|"The Voice of Tinker Jones"|
|Season 1, Episode 11 |
#11 overall in Series
|Series:||Little House on the Prairie|
|Original air date||December 4, 1974|
|IMDb||The Voice of Tinker Jones|
|Written by||Tony Kayden, Michael Russnow|
|Directed by||Leo Penn|
Reverend Alden stirs up a hornets nest in Walnut Grove when he pleads for a church bell. Mrs. Oleson offers to donate a large bell as well as a plaque commemorating her generosity. While half of the residents refuse to accept the donation, arguing that the plaque would be sacrilegious, the other half frown upon the others' apparent ingratitude. The blame invariably falls on Reverend Alden and he is convinced he must leave. With the help of a friendly mute, Tinker Jones, the children decide to band together and forge the bell on their own before its too late.
"The town becomes divided when Mrs. Oleson offers to buy a bell for the church on the condition that she is permitted to put up a plaque. The conflict begins to affect the school children until a mute craftsman, Tinker Jones, steps in to make a bell with the help of the students."
- Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls
- Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls
- Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls
- Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls
- Lindsay Greenbush / Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls
- Barney as Jack
- Richard Bull as Nels Oleson
- Katherine MacGregor as Harriet Oleson
- Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
- Dabbs Greer as Reverend Robert Alden
- Charlotte Stewart as Eva Beadle
- Karl Swenson as Lars Hanson
- Chuck McCann as Tinker Jones
- Wayne Heffley as Mr. Kennedy
- Eileen Riley as Mrs. Kennedy
- James Jeter as Hans Dorfler
- Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy
- Jimmy McNichol as Harry Baker
Uncredited Supporting Cast
- Ruth Foster as Melinda Foster
- Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson
- Robert Hoffman as Sandy Kennedy
- Jaye Durkus as Townsman
- Tex Lambert as Townsman
- Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl
- Sean Penn as Kid
- This was one of the few times where we see the relatively nice and cooperative side of Nellie Oleson (prior to her Season 6 marriage to Percival). Her character was definitely taken up several notches later on, but in Season 1, she was relatively quiet and, although bratty, was not so malicious as she eventually became.?
- This is the first episode where Christy and Sandy Kennedy's father really gets a big role, large enough to showcase his incredibly hot-headed personality. This attitude of his would be shown again in future Season 1 episodes, but sadly the Kennedy family did not last beyond the beginning of Season 2, and they were removed from the plot.?
- In a 2006 interview, Melissa Sue Anderson stated that actor Jimmy McNichol (here making a guest appearance) was an extremely difficult and unruly child who enjoyed causing havoc off set. During a break in filming, in an effort to get Anderson's attention, McNichol threw a pencil at her; it pierced her face just millimeters under her right eye. Though Anderson didn't elaborate in the interview, she said that McNichol got in "A LOT of trouble" as a result. He had appeared in three consecutive episodes, but never surfaced again after this one.?
- Sean Penn appears in this episode as an uncredited school kid and his father Leo directed the episode.?
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