Bonanza: The Official Complete Series DVD review

May 23, 2023- Permalink

Bonanza was a TV juggernaut second only to Gunsmoke as the longest-running Western series. It first broadcast on September 12, 1959, and ran until January 16, 1973. It was the first TV Western to air in colour and NBC’s parent at the time, RCA, used its popularity to drive the sales of colour TVs. Now Paramount has released Bonanza: The Official Complete Series on DVD. All 431 episodes and 14 seasons in one hefty set. If you’re new to the show, it follows Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and his three sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon). The quartet run the Ponderosa ranch in Nevada. Seeing a piece of TV history like this available on physical media is amazing.

The series was restored and remastered from the original 35mm film elements. Seeing as film elements were available, it would have been nice to see this on Blu-ray, but that’s just a wish not a complaint. The scenery and other elements look great here and show that a well done DVD can still look great with good detail and a pleasing colour palette. The series is in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

On the audio side, all seasons come with an English Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack and season nine to fourteen also feature a Spanish Dolby Digital Mono track. It sounds really clean and each full-length episode has its original music.

This DVD set is spread over 112 discs and yes that’s one hundred and twelve discs. This includes a bonus disc that includes over two and a half hours of rarely seen interviews, promos, photos and other footage and bloopers. Just the bonus disc alone is a treasure trove of rare TV.

If you love the show or you’re a completist who wants to own a piece of TV history, then Bonanza: The Official Complete Series DVD set is highly recommended.