Ep.11 - The Abdication

  Original Airdate: November 20, 1975
Teleplay: Matt Robinson & Paul West
Story: Matt Robinson
Director: Harvey S. Laidman


  A Hollywood movie is being filmed on Waltons Mountain which hails the return of John-Boy's mentor, A.J. Covington.


  "A different sound, an unfamiliar shape, or shadow instantly alerts the creatures of the wild. Growing up on Walton's Mountain, seldom traveling 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."


  John-Boy stops by Ike’s General Store to see if there is any mail. Ike is making sandwiches for the Long Island Studios crew which have begun filming scenes for movie on Walton's Mountain. Actors Gordon Farrow and Silvia March are starring in the movie. Todd Clark is the studio’s assistant who hails from England. He approaches Ike and John-Boy and forwards A.J. Covington’s best regards. John-Boy is excited to hear that his old friend A.J. has written a movie script. A.J. had visited Walton’s Mountain a few years before and made quite an impression on John-Boy.

When John-Boy storms in at home with news about the movie shoot he finds the family listening about the Royal scandal King Edward and Wallis Simpson on the radio. When John-Boy finally gets a chance to tell them the news he milks it for all its worth. The children are very excited by the news.

Mary Ellen is quite smitten by Todd the studio assistant when he stops by the farm to place an order for lumber and to bring A.J. Covington for a visit with the family. A.J. has written a story which was inspired in part by the old Taber house that he longs for. A movie studio bought the story called “The Long Journey Home” and are now making it into a movie. John-Boy is amazed that A.J. makes $150 per week. Despite being invited to stay at the Walton’s A.J. decides to book a room at Mrs. Brimmer’s boarding house. John-Boy then takes A.J. to see the old Taber house before the movie crew descends on the place with lights and cameras. A.J. says that he has changed too much to be happy in the old house. It is a lost love. He is now smitten by the allure of New York City and all its trappings.

Todd stops by the Walton house again that evening to ask for more lumber, the use of Myrtle the goat and permission to take Mary Ellen down to Ike’s for a soda. When it is agreed that she can go she races upstairs with Erin and comes back down in a lovely black dress for her date.

The next day a few members of the family visit the set and watch the actors rehearse a scene about to be filmed. Some of them giggle as the actors deliver lines that sound contrived and quaint. The Director Martin Walters asks why they are reacting that way to a serious scene and John-Boy replies nervously that the dialogue isn't the way people speak in these parts. The director asks John-Boy if he will rewrite the dialogue for the scenes that they are shooting. John-Boy is afraid to change A.J.’s words but accepts and helps to improve the scene. The director decided to film the scene with John-Boy’s improvements. The actors come down afterwards and compliment John-Boy. Each of them ask if he had seen their plays and are surprised that he hasn't. The director asks if he will rewrite the scenes they plan to shoot the next day. The following day the director asks if John-Boy would accept a job writing for him in New York. John-Boy goes home in a daze to talk to his parents about it. He goes to visit A.J. at the boarding house for his advise but finds out that A.J. has been fired from the film. Mrs. Brimmer comes bursting in to tell them that King Edward is abdicating from the throne. The Walton family gathers around the radio to hear Edward’s words.

John-Boy decides that he isn't ready yet to take such a big step and doesn't like the way that the movie business treats people as commodities. When the director decides he still needs a writer he finds him at the old Tabor place. John-Boy leads the way and says his goodbye to A.J. who sheepishly returns back to the city with the film company.


  "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."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • When A.J. Covington first appeared in "The Literary Man" (s1-ep11) he was played by actor David Huddlestone.
  • John-Boy is 19 yeard old.
  • Jim-Bob practices roping Myrtle the goat with Elizabeth.
  • This episode does a unique tracking shot that moves from looking into the girls bedroom window to John-Boy’s bedroom window. This shot confirms that the girl’s bedroom is positioned as the middle window as seen from the front of the house.

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: George Dzunda (A.J. Covington), Stephen Collins (Todd Clarke) with: Brian Avery (Gordon Farrell), Ellin Gorky (Sylvia Marsh), James Karen (Martin Walters), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Walker Edmiston (The Announcer)

Follow us on Facebook YouTube Pinterest

About this Site / Links Contact Us FAQ
  Main Menu
The Episodes

- Season One
- Season Two
- Season Three
- Season Four
- Season Five
- Season Six
- Season Seven
- Season Eight
- Season Nine

The Movie Specials
Spencer's Mountain
The Homecoming
Search Site
The Cast
- John
- Olivia
- Grandpa
- Grandma
- John-Boy
- Jason
- Mary Ellen
- Erin
- Ben
- Jim-Bob
- Elizabeth
- The In-Laws
- Extended Family
- Kinfolk
- Pets & Critters
- Locals
- School Friends
- Town Folk
The Guests
- Season One
- Season Two
- Season Three
- Season Four
- Season Five
- Season Six
- Season Seven
- Season Eight
- Season Nine
The Show
- The Waltons
  Cast Today

- Themes
- Timeline
- Articles
- Thanksgiving - The Garden Shed
The Music
- Season One
- Season Two
- Season Three
- Season Four
- Season Five
- Season Six
- Season Seven
- Season Eight
- Season Nine
- Movie Specials
The Fans
- Fan Clubs
- Facebook Groups
- The Walton   Museum
- Reunions

- Autographs
- Trip to Schuyler

The Merchandise
- Home Video
- Paperbacks & Books
- Music Albums
- Sheet Music
- Lunchbox
- Action figures
- Playsets
- Trading Cards
- Boardgame
- Dinky Truck
- Paper Dolls
- View master
- Children's Book #1
- Children's Book #2
- Activity Books
- Foreign Products
- Unofficial Products
- Biographies
- Walton's Bird House

The Production
- Awards
- Behind the Camera
- Bloopers
- Cast off the Set
- Crew Listing
- Design of the Show
- Directing The Waltons
- Filming Locations
- Influences on Culture
- In Memoriam
- Interviews
- Kami's Memories
- Lorimar Productions
- Sets, Structures
- Specials & Docs
The Creator
- The REAL John-Boy
- The REAL Waltons
- The REAL Mountain
- Apples's Way
- Earl Hamner Storyteller
- Earl Hamner Memorial