When I was a kid, “Little House on the Prairie” was one of my favorite shows and I saw it all the way through the end. It was the drama that always kept me interested and engrossed, as Michael Landon was a favorite of my household. For fans of the series, the “Legacy Movie Collection” comes to DVD with three movies that close the series and resolve the entire saga of the Ingalls once and for all. The famed TV show starring Michael Landon and Victor French, and loosely based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, followed the Ingall family as they dealt with the hardships of living in the late 1800’s America, and how they fared against various obstacles in their lives. The series was a compelling drama that ended in 1983, and gained another life among a new generation that followed the series when it went to syndication.
The boxed set for the series includes three TV movies with two discs following up from “Little House on the Prairie.” “Look Back to Yesterday,” and “The Last Farewell” are found on Disc 1, with “Bless All the Dear Children” featured on Disc 2. Sadly, the DVD’s don’t come with any special features, save for a Digital Copy available for consumers. Not all of the major cast returns for the trio of TV movies, but since the movies are intended to close up the series they work as a bit of fan service, nonetheless. Michael Landon sadly only appears for two films, while Karen Grassle only appears for the series finale. The only character that returns for the entirety of the films is Melissa Gilbert who embraced the role of Laura Ingalls and formed her own niche as an actress.
“Look Back to Yesterday” which aired in 1983 is directed by Victor French, and focuses on character Albert, the adopted son of the Ingalls family who plans to attend medical school but learns he has a dangerous blood disease. Albert and Charles return to Walnut Grove, and everyone must deal with Albert’s inevitable death. Laura, though, is having a tough time accepting his eventual demise. It’s a bittersweet film that features a major death, but tries its best to provide an uplifting message. “Bless All The Dear Children,” directed by Victor French is a Christmas themed TV movie, with Rose, the daughter of Laura and Almanzo kidnapped by a woman who wants to replace the child she lost during a miscarriage.
With the aide of an orphan, Laura, Almanzo and Mr. Edwards go on a mission to find their daughter. Meanwhile back in Walnut Grove, Jason is trying to make money for Christmas by chopping down trees. This is a lighter TV movie for fans, and a neat Christmas treat for viewers. “The Last Farewell” is the TV movie my uncle always talks about where, in the series finale, Walnut Grove is blown to smithereens before our very eyes, thanks to a railroad tycoon. The major performers all come on to get their spotlight in the final episode, including ma and pa Ingalls actors Landon and Grassle. Like most of “Little House…,” the TV movies are very dramatic and often very emotional farewells for a very important and iconic TV series. It’s essential Television.