delightful but a bit shy of original series Nov 6, 2008
This lovely conluding episode, in the trilogy made as a sequel to the original "Christy " TV series, stays true to the book's general content and spirit, and would be a very worthwhile addition to any family library.
Loyal "Christy" fans, however, will be challenged to enjoy it on the same level as the TV series. I've always felt sorry that the sequel's impact was lessened, when producers did not ensure they could use the original main cast for these sequels, before going ahead....... especially to re-capture the bond which viewers build with the "real" Christy as created by Kellie Martin's passionate personality. Her replacement appears close, but the sometimes flat portrayal is uncompelling, sweet and self-conscious as she may be....... that, along with a weak dialogue in places, reduces the relationship chemistry so vivid in the TV series, and in the book. Unless you're a new viewer, the contrast is hard to get past in all 3 sequels, I feel.
Only the fiery Stewart Finlay-McLennan, returning as Doc MacNeil, carries the believability thread for me. That thread is thin elsewhere, though....... there's a huge hole left by the absence of Tyne Daly's complex and riveting portrayal of the emotional, complex, dark-haired "Miss Alice". Diane Ladd's attempt is warm but unemotional and therefore not always convincing, and I found her dye-blonde hair increased the contrast to the point of distraction. The same can be said about replacing Tess Harper's unique portrayal of the original "Fairlight".....I thought the substitution (again, no attempt to match appearance) detracted from the powerful storylines in sequel 1 & 2. The replacement David, Ruby May, etc, are fine seen by new viewers, but will seem shallow to series devotees looking to recognize the multi-layered original characters.
Nonetheless, all 3 of the sequel episodes are beautifully done, and can stand on their own merit as an INSPIRING & CLEAN 3-part family movie, in an entertainment world where scruples and serious depth are almost unheard-of........ HIGHLY recommended. .