Bonanza: Season 8 (1966 - 1967)


Season 8
Bonanza

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 11, 1966

On September 11, 1966, the eighth episode of Bonanza got off to a strong start with the episode titled "Something Hurt, Something Wild." The long-standing friendship between the Cartwrights and Jed Ferguson is shattered when Jed's daughter Laurie (Lynn Loring) screamingly accuses Joe Cartwright of assaulting her. The neurotic Laurie sparks a simmering feud that threatens to erupt into irrevocable tragedy. Also in the cast are Erik Holland as Cleve Ferguson, Ron Foster as Stark, David Pritchard as Bret, Bruce MacFarlane, and Roger Corman "regular" Bruno Ve Sota in the semi-recurring role of a bartender. "Something Hurt, Something Wild" was written by William R. Cox.

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Air date: Sep 18, 1966

At the request of gallant Colonel Fairchild (Charles Ruggles) and his lovely daughter Patty Lou (Julie Parrish), Ben Cartwright agrees to arrange a championship horse race. What Ben doesn't know is that the Colonel has fixed the outcome of the race to rid himself of nasty creditor Jack Geller (Skip Homeier). When Ben finds this out he enlists the aid of his son Joe to fix Geller's wagon without harming the Fairchilds. Written by William R. Cox, "Horse of a Different Hue" first aired September 18, 1966.

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Air date: Sep 25, 1966

Ed Begley Sr. makes a return visit to Bonanza in the role of proud old Ponderosa wrangler Dan Tolliver. Sensing that Dan is getting too old for his work, Ben Cartwright arranges for the stubborn ranchhand to take on an easier job. Infuriated, Dan quits the Ponderosa and falls in with two outlaws who have a long-standing hatred for the Cartwrights. Others in the cast include Audrey Totter as Beth Riley, Sherwood Price as Sand, Renny McAvoy as Flint and former B-western star Don "Red" Barry as Temple. Written by Frank Chase and directed by movie leading man Paul Henreid, "A Time to Step Down", was originally seen on September 25, 1966, then rebroadcast on New Years' Eve, 1967.

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Air date: Oct 2, 1966

Written by Thomas Thompson and Marc Michaels, "The Pursued" was the second of Bonanza's two-part stories. In Beehive, Nevada, the Cartwrights arranged to buy horses from Mormon rancher Heber Clawson (Eric Fleming). Soon they become involved in Clawson's stubborn determination to remain in Beehive with his two wives Susannah (Dina Merrill) and Elizabeth Ann (Lois Nettleton), despite religious persecution from the townsfolk in general and a fanatical self-ordained minister (Booth Colman) in particular. Things go from bad to worse when ruthless town boss Grant Carbo (Vincent Beck) falls in love with Elizabeth Ann. Part One of "The Pursued" originally aired on October 2, 1966.

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Air date: Oct 9, 1966

In Part Two of "The Pursued", Mormon rancher Heber Clawson (Eric Fleming) is burned out of his home and shot to death by a bigoted mob, spurred on by a demented self-ordained minister. It is up to the Cartwrights to provide safe passage for Heber's two wives Susannah (Dina Merrill) and Elizabeth Ann (Lois Nettelton)-and to secure emergency medical attention for the seriously injured, and very pregnant, Elizabeth Ann. The story takes a positive turn when a new minister tries to undo the damage wrought upon the Mormon women. Written by Thomas Thompson and Marc Michaels, Part Two of "The Pursued" originally aired on October 9, 1966. Both Parts One and Two were removed from the Bonanza syndicated package when the series aired on the Family Channel cable network, reportedly because the story's religious message did not jibe with the beliefs of network chairman Pat Robertson.

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Air date: Oct 16, 1966

Geraldine Brooks, who played Ben Cartwright's first wife in the 1961 Bonanza episode "Elizabeth, My Love," was cast as Hoss Cartwright's love interest in the October 16, 1966 episode "To Bloom for Thee." Beaten down by life, Carol Attley (Brooks) has become cold, aloof and distrustful. Nonetheless, she agrees to marry Hoss-only to violently change her mind when Ben asks her a few innocent questions about her past. Don Haggerty also appears as Demers. "To Bloom for Thee" was written by June Randolph.

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Air date: Oct 23, 1966

A horse thief with a price on his head is shot by both Joe Cartwright and his friend, stone-broke farmer Morgan Tanner (Dean Harens). When the authorities arrive, Joe takes full credit for the killing-and claims the reward, which Morgan and his family need desperately. Why is Joe acting in this seemingly cold and selfish manner? Also in the cast are Luana Patten and Regina Gleason as Morgan's wife Lorna and daughter Martha. Written by Frederic Louis Fox, "Credit for a Kill" first aired on October 23 1966.

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Air date: Oct 30, 1966

The title characters in this episode of Bonanza are the Lowell sisters: Ara (Vera Miles, Gabrielle (Lyn Edgington, Lorraine (Madeline Mack) and Heather (Melinda Plowman). Having inherited their uncle's ranch, the ladies arrive in Virginia City to discover that all they've received is a pile of debts and a whopping bill for back taxes. Ben Cartwright steps in to save the sisters from financial ruin, earning the undying gratitude of three of the ladies-and the suspicions of Ara, who is certain that Ben has an ulterior motive. David Rose's background music for this episode includes what would evolve into the theme for the later David Dortort-produced western series The High Chaparral. Originally telecast on October 30, 1966, "Four Sisters from Boston" was written by John M. Chester.

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Air date: Nov 6, 1966

Hoss Cartwright saves Old Charlie (John McIntire, the town's premiere spinner of tall and outlandish tales, from a knife-wielding outlaw. Determined to prove himself a hero, Charlie takes credit for killing the outlaw, even though the brothers of the dead man have sworn revenge. Does Charlie truly have the guts to back up his self-aggrandizing tales of courage, or will Hoss have to bail him out a second time. Written by Robert and Wanda Duncan, "Old Charlie" was a true family affair: In addition to John McIntire, the supporting cast included McIntire's wife Jeannette Nolan as Annie, and their son Tim McIntire in the dual roles of Billy and George Barker. The episode originally aired on November 16, 1966.

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Air date: Nov 13, 1966

Fifteen years after Ben Cartwright's testimony sent a man named Preston to the gallows, Preston's son Colter arrives in Virginia City. A self-styled troubador, Colter sings a bitter ballad denouncing Ben and proclaiming his own father's innocence, forcing the authorities to re-open the case. Colter even goes so far as to shoot himself so that Ben will be arrested for attempted murder. Also appearing are Ann Doran as Lisa Stanley, Roger Davis as Harold Stanley, and John Archer as Dave Sinclair. The teleplay, by series costar Michael Landon and Rik Vollaerts, manages to include a reference to long-department Cartwright brother Adam. "Ballad of the Ponderosa" was first shown on November 13, 1966.

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