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Ep.11 - The Children's Carol

 
  Original Airdate: December 5, 1977 - 2 Hour Episode
Writer: John McGreevey
Director: Lawrence Dobkin

Description:

  The Waltons take in two orphaned Englsh children at Christmas time. Jason has difficulty training to be a soldier. Jim-Bob makes contact with a young woman in London with his short wave radio. Mary Ellen moves near Camp Lee to be closer to Curt.

Prologue:

  "I remember that Christmas when all the sounds and events of the world spoke against the holiday. London was being bombed, the evil of Nazi rule was spreading across Europe, and on Walton's Mountain indian summer held off the snows of winter. It was a year two young English children were to seek refuge on the mountain, and it was a year when my mother's faith was put to its severest test."

Synopsis:

 

The family prepares for church. Each of the children have an excuse for not wanting to go to church but Mama isn’t having any of it and deals with each of them so that they don’t miss the service.

The Godsey’s have installed a new anti burglar lock on the front door. They have heard stories of a lot of break-ins recently. Inside Olivia meets the Baldwin sisters. They are expecting 2 orphaned children who are arriving from England that are being sent over by their Cousin Hilary who is looking to provide shelter for them from the war.

Verdie Grant takes an order for her Burnt Cinnamon Christmas fruit cake at the Walton’s dinner table. She is selling them for $2 a piece. She plans to use the money to buy gifts for the needy children at her church. The men then listen to the news on the radio after she leaves. The news reports how children are being separated from their parents and taken to safer environments away from the affects of the war. It upsets Olivia who goes upstairs to get away from the news.

At the Baldwin house Tess and her brother “Pip”, short for Philip have been brought by an aide worker from Washington D.C. The ladies want to show them their rooms but Tess says that they only need one room. Pip won’t stay by himself and hasn’t talked since the night of the bombings that they experienced back in England.

John receives a visit by Allen Timmons, the defence department expediter, who requires John to fulfill his order faster d wonders is the quality of his work is too good for the army. Olivia comes out and offers him something to drink and eat and invites him to go into their kitchen and see Erin. She has plans to get Erin out of her self-imposed isolation since G.W. passed away. John asks if she is matchmaking again and she says no that she is just doing some expediting of her own.

At the Baldwin house, the sisters discover the challenges of trying to provide for Tess and Pip. The children hide from the Baldwin’s in an attempt to horde extra food from the kitchen. The sisters say they are welcome to all they can eat and there is no need for them to worry about being hungry again. They offer to take the children for a ride to Charlottesville to get a soda but Tess

John sees a light on in the barn at 3 a.m. and discovers Jim-Bob talking to a young woman from London, England named Allison. His Daddy questions why he needs to talk at that time of the night.

Jason trains to be a soldier but is disturbed by the bayonet training his receives.

The Baldwin sisters ask Olivia if she will let Tess and Pip stay with her family for awhile. They have had the children for 2 weeks and haven’t seen any change in their behavior. The children are removed, numb and afraid. The Baldwins feel that they need to be around other children and to share Christmas with them. At dinner Pip won’t eat his food and Jason is quiet. Olivia puts the two English children to bed, Pip in the boy’s room and Tess in the girl’s room. She finds them later sleeping together on the floor in the hallway.

Mary Ellen makes the decision to take a room near the Camp Lee military base to be with her husband Curt. Ike and a number of volunteers run the first community blackout drill. Ben stops at Thelma’s house and warns her about the light in the upper bedroom window. She says that it’s her mama’s light that she puts on at every Christmas with a wreath and she has no intentions of turing it off for the blackout, President Roosevelt or anyone else.

Tess and Pip do their school work for Olivia. Tess excels at math but Pip refuses to write proper words and rebels against Olivia’s encouragement. Jason comes home and Olivia asks if he will play some children’s songs for Pip to try and encourage him to sing. Jason says that he has given up his music as a step to toughen up and do the army job he’s being trained to do.

Mary Ellen takes a room near Camp Lee for $12.50 a week. The landlady charges for all extras and has a slew of rules.

Jim-Bob talks again to Allison in London. Tess tells Allison where she lived before her flat was bombed and her Parent’s names Harold and Alice Wrayburn who haven’t been heard from since the bombing. Allison says that she will ask around for them but Tess feels that it is a hopeless task.

Curt visits with Mary Ellen at her apartment. It took her 22 hours on a bus to get there with John Curtis.

Elizabeth asks Tess and Pip to come play outside but they are not interested. Erin is busy writing a letter to Allen, the young government contractor. Grandpa suggests He and Elizabeth go up on the mountain and pick a Christmas tree with Pip and Tess. Elizabeth is unsure about their company and blames them for wrecking the fun. Grandpa admonishes her and tries his best to cheer the children up with some stories and then by singing some Christmas songs. Tess and Pip begin to enjoy themselves.

Alone in his bedroom Ben counts the money he has saved to buy a pinstripe suit in the hopes that it will make him look taller. Jim-Bob comes in but doesn't believe that the suit will make him look any taller.

Pip and Tess go for a walk to Ike’s with Olivia and Elizabeth. They are finally beginning to have fun but are then scared out of their wits when the air mail plane that flies overhead. They hide inside a sewer drain but Pip shows the first signs of emotion as he cries in fear.

Olivia takes the children over to the Godsey’s and they visit with Aimee in her room. Olivia gets a letter from John-Boy who says that it is already snowing in New York and won’t be coming home for Christmas. Olivia is troubled by how the war has affected the children who witnessed the bombings in England.

Curt arrives at Mary Ellen’s room and immediately walks into to a fight when she is upset by how little she is seeing him. They try and talk about the issues but when he tells her that he has to be in Washington for Christmas she kicks him out.

Jason talks to his father about how he feels about the idea of killing another man. He is not sure he is suited to be a soldier. He’s father gives hims him a pep talk to help him figure out his feelings.

Ike runs another Air Raid Drill as Verdie delivers her Burnt Cinnamon Cake to Thelma. On the way to the Walton’s house she hears rustling in the trees and is attacked by a man who takes her little purse with the money she has earned to buy Christmas presents for needy children. Ben tries to catch the man but only catches a glimpse of him. The Sheriff reports that he took another woman’s purse in Rockfish.

At church Olivia is troubled by her thoughts of the children as she listens to the sermon. When they get home John reports that the man has been caught that stole Verdie’s purse. When Ben learns that her purse wasn’t recovered he goes looking for it and finds it under a bush near where she was attacked. He takes it home and puts his savings for the suit in the purse and returns it to Verdie. When she notices that it isn’t the same bills that she had collected she questions where he got the money from. He says that if it’s her purse then is must be her money. She says that she still thinks of him as a little boy but now realizes that he has grown up to be a man, a big man. Her words were all he needed to hear to feel larger than his size.

Grandpa and Elizabeth decorate the Christmas tree they found on the mountain. Jason works on writing a Christmas Carol on the piano. He tells his mother that he was wrong that it is times like this that music is truly needed. Olivia checks on the children in their bed and finds that her faith is challenged when she can’t find the answers she needs through prayer.

Allen arrives to pick up the order of desks from John’s Mill but Erin is disturbed when she sees him wearing an army uniform. He asks her if she is against every man who wears a uniform.

The Baldwin sisters arrive at the Walton’s home with gifts for Tess and Pip. The children are still distant and removed. Olivia suggests that they send the children back to the case worker in Washington D.C. after Christmas. Elizabeth tells them Olivia’s plan in an attempt to both upset them. Tess decides that she can make their own choice on where they go. She and her brother climb into the back of the army truck but Elizabeth sees them in the back as the truck pulls away. She tells her parents who then pursue the truck to the Army base to bring them back. Erin rides along as well so that she can talk to Allen.

When they get to the air base they see no signs of the children but Olivia spots them near the runway as a cargo plane is about to the land. At the site of the plane in the air Pip drops to the tarmac and is too paralyzed with fear to move. John arrives just in time to pull him away from the danger of the landing plane. Tess asks why they followed them and he answers because they care. Pip speaks for the first time expresses to Olivia how scared he was. As they walk back towards their truck Allen walks with Erin so that they can talk.

On Christmas morning Jim-Bob makes contact with Allison, his short wave radio friend from England. It is snowing outside as the Walton family comes out to hear her talk on the radio. Allison has a surprise. She has found Tess and Pip’s mother alive and she is able to talk to her children through the radio. Their Mom was in the hospital recovering from the collapse of their home during the bombings. She tells them that their father didn’t make it but she hopes that she will be able to travel to America soon and be with them.

Jason and the family sing his Christmas carol he has called “The Children’s Carol” with Tess, Pip and the Baldwin Sisters.

Epilogue:

 
  It was the last Christmas before we were drawn into the war in Europe and we didn't know it then but ws the last Christmas ever that we would all spend it together.

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • The Baldwin sisters' Cousin Hilary Baldwin von Clinst who appeared in "The Hiding Place", (s5/ep22) sent Tess and Pip from London.
  • Mary Ellen pays twelve dollars fifty cents each week for the apartment and an additional two dollars fifty cents a week for kitchen privileges.
  • Tess and Pip Wrayburn lived in Bethel Green, Poplar Flats, just off Mile End Road in Leyton.
  • Kami Cotler's brother, Jeff plays Pip Wrayburn in this episode. He previously played Fester in "The Go-Getter" (s5/ep23).
  • Pip carries a torn white glove that belonged to his Mother where ever he goes.
  • During the preview scenes prior to the opening credits Earl Hamner invites the viewers to watch a special episode of The Waltons.

Additional Cast:

 
 

 


Guest Stars: Sally Boyden (Tess Wrayburn), Jeff Cotler (Pip Wrayburn) with: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Grant), Tom Bower (Curt Willard), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan), Judith Sharon Morton (Mrs. Rumsen), Ivy Bethune (Landlady), Ed Owens (Sargeant Grimes), David Cramer (Allen Timmons), Kate Edwards (Allison), Dinah Anne Rogers (Mrs. Wrayburn)

 

Promotional Stills

 
 




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