While a number of minor (or perceived) inconsistencies exist between Ponderosa (2001) and Bonanza (1959), a few glaring retroactive consistencies are present. Most notable among these is the fate of Little Joe's mother, Marie. In the original series, Marie's death was depicted in the episode "Marie, My Love" as a result of falling off a horse in front of the Ponderosa ranch house. Meanwhile in the new series, Marie is killed in Virginia City by a miner who is trying to murder Ben Cartwright. Making the situation even more confusing, the pilot for the original series identifies Little Joe's mother as "Felicia" and not Marie. See more »
This movie brought back our beloved Cartwrights. It brought anticipation and excitement for what the future would hold for Ben Cartwright as he brought up his three sons and attempted to build what we all knew would eventually become the famous Ponderosa. The characters had many qualities the older Cartwrights had, and I felt by watching this younger version of each (Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe) we could watch them as they learned the ways of the west and see them as they struggled to survive and become the family we knew. The actors were well chosen for the parts. Diehard Bonanza fans, such as myself, knew Hoss immediately as protrayed by Drew. There was just no question that it was perfect casting. Little Joe (Jared) was a puzzle in the beginning but as he watched his mother die, the beginnings of the rebellious side of his character (which we all expect) appeared and Jared carried the part well. Pa was strict, yet loving, and Daniel was excellent. I had never seen him in previous roles yet I knew of him and some of the parts he had played and was a little concerned he wouldn't be right to play Ben Cartwright. But watching him as Pa interacted with his sons, I knew he was perfect. The mystery was who would portray Adam - my favorite Bonanza character. Matt totally exceeded my expectations for Adam. He portrays a sensitive, thoughtful, exciting, quick to anger when necessary Adam and those are all of the traits I expect to see in the eldest son. I'm sure as he delves further into the character and the history of Adam's life is brought out in later episodes, people are going to see what type of versatile actor he appears to be.
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