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 The fate of Albert Ingalls

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AI
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PostSubject: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:44 am

Hi all LHOTP fans.

I’m new to this Forum and I’de like to start with saying that I’m not an longtime fan nor expert of the Little house on the prairie show.
Most of you on this forum probably knows a lot more about it than I do.
I’m also about to place one of the questions that you probably think has been debated more than enough for many years.
That is, did Albert Ingalls really die from his illness after the post-series movie “Look back to Yesterday”?
But I also have the intention to try and answer that question myself as accurate as I possibly can.
I bought the complete series on DVD a few month ago and soon I become very fascinated about Alberts destiny. And since then I’ve tried to make a complete research, as far as it is possible for me, about what could have happened to him after his last movie. As I worked on it I found more and more clues and it became a fun game for me to search for more.
And now I feel that my work is completed and I’d like to share it with you.  
I don’t expect that everybody on this forum wants to read my entire, very long, text but maybe some of you Albert Ingalls fans will find it interesting to read about my thoughts and theories.
Before I start I also have to say that I’m from Sweden and English is not my native language. Some of the words that I’ve used may not have been totally accurate but I still hope that you can understand most of it.  

I did watch the show during the 80th but it was not until I bought the DVDs that I really started to enjoy it. And I was very charmed about the character Albert Ingalls. What a wonderful boy Albert was and what a talented actor Matthew Laborteaux is. And what a heartbreaking ending they gave to his character!  
Why on earth did they do that? Well, I got to the conclusion that the only way to get a fairly accurate answer to that would be to try and look at it from two different views.
1, Try to get some logic into what we can see and hear on the screen and,
2, Try to guess what was happening at the time behind the scene and most of all try to understand what could have been on the mind of the shows most important person, Michael Landon. It’s my opinion that Michael Landon was in fact the person who took the decisions about Alberts destiny. The LHOTP series was his creation. It was he who introduced Albert to the cast. He obviously loved the character Albert as well as the actor Matthew and whatever Michael considered happened to Albert after the post-series movies ought to be what also happened. By trying to analyze different episodes of the show and also some interviews that are available I have tried, by adding some logical thinking, to make my own guess about if it was intended that Albert Ingalls should die from his blood disease as a teenager or not. This is, of course, only my personal theories, no actual facts, but I think that I may have come the correct answer pretty close.

As you all probably know Albert Ingalls was a fictitious person created by Michael for the TV show. He didn’t exist in the real life of the Ingalls family. Therefor, there’s obviously no historical facts to be found about him. His life and destiny was all in the hands of the writers, TV-company NBC and most of all Michael Landon. Michael know about Matthew Laborteaux very well from his previous work in the show and now Michael wanted to have him on a permanent role as the Ingalls adoptive son. I’ve found several interviews were Michael and other actors from the show affirms that Michael was very impressed about Matthew acting ability. But also that he had a personal very tender relation to Matthew. To me that made it very hard in the beginning to understand why Michael suddenly would like to remove Albert from the cast.    

There is an evident scene in the series where you can get a feeling for what Albert meant for Michael Landon. That is the last spoken words at the end of the episode “Home again” from season 9. That manuscript was written by Michael himself and the complete words that Laura reads out is ”Years later Albert Ingalls returned to Walnut grove and we were all so proud to have doctor Albert Ingalls home again”. This was in the last episode that Albert participated in of the actual series before the post-series movies and those words tells me that Michael, at the time when he wrote them and filmed them, had plans to keep Albert in a major role on the show, even if Michael himself didn’t want to act in the show no more. If he would have had plans for Albert to die those words would have made no sense at all! But after that season was filmed something must have happened that made Michael change his plans radical. And this must have been the decision from NBC to cancel the show due to low ratings. That, I think, forced Michael, probably against his own will, to change his plans for the whole show. I can’t imagine that he would have forgotten about the words he had written for the ending of “Home again” less than a year after it was done when they worked on the film “Look back to yesterday” and I believe that he wanted to follow those words as good as possible. My feeling is that Michael didn’t want the LHOTP show to be cancelled for good so he decided to try and create a few really heartbreaking scenes in the last movies with the intention to wake up the audience and make them demand for answers to the questions that was never answered in the films. Maybe Michael was hoping that this in the end should make NBC to change their decision and go for a restart of the show after a few years. One idea seems to have been to let a person get the information that he or she probably would die soon, in this case in a serious illness, but never let the audience get any real answers about if the person really did die or not, unless the show was restarted. This is a trick that have been used in other TV-shows before and after in order to create interest. If this was to be successful it would have been crucial that the person who got ill was a person that the audience cared a lot for and would be asking for answers about. It would probably have to be a person from the Ingalls family that had been in the show for many years but as the members of the family was created from real life historical persons it wouldn’t have been trustworthy if one of them was facing death. Anyone could have just picked up the name in a history book and found out that the person lived on. To kill such a person would have been a violation on real life Laura Ingalls Wilders stories about her family.
With one exception. The fictitious person Albert. He would have been ideal for that purpose.

I’ve seen a quite new interview with Matthew on Youtube, probably from around 2011-2012. In that interview Matthew says that in his opinion there was no evidence in the film “Look back to yesterday” that Albert died and that it is ”left up in the air to debate”  but that there was ”an unspoken thing” amongst the actors that Albert really was supposed to die. I’m not going to put too much into those words as I don’t believe that Matthew has all the answers to this question. At the time he was only 16 years old (just became 17 a few days before the film was first aired) and I don’t think that he got all information about how Michael and the other writers had been thinking about the illness and about a possible restart of the show when the manuscript was written. Matthew only did a guest appearance at the time as Albert and had already been started working on a new role in another TV-show. But Matthews words in the interview are still interesting because they tell me that there doesn’t seems to have been any open discussion about Alberts destiny and there were probably not many persons outside the most inner circle that actually knew the real meaning and purpose with the story. I don’t think that Michael had the heart to kill Albert and I don’t think that it was his purpose with the story but exactly what he was thinking is something that probably no one, not even Matthew really know about. It would probably not have made any meaning to debate it with the actors as long as NBC wasn’t interested so I guess that he realized that he had to wait a few years and hope for the best. I believe that Michael tried to build expectations for a comeback of the show but at the same time wanted to have full control to secure that no one else should come in and write something that NBC would pick up and, in Michaels opinion, destroy the original feeling of the show. That would have been the reason that he also decided to destroy the little town Walnut grove. The only buildings that he didn’t destroy was “The little house” and the church/school. Probably because those two buildings would have given the old fans enough of nostalgia in a restart and because he didn’t want to blow up a church anyway.                            

If I am correct about this then I think that Michael was doing the right thing at the time when he tried to build for a comeback. But things that he couldn’t control in in his life later on made it impossible to fulfil his plans and with all facts on hands today I think that it would have been better if they never had produced any of the three post-series movies.  

A very important and central matter in all this is of course the illness that Albert got and that we never can disregard in any way.
So let us take a closer look at it.
When I first read about that Albert had got a diagnosis of a potentially fatal blood disease it was almost always described as an incurable form of Leukemia that eventually would lead to his death. And still almost every text you can find still seems to name it Leukemia. Because of this it was with a great deal of dread and anxiety that I sat down for the first time to watch Alberts last episode, the film “Look back to yesterday”. But what hit me was that the word Leukemia as a matter of fact never was used in that film nor in any other of the post-series movies! The words that the doctor in Mankato uses are ”a blood disorder” that he wasn’t able to cure and that should get worse. A professional doctor who knows the name of a disease would have given the name to a boys father even if it was Leukemia, but he didn’t! But Leukemia has been described earlier in this show to another person named Dylan in the episode “The Odyssey” from season 5 and it is quite interesting to compare Dylans case to Alberts. In Dylans case dr Baker lined up many symptoms as nose bleeding, weakness, pain in his knees, pain in his throat, fever and reoccurring cold. And then ha gave Dylans mother the information that it was Leukemia right after the examination. Throughout the episode Dylan got steady worse and was very weak when they reached the ocean. In Alberts case dr Baker didn’t give any diagnosis and no name for the condition and the only symptoms that we got to see was nose bleeding and weakness. And apparently he was in pretty much the same condition when he climbed up the hill as he was when he first arrived to Walnut grove in the wagon. A lot of people seems to make a big deal of Alberts illness when they try to guess if he did die or not because Leukemia, which is a kind of cancer, still today is hard to cure and in the 1880th almost certain meant that the person would die. And I understand that! But then you also put a valuation from our century into an examination and diagnosis that is supposed to have been made in the 1880th. At that time the medical knowledge was not even close to what we have today and a lot of the diseases that we know about today was not even defined and named yet. Leukemia is still today a gathering name to a family of many different diseases that still often are hard to diagnose and must have been almost impossible for a doctor in around 1887 to give a 100% reliable diagnosis on. And to that there are a lot of other blood diseases that has similar symptoms as Leukemia but is not caused by any form of cancer and doesn’t have to be lethal. To test this I simply typed blood disorder on Google and came up with a lot of different diseases. For example Von Willebrands disease that was first described in 1926 and Morbus Osler or Osler’s disease which seems to be a blood disorder with nose bleeding that causes weakness and fatigue because of lack of iron in the blood. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I am some kind of doctor myself. I have no knowledge in that area. The only thing that I want to point out is that it would have been quite easy for the scriptwriters, with a little help from people with medical knowledge, to find a suitable illness that a doctor in the 1880th could have confused with Leukemia and given an incorrect diagnosis on saying it was lethal when it wasn’t. And I think that there are a lot in this case that indicates that this in fact is what they did when they gave us so little information about the illness that we can’t put a name on it. I do believe that it was well considered and planned. It would have been quite easy to explain the survival of Albert if the show would have been restarted again.                                                    

It has been pointed out that Caroline and Charles, and even Laura, sometimes seems to be acting oddly and illogical in the last two post-series movies "Bless all dear children” and “The Last farewell” when it comes to Albert. It seems that they have totally forgotten about him as we never hear them talk about him or even say his name. This has been described as if Michael Landon handled the Albert case carelessly and disrespectful.
It has also been pointed out that the prediction in the episode “Home again” that Albert should return as the doctor doesn’t seems to be true as he’s not in Walnut grove when the town is destroyed in 1901 in the film “The Last farewell”. If he did survive, and had moved back, and cared so much for the city he would have been there at that crucial moment.
I can’t imagine that this was caused by lack of respect for Albert so it must have had to do with something else that happened or was planned behind the scene. From a storytelling point of view it seems totally unthinkable to me that the family should have turned their back on Albert. Albert was always without doubt a very loved person during his years with the family and a threatening illness would only have bound the members of the family closer together. To think that they would no longer miss him or that they had agreed not to speak about him sounds totally absurd to me. There must be an explanation to their behavior and I have a theory about it that could explain it but before I can give it to you I’ll have to sort out a few confusions about some years and ages in the post-series movies.

One thing that I felt confused about early on was some of the years that was mentioned in the series compared to the ages of the characters on the screen.
Everything actually fits quite well in the original 9 seasons but it becomes strange in the post-series movies. I’m sure that you on this forum has a good overview about birth years for most characters but I had to look for information in the episodes and try to calculate the correct years. And it soon was clear to me that the most weird information was given in the start of the movie ”Bless all dear children” were it states that it’s supposed to take place in the year of 1896. And that doesn’t seems to make any sense at all to me if I compare the year with what the people in Walnut grove looked like. They doesn’t seems to have been any older than they were in the previous movie “Look back to yesterday” and that would not be logical at all because there should have gone a lot of years between the stories in those two movies. But I’ll come back to that soon. I have also read that the last film “The last farewell” is supposed to take place in the year of 1901. However, I have not been able to find or hear that year mentioned in the movie anywhere and that is very interesting to me! But it’s clear that it’s supposed to take place after ”Bless all dear children” because in ”Bless all dear children” all buildings in Walnut grove still stands. So maybe someone just thought it would be logical with the year of 1901 for “The last farewell”? But I don’t!

Before I continue this I will try to find the birth year for three key persons.

If we start with Albert we know from Lauras last words in the episode “The Winoka warriors” from session 5 that it took place in November 1880.
We also know that Albert himself says that he is 10 years old in the episode “Blind journey” from season 5 while he is smoking Charles pipe.
We know from the episode “May we make them proud” in season 6 that Alberts biological father has signed the paper that was given to him in the episode “The family tree” from season 6 with the date 27/5 1881 and we also learns in the episode “The family tree” that Albert was soon to become 11 years old. If we move a bit ahead in the series we can hear Charles say to mr Gambini in the episode “Gambini the great” from the first half of season 8 that Albert is 14 years old at the time.  
All this makes me almost sure that Albert is most likely born late in the year 1870 (or maybe early 1871).  

If we then talk about Grace we know that she was born in the episode “A most precious gift” late in season 4 and that would be in 1879 or early 1880 if the Winoka years in season 5 was late 1880.

If we continue with Lauras daughter Rose we know that in the TV-series she is born in the episode “Days of sunshine, days of shadow” late in season 8. Between the two episodes “Gambini the great” and ”Days of sunshine, days of shadow” in season 8 there was an episode where the family celebrated Christmas so those two episodes should have been in in two different years.
If Albert was born late at the end of 1870 he ought to have been 15 years old when Rose was born and we should have come to the year of 1886.

When Albert was in his only episode of season 9 “Home again” Rose looks to be about one or maybe two years old and Laura says in the first episode of season 9 “Times are changing” that it is spring in the year of 1887 which should make Albert 16 years in that episode and in “Home again”.
When Albert returns again in “Look back to yesterday” Rose looks to be about the same age as in “Home again” or maybe a little older.
And in “Look back to yesterday” Albert gets the information that he has received a 4 years scholarship for the university of Minnesota which makes sense if he is about 17 years at the time.
All this makes sense to me and “Look back to yesterday” should take place in second half of 1887 or early 1888.    

What makes everything confusing is when it comes to the year for the post-series movie “Bless all dear children”. In the beginning of that movie it is stated that it is the year of 1896. That would make Rose 10 years old but that is impossible from the way she looks like in the movie. And even the other children in town looks way to young. For example Jason who should have been at least 8 years older and now about 18 to 19 years or something like that. But he looks to be about 11 years old.
If we then takes the last movie “The Last farewell” and believe that the story takes place in 1901 it would make Rose about 15 years old and that is simply not possible! Somewhere along the last movies someone must have got it terrible wrong when it comes to the years. Or otherwise, for the first time in the whole 10 years story of Little house on the prairie, they did not care anymore if the actors looks to be in the same age as the characters they play.  
As I said earlier I can’t find any references to any year in the last movie “The Last farewell” but the real blooper seems to be the year of 1896 in “Bless all dear children”. If we move that year back to about 1888-1889 then suddenly everything seems to fit with all episodes, movies and ages!                

But that would indicate that we also should move the year for “The Last farewell” to about 1889-1891. Could that be correct?
Well there are at least three clues in the movie that indicates that it would.
1. Early in the movie Charles has got permission for a vacation from his job but he says that they can’t go away because the children has to go to school. We know that their youngest daughter Grace was born in 1879 or early 1880. If “The Last farewell” would have been taken place in the year of 1901 that would have made Grace a women of 22 to 23 years old. Not a schoolgirl and absolutely capable of taking care of herself! But if we place the film in about 1890 she would have been 10 or 11 and it all would make sense.  
2. When Charles and Caroline takes a wagon to Walnut grove Charles talks to a man in the wagon and says that “my wife hasn’t been back for about 3 years”. Well we know that Charles moved their last belongings from the “Little house” in the episode “Times are changing” in season 9 and in that episode Laura says that it is in the spring of 1887. 3 years later would be the year of 1890!  
3. When Charles and Caroline arrives to the Wilders big house we learn that Caroline sees it for the first time. That house was given to the Wilders in the episode “May I have this dance?” from season 9 and that would be middle or late 1887. That means that Caroline didn’t visit Walnut grove between “May I have this dance?” in 1887 and “The Last farewell”.  
Because of this I consider the correct year for the film “The Last farewell” to be 1890 and as I already have said I can’t find the year of 1901 mentioned anywhere so it would not have to be a big deal to buy that!  

Now. If Albert was dead when the story in “The Last farewell” is supposed to take place, then I totally agree that it is strange that no one mentions his name.
But if we imagine that Albert did survive and used his scholarship for 4 years of medical studies at the university of Minnesota starting at the age of 18 years old in the year of 1888 or 1889 it would mean that he was in school in Minnesota when the city of Walnut grove was destroyed!
That would explain why he wasn’t in Walnut grove and it would explain why his family didn’t have to talk about him if they know that he was feeling alright and doing his studies. The university was in Minnesota and the family lived in Burr Oak Iowa so it would be logical to assume that he had moved away from home during his years at the university.
However, it would also raise questions about him returning to Walnut grove as the doctor if there we’re no town to return too.
But if we look at the end of the movie “The Last farewell” we know that the other towns in the area around Walnut grove threatened mr Lassiter to blow up their houses too if he tried to take over their land. Now, if we uses a good portion of imagination here’s were Michael could have picked up the story with mr Lassiter realize that he couldn’t do this to all those towns and would eventually leave and let the citizens of Walnut grove return and start rebuilding their beloved Walnut grove. There’s obviously no such scene in the film but maybe Michael wanted to give us a little hint of what he had in mind. Take a listen to the words he wrote for rev Alden to say in church about what faith and love can do, “I believe that with God on our side we will survive and we’ll prosper”.  And if it took a year or two to rebuild it that would have fitted perfectly with the year that Albert got his diploma around 1892-1893 and could return to Walnut grove as the doctor and make them all so proud.        

So, is it possible to make any conclusions from all this that I have written and maybe try to answer to the question if Albert died from his disease?

If I’ll try to understand what we can see on the screen it would be obvious to me that we never saw Albert die in the movie “Look back to yesterday”. And because of the fact that the producers and writers left the door open for anyone to make their own interpretation about what happened it’s my conclusion that he was supposed to survive and perhaps have had to learn to live with his illness but didn’t die from it.
If you like the idea that all seasons and all episodes would fit together and make the most sense possible it’s my opinion that the only answer would be that he did survive and that is the only explanation that would correspond to Lauras words at the end of “Home again” that stated that ”Years later Albert Ingalls returned to Walnut grove and we were all so proud to have doctor Albert Ingalls home again”. Those words were spoken by the most important character in the show, Laura, and was written by the most important and influential person in the show, Michael Landon. You couldn’t ask for a more clear answer to the question if you ask me. This would mean that he did become a doctor and that the diagnosis of a mortal disease was proven to be wrong. The only correction that you would have to make, as I can see it today, is that you’ll have to accept that the few words in the beginning of “Bless all dear children” saying that it’s the year of 1896 can’t be correct and does not make any sense at all. It’s a year that don’t fit in with the ages and timelines of any of the other episodes during LHOTP 10 years of history.  
If you don’t think that it’s important to try and make it all makes sense together then you still can believe that Albert died from his illness. But no one can, as I see it, claim that there are any proofs that he did die from the illness or that he couldn’t have survived. I would like very much to carry the thought that Albert eventually became the doctor of Walnut grove and raised a family of his own.
I think that he deserved that!                            

If I’ll try to understand what was going on behind the scene than I don’t believe that it was Michael Landons intention to keep the question about Albert destiny an unsolved question for all time. And I do not believe that he had the heart to kill his beloved little creation Albert. I am convinced that they carefully had picked a disease that they know the name for but we don’t and that it was a disease that was not deadly. I believe that they hoped for a comeback with the show with Albert as a leading character as the doctor if only Matthew was available. We will never get an answer to what Michael really was thinking about the future for the show. A lot would have had to do with what actors he could talk into the show again if he got the chance. About Michaels own part in a restart I have no clue but perhaps he could see himself and Victor French as the producers with occasionally guest appearances.
But I believe that a continued lack of interest from NBC in combination with obligations for key persons in other shows made it too hard to come back.
And when Victor French got cancer and died in 1989 it may have made Michael finally stop believing in it.
And when Michael got cancer and died in 1991 all plans for a restart and all answers to the questions that was left unanswered died with him.
I doubt that there is another person around that has the accurate answers.                      

If Michael would have wanted Albert to die then he could have done it in a decent way with some memorable words from Laura at the end of the film.
But he didn’t.
I believe that Michael Landon never let Albert die in his heart and mind and if that is correct Albert lived on with Michael and then he lives on with me too.

In theory it would still be possible for a restart around 1920th with Albert as a 45-50 years old doctor with family in Walnut grove.  
But I doubt that it will happen.

Thanks for taking time and read my thoughts about the fate of Albert Ingalls.
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Davetucson
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:29 pm

I have read your opinions with great interest. And I can tell you without any reservations that this subject has been approached many times on this forum. I really respect all the research you have done regarding Albert and all that happened throughout the series including the three movies.

The subject you have broached regarding Albert living on is pretty close to my heart. I've been working on a novel for about a year now that deals with that very subject. Not only his later years, but the years before he and Laura met each in Winoka.

I find it interesting that you are of the opinion that Michael really didn't want Albert to die when he wrote Look Back. It is credible in many ways, especially given the emotional bond that he had with Matt that Karen Grassle has referred to in several interviews. I had never really thought about that aspect.

Much has been made of the voiceover done by Melissa in Home Again regarding Albert's return to Walnut Grove as a doctor. Personally, I do not think it is relevant. Michael did not have a crystal ball. Could he have known that a cancellation was coming? Maybe, maybe not. Did he know that he would make three post series movies at the time? I doubt it. But as you say, we will never know.

I think you have a lot to contribute here. With that said, I would like to ask you a favor. I would like you to read a certain thread. “Happy Anniversary Little House” under the LHOTP Series & Cast Members section. In it, you will see what Little House means to a lot of us, including myself.

In that spirit, I would respectfully ask that you change your screen name. Matt means a lot to me, and to see that word above his name is very offensive to me. Whether you do or not, is up to you, but out of respect to him, I certainly wish you would. I think that wish would be shared by a lot of us.

Welcome to the forum, and do share your insights with us. They are intelligently done!


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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AI
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:46 pm

Davetucson wrote:
I would respectfully ask that you change your screen name. Matt means a lot to me, and to see that word above his name is very offensive to me. Whether you do or not, is up to you, but out of respect to him, I certainly wish you would. I think that wish would be shared by a lot of us.

Hi Davetucson.

Many thanks for your replies!
I hope that you understand that my username "I'm a Basterd" wasn't meant to be disrespectful i any meaning!
It refers to the scene in "As long as we're togerther" were Charles has chased Albert for stealing a lamp and talks to him under the porch.
Albert says "I'm a bastard" and Charles replies "now what kind of talk is that?".
It's one of my absolutely favourite scenes with Albert and Charles together and it goes together with my avatar.

But if you still is offended by it please let me know and I'll try to change it.
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Krissy
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:50 pm

I always got the feeling albert died. Least that is always what I thought.


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Davetucson
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:58 pm

I'm a Bastard wrote:
Davetucson wrote:
I would respectfully ask that you change your screen name. Matt means a lot to me, and to see that word above his name is very offensive to me. Whether you do or not, is up to you, but out of respect to him, I certainly wish you would. I think that wish would be shared by a lot of us.

Hi Davetucson.

Many thanks for your replies!
I hope that you understand that my username "I'm a Basterd" wasn't meant to be disrespectful i any meaning!
It refers to the scene in "As long as we're togerther" were Charles has chased Albert for stealing a lamp and talks to him under the porch.
Albert says "I'm a bastard" and Charles replies "now what kind of talk is that?".
It's one of my absolutely favourite scenes with Albert and Charles together and it goes together with my avatar.

But if you still is offended by it please let me know and I'll try to change it.

I fully understand that and can understand your reasoning. It too ranks up there with one of my favorites. But you will make a lot of people happy if you could find it in your heart to change it.


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:22 pm

I agree with Dave. I understand where you got the name, but I would greatly appreciate it if you would choose a different name.

And welcome to the board!
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LIWnut
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:24 pm

First of all, welcome to the forum. Its always nice to have new members. We are a fun bunch of fans that truly love Laura, the show and the actors who played the characters so well.

Secondly, I am afraid that many of our members will be offended at your name. Even Charles himself in the show didn't like that name for Albert.


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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:40 pm

Welcome to the forum and although Albert did call himself by your 'username' I agree with the others that it would be more appropriate if it was changed to something else. We have many younger members here, and I am sure they have heard the expression before, but this forum has excellent moderators that have done a great job trying to keep it a family friendly forum. Again welcome!  Thumbsup 



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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:54 pm

Hi again.
I will of course change it but I can't figure out how to do it.
Anyone who can help?
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:47 pm

Davetucson wrote:

Much has been made of the voiceover done by Melissa in Home Again regarding Albert's return to Walnut Grove as a doctor. Personally, I do not think it is relevant. Michael did not have a crystal ball. Could he have known that a cancellation was coming? Maybe, maybe not. Did he know that he would make three post series movies at the time? I doubt it. But as you say, we will never know.


I do understand that a lot of people have refered to those words as a proof for Alberts survival and that would be to make it a little bit too easy.
But to me they are interesting in different ways and I do think they are relevant.

They tell me that when Michael wrote this script there were no plans to let Albert die.
If it was planned for him to die sometimes in the near future of the show Michael would have known about it.
And in that case those words would be totally wrong and it would have been better not to use them.
When I look at most of the episodes that Michael wrote I always gets the feeling that he wanted the story and information to fit with earlier and future episodes.

So I think that the whole idea with Alberts illness must have come up after that script was done.
And then I wonder why it did but most of all I’m interested in what the plans and purposes with the pro-films was.
Now, if Michael wanted Albert to die then it would have been better to make sure that it was no doubt about it because I don’t believe that there were plans for yet another pro-film.
If he didn't do that in "Look back to yesterday" he still had two more films to correct it and make sure that there were no question about it.
The way it was done seems to have no meaning and doesn’t fulfil any purpose.

Unless there were plans or at least hopes for a comeback of the show.
And that would tell us a little bit about what Michael thought about the decision to cancel the show.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:54 pm

I'm a Bastard wrote:
Hi again.
I will of course change it but I can't figure out how to do it.
Anyone who can help?

Probably contact an administrator and they can help...............


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:33 pm

Welcome to the board, and thank you for deciding to change the name. Like Dave said, I'm sure an administrator can help you.  Smile 
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:20 am

I have now got help to change my username into a more anonymous name.
Thanks for the help!

I think that it’s unfortunate that the focus in this thread come to be on my username and not on my post but at the same time a little interesting too. I learned a bit from it.
I guess that I didn’t realize how emotional this is to a lot of people and I should quote Charles with the words “it’s my fault for not thinking, it is my fault”.
But, as I already have declared, it was never my intention to offend anyone.
However, the username was never that important to me, my interest lies in the stories of LHOTP, and I hope that you will allow me to go on from here.

Before I’ll do that I want to ask you a few questions.
I wanted to discuss this issue with someone and I figured that the best place to do that would be on a forum for LHOTP fans. I do understand that you have had this debate many times before and the fact that I didn’t get that many responds to my actual post tells me that perhaps you don’t find any interest in discuss this matter any further or you were that offended by my choice of username that you don’t want to discuss anything with me.

So that’s my first question. Don’t you want this question to be debated again and should I maybe search for my answers on other places?

But if someone would like to debate it my other question would be, is there anything in my thoughts and conclusions that you might find as new clues or maybe a new way of looking at it?

And the last, and for me most important question of them all, is there anything that I have missed or obviously got the wrong ideas about?

I have no illusions of finding a final answer to this question! It would be absurd to think that someone could sit down 30 years after the show was closed, with a bunch of DVDs, and solve a question that have been debated since 1984.
But it would ease my mind if I could come as close as possible.
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PostSubject: Alberts Age   Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:28 am

OK Peter, here's my take on how old Albert was. Matt was 12 going on thirteen when "Family Tree" was shot. We know for sure that when Jeremy Quinn changed his mind and signed him over to Charles that it was in May of 1881. I think we have to assume that Albert was born in late 1869 or early 1870. Family Tree was filmed in late 1979, and aired in October of that year.

Albert was about to enter college in Look Back which was filmed in late 1983.........Matt himself was just about to turn 17. Exactly 4 years after "Family Tree", making the story year late 1885. Albert was sixteen or seventeen years old when he got sick. Keep in mind, that he was always bright in school, so that time line is about right to me.





"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."


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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:38 am

Maybe you can try emailing Kent McCray (if you can find him). Maybe HE can answer that question.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:41 am

Here are two threads in the forum with people discussing the, "Did Albert die or not?" question.  You can read through and see different takes and opinions from people here.  Some people are no longer posting regularly, but they had some good points.  Thumbsup 

ALBERT INGALLS

Look Back to Yesterday



CANCER FREE!!!  April 9, 1998-April 9, 2016-I AM A SURVIVOR!!!
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:26 am

AI wrote:
I think that it’s unfortunate that the focus in this thread come to be on my username and not on my post but at the same time a little interesting too. I learned a bit from it.
I guess that I didn’t realize how emotional this is to a lot of people and I should quote Charles with the words “it’s my fault for not thinking, it is my fault”.
But, as I already have declared, it was never my intention to offend anyone.

Just so that there's no further misunderstanding, it's not an emotional issue, it's the fact that the word 'bastard' is basically equivalent to a swear word in our culture, so naturally it was disturbing to us as no one wants to see that consistently as your posts pop up. No offense is taken, now that we are all aware that this was a simple cultural divide.  Thank you for changing it. Smile 



AI wrote:
However, the username was never that important to me, my interest lies in the stories of LHOTP, and I hope that you will allow me to go on from here.

Before I’ll do that I want to ask you a few questions.
I wanted to discuss this issue with someone and I figured that the best place to do that would be on a forum for LHOTP fans. I do understand that you have had this debate many times before and the fact that I didn’t get that many responds to my actual post tells me that perhaps you don’t find any interest in discuss this matter any further or you were that offended by my choice of username that you don’t want to discuss anything with me.


You'll find that we are a very friendly and forgiving group and you would never be 'judged' for something you didn't even understand. No worries! Smile  We all know it was not your intention to offend, so please don't think another thing of it! Thumbsup 

AI wrote:
So that’s my first question. Don’t you want this question to be debated again and should I maybe search for my answers on other places?

I for one haven't had time to respond yet...sometimes it takes awhile to get posts responded to in depth or debated.  And also, as Rhonda has mentioned, this is an older forum so sometimes different subjects have been discussed before, even several times.  I'm still willing to discuss (and also an Albert fan), and certainly, Peter, feel free to pose questions. Thumbsup   It just may take time and patience to get the answers you are seeking.  The search engine doesn't always work that well, but it's wise to check there first and then revive the thread you might find if you'd like to discuss further. Smile


“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

~Mother Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:51 pm

Davetucson wrote:
OK Peter, here's my take on how old Albert was. Matt was 12 going on thirteen when "Family Tree" was shot. We know for sure that when Jeremy Quinn changed his mind and signed him over to Charles that it was in May of 1881. I think we have to assume that Albert was born in late 1869 or early 1870. Family Tree was filmed in late 1979, and aired in October of that year.

Albert was about to enter college in Look Back which was filmed in late 1983.........Matt himself was just about to turn 17. Exactly 4 years after "Family Tree", making the story year late 1885. Albert was sixteen or seventeen years old when he got sick. Keep in mind, that he was always bright in school, so that time line is about right to me.  

Hi Dave.

Thanks for the input!

I have been thinking a lot about Alberts age and I wrote down some of the clues that I found in my first post but there are a few more that I didn’t thought that I needed to bring up.

Like when Leslie writes to Albert that she is 13 in “Dearest Albert, I’ll miss you” and then she tells her mother that Albert “is just my age”.
Now, this is a little problem for me as I don’t fully understand the meaning of “just” in that sentence. To me just is “the same as” but could it also mean “almost”?
And Charles says that Albert is 14 in “Sylvia” when he is upset about Albert wanting to marry her.

However, the most important clue of them all is given in the episode “The Family tree” when Jeremy Quinn says that Albert is soon to become 11. He, if anyone, should know when Albert was born and neither Charles or the judge corrects him. The judge should be a neutral person in this and I assume that he had said something if that information was wrong. This episode is supposed to have taken place in May 1881 according to the paper that Quinn signed and that is a very strong indication that Albert was born in 1870. 1869 wouldn’t be possible. Early 1871 could perhaps be the year if “soon to become” was more than seven months ahead but I doubt that.

I believe that the producers and writers made the mistake in Alberts first season (nr 5) to let Matt play a character that was at least one or maybe two years younger than the actor.
At that time I don’t think that it was a problem because Matt seems to have been a quite small child but later on it became a problem when Albert seems to have grown up a little bit faster than they expected. So later on they had to make a few skips in time.

For example he was 10 in “Blind journey” in season 5 and then about to become 11 in “The Family tree” in early season 6. So he should be 11 at the end of season 6 but to me he looks and sounds older in the last episode “He loves me, he loves me not” when they celebrates Nellies and Percivals marriage. And I guess that the “problem” started about that time.
In season 7 he should have become 12 but he looks older than 12 to me and in “Dearest Albert, I’ll miss you” we gets an indication that he’s 13. Late in season 7 in the episode “Sylvia” we learn that he has become 14.
Early in season 8 we can hear Charles say that he is still 14 in the episode “Gambini the great” But in the middle of that season they celebrates Christmas in “A Christmas they never forgot” so at the end of that season we can assume that he is at least 15.
And I guess that they now had let Albert become about the same age as Matthew as those episodes should have been filmed in the year of 1981 and the last ones was aired in 1982.

This however made some of the younger characters, like Rose, to look a little bit too young.

Now, why on earth do I think that this is interesting?
Well, I don’t find Alberts birth year that important. The important part for me is that it seems to fit and make sense and it seems that the writers really wanted the story, ages and years to fit together. There’s a lot of TV-shows around that never paid this kind of details any attention but LTHTP doesn’t seems to be one of those. They (read Michael) wanted it to be as correct as possible.
And that for me is crucial because if it wasn’t that way it would be totally pointless to try and find any logic or sense in the storylines and in the writers decisions through the 9 seasons and eventually in the post movies.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:20 pm

I agree with you. They were pretty close.......and pretty accurate age wise.

All of us have our disappointments in some areas. Of course, hindsight is wonderful. If I were writing Look Back today, I would have had Andy and Willie walking up that hill with him.

The implication of him having Leukemia, (Matt didn't even know what it was), really didn't make sense to me, simply because, (and I think you mentioned this), Doc Baker WAS able to diagnose that disease, as he did with Dylan in The Odyssey. On the other hand, he DID have the same symptoms as Dylan. (Bloody Nose, Weakness, etc.).

Simply stated, I wish that the whole thing had been clearly consummated one way or the other.

The whole issue of him passing away could have been settled in "The Last Farewell" as you stated earlier. Caroline could have simply said, "I'm glad Albert isn't alive to see this." And as you say, Michael could have well not wanted to do that.

But I can tell you this. Seeing him as a Doctor would have been nice.................


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:30 pm

I agree! It would have been wonderful to see Albert become a doctor. (Nice picture btw).  Thumbsup 

We never got to see that but at least we can hear Laura say that he did (in the ending of Home again) even if a lot of people don’t want to take those words too serious.
But to me it is clear that Michael wanted the same thing at the time when he wrote those words.
If he changed his mind about it less than a year later is something that we probably will never get an answer to.  

As you say Matt probably didn’t know what disease Albert was supposed to have. And he probably didn’t know why they had written that plot. But the symptoms were noose bleedings and weakness and really nothing else and that for sure didn’t have to be deadly!
It’s my opinion that we can’t read in too much in what Matt, or any other of the persons who was involved in it, says today as I don’t think that anyone had a clear picture of what was going on in Michaels mind after he got the information from NBC that the show was to be closed.  
I believe that Michael didn’t want the show to be cancelled. He probably realized that there wasn’t a big chance that he would get the opportunity to restart the show but he refused to give it up and therefore wanted an ending that didn’t close any doors for Charles and Albert to return together.

But Matthew, and a lot of the other involved persons that is still alive, have probably got the question about Alberts fate a million times by now and are presumably pretty tired of answering to it.
As the door was left open for both answers it could be the easiest way, in order to stop all questions, just to say that he thinks that Albert did die, even if he doesn’t know.
What difference would it make today 30 years after the last movie?
It could even be that Michael acted and talked in a way that made people believe that it was what he wanted because it didn’t make any sense to talk about a restart at the time.
But as I’ve said before, I don’t think that Michael had the heart to kill Albert and refused to do that.
I think that Albert lived on in Michaels mind and that he really wanted to bring him back if he got the chance to do it. And as Albert was Michaels creation it could only, as I see it, be Michael who decided about Alberts fate.
If Albert wasn’t dead to Michael then he really wasn’t dead at all.

I have, as you know by now, thought a lot about all this and tried to understand why they did those last 3 movies.
I like to believe that things around me are logical and have a meaning and purpose but when I really think about the post series movies it’s hard for me to understand why they did them.
It’s also clear to me that the answer that Albert did die creates more questions than the answer that he didn’t die.

For example, why did Michael want this ending for Albert? Michael introduced Albert in the set, obviously cared a lot for him and for Matt, put Albert into a lot of difficult situations but always let him come through in a good way and gave him a goal in becoming the doctor of Walnut grove.
And then, out of the blue, wanted him to suffer and die. Why? It makes no sense at all to me!

And why did they produce those 3 movies when the viewer ranking was low and the decision already was taken to shut down the show? Seems to be just a waste of money!
Why didn’t they just let the last episode of season 9 be the ending of the show? It was called “Hello and goodbye” so it could have made sense.

Was it because Michael wanted a special closing to the show and succeeded to talk NBC into 3 more films to fulfill his idea of the perfect ending? Then why was it his wish that Albert should die?
And if it was his wish, why didn’t he do it? That would be the biggest mystery of them all. Why leave the question open if he had made up his mind about it? That’s not an ending, is it?
It makes no sense and is not an answer to the question for me.

Was it because there was some sort of contract for more episodes that they had to complete? Sounds strange to me if it wasn’t for a full season.
And it would not explain why Michael wanted to end it with the death of Albert. He could have made the films about anything like a picnic trip to the sea or a Christmas holiday or whatever.
No, this answer wouldn’t explain anything to me either.

Was it because Michael wanted to make sure that no one could start the show up without his approval? Well, if he wanted that I honestly don’t think that the death of Albert should be the best way to secure it.
For a lot of fans Albert was one of the most important characters but a new producer could still, without any problems, start the show up again without him. And the fact that he never died would give them a lot of ways to bring him back if they wanted to.
If they could do that with Bobby Ewing in Dallas then they for sure could do it with Albert.

Was it because Michael didn’t want the show to end and wanted to make a couple of movies that could make the audience to gain in interest for the show and start asking for answers to the questions in a comeback?
Well, that’s the only reason that I can come up with that makes any kind of sense to me!  

One person that would have been interesting to hear an interview from is the writer of the manuscript for Look back to yesterday, Vince Gutierrez, as he must have got some instructions from Michael about what to write and what he should not write.
He might even have known why there should be so little information about the illness and why we never got to see Albert die.
But as I understand it Vince died in the year of 2010 and that means that we will probably never get any answers to those questions.
There are certainly still a lot of people around from the cast and from NBC that probably would claim that they have the answer but I only think that they know what Michael let them know.
I guess it would be logical to assume that Michael acted and talked as if the ending was reached for the show but what he really wanted to happen in the future with the show and with Albert could still have been something else.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:17 pm

Peter, do you happen to know how much Michael Landon made from those three movies?


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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:37 pm

Davetucson wrote:
Peter, do you happen to know how much Michael Landon made from those three movies?

No. Is there any official information about that?
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:38 pm

AI wrote:
Davetucson wrote:
Peter, do you happen to know how much Michael Landon made from those three movies?

No. Is there any official information about that?

No, but if there was it would probably give you the reason he made them........................
His net worth when he died was well over a 100 million. A big chunk of that was from Little House......


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"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:12 am

Davetucson wrote:
AI wrote:
Davetucson wrote:
Peter, do you happen to know how much Michael Landon made from those three movies?

No. Is there any official information about that?

No, but if there was it would probably give you the reason he made them........................
His net worth when he died was well over a 100 million. A big chunk of that was from Little House......

Well, I don’t find it strange that Michael wanted to do more shows and I don’t find it strange that a producer and actor would earn a lot of money from it.
The part that could lose money from it would be the TV-company, wouldn’t it?
And the thing that I do find strange is that NBC agreed to do those 3 films even if they had already decided to cancel the show.

And nothing of this would explain why Michael wanted that subject in the Look back to yesterday movie anyway. He could have made a movie about something else and still earn a lot from it.
And in fact even if he wanted to make the movie the way he did he still could have given it a happy ending in The Last farewell just by letting anybody in the family say that Albert was doing alright and was doing his studying at the university.
But they didn’t say anything about Albert and I still find that very strange.

But I have thought about another explanation to the story in Look back to yesterday .

That story was written by Vince Gutierrez and let’s say that Michael wasn’t that involved in the original story.
Vince could have written it with an ending where Albert did die and then brought it up for discussion with Michael and some other persons of the team.
They could have thought that it would have been a strong story with a lot of feelings involved. At one point Michael might even have agreed on that and worked on the original idea.
But in the end he couldn’t let Albert die and made a few important changes that made the illness become a disease without a name and Albert to live throughout the movie.
And that would have made it possible for him to bring back Matt as Albert if he got the chance to open up the show again.

Could that be an answer?
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:55 pm

Bringing the show back was not an option...I doubt very seriously that NBC lost any money from the 3 movies. The show was over Peter. ALL shows come to an end....Certainly Vince could have written another ending, but obviously he chose to leave Albert up in the air.......but I don't find anything strange about it.........

Did I like it? No I didn't....but there is a positive side. The love Albert had for Walnut Grove...

As far as blowing up Walnut Grove, it was part of the deal with the property owner. The sets had to be destroyed and the land brought back to it's original state. Michael just chose to incorporate that into the last movie....


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