The Waltons

Season 4 Episode 11

The Abdication

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 20, 1975 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes

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Episode Summary

The Waltons are intrigued by King Edward VIII's abdication and a local movie production, as John-Boy reconnects with a friend who's a part of the production.

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  • The Playwright

    "We never saw nor heard from AJ Covington again", John-boy famously quipped in the closing narration to 'The Literary Man'. Back when this first aired, I can't imagine too many viewers would have remembered those words from an episode three years earlier. But with things like DVDs and this website, you just can't get away with slips like this any more. Perhaps John-boy was talking about actor, David Huddleston, as the new AJ is most definitely slimmer and younger than before.

    Gaffs aside, this is actually quite a decent story. It's good to see John-boy get to use his writing skills in anger, and the shooting of the film provides an interesting setting for the action. The filmmaking process may be less than convincing, but James Karen is great as the cold, calculating director, and his offer to whisk John-boy away to New York for once gives our hero a serious proposal to mull over.

    Mary Ellen takes a real shine to AJ's helper, Todd Clarke, and this time Erin doesn't try and pinch him. Nothing really comes of their attraction, but Todd is a good-looking bloke so I'm not going to complain. I note that the actor who played him went on to become a bit of a star later in life. Good for you, mate!

    The abdication of Edward VIII forms an interesting backdrop but doesn't affect the main story. What it does do is place the episode squarely in December 1936, meaning that Mary Ellen should already be in nursing school and that John-boy is in his twenty-first year, not his twentieth as he states in the opening narration. This is but one of many episodes where a historical event sits slightly out of sync with the show's timeline, but you can't fault the writers for trying.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Grandpa: (talking about touching his toes) I could do it, if I had a mind to.
      Jason: Betcha couldn't!
      Grandpa: (leans forward, then sits back) I don't have a mind to.

    • Grandma: I tell you, the world's gone crazy!
      Grandpa: And ain't we lucky to be goin' along for the ride!

    • Opening Narration: A different sound, an unfamiliar shape, or shadow instantly alerts the creatures of the wild. Growing up on Walton's Mountain, seldom travelling far from the place where we were born, we came to share this immediate awareness of something different, something new. It seems now in recollection that one of the milestone events of my 19th year followed the appearance in our community of something decidedly different; something none of us had ever seen before.

    • Closing Narration: Twice A. J. Covington came into our lives on Walton's Mountain, and twice he wandered on. The visit of the movie company had made almost as much history in our small community as the abdication of Edward VIII made on the world. Unlike Edward, my abdication from writing for the screen was a temporary one.

  • NOTES (2)