The Awakening Land
Adapted by James Lee Barrett and Liam O'Brien from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel trilogy by Conrad Richter, The Awakening Land is the story of 27 years (1790 through 1817) in the life of frontierswoman Sayward Luckett Wheeler, played by Elizabeth Montgomery. Amidst the expected hardships and setbacks, emphasis is placed upon the loves in Sayward's life: love of her family, the poverty-stricken Pennsylvania Lucketts; love of her husband, a poetic Massachussetts lawyer known as "The Solitary" (Hal Holbrook); and love and of her land in the Ohio territory. Actress/choreographer Marge Champion, the ex-wife of Awakening Land director Boris Sagal, added immeasurably to the versimilitude of the drama by instructing the actors in the proper speech patterns and body language of the region in which the story takes place. Emmy Award nominations went to actors Montgomery, Holbrook and Jeanette Nolan. This 7-hour miniseries was originally telecast in three parts, on February 19, 20 and 21, 1978.