BOB HART OUT OF THE BOX
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