Episode 1 is the first episode of Anne of Avonlea.
As the summer in Avonlea draws to a close, Anne finds herself preoccupied with the coming school term and raising funds for the A.V.I.S. Meanwhile, Green Gables receives a visit from an irate neighbour and Marilla becomes the weary guardian of the lively twins, Davy and Dora.
As the summer begins to draw to a close in Avonlea, Anne sits serenely on the porch of Green Gables reading Virgil’s Aeneid, when she is interrupted by an irate man demanding to see Marilla Cuthbert. Taken aback, Anne coldly states that Marilla is out of town and becomes furious when the man insults her red hair. Anne is slightly more accommodating upon realising that the angry stranger is in fact her neighbour, J. A. Harrison, who bought Mr. Bell’s farm while she was away at Queen’s. Mr. Harrison complains about a Jersey cow breaking into his field – Anne explains that it must have been her cow, Dolly, who was given to her as a present from Matthew when she was born. While Anne apologises for Dolly trampling in the hay field, Mr. Harrison is not satisfied and wants her assurance that she will keep a tighter rein on her cow in future. Anne concedes, but retorts that Mr. Harrison should strengthen his ineffectual fences, which leads to his angry departure from the yard. Anne, somewhat deflated, reluctantly locks up Dolly in the cow shed but believes that the problem has now been resolved.
Later that day, Anne recounts her story to Marilla about her brusque encounter with J. A. Harrison. Marilla is worn out from driving over to Grafton to see the eye doctor but reports that there has been no change to her condition, much to Anne’s delight. Marilla proposes, now that her eye sight is secure, with Anne teaching and Marilla saving, that Anne may go to college ‘in a year or two’. Suddenly, they hear a banging out in the courtyard and Anne mistakenly believes that J. A. Harrison has returned and springs to the door to confront him, only to be met with startled Mrs. Lynde. Rachel has come with news for Anne that Anthony Pye has returned to Avonlea. Anne inquires as to the history of Anthony, to which Mrs. Lynde replies that he was born two years after Gertie and Mrs. Pye was so worn out that her sister came out from Nova Scotia and adopted him; he is returning to Avonlea as he has got ‘completely out of hand’. Mrs. Lynde adds that Anne will have to teach him for his last term of school but as Anthony’s Uncle Seth ‘couldn’t put the fear of God into him’, she doesn’t see how Anne will cope. Marilla suggests that she and Rachel move out to the veranda while the Village Improvement Society has their meeting in the house – Rachel scoffs at the thought. Anne quotes loftily: ‘It’s better to light even a little candle than to sit alone and curse the darkness’ and departs from the room. Rachel retorts to Marilla that Lawrence MacPherson says, ‘Are they expecting him to hang lace curtains in his cow shed?’ Rachel inquires if Gilbert is in the society, to which Marilla replies that Gilbert is the chairman and Anne is the secretary. Rachel suggests that Anne is ‘setting her cap at Gilbert’ and it is not unlikely as Marilla ‘used to have a soft spot’ for Gilbert’s father; Marilla tells Rachel that she should mind her own business. Mrs. Lynde pays no attention, as Anne walks down the stairs in the hall and overhears her talking about the ‘spoony’ way Gilbert looks her, and that Ruby Gillis is also ‘sweet on’ him.
At the A.I.V.S meeting, Jane Andrews, Diana Barry and Fred Wright chat amiably, while Anne meets Ruby at the door, who is closely followed by Gilbert. Gilbert looks closely at Anne and asks if there is anything wrong, which she denies.
Out on the porch, Marilla and Rachel discuss Mr. Harrison’s outburst from that morning and Rachel comments that she doesn’t expect much of a man who comes from New Brunswick. Rachel mentions Timothy Cotton who came over from New Brunswick and was a thief and whose wife was so lazy that she would wash her dishes sitting down. She adds that she wants to know why Mr. Harrison won’t let any women near his house: ‘He could be burying bodies under the flagstones for all we know’. Marilla dryly retorts: ‘Not unless he brought them with him. Nobody round here’s been missed’. Rachel pays no attention and states her mission to gain entry to J. A. Harrison’s house – to which Marilla gives a disapproving look.
Back in the A.V.I.S meeting, the group discuss raising money to repaint the village hall and replace the shingles on the roof. It is decided that Anne and Diana will canvas in Newbridge, while Gilbert and Ruby will take White Sands.
As Anne and Diana return to Avonlea from Newbridge, they pass by the ‘little dale where Hester Grey used to live’. Anne comments that she died young and her ‘grief-stricken husband carried her out to the garden so she could die among the roses’. Diana comments, rather unromantically, ‘I remember. It was the same day I fell head-first into the rain barrel’, and that Mr. Grey moved to Boston and became a butcher. Anne abruptly brings the carriage to a halt as she spots a Jersey cow in Mr. Harrison’s field and runs off after it, as Diana reluctantly bunches up her dress and runs off after her.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Lynde visits J. A. Harrison’s house to welcome him to Avonlea but receives a frosty response and is refused entry. Mrs. Lynde protests that she is collecting for the Missionary Society but Mr. Harrison riles her up by accusing the women of Avonlea of being heathens themselves.
Back in Mr. Harrison’s field, Anne bumps into Mr. Shearer, who takes great satisfaction in telling Anne that she should have sold Dolly to him last week when he offered. Anne happily sells “Dolly” to Mr. Shearer for the previously offered $20 and he departs for Carmody. Diana, relieved that the ordeal is over, remarks that Dolly ‘must be related to the cow that jumped over the moon’.
Back at Green Gables, Marilla is sorting through a box of Matthew’s belongings and finds a receipt for the brooch he bought Anne for her last birthday. Anne comforts Marilla, who confesses that she and Matthew were never ‘separated for more than a week’ since the day she was born. Anne comments that she went down to his grave the previous day and the rose tree has little buds on it. Marilla asks Anne why she has been gone so long and Anne recounts the story of the Jersey cow in Mr. Harrison’s field on the way back. Marilla states that Anne must not have shut Dolly in the shed properly but Anne insists that Dolly must have jumped out of the four-and-a-half-foot gate. To prove it, Anne leads Marilla outside and is horrified to find Dolly still safely locked inside the cow shed. Marilla reveals that the only other person in Avonlea who keeps a Jersey cow is Mr. Harrison.
Marilla travels out of the village to visit her cousin Mary Keith and takes provisions of calves’ foot jelly, a bottle of raspberry wine and a pie for the children. Mary declares that she will be dead by next week and pleads with Marilla to take Davy and Dora in after she is gone as she has no one else. Marilla is reluctant because of her age and does not want to burden Anne, so she suggests that she writes to her brother, John. Mary states that she already has and reads out his latest letter.
Meanwhile, Anne approaches Mr. Harrison’s house, where she informs him about the Jersey cow incident and offers a walnut cake as a peace offering. Anne is a bit taken aback by the untidy house and Mr. Harrison’s insulting parrot, Ginger. Yet, Mr. Harrison is unaffected by Anne’s confession and offers to take Dolly if she is causing trouble and offers Anne a friendly cup of tea.
At the A.V.IS. meeting, Gilbert announces that the minister has donated to their village improvement cause and Fred mentions that Diana has written to her aunt in Charlottetown. Ruby proposes that they meet again in a week’s time to capitalise on villagers’ current interest in the society. As they all set to depart, Ruby looks wistfully at Gilbert but departs with Charlie, while Diana and Fred leave together. Gilbert asks Anne about her absentmindedness during the meeting; Jane suggests that Anne may be nervous about starting school in the following week. Anne says that she is worried her old classmates will remember all of the old scrapes that she used to get into. Jane states that Anne needs to be authoritative and, if they do not follow her instructions, she should use the cane. Anne is horrified and says that she does not believe in caning children, as you should make the students like you so much that they will want to behave. Gilbert attempts to appease both sides by stating that that, wherever possible, it is better not to use the cane, but there are always situations where it cannot be avoided. Jane teases that Gilbert has mortally offended both sides in his good natured attempt to agree with both arguments, and wishes him and Anne a good night. Once Jane leaves, Gilbert asks Anne sincerely if he has mortally offended her. Anne comments that it is a strange thing for him to say and dismissively states that she has been ‘perfectly friendly’ towards him. Gilbert replies that while Anne has indeed been friendly, a little while ago, just after Matthew died, there had been an implication that they could be more than friends. Anne becomes defensive and hotly tells him that whatever he, Mrs. Lynde or Ruby Gillis might be thinking, they are all ‘entirely mistaken’.
Anne arrives back at Green Gables, where Marilla informs her that Mary Keith is dying and she is unsure of what to do for the best, as Mary’s brother will be in British Columbia working in a lumber camp until next spring. Anne tells Marilla to bring Davy and Dora to Green Gables, and even if John never sends for them and Anne has to give up her college education she will do it willingly. Moreover, if something were to happen to Marilla, Anne would gladly bring up the twins on her own because ‘they’ll be orphans, just like I was’.
Marilla arrives back in Avonlea after Mary’s funeral along with Davy and Dora. They pass by the Avonlea church and Mrs. Lynde’s house; Rachel comments that Marilla is wearing the same cape that she wore to Matthew’s funeral and fifteen years before that. Upon their arrival at Green Gables, Anne asks how the twins are, to which Marilla sighs with exasperation and forcefully stabs her hat pin back into her hat. A forlorn looking Dora enters and is closely followed by the lively Davy. Marilla finds her first battle in getting the twins to wash their hands and confides in Anne that she wonders if she has bitten off more than she can chew.
Later that evening, Davy and Dora scrape their dishes clean - Anne smiles enthusiastically, while Marilla remains unimpressed. Dora begins to lick her plate clean and Anne hastily takes away the twins’ plates. Davy asks Anne if he ‘can’ have a bun to eat and Anne replies that he ‘may’ and that it is polite to say ‘thank you’, but this only results in ‘why’s and ‘I wanna know’. Dora steals Davy’s bun, which results in him pushing her headfirst into it. Dora screams and launches herself at Davy and there is a scuffle on the floor, which Anne intervenes in. As the night draws on, Marilla declares that everyone will be going to bed at the same time and she will be placing Davy in the west gable, while Dora will stay with Anne. Dora says that Davy is brave enough to be on his own as he did not cry when their mother died as ‘boys don’t cry’. Later that night, Anne enters Davy’s room when she hears him sobbing; Davy denies that he is crying and Anne softly wishes him a good night.
Later that week, Anne makes an overdue visit to Mr. Harrison saying that she has been terribly busy and tomorrow is the first day of the school term. Anne asks Mr. Harrison if he believes in corporal punishment in schools, to which he says he does. Anne declares that she will govern by affection but worries that she may lose her temper, as she was prone to do as a child, and that if she did her career would be over, but Mr. Harrison doesn’t see why. Anne then brings up the topic of the A.V.I.S, stating that she is only missing donations from him and Mr. Lewis, and that he said the society had his full support. Mr. Harrison hurriedly states that he didn’t mean ‘the kind of support to reach down as far as [his] pocket’. Anne replies that she was going to bake some currant buns for him but that ‘it was the kind of thought that wouldn’t reach as far as the oven’. Mr. Harrison reluctantly places some coins in the A.V.I.S collection and Anne hands over her currant buns, and gleefully adds that Jed Lewis bet her $5 she wouldn’t get a penny out of him.
At the A.V.I.S meeting, Charlie states that they will have to use Joshua Pye as the painter for the village hall or risk losing the Pye family’s $12 pledge to the society. Anne seconds the motion to everyone’s dismay but she confides in Gilbert that she is trying to win over the Pyes and, more specifically, Anthony.
On the first day of term, Anne is quite distracted and nervous, while the freshly turned out Davy and Dora fully support her, with Davy threatening to ‘wallop’ anyone misbehaving. The day goes off fairly smoothly, albeit Davy returns home with a bloody nose after fighting with Anthony Pye to defend Anne’s honour. The next day, Anne finds herself asserting her authority by confiscating packets of biscuits, which the children having been purchasing from Mrs. Hiram’s and places them in the school stove. When Cliffie Wright, who arrives late, smuggles a packet over to Barbara Shaw, Anne mistakenly believes it to be another packet of biscuits and has it placed in the fire, only for a succession of fireworks to go off that were intended for Barbara’s birthday. During the lesson, Anne finds some mice inside her desk and upon finding the culprit to be Anthony Pye, she canes his hand.
- Costumes: Joyce Rixon Macken
- Designer: Antony Thorpe
- Director: Joan Craft
- Film Cameraman: Phil Meheux
- Film Editor: Alastair MacKay
- Film Sound: Stan Nightingale
- Makeup: Christine Beveridge
- Music Arranged by: Ed Welch
- Music Played by: Jim Hughes
- Producer: John McRae
- Script Editor: Alistair Bell
- Studio Lighting: Peter Catlett
- Studio Sound: Alan Fogg
- Writer: Elaine Morgan
- Gilbert: I haven't, have I? Mortally offended you?
- Anne: I think that's a very strange thing for you to say. As far as I know, I've been perfectly friendly and amiable just like the others.
- Gilbert: You've been friendly, yes, but a little while ago, just after Matthew died, I thought you seemed—
- Anne: Gilbert, I don't know what you're going to say, but don't say it. I happened to overhear Mrs. Lynde saying how she thought I seemed and I must say say I resented it very much.
- Gilbert: Why? What did she say?
- Anne: Oh, I've no intention of telling you. It was... far too stupid. No, I just want to make it perfectly clear to you and Ruby Gillis and anybody else who might be thinking about me, that you're all entirely mistaken. I hope I've made myself clear. Good night, Gilbert.
- Marilla: Anne, you could go to bed at midnight, draw the curtains and lock the door, sneeze, and the next day Rachel would be on your doorstep asking how your cold was.
- Anne: I read once that if you ever betray the principles you believe in, it's... it's like brushing the bloom from a butterfly's wing and it may never fly again.
Behind the scenesEdit
- This episode reaired on January 2, 1977, on BBC.
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