‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Highlights When Fans Can See ‘Editing at Work’ in ‘The Chicken Thief’ Episode

by Anna Dunn

The Waltons star Judy Norton recently discussed the editing in the episode called The Chicken Thief. She did so as a part of her series titled Behind the Scenes of the Waltons. In the Youtube series, the Mary Ellen actress talks about life behind the scenes of the series. She also discusses her opinions on different episodes and characters.

In the new episode of Behind the Scenes of the Waltons, Judy Norton discusses The Chicken Thief. The Chicken Thief is the eighth episode of season 2 of the series and follows John Boy dealing with a moral dilemma when a local Robinhood type steals from the rich and gives those riches to the poor.

A lot happens in the episode, but Norton notes you can see some editing in a scene where John Boy receives a letter.

“An opportunity to see editing in play. In this case, you see John Boy coming down the stairs and you’re shooting through the screen door. This would have been shot on stage 26. Interior. He comes down and exits. Then, he would have at a different time, been shot at the exterior of the house,” she explains.

Now, that’s no big deal, but at this point in time, they had to do a lot of work to make sure that it looked like he was continuously walking even when they had to get two shots taken in two different spaces. It also meant that makeup and wardrobe had to be on alert to make sure John Boy looked exactly the same.

“Everybody connected with hair, wardrobe, makeup, and had to make sure everything Richard was wearing, all matched so everything went together seamlessly,” she explained.

This Episode of ‘The Waltons’ Had a ‘Disaster’ In Post-Production

This particular episode of The Waltons reportedly had a post-production disaster. Apparently, the director wanted to shoot the night scenes during the daytime with night filters. Which is all fine. Plenty of shows take that approach to filming night shots.

But the issue happened when half of the film was destroyed in the lab while developing. They then had to go back and waste precious time to re-shoot the scenes that were lost during development. Thankfully, the carefully planned shot of John Boy walking through then out of the house was set during the day and did not meet any sort of grizzly end as some of the other original shots did.

If you want to learn more information about what it was like on the set of The Waltons or learn more behind-the-scenes information on your favorite episodes, you can check out Judy Norton’s series for more information.

Below, you can watch her whole video on The Chicken Thief.