The Cartwrights, Ben (played by Lorne Greene), Adam (played by Pernell Roberts), Hoss (played by Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (played by Michael Landon), are one of the more famous families from television. The male dominated show was probably the most influential western series ever to have been on the small screen. A nice mix of serious drama with light-hearted comedy was a formula that worked for fourteen seasons. Each of the boys was born of a different wife who is no longer alive and have been raised by Ben alone. They owned a huge ranch on the outskirts of Virginia City, Nevada but are as down-to-earth as the poorest of cowboys. Beloved by everyone except those looking to run afoul of the law.
Episode 1: Invention of a Gunfighter: Johnny Chapman (played by Guy Stockwell) is humiliated by a bully right in front of his gal. Wanting to learn how to defend himself Johnny asks Little Joe to teach him how to shoot.
Episode 2: The Hostage: Ben is held hostage for Chad (played by Harold J. Stone), his wife (played by Jacqueline Stone) and their gang. It is up to Adam, Hoss and Little Joe to try and organize a rescue.
Episode 3: The Wild One: Lafe Jessup (played by Aldo Ray) has a deal in place with Hoss to capture a wild stallion to start breeding with the Cartwright stock. While in the process of doing so Lafe is trampled by the horse and injured so that leaves Hoss to take care of him and his pregnant wife.
Episode 4: Thanks for Everything: Adam falls into the river while rescuing a calf. He in turn is rescued by Tom Wilson (played by Rory Calhoun) leading to Adam offering Wilson a job on the Ponderosa, a move that Adam is going to end up regretting.
Episode 5: Logan’s Treasure: Ben invites Sam Logan (played by Dan Duryea) to stay at the Ponderosa after serving out a twenty year stint in prison for stealing $100,000 in gold dust that was never recovered. A bounty hunter and Sam’s old girlfriend come to town believing that he knows where the gold is hidden.
Episode 6: The Scapegoat: Waldo Watson (played by George Kennedy) is about to commit suicide when Hoss comes across him and stops him. Feeling sorry for the loser, Hoss offers him a job on the Ponderosa.
Episode 7: A Dime’s Worth of Glory: Ben and Adam heroically stop a runaway stagecoach and capture an outlaw at the same time. A newspaper man named Tobias Finch (played by Walter Brooke) wants to write a story about them but they refuse.
Episode 8: Square Deal Sam: Hoss offers couple Sam (played by Ernest Truex) and Martha Washburn (played by Nydia Westman) to stay at the Ponderosa. Soon they find out that Martha is a great cook but Sam is nothing more than a con artist.
Episode 9: Between Heaven and Earth: Being deathly afraid of heights stops Little Joe from retrieving his rifle from atop Eagle Nest Mountain. Ben realizes that an incident from childhood is behind the fear.
Episode 10: Old Sheba: Hoss injures Bearcat Samson (played by Henry Kulky) in a wrestling match. Circus owner Tweedy (played by William Demarest) insists on Hoss taking Bearcat’s place.
Episode 11: A Man to Admire: Despite everyone telling him not to, Hoss hires attourney Whitney Parker (played by James Gregory) to defend him against a murder charge. The hesitation is due to the fact that Parker is an alcoholic.
Episode 12: The Underdog: Ben hires Harry Starr (played by Charles Bronson), who is part Comanche. Another newly hired hand named Burton (played by Tom Reese) quits refusing to work with a Comanche.
Episode 13: A Knight to Remember: Juan (played by Rodolfa Acosta) and his gang of bandits try to rob a stagecoach but are stopped by a man claiming to be King Arthur (played by Henry Jones). When Adam, who was a passenger on the stagecoach, tells the sheriff and the deputy what happened they don’t believe him.
Episode 14: The Saga of Squaw Charlie: Adam and Ben make friends with an Indian known as Squaw Charlie (played by Anthony Caruso) due to his refusal to fight. Soon after Charlie is accused of kidnapping a young girl named Angela (played by Vicki Cos).
Episode 15: The Flapjack Contest: Hoss is entered into a flapjack eating contest by Little Joe. They believe they are sure to win due to their training and starvation regime.
Episode 16; The Far, Far Better Thing: An old friend of Ben’s and his daughter visit them at the Ponderosa. Joe and Tuck (played by Warren Vanders) end up competing for Lucinda’s (played by Brenda Scott) attention.
Episode 17: Woman of Fire: An old friend of Ben’s named Don Miguel (played by Jay Novello) visits the Ponderosa with his daughters Margarita (played by Joan Hackett) and Elena (played by Susan Silo). They are on their way to meet Margarita’s soon-to-be husband and have stopped to give Adam a chance to teach the wild young woman how to be a suitable bride.
Episode 18: The Ballerina: Ned Conrad (played by Douglas Fowley) who plays the fiddle and his daughter Kellie (played by Barrie Chase) play in saloon for tips. After Ned is injured Hoss extends them the offer of staying at the Ponderosa.
Special Features: Photo Galleries, Special Promo by the Bonanza Cast, Original NBC Network Logo, Bumpers and Chevrolet Promo, Behind-the-Scenes on Location at Kernville, CA, RCA Color Television Advertisement, Excerpt “Highways of Melody” Featuring Michael London, Special Audio Promos by the Cast Announcing Bonanza in Australia, Photo Gallery: Rodeo Appearance – Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker
Episode 1: The Flannel-Mouth Gun: Range detective Sherman Clegg (played by Earl Holliman) is hired by a cattle man to capture all the cattle thieves despite the fact that Adam is against it. Soon a couple of murders happen and Clegg is the number one suspect.
Episode 2: The Ponderosa Birdman: Professor Phineas T. Klump (played by Ed Wynn) and his granddaughter Amanda (played by Marlyn Mason) arrive in town and convince Hoss that they have invented something that allows man to fly. Klump even manages to convince Hoss to strap it on and take the leap.
Episode 3: The Search: An ex-con named Tom Burns runs around pretending to be Adam Cartwright and gets away with it as they are identical looking. Adam travels to Placerville to find the imposter.
Episode 4: The Deadliest Game: Italian acrobat Guido Borelli (played by Cesar Romero) arrives at the Ponderosa with his troupe. Younger acrobat Carlo (played by Fabrizio Mioni) is jealous when he believes Joe is after his gal Petina (played by Ilse Taurins) so challenges him to a duel.
Episode 5: Once a Doctor: Hoss’ infected foot is treated with the miracle painkiller being peddled by Professor Poppy (played by Michael Rennie). Poppy is actually Dr. P.A. Mundy and is being followed by Crippen (played by Ashley Cowan), who believes that Mundy killed his wife.
Episode 6: Right is the Fourth R: Adam substitute teaches for an injured schoolteacher named Barbara (played by Mariette Hartley). While preparing a local history lesson Adam uncovers some facts that members of the community want to keep hidden.
Episode 7: Hound Dog: Cartwright cousin Muley Jones (played by Bruce Yarnell) is back with his guitar and a pack of hound dogs. A neighbour, Tracy Ledbetter (played by Sue Ane Langdon), claims to be missing bird dogs and Muley is accused of stealing them.
Episode 8: The Trap: Burk (played by Steve Cochran) wants to get rid of Little Joe, who is his wife’s old crush, and has a plan to do just that. Instead of Burk killing Joe, Joe ends up killing Burk accidentally but his wife Hallie (played by Joan Freeman) believes he did it on purpose.
Episode 9: Dead and Gone: Adam makes a friend of singer Howard Mead (played by Hoyt Axton). Howard starts to court Hilda Brunner (played by Susanne Kramer) over the protests of her brother, Johann (played by Steven Ihnat).
Episode 10: A Good Night’s Rest: Due to Hoss’ snoring, Joe’s courting and Adam’s guitar playing and exhausted Ben travels to town to stay in a hotel room to get a good night sleep. There he finds that it is no less busy or noisy than the Ponderosa.
Episode 11: To Own the World: The wealthy Charles Augustus Hackett (played by Telly Savalas) targets the Ponderosa for purchase and he will not take no for an answer. He sets in motion a plan to force Ben to sell.
Episode 12: Lothario Larkin: Lothario Larkin (played by Noah Beery Jr.) is back in town and no one is happy except for Hoss. In town as well is a woman from Lothario’s past named Laura (played by Dorothy Green) who is the one that got away.
Episode 13: The Return: Trace Cordell (played by Tony Young) is back in Virginia City after getting out of prison. Once there he decides to confront banker Paul Dorn (played by John Conte), a man who was crippled in his attempted bank robbery.
Episode 14: Jonah: Hoss is loyal to new ranch hand George Whitman (played by Andrew Prine) despite the fact that another wrangler Harry (played by Ken Mayer) claims he is a jinx. After several things go wrong other ranch hands begin to agree with Harry.
Episode 15: The Spotlight: The Virginia City Entertainment Committee name Ben responsible for finding an entertainer for the annual Anniversary Celebration. He goes to San Francisco to ask Angela Bergstrom (played by Viveca Lindfors), an opera singer, without knowing that she has lost her voice.
Episode 16: Patchwork Man: While doing some physical labour in a ghost town, Hoss hires Patch (played by Grant Williams) to work at the Ponderosa. Soon they discover that due to something that happened when he was very young Patch cannot defend himself against bullies.
Special Features: Photo Galleries, Photo Galleries: Cartwright Family Publicity Portraits + the Lost Portrait Sessions, Photo Galleries: Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts