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Little House on the Prairie
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The Ingalls family
Little House on the Prairie
Season One...1974-75

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       Little House on the Prairie
       March 30, 1974
       Written by Blanche Hanalis
       Directed by Michael Landon

       In the pilot episode, the Ingalls family travel from the big woods of Wisconsin, looking for more open and fertile land in Kansas. Along the way, they must cross a river. Their loyal dog, Jack, gets washed downstream and they search for him, but can't find him. He shows up later and the Ingalls family is relieved he is alive.

       Their closest neighbor is a gruff mountain man named Isaiah Edwards, who helps them settle on the prairie. He later returns with Christmas presents and together, the Ingalls celebrate the holiday with him.

       Throughout the story, the Ingalls encounter Indians, wolves, and later on a fire that almost destroys their house on the prairie until a rainstorm puts it out. At the conclusion, they are told by the state they have settled in the wrong place and must move. Charles and the family bid a tearful farewell to Mr. Edwards as they depart for another place to settle down.

Starring:
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls
Lindsay & Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls

Guest Starring:
Victor French as Mr. Edwards

Co-Starring:
Cal Bellini as Brave
Sam Vlahos as 1st Indian
Richard Alarian as 2nd Brave
Marian Beeler as Grandmother
John Steadman as Grandfather
Vic Mohica as Soldat Du Chene

Uncredited:
Ruth Foster as Aunt Docia
Hal Burton (horseback and wagon double for Michael Landon, extra as Indian brave and soldier).

       Trivia note: This was the highest-tested and rated NBC television pilot in 1974, at 96 minutes in length. It aired on March 30, 1974. It was the highest-rated NBC Movie of the Week in the history of the network. With the instant success of the pilot film, the network immediately bought it for a television series that year.

       The only pilot to break its record was "Highway to Heaven" in 1984, which still ranks as the highest-tested and rated pilot and NBC Movie of the Week in the history of the network. Nothing has surpassed its success before or since.

       David Rose and his orchestra score the beautiful theme cues that were previously heard in the later years of the "Bonanza" series, known then as "The Big Bonanza". David evolved them during those years as theme motifs for riding shots from 1967 to 1972 and accompanied the opening titles later in the series' run in the 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons. They would be heard with great frequency in the final 1972-73 season of "Bonanza", and suitably fit the beautiful and wide open landscape for "Little House on the Prairie" to perfection.

       Trivia note: Hal Burton doubles Charles at the Stanislaus River in Melones, in all the wide angle shots and Michael did his close-ups as usual, edited in for the final cut. Hal also doubles Charles in all the wagon shots at Yankee Hill, Baker Ranch and Orvis Ranch with Michael directing. Hal also horseback doubles Charles at Orvis Ranch and in some shots at Agoura, in the chase scenes with the pack of wolves pursuing him. Michael would just film his close-ups to complete these scenes.

       Hal also does some extra bit parts as an Indian brave and the soldier that gives Charles the papers that he's moved in the wrong place at the conclusion of the pilot.

       Trivia note: Victor French had to endure the cold winter weather and cross the cold waters of the Middle Fork Stanislaus River with the Christmas presents at the Sierra town of Strawberry located off Highway 108. The water was so cold his face was turning blue, but he survived it!

       The first scenes that open the pilot were filmed at Yankee Hill, by the town of Columbia. Kent McCray had to get a snowplow to clear the dirt road so they could film the scenes of the Ingalls and Jack, the dog leaving down the snowy road. Melissa Gilbert's first voice-over is heard accompanying this scene.

       Trivia note: Baker Ranch in Tuolumne was used for the scenes where Charles goes inside the barn and buys the new horses. As he leaves on the wagon with Caroline, it's Hal Burton doubling Charles and Martha Manor doubling Caroline on the wagon, with Michael directing behind the camera.

       The scenes of the wolves chasing Charles were filmed at Agoura in Southern California, where the ground was dry and safer to film them, since the Sierra Nevada locations were too wet and muddy from the weather.

       The Orvis Ranch between Copperopolis and Farmington was where all the prairie scenes were filmed at, where the Ingalls settle down at and some wagon shots were filmed there also for the pilot.

       Trivia note: Melissa Gilbert's voice-overs can be heard in the first scenes that open up the pilot film and later in the story as the Ingalls celebrate Christmas, the coming of spring and their departure from Kansas at the finale:

       "If I had a remembrance book, I would mark down how it was when we left out little house in the big woods to go West to Indian Territory. We had to go, Pa said, because so many people had come to live in the big woods, there wasn't enough game anymore for him to hunt and he feared we might go hungry."

       "Ma said we might never again see Grandma and Grandpa, our Aunt Docia and Aunt Ruby and Uncle George. Though it made me sad, I thought it was a fine thing to go where there had never been a road before. We'd go where the land was more bountiful, he said. And he sold our house, our land and cows and packed whatever would fit in the wagon. I was glad Pa took his fiddle, for it makes a joyful sound."

       "Mary was afraid to go, but I knew nothing bad could happen as long as we had Pa and Jack. Jack is my best and truest friend and Pa says there has never been a better watchdog. I knew there would be rivers to cross and hills to climb and I was glad. It is a fair land and I rejoiced that I would see it."

       "We each got a shiny, new penny and a cookie made like a heart, sprinkled with white sugar and red mittens like Mr. Edwards got when he was a spring in Tennessee. It was the best Christmas ever, not only because we got great presents, but because Ma took kindly to Mr. Edwards."

       "Spring came and the snow melted. The winter was long and we were happy to feel the warm sun again. Pa traded all his furs in Independence for a plow and seed. I don't think I ever saw Pa so proud as he was of that new plow."

       "There would be rivers to cross and hills to climb, but I didn't mind. This is a fair land and I rejoiced that I would see it."


       Location Scenes Filmed at Cedar Glen Apple Ranch, Yankee Hill, Baker Ranch, Tuolumne, Stanislaus River, Melones and Strawberry, Tuolumne County, with other Sierra location scenes filmed at Orvis Ranch, Stanislaus County and Agoura, California.

       Film date: January 7th to 27th, 1974

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  1.) A Harvest of Friends
       September 11, 1974
       Teleplay by John Hawkins and
       William Putman
       Story by John Hawkins
       Directed by Michael Landon

       The Ingalls settle on the banks of Plum Creek near Walnut Grove. In order to set up the farm, Charles must take several jobs at once. He even commits giving up his oxen if he fails to complete one of his projects by the agreed date.

       When Charles is injured during a family picnic, he can no longer carry out his responsibilities. The children attempt to do the heavy labor until the men of Walnut Grove pitch in to complete the job. In the end, Charles keeps his promise--and his oxen!

Guest Star:
Ramon Bieri as Liam O' Neill

Featuring:
James Jeter as Hans Dorfler
Hal Burton as Driver

Uncredited:
Hal Burton (falling stunt for Michael Landon)
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster
Jack Lilley
Cindy Moore

       Trivia note: The town members were all played by support actors for the whole nine-year run. Most remained on the series, but a few of them were written out of the series over the years, including Charlotte Stewart and Karl Swenson, later in the series' run.

The Town:
Richard Bull as Mr. Oleson
Dabbs Greer as Reverend Alden
Kevin Hagen as Hiram Baker
Katherine MacGregor as Mrs. Oleson
Charlotte Stewart as Miss Beadle
Karl Swenson as Lars Hanson

       Stunt note: Hal Burton doubles Charles when he falls out of the tree, in a bit part for Michael Landon, at Big Sky Ranch.

       Trivia note: Ruth Foster would go uncredited as Mrs. Foster for the majority of the first year, as well as stuntman/actor Jack Lilley, for most of the series' run. He would play a townsman or stage driver on the show, and sometimes would be credited. Cindy Moore was a child actress who would play a tall schoolgirl on the show, and was given screen credit in a few episodes in the early years of the series.

       Music trivia: David Rose and his orchestra score the "Little House" theme cues that accompany the opening and closing titles, at the start of the production in June.

       Trivia note: This episode introduces Katherine MacGregor as Harriet Oleson. In the early episodes, she is a rude, nasty, snobbish and dark woman. Down the stretch of episodes, her character was toned down and made more comedic, with her grand schemes backfiring in her face. Nevertheless, Harriet Oleson was always out to get anyone who got in her way!

       Trivia note: The opening titles begin with a wide angle panorama of the hill, with Charles and Caroline driving the wagon, cutting to a close-up of them, watching their three little girls run down the hill; first Melissa Gilbert as Laura, then Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary, and Lindsay Sidney Greenbush as Carrie.

       These shots were filmed at Big Sky Ranch in June 1974, at Simi Valley, California. They would be reprinted and reused through the end of the eighth season in 1982.

       The closing titles accompany Laura and her dog Jack running down the hill at the ranch. As she gets towards the bottom of the hill, she throws her arms up like a bird, and jumps up with a smile on her face, ending with a quick fade out. They would be reprinted and reused through the 1982-83 season.

       Trivia note: Melissa Gilbert remembers the day in June 1974, when she had to film the closing titles at Big Sky Ranch for the show:

       "Actually, I was scared to death because the entire hill was covered with bees and I am allergic to them. We actually had to do it a few times because I kept running real fast just to get away. Mike finally persuaded me to slow down so I would not disturb the bees and they'd leave me alone....he was right."

       "One other silly footnote to the story is, at the very end of it I was imitating an airplane, with my arms out to the side, flying down the hill. After we finally got a take where I didn't race by the camera, they were thrilled that we got one in the can. Then someone realized there were no airplanes in the 1800s. It looked like we were going to have to do it again when Mike chimed in and said to me, 'Hey, Half-pint, were you being an airplane or a bird?' I said, 'A bird, now get me out of here!' And that's the story of the end credits."

       Trivia note: While filming the opening titles, Mike had Lindsay Greenbush do a few takes running down the hill as Carrie. She fell down the second time. Then, he had Sidney Greenbush run down the hill and she fell down both times and refused to do it again. So, Mike decided to use the first take of Lindsay as Carrie running down the hill in the opening titles of the show.

       Trivia note: Melissa Gilbert's voice-over narration is heard at the conclusion of this episode:

       "That was our happiest homecoming ever. Pa said he was glad we'd come to live on the banks of Plum Creek. Because here he harvested a crop he didn't know he planted--a harvest of friends."

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

       Film date: June 1974

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  2.) Country Girls
       September 18, 1974
       Written by Juanita Bartlett
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       It is Laura and Mary's first responsible day of school. This is where they meet Nellie Oleson, who frequently refers to them as "country girls". Since Laura hasn't been to school before, she works very hard at her schoolwork.

       When the students are given an assignment to write an essay and then present it to the class, Laura recites from memory what she would have written on paper--if she had any!

Featuring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson
Robert Hoffman as Sandy Kennedy
Georgia Schmidt as Mrs. Grandy
Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy

Uncredited:
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster
Jack Lilley

       Trivia note: This episode marks the introduction of the mean-spirited little girl Nellie Oleson, played by Alison Arngrim and Jonathan Gilbert as her little brother, Willie Oleson.

       Michael considered Alison to play Laura and then Mary, but decided to look further and then cast her as the one and only Nellie Oleson.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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  3.) The 100 Mile Walk
       September 25, 1974
       Written by Ward Hawkins
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       The Ingalls are settling in quite well at Plum Creek until a severe hailstorm ruins their crops. Charles and some of the other farmers are forced to look for work elsewhere and eventually find work in a quarry. Caroline takes charge and is able to get the women of Walnut Grove to join forces and harvest the remaining crops.

Guest Stars:
Don Knight as Jack Peters
Richard O. Hurst as Jacob Jacobsen

Co-Starring:
Celia Kaye as Willa Sweeney
Eve Brent as Ella Jacobsen
Bill Zuckert as Tom Cassidy
Lance Kerwin as Danny Peters
Dee Anne as Peggy Peters
Terry Lumley as Connie Faraday
Joe Haworth as Williams
Max Power as Konig
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

Uncredited:
Martha Manor as Townswoman

       Location note: The rock quarry in the story was at Tapo Canyon at Simi Valley, near Big Sky Ranch.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch and Tapo Canyon, Simi Valley, California.

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  4.) Mr. Edwards' Homecoming
       October 2, 1974
       Written by Joel Murcott
       Directed by Michael Landon

       While Charles is in Mankato, he runs into Mr. Edwards and invites him to come to Walnut Grove. Caroline wants to match him up with Grace Snider, but discovers that she is just getting in the way when it becomes clear that Mr. Edwards is perfectly able to charm Grace all by himself.

Guest Star:
Victor French as Mr. Edwards

Co-Starring:
Bonnie Bartlett as Grace Snider
Robert Swan as Bartender
Lloyd "Sunshine" Parker as Driver

Uncredited:
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

       Trivia note: Victor French returns as Mr. Edwards after last being seen in the pilot film. Michael wanted him for the pilot and the series to play the character.

       He remembered working with Victor from the later years of "Bonanza" and told NBC it was either him in the role or no one else. The network executives wanted a famous and good-looking actor for the role, but as usual, Michael got his way and hired Victor French as Mr. Edwards.

       Trivia note: It is revealed in this episode that Mr. Edwards had a wife and daughter who were victims of a mountain fever epidemic and died.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

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  5.) The Love of Johnny Johnson
       October 9, 1974
       Written by Gerry Day
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       Laura falls in love with a new student, Johnny Johnson. Johnny, who is older than Laura is quite interested in her older sister. Mary has no romantic feelings for the young man, but Laura's behavior causes quite a bit of tension between the sisters anyway.

Guest Stars:
Mitch Vogel as Johnny Johnson

Co-Starring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Jimmy McNichol as Harry Baker
Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy
Robert Hoffman as Sandy Kennedy

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl

       Trivia note: Mitch Vogel, who played Jamie Cartwright in the last three years of "Bonanza" was hired by Michael for the part of Johnny Johnson, in the first of two appearances on the series.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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  6.) If I Should Wake Before I Die
       October 23, 1974
       Written by Harold Swanton
       Directed by Victor French

       Miss Amy, an elderly woman, feels very much alone after the death of her friend. She convinces the Ingalls and Doc Baker to help her stage her own death and believes this is the only way her family will visit her.

Guest Stars:
Josephine Hutchinson as Amy
Ruth McDevitt as as Maddie

Co-Starring:
Henry Oleck as Father Gorman
Betty Lynn as Bridget
Brett Parker as Sean
Herman Poppe as Andy
Janice Carroll as Mother
Robin Muir as Maureen
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

       Trivia note: Larry Germain was nominated for for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Any Area of Creative Technical Craft for this episode.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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  7.) Town Party, Country Party
       October 30, 1974
       Written by Juanita Bartlett
       Directed by Alf Kjellin

       Laura becomes good friends with a lonely schoolmate, Olga, who has one leg shorter than the other. Charles secretly helps Olga by making her a special shoe. Olga's father finds out and is terribly upset until he sees Olga happily running and playing with the other children.

Co-Starring:
Kim Richards as Olga Nordstrom
Jan Merlin as Jon Nordstrom
Maya Van Horn as Helga Nordstrom
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy
Michelle Christie as Cassie
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl

       Trivia note: Michael hired character actor Jan Merlin to play Jon Nordstrom. He was featured in the 'Bonanza' episode "The Ride" as Adam Cartwright's friend, Bill Enders in the 1961-62 season of the series.

       Trivia note: Jan Merlin recalls how well this episode he worked on with Michael turned out in 1974:

       "I can't begin to tell you how nice Michael was to me when I did 'Bonanza'. I never got on a social basis with him and his family or anything like that. I like his work. I'd been watching him, and when he did 'Little House', I thought it was so great. He went out of one series, a series that went for so long, and then he popped right into the next one, and it was just a sheer delight when I got to work with him again.

       During that episode ("Town Party, Country Party"), which was difficult for me because I had to... well, it was kind of an emotional part for me, I played the father of a crippled daughter. I didn't want Michael to fix her shoe until finally at the very end. When my character sees his little daughter running and playing, he just breaks down, and Michael was just a dream to work with. Boy, he was something. He just let me go. He was great. I loved working with him. He was a good man.

       "I thought, gee, I could write a script for Michael, so I wrote a script and submitted it to him. He liked it and his producer liked it. But, by the time they got through monkeying around with it, it no longer resembled the script that I had originally given to him. Well, that happens a lot, which is one of the reasons I don't write and didn't write any more scripts at the time. I didn't like everyone having a finger in the pot."

       Jan loves reading historical books, but he also loves fiction as well. He's authored Shooting Montezuma, Gunbearer Part One and Part Two, Crackpots and The Paid Companion of John Wilkes Booth.

       The following books by Jan Merlin are available in hardcover and softcover at online sites such as Amazon.com, Xlibris.com and of course, can be ordered through your local bookstore.

       Location Scenes Fillmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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  8.) Ma's Holiday
       November 6, 1974
       Written by Dale Eunson
       Directed by Leo Penn

       Charles and Caroline decide to go on a second honeymoon and leave Mr. Edwards in charge of the children. The honeymoon doesn't go very well because Caroline constantly worries about what is happening at home. Back in Walnut Grove, Mr. Edwards has his hands full with Carrie.

Guest Star:
Victor French as Mr. Edwards

Co-Starring:
Bonnie Bartlett as Grace Snider
Olive Dunbar as Saleslady
Norma Connolly as Mrs. Kirkwood
Walter O. Miles as Man at Theatre

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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  9.) School Mom
       November 13, 1974
       Teleplay by Ward Hawkins
       Story by Jean Rouverol
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       Caroline becomes the substitute teacher when Miss Beadle sprains her ankle and is unable to work. Caroline takes a special interest in helping an older student, Abel, learn to read. When Mrs. Oleson causes Abel to abandon his studies, Caroline becomes angry and resigns. She returns to her duties after she convinces Abel to give school another chance.

Guest Stars:
Dirk Blocker as Abel Makay
Kelly Thordsen as Baker Makay

Co-Starring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy
Jimmy McNichol as Harry Baker
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson
Robert Hoffman as Sandy Kennedy

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl
Bob Miles (stunt double for Charlotte Stewart).

       Trivia note: Michael called in Dirk Blocker, one of Dan Blocker's two sons to play Abel in this episode, along with Kelly Thordsen as his father, Baker Makay, who would appear in two more episodes during the second season of the series.

       Trivia note: Michael hired his good friend and former "Bonanza" stuntman and stand-in, Bob Miles to double Miss Beadle in the scenes where her buggy goes out of control from the kids spooking her horse. The buggy runs away in the field, past the schoolhouse and Bob jumps off, hits the ground hands first in the costume, and falls over head first. Charlotte Stewart as Miss Beadle only does her initial close-up shot in front of the schoolhouse.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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10.) The Raccoon
       November 20, 1974
       Written by Joseph Bonaduce
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       Charles allows Laura to adopt a baby raccoon that she names Jasper. After being caged, the raccoon bites Laura and Jack and runs away. The family feels Laura and Jack might have rabies until a healthy Jasper returns.

Co-Starring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy
Robert Hoffman as Sandy Kennedy
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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11.) The Voice of Tinker Jones
       December 4, 1974
       Written by Tony Kayden and
       Michael Russnow
       Directed by Leo Penn

       The town becomes divided when Mrs. Oleson offers to buy a bell for the church on the condition she is permitted to put up a plaque. The conflict begins to affect the school children until a mute craftsman, Tinker Jones, steps in to make a bell with the help of the students.

Guest Stars:
Chuck McCann as Tinker Jones
Wayne Heffley as Mr. Kennedy

Co-Starring:
Eileen Ryan as Mrs. Kennedy

Featuring:
Jim Jeter as Hans Dorfler
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Tracie Savage as Christy Kennedy
Jimmy McNichol as Harry Baker
Robert Hoffman as Sandy Kennedy
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl
Sean Penn as Kennedy Boy

       Trivia note: Leo Penn directed this episode and hired his wife, actress Eileen Ryan to play Mrs. Kennedy. Their little boy, Sean Penn plays the Kennedy boy in this show.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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12.) The Award
       December 11, 1974
       Written by Michael Landon
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       While studying for an optional history exam in the barn, Mary accidentally knocks over a reading lamp and starts a fire. Caroline punishes Mary by forbidding her to take the test. Mary waits until the last day of the exam to finally admit this to Miss Beadle.

Featuring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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13.) The Lord Is My Shepherd
       December 18, 1974
       Written by Michael Landon
       Directed by Michael Landon

       Afraid that the new baby will replace her in Pa's affections, Laura refuses to pray for her little brother. When he dies, she is overwhelmed by guilt and runs away to the mountains, where she meets Jonathan. Her new friend helps her deal with her feelings and makes her a special wooden cross. While she is washing in the creek, the cross falls off and floats downstream helping Pa to determine where she is.

Guest Stars:
Ernest Borgnine as Jonathan
Victor French as Mr. Edwards

Co-Starring:
Bonnie Bartlett as Grace Snider
Bill Court as Dr. Mayo
Jim Jeter as Hans Dorfler
Laurie Lusher as Nurse

Uncredited:
Hal Burton (horseback double for
Michael Landon).

       Stunt note: Hal Burton doubles Charles on horseback in a few shots at Big Sky Ranch and also at Kennedy Meadows and Iceberg Meadow. Michael was directing and as usual, he would have Hal double him. Victor French does all his horseback shots himself on location with Hal Burton as Charles, with the filmed close-ups with Michael Landon as Charles, all edited in for the final cut.

       At the climax when Charles and Mr. Edwards ride their horses in at Donnell's Vista, Michael does his ride in, without any help from his stuntman, then he runs up the trail to the vista point, with Victor French following him.

       Hal Burton doubles Charles at Donnell's Vista in the scene when he carries Laura down the rocky slope, with Victor French following him, with Michael directing the shots atop the camera crane.

       Trivia note: This 93 minute full-length episode was aired as one whole on the evening of December 18, 1974. When the series went into syndication in 1984, it would be seen in its original full-length and more commonly split in two parts for daily airplay for television reruns.

       Michael Landon hired Ernest Borgnine to play Jonathan, the mountain hermit. Ten years later, Michael himself would be playing the angel, Jonathan Smith in his third series "Highway to Heaven".

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Donnell's Vista, Clark Fork River, Iceberg Meadow and Kennedy Meadows, California.

       Film date: August 1974

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14.) Christmas at Plum Creek
       December 25, 1974
       Written by Arthur Heinemann
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       The Christmas holiday is approaching and the members of the Ingalls family go about their holiday shopping in secrecy. Laura is able to buy her mom the stove that she wanted after after she sells her horse to Mr. Oleson.

Featuring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Queenie Smith as Mrs. Whipple
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

       Trivia note: Charles is seen in a stock clip that was filmed at Murphy's Ranch, walking through the snow, while filming the first season episode "Survival" in 1974.

       Trivia note: Mary reveals in one scene that Pa's favorite color is green, which was really Michael Landon's favorite color.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Murphy's Ranch, Tuolumne and Middle Fork Stanislaus River, Strawberry, Stanislaus National Forest, California.

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15.) Family Quarrel
       January 5, 1975
       Written by Ward Hawkins
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       After a major disagreement, Nels and Harriet decide to go their separate ways. All the townspeople do their best to reunite the troubled couple.

Guest Stars:
Richard Bull as Mr. Oleson
Katherine MacGregor as Mrs. Oleson

Featuring:
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson

       Trivia note: This is the only episode in the series' history where at the end titles, the editor left the entire sequence of Laura and Jack running down the hill, with her jumping up in the air like a bird, waving her arms up--and then coming back down on her feet, and she looks into the camera!

       Richard Bull and Katherine MacGregor are billed as guest stars in this episode, which marks the first appearance of Mr. Oleson's dog.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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16.) Doctor's Lady
       January 15, 1975
       Teleplay by Arthur Heinemann and Ann Beckett
       Story by Arthur Heinemann
       Directed by Lewis Allen

       Doctor Baker falls in love wih Harriet's niece, Kate. He has to admit that she is too young for him when he sees Kate playing with Mary and Laura.

Guest Stars:
Anne Archer as Kate Thorvald
Kevin Hagen as Doctor Baker

Featuring:
Douglas Dirkson as Mr. Olfasen
Bea Morris as Mrs. Olfasen
Steve Kunze as Olfasen Boy

Uncredited:
Hal Burton as Townsman on Horse
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

       Trivia note: Kevin Hagen is billed as a guest star in this episode that centers on his character, Doctor Baker. In one scene at Big Sky Ranch, Hal Burton plays a townsman on horseback, who rides up to Dr. Baker and Kate to tell them there is an emergency and his help is needed.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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17.) Plague
       January 29, 1975
       Teleplay by Michael Landon
       Story by William Keys and
       Michael Landon
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       Several people in Walnut Grove get very sick. The sick are quarantined in the church while the source of the illness is being sought.

Guest Star:
Victor French as Mr. Edwards

Co-Starring:
Robert Foulk as Peterson
Bill Quinn as Carl Harper
Ivy Bethune as Alice Harper

Featuring:
Helen Clark as Sylvie Boulton
Bradley Greene as Paul Boulton
Leslie Landon as Leslie

Uncredited:
Hal Burton (horseback double for
Michael Landon).

       Trivia note: Hal Burton doubles Charles on horseback in a bit part in one scene where he is riding down the hill at Big Sky Ranch.

       Michael's daughter Leslie was featured in this episode as a young plague victim. While she was filming her scenes with him, Michael became so emotional with her, he started crying, so they had to reshoot it again.

       Ivy Bethune plays Alice Harper in this episode. Michael Landon loved to use the name Alice in many of his stories in his long career, since his "Bonanza" days.

       Alice Harper in "Bonanza" was played by actress Bonnie Bedelia in the 1972 "Forever" episode that Michael wrote and directed for the fourteenth season.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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18.) The Circus Man
       February 5, 1975
       Teleplay by Ward Hawkins
       Story by Preston Wood and
       Ward Hawkins
       Directed by Victor French

       A travelling circus man, O' Hara, comes to Walnut Grove attempting to convince everyone that he has magic healing powers. The truth is revealed when Mrs. Oleson almost loses her life when she chooses his healing powers instead of undergoing surgery.

Guest Star:
Red Buttons as O' Hara

Uncredited:
Hal Burton (horseback double for
Michael Landon).

       Trivia note: Hal Burton doubles Charles on horseback in bit parts at Big Sky Ranch.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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19.) Child of Pain
       February 12, 1975
       Written by John Meston
       Directed by Victor French

       When it is discovered that a young boy, Graham, is being beaten by his alcoholic father, Caroline takes care of the boy while Charles stays with John and tries to get him to stay sober.

Guest Star:
Harris Yulin as John Stewart

Co-Starring:
Johnny Lee as Graham Stewart
Wayne Heffley as Mr. Kennedy

Featuring:
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson
Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

Uncredited:
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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20.) Money Crop
       February 19, 1975
       Teleplay by Ward Hawkins
       Story by John Meston
       Directed by Leo Penn

       A new farmer in Walnut Grove, Joseph Coulter, convinces the other farmers to buy seeds from him. While he is on the way back to town with the orders, he has an accident and is trapped underneath his wagon.

       When Joe doesn't return at the expected time, the farmers become suspicious and believe they have been swindled. He is eventually found by Charles and decides to stay in Walnut Grove with his wife Trudy, who is expecting their first child.

Guest Stars:
Alan Fudge as Joseph Coulter
Art Lund as Tom Jorgenson

Co-Starring:
Julie Cobb as Trudy Coulter
Wayne Heffley as Mr. Kennedy
John Alderson as Henry Holbrook
Roy Lee Brown as Leadbetter
Ted Gehring as Ed Stacy

Featuring:
John Pickard as Constable
Jocelyn Brando as Woman

Uncredited:
Hal Burton (wagon double for
Michael Landon and Alan Fudge).
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster

       Trivia note: Hal Burton doubles Charles in bit parts driving the wagon at Baker Ranch. He also doubles Alan Fudge in bit parts when Joe is driving the wagon and then the horses go wild and separate from the wagon. The actors only film their close-ups and medium shots to complete these scenes.

       For the wagon's steep plunge down the hillside, a dummy was secured onto the seat of the wagon and filmed from farther back. It was given a good push in order to plummet down the steep hill at Baker Ranch.

       A memorable symbol in this story is the little wooden horse, painted white, with a happy face, that Mr. Coulter is bringing back for the child he is expecting.

       Actress Julie Cobb plays Trudy Coulter in this story. She was married to Victor French in the middle 1970's. Actor Roy Lee Brown is billed as Lew Brown in this episode.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Baker Ranch, Tuolumne, California.

       Film date: November 1974

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21.) Survival
       February 26, 1975
       Teleplay by John Hawkins and
       Preston Wood
       Story by John Hawkins
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       The Ingalls are forced to take shelter when a blizzard hits. They are very fortunate to make the acquaintance of an Indian who helps them just before he is arrested. Charles owing his Indian friend a debt of gratitude, helps him escape. He is unfortunately unable to protect him from being shot later on.

Guest Stars:
Jack Ging as Marshal Anders
Robert Tessier as Jake Lame Horse

Featuring:
Carl Pitti as Deputy Hill

       Location Scenes Filmed at Baker Ranch and Murphy's Ranch, Tuolumne, California.

       Film date: November 1974

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22.) To See the World
       March 5, 1975
       Written by Gerry Day
       Directed by Michael Landon

       Johnny Johnson leaves "to see the world" and Mr. Edwards goes along hoping to keep him out of trouble. Johnny meets a girl who could mislead him and trick him into spending all his money. Mr. Edwards decides to intervene and asks the young lady to convince Johnny to return home.

Guest Stars:
Mitch Vogel as Johnny Johnson
Victor French as Mr. Edwards
Jane Alice Brandon as Mimi Monroe

Co-Starring:
James Griffith as Dandy Davis
Bob Hoy as Ben Slick

Featuring:
Hal Bokar as Hiram Johnson
Michael Ross as Squint
Jim Boles as Eldred Miller
Olan Soule as Ticket Agent
Alvin Hammer as Mr. Quint
Leonard Barr as Proprietor
John Hawkins as Fat Man

       Trivia note: Mitch Vogel makes the final of his two appearances on the series as Johnny Johnson.

       First episode to feature the Western Street at Paramount Studios, where "Bonanza's" street scenes were filmed at the first eleven years of the series.

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

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23.) Founders' Day
       May 7, 1975
       Teleplay by Ward and John Hawkins
       Story by Byron Twiggs and Ward Hawkins
       Directed by William F. Claxton

       Walnut Grove celebrates this great day with lots of games and activities. It soon becomes obvious to everyone that the Olesons and Ingalls have very competitive natures!

Guest Star:
Forrest Tucker as Jim Tyler

Co-Starring:
Ann Doran as Helen Tyler
Wayne Heffley as Mr. Kennedy

Featuring:
Georgia Schmidt as Mrs. Grandy
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson

Uncredited:
Ruth Foster as Mrs. Foster
Cindy Moore as Tall Schoolgirl

       Location Scenes Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, California.

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