John Adams: Season 1, Episode 2

Independence (16 Mar. 2008)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Biography, Drama, History
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 340 users  
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After the Battles of Lexington and Concord Adams becomes the voice for independence at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Clancy O'Connor ...
Del Pentecost ...


After viewing the dead and wounded on the battlefield of Concord, John Adams takes up the cause of Independence. Frustrated by the caution of delegates from colonies that do not share Massachusetts plight, the inexperienced politician is abrasive, obnoxious and even insulting. But with the advice of Abigail and Ben Franklin he soon learns he has allies, to cultivate them, to bide his time and to seize opportunities. Following John's nomination, George Washington takes charge of the army and enjoys successes despite supply shortages. Back at home, Abigail and the children risk supporting the war effort in most tangible ways but find Mother Nature more threatening. Written by David Foss

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16 March 2008 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


In the Congress scenes, North Carolina is never seen and the sound of the mystery voice is different from the others, as if it was added later. See more »


Obvious modern reproduction pewter tankard in the Adams' city residence. Period pewter was cast in molds and then finely hand-smoothed if needed, leading to an evenly smooth surface - including the vessel's bottom. Most modern pieces have bottoms hastily smoothed with a lathe machine. The lathe leaves telltale concentric rings - which shine forth while young Charles shows the vessel's bottom to the camera as he takes a drink at the family table. See more »


John Adams: General Warren is fallen at Bunker Hill. Shot through the head. Bayoneted and stripped of his clothes. I knew him, gentlemen. He was my physician. The full measure of british atrocity is too terrible to relate. "400 patriots dead." Not professional soldiers, ordinary citizens of Massachusetts who willingly gave their lives to defend what was rightfully theirs. Their liberty. But they took with them more than 1,000 british soldiers and 100 of their officers. If this congress does not support the...
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Version of 1776 (1972) See more »


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Written by Rob Lane
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21 July 2009 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

After the battle of Concord, John Adams decides to join the movement for independence. By this time he was totally convinced that was the right path to take. In his many meetings with the principals of the cause in Massachussets, he is elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress to be held in Philadelphia. This could only mean another separation from Abigail and his children, who are left behind to fend for themselves.

The matter of agreement proved to be a hard choice to make because of the division within the colonies. Thus, the North was in agreement as to be separated from the cruel tyranny of England, and a King who was believed to be a selfish man only interested in whatever riches he could get from America.

The Congress was not exactly a total agreement of the minds. John Adams, and the delegates from the Northern Colonies, find themselves having to convince the people from the other Southern colonies, as they wanted to stay as part as England in the New World. John Adams had to fight hard, especially against John Dickinson, a delegate from Pennsylvania, and Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina. During the process, he cultivated the friendship of Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, both of independent minds. John Adams is instrumental in suggesting, and getting the approval of George Washington to lead the revolutionary forces, a wise decision.

In the meantime, Abigail and the children see the horrors of war right in their own backyard. They must fight disease and loneliness as John is kept away in Philadelphia. After the agreement for the motion of freedom, the Declaration of Independence is read to the general public in the city of Brotherly Love.

Another excitement chapter, the second in the series of the adaptation of David McCullough's novel. Again, Tom Hooper directs with great style.

The cast reads like the Who's Who in the American and English film and theater rosters. Paul Giamatti does a fine take on John Adams, as well as Laura Linney, who plays Abigail. Tom Wilkinson is Benjamin Franklin; Danny Huston is seen as Sam Adams. Stephen Dillane appears as Thomas Jefferson. The excellent Zeljko Ivanek makes a case for his John Dickinson, a reactionary man who did not see eye to eye with Adams. Clancy O'Connor has good moments as Edward Rutledge.

A moving episode about American history.

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Amazing series, minus one thing. keenvj
Other Figures in history that ought to get the 'John Adams Treatment' Writerchamp13
Was George Washington a jackass? homer_it
Jefferson Predicted the Civil War skybailey16
Good, but jarring too doughdee222
Phenominal casting, except for... mrbsays
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