‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Points Out an ‘Interesting’ Driving Sequence in ‘The Genius’ Episode

by Katie Maloney

We’re glad we have Judy Norton to reveal all these behind-the-scenes details about “The Waltons.” Otherwise, we’d never know just what it took to film one episode of the iconic show.

It’s difficult to imagine that just one scene for a television show can take hours to shoot. And that’s just the filming. After the cast and crew film the scene, it can take several more hours or even days to edit it and add sounds or music. Many celebrities will share their own process for bringing their acting talents to a scene. But there aren’t many celebrities who will share the details of exactly what it takes to create an entire show. Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen on “The Waltons” is one of those celebrities who will reveal all the nitty-gritty on-set details. And that’s exactly what she does during her video series, “Behind-the-Scenes with Judy Norton.”

During her latest episode, Norton talked about the episode titled “The Genius.” During the episode, John-Boy’s college dean asks him to take care of a 16-year-old genius college student named Lyle Thomason for a weekend. Lyle is definitely a genius but he’s sorely lacking when it comes to social skills. One of the scenes shows John-Boy and Lyle driving down a country road. As they exit the road, they arrive at the Godsey’s town store in the Waltons’ neighborhood. But there was far more to the scene than just a simple drive down a backcountry road. Norton shared that the scene was actually filmed in three different locations.

What Did It Take To Film One Driving Scene For ‘The Waltons’?

“There’s an interesting driving sequence here, just from a filming and editing stance,” said Norton. “You see John-Boy driving down a country road. Where, I believe was shot on location, not on the backlot of the studio.”

After those shots were filmed, Norton said that the cast and crew moved to another location to continue filming.

“Then a little further along, we’re into a process shot. Meaning, we’re on a sound stage with a pre-shot video of the road. It is playing in the background as John-Boy and Lyle are having this conversation,” she said.

Norton said that”The Waltons” team then moved to their Warner Bros. Studio backlot to complete the scene.

“This intercuts with them coming out of a country road which was shot on the backlot of the studio and arriving at Ike Godsey’s store.”

Norton shared that all three locations were essential for creating a seamless transition for the scene.

“So you have three different pieces to this driving sequence all edited together to create a seamless transition from the road to the Godsey’s store,” she said.

Judy Norton talks about “The Genius” episode of “The Waltons”