New this week Continuity mistake: The schoolhouse has two windows, one on either side of the door. From inside, the view out the windows is of a grove of pine trees. This is obviously a painted backdrop. When the students exit the schoolroom, the nearest tree is a large white-limbed tree with no leaves.
New this month Revealing mistake: Joe and Eddie are in a corral in a big valley, taking turns trying to tame a horse known as Hammerhead. In the long shots, obviously using stunt doubles atop the horse, Hammerhead is bucking and running. The close-ups of Joe and Eddie show them only from the waist up and they are not moving forward. They are simply bouncing up and down. In addition, the close-ups show only blue sky and not the surrounding hills.
Revealing mistake: Jack Albertson's character is taking pictures of The Cartwrights and ranch hands. The video camera moves across the front of the prop camera as Albertson pushes and holds the button to take a picture. The shutter on the camera never opens and isn't open until he releases the button. In those days the shutter had to stay open an elongated time to enable the light to infiltrate the negative. People had to stay still during this time.
Other mistake: A crowd of men is awaiting the arrival of saloon singer Dolly Bantree. When the stage pulls up, she exits carrying a small bag. Hoss offers to carry her luggage and then is dismayed when the stage pulls away and he sees 20 more bags stacked in the street. The 20 bags were not atop the stage, nor would there have been room for them inside the stage.
Continuity mistake: Little Joe is pitching hay into the cattle pen. A load of hay lands on the head of a calf. In the long shot, the calf has no hay on its head. In the next close-up of Joe and the calf, the hay is back. It disappears again in the following long shot.
Continuity mistake: Near the start, the sarge orders the men to prepare to mount up, the soldiers walk over to the horses, and are ordered to mount. The soldier right behind the main characters starts to mount but has trouble and falls back down. Then they go to a wide angle shot and everyone is mounted.
Plot hole: Laurie Ferguson is outside the Ponderosa ranch with Joe Cartwright. In an attempt to frame him for sexually assaulting her, she begins screaming. She emits six loud piercing screams before the scene shifts to Ben, Hoss and her father and brother inside the home. It is not until her seventh scream that the four men look up and start to run outside.
Factual error: "Bonanza" is set in the 1860s and the Pony Express mail service operated from 1860 to 1861. In this episode, Curtis Wade and his partner set up a Pony Express office in Virginia City and begin hiring riders. Wade tells them that the job will not be easy, adding, "I won't be giving you sweet cakes and cotton candy." Cotton candy, originally called "Fairy Floss," was invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John Wharton.
Revealing mistake: They are trying to find where Jean Lafitte is hiding. Thinking that he is behind the drapes which cover a window, two bullets are fired into the drapery. The bullets should have shattered the window, but when they look behind them (and he is not there) the window and the frame are untouched.
Continuity mistake: Halfway through the show, Ben is talking to the commanding officer and captain of a fort. Ben leaves the room and closes the door but the door swings back to being almost full open. The commander and captain talk about going to the Ponderosa with a warrant to check for deserters. When they walk to the door, it is closed.
Revealing mistake: Near the end of the episode, Tracy Ledbetter is carrying a double barreled shotgun, trying to get her dogs back. There is the sound effect of a shotgun blast, then video of another blast with Hoss running inside the barn. She gets inside the barn and another shot goes off inside without her reloading. How did the third shot come from the gun? It only holds two shells.
Factual error: About half-way through the show, Joe Cartwright states 47 people received the Medal of Honor in the Civil War. In reality there were 1522 recipients of the medal in the Civil War. While an honor to receive, it wasn't held to quite the same level as in WWI and beyond.
Revealing mistake: The Cartwrights' second cousin shows up and sings a lot. His singing breaks glass all over town. 1/4 of the way through the episode, while at the ranch, Ben is about to serve tea or coffee while Huley is singing upstairs. As Ben goes to pour it into a cup, the pottery kettle shatters but no tea or coffee or water comes out of the pot, showing it was empty.