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“Season 10”

Starring: Ralph Waite. Also starring: Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton Taylor, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott, David W. Harper, Kami Cotler, Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards. Edited by George Nicholson A.C.E. (1), Samuel E. Beetley A.C.E. (2), Marv Adelson (3). Art Director: John P. Bruce. Director of Photography: Ken Peach Jr. Executive Producers: Earl Hamner and Lee Rich. Produced by Claylene Jones. Created by Earl Hamner.

Earl Hamner (The Narrator).

Michael Frey (Associate Producer), Walt Gilmore (Unit Production Manager), Roger LaPage (First Assistant Director 1,3), Ray Marsh (First Assistant Director 2), Paul Thornton Sirmons (Second Assistant Director), Barbara Miller (Executive in Charge of Casting), Doris Sabbagh (Casting), Toby Considine (Set Decorator), Bill Bates (Property Master), Louise Clark (Costumer), Jerry Herrin (Costumer), David Dittmar (Makeup), Georgina Williams (Hair Stylist), Chuck Wilborn (Production Sound Mixer), Victor Guarnier (Sound Effects Supervisor), Bill Wistrom (Sound Editing), Ken Runyon (Music Editor), Doris Hamner (Technical Consultant), Mitch Ackerman (Production Supervisor), Sandy Dvore (Main Titles Designer), Panavision®, Color by Metrocolor, Filmed at The Burbank Studios, Edward O. Denault (Executive Production Supervisor), Produced in association with Amanda Productions Inc.

Copyright © MCMLXXXII [1982] Lorimar Productions Inc.

Feeling the show's best years were permanently behind it, CBS cancelled The Waltons after Season 9 aired. However, Lorimar was in talks with rival NBC to continue the show on their network. There was a vague idea at the time to change the name of the show to Walton's Mountain (hence the use of that phrase in all three titles here) and to start including stories about other residents of the mountain. NBC seems to have been reluctant to commission a long run of new episodes, so suggested three TV movies be made as a sort of "pilot" to continuing the show. The new shows were produced in one block in winter 1981/2, but spread through the year when broadcast, effectively forming a sparse 10th season.

The major difference with the NBC version of the show is that The Waltons now has a different look to it: more "movie" than "TV show". The basic all-over key lighting of the original has been replaced by more creative cinema-style use of lighting, based more on a shot-by-shot optimization. There is also use of a more soft-focus photography, and scenes are shot with a greater selection of different lenses on the camera (one effect of the latter being that the interior of the house now looks a lot larger!) The sepia-photograph opening titles are more or less retained but Jerry Goldsmith's excellent, evocative title music has been replaced (for unfathomable reasons) by a boring "daytime soap" effort.

The continuity from the main series is more or less maintained, though there are a few oddities. For example, for some reason, Jonesy has changed from being a geologist to a trained vet (over the space of less than a year). Also, in the second installment, Aimee Godsey is home from school, but, as well as having a different face and body, she has a different personality too and has become a flirtatious vamp! Additionally, once again the absence of key characters is a problem here. Are we expected to believe Olivia wouldn't travel home for her daughters' weddings? And John-Boy can't make them either, even though he's only in New York – hardly the other end of the Earth. Having said that, the Producers do manage to squeeze three little cameo scenes with Michael Learned (presumably all the actress was willing/able to consent to) into the second film, Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain. These were shot in New York on the set of her new show, Nurse.

As regards telling the actual tale-to-be-told, the main problem with this trio of episodes is that they are too bitty and have too many plot threads going at once. The result is that none of the individual story strands are developed in any depth and there is little space for any emotion or tension to build. Even more than with the latter episodic seasons, the show is now almost completely in the soap-opera category and, at the end of each movie, I think the reaction of practically anybody (except maybe rabid devotees – a sector which only makes up a small proportion of any TV audience) would be a bit, "Yeah, so what?" Having said that, the first movie is the worst offender here, and things do become a bit more cohesive for the second, which is the best of the triad.

We are also "treated" to, arguably, the worst ever (adult) acting performance in the entire Waltons canon, as Louis Welch takes over (mercifully for just one story) the role of Ashley Longworth Jr., previously played by Jonathan Frakes. Unsurprisingly, Mr Welch's final screen performance was just four years after his appearance in The Waltons although, for my money, he seems to have stopped acting before he even got to The Waltons. The end result is rendered even worse by most of his dialogue seemingly being dubbed on later in post-production.

The end of the third film seems to be setting up a couple of scenarios for more episodes, should they happen (or maybe they are just set-ups for writing the characters out?) A bored Jason sells the Dew Drop Inn and intends to move to New York and take up composing music again. Also in New York, John-Boy has met a rather nice girl, Jane Schuyler (played by Melinda Naud), but sadly this relationship was ultimately never to get off the blocks...

The three telemovies weren't impressive enough for NBC to expand things into a full series, and production on the show was closed and the sets dismantled. The actors drifted off to other projects. By this time, Lorimar was busy with the mega-soaps Dallas, Knot's Landing and Falcon Crest (with Earl Hamner heavily involved in the latter) so The Waltons franchise now seemed a rather unsensational and unimportant entry in their catalog. The show laid dormant for over a decade, but nevertheless it wasn't the last time viewers had sat around the supper table with the family...

a wedding on Waltons Mountain

Episode # 212 – double length  {D1,sA}
Teleplay by Marjorie Fowler, story by Marjorie Fowler and Claylene Jones
Directed by Lee Philips
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast February 22, 1982, NBC   (UK: December 21, 1983, BBC2)

Special Guest Star: Ellen Corby. Co-Starring: Leslie Winston, Mary Jackson, Helen Kleeb. Guest Starring: Richard Gilliland1, Kip Niven2, Morgan Stevens3, Louis Welch4, Joanna Kerns5, Richard Eastham6, Tony Becker7, Jerry Douglas8, Lew Horn9. Featuring: David Friedman10, Angel Rhodes11, Kristina Callahan, Robert Dryer12, Paul Bareslou13, Chuck Lindsly14, Clay Lilley.

1 Jonesy.
2 Reverend Tom Marshall.
3 Paul Mathews Northridge.
4 Louis Welch takes over the role of Ashley Longworth Jr., previously played by Jonathan Frakes in Season 7's The Legacy and Season 8's The Lost Sheep.
5 Doris Marshall.
6 Mr. Wesley Northridge.
7 Drew Cutler.
8 George Porter.
9 Charlie.
10 David Friedman takes over the role of John Curtis, previously played by both Michael and Marshall Reed.
11 Angel Rhodes takes over the role of Ginny (Virginia), previously played by both Clare and Elizabeth Schoene.
12 Tom Hurley.
13 aka Paul Barselou.
14 Joe Hurley.

Paul Northridge – now part of the lumber business with Ben – proposes to Erin. But Ashley Longworth reappears on the scene and threatens to upset the pair's plans. Jonesy sets up as a vet but doesn't have enough of a reputation to get much business.

The new logo for 1982
Ashley Longworth Mk 2

Mother’s Day on Waltons Mountain

Episode 213 – double length  {D1,sA}
Written by Juliet Packer
Directed by Gwen Arner
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast May 9, 1982, NBC   (UK: December 23, 1983, BBC2)

Special Appearance By: Michael Learned. Co-Starring: Leslie Winston. Guest Starring: John Considine1, Richard Gilliland2, Kip Niven3, DeAnna Robbins4, Morgan Stevens5, Penelope Windust6, Tony Becker7, Joanna Kerns8. Featuring: Angel Rhodes9, David Friedman10, Gwen Van Dam11.

1 Dr. Coleman.
2 Jonesy.
3 Reverend Tom Marshall.
4 DeAnna Robbins plays Aimee Godsey. The role had previously been played by Rachel Longaker.
5 Paul Mathews Northridge.
6 Penelope Windust plays Bernadene Norris (Cindy's real mother), who previously appeared in The Carousel in Season 9.
7 Drew Cutler.
8 Doris Marshall.
9 Ginny (Virginia).
10 John Curtis.
11 Nurse.

As Cindy enters the final stage of her second pregnancy, the newly remarried Mary Ellen gets some news which affects her prospects of another child. A very changed Aimee Godsey reappears on the mountain and interferes in the relationship between Elizabeth and Drew.

Olivia on the phone from hospital
Aimee Godsey is a changed young lady

a Day for thanks on Waltons Mountain

Episode # 214 – double length  {D2,sA}
Written by Kathleen Hite
Directed by Harry Harris
Music by Alexander Courage
Broadcast November 22, 1982, NBC   (UK: December 28, 1983, BBC2, billed under the title A Day of Thanksgiving on Waltons' Mountain)

Special Guest Star: Ellen Corby. Co-starring: Leslie Winston, Mary Jackson, Helen Kleeb and Robert Wightman1 (John-Boy). Guest Starring: Bettye Ackerman2, Robert Donner3, Richard Gilliland4, Morgan Stevens5, Melinda Naud6, DeAnna Robbins7, Daniel Currie8, Royce D. Applegate9. Featuring: David Friedman10, Angel Rhodes11, Jerry Hoffman12.

1 This is Robert Wightman's last appearance as John-Boy. The original actor to play him (Richard Thomas) would return for the trio of 1990's movies.
2 Belle Becker, John-Boy's editor, previously appeared in The Achievement in Season 5, and The Revel in Season 9.
3 Yancy Tucker.
4 Jonesy.
5 Paul Mathews Northridge.
6 Jane Schuyler.
7 Aimee Godsey.
8 Peterson.
9 Sweeney.
10 John Curtis.
11 Ginny (Virginia).
12 Van Cramer.

Thanksgiving is approaching and Elizabeth wonders how she can get all the family together in harmony despite assorted problems. John-Boy is in New York suffering from writer's block. At the garage, Jim-Bob is penniless after buying a load of spare parts which turn out to be duds. And Erin and Paul are suffering from marital problems.

Ginny and John Curtis
Jane Schuyler, John-Boy's girlfriend
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01 a wedding on Waltons Mountain (TV movie)

02 Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (TV movie)

03 a Day for thanks on Waltons Mountain (TV movie)