...the adventures of Ben Cartwright and his three sons on the Ponderosa Ranch.
One of the greatest Western series ever. Set on a stunning 600,000 acre ranch near Virginia City, Nevada, named the Ponderosa.
It tells the story of the Cartwright family. Ben Cartwright is left to bring up his three sons, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe after the tragic death of his three wife's. His first wife Elizabeth from New England died in childbirth with Adam. Hoss is the son of the beautiful Scandinavian girl Inger, Ben's second wife and she was killed in an Indian attack. Little Joe's mother was Marie from New Orleans and she died from a horse riding accident. It is just after The Civil War and Ben has to bring up his three sons on his own. The only other member of the household is Hop Sing, the cook. The family is bonded by loyalty and the town folk in Virginia City know the name Cartwright stands for freedom and respect for people of all creeds and races.
Adam is the eldest, strong, dependable, often the steadying influence with his brothers, his Dad's closest confidant in all matters of running the ranch.
Little Joe is the youngest, good looking, hot tempered, most often embroiled in arguments, fist-fights or in love. Practical joker always looking for get-rich quick schemes and involving his brother Hoss, getting him into trouble. Seeks his Dad's advice.
Hoss real name Eric, being the middle child, is often called upon to keep the peace between his brothers. A man of contrasts; he is big and strong and a formidable opponent. But also, good-natured, gentle and has a heart of gold. This makes him easy prey for manipulative people. Gullible to practical jokes from his brothers, especially Little Joe. Hoss is particularly protective of his younger brother and often has to rescue him from difficult situations. Always ready to defend the underdog and very shy with women, Hoss is truly the Gentle Giant of the Ponderosa.
As a youngster I remember Bonanza so well. The opening credits when they rode up to you through a burning map : the great signature tune. The stories are very good. Good humour, focusing more on human relationships as most come to terms with the life style in the wild west.