The Waltons episode "The Pledge" is both a tragedy and triumph for Mary Ellen. "Sweet Billy" is a young man who lives on the mountain with his sister (who is played by Will Geer's daughter, Ellen Geer) working hard to give them a good life. His health starts to wane and eventually he collapses in front of Mary Ellen. She finds herself unable to help him, and he passes away.
This makes Mary Ellen determined to go to medical school and become a doctor. When a misogynistic dean won't allow her in because she's a woman, she takes a stand and pushes back until she gets into the program.
But let's look at the young man who kicks off this whole chain of events. Sweet Billy is played by Richard Lineback, known for his roles in Twister, The Ring, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, and even scheming businessman Wally Butler in The Andy Griffith Show reunion movie, Return to Mayberry.
However, he would also end up in the final frontier not once, but three times… in three entirely different Star Trek series.
His first appearance was on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He played Ornaran Romas in the season-one episode "Symbiosis," about a race that was addicted to a drug that reportedly staved off a plague.
Five years later, he turned up on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a Trill in another first-season episode, "Dax."
His final Trek appearance was in 2003 in Star Trek: Enterprise, this time in the third season, playing Kessick in "The Xindi."
But before he ever went to space, one of his first roles was on Walton's Mountain.
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