WALTONS Star Richard Thomas Calls Show ‘A Safe Haven In The Midst Of Turmoil’

Screenshot from The CW Network YouTube – “The Waltons Thanksgiving Trailer | The CW”

WALTONS Star Richard Thomas Calls Show ‘A Safe Haven In The Midst Of Turmoil’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Richard Thomas will return to THE WALTONS in a new role, and the actor is excited to continue introducing the wholesome family show to a whole new audience. 

Thomas, who played John Boy in the original show, now serves as the narrator in the CW’s A WALTONS THANKSGIVING special. 

“[The show has] been such a big part of my life, obviously,” he said. “And even though it feels like I’m coming back, there is part of me that feels like I never left. The original cast members, we’ve all stayed in touch over the years, and we’re very close.”

He continued, “That family has remained relatively intact over time, and so there’s always been a feeling of connection. But when they got in touch with me to invite me to introduce and narrate these new specials, I was particularly thrilled because I loved the connection and was very happy to be invited back to the family.”

Thomas narrated both the recent Thanksgiving special, as well as 2021’s THE WALTONS’ HOMECOMING. 

“The narration is particularly special for me because Earl Hamer’s narration was absolutely just inevitable and perfect for all those years,” he said, referring to the show’s original narrator. “The quality of his voice, the lyricism of his writing, and the musicality of his voice, which just went together so perfectly.”

Thomas also spoke about how well-received both specials have been.

“It made me feel good, not only for the show, but it made me feel good about the viewing public, that there is still a market and an audience for a story like this,” the actor explained. “It was very heartening for me, and I can’t say I was surprised, but I’ve been in this business so long that I know never to make an absolute prediction. Things change, and the currents change; what people want to see and what they’re used to seeing all shifts. And so things sometimes appear to stay the same, but they appear to change.”

The actor called the show and its specials “a safe haven…in the midst of a lot of turmoil.”

“This was the case when the first show was on the air when the country was going through great upheaval, and there was a lot of [division], and there was a lot of animosity, there was a lot of alienation, and the Waltons certainly didn’t stop that,” Thomas stressed. “It doesn’t have that kind of power.”

He continued, “But it certainly gave people a middle ground, a place to come together, and a place where they could come and have a little bit of healing about human nature and about how our interdependence with one another. And so I was happy to see that that happened again.”

Both WALTONS specials were well-received and positively reviewed by Movieguide®. A portion of the review for THE WALTONS’ HOMECOMING reads:

HOMECOMING is a well-made, emotional, powerful, retro movie. It has a great sense of jeopardy. Even better is the family’s constant references to faith, Jesus, church, and powerful prayers. A Christmas Eve service has MOVIEGUIDE® friends Marilyn McCoo and her husband, Billy Davis, singing great Christmas hymns. There are some unnecessary “d” obscenities, so caution is advised for younger children. Otherwise, THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING is an emotive movie that families should be delighted to watch.

A portion of the Movieguide® review for A WALTONS THANKSGIVING reads:

A WALTONS THANKSGIVING is another wonderful program. A very kind, gentle and homey manner permeates the entire movie. There’s always sufficient jeopardy that propels the story and keeps it exciting. This time, Olivia Walton has the strongest role. Best of all, faith and family underlie every scene, with prayer and family love taking the lead. A WALTONS THANKSGIVING is a delightful Thanksgiving treat.

Quality: - Content: +4
Quality: - Content: +2