Deadwood’s a TV masterpiece that deserves your time – by Adam Proteau (Toronto Star – January 16, 2016)

Catch up with the brilliance of David Milch, Ian McShane et al now, before the promised Deadwood movie arrives.

When news broke last week that HBO’s shamefully short-lived series Deadwood will be brought back to life via a feature-length movie, its fans were elated.

From 2004 to 2006, David Milch’s show — set in gritty 1870s South Dakota, with real-life historical figures including famous frontierswoman Calamity Jane and folk heroes “Wild Bill” Hickok and Wyatt Earp — became a darling of critics and a smash hit with anyone who loved the Western genre and/or superb dramatic dialogue.

However, after only three seasons and 36 episodes, Deadwood was cancelled, a victim of a business dispute between the network and co-producer Paramount.

In one sense, that the end of a series illustrating life’s cruelty, letdowns and unfairness came so abruptly and absent good reason was entirely fitting for Deadwood. But that was small solace to those of us swept up in Milch’s stunning vision of the relentless environmental and emotional tumult inherent in the birthing of a new community and social order.

For approaching a decade, the show’s devotees have clung to the hope the cast and sets could be reassembled for a TV minimovie or truncated fourth season but, until now, all we’ve had are those 36 episodes.

But now, it’s confirmed: we have a film to look forward to. It’s a gift not only to Deadwood fans, but to you — yes, you, person who hasn’t seen the series. Because now you’ve got more than enough time to get your hands on seasons 1 to 3 and be properly prepared when Milch’s final act for the story hits the silver screen (optimistically, in 2017).

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