‘The Waltons’ Stars Richard Thomas and John Ritter Had ‘Dark’ Reunion in Stephen King Movie

by Keeli Parkey
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Years after actors Richard Thomas and John Ritter worked together on “The Waltons,” they appeared in a very different show. Their next collaboration was a dark and spooky project that could scare the bravest among us.

That project was a television miniseries based on author Stephen King’s epic novel, “IT.” The book was released in 1986.

According to the author’s website, the plot of the book “IT” is: “A promise made 28 years ago calls seven adults to reunite in Derry, Maine, where as teenagers they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children.

“Unsure that their Losers Club had vanquished the creature all those years ago, the seven had vowed to return to Derry if IT should ever reappear. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that summer return as they prepare to do battle with the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers once more.”

In the miniseries adaptation of “IT,” Thomas and Ritter shook off their personas from “The Waltons.” They portray two of the adult members of the Losers Club. They do battle with the evil creature Pennywise in order to protect others.

The miniseries is dark and scary. It deals with murder and fantasy elements that only Stephen King could create. And, it stars Tim Curry as the villain Pennywise. If you’re a fan of horror, or Stephen King, or John Ritter, or Richard Thomas, this miniseries is for you.

But be warned, the “IT” miniseries is very different in tone and style from “The Waltons.”

There’s no “Goodnight, John-Boy” moment in the show. Instead, there are jump scares and evil clowns and bullies and things that will make you wake up sweating in the middle of the night.

Actors from ‘The Waltons’ Appear in Scary Television Miniseries

John Ritter and Richard Thomas starred in the miniseries of Stephen King’s “IT” during 1990. One of the aspects that make King’s book and the miniseries so effective is that the story spans decades. It follows the Loser’s Club when they are children. Then, it picks up years later when they are adults.

Thomas starred as the adult version of Bill Denbrough. If there is a “main character” in “IT,” Bill is that character. It is the death of his brother (which is the fault of Pennywise) that gets the plot moving. When the adults come back together years after they last saw one another, it is Bill who leads them.

In the “IT” miniseries, John Ritter played the character Ben Hanscom. The famous actor was a big fan of Stephen King’s before taking the part. Working on a horror miniseries was very exciting for Ritter, according to Wikiepedia. “The thing I like about horror is you have to ask: Can I take it? It’s like going on a roller-coaster ride. How far can you hang over the edge before you have to pull back? It’s the idea that there is this dark side,” Ritter reportedly said.

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