This movie is based on the long running series but with a new cast. Aaron Cartwright, Ben's brother, is now in charge of the Ponderosa. Joe's wife, Annie also lives there. Her son, Benjamin has just returned from the East. Also living there is Mr. Mack, the cook, and Charlie Poke, the ranch foreman, who owes his life to Ben Cartwright and who constantly disagrees with Aaron. Aaron has just been approached by a mining company who wants mine for gold on the Ponderosa, and Charlie doesn't like but Aaron, who wants to give the citizens of Virginia City jobs, approves it. Later that night a young man, who has gun in his hand, is caught by Mr. Mack. He says that his name is Josh and Hoss Cartwright is his father, and that he abandoned him and his mother, who died recently. Aaron gives him a bed for the night and the next day, he takes him to Hoss' grave and tells him that he died before he could back to get him and his mother and they didn't know where to find them. Aaron asks Josh to stay but he is uncertain. While riding around, Josh sees that the mining company is using hydraulic mining, which damages the land. Later when he tells Benjamin about it, they get into a fight but Charlie stops them and Josh takes them there and after seeing it, they bring Aaron there. At a town meeting to discuss the mining company's methods, Aaron steps in and tells the company representative that he didn't agree to hydraulic mining, so he is shutting him down. And Charlie swears allegiance to Aaron. The town is upset cause some of the businessman have given out credit that they were expecting to recoup from the wages that they were going to earn from the mining. The representative tries to force his way back onto the Ponderosa but Charlie stops him and he dies in the melee. Later the owner of the mining company arrives in Virginia City and promises to rebuild the land that was decimated and that he will keep the operation going, and that it will done properly even if bankrupts him. Aaron then offers to pay his additional expenses.