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(Aug 28, 2007)
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The Waltons: The Complete First Season collects those initial episodes from the series building on the strengths of the Homecoming pilot, which introduced the extended Walton clan led by a strong-willed mill owner, John (Andrew Duggan), and his equally resolute wife, Olivia (Patricia Neal). The Waltons recast those key roles (as well as a few others) with Ralph Waite and Michael Learned (yup, a female), but Richard Thomas carried over as oldest child John-Boy Walton, an aspiring writer whose cusp-of-manhood view informs the series. Will Geer (Seconds) replaced Edgar Bergen as Grandpa Walton, Ellen Corby remained as Grandma, and John and Olivia's large brood (seven kids in all) were filled out by largely unknown, young actors. The episodes, still delightful and touching, strong on production values and unusually tight and polished for primetime drama, tended to focus on creator Hamner's pet themes of self-sacrifice and heroic effort when the going got tough.
Year 1 highlights include "The Carnival," in which the impoverished Waltons, who can't pay for tickets to see a circus performance, end up sheltering stranded carney folk. "The Typewriter" is a classic about John-Boy "borrowing" a museum's antique typewriter, only to have his sister Mary Ellen (Judy Norton) sell it as junk. "The Sinner" concerns the arrival of a fundamentalist minister on Walton's Mountain, finding comfort in the words of religious iconoclast John Walton after the clergyman makes a fool of himself with moonshine. That's Hamner himself providing touches of narration. During the long run of the multiple-award-winning The Waltons, there were many changes in casting and storylines. But this boxed set reveals a fine series in its pristine state. --Tom Keogh
The problems mentioned in the 1 and 2 star reviews seem to have been fixed because all of the episodes are now on one side and they all play perfectly. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Masaka
This is wonderful and takes me back to a wonderful time in our country. I remember The Waltons from so many years ago and hope to get the entire collection some day.Published 29 days ago by Chimega
Great show, Not so great quality of the film picture and sound though. However- at least it is saved for posterity. Needs to be restored. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Panther
This is the classic story of the Walton family that we all watched growing up. It's about a very large family just trying to make it through the great depression the best way they... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Angie N.