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.
Air Date: Part 1 - January 16, 1966; Part 2 - January 23, 1966 Written by: Paul Schneider Directed by: William Witney
Guest Stars: Victor Jory (Charles Ludlow), Rod Cameron (Curtis Wade), DeForest Kelley (Tully), Tom Lowell (Jabez Ludlow), Warren Vanders (Hoke), Stewart Moss (Aaron), James Noah (Sykes), Clay Tanner (Herb), David Pritchard (Pat), Richard Hale (Winnemucca)
Joe becomes part of Charles Ludlow's Pony Express, much to Ben's dismay. This was the first Bonanza episode to be shown in two parts, and was later seen as a full length feature film in other countries; In Mexico, it was called Jinetes del Viento.
Trivia: This was Victor Jory's first and only appearance in the series. Victor Jory was the boxing and wrestling champion of the Coast Guard during his military hitch, and never lost his big, burly physique. His sinister looks and distinctive voice typed him as a heavy, at which he excelled, but he did occasionally play sympathetic leads, one of which was, oddly enough, the sci-fi cult classic Cat-Women of the Moon (1953).
Air Date: January 30, 1966 Written by: Robert V. Barron Directed by: Gerd Oswald
Guest Stars: Richard Peabody (Sonny), Walter Burke (Jess Pherson), Tim Stafford (Jamie), Steve Raines (Darrell), Lindsay Workman (Badgett), Grandon Rhodes (Doctor), Chris Anderson (Hunter), Ray Teal (Roy Coffee)
The Cartwrights take in a mentally handicapped man whose friend has been killed; they later find out that the man is wanted for murder.
Trivia: This was Richard Peabody's first and only appearance in the series. He is probably best remembered for his portrayal of 'Little John' in the ABC drama Combat which ran from 1962-1967.
Air Date: Written by: Donn Mullally Directed by: William Witney
Guest Stars: Eric Fleming (Wes Dunn), Ron Foster (Dave Morrisey), Ray Stricklyn (Cliff), Dee Pollock (Chuck), Ted Knight (Mayor Garrett), Clyde Howdy (Deputy Bill Harris)
A gang terrorizes Virginia City while Sheriff Coffee is out of town. The town hires a temporary sheriff, a man who is a legendary lawman. But little does everyone know that this hero is not all he is known to be.
Trivia: Fleming is probably best-known for his portrayal of Gil Favor on the TV western Rawhide. This was Eric Fleming's third and last appearance on Bonanza, previously appearing in the two part episode, 'The Pursued.' His Bonanza TV appearance was his last before his untimely death in September 1966. He was hired by MGM-TV to film the two-part adventure program High Jungle in Peru. During the shooting of location shots on the Huallaga River, Fleming dove from a dug-out canoe after paddling it beyond the rapids. His body was lost in the turbulent water and was not recovered until three days later.
Air Date: February 13, 1966 Written by: Sidney Ellis Directed by: William F. Claxton
Guest Stars: George Montgomery (Dan Taggert), Jan Shepard (Sally), Robert Ellenstein (Fitts)
Joe is tricked into a gunfight with a professional gunslinger.
Trivia: This was George Montgomery's first and only appearance in the series. Montgomery was married to singer/actress Dinah Shore for twenty years. After his divorce from Shore in 1963, his private life again made headlines when his housekeeper, suffering obsessive infatuation, attempted to shoot the actor, planning to then commit suicide, but failing in both endeavors.
An excellent craftsman, he ran a cabinet shop for over 40 years while directing and appearing in action movies. He also designed and built 11 houses for friends and family. A self-taught artist, he created bronze busts of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Gene Autry and Randolph Scott. In later years he made sculptures of Charles Farrell and ex-wife Dinah Shore; hers and those of his children and himself sit at the Mission Hills Country Club, home of the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament. Some of his sculptures are in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library in Simi Valley, California.
Air Date: February 20, 1966 Written by: Jo Pagano Directed by: Ralph E. Black
Guest Stars: Stuart Erwin (Jester), Majel Barrett (Annie Slocum), Wynn Pearce (Jed), Mitzi Hoag (Libby Spencerfield), Danielle Aubry (Yvette), Claude Hall (Ned), Sharyl Locke (Jenny)
Three women arrive on the Ponderosa, each claiming that they are marrying Hoss.
Trivia: his was Majel Barrett's second and last appearance in the series. Best known for her role as Nurse Chapel on Star Trek, she was married to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry from 1969 until his death in 1991. She was given the nickname, 'The First Lady of Star Trek.' Barrett was also the voice of the Starship Computers in the original series up until the latest movie released in 2009.
Air Date: February 27, 1966 Written by: Robert Sabaroff, Gert P. Young Directed by: William F. Claxton
Guest Stars: Sam Jaffe (Emperor Joshua Norton), Parley Baer (Harry Crawford), William Challee (Sam Clemens), Tom Palmer (George Harris)
Authorities wish to commit a man who thinks he's the Emperor of the United States. When he winds up on the Ponderosa, Ben gets in contact with someone who can attest to Norton's sanity.
Trivia: This is Sam Jaffe's first and only appearance in the series. An accomplished actor on Broadway and film, he was a victim of the Hollywood blacklist during the HUAC hearings. After filming The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), he didn't appear in another Hollywood film until the late 50's.In an interesting Bonanza connection, Jaffe was married to Bettye Ackerman, who portrayed Estelle Dawson in the Season 9 episode, 'Second Chance'.
Air Date: March 6, 1966 Written by: Mort Thaw, Lee Pickett Directed by: R.G. Springsteen
Guest Stars: Nancy Gates (Claire Armory), Wesley Lau (Carl Armory), Grandon Rhodes (Doctor)
Ben finds that his new love's brother is endangering their blossoming romance.
Trivia: Lorne Greene suffered a real life eye injury which was incorporated into the script as Ben being hurt in a hunting accident. This was Nancy Gates' first and only appearance in the series. This was her second to last television appearance before she retired from acting to raise her family.
Air Date: March 20, 1966 Written by: Helen B. Hicks Directed by: R.G. Springsteen
Guest Stars: Michael Burns (Jamie), Ross Elliott (Matthew), Tracy Olsen (Elizabeth)
The son of Ben's cousin learns a few life lessons from the Cartwrights.
Trivia: This was the first of Michael Burns' two appearances in the series; he also appeared in the Season 8 episode 'Napoleon's Children.' He was familiar to television audiences of the early 1960s as the teenage character Barnaby West on the popular TV series Wagon Train. Burns left acting in his 20s to pursue his interest in history. He went on to a distinguished career as a historian, writer, and college professor. He is now retired and raising thoroughbred horses in Kentucky.