Follow by email

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bonanza: The complete episode guide part 2- season 1, eps 6-10

Season 1, episode six - The Julia Bulette story. After a run of good episodes I found this one slightly disappointing. It's not that it's a particularly bad episode but its short on action and features a storyline that sees Little Joe fall for saloon girl Julia Bulette. Joe gets into a fight to defend Julia's honour and even although he comes off second best, Julia Bulette is touched by the way he tried to defend her.

"They snub you on Sunday and come to your place on Monday,' Little Joe, annoyed by the hypocritical attitude of the townsfolk.

The following episode, The Saga of Annie O'Toole is much more entertaining and features the Cartwright's involved in settling land disputes between miners. Into the mix comes Annie O'Tool who claims she has inherited a good section of land from her recently deceased father. Initially and with Adam Cartwright's help she sets up a cafe to feed the miners with her speciality Mulligan stew going down a treat. However unscrupulous  Gregory Spain claims to be the real owner of Annie's land and a battle takes place with Ben Cartwright in the middle to adjudicate.

Next we have the Phillip Deidesheimer Story - Philip Deidesheimer  was a German mining engineer who invented a system of supports for mines, using heavy timber "cubes" now known as square set timbering, that enabled skilled miners to open three-dimensional cavities of any size underground. Deidesheimer created the system for the Ophir Mine in Virginia City, Nevada in 1860. The system, which was inspired by the structure of honeycombs, enabled mining of the large silver ore bodies of the Comstock Lode. Deidesheimer refused to patent the innovation. And it is the invention of this new mining system that is fictionalised for this great episode of Bonanza.

Bonanza often used real historical characters in its stories - earlier in the season there had been the Mark Twain story and after the Deidesheimer episode  the series again mixed fiction and fact for an episode entitled, Mr Henry Comstock. 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

By episode ten we had already had storyline involving both Little Joe and Adam falling in love and now it was time for old Ben to take his turn. The Magnificent Adah - 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. This is a great episode with some excellent and dignified acting from Lorne Greene. Michael Landon also shines as he goes up against one time prizefighter, John Regan (loosely based on John C Heenan) who is a one time lover of the actress his father is so smitten with.

Bonanza had by now found its feet and the rest of the first season was made up of a run of episodes that rate amongst the best western television ever made - next we will look at episodes 11 - 15  and the appearance of a young James Coburn.`

No comments: