The episode opens with a funeral in which David Ladd's mother has just passed away. His father isn't there and he's got an uncle in the east somewhere. When no one else takes him in of course the Cartwrights are always ready to help.
David bonds with Hoss who like everyone else is reluctant to tell him that his father isn't just away, he's away in prison. The father did promise he'd return and the father played by Logan Field busts out of prison along with another convict Bob Tetrick to do it. Of course a few people die in their escape and these guys have one heavy duty manhunt after them.
Given the man's size and bulk Dan Blocker was probably lucky to have landed the role of Hoss Cartwright otherwise he would probably have been confined to character roles as thugs. But in this episode he really rises to thespian heights, especially in his scenes with David Ladd and later with Lorne Greene after tragedy has struck.
David Ladd had a brief career in the early Sixties as a child star, he had appeared in some of his father's films and others, but in the same year that Feet Of Clay was broadcast on Bonanza, young Mr. Ladd had a starring role in Dog Of Flanders. David got rave reviews for both the big and small screen.
The other convict in the escape was played by Bob Tetrick and he's a big man, taller than Dan Blocker, bulky, but not quite as bulky as Blocker. The two of them have a really nasty fight and the casting directors must have combed the lists to find an actor who would have been believable in a fight with Blocker. Tetrick gets the better of Hoss for a while also.
Feet Of Clay is a nice Bonanza episode and a real treat for the fans of Dan Blocker.