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 "Ponderosa"

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PostSubject: "Ponderosa"   Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:44 pm

The Ponderosa is a television series developed by Bonanza creator David Dortort for PAX-TV (now known as ION) that ran for the 2001–2002 television season. Envisioned as a prequel to the long-running NBC series Bonanza, it had less gunfire, brawling and other traditional western elements than the original. Bonanza creator David Dortort approved PAX TV's decision to hire Beth Sullivan, creator and executive producer of Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman to oversee scripts and executive produce, which some believe gave the series a softer edge. The Ponderosa was canceled after one season, in part because of disappointing ratings and high production costs. Although Sullivan had hoped to film the series in and around Los Angeles, PAX decided to film in Australia to reduce costs. Series "show runner" Sullivan sustained severe injuries in a car crash only twelve days after the airing of the first season's last episode. Some fans of Bonanza may not feel that The Ponderosa is a prequel, either in storyline or character development, as the cast was presented somewhat differently from the Cartwrights of Bonanza, some of the most iconic figures in television history.

Cast

* Matthew Carmody as Adam Cartwright
* Daniel Hugh Kelly as Ben Cartwright
* Drew Powell as Hoss Cartwright
* Jared Daperis as Little Joe Cartwright
* Brad Dourif as Frenchy
* Josephine Byrnes as Margaret Green
* Fernando Carrillo as Carlos Rivera de Vega
* Sara Gleeson as Tess Greene
* Nicky Wendt as Shelby Sterritt
* Gareth Yuen as Hop Sing
* Jaqueline Aries as Isabella Maria Rivera de Vega (episodes 10-16)
* Marcella Toro as Isabella Maria Rivera de Vega (episodes 6–7)
* Peter Stefanou as Jorge

Continuity

While a number of minor (or perceived) inconsistencies exist between The Ponderosa and Bonanza, a few glaring retcons are present. Most notable among these is the fate of Little Joe's mother, Marie. In the original series, Marie's death was depicted in the episode "Marie, My Love" as a result of falling off a horse in front of the Ponderosa ranch house.[1] Meanwhile in the new series Marie is killed in Virginia City by a miner who is trying to murder Ben Cartwright.[2] Making the situation even more confusing, the pilot for the original series identifies Little Joe's mother as "Felicia" and not Marie.[1]
[edit] Episode list
Title Original Airdate Episode Production
Pilot (Part 1) September 9, 2001 01 101
Ben Cartwright moves his family to Lake Tahoe, seeking to open a cattle ranch. Trouble arises, however, when a mining prospector seeks to claim the same property as Cartwright.
Pilot (Part 2) September 9, 2001 02 102
After his third wife is murdered by the prospector, Ben seeks an end to the developing feud. At the same time, Little Joe decides to take matters into his own hands and goes after the killer. At the same time, Ben hires Carlos and Hop Sing to work at his ranch.
Joaquin September 16, 2001 03 103
Hoss and Little Joe are in for a shock when an accused gunman known as "Joaquin" is rumored to be in town. Joaquin is a well known outlaw who teaches Adam how to shoot a pistol, something that his father refuses him to have.
Bare Knuckles September 23, 2001 04 104
Hoss decides to challenge "Iron Hands" Malloy, a renowned fighter, to a boxing match. However Adam does some digging and finds that this particular fighter is known for his cheating...
Promise September 30, 2001 05 105
After Adam shoots and kills a robber, he makes a promise to watch out for the man's family. At the same time a former slave named Samuel Washington, but who in reality is Samuel Newborn shows up in town peddling items that he claims are passed down from George Washington's mansion.
Homeland October 14, 2001 06 106
Carlos is reunited with his long-lost sister Isabella whom he had been separated from during the Mexican–American War. Destitute and homeless, Ben agrees to take her in, but when a sheriff enters town on the trail of a killer things become complex as Isabella's horse once belonged to the murdered man.
Quarantine October 28, 2001 07 107
A deadly illness afflicts the area, putting the town under a quarantine.
Secrets & Lies October 14, 2001 08 108
An author whose adopted son lived through Donner Party seeks out Adam, of all people, to write the "true story" of what happened. At the same time, Ben does some soul-searching in regards to past mistakes while secrets hidden by Margaret and Shelby are revealed.
The Legend of John Riley October 18, 2001 09 109
When a known traitor who fought for Mexico against his country of birth, one John Riley, takes up residence at the Ponderosa, a wedge is driven between members of the Cartwright family and their friends. Particularly upset is Tess, who opposes the man because her own father was killed in the Mexican-American War.
Brother vs. Brother December 2, 2001 10 110
A dance is being held in town and everyone is trying to find the perfect date. Tess tries to woe Adam, but is too late when Isabella asks him first. Margaret and Shelby also get in on the fun, both battling for Ben's affections.
Where the Heart Is December 16, 2001 11 111
A friend of the family comes to town seeking to bring Little Joe out from Nevada and to back to Ben's old home in New Orleans.
Treasure January 6, 2002 12 112
Adam, Carlos, and Hoss find a treasure map in the hands of a dead man. The three decide to follow it to the riches apparently hidden by the man, but, as one would expect, they are being followed by others who know about the map.
Spoils of War January 13, 2002 13 113
A former friend of Carlos' named Manuel comes to Ponderosa. He reacts with shock and disgust at Carlos' employment with the Cartwrights as it was the Americans who defeated their people in the Mexican-American War. At the same time, he sets into motion a plan to retake the land around Lake Tahoe. It is the last episode with Carlos as he is killed by a robber that is working with Manuel.
A Time to Win January 20, 2002 14 114
An entrepreneur comes to town, builds a new hotel, and seeks to expand the town's market, but what is he really after?
Blind Faith February 10, 2002 15 115
A rainmaker with a beautiful daughter named Judith comes to town. Hoss immediately falls for her, but can the good reverend really perform miracles?
Lesser of Evils February 17, 2002 15 116
Isabella's childhood sweetheart, long thought dead, arrives at the Ponderosa and wants to pick up where they left off. Isabella is torn between doing just that or trying to continue her blossoming relationship with Adam.
Comes a Horse March 24, 2002 17 117
An illness sweeps through the cattle all around Lake Tahoe, leading to calls to destroy all the livestock.
Grown Ups April 28, 2002 18 118
Hoss and Tess discover an abandoned baby and consider marrying in order to raise the child together.
Samson and Hercules May 5, 2002 19 119
Hoss sets out to end wolf fights that are being held in town as a gambling event.
Fugitive May 12, 2002 20 120
Sam Newborn returns on the run after a new law states that escaped slaves in any territory must be captured and returned to their owners.

DVD release

Shortly after the series first aired, four episodes were released on two DVDs. The first DVD featured both parts of the pilot episode, while the second featured "Brother vs. Brother" and "Treasure".

On May 25, 2004,[3] The Ponderosa: Season 1: Volume 1 was released. This set collects the first ten episodes of the series. As of yet there are no announced plans to release the last ten episodes of the series on DVD.
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