Bonanza (1959–1973)
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A Matter of Faith 

An orphaned rainmaker named Jamie Hunter comes to Virginia City, hoping to help relieve the drought-stricken area. When Jamie's efforts aren't immediately successful, Ben helps the lad fend off the frustrated ranchers.


William Wiard


David Dortort (created by), D.C. Fontana (story) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Lorne Greene ... Ben Cartwright
Dan Blocker ... Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright
Michael Landon ... Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright
Mitch Vogel ... Jamie Hunter Cartwright
Lou Frizzell Lou Frizzell ... Dusty Rhodes / Doc Garibaldi
Jack Collins ... Mayor Corey
Geoffrey Lewis ... Rogers Martin
Michael Hinn Michael Hinn ... Garrison
Bruce Gordon ... Scott


Jamie Hunter, the orphaned 13-year-old son of a rainmaker, arrives in Virginia City to carry on his father's work, as part of a tour of the southwestern United States. And just in time - the area has been stricken by a massive drought that shows no signs of letting up. Jamie and his friend, Dusty, try selling their wares to anxious ranchers and farmers, but when the rainmaking equipment doesn't immediately help, the farmers grow angry and want to lynch the lad. Ben, however, learns that Jamie is orphaned and alone, and - needing someone to stick up for him - decides to allow Jamie to build a rain tower on the Ponderosa. The townspeople become angry that Ben has sided with whom they believe is a scam artist and that night, storm the camp. In the process, one of the farmers burns the rainmaking book that had belonged to Jamie's father. Ben consoles a deeply grieving Jamie (the book was his last physical link to his father) and warns the farmers off ... just as it begins to rain! An ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

20 September 1970 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First episode featuring Mitch Vogel as Jamie Hunter. Of course, the character would later be adopted by Ben Cartwright and take up the role of the youngest son. See more »

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User Reviews

Drought at the Ponderosa
10 September 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Riding on a medicine show wagon, former Cartwright running buddy Lou Frizzell comes into Virginia City in his new profession as a rainmaker. Virginia City and the surrounding area including the Ponderosa is suffering from drought. But rainmakers are notorious charlatans and Frizzell and his young helper Mitch Vogel are in for trouble.

This show introduced Vogel as Jamie Hunter later Cartwright who Lorne Greene adopts in an effort to bring in some younger viewers to the by then aging show. Sad to say it was not better plotted.

Frizzell was on a few times and I can't believe the good people of Virginia City failed to recognize him. It didn't make any rational sense.

Still Vogel was an appealing character and he'd soon become a Cartwright.

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