Bonanza - Season 1

NBC (ended 1973)




Episode Guide

  • Death at Dawn
    Episode 32
    Criminals have taken over Virginia City and are forcing citizens to pay for protection lest they suffer an "accident". A store owner who didn't pay is murdered by gang member and the sole witness, the victim's wife Beth, is offered protection at the Ponderosa. For his trouble, Ben is kidnapped by the gang leader.moreless
  • Dark Star
    Episode 31
    Joe is about to shoot what he thinks is a wolf that turns out to be a young gypsy woman. Tirzaza has been condemned to death by her people claiming she's a witch. She's brought to the Ponderosa where she and Joe fall in love. Joe goes about the task of explaining the strange happenings that are blamed on the woman.moreless
  • Feet of Clay
    Episode 30
    The Cartwrights take young Billy Allen to the Ponderosa following the death of his mother. Hoss is the only one that is able to penetrate the boy's hostility and bitterness. As the two begin to get close, Billy's father Vance breaks out of prison and comes for the boy.
  • Bitter Water
    Episode 29
    The Cartwrights object when a neighbor's son wants to sell his family's property to his future father-in-law Len Keith. The uncaring mine operator would ruin the region's water supply with pollution. Angry that the Cartwrights are cause problems, Keith plants diseased cattle in the Ponderosa herd.
  • San Francisco
    Episode 28
    After a long cattle drive, the Cartwrights and their men looking forward to painting the town of San Francisco. Despite Ben's warning to be careful, a couple of their naive hands get themselves shanghaied and on a boat heading to China. After Ben goes to save the men, Hoss and Joe end up having to do the same for their Pa.moreless
  • The Last Trophy
    Episode 27
    Lord and Lady Dunsford arrive at the Ponderosa to visit their old friend Ben. Adam finds himself the object of Lady Marion's attentions. deeming him more of a "real man" than her husband. A former big game hunter, Lord Marion has lost his lust for killing and violence. Adam then takes the couple on a hunting trip, where Lord Dunsford freezes while attempting to shoot a cougar. Their party is captured by a band of renegades and Lady Dunsford wonders if her husband will ever be the man he used to be.moreless
  • The Avenger
    Episode 26
    Ben and Adam are in the Virginia City jail waiting to be hanged for murder. The only witness is the dead man's daughter who claims she saw the Cartwrights do the killing. Attempts by Joe and Hoss to get them out are hindered by the townspeople's fear of the true murderer and his gang. A stranger arrives in town on a mission to avenge his own father's murder, takes a liking to Ben, and comes to their defense.moreless
  • 3/5/60
    Adam is attacked by escaped convicts. Ben joins Army Captain Bolton in the search for Adam's attackers.
  • Escape to Ponderosa
    Escape to Ponderosa
    Episode 25
    Adam is bushwhacked by three deserters from the Army who are hiding out on the Ponderosa. When Ben pursues them, he is hindered by a Captain Bolton, the arrogant commander of a military posse who is also after the men.
  • The Stranger
    Episode 24
    As Ben prepares to run for governor, a police inspector from New Orleans shows up with a warrant for his arrest on murder charges. Joe realizes it's a bogus claim and investigates to find the reason behind Inspector Leduque's long-running grudge against his father.
  • Desert Justice
    Episode 23
    U.S. Marshal Emmett Dowd arrives at the Ponderosa to take ranch hand Dave Walker to face trial in Los Angeles. Concerned by the way Dowd treats Walker, and believing the man to be innocent, Adam and Hoss decide to go along to make sure that Walker reaches Los Angeles alive.
  • Blood on the Land
    Episode 22
    Shady sheepherder Jeb Drummond and his sons are grazing their herds on the Ponderosa. Ben tells them to get off the property, but the Drummonds have a different idea and take Adam hostage.
  • The Spanish Grant
    Episode 21
    When the Cartwrights find out that some of the Ponderosa may be forfeited under the Spanish Land Grant, they decide to take legal action in order to stop it. Adam, however, takes another plan of action, which involves getting to know the beautiful heiress who is claiming the land under the grant.moreless
  • The Fear Merchants
    Episode 20
    Bigotry against the Chinese is exploited by racist Virginia City mayoral candidate Andrew Fulmer and his band of thugs. A local woman is killed and the Cartwrights' friend, young Jimmy Chang, is falsely charged with the murder. Fulmer exploits the situation in his campaign of fear and intolerance. Adam pleads with the dead girl's family to come forward with the truth.moreless
  • The Gunmen
    Episode 19
    Joe and Hoss arrive in the town of Keowa Flats, Texas in the middle of a feud between two families. To their misfortune, they look like a pair of gun-slinging brothers, the Slades, who have been hired by one family to kill the head of the other.
  • A House Divided
    Episode 18
    Joe's old friend Frederick Kyle arrives in Virginia City on a fund-raising mission for the Confederacy. Figuring out the town was fairly evenly divided, he beings to stir up controversy for his financial benefit. To the disappointment of his family, Joe beings to warm to Kyle's beliefs.
  • The Outcast
    Episode 17
    A young woman is shunned by the others in Virginia City because her father and brother were hanged as murderers; only the Cartwrights treat her well. She makes the mistake of turning to the first person to show her some kindness, a "former" outlaw named Clay Renton.
  • El Toro Grande
    Episode 16
    Ben sends Hoss and Little Joe down to Mexico to purchase the bull known as El Toro Grande. While down there, Joe gets involved with the beautiful daughter of El Toro's owner and Hoss finds out that the son of one of the ranch hands has formed a very deep attachment to the bull.moreless
  • The Last Hunt
    Episode 15
    Hoss and Joe are on a winter hunting trip when they come across a pregnant Indian woman. They deliver the baby and bring the mother and child back to the Ponderosa. Two men are searching for woman, one with the intention of killing her.
  • The Sisters
    Episode 14
    Adam is courting Sue-Ellen Terry, a woman of questionable reputation. She lives with a sister who's jealous of her youthful good looks. When Sue-Ellen's gunned down, the town drunk says he saw Adam do it. Adam claims his innocence, but the men of Virginia City, many of whom have enjoyed Sue-Ellen's company, fail to come to his defense.moreless
  • Vendetta
    Episode 13
    While in the bank, Ben and Hoss are caught in a robbery by the Morgan gang. Ben gets shot but manages to take down one of Morgan's brothers. Leader Carl Morgan vows to avenge his death and the town cowers in fear. This leaves only Ben, Hoss, a drunk and a visiting doctor to defend the town against the Morgans.moreless
  • The Hanging Posse
    Episode 12
    Flint Johnson's wife was killed by one of three men who came to the house when she was alone. He puts together a posse, and friends Adam and Little Joe join the group. Johnson has no intention on bringing the killer back alive, but the Cartwrights intend to make sure the murderer gets proper justice.moreless
  • The Truckee Strip
    Episode 11
    Luther Bishop and Ben Cartwright have had an ongoing dispute over a small tract of land called the Truckee Strip. The feud is reignited by one of Bishop's employees who's in cahoots with a baron who wants the lumber. Complicating matters is the romance that has sprung up between Little Joe and Bishop's daughter Amy.moreless
  • 11/14/59
    Famous actress Adah Isaacs Menken visits Virginia City with her popular play. She and Ben go way back and the two begin to renew their friendship -- much to the chagrin of Adam, Hoss and Joe. Ben's sons believe that Adah has plans to become the next Mrs. Cartwright so they set out to stop her. However, Menken's boyfriend, John Regan, a professional fighter, has plans of his own for the beautiful actress.moreless
  • Mr. Henry Comstock
    Episode 9
    The Cartwrights are met by an old coot with a gun who claims they're on his land; he even has a deed signed by Henry Comstock to prove it. They explain that the paper is worthless because Comstock was a con-man always on the run and perpetrating a scam. The episode flashes back to how Comstock accidentally found the huge silver deposit while trying to pull a swindle, and how Virginia City got its name.moreless
  • 10/31/59
    Adam and Hoss meet Philip Diedesheimer, a Dutch immigrant who is trying to convince the silver mine owners in Virginia City that his square set mine system works. The owner of one mine is determined to see that Deidesheimer's idea is not accepted. However, when a friend of Adam gets killed in a mine collapse, the Cartwright boys set about making sure that Deidesheimer is given the chance he deserves.moreless
  • 10/24/59
    Annie O'Toole and her father head out to the Washoe Diggings after her fiance, Swede Lundberg, returns with the deeds to two mines. When her father dies, Adam's helps Annie open a restaurant to supply meals to the hungry miners. Things seem to be going well until an old acquaintance shows up insisting Annie and Swede's claim is his.moreless
  • 10/17/59
    Joe falls in love with an older woman, attractive Julia Bulette who owns a saloon in Virginia City. Joe's Pa and his brother's aren't pleased, and neither is Jean Millain who believes that Julia is his and his alone.
  • Enter Mark Twain
    Episode 5
    Sam Clemens arrives in Virginia City as a reporter at the "Territorial Enterprise". Soon, the Ponderosa is crawling with the curious after Clemens writes an outrageous story about a "Wild Man" spotted on the ranch. The Cartwrights and Clemens quickly become allies to fight a crooked judge running for office. Clemens gets beaten for his unflattering stories of the candidate who's plotting a land grab at the Ponderosa.moreless
  • The Paiute War
    Episode 4
    Underhanded trader Mike Wilson assaults two Paiute maidens and tells the Indian chief that Adam did the dastardly deed. Appalled, the Paiutes take the eldest Cartwright hostage, and before he has a chance to defend his innocence, an all-out war breaks out between the Native American tribe and the California militia.moreless
  • The Newcomers
    Episode 3
    Blake McCall and his crew want to mine the Ponderosa land by hydraulic means, but Ben is against this destructive method. Hoss is given the task of making sure McCall's men to leave. Instead, he meets Emily Pennington, McCall's fiance, a beautiful woman with a heartbreaking secret; she's terminally ill.
  • The Sun Mountain Herd
    Antelopes are being slaughtered by two poachers which violates the Cartwright's agreement with the Paiutes. To put a stop the antelope killings, Ben sells beef to the miners at lower prices. When innocent miners are killed bringing in beef from the Ponderosa, the deaths are wrongly blamed on the Paiutes, threatening to set off an Indian war.moreless
  • 9/19/59
    Ben Cartwright finds out that Mark Burdette (Barry Sullivan) and Early Thorne (Leo Gordon) have been illegally slaughtering the antelope on the Paiute Indians' property, then selling the meat to the miners at an exorbitant price. To thwart the two poachers and protect the Indians' food supply, Ben offers to sell his own meat at a much lower price.moreless
  • A Rose for Lotta
    Episode 1
    In the series opener, Ben refuses to sell the Ponderosa's timber to Alpheus Troy and his business cartel that wanting it for mine building. They enlist the aid of actress Lotta Crabtree to lure in a Cartwright son so they can kidnap him and force Ben to sell. Joe is captured when he goes to call on the attractive Lotta, but Troy doesn't realize how formidable the Cartwright family can be.moreless