Alex Haley's Queen

Season 1 Episode 1

Episode 1

Aired Unknown Feb 14, 1993 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Episode 1
The first episode develops the relationship between James Jackson III, a rich plantation owner's son and Easter, a slave. James marries a wealthy Southern lady, but he carries on with a lifelong affair with Easter, which will result in the birth of a girl, Queen. Queen's fair skin makes her soon notice that she is not as black as her fellow slaves. She is taken into the main plantation house to be the personal slave of James' daughter, where she spends her youth years trying to discern if Jackson is her real father. The Civil War seriously affects James' plantation putting an end to the old ways and the family matriarch tells Queen to find some other place to live.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • Despite featured in the opening credits, Danny Glover and Sada Thompson do not appear in this episode.

      • Goof: At the beginning of the episode, Easter's gown is wet but right after getting the kids out of the river, her gown is dry.

      • Goof: At the beginning of the episode, when the kids are forced out of the river with a gun, it takes a way too long period of time between the actual shot and the moment when the bullets hit the water to be realistic.

      • Just as it happens with Queen, owners having babies with slaves, and taking the fair skinned ones into their homes with no further contact with the mother was a common tragic practice on every plantation.

    • QUOTES (48)

      • (Sally orders Queen to leave the plantation when the Civil War is lost)
        Queen: I'll help you. I'll cook, I'll clean, I'll tend the garden, I'll do everything.
        Sally: You are nigger and you are a slave. The times will be hard. Your best place would be with your own people.
        Queen: My people would never let you turn me away.
        Sally: You must never think of Colonel James as your father. You are a child of the plantation, just like a thousand others. That's all.
        (Sally turns and leaves)
        Queen: You my people! This my family! Miss Sally! Miss Sally! You my family! (Leans on her mum's grave) Where I go now? Where I go now? Help me, help me.

      • (To Queen after the South loses the Civil War)
        Sally: The world as we knew it has gone.

      • (Sally asks Queen to leave with the rest of the slaves)
        Sally: You are free to go away and do what you will.
        Queen: Thank you.
        Sally: Now where would you go?
        Queen: I'll stay here.
        Sally: We have no place for you here.
        Queen: But this my home.

      • (The slaves are free but Queen decides to remain in the plantation with her white family)
        Slave: You don't mean nothing to them. They wouldn't even admit that you exist.
        Queen: Ain't true! Ain't true! They love me.

      • (The South has lost the war and the slaves are free)
        Queen: But this here where you belong!
        Slave: No. No Queen, not anymore. I am free. I don't belong to no man, and neither do you. If I was you, I'd run as far away from this plantation as I could.
        Queen: But Colonel Jackson, he my papy!
        Slave: And what do you expect your papy to do? Take you into the bossom of his family? Tell the whole world that this little nigger girl here is my daughter? No.

      • (As he dies)
        Cptn. Jack: Don't ever let her be sold away from here.
        Sally: No, I won't do that. Some day she would be free. All the slaves would be free.
        Cptn. Jack: All slaves be free?
        Sally: Very soon.

      • (As he dies)
        Cptn. Jack: I wanna die free.
        Sally: But you are free. You have been for a long time. I have your paper here. Yeah. The Master gave it to me years ago. He said one day that you'd ask for it. Now you stop all that talk about dying here.

      • (After the yankees burn their cotton)
        Sally: How would you have us live now?
        Yankee Cptn.: I lost two brothers in this war. I don't care how you live. Or if you live.

      • (The yankees have reached the South and the roar of the battle makes a cup fall from the cupboard and shatter into pieces)
        Slave: Yes! Hallelujah! (Keeps breaking cups and plates)

      • James: I've been watching you, Queen. You work hard. I'm sorry I am of no help to you.
        Queen: That's your place, Master.
        James: Sometimes I wonder where my place is.

      • (At her mum's grave)
        Queen: This here my home. This here my family. I miss you.

      • (To Easter as she has passed away)
        James: My love.

      • (Queen and Lizzie are planting cotton to survive during the war)
        Miss. Hanson: What is this? Miss. Jackson, what are you doing out in the field planting cotton?
        Lizzie: Queen needed me.
        Miss. Hanson: So Queen is in charge now? Queen can order the mistress of the house out into the fields like some common nigger?

      • Sally: A letter from the Master. I can't read with my eyes. Here.
        Queen: I can't do it.
        Sally: I know you can.
        Queen: It's against the law.
        Sally: What does it matter now? Who is going to whip you for it now? Here, read.

      • (To Easter as Jane is struggling for her life)
        Lizzie: You don't care about Jane! All you care about is your brat Queen!

      • (To the slaves when the Civil War breaks)
        Sally: Some of you would have heard that this war is being fought for and against slavery. That is not true. The South is fighting to protect its own way of life. The alternative is too dreadful to imagine. Now you've all heard the stories of what happens to your people up North: hunger, sickness, poverty. This is not our way. When you are sick we tend you, when you are hungry we feed you, when you are old we care for you and when you die, we bury you. That is our Christian duty.

      • (As. James leaves to fight in the Civil War)
        Easter: Pray for him, Queen. He your pappy.

      • (Queen wants to know who his father is)
        Queen: It's like half of me missing. I love you, mami. The black me, and the other half of me. the white me, where did it came from?
        Easter: From love, child. I swear for God, from love.

      • (To Queen)
        Sally: You are such a pretty child. You remind me of those portraits that I've seen of the Empress Josephine.

      • (To Easter, before leaving for the war)
        James: I promise you I'll come home. But if anything does happen to me, know that I have loved you, til the moment that I die.

      • Easter: You going to fight?
        James: Yes.
        Easter: For slavery?
        James: No.
        Easter: For what then?
        James: For... for the land, for honour, for everything my father worked for. To hold on to what we have, to keep us safe.

      • Queen: I'm gonna marry a prince on a white horse.
        Jane: Oh Queen, don't be silly. You are a slave girl. Who is gonna marry you?

      • (A Southerner soldier kisses Queen)
        Jane: (Slaps the soldier) How do you dare kiss my slave? I'm surprised cause I thought you were southern gentlemen.
        Soldier 1: C'mon, lets go.
        Soldier 2: How in hell was I supposed to know?! The bitch looks white.
        Soldier 1: You keep her out of the streets!

      • Jane: Is there gonna be a war, Papa?
        James: No, of course not. Why would americans fight other americans?
        Jane: Because of slavery?

      • (As James learns that he is gonna be a father, he makes plans for Queen to live his her sibling)
        James: Queen could come and live here and be a companion for him or her. And... and they could grow up as friends.
        Lizzie: No.
        James: And she could help around the house.
        Sally: Do you think that's a good idea?
        James: I think that's an excellent idea, mother.

      • (Lizzie announces that she is pregnant)
        James: That's wonderful Lizzie.
        Lizzie: Of course I'm hoping for a boy.
        James: A boy, girl, I don't care. Just the thought of a baby.... thank you Lizzie.

      • (James finds in Easter's cabin the material that Cptn. Jack uses to teach Queen how to read)
        James: What are these?
        Easter: Nothing.
        (James pulls a couple of children books out of his jacket pocket and places them on top of a table)
        Easter: What's that?
        James: Nothing.

      • (Slave children are mocking Queen)
        James: Get out of here you little brats! (Kneels in front of Queen and rubs her arms) There, there, there.
        Queen: (Sobbing) They call me names.
        James: People they called me names too when I was little. Why did they do that?
        Queen: 'Cause I look white, cause I can read (Bursts out crying)
        James: Queen, don't ever tell anyone that you can read 'cause some people wouldn't like it and might try to hurt you.
        Queen: But my Pappy would stop it, like you stopped those.

      • Easter: Queen, don't you ever think about your Pappy. No matter to you.

      • Cptn. Jackson: Africa is a beautiful country, long, long way from here.
        Queen: That where my Pappy is?

      • (To Cptn. Jackson, who is teaching Queen how to read)
        Easter: Stop that. Anybody found out you learned her how to read we are gonna get punished or worse.

      • (Referring to Queen)
        Mrs. Perkins: She is a lovely child.
        Sally: She's a darling.
        Mrs. Perkins: She'll make an excellent companion to any daughters Lizzie might have.

      • (Referring to Queen)
        Man: This child is a doll.
        James: Guess?
        Man: (Laughs) You rascal, you!

      • (As she learns that James is gonna get married to Lizzie)
        Easter: (Holding newborn Queen in her arms) I have the best thing.

      • (Lizzie is deeply hurt about finding out that James has had a baby with a slave)
        Lizzie: I won't marry him.
        Mrs. Perkins: Yes, you will. You'll have a long engagement and you'll come used to the idea and grateful for it. Not being for the slave girls, we women would have to submit to our husbands whenever they feel filthy.
        Lizzie: Did papa too?
        Mrs. Perkins: All men are the same, dear.

      • (Cptn. Jack gives away that Queen is James' daughter in fron of Lizzie)
        Cptn. Jack: A slave child has just been born.
        James: (looking visibly uncomfortable) That's good news, Captain Jack.
        Sally: Give the mother our congratulations.
        Cptn. Jack: Yes ma'am, sure I will. And Easter is doing just fine!

      • (A widow Sally pressures James to marry Lizzie)
        Sally: What are you waiting for? James?
        James: Love, I suppose.
        Sally: Love will come later. Duty must come first.

      • (Easter is jealous of Lizzie)
        Easter: Promise me you will come see me more often.
        James: I'm not gonna promise you, you're a slave.

      • (James Sr. is deeply affected by Captain Jack's words and confesses to his wife)
        James Sr.: When I was a young man I didn't believe in slavery. Then I came here and I forgot what I believed in. I broke my promise to a man who was my most loyal friend.

      • (Captain Jack refuses to accept his freedom)
        Cptn. Jack: You broke your promise to me. You had my Annie be sold away. And what is freedom to me now? I'm old. Where would I go? My life is here, with Easter.
        James Sr.:But you could stay here. Free.
        Cptn. Jack: Yes Sir, I'll stay here and I'll work for you til the end of my days. But every time you see, every time you look at me you'll remember what you did to my Annie and the promise that you broke to me.

      • (Lizzie slaps Easter for having dropped her shawl)
        James: Please don't do that.
        Lizzie: Well she's just a clumsy...
        James: We don't treat our slaves that way.
        Lizzie: I declare. You a nigger lover?

      • (James gets into a fight to defend his slaves)
        James: What's going on here?
        Wesley: I'm teaching your niggers some manners.
        James: That's not your place. You harm them and you pay for them.
        Wesley: For God's sake, James. It was just sport.
        James: We don't make sport out of our slaves.
        Wesley: Now you love your niggers.
        James: Wesley, I'm gonna make you sorry if you ever bother one of our slaves again.
        Wesley: Nigger lover!
        (Both start to fight)

      • (Lizzie makes it clear to Easter that Queen won't receive any affection from her, and that she will be just a slave, even though living in her father's house )
        Lizzie: I am her Mistress, not her mummy.

      • (Lizzie humiliates Easter and makes it clear that their contact will be kept to a minimum since the child is gonna be trained as a house slave)
        Lizzie: The child will be given every advantage. She'll be trained to be a Ladies' Maid all the necessary etiquette. So when you see her, keep your distance. I don't want her to learn the nigger ways.
        Easter: I want the best for her, Missy.
        Lizzie: What you want has nothing to do with it.

      • (Easter is forced to leave her child to the care of Lizzie, who obviously hates Queen for being her husband's daughter with a slave)
        Easter: I still gonna see her again, Missy?
        Lizzie: Of course you will. This is another house, not another country. But you should know this is the Master's decision. I do not approve of it.

      • (Queen is suspicious about the Master's visits to her mother, a slave)
        Queen: Why the Master comes to you every night. He my Papy?
        Easter: You has a better Papy, Queen.

      • (James is trying to convince Easter that their child will be better of living with him and not among the slaves)
        Easter: No!
        James Jackson Jr.: She'll be raised with my children, she'll have all the advantages.
        Easter: But she's all I have.
        James Jackson Jr.: She'll still be yours.

      • Queen: You my family! My people!
        Sally Jackson: Queen, you must not think of us in that way.

    • NOTES (16)

      • As stated in the opening credits, this miniseries is dedicated to the memory of Alex Haley.

      • In the DVD release, the first disc contains 2 episodes and the second one 1 episode. Most people miss this fact and just watch parts 1 and 3.

      • The DVD release offers no extras and only English subtitles.

      • Alex Haley's views on racism and ancestry, the pillars of this book:
        Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.

        When you start about family, about lineage and ancestry, you are talking about every person on earth.

      • Opening credits:
        Alex Haley told the story of seven generations of his mother's family in Roots.
        Queen completes the family saga with the story of his father's family.
        This is that story exactly as Alex Haley wanted it told.
        And it is to his memory that this miniseries is dedicated.

      • One of the main variations of Michael Small's score is reminiscent down the harmonica lead of Moon River.

      • John Erman's Alex Haley's Queen was shot in three months, from April 20, 1992 to July 24, 1992.

      • In 1995, Halle Berry won the NAACP Image Awards as Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for her role in Alex Haley's Queen.

      • David Stevens adapted for the screen Alex Haley's novel.

      • Boone Hall Plantation (1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA) which the main shooting location for this series, was also the shooting location for the Main family house in North and South.

      • International release dates:

        USA: 14 February, 1993.
        Finland: 5 January, 1997.

      • Also known as Queen.

      • Alex Haley's Queen was nominated for the Golden Globe. It's been the winner of 4 other awards and was nominated for 9 other.

      • Shooting locations:

        Boone Hall Plantation - 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA

        Charleston, South Carolina, USA

      • Alex Haley was unable to finish writing Queen before he died, and it was completed by David Stevens. While Stevens benefited from the many boxes of research notes and a 700-page outline of the story left behind by Haley, he would later say that his writing was guided mainly by their many long conversations.

      • Alex Haley (1921-1992) is the author of both Roots and Queen. While Roots focused on Haley's matrilineage, Queen explores Alex Haley's paternal grandmother's life, centering on one individual's life, as opposed to the multi-generational span of Roots.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)