"Bonanza" episode "The Strange One" (premiered Nov. 14, 1965)
"Bonanza" was one of the few TV Westerns that continued to film on the Iverson Ranch throughout the 1960s, and the show had some noteworthy shoots during the location ranch's waning years.
As Snagglepuss would say, "Heavens to Murgatroyd, Exit stage left!"
They didn't get much work out of the big cat. It starts out kind of splayed on top of a rock, then it gets up and walks off camera. That's it.
Stock footage of a different mountain lion, somewhere else
The next thing we see is an obviously different cat in a different location. With the "real" mountain lion playing a limited role, the producers must have sent out for every shred of stock cougar footage they could get their hands on. Nice job, finding one on some "Iverson-esque" rocks. But for crying out loud, the animal is black!
Enter mountain lion No. 3 — this one's the right color, but it lives in the woods!
For what seems like the next few minutes, but it's probably only a few seconds, we see what appears to be just about every mountain lion ever captured on film — regardless of the setting or what the cat looks like.
Greetings from the Great American Southwest
One of the cougars comes at us from an Arizona/New Mexico-type setting. These are all actual shots from the "Bonanza" episode — kind of a fun reminder of how unsophisticated we were as viewers back in 1965.
Hoss and Little Joe close in on the mountain lion
I had to check to make sure we're supposed to think they're all the same lion, and we are. The big cat has been killing Ponderosa cattle, and Hoss and Little Joe are out hunting for it — even though in this shot it kind of looks like Joe is holding Hoss prisoner.
Yet another piece of lion footage — who knows where it was shot, but it wasn't at Iverson
Another cornucopia of lion footage is stitched together for the sequence where the cat meets its fate. I'll spare you most of the grisly details, but I need to share a couple of highlights to keep the plot moving.
Louise Sorel as Marie — aka "the strange one" — in "The Strange One"
Her treacherous romp near the Garden of the Gods in "Bonanza" came early in what would become a prolific and accomplished 50-plus-year career in show business for Louise Sorel.
Louise Sorel with TV husband John Aniston from "Days of Our Lives"
Sorel kept fans of NBC's "Days of Our Lives" on edge as Vivian Alamain/Vivian Kiriakis over a span of almost 20 years, till the series did a major cast reboot in 2011. Her character was married for a while on the show to crime lord Victor Kiriakis, played by John Aniston — the father of former "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston.