1. Rose For Lotta -
First aired on September 12, 1959.
In this episode Joe’s mother is called Felicia, in later episodes she
is called Marie. At the end of this episode the cast sung some words to
the Bonanza tune (the singing was later edited out). The second half of
the song did depict what the Cartwright’s were: Family. “We’re not a one
to saddle up and run, Bonanza. Any one of us who starts a little fuss
knows he can count on me. One for four, four for one, this we guarantee.
We got a right to pick a little fight, Bonanza. If anyone fights any one
of us, he’s gotta fight with me.”
2. The Sun Mountain Herd– First aired on September 19, 1959.
son, Mark, didn't like it when the script called for his
father to be beaten in a fight scene. He was on the set the
day they filmed the fight scene for this episode, between Joe and Early
Thorne (Leo Gordon). Knowing Mark was upset about it, Michael told him
not to worry - that Hoss would get him.
Blooper: Towards the end of the episode when
the Cartwrights have gone after Burdette, Thorne and Glory, Ben says, “Adam,
you and Little Joe cut around that hill. Hoss and I will plug the gap from
this end.” As Michael rides past the rock he is laughing. Also, when the
Cartwrights first go into town, Joe isn’t wearing a gunbelt but later when
he and Hoss meet Glory in the street, he is.
3. The Newcomers
4. The Paiute War
5. Enter Mark Twain
6. The Julia Bulette Story –
First aired on October 17, 1959.
From an article in TV Guide. January 1962: The script required Landon
to play a highly charged death scene with actress Jane Greer that would
have been a severe test for any actor. But Landon seemed to be taking
the prospect lightly, cracking wise to the point where producer David
Dortort began to worry. However, as director Chris Nyby swung into the
scene, a miraculous transformation occurred. Suddenly Landon was all business,
every emotion surfaced and attuned; genuine tears began rolling down his
cheeks. His audience – which included his producer, co-stars Dan Blocker
and Lorne Greene and a member of the press – was too shaken to speak.
Dortort later commented: “Mike didn’t play that scene; he lived it.” When
the scene finished, Landon quickly disappeared behind the water cooler
to make, as it were, some badly needed repairs on his emotions. Moments
later he reappeared and, smiling roguishly, made a reference to the recently
demised lady’s love-life, so irreverent, so hilarious (and so unprintable)
that they are still talking about it around Paramount studios.
an article in 1961, where Michael Landon picked who he thought were the
ten most exciting women in the world, one of the women he chose was Jane
Greer (Julia Bulette). Michael said, “I have a special place in my list
for Miss Jane, ‘cause she is, to my way of thinking, a wonderful woman.
First of all, she’s got a really great sense of humor. When she laughs,
the world laughs. You just can’t help it, because she’s got that way
of loving life and living every minute of it like it was the greatest
adventure ever. And that attitude is infectious, really catches on.”
Blooper: In the
scene towards the end after Joe has given his speech defending Julia and
everyone is heading over to Julia’s Palace, Michael almost walks into
a post and puts his hand up to his nose.
7. The Saga of Annie O'Toole –
First aired on
October 24, 1959.
Guest star Ida Lupino played Annie O’Toole.
8. The Phillip Diedeshiemer Story
9. Mr Henry TP Comstock
-First aired on November 7, 1959.
Blooper: Towards the start, when the Cartwright’s
hear the shots being fired and ride to help, Ben says, “All right, boys.
Let’s sweetin’ ‘em” They ride away and Joe’s hat comes off.
10. The Magnificent Adah
– First aired
on November 14, 1959.
In an earlier draft of this script, Ben’s third wife was named Reba.
11. The Truckee Strip
12. The Hanging Posse – First aired on November 28, 1959.
In an earlier draft of this script, it is Hoss who is with Adam and the
posse not Joe.
14. The Sisters - First
The following is part of an interview with Jean
Willes who plays Amelia Terry in this episode. "My first reaction
to Pernell was that I tremendously admired him as an actor. We met on
'Desire Under The Elms.' As I've said, my first impression was that he
was...even then...a tremendous actor. He was new to me. Remember this was
his first picture. Pernell's good looking...but certainly not the
pretty type...which I can't tolerate anyway. There's something very
magnetic about his appearance. He's strong looking in a quiet, quiet way.
He's very masculine, personable, very attractive. I wouldn't say he is
particularly withdrawn. As a matter of fact, he's very good company and
very witty. We worked together for several weeks and I enjoyed knowing him
tremendously. Burl Ives was on the set and sang his songs for us. It was a
fun set. Then later...about a year and a half later, I worked with Pernell
in Bonanza. Perhaps he's a little changed...a little more used to the
business...more at home in the movie industry. When I first knew Pernell
it was his first picture...now he's more confident in the ways of the
15. The Last Hunt
16. El Toro Grande
17. The Outcast
18. House Divided
– First aired on January 16, 1960.
Blooper: In a fight scene, Fred Kyle’s “missing”
arm is visible.
19. The Gunmen
20. The Fear Merchants
21. The Spanish Grant
22. Blood on the Land
23. Desert Justice
24. The Stranger
25. Escape To The Ponderosa
First aired on March 5, 1960.
An article from 1962 talks about the accident that happened on the set during
the filming of this episode. It was the last day of shooting and they were
filming the final segments. Earlier that day, Grant Williams had joked to
Pernell that in the last five pictures he’d done, he’d been killed off.
This is part of the article: As everyone knows, the guns used on TV shows
contain blanks and instead of the deadly bullets, a harmless shell casing
is fired. Every thousandth time, though, something can go wrong. Pernell
and Grant were standing close together when Pernell raised his gun. Grant
heard the blast seemingly in front of his face, then he felt a sharp pain
in his neck, as if he had suddenly been cut with a knife, hot and searing
and bright. He flinched, his hand going automatically to his throat. His
fingers came away with blood. “My God, what is it?” Suddenly the scene was
forgotten and Pernell was standing there, his face dark with worry. “I don’t
know.” Grant’s eyes were puzzled. He grinned weakly. “I thought for a second
you shot me!” Then they noticed the bright metal scattered on the ground.
Pernell bent down curiously, then straightened up, holding a piece in his
hand. “The shell casing exploded,” he said in bewilderment. “You must have
caught part of it in your neck.” The seriousness of the situation hit him.
He looked at Grant’s neck again, but thankfully the blood had stopped and
there was just a dark line to indicate he had been hurt at all. It was not
until two years later that Grant found out how close he’d come to disaster
that day. His neck often hurt him but by then he was starring in his own
series, Hawaiian Eye, and didn’t want to take the time to see a doctor.
When he did, he was told that the operation to remove the shrapnel–like
shell part might cause all the muscles on the left side of his face to collapse.
He took the chance, and today is all right again.
26. The Avenger
27. The Last Trophy
– First aired on March 26 1960.
In a 1962 article, guest star Hazel Court (Lady Beatrice Dunsford) said:
“I didn’t know Pernell before the series. But I knew his name. I had seen
him in Bonanza. We got on very well for we had lots of things in common
and we had lots of laughs. We both knew a lot about the theatre and had
a lot of discussions about England and New York. He loves Shakespeare and
so do I. He is tremendously friendly and it was actually working on that
show that was one of the happiest weeks I have ever spent because it was
full of fun. We laughed and joked all the time. Pernell did a very sweet
thing for me. He heard it was my birthday and had a very beautiful cake
made as a surprise for me. The top of the cake was a beautiful picture of
the Ponderosa all done in sugar frosting. He is a very deep thinker. He
is a very serious minded person. I think he has a very handsome face. Physically
he is very strong. He always took me to lunch at the commissary but then
we all lunched together. He saw that I was seated. But nothing serious –
he knew that I was more or less engaged to Dan Taylor.”
In later years Hazel Court
talked about how much she enjoyed working on this episode, saying how
wonderful everyone was. On her first day of filming she had a scene with
Pernell. Pernell rode off and her horse immediately followed his – she
wasn’t ready and fell off. She jokingly said the director was more
worried about the horse than her.
28. San Francisco
– First aired on April 2, 1960.
Michael told a story on the Johnny Carson show about Lorne never wanting
to be seen without his toupee: “When Lorne would go into the make-up department,
he’d have a hat on and the door to the make up department looked like an
apartment door in New York city, there are eight locks, right. Then he’d
come out and he’d be there. One day, he had to jump off a ship in the B
tank at Paramount. Well, when he jumped in, we used to call it, the gray
rat, it stuck on the top of the water. Lorne went under. So the assistant
director, I mean, he’d go, ‘turn it off, boys,’ and walk away from it. He
wants to pretend no one notices. Well, Dan and I can’t wait to see Dad without
it so we’re leanin’ over the thing, waitin’ for Lorne to come up. He doesn’t
come up. He doesn’t come up, bubbles come up. And now it looks like the
ad for deliverance. You remember the hand that comes up, like this, searching.
And he finds it, shroop, under it goes. I mean, he held his breath for three
minutes. He came up and he had it on top like a beret.”
article in 1988, after Lorne Greene’s death Michael told the same story.
“If Lorne was touchy about anything, it was his baldness. He covered his
head with a toupee that Dan Blocker and I called ‘the Gray Rat,’ at
first behind his back and then, to his obvious amusement, openly. Hard as
we tried, we never caught Cartwright or Greene without the hairpiece. We
came close as we were filming a scene in which Ben leaped into a
‘lake,’ really a tank of water. He submerged, but the Gray Rat did
not. It floated. ‘Everyone clear the set,’ barked the assistant
director, aware of the star’s sensitivity. Dan and I just edged closer
to the tank; no one could move Blocker, and we wouldn’t have missed this
for the world. Ten, twenty, maybe thirty seconds passed. Finally a hand
appeared, snatched the soggy Gray Rat and pulled it under. A moment later,
up came Lorne, the dripping piece on his head, a grin on his face. Foiled
again!” (Later, Michael talked about visiting Lorne in hospital before
he died). “On August 4, he entered hospital for treatment. When I
visited him there, he was asleep and not wearing his hairpiece. I waited
until he awoke. ‘Do you realize,’ I said, ‘that after almost thirty
years this is the first time I’ve seen you without the Gray Rat.’
Lorne rolled his head back on the pillow and laughed at finally being
29. Bitter Water
- First aired on April 9, 1960.
Merry Anders guest stars in this
episode. This is said to be the episode where Michael met his wife to be Lynn on the set,
when she was an extra. Lynn later said in an interview on the Mike Douglas
show, “I worked extra, usually as a model or a dancer. They put me on Bonanza
and I wanted to go home until I saw green eyes here (Michael) and I changed
importantly, Mike and I have a great deal of respect for each other, and
we watch for things that might seem out of character. After all, if one
does something good, then it's good for the series. If it's bad, it's bad
for the series. I remember once checking Mike out for something he'd done
unconsciously. He had a scene where, as Little Joe, he was forced to kill
a man. The Cartwright's aren't killers and won't pull a gun unless forced
to it, as in this scene. Now Mike loves to twirl his gun into his holster
and after he'd fired that's exactly what he did. When the scene was over,
I went over to Mike and said, "Hi, killer boy." "What do
you mean by that?" he asked. "Loved the scene but hated the
end," I said. "Do you realize that you twirled your gun into the
holster after you shot that guy, which makes it look as if you enjoyed
killing?" Mike hadn't realized that he had done this and he was upset
when I told him about it. He wanted to re shoot the scene, but by that
time they had begun to strike the set and it was too late." Lorne
Greene, May 1961. Michael does this in the scene where Hoss is pinned
down with gunfire from two men. Joe comes along and shoots
one of the men, spinning his gun as he puts it back in the holster.
30. Feet Of Clay
– First aired on April 16, 1960.
This is the first episode in the series where Ben tells Joe to take his
feet of a piece of furniture. The following is part of an interview with
Lorne Greene and Michael Landon on the Dinah Shore show. Lorne Greene: “It
was about the third or fourth show, I don’t know what show it was. And we
were, all four of us, sitting around the coffee table and I was standing
up, Mike was sitting with his feet up on the coffee table. And just before
the shot, after the rehearsals, I said, ‘You know, Mike, this is a show
where we’re supposed to sort of like each other, respect each other.’ and
I said, ‘Mike, maybe you should like the furniture, respect the furniture.
You shouldn’t have your feet on the table.’ I really didn’t know how to
say it. He said, ‘Look, you play your part your way and I’ll play my part,
my way.’ Then later, when we did the shot, right in the middle of my speech,
I don’t know, it just came out of my head and I said, ‘Little Joe, take
your feet off the table,’ and he took his feet off the table. The shot went
long so they had to do it over again and this time he didn’t put his feet
up on the table. But sometime later, not too much later, maybe about eight
months, nine months later and he said, 'Hey Lorne, in this shot, wouldn’t
it be a good idea if I put my feet up on the table and you said get them
31. Dark Star
– First aired on April 23, 1960.
According to the writer of this episode, Anthony Lawrence, he had an interest
in supernatural stories rather than westerns so that is how he came up with
the idea for this episode.
Blooper: Tirza bites Joe's right hand but when
he comes out of the room, he is rubbing his left hand and shows that one
to Pa to see the wound.
32. Death at Dawn
- First aired on April 30, 1960.
In an interview, Michael talks about a scene from this episode. “In one
scene I was supposed to be stalking an outlaw. He was hiding in this alley
between two of the studio built western stores. My part there was to run
along the ‘boardwalk’ so that he could hear me coming, but instead of running
straight around the corner into his bullets, I had to dive full length into
the space between the two stores, twisting in the air as I did so, plus
drawing my pistol, and shooting the guy before I hit the ground. Brother!
You oughta try it! I had to do the same scene over and over again until
the director was satisfied and was I sore!” Guest staring in this episode
is Nancy Deale (playing Beth Cameron), she later married Lorne Greene.