An enviable pedigree and strong performances make “Christy” look like a sure-fire success for CBS.
Kellie Martin plays the title character, a well-to-do young woman who leaves the city to teach at a mission school in pre-World War II Appalachia.
Pilot pic establishes Christy’s admiration for teacher Alice Henderson (the well-cast Tyne Daly), a budding romance with minister David Grantland (Randall Batinkoff) and her clashes with the locals.
Pilot is less heavy-handed than most, thanks in part to Michael Rhodes’ sure direction and Patricia Green’s fine, succinct script. Perhaps the involvement of such top-notch TV talent as Daly and producer Barney Rosenzweig gives an extra, justified boost of confidence to both cast and crew.
“Christy” could capture the “Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie” crowds but should also have broader appeal, given the more complex setting and lack of sentimentality.
Martin is fine, exuding confidence and fear, sophistication and naivete. Daly’s tough-but-tender mentor lends pic strength.
Production values are excellent, and designer William Creber deserves credit, as does editor David Handman.