Monday, 14 March 2011


Our evenings are somewhat taken up with staring at a screen right now, as a friend of mine has just lent me the entire box set of the Western series, 'Deadwood'.

It looks as though they are going to be spent this way for some while to come, as the set consists of three separate issues, each one containing 4 discs, and each disc containing 3 episodes - total running time: 1819 minutes.

I had never heard of this series before, partly because we don't watch TV and partly - I guess - because the violence, sex and bad language means that it would not be shown on British TV until after midnight, if at all. I cannot imagine it being shown on U.S TV at all under any circumstances, but I guess it was - if not in Utah.

As the name tells you, it is set in 19th century Deadwood during the gold rush and before US law was imposed on the area. Deadwood is referred to as a 'camp', and this camp is surrounded by hostile Indian country and populated with desperados who are kept fed and watered by a couple of ruthless saloon-keepers who also supply whores and gambling facilities. I say 'watered', but the only water I have seen drunk so far is by a man dying of smallpox - everyone else seems to exist on lethal quantities of cheap whiskey.

A couple of big-names of the area are also in town - 'Wild' Bill Hickock and 'Calamity' Jane, but if you have an image of Doris Day in your head when I mention 'Calamity Jane', forget it. I just cannot imagine Doris Day using the sort of language that this Jane uses under any circumstances - even if you were pulling her fingernails out with a pair of rusty pliers.

Everyone refers to everyone else in town as either 'cock-sucker' or 'cunt' (including the women and children), and it is very difficult to keep up with whether these names are being used as a term of endearment, or simply for the purpose for which they were originally intended. Bill Hickock is out of the picture in about 4 episodes, being shot in the back of the head during a poker game, and as you can imagine, this has produced a few problems on it's own, never mind the Indians, land-claims and rival saloon interests.

The last American series I was addicted to was 'Dallas' back in the 80s, when we all spent about 3 months arguing about who shot J.R. - that's how long ago I last watched TV on a regular basis. I am now hooked on this series, and have many evenings ahead of me to watch it.

My poor friend, however, has seen the lot (between Christmas and now) and because they never finish one episode with a conclusion, is desperately trawling the net to see if any others have been made in the intervening period. What a clever production - get us all addicted and the market will never dry out, especially since it is shown in real time, and there have been many years between 1876 and 2011.


  1. Much preferred Ian McShane as our naughty-boy Lovejoy.

  2. I never saw 'Lovejoy', but an actor mate of mine had quite a big part in it when it was going.

  3. saw some of it a while ago
    The sets looked all a bit cheap to me

  4. What were you looking at, John? i've had a good look at those sets over the last couple of days (and will carry on over the next few weeks), and considering that the woodwork is SUPPOSED to have been cobbled together anyway, the props that go in them have had no expense spared on them. Take the candlesticks - each one a genuine and well-researched period original, as far as I can see. The one thing that strikes me as inaccurate is the size of the glass plates in the doors there - they would never have got such large pieces over the plains like that. The mud looks pretty authentic though.

  5. P.S. -I agree with you as far as the hand-painted lettering on the white sheets go though, btw - they got the wrong (and same) person to scrawl those out.

  6. as cheap as my hen houses

  7. Oh dear - I can see that the hen-house comment has got under your skin. Right then, I'll explain my motives for stating the obvious at a time when you didn't need to hear it.

    Every time the debate begins again about whether or not it is acceptable to kill badgers or foxes because of the harm they do to livestock, I always say the same thing: that you cannot blame the animal for doing what it does by nature. Rather, the animal keepers should blame themselves for not taking proper precautions when they know what the animals are likely to do.

    I was already having a similar conversation with some other chicken keeper when Eric copped it, so I used the ginger fowl's demise as the perfect example of how not to protect chickens properly by cutting corners.

    It wasn't a case of "You done wrong", it was a case of "I told you so", as irritating as that was. Talking of cheap life (cheep life) have you seen how much a dressed, roast chicken costs at Morrisons? about £3. Better to let the foxes/badgers get it before Morrisons do.

  8. I know nothing of the Deadwood to which you refer but spend much of my day surrounded by it in the office...why did you have to remind me in my pre-prandial float around Blogtopia. Now I must away to my own role in the "reality show" of the public sector. Bound by secrecy (and embarrassment)not to mention which bit!

  9. Oh go on, Ticking - tell us! I bet you work in taxation.

  10. I see that Jacqueline has pulled the post 'Tears' from her blog, in which she lumped in the unfolding disaster of Northern Japan with the unfortunate death of Eric - I guess that there is only so many tears a gal can shed before she has to get on with every day life...