Deadwood is an American Western drama television series created, produced, and almost entirely written by David Milch. The series aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, spanning three 12-episode seasons. The show is set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, before and after the area's annexation by the Dakota Territory. The series charts Deadwood's growth from camp to town, incorporating themes ranging from the formation of communities to western capitalism. The show features a large ensemble cast, and many historical figures appear as characters on the show—such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, and George Hearst. The plot lines involving these characters include historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements. Some of the characters are fully fictional, although they may have been based on actual persons. Deadwood received wide critical acclaim, particularly for Milch's writing and Ian McShane's co-lead performance. It also won eight Emmy Awards (in 28 nominations) and one Golden Globe.
Cast and CharactersEdit
|Timothy Olyphant||Seth Bullock||Seth Bullock|| Sheriff/Co-owner of Star & Bullock Hardware.|
|Ian McShane||Al Swearengen||Al Swearengen|| Businessman/Owner of The Gem Saloon.|
|Molly Parker||Alma Garret||Unknown/No Basis|| Widow of claim seeker, later married to prospector Whitney Ellsworth.|
(New York City)
|Jim Beaver||Whitney Ellsworth||No Basis||Prospector/husband to Alma Garret.|
|Powers Boothe||Cy Tolliver||Tom Miller||Owner of rival saloon, The Bella Union.|
|John Hawkes||Sol Star||Sol Star|| Co-owner of Star & Bullock Hardware.|
|Paula Malcomson||Trixie||Unknown/No Basis||Based on any number of "Tricksies" who were former prostitutes at The Gem Saloon.|
|William Sanderson||E. B. Farnum||E. B. Farnum||Innkeeper of The Grand Central Hotel; Mayor.|
|Kim Dickens||Joanie Stubbs||Unknown/No Basis||Former hostess of The Bella Union/Co-proprietress of brothel, The Chez Amis. There were several madams in the camp, including Dora Dufran and Mollie Johnson, however the character of Joanie Stubbs does not closely follow what is known about these madams.|
|Ricky Jay||Eddie Sawyer||Unknown||Card sharp employed at The Bella Union. Part of its inner circle.|
|Garret Dillahunt||Francis Wolcott||L.D. Kellogg||Psychopathic geologist and serial killer who worked for George Hearst.|
|Robin Weigert||Calamity Jane||Calamity Jane||Follower of Wild Bill Hickok/frontierswoman/scout.|
|Dayton Callie||Charlie Utter||Charlie Utter||Owner of freight business/traveling companion of Wild Bill Hickok/deputy to Sheriff Bullock.|
|Brad Dourif||Doc Cochran||Lyman F. Babcock||The physician of the camp.|
|Anna Gunn||Martha Bullock||Martha Bullock||Wife of Seth, mother of the late William. School teacher in Deadwood.|
|Jeffrey Jones||A. W. Merrick||A. W. Merrick||Editor of camp's press, The Deadwood Pioneer.|
|Pavel Lychnikoff||Blazanov||Unknown/No Basis||Operator of Deadwood's telegraph service.|
|W. Earl Brown||Dan Dority||Dan Doherty||Henchman to Al Swearengen at the Gem. Part of Al's inner circle.|
|Titus Welliver||Silas Adams||Unknown/No Basis||Negotiator for Swearengen. Part of Al's inner circle.|
|Sean Bridgers||Johnny Burns||Johnny Burns||Gem Saloon worker/henchman. Part of Al's inner circle.|
|Larry Cedar||Leon||Unknown/No Basis||Worker for Cy Tolliver at The Bella Union.|
|Peter Jason||Con Stapleton||Con Stapleton||Worker for Cy Tolliver at The Bella Union.|
|Keith Carradine||Wild Bill Hickok||Wild Bill Hickok||Famed gunslinger of the Old West.|
|Geri Jewell||Jewel||Unknown/No Basis||Disabled cleaning woman at the Gem.|
|Keone Young||Mr. Wu||Tong leaders||Representative for the Chinese population of the camp; owns a pig pen and laundry.|
|Bree Seanna Wall||Sofia Metz||No Basis||Adopted daughter of Alma Garret; sole survivor of an attack on her family.|
|Garret Dillahunt||Jack McCall||Jack McCall||Unemployed, classless camp member, murderer of Wild Bill Hickok.|
|Richard Gant||Hostetler||Unknown/No Basis||Literate black livery owner.|
|Josh Eriksson||William Bullock||Loosely based on Douglas Kislingbury||Stepson of Seth Bullock; biological son of Robert (Seth's brother) and Martha Bullock.|
|Sarah Paulson||Miss Isringhausen||Unknown/No Basis||Tutor to Sofia Metz/ Pinkerton agent.|
|Franklyn Ajaye||Samuel Fields||Samuel Fields||Self-proclaimed Union Army General (the Nigger General); keeper of horses.|
|Ray McKinnon||Reverend Smith||Henry Weston Smith||Minister of Deadwood.|
|Alice Krige||Maddie||Unknown/No Basis||Madam of the Chez Amis.|
|Zach Grenier||Andy Cramed||Andy Cramed||Gambler who brought smallpox to Deadwood, later minister of the camp.|
|Leon Rippy||Tom Nuttall||Billy Nuttall||Owner of Nuttall's #10 Saloon.|
|Stephen Tobolowsky||Commissioner Jarry||Hugh McCaffrey||Commissioner for Lawrence County, Dakota Territory.|
|Ralph Richeson||Pete Richardson||Unknown/No Basis||"Special" cook at the Grand Central.|
|Michael Harney||Steve Fields||Unknown/No Basis||One of numerous camp drunks. Takes over livery stable on Hostetler's suicide.|
|Gerald McRaney||George Hearst||George Hearst||Successful California businessman and prospector.|
|Gill Gayle||The Huckster||Soapy Smith||Con man, known for his prize soap sell swindle.|
|Gale Harold||Wyatt Earp||Wyatt Earp||Legendary lawman from Dodge City, Kansas, works a timber lease.|
|Brian Cox||Jack Langrishe||Jack Langrishe||Flamboyant stage promoter.|
|Alan Graf||Captain Joe Turner||Unknown/No Basis||Enforcer and bodyguard of George Hearst.|
|Cleo King||Aunt Lou||Lucretia Marchbanks||George Hearst's personal cook.|
|Omar Gooding||Odell||Unknown/No Basis||Son of Aunt Lou.|
|Brent Sexton||Harry Manning||John J. Manning||Bartender at the Number 10 Saloon; running for sheriff.|
|Austin Nichols||Morgan Earp||Morgan Earp||Brother of Wyatt Earp, works a timber lease.|
|Jennifer Lutheran||Jen||Unknown/No Basis||Gem Saloon prostitute and friend of Johnny Burns.|
BEWARE, THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS TO THE PLOT OF DEADWOOD.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Season 1 (2004)Edit
Deadwood Season 1 DVDIn 1876, Seth Bullock leaves his job as a Marshal in Montana to establish a hardware business in the gold-mining camp of Deadwood, along with his friend and business partner, Sol Star. Wild Bill Hickok, the infamous gunslinger of the west, is on a separate journey to Deadwood, accompanied by Charlie Utter and Calamity Jane.
Al Swearengen is the owner of The Gem, a local saloon and brothel. Other notable residents include Dr. Amos Cochran; A. W. Merrick, owner and editor of the local newspaper "The Pioneer"; and E.B. Farnum, proprietor of The Grand Central Hotel. Brom Garret, a wealthy businessman from New York City, lives at The Grand Central Hotel with his wife, Alma, who nurses a secret laudanum habit. Aware that Garret is interested in prospecting, Swearengen and Farnum deceive him into purchasing a gold claim in a confidence game. Newly-arrived Cy Tolliver and his entourage purchase an abandoned hotel across from The Gem and begin renovations, then open the Bella Union Saloon, a luxurious gambling house and brothel.
Brom Garret soon learns that his gold claim is worthless and demands Swearengen reimburse his money. Swearengen orders Dan Dority to kill Garret and "make it look like an accident." Dority throws Garret off a cliff, only to discover that the claim is actually a rich one after all. Newly widowed Alma Garret asks Wild Bill Hickok for guidance regarding the gold claim and Swearengen's renewed interest. Hickok asks Bullock to advise Garret; Bullock agrees. Hickok also suggests that Garret hire Whitney Ellsworth, a trustworthy and experienced prospector. Alma Garret takes custody of young Sofia Metz, whose family was murdered on the way back to Minnesota.
During a poker game, Wild Bill Hickok is murdered in Tom Nuttall's #10 Saloon by Jack McCall. When McCall is put on trial, Swearengen leans on the acting magistrate, suggesting that McCall must be acquitted to avoid scrutiny from Washington, DC. The judge cuts the trial short and the jury acquits McCall, who leaves town immediately after the verdict. Bullock pursues McCall, determined to bring him to justice. Bullock and Charlie Utter later find McCall hiding at a boarding house and take him to Yankton for trial.
Smallpox spreads in Deadwood, creating an urgent need for vaccines. The afflicted are segregated from the main camp in plague tents. Calamity Jane aids Doctor Cochran in caring for the sick.
The senior members of the community form a municipal government to prepare for future annexation, as well as to bribe the territorial legislature, thereby ensuring the security of existing titles, claims and properties. Swearengen bribes local Magistrate Clagett to quash a murder warrant.
Alma's father Otis Russell arrives with plans to secure Alma's new-found wealth in order to pay off his endless debts and fulfill his own greed. The U.S. army arrives in Deadwood and a parade is quickly organized. Bullock confronts a self-confident Otis Russell in The Bella Union. When Russell threatens the safety of his own daughter should Bullock stand in the way of his acquiring the gold claim, Seth unceremoniously beats him and orders Russell to leave the camp.
The increasingly addled Reverend Smith, dying from an apparent brain tumor, is smothered to death by Al Swearengen in a mercy killing. Tolliver attempts to bribe General Crook to leave a garrison in Deadwood but is indignantly refused. When Magistrate Clagett attempts to extort Swearengen further over the murder warrant, Swearengen responds by enlisting Clagett's toll collector, Silas Adams, to murder Clagett. Silas performs the deed and allies himself with Swearengen, becoming his agent. As Sheriff Con Stapleton has been compromised by Cy Tolliver, Bullock volunteers to become the new sheriff as the cavalry rides out of town.
Season 2 (2005)Edit
Deadwood Season 2 DVD coverWhen Swearengen publicly disparages Bullock's abilities as sheriff, intimating that Bullock's focus is not on his job due to his affair with Alma Garret, Bullock removes his gun and badge and throws Swearengen and himself over the Gem balcony. Al is about to slit Bullock's throat in the muddy street, but stops after looking up to see Bullock's wife Martha and her son William arriving in camp. Bullock tells Alma they must either leave camp or stop seeing one another. Garret agrees that it is better to end the relationship and remain in town. Calamity Jane resurfaces and manages to support Bullock and Utter in persuading Swearengen to return Bullock's gun and badge. A truce is made. Garret discovers she is pregnant by Bullock and confides in Trixie, who persuades Ellsworth to make a marriage proposal to Garret and influences Garret to accept the proposal in order to save her the humiliation of unwed motherhood.
Swearengen collapses in his office with the door locked. His concerned associates assume that he wants to be left alone, but as the days pass their alarm grows and they finally break into the office. Dr. Cochran diagnoses Al with kidney stones and performs a draining procedure. Swearengen eventually passes the stones, but has a small stroke in the process.
Joanie Stubbs opens her own brothel, The Chez Amis, with her newly arrived partner Maddie. Francis Wolcott, a geologist working for George Hearst, arrives in Deadwood and soon makes his presence felt at the Chez Amis. Wolcott has paid for transportation of most of the prostitutes, in order to cater to his selective tastes. Cy Tolliver learns of Wolcott's sexual proclivities and baits him, resulting in Wolcott murdering two of Joanie Stubb's prostitutes. When Maddie attempts to extort money from Wolcott, he kills her too. Cy Tolliver has the bodies removed and pardons Wolcott. Joanie sends the remaining girls away so that they will be safe from the murderous Wolcott. Joanie confides in Charlie Utter regarding the murders, extracting a promise that he never repeat the information.
Alma fires Miss Isringhausen, Sophia's tutor. Isringhausen turns to Silas Adams under the pretext of fear for her life at the hands of the Widow Garret, and they embark upon a relationship. Isringhausen convinces Adams to allow her to meet with Swearengen. At the meeting, she admits to being an agent of the Pinkertons under the employ of Brom Garret's family, who instructed Isringhausen to frame Alma for soliciting Swearengen to murder her husband. Swearengen agrees to play along, but later reveals to Garret that he intends to blackmail Isringhausen due to his hatred for the Pinkerton agency.
Samuel Fields, "The Nigger General", returns to camp. He tries to enlist Hostetler in his schemes. Bullock is forced to rescue him from an angry mob headed by the oft-drunk, virulently racist Steve. Later, Hostetler catches a drunken Steve in the livery stable masturbating on Bullock's horse in revenge. Fields' and Hostetler manage to coerce Steve into signing a written confession of bestiality. The admission will be publicized should Steve make any trouble for either of the livery workers in the future.
Hugo Jarry, a Yankton commissioner, tries to persuade Swearengen and Tolliver that Deadwood should become part of Dakota territory rather than Montana. He ends up siding with Swearengen.
Alma Garret enlists the help of Sol Star to establish a bank in the camp.
Wolcott's agent, Lee, burns the bodies of Chinese prostitutes who have died from malnourishment whilst in his remit. Mr. Wu is enraged and requests Swearengen's help to stop Lee. Because Lee is employed by Wolcott, who is in turn employed by George Hearst, Swearengen refuses any help until after negotiations over the town's future have been resolved. Mr. Wu escapes house arrest at The Gem, but is stopped by Johnny Burns just in time from exacting his revenge or being killed.
William Bullock is trampled by a horse that escapes during a failed gelding. The boy dies several hours after. His funeral is attended by many of Deadwood's citizens and the service is conducted by former card sharp Andy Cramed, who has returned to Deadwood an ordained minister.
George Hearst arrives in Deadwood and when he learns of the murders committed by Wolcott, confronts and fires him. Hearst purchases the Grand Central hotel from E. B. Farnum. The shamed Wolcott hangs himself. Tolliver claims to be in possession of a letter of confession in which Wolcott states that Hearst was aware of his murderous ways, yet continued his employment. Tolliver blackmails Hearst for 5% of every Gold Claim he has acquired in Deadwood.
Al Swearengen negotiates with George Hearst on behalf of Mr. Wu, and they agree that Wu can regain his status if his people prove to be better workers than those of the "San Francisco cocksucker" Lee. Mr. Wu and Swearengen's henchmen plan vengeance in Deadwood's Chinatown. The operation is successful and Wu slits the throat of his rival.
Alma Garret and Ellsworth marry at a ceremony conducted by Andy Cramed at the Grand Central hotel. After much dealing and double-dealing on the part of Swearengen and Silas Adams, the official papers confirming Deadwood's annexation into Yankton territory are signed by Bullock and Swearengen with Hugo Jarry present. Andy Cramed stabs Tolliver outside the Bella Union.
Season 3 (2006)Edit
Deadwood Season 3 DVD coverHearst murders several of his own Cornish miners when they attempt to unionize. Elections are announced: Star and Farnum run for Mayor, while Bullock and barman Harry Manning compete for Sheriff. Angered that Hearst had someone killed in the Gem, Al cancels the election debates in an attempt to reassert his position in the camp. To teach Al a lesson and force him to help Hearst buy Alma's claim, Hearst has his lead henchman Captain Turner restrain Al, then chops off one of his fingers.
Over Ellsworth's strong objections, Alma meets with Hearst to discuss buying her claim. Hearst becomes furious when she offers him a merely non-controlling interest and behaves menacingly towards Alma, but then allows her to leave without following through on his implied threat of rape.
Tolliver slowly recovers after being stabbed and gets back on his feet. Hearst knows Cy is lying about having a letter from Wolcott but decides to employ Cy to help deal with the members of the camp. Traveling actor Jack Langrishe arrives in Deadwood with his theatre troupe. He is an old friend of Swearengen's and eventually buys the former Chez Amis from Joannie Stubbs on condition that he build a new school house for the camp's children. Alma has Doc Cochran perform an abortion after her health takes a serious downturn and she and others decide it's best for all concerned.
Hostetler and Samuel "The Nigger General" Fields return to the camp to find that Steve has taken over the livery. Bullock mediates between them, eventually getting Hostetler to agree to sell the Livery to Steve. Steve's ranting, racial slurs and impugning of Hostetler's honor finally drive the latter over the edge and he shoots himself.
Another miner is killed. Already angry from the Hostetler/Steve ordeal, Bullock arrests Hearst, drags him by the ear through the public thoroughfare and puts him in jail overnight.
Alma is once again using dope. Leon confesses to Cy that he is Alma's supplier. Cy relays this news to Hearst but Hearst is still angry from his encounter with Bullock and believes that if Tolliver had told him this useful news beforehand he might not have provoked the sheriff. A furious Tolliver tells Leon to do nothing, but Leon, afraid of being implicated in Alma's murder, has already cut her off. Suspecting that Alma's return to drugs is due to her unhappiness at being married, Ellsworth moves out of their house. They later agree to separate and Alma is able to stop taking the laudanum.
Hearst brings a large force of Pinkertons to the camp and encourages them to stir up trouble. Swearengen holds a meeting to decide what to do about Hearst. The town leaders are unable to decide on any direct action, other than to publish a letter from Bullock to the wife of one of the murdered miners that subtly highlights Hearst's callousness. Hearst has Merrick beaten for publishing it.
Alma is shot at in the street. Swearengen takes her into the Gem and orders Dan to kidnap and restrain Ellsworth. He guesses correctly that Hearst ordered the shooting in an attempt to provoke Ellsworth, then kill him when he comes to Alma's aid. Hearst sends his second to negotiate with Swearengen; Al kills him. The town unites to protect Alma as she returns to work at the bank. Hearst has Ellsworth assassinated in his tent at Alma's mine. Trixie shoots Hearst in revenge for Ellsworth's death but fails to kill him. Fearing for her and Sophia's lives and unwilling to make the camp responsible for her protection, Alma sells her claim to Hearst to avoid further bloodshed.
Bullock receives discouraging news about the county election returns in his race for sheriff against Harry Manning, all the while knowing Hearst may have manipulated the results using Federal soldiers brought in to vote for his handpicked candidate elsewhere in the county.
Hearst demands that the whore who shot him be murdered. Swearengen and Wu gather a militia in case a war breaks out. Al murders the prostitute Jen despite Johnny's objections, in the hope of passing her corpse off as Trixie's in order to placate Hearst. Hearst believes the ruse and leaves Deadwood, giving over control of "all his other-than-mining interests" to Tolliver. Tolliver, enraged that Hearst is cutting him off, takes his frustrations out on Leon by stabbing him in the femoral artery. He points a gun at Hearst from his balcony and wants to shoot him but instead watches as Bullock sees a smirking Hearst out of the camp.
The opinion of Deadwood from /tv/ is similar to their reaction to other HBO shows: qutie positive. Very few people who have actually seen the show express genuine dislike for it. Those who don't like it are cocksuckers.
Now has a dedicated tripfag. Fantastic, now we have another one *sigh*.
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