DeAgostini Publications have just issued their Bonanza collection - each fortnightly magazine comes with a DVD containing three episodes of the long running television series. The first issue is priced at only £2.99 and contains the first three episodes of season one.
Eventually the entire series will be released as part of the collection - running from 1959 - 1973 and lasting 18 seasons it is the second longest running western TV series ever - first place is held by Gunsmoke which ran for 20 seasons - though in the UK Bonanza is actually the better known of the two.
"You always saw stories about family on comedies or on an anthology, but Bonanza was the first series that was week-to-week about a family and the troubles it went through. Another thing about Bonanza that is interesting is that it is a period drama, but it attempted to confront contemporary social issues. That was very difficult to do then on television. Most shows that tried to do it failed because the sponsors didn't like it, and the networks were nervous about getting letters," explains Stephen Battaglio, a senior editor for TV Guide magazine
The magazine, slim though its is, is actually quite interesting on details on the making of the show as well as profiles of the cast. For instance I learned that the character name of Hoss was actually Eric and Hoss was just a nickname. I never knew that!
The price of £2.99 is just an introduction offer and the regular cost will be £7.99, but for a pristine DVD with three episodes as well as a well thought out magazine cum episode guide it does offer good value, even if collecting the entire set will turn out to be much more expensive that buying the full season box sets that are available.
Well I'll be subscribing in any case.
And below - found on You Tube - Lorne Greene gives us a song.