The Waltons was a hit show. In fact, it was one of the highest-rated shows on TV during its original run. It took place in rural Appalachia during the Great Depression. Instead of showing its characters as hillbilly caricatures, the series gave viewers a look into how a real family lived during that era. These authentic characters helped to endear the series to its viewers. At the same time, it didn’t allow for much variety when it came to filming locations.
Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen on The Waltons currently hosts a web series. The series, Behind the Scenes with Judy Norton, pulls back the curtain on the classic series. Norton gives fans of the show a deeper look at what it was like to be part of the family as well as the series. In the most recent episode, she looks back at the episode. “The Seashore,” and its shooting location.
The Waltons Go to the Sea
First, Norton sets up the premise of the episode. The Baldwins come to the Walton home to ask if John would help them build a screened-in porch on their beach cottage. So, almost the whole family decides to make the trip to the seashore. Once there, the men would build the porch and the women would handle the cooking and cleaning while enjoying the sunny location at the same time.
Not all of the Walton clan were able to make the trip. By that time in the series, Norton noted, Mary Ellen was very pregnant. With a baby on the way, it isn’t safe for Mary Ellen to travel to the sea. So, she stays home in Appalachia.
Judy Norton’s character didn’t get to go to the location. However, Norton did stop by to see how things were going. So, she was able to take a few days off of work. At the same time, she was able to visit the shooting location and enjoy the atmosphere while not having to worry about staying in character or dealing with the added complications that come with shooting on the beach. In the episode, the Waltons were using the trip as a mini-vacation. However, Norton was actually able to treat visiting the shooting location like a small vacation.
Norton went on to say that she loved shooting on-location. This is especially true when the location was somewhere fun like the beach. She adds, “I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to get up and go to work on the beach?”