
Written by Jack Miller
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 2, 1976, CBS   (UK: May 17, 1977, BBC1)

Special Guest Star: Beulah Bondi (Martha Corinne1)2. Featuring: Patrick Skelton (Tom Wheeler).

1 Martha Corinne Walton had previously appeared in The Conflict in Season 3.
2 This performance won Beulah Bondi the Emmy for Best Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series.

Martha Corinne Walton is one meddlesome house guest, but her cantankerous ways mask a solemn secret.

Martha Corinne and John-Boy
Beulah Bondi as Martha Corinne Walton

The Best Christmas

Episode # 5.11 (107)  {S5,D2,sB}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 9, 1976, CBS   (UK: December 27, 1977, BBC1, billed under the title The Waltons' Best Christmas)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Guest Starring: Tom Bower (Curt Willard), John Ritter (Rev. Matt Fordwick), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Hal Williams (Harley Foster), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Paul Jenkins (Prof. Parks). Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Lisa Lyke (Jo Ellen), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Louise), Sheila Allen (Fanny Tatum), Debbie Gunn (Patsy Brimmer), John Hiestand1 (Radio News Announcer).

1 aka Bud Hiestand.

Olivia hopes for "the best Christmas we ever had", but circumstances threaten to keep the Waltons apart. Elsewhere on the mountain, a lonely Yancy Tucker receives a welcome visit from Ben.

Elizabeth
Yancy Tucker

The Last Mustang

Episode # 5.12 (108)  {S5,D3,sA}
Written by Calvin Clements Jr.
Directed by Walter Alzmann
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 16, 1976, CBS   (UK: May 24, 1977, BBC1)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Starring: John Fink (Glen Oldfield), John Crawford (Ep Bridges), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Wayne Heffley (Carl Muntner), Arthur Malet (Professor Ainsley) and Alan Fudge (Arlo Jessup). Featuring: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Asta Hansen (Campaign Worker).

John-Boy finds himself caught in the middle during the election campaign for the sheriff. Grandpa fights to free a captive mustang.

John-Boy with Grandpa
Running for office: Sheriff Ep Bridges

The Rebellion

Episode # 5.13 (109)  {S5,D3,sA}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Harvey S. Laidman
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast December 23, 1976, CBS   (UK: May 8, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Guest Starring: John Ritter (Rev. Matt Fordwick)1, Audrey Christie (Zelda Maynard), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster) and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer).

1 This is the last episode for the Reverend Fordwick.

Grandma threatens to become a Methodist when she's asked to share organist duties at church. Olivia gets a perm courtesy of Corabeth.

Grandma is not happy
Livy with a new hairstyle

The Ferris Wheel

Episode # 5.14 (110)1  {S5,D3,sA}
Written by Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 6, 1977, CBS   (UK: June 21, 1977, BBC1)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Starring: Debi Richter (Darlene Jarvis), Dave Shelley (Wilbur Dawes) and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: John Crawford (Sheriff Ep Bridges), Jeff Maxwell (Used Car Salesman) and Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 This episode is the last appearance for this season of Ellen Corby (Grandma) who suffered a stroke and was unable to return to the show until Grandma Comes Home at the end of Season 6.

John-Boy suspects a buried memory is behind Elizabeth's nightmares about a Ferris wheel. Curt advises that Elizabeth be made to face her fear.

Elizabeth on the Ferris wheel
Mary Ellen's husband, Curt

The Elopement

Episode # 5.15 (111)  {S5,D3,sB}
Written by Hindi Brooks
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 13, 1977, CBS   (UK: June 28, 1977, BBC1)

Guest Starring: Michael O'Keefe (Chad Marshall1), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Vernon Weddle (Rev. Caldwell), David Hooks (Andrew Farrell), Ruth Manning (Mrs. Farrell). Featuring: David Clarke (Abel Bingley), Hank Stohl (The Radio Announcer) and Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 Chad Marshall previously appeared in The Competition in Season 4.

Chad Marshall, the forestry student who once won Erin's heart, returns with plans to build a house and take a bride. Jason takes over running the store while Ike is away.

Erin and Chad kiss
Chad Marshall and Erin

John’s Crossroad

Episode # 5.16 (112)  {S5,D3,sB}
Written by Andy White and Paul West
Directed by Richard Thomas
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 20, 1977, CBS   (UK: July 5, 1977, BBC1)

Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Guest Starring: Donald Moffat (Mr. Morgan), Christopher Gardner (Lucas Farnham), Kenneth Tigar (Clem Beal), Patch Mackenzie (Mavis Crawford), Betty Jinnette (Miss Agnes), Daniel Levans (Kyle Jeffers), Tom Howard (Clint Davis) and William Phipps (Mel Parsons). Featuring: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

John is miserable working in an office run by a bully.

John in Ike's store
John in his new office job

The Career Girl

Episode # 5.17 (113)  {S5,D3,sB}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast January 27, 1977, CBS   (UK: July 12, 1977, BBC1)

Guest Starring: Mariclare Costello (Rosemary Fordwick), Billie Bird (Shirley) and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: Alice Hirson (Jane Stevens), Donald Hotton (Eli Carr), Ted Jordan (Spurgeon Connors), Sheila Allen (Fanny Tatum), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer).

Erin's graduation from high school has her teacher making glorious predictions about her pupils' futures. But, unlike her older brothers and sister, Erin has no career in mind.

A tearful Erin
Teacher Miss Fordwick

The Hero

Episode # 5.18 (114)  {S5,D4,sA}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Tony Brand
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 3, 1977, CBS   (UK: July 19, 1977, BBC1)

Guest Starring: Lynn Carlin (Sarah Griffith)1, John Crawford (Ep Bridges). Featuring: Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Eileen McDonough (Patsy Brimmer) and Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 First appearance of Sara(h) Griffith, who would go on to marry Sheriff Ep Bridges.

An Honor Day for World War I vets is planned but ex-Doughboy Sheriff Bridges wants no part of it. Coincidentally, he runs across an old female friend who used to drive an ambulance during the war.

Ep Bridges with John-Boy
Sara Griffith

The Inferno

Episode # 5.19 (115)  {S5,D4,sA}
Written by Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 10, 1977, CBS   (UK: July 26, 1977, BBC1)

Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Guest Starring: Jack Ging (Stuart Henry) and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Tom Maier (Joe – bartender) and Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

John-Boy wins a journalism prize: $25 and a trip to New Jersey to cover the landing of the Hindenburg. Curt is growing annoyed with the continual presence of Mary Ellen's family.

Journalist Stuart Henry and John-Boy watch the Hindenburg
The Hindenburg explodes

The Heartbreaker

Episode # 5.20 (116)  {S5,D4,sB}
Written by Seth Freeman
Directed by Ralph Waite
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 17, 1977, CBS   (UK: August 2, 1977, BBC1)

Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Special Guest Star: Linda Purl (Vanessa). Guest Starring: Victor Arnold (Joe Martin), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), J. S. Johnson (Lou Rhymer) and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: A. Wilford Brimley (Horace Brimley), Llynn Storer (Man on Bus), Paul Weaver (J. D. Waters).

Jason falls hard for Curt's sister, Vanessa: an unhappily married woman who seems to take relationships lightly.

Linda Purl as Vanessa
Horace Brimley

The Long Night

Episode # 5.21 (117)1  {S5,D4,sB}
Teleplay by Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker, story by Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker and Katharyn Michaelian Powers
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 24, 1977, CBS   (UK: August 23, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey). Guest Starring: Rachel Longaker (Aimee), Lynn Wood (Hospital Receptionist) and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: Art Gilmore (Poetry Pantry Announcer).

1 Ellen Corby appears in old footage.

Grandpa pines for Grandma, still in the hospital. Then another female enters his life: Aimee, who pines for a grandpa of her own.

Aimee Godsey
Aimee enjoys a moment with Zeb

The Hiding Place

Episode # 5.22 (118)  {S5,D5,sA}
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Walter Alzmann
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast March 3, 1977, CBS   (UK: August 30, 1977, BBC1)

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin). Special Guest Star: Jean Marsh (Hilary). Guest Starring: Tom Bower (Curt Willard). Featuring: Joe Cala (Newscaster), Walker Edmiston (Voices of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Edward R. Murrow).

The Baldwins' cousin visits from Germany. When John-Boy asks her about Hitler, she dodges his questions. Meanwhile, Jason joins the National Guard.

Jean Marsh as Hilary von Kleist
Jason in uniform

The Go-Getter

Episode # 5.23 (119)  {S5,D5,sA}
Written by Andy White and Paul West
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast March 10, 1977, CBS   (UK: April 30, 1979, BBC2)

Guest Starring: Lynn Carlin (Sarah Griffith), Lew Brown (Mr. Jarvis), Melody Thomas1 (Darlene Jarvis) and John Crawford (Ep Bridges). Featuring: Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Brian Malone (The Usher), Jeff Cotler2 (Fester), Don Keefer (Arnie Shimerdy), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 aka Melody Thomas Scott.
2 Jeff Cotler is Kami Cotler's brother.

Car salesman Ben fast-talks folks into buying clunkers.

Slick salesman: Ben
Young Fester with Sheriff Bridges

The Achievement

Episode # 5.24 (120)1,2  {S5,D5,sA}
Written by Dale Eunson and Earl Hamner and Andy White
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast March 17, 1977, CBS   (UK: May 7, 1979, BBC2)

Guest Starring: Bettye Ackerman (Belle Becker), Maggie Malooly (Miss Maddocks), Deirdre3 Lenihan (Daisy), David Huddleston (A. J. Covington)4, Joan Tompkins (Mrs. Herbert), Mariclare Costello (Rosemary Hunter)4 and Tom Bower (Curtis Willard). Featuring: Lynda Sainte-James5 (Ticket Seller), John Dayton (Mail Boy) and Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

1 This is the last regular episode for Richard Thomas as John-Boy, but he would guest in two stories in Season 6.
2 Ellen Corby appears in old footage.
3 Misspelled as "Diedre" on the credits.
4 Appears only in footage from previous episodes.
5 aka Linda St. James.

John-Boy leaves for New York to chase up what is happening with the manuscript for his first novel. Elizabeth becomes obsessed with a book about a girl spy.

Elizabeth Walton
Elizabeth yearns to be Jessica Girl Spy
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01 The First Edition

02 The Vigil

03 The Comeback

04 The Baptism

05 The Fire Storm

06 The Nightwalker

07 The Wedding (double length)

08 The Cloudburst

09 The Great Motorcycle Race

10 The Pony Cart

11 The Best Christmas

12 The Last Mustang

13 The Rebellion

14 The Ferris Wheel

15 The Elopement

16 John's Crossroad

17 The Career Girl

18 The Hero

19 The Inferno

20 The Heartbreaker

21 The Long Night

22 The Hiding Place

23 The Go-Getter

24 The Achievement