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The Railway Children
updated 11.11.2001

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I heartily agree with Mr. Dickerson's comment that Russell Baker's remarks at the close of The Railway Children were entirely inappropriate. Alistair Cooke's commentaries were always a delight by themselves and well matched to the tone of each production; he actually seemed to treat the programs he was introducing with the respect that "masterpieces" deserve. Mr. Baker, in contrast, seems to regard Masterpiece Theatre as little more than a soapbox from which to make pedantic and condescending social commentary.

Robert March
Palo Alto, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I watched The Railway Children with my grandchildren, just the three of us. I was quite prepared for the reaction of my grandson, age 7, who loves trains and train stories. I was pleasantly surprised that my granddaughter, age 5, enjoyed it every bit as much. I will savor all my days the delight I experienced in watching this story unfold in their eyes. Thank you, Masterpiece Theatre, for this special moment and indelible memory.

Lewis Sutton
Cullowhee, NC

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
The Railway Children: A great story, emotional feelings. Bravo to all who made the movie -- it was just stunning! Thank you.

Art Fiedler
Manchester, CT

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Masterpiece Theatre has offered nothing less than state-of-the-art theatrical presentation as far back as I can remember, when I saw Kenneth Ives and John Abinieri in Last of the Mohicans. The superlative cinematography, authenticity, and character portrayal was evident to me even as a child. I am very pleased to comment that the most excellent production of The Railway Children continues the fine tradition of Masterpiece Theatre quality to which I have been accustomed. It is absolutely enchanting. I was riveted, and found myself going between tears and laughter several times during the presentation. Casting was superb, even to the smallest shot of a smiling stoker passing by. Bravo to Ms. Agutter, Ms. Rooper, and Mr. Fisher especially. Clare Thomas was an absolute delight, and Jack Blumenau was perfect as Peter. I had not thought it possible, but Mr. Attenborough has wrought again from this viewer the deepest appreciation for his artistry.

Dr Robert Johnson
Vallejo, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I dearly wish that Mr. Russell Baker would choose his closing remarks to better fit the mood of the production that has just been shown. We loved The Railway Children. It reminded me of my childhood in England in simpler and more innocent times. Somewhat teary-eyed and happy, we watched the film close with the family together again -- then were jerked out of our reverie by Mr. Baker's remarks on evil railway tycoons and the goings-on with the author and her family. There is a time and place for that discussion, and it is not at the close of such a delightful production.

Maurice W. Dickerson
Irvington, VA

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