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Episodes appear in order of original air date which may not coincide with when they were actually filmed. Episodes that are linked have an In-Depth article.

Season 11: Episodes #334-341 | #342-349 | #350-357 | #358-361


Episode #342: Meena

Air Date: November 16, 1969   Written by: Jack B. Sowards   Directed by: Herschel Daugherty
Guest Stars: Ann Prentiss (Meena Calhoun), Dub Taylor (Luke Calhoun), Victor French (Jesse Potter), George Morgan (Virgil Potter), Robert Donner (Owen Potter)

Joe and Candy meet Meena Calhoun, a prospector's daughter, and have a little trouble with claim jumpers.

Trivia: This is the first of three episodes where Ann Prentiss portrayed Meena Calhoun. The sister of actress Paula Prentiss, she displayed signs of emotional and mental problems in later years. In 1997 Prentiss was convicted in a Santa Monica, California court of terrorizing her family. She was convicted of making terrorist threats, assault with a firearm, battery, and solicitation to commit the murder of her brother-in-law Richard Benjamin and her father. She was sentenced to 19 years in jail for the crimes. She died in January, 2010.

Darker Shadow

Episode #343: A Darker Shadow

Air Date: November 23, 1969   Written by: John Hawkins, Jonathan Knopf, B.W. Sandefur   Directed by: Don Richardson
Guest Stars: Gregory Walcott (Wade Turner), Sandra Smith (Sarah Sellers), Dabney Coleman (Clyde), Bing Russell (Deputy Clem Foster)

Joe tries to help his friend who has begun to go blind.

Trivia: This was Greg Walcott's fifth of seven appearances in the series. During the 1970s, he served as a great "ham-fisted" foil to Clint Eastwood, appearing in four of Eastwood's films: The Eiger Sanction (1975), Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) and Joe Kidd (1972). Usually Eastwood would pummel Walcott to a bloody pulp by the end of the picture.

Dead Wrong

Episode #344: Dead Wrong

Air Date: December 7, 1969   Written by: Michael Landon   Directed by: Michael Landon
Guest Stars: Arthur Hunnicutt (Salty Hubbard), Eric Christmas (Bobby Dan), Mike Mazurki (Big Jack), John Carradine (Preacher Dillard)

Hoss and Candy are mistaken for a pair of outlaws in Sunville. Candy and Hoss together stage Hoss' death.

Trivia: This was Arthur Hunnicutt's fourth and final appearance in the series.

This was John Carradine's second and last appearance in the series. Michael Landon used Dan Blocker's real name in this episode for one of the characters - 'Bobby Dan.'

Old Friends

Episode #345: Old Friends

Air Date: December 14, 1969   Written by: Barney Slater   Directed by: Leon Benson
Guest Stars: obert J. Wilke (Charlie Sheppard), Morgan Woodward (Jess Waddell), Bing Russell (Deputy Clem Foster), Victor Sen Yung (Hop Sing)

Two of Ben's old friends are on different sides of the law. One is wanted and the other is a bounty hunter.

Trivia: This was Robert Wilke's fifth and final appearance in the series. A character actor of primarily villanous roles, his big break occured when he appeared as one of the heavies in High Noon (1952). This led to work in higher-quality films. He worked extensively in television as well as movies, and became an enormously familiar face, though a fairly anonymous one to the general public.


Episode #346: Abner Willoughby's Return

Air Date: December 21, 1969   Written by: Jack B. Sowards, Leslie McFarlane   Directed by: Herschel Daugherty
Guest Stars: John Astin (Abner Willoughby), Emmaline Henry (Widow Sprague), Irene Tedrow (Minnie Mitchell)

Joe befriends a man who tried to steal his horse. The later try to find gold that Abner buried before he went to sea.

Trivia: This was John Astin's first and only appearance on Bonanza. He is best remembered for his starring role as Gomez Addams in the The Addams Family (1964.) He is the only surviving adult cast member still alive.

Small World

Episode #347: It's a Small World

Air Date: January 4, 1970   Written by: Michael Landon   Directed by: Michael Landon
Guest Stars: Michael Dunn (George Marshall), Edward Binns (John Flint), Bing Russell (Deputy Clem Foster)

Ben tries to help a widowed circus midget with a new baby find a job in Virginia City.

Trivia: This was Michael Dunn's first and only appearance in the series. Dunn was a concert pianist at age 15, until he suffered from chrondrodystrophy, crippling his elbows and ruining his career as a pianist. He then took up acting. He is probably best known for his role as Dr. Migelito Loveless on the CBS western, The Wild, Wild West (1965). Dunn was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor(Dramatic) for his role in the Broadway play The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. He died at the age of 39 in 1973.

This episode was written and directed by Michael Landon, who later reused this script in his next series, Little House on the Prairie.

Danger Road

Episode #348: Danger Road

Air Date: January 11, 1970   Written by: Milton S. Gelman, Brian McKay   Directed by: William F. Claxton
Guest Stars: Robert Lansing (Gunny O'Riley), William Sylvester (Mr. Cambeau), Anna Navarro (Serafina O'Riley), Bing Russell (Deputy Clem Foster)

Ben hires a man to drive a wagon load of beams. But when he actually meet the man, he remembers back to when they both served in the Mexican War on different sides.

Trivia: This is Robert Lansing's second of three appearances in the series. Lansing was a rugged American leading man of 1950s Broadway and 1960s standard film and TV action drama - the star of several TV series (12 O'Clock High (1964) and The Man Who Never Was (1966) among others).

Big Jackpot

Episode #349: The Big Jackpot

Air Date: January 18, 1970   Written by: John Hawkins   Directed by: Herschel Daugherty
Guest Stars: Elizabeth Talbot-Martin (Harriet Caster), Carol Roux (Ruth Caster), Robert F. Simon (George Thurston), Walter Brooke (Atworth Perry)

When Candy inherits a fortune from an Indian, he quits his job on the Ponderosa to become a vice president of a shady land company.

Trivia: This is Walter Brooke's third of four appearances in the series. He also played Judge Simpson in two episodes of Michael Landon's next series, Little House on the Prairie. Known for his role of Mr. Robinson in the 1967 classic, The Graduate, he once confided to his nephew that if he'd known that his line about plastics in that movie would take off like it did, he would have invested in it. Apparently the market took off in 1968 because of that one remark.