The Waltons

Season 9 Episode 26

A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 21, 1993 on CBS
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6.7
out of 10
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22 votes
  • A Walton Cast Reunion

    8.5
    Well, it's a decent attempt, and it's certainly intriguing to see how everyone has changed, but this does feel like a reunion for the sake of a reunion. The whole thing seems disconnected from the earlier movies, and the plot has more holes than a golf course. Still, if you liked the series, you'll probably enjoy this.

    Let's begin with what's good. The producers have managed to get all ten surviving cast members together, including Richard Thomas. That's pretty good going. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Richard again, and it's good to see John-boy's life is back on track. There are cameos from Robert Donner, Peggy Rea, Rachel Longaker and Lynn Hamilton, while Peter Fox reprises his role as the Baptist minister - though for some reason he's credited as Rev Moseley. Twenty-two years after the series began, we finally get to see the boys with short hair. It is worth the wait. Jon Walmsley seems to get more ginger with each passing year.

    I like the way their various lives have progressed: John-boy working as a newsreader, Jason writing songs in a band, Mary Ellen as a doctor, Jim Bob with his own plane. None of them has it easy, but at least they're doing the things they set out to do. It's a shame Paul and Jonesy aren't about, but better that than have them portrayed by different actors. As for Drew... Wow! Just wow! Let's just say I am well and truly over Cousin Job.

    And then there's the not so good. First up, 1963 is far too late. Most of the actors are about ten years too young for the characters they are playing. They should have set the story in 1955. That way, they could have used J&Os' fortieth wedding anniversary as a plot.

    There are few outright mistakes - the length of time since Zeb's passing being the main one - but there are several puzzling oversights. Paul and Erin have been married sixteen years, yet none of their children looks more than five, meaning they waited more than ten years to start a family. Mary Ellen was told she couldn't have any more children, yet here she has two young 'uns. They may be adopted, of course, but there's nothing to suggest that. More bizarrely still, there's no mention of John Curtis. At twenty-four, he may already have left home, but you'd think his name would have cropped up at a reunion like this.

    I was very sad to hear Virginia had died. No idea why they had to do this. There's no mention of Charlie at all, despite his birth being a major plot point in the previous set of movies. We also get no hint as to why Ben and Cindy can't have more children of their own. Cindy is still in her thirties, so there's no reason not to try.

    Lastly, whoever chose Janet's clothes and hairstyle seems not to have been told this was a period piece, as she looks as if she's just stepped off the set of an early nineties soap.

    Pick of the bunch: Drew Cutler (Tony Becker)

    Alternate title: The Thanksgiving Story

    Score: 8.5