Timeline for Road to Avonlea

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Timeline for Road to Avonlea

Post by Timothy » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:00 am

Outline of the Road to Avonlea Timeline (Updated 6/23/2009). Note: This timeline is being updated as new series timeline references are identified.

Season One

Spring/Summer 1903
1.1: The Journey Begins-- It is generally agreed that the series started in 1903, probably in the summer.
1.2: The Story Girl Earns Her Name
1.3: The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's
1.4: The Materializing of Duncan McTavish
1.5: Old Lady Lloyd
1.6: Proof of the Pudding
1.7: Conversions

Fall/Winter 1903-1904
1.8: Aunt Abigail's Beau
1.9: Malcolm and the Baby
1.10: Felicity's Challenge—The Harvest ball
1.11: The Witch of Avonlea
1.12: The Hope Chest of Arabella King--’ the Avonlea Chronicle was dated Tuesday December 12, 1902. This is likely a typo and it's probably December 1903. (It's possible that the series was originally intended to begin in 1902 in pre-production, and then later bumped up to 1903 for some reason)
1.13: Nothing Endures But Change

Season Two

Summer/Fall 1904
2.1: Sara's Homecoming—Takes place around Dominion Day on July 1st. This means it’s June/July 1904.
2.2: How Kissing Was Discovered-- The date in Felicity’s diary is June 13. (1904). Felicity says that she is 13 and ¾.
2.3: Aunt Hetty's Ordeal-- The date of the Avonlea Chronicle is September 14, 1904.

2.4: Of Corsets and Secrets and True True Love
2.5: Old Quarrels, Old Love
2.6: May the Best Man Win
2.7: Family Rivalry

Fall/Winter 1904-1905
2.8: Sea Ghost
2.9: All That Glitters
2.10: Dreamer of Dreams
2.11: It's Just a Stage
2.12: A Mother's Love
2.13: Misfits and Miracles—Daniel King is born.

Season Three

Spring/Summer 1905
3.1: The Ties That Bind-- Season Three probably starts in 1905. Jasper proposed to Olivia around late summer/early fall 1904, and it’s likely they are married the following summer.
3.2: But When She Was Bad...She Was Horrid (part 1)
3.3: But When She Was Bad...She Was Horrid (part 2)

Summer/Fall 1905
3.4: Felix and Blackie
3.5: Another Point of View
3.6: Aunt Janet Rebels--Felix mentions that Felicity is 15 years old. Felicity turned 14 in Fall 1904, so it’s probably 1905.

Fall/Winter 1905-1906
3.7: A Dark and Stormy Night
3.8: Friends and Relations
3.9: Vows of Silence
3.10: After the Honeymoon
3.11: High Society
3.12: The Calamitous Courting of Hetty King
3.13: Old Friends, Old Wounds

Season Four

There might be a one year gap here as previously stated IF season four starts in 1907.

Spring/Summer 1906 (or 1907)?
4.1: Tug of War—Olivia has a baby, but there is no mention of her being pregnant last season. Mag Ruffman described researching child birth for this episode and having a short time to do so. It’s likely this wasn’t decided until this season.
4.2: The Lady and the Blade

Fall/Winter 1906-1907 (or 1907-1908)?
4.3: Incident at Vernon River—Felix’s birthday
4.4: Boys Will Be Boys
4.5: Moving On
4.6: Evelyn
4.7: The Dinner

Hannikan has suggested that the missing year/time gap may also appear here, pointing out that 'The Dinner' and FPB are very close together in terms of subject matter.

4.8: Heirs and Graces—An advertisement on the bulletin board is dated November 1907. Thanks to Hannikan for pointing out the Victorian typeface for sevens. --(Updated 06/23/09)
4.9: Hearts and Flowers—February 1908
4.10: Felicity's Perfect Beau

Based on the date from Heirs and Graces, a few things become clearer. The missing time of season four likely does not appear here, as there is now strong continuity from Heirs and Graces into the fifth season. We now know that the Gus and Arthur rivalry occurs in early 1908. --(Updated 06/23/09)

Winter 1908
4.11: The Disappearance Winter 1908. When Felix asks about the assignment of where they will be in the next ten years, Gus says 1918, which suggests that it’s winter 1908. This means that up to this point--(1) either most of 1907 is missing, (2) Season Four takes place in 1907, or (3) Season Four spans 1906-1908 with only one summer featured.
4.12: Home Movie
4.13: Hearth and Home

Season Five

Spring/Summer 1908
5.1: Fathers and Sons – Following the winter of 1908, it’s presumably spring/summer 1908 when season five rolls around:
5.2: Memento Mori
5.3: Modern Times

Fall/Winter 1908-1909
5.4: A Friend in Need
5.5: Stranger in the Night
5.6: The Great Race—A sign for the race indicates that it’s October 1908. Update: A prop sign from the series indicates that the race occurred on October 4, 1908. (4/24/09)
5.7: Someone to Believe In
5.8: Strictly Melodrama
5.9: Thursday's Child
5.10: Best Laid Plans
5.11: Otherwise Engaged
5.12: Enter Prince Charming
5.13: The Minister's Wife

Season Six

Summer/Fall 1909
6.1: The Return of Gus Pike
6.2: Lonely Hearts
6.3: Christmas in June—A letter addressed to the King family was dated June 19, 1909.
6.4: Comings and Goings—Sara was in Montreal for six months.
6.5: The Trouble with Davey
6.6: Great Expectations

Fall/Winter 1909-1910
6.7: A Fox Tale
6.8: Fools and Kings—Gurney comments that Felix is nearly 16.
6.9: The More Things Change
6.10: Home Is Where the Heart Is
6.11: What a Tangled Web We Weave
6.12: A Time To Every Purpose --A newspaper carrying the article 'Local Girl Enters Brave New World of Medicine' is dated February 9, 1910 (could have been January, but looked like February.)--Updated 06/22/09
6.13: Homecoming

Season Seven

The time gap between February+/- 1910 and Summer 1911, so roughly a year and 1/2 between seasons.

Summer/Fall 1911
7.1: Out of the Ashes—The ‘Avonlea Foundling Home’ sign indicates that it was established in 1911.
7.2: Love May Be Blind...but the Neighbours Ain't
7.3: Davey and the Mermaid
7.4: Woman of Importance—Izzy is nearly 16.
7.5: Secrets and Sacrifices—Lucky is 7 and a half years old.

Fall/Winter – 1911?
7.6: King of the Great White Way
7.7: Total Eclipse
7.8: Ah...Sweet Mystery of Life
7.9: From Away
7.10: After the Ball is Over—Eliza Ward turns 90. Lucky turns 8 in this episode. Lucky was a baby in 1903 and 8 years later would make the current year 1911.

* There is a 1+ year gap here IF the series ends in 1913. Update: The original RTA website stated that the seventh season is around 9 months from the "brink" of WW1, which means the series ends in 1913. However, Shelly has pointed out that there are two references in HCMK for a two year span between the end of the 7th season and HCMK. This would mean the series ends in 1912. Therefore, there are two contradictory years mentioned when the series ends. (4/24/09)

Spring/Summer 1912 OR 1913?
7.11: Return to Me—Spring/Summer
7.12: The Last Hurrah
7.13: So Dear to My Heart

~
Last edited by Timothy on Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:20 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Post by Shelly » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:45 pm

I'm not sure about a year-long (or more) gap between "After the Ball" and "Return to Me". Maybe more like six months or so?

In HCMK, it's alluded to twice that two years had elapsed since the final episode (the movie is set between November and December 1914; this would put the final three episodes in 1912, working backwards)--once upon Olivia's arrival in Avonlea, and again when Felicity is at the telegraph office preparing to write to the Deans' lawyer.

That said, the final three episodes are definitely set in the summer months. If you consider KS's own words in interviews at the end of the series, saying that WW1 was "nine months away" from when SDTMH takes place, according to that, it would've taken place in October 1913 (WW1 started in July 1914)...the fall/autumn, which it clearly wasn't.

On the other hand, looking at this, let's look at S4 a bit more closely, namely "Boys Will Be Boys", "Moving On", and "Evelyn".

Season 4
4x01 ~ Tug of War (spring/summer 1906)

4x02 ~ The Lady and the Blade

4x03 ~ Incident at Vernon River (fall/early winter 1906; Felix turns 13)

4x04 ~ Boys Will Be Boys (patchy snow, characters dressed for winter; screencaps)

4x05 ~ Moving On (patchy snow, some characters dressed for winter; screencaps)

4x06 ~ Evelyn (no snow, characters still dressed for winter; screencaps)


Skip most of 1907 here?

4x07 ~ The Dinner

4x08 ~ Heirs and Graces

4x09 ~ Hearts and Flowers (February 1908?)

4x10 ~ Felicity's Perfect Beau

4x11 ~ The Disappearance

4x12 ~ Home Movie

4x13 ~ Hearth and Home

* * * * *

I am starting to think that a gap in time somewhere in S4 seems the most logical. It's just where to put it. What if the gap is between "Evelyn" and "The Dinner"? Or between "Moving On" and "Evelyn"? (It could go between "Felicity's Perfect Beau" and "The Disappearance"; but I dunno.)

Hrm...
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Post by hannikan » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:24 pm

Or maybe btwn the Dinner and FPB? I always felt like those were awfully close together in terms of subject matter. Although I would think a gap would be earlier in the season since the season ends in the winter.
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Post by Timothy » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:34 am

Shelly wrote:I'm not sure about a year-long (or more) gap between "After the Ball" and "Return to Me". Maybe more like six months or so?
I wouldn't think so either, until I remembered that Lucky would be 8 years old in Fall/Winter 1911 and he turns 8 in 'After the Ball is Over.' Leave it to Lucky to throw a monkey wrench into the timeline continuity. The alternative is that 1912 really is the final year and then Lucky's age in that episode makes sense.
Shelly wrote:In HCMK, it's alluded to twice that two years had elapsed since the final episode (the movie is set between November and December 1914; this would put the final three episodes in 1912, working backwards)--once upon Olivia's arrival in Avonlea, and again when Felicity is at the telegraph office preparing to write to the Deans' lawyer.

That said, the final three episodes are definitely set in the summer months. If you consider KS's own words in interviews at the end of the series, saying that WW1 was "nine months away" from when SDTMH takes place, according to that, it would've taken place in October 1913 (WW1 started in July 1914)...the fall/autumn, which it clearly wasn't.
I'm starting to think this was a retroactive change by the writers/producers to put more distance between the series and HCMK. It makes absolute sense for the series to end in 1912, but perhaps in the seventh season they wanted it to feel like they were closer to that "brink" of war feeling so they stretched the series to 1913. Then, when HCMK rolls around they wanted to put a feeling of distance between the series and the movie so they add two years, pushing the series back to 1912. It appears that the writers/producers were shifting the timeline back and forth to meet their needs at that particular time. Ah, we're on to ye writers!

Here is another thought... Maybe by hastily stretching the seventh season to 1913, it gave the producers an excuse not to do an eighth season? Clearly if the series ends when it logically ends in 1912, there would still be plenty of time for another season to fit into that idyllic window that Sullivan mentioned. By forwarding the series to 9 months before WW1, it could be justified to fans, CBC, Disney, etc. that they are too close to the brink of war for such a family-friendly series to last another season.

(And by this time, Sullivan had already removed himself as a writer and creative developer for the series, and was probably tired of the rigors of episodic television).
Shelly wrote:I am starting to think that a gap in time somewhere in S4 seems the most logical. It's just where to put it. What if the gap is between "Evelyn" and "The Dinner"? Or between "Moving On" and "Evelyn"? (It could go between "Felicity's Perfect Beau" and "The Disappearance"; but I dunno.)Hrm...
Yes, this could be. I remember a while back I read something I think Mag Ruffman said. The episode 'Moving On' was supposed to have lots of snow, but the problem was there wasn't a lot of snow. So the crew had to put down lots of cotton to make it appear that way. As you mentioned, the snow is patchy in that episode... But then you see that scene where Sara is running away from Rose Cottage, it looks like she is deep in snow. They must have used more cotton for that scene. I haven't been able to find the source for that comment again, so if anybody knows please let me know.

~

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Post by Timothy » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:12 pm

hannikan wrote:Or maybe btwn the Dinner and FPB? I always felt like those were awfully close together in terms of subject matter. Although I would think a gap would be earlier in the season since the season ends in the winter.
Part of the problem is there aren't many referenences to time. It seems like the fourth season has a very long winter and there might be a lost summer. There could be a time gap between Dinner and FPB as you mentioned, although it's possible that the Dinner was a lead in to the Gus-Arthur rivalry that could have happened that same winter.

I looked at the prop sign again for The Great Race and found that it was definitely dated 1908. Unfortunately, the prop sign for the February 14 dance in Hearts and Flowers did not have a year. The mystery continues...

~

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Post by Timothy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:45 pm

A newspaper article titled 'Local Girl Enters Brave New World of Medicine' from 6.12: A Time to Every Purpose was dated either January or February, probably February 9, 1910. The timeline in the first post of this thread was updated. While this doesn't clarify the fourth season timeline mystery, it helps show that roughly a year and 1/2 passed between Homecoming and Out of the Ashes.

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Post by hannikan » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:15 pm

Timothy wrote:
hannikan wrote:Or maybe btwn the Dinner and FPB? I always felt like those were awfully close together in terms of subject matter. Although I would think a gap would be earlier in the season since the season ends in the winter.
Part of the problem is there aren't many referenences to time. It seems like the fourth season has a very long winter and there might be a lost summer. There could be a time gap between Dinner and FPB as you mentioned, although it's possible that the Dinner was a lead in to the Gus-Arthur rivalry that could have happened that same winter.

I looked at the prop sign again for The Great Race and found that it was definitely dated 1908. Unfortunately, the prop sign for the February 14 dance in Hearts and Flowers did not have a year. The mystery continues...

~
Yeah and I also realized that HAF and FPB were back to back because Arthur would have been on break from school. I do think season 4 has a very long winter. Where would the missing summer be? Doesn't season 5 start in the summer? What time of year did season 4 start? It sort of seems like it was fall, not summer. I think you're right that the writers moved the timeline around to fit their needs.

Oh and the Foundling Home sign says 1911 in OOTA. I assumed it was either summer or fall of 1911.
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Post by Timothy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:09 pm

Now that you mention it Hannikan, I do think Season four may have started in the fall, as there are leaves on the ground in 'Tug of War.' Curiously, in the next episode 'Lady and the Blade' it is clearly summer with only a hint of fall. 'Lady and the Blade' might have been the first episode filmed, and then they switched them later.

I suppose the seasonal changes became an issue in the series. I believe Mag Ruffman mentioned they were almost always shooting in the winter and it was nice to have a summer episode.

That's a good point about HAF and FPB being back to back.

Remember when I said that I had an image from the Avonlea Bulletin board dated for 1902? It turns out that image was from 'Heirs and Graces' and it might possibly be 1907.

I attached the image so you can take a look. It's here. Look above the title 'PROPERTY' and you'll see a date that's cut off. At first, it looked like November 1902. However, considering the episode and it's place in the timeline, it could be 1907 with a comma, period or ink smudge.

It that's the case, Heirs and Graces takes place in November 1907 and HAF takes place the following February 1908, followed shortly by FPB and The Disappearance. Thoughts?

One thing is for certain, it can't be 1902, since the board flyers have changed several times.

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Post by hannikan » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:35 pm

Timothy wrote:Now that you mention it Hannikan, I do think Season four may have started in the fall, as there are leaves on the ground in 'Tug of War.' Curiously, in the next episode 'Lady and the Blade' it is clearly summer with only a hint of fall. 'Lady and the Blade' might have been the first episode filmed, and then they switched them later.
Mm, interesting. The thing that makes me think LATB happens in the fall is that school has started. I don't know when school's started back then in Canada but I imagined it was supposed to be Sept. It could still be sort of warm there in Sept, right? I've heard PEI has climate similar to Calif and we certainly have warm Septembers. It just doesn't seem summery to me at all in Season 4. But whether it is or isn't doesn't solve the mystery of the missing year... well unless there's a six month jump btwn S3 and S4, and another six month jump in that spot in S7 you and Shelly were speaking of...
Timothy wrote: Remember when I said that I had an image from the Avonlea Bulletin board dated for 1902? It turns out that image was from 'Heirs and Graces' and it might possibly be 1907.

I attached the image so you can take a look. It's here. Look above the title 'PROPERTY' and you'll see a date that's cut off. At first, it looked like November 1902. However, considering the episode and it's place in the timeline, it could be 1907 with a comma, period or ink smudge.

It that's the case, Heirs and Graces takes place in November 1907 and HAF takes place the following February 1908, followed shortly by FPB and The Disappearance. Thoughts?

One thing is for certain, it can't be 1902, since the board flyers have changed several times.

~
Yeah, I think you're right that it's 1907 because the Victorian typeface/print style made very curved sevens like that. HAG must be very late 1907, probably Nov/Dec. I would guess The Dinner happens in Dec/Jan, then. Gosh there are a lot of winter episodes after that, too!
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Post by Timothy » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:00 pm

hannikan wrote:Yeah, I think you're right that it's 1907 because the Victorian typeface/print style made very curved sevens like that. HAG must be very late 1907, probably Nov/Dec. I would guess The Dinner happens in Dec/Jan, then. Gosh there are a lot of winter episodes after that, too!
Excellent observation about the Victorian typeface for sevens, Hannikan! :) I wouldn't rule out your point that the missing time gap could appear after 'The Dinner' based on the subject content. In fact, I moved up the missing time now to after the Dinner as a possibility (updated in the first post of this thread).

Here's another piece of the puzzle that might make the timeline clearer--Felix's elusive age. Shelly mentioned that Felix "celebrates his thirteenth birthday" in '4.3: Incident At Vernon River.' I watched the episode recently, and maybe it's just me missing it, but I could not find a reference to his age. I even tried to count the candles on the cake, but I couldn't make it out because of the camera angle. So if anyone can give a specific reference, it would be helpful.

I always thought, in my opinion, that he was 14 in this episode. We know from 'Incident' that Felix's birthday is in the fall. 'Witch of Avonlea' is in the dead of winter 1903 when Felix's letter to Peg Bowen indicates that he's 11. 'WoA' is after the harvest ball of 'Felicity's Challenge' and before the December episode 'Hope Chest.' So he basically had already turned 11 in fall 1903. Based on this...

Fall 1903 -- 11 (Season One)
Fall 1904 -- 12 (Season Two)
Fall 1905 -- 13 (Season Three)*
Fall 1906 -- 14 (Season Four's Incident At Vernon River?)
Fall 1907 -- 15
Fall 1908 -- 16

* (3.6: Aunt Janet Rebels--Felix mentions that Felicity is 15 years old. Felicity turned 14 in Fall 1904, so it’s likely 1905. There is at least one seasonal change through summer before 'Incident,' which would put the episode at 1906 at the earliest.)

Friends, will we ever solve the mystery of the missing year 1907 and the endless winter?

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Post by hannikan » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:08 pm

Timothy wrote:

Here's another piece of the puzzle that might make the timeline clearer--Felix's elusive age. Shelly has said that Felix "celebrates his thirteenth birthday" in '4.3: Incident At Vernon River.' I watched the episode recently, and maybe it's just me missing it, but I could not find a reference to his age. I even tried to count the candles on the cake, but I couldn't make it out because of the camera angle. So if anyone can give a specific reference, it would be helpful.~
Yeah in Incident at Vernon River, Alec says it to Janet when she's outside beating the dust out of the rug. He says "here's Felicity off gallivanting with boys, Felix 13 years old, pretty soon Cecily's going to be wearing corsets and high button boots!"
Another reference to Felix's age is in S3 in Friends and Relations, Jasper says that he and Alec were Felix's age, 12, the last time they went ice fishing together.

Oh and I was thinking that based on Felix being 13 in S4, that makes him 18 in S7. Alec says in HCMK that Felix went to war at 19, which would have to be the following year. If the final season ended in 1912, that would make the next year 1913 and the year that HCMK happens 1914 (very late 1914, of course). If Felix was 14 in S4 that would make him 19 in S7. Of course WWI didn't start until Aug of 1914. So this sort of opens another can of worms, I suppose... does that mean that S7 must end in 1913?
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Post by Timothy » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:50 pm

Thanks Hannikan for the reference from 'Incident.' Well, that makes no sense how Felix can lose an entire year between Season One and Four, thanks to teleplay writer Rich Drew.

I suppose we'll have to find the answer somewhere else.

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Post by hannikan » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:11 pm

Well, here's even more of a conundrum. In OOTA, Felix responds to Felicity talking about their wishbox they made with Sara "How old was I, then? Nine, I think." So now he's supposed to have been 9 in S1 instead of 10 or 11? The only reason I can think they did this was to make it seem like Felix and Cecily were closer in age since Molly Atkinson was/looked older. Of course if Felix was 9 in S1, then in S7 he was only 17 which makes things even more complicated with the war and HCMK...
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Post by Shelly » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:02 pm

Felix should've been nine in S1 anyway, IMO.

This goes back to Janet's comment in "Nothing Endures but Change", that "Felix had just been born when Ruth (passed away)." In "The Journey Begins", we see Ruth's headstone, which indicates she died in 1894. S1 spans 1903-04. He should've been nine years old. (This would've made his signature of "Felix King, Age 11" in "The Witch of Avonlea" an error.) By summer 1911, you're right; he'd have been pushing seventeen.
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Post by Timothy » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:45 am

There were clearly two contradictory ages given for Felix in the first season. The first age was given in 'WoA' and then retconned in 'NEbC.' It appears that Felix being around 9 in S1, instead of 11, is the accepted version in 'Incident' when he turns 13.

It's been said that Ruth Stanley died between Christmas and Easter. Any ideas or guesses on whether Felix was born before or after the new year?

~

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