Posts from Paula in thread „Bonanza (1959-1973)“

    Speaking of Bonanza, here is a picture of Ben Johnson with Dirk Blocker, Dan Blocker's son. Dirk was also an actor and played a newspaper reporter in the two Bonanza TV-movies Ben starred in, Bonanza: The Return (1993) and Bonanza: Under Attack (1995).

    I looked around for a thread on Bonanza (maybe there's a John Wayne connection) but couldn't find one. So I'll post here. :)

    Encore Westerns has started running the later seasons of Bonanza, which haven't been aired on television since 2004. They're calling them "The Lost Episodes." Here's an article with more information about this:…home-on-encore-westerns-1

    Ben Johnson's fans will definitely want to watch an episode entitled "Top Hand," which will air on December 11 at 7:05 p.m. EST. This is Ben's third (and final) Bonanza episode -- at least during the regular run of the series. He made two Bonanza TV-movies in the 1990s.

    "Top Hand" is Ben's best Bonanza episode and one of his best TV guest roles/performances. He plays a trail boss named Kelly with a troubled past who is supported by Ben Cartwright but distrusted by some of the other cattlemen. Furthermore, a younger, ambitious cowboy played by Roger Davis is doing everything he can to take over Kelly's job. Ben is just terrific, and furthermore, the episode has a big action sequence where he gets to show off his superb riding, roping and stunt skills.

    I made a few screencaps from the old Hallmark broadcast... wish this was out on DVD but they have quite a few seasons to go yet. (Bonanza season 5 will be released in February.) So now's your chance to see this not-really-lost-but-not-seen-in-8-years episode. Ben's next role after this Bonanza "Top Hand" episode was Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show. ;)