Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

THE real mys­tery here is why any­one liv­ing in Dead­wood would ever need to use a gun or a knife on any­one else. Which they do, most ef­fec­tively, with mo­not­o­nous reg­u­lar­ity.

It’s sim­ply that there are so many other, cheaper ways in which a life could end in this foul, vi­o­lent, disease-rid­den, toxic swamp of a place that bul­lets and blades would ap- pear, if you will par­don the ex­pres­sion, to be overkill.

If would be en­tirely pos­si­ble, for ex­am­ple, to be cut down in a hail of the foulest lan­guage imag­in­able from the mag­nif­i­cently named Al Swearen­gen, who is back in crack­ing form and at the height of his ap­palling pow­ers af­ter some very nearly ter­mi­nal uri­nary tract is­sues.

Also, the Dead­wood Pi­o­neer is back in print, which is a com­fort.

Tonight a new haz­ard emerges when two black strap­pers set about in­creas­ing the value of a stal­lion to the armed forces which, ap­par­ently, buys only cas­trated horses.

Be­fore start­ing the pro­ce­dure, one of the strap­pers wit­tily whispers in the ear of the horse he should re­mem­ber the atroc­ity that is about to be per­formed was car­ried out by dark-skinned white men. A mis­chievous di­ver­sion, ob­vi­ously.

The horse does not ac­cept his in­tended loss in good grace and, in­stead, ex­plodes into the main street of Dead­wood. One sus­pects the tragic con­se­quences will fuel many episodes to come.

An­other mo­ment of high ex­cite­ment, aside from an es­pe­cially nasty ter­mi­na­tion of an es­pe­cially nasty per­son and the im­prob­a­ble re­lo­ca­tion of Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) to a brothel, takes place when the coach from Den­ver ar­rives.

On board is a safe con­tain­ing a very sig­nif­i­cant amount of money, which means Dead­wood is to have an in­de­pen­dent bank at last. At the very least, it pro­vides the scum who in­habit this place with some­thing they can dream of rob­bing. Dead­wood ABC2, 9.30pm

Re­lo­cated: Calamity Jane

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