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Bonanza: The Lost Episodes

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The Encore Western channel will be airing all the 'lost episodes' of Bonanza starting next month (July 2012). These offerings are primarily from seasons 7 through 14 (just one with Pernell Roberts from the end of the sixth season, though he does not appear in it).

This is a great opportunity to see some of our favorite classic movie stars in guest roles.

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TB; Do you know how Bonanza got rid of the Pernell Roberts' character?

 

I.e. How did one of the bros just 'go away'? I just wonder how the series made the transition. I know that Candy kind of replaced Roberts as it relates to plots involving around his character but I don't recall if there were any transition episodes. e.g. did Roberts' character die? did he go away back east? I mean it wasn't like his character was just a ranch hand and they could just say he moved on.

 

 

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Candy (David Canary) was not an immediate replacement for Adam. Pernell left at the end of season 6, and Candy was not introduced until the beginning of season 9.

 

In some episodes of season 7 Adam was said to be in Europe. He was mentioned a few times by name. In later episodes, Ben would still refer to the fact he had three sons. In season 12, Ben adopts Jamie so technically he had four sons.

 

Jamie was an immediate replacement for Candy, since David Canary had a contract dispute and left the series. In season 14 (the final season), Candy returned, but by this point Dan Blocker had died, and Hoss' death was briefly mentioned but not fully explained.

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Thanks for the info. Well now I'm interested in seeing season 7 and 8. I assume plots involved more around the characters of Dan, Michael and Loree. I watch Bonanza now TV Land and a lot of the plots involve Pernell (it appears more so than the other 2 bros, but that could just be based on the season TV land has shown the last month or so).

 

 

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}TB; Do you know how Bonanza got rid of the Pernell Roberts' character?

If what I read below in the fan magazines of the time is true, this is one of the things that soured me on Pernell Roberts. When he wanted to leave the writers spent a season plotting a romance, marriage and leavetaking while bringing in Guy "Zorro" Williams as a cousin to replace him. Then Roberts changed his mind and Williams was left out in the cold although he did get Adam's girl as a way of writing her out as well. The next season he changed his mind again and this time they just said "See ya!" and later scripts had him in San Francisco or Europe. When they did a "next generation" movie ten years or so ago we learned from Adam, Jr. that he ended up in Australia. The show survived his going but not Dan Blocker's death; it only lasted another half-season after that.

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I think they should have tried to woo Pernell back when Dan Blocker died. I bet the show would have had a few more seasons if they had done that and then gradually worked in a new comic relief character to pick up where Hoss left off. They made some mistakes and the show ended abruptly without any real closure.

 

They also hired Tim Matheson to play new ranch hand Griff King in season 14. He did not exactly catch on and only appeared in a dozen episodes before cancellation. Interestingly, Griff was the main featured character in the last filmed episode. But NBC switched the order and used another one, which had Little Joe as the main character, as the final episode. This way the show ended with a story about one of the Cartwright sons.

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If you're a fan of Adam, look specifically at Season 7 Episode 31 entitled 'Home from the Sea.' This is one of the last times that Adam is mentioned. He is said to have been working on a ship since he left the Ponderosa, and one of his ex-shipmates comes to the ranch to swindle Ben.

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Thanks to TB and you for the info. I just saw the episodes with Guy Williams and the gal Adam was going to marry and I wondered if the plot line related to Roberts leaving the show. Until the end, the way the plot was going it looked like Adam would get married, move somewhere far away and thus be out of the picture. But once that didn't happened I wondered how they did explain where the oldest son went the next season.

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Nov 26, 2012 6:14 PM

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Well TVLand is now showing what I believe is the first season after Roberts (Adam), left the show. I have seen them mention Adam in a few of these episodes but only a very, very brief mention; e.g. Ben talking about his sons mentions all three by name.

 

I wonder if they did this with the idea that Roberts might come back. I assume so, otherwise why not just kill him off and be done with the character.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I think the producers left the door open for him. But when it became clear after a year or two that Pernell was not interested in returning, the show moved on without him.

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=jamesjazzguitar wrote:  Well now TV land is showing the first season; A lot of classic movie stars in these early ones.

Just saw the one where Ben asks Ruth Roman to be his wife. I don't know when this was made and thus how old Ruth was but she looked great. Yea, she gained some weight but that full figure really worked for her. I know Ben agreed with me!

 

This is from late 1959 or early 1960. Adah Menken was a real person and was famous-or infamous-for the stage show you saw performed on that episode and that notorious painting of her. So was Julia Buelette who Jane Greer played earlier in the week; everything about that story except her romance with Joe was also accurate. The one with Mala Powers on Thursday is a personal favorite; the scene with Dan Blocker when Hoss tells her character about his lost love after hers has died brings me to tears. He was the real romantic hero of the show and it was never the same without him.

Howard Duff plays Sam Clemens in one where he becomes "Mark Twain"; this is also fairly accurate. The critics savaged the show that year and the ratings were low but NBC had so much invested in it because of it being in color they kept it on and the second year it finally took off. The critics never did warm up to it but the public did.

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Thanks for the info. I was always a fan of the show. My violin teacher was a member of the NBC Orchestra and he was very proud that he was on the recording for the Bonanza song.

 

Yes, it is very cool how they used some classic movie stars to play historical stars.

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Bonanza: The Lost Episodes is being replaced by the return of Cheyenne.  The last airing will be on Monday June 30th.  We're lucky that Encore has aired these seldom-seen episodes for two years, and hopefully they will be rebroadcast again.

 

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David Canary, who played Candy, has just died. Unless Mitch Vogel is still alive he was the last regular member of the cast.

 

MeTV now has these "lost " episodes running instead of the regular ones.  They are simply the last two or three seasons of the show filmed at WB rather than Paramount where the other seasons were made.  Unfortunately, MeTV has commercials so they will be heavily edited whereas on Encore we got the whole episode without them.

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David Canary, who played Candy, has just died. Unless Mitch Vogel is still alive he was the last regular member of the cast.

 

MeTV now has these "lost " episodes running instead of the regular ones.  They are simply the last two or three seasons of the show filmed at WB rather than Paramount where the other seasons were made.  Unfortunately, MeTV has commercials so they will be heavily edited whereas on Encore we got the whole episode without them.

Thanks for the update. I am not sure about Mitch Vogel, but Tim Matheson is still alive...he played Griff during the show's final season.

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Thanks for the update. I am not sure about Mitch Vogel, but Tim Matheson is still alive...he played Griff during the show's final season.

 

 

Thanks, I forgot about Tim.  I think he was on The Virginian for a time as well which is where I tend to place him.   

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Thanks, I forgot about Tim.  I think he was on The Virginian for a time as well which is where I tend to place him.   

 

Tim Matheson is currently 67. According to wiki, Mitch Vogel is 59 and still living (he would be the youngest cast member). Apparently, Mitch quit show business in the late 1970s...but Tim has had a long screen career and is still working in Hollywood.

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Today, on INSP, I saw a very well- written episode with Tim Considine and Royal Dano as a warring son and father and Dan Blocker as the man who got them back together.

 

The son had been seduced by a gang of cattle rustlers and was attempting to resist their hold on him.

 

But they told him that once he was a part of them, he could never NOT be a part of them.

 

Strong homoerotic undercurrent, but episode did not stress it too heavily.

 

Superb performances by the three principals and the extremely good-looking actor who wanted Tim Considine back.

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Today, on INSP, I saw a very well- written episode with Tim Considine and Royal Dano as a warring son and father and Dan Blocker as the man who got them back together.

Was it a Lost episode, or one of the original syndication episodes?

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Was it a Lost episode, or one of the original syndication episodes?

Jarrod, I don't know.

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Jarrod, I don't know.

I think I've seen it, because your description of it sounded familiar. 

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Today, on "Bonanza: The Lost Episodes" on MeTV, there was an excellent episode that centered on a really old man who was a lonely widower and lived on a farm and discovered two runaway boys who had no parents and were about to be split up.

 

His attempts to shield them from the law and take care of them himself were truly heartbreaking.

 

Jack Albertson gave a superlative performance - and the two boys were very, very endearing.

 

Lorne Greene and Michael Landon were around, but they were mostly cameo appearances.

 

Is a "lost episode" one that wasn't televised?

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Today, on "Bonanza: The Lost Episodes" on MeTV, there was an excellent episode that centered on a really old man who was a lonely widower and lived on a farm and discovered two runaway boys who had no parents and were about to be split up.

 

His attempts to shield them from the law and take care of them himself were truly heartbreaking.

 

Jack Albertson gave a superlative performance - and the two boys were very, very endearing.

 

Lorne Greene and Michael Landon were around, but they were mostly cameo appearances.

 

Is a "lost episode" one that wasn't televised?

That was the 'The Sound of Sadness' from the final (14th) season. Landon wrote and directed it. You're right-- very strong episode. Like the type of stories Landon would do later on Little House and Highway to Heaven.

 

Every episode of Bonanza was televised on NBC during its initial run, including the 'lost' ones. The reason they are known as 'Lost Episodes' is because when the show was sold into syndication, there were 430 total episodes and only 200 or so were picked for syndication (all of the early ones with Pernell Roberts plus select episodes from the later seasons). It wasn't until the late 80s and 90s, after Greene and Landon died that people were asking to see all of the episodes. So a second syndication package was created with the additional episodes, which were retitled as the 'Lost Episodes.' The ones in the second package hadn't been seen on television since their original broadcast on NBC over twenty years earlier.

 

But now because all of the seasons have been released on DVD, they really aren't 'lost' anymore. What you are seeing on Me-TV are those episodes that are in the second syndication package. When I created this thread, they were being broadcast on the Encore Westerns channel without commercial interruptions.

 

Encore aired them six days a week (Monday through Saturday) and played each of the 'lost' episodes three times, and that lasted about two years.

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MeTv is currently airing the lost episodes of Bonanza as well as the early seasons of Gunsmoke when Chester was a character.  This is daytime.

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