Sunday, 27 February 2011
Bonanza: The complete episode guide part 3- season 1, eps 11-15
Away from the Ponderosa, the story opens out and this is a brilliant example of western television at its best.
Ben is patched up by the town doctor but it is decided he is not fit enough to travel back to the Ponderosa and he has to rest in a room in the town hotel until he is able to ride. Billy Morgan later dies of his wounds and the Morgans swear revenge. Then the posse who had gone out after the Morgans all return, dead, slung over their horses -the tension now builds as Hoss finds nobody in town is willing to help in the coming fight with the Morgans. Ben, still recovering, is unable to help his son but as far as he knows the town is behind them.
A truly excellent episode
It is worth pointing out that this episode is considered a fan favourite, especially by those who favour Adam Cartwright.
The Last Hunt (episode 15) may be light on action but it is nevertheless an excellent story -Little Joe and Hoss are away on an hunting trip when they come across a highly pregnant squaw who is trying to escape her tribe. The woman may be due to give birth at any time and the Cartwrights know they can't leave her alone, nor though can they take her back to the Ponderosa as she is far too delicate for the trip.
The problem is that the snows are due to start and if the trio are still on the mountain when the storm starts, then all ways off will be blocked until the spring. However because of the squaw's condition they have no option but to remain on the mountain until she gives birth and is fit enough to travel. There is some great comedy in this episode as Joe and Hoss attempt to make the girl comfortable and survive off the land.
THE CARTWRIGHTS - HOSS.
"I tasted real mortal fear, "Blocker later told a friend.
After the army Blocker had to decide between acting and teaching. With a young family to support, teaching seemed more stable but acting could be more lucrative. The young actor found himself cast in episodes of Cheyanne and Wagon Train, but he always seemed to play the heavy. Blocker was cast in The Restless Gun by future Bonanza creator, David Dortort but after Blocker played the part of Tiny in Cimmaron City he decided to give up acting and return to Texas and a teaching post. Dortrot then offered him the part in Bonanza and the rest is history.
On May 13, 1972, in Los Angeles, Blocker died suddenly following routine gall bladder surgery, of a pulmonary embolism. The cast and crew of Bonanza were shaken by his death, and the writers took the then-unusual step of referencing a major character's death in the show's storyline that autumn. Bonanza lasted another season, but the final season in which Blocker did not appear is the least-requested in reruns.