This is the chronicles of the family of Cartwright and is set in the city of Virginia in Nevada.
The Ponderosa Ranch which is of thousand square mile in area is owned by Ben Cartwright who is a widower.
He has sons who are born to different wives and his wives are not alive. The eldest among his sons, Adam is of a serious and contemplative nature. The middle son is Hoss who is huge as a mountain yet very gentle and not a very bright person. The youngest of the lot is Little Joe who is both impulsive and romantic. Bonanza is the story of these three men, collectively and individually, their interests in ranching and mining, and on the people who cross the paths of these men.
Victor Sen Yung plays the role of the Chinese immigrant family cook Hop Sing in this series. The series of Bonanza was considered as a Western due to the story which revolved more on the characters Ben and his sons, their love towards each other and justified causes and it stresses less on ranching.
The Ponderosa ranch is placed in Nevada on the shores of Lake Tahoe and is named after the Ponderosa pine which is very common along the west. City of Virginia is the nearest town to the ranch and this is where the Cartwright family visit often for conversing with the Sheriff Roy coffee portrayed by Ray Teal or with Clem Foster, the deputy played by Bing Russell. Blocker, Landon, Roberts and Greene are stars of equal stature and hence the credits at the opening revolves around the four names every time. As the story progressed it concentrated on one or two of the family in one episode giving the actors enough free time.
The initial idea was to portray the Cartwright family as people who are not amiable to strangers but the same was changed when Lorne Greene observed that being the biggest producer of livestock and timber, the family cannot be too clannish.
Initially, the character Ben Cartwright goes into flashback about one of his wives in an episode. Whenever a member from the family of Cartwright get involved with a woman she is either slain or leaves with another person or she dies from a disease.
Some of the episodes in the year 1964 showed another character by the name Will, played by Guy Williams, who is a visitor on the Ponderosa Ranch and is also the nephew of Ben. He is the son of Ben’s brother who is no more.
The title of the show “Bonanza” is an inspiration from the term used by the miners when they are referring to a large deposit or vein of ore.
The series Bonanza was stopped midway abruptly in the year 1972-73. However this show ran for nearly fourteen years which is not a normal feat in the industry of television series.
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