1883–the Prequel to Yellowstone, Just Might be an Equal
By Guy Shepherd

If you are a fan of 'Yellowstone', you’ll like '1883'.  The prequel is in the running to be an equal.   

1883–the Prequel to Yellowstone, Just Might be an Equal


Imagine walking from wherever you are to Yellowstone.

The walk better be worthwhile, right? We're glad to say it is.

If you are a fan of Yellowstone, you’ll like 1883.  The prequel is  in the running to be an equal.   

The prequel to Yellowstone is in the running to be an equal.

The opening scene is of a raid in which Indians are killing and scalping a caravan of settlers.   A young women runs to take a gun off a dead man of her kind.  She is confronted with by one of raiders, with a bow drawn on her.  Speaking her tongue, he warns her not to go for the gun, that she will surely die if she does, but if not, she will be sold and live.  Lacking the a self-preservation impulse, she draws the gun.  He dies.  But not without delivering an arrow into her stomach cavity—and then she starts unloading, taking  as many of them as she can with her.  

Then comes into the frame Sam Elliott’s character, Shea Brennan—a man who has lost everything he loves to small pox.  He burns his house to the ground and is interrupted by his deputy with a .45 caliber hand-cannon pointed where the neck and jaw meet.  

I had the pleasure of having breakfast at the Wynn casino recently—and Elliott was there for the premier of 1883, which had been held the night before. I was there for a UFC fight in that  evening. You can read about my breakfast, and then some, here.

Shea’s partner, a black man, still wears his Union uniform and refers to Elliott’s character as “Captain.”  The actor, LaMonica Garrett, has instant presence.  He enters the stage as an indispensable man, a man who is battle- hardened.  When he comes upon Brennan contemplating eating a bullet for breakfast, he asks that he make his decision to live or die sooner rather latter, since he’d rather not dig a grave in the afternoon sun.   He is man whose word has not lost value in a world that values nothing.  On the contrary, it is the only thing thing finally matters. I like him. My early call is that this guy is RIP—John Dutton’s indispensable, hammer of a man.  

Elliott and Thomas are both Pinkerton men—members of a private police of sorts, kinda like Blackwater. (They are worth a wiki read-up-on). The patriarch of the Dutton Family, played quite well by country music star Tim McGraw, is introduced immediately as a man who is outsized and capable.  He appears on the radar screen of Shea and Thomas as a man who has the necessary aptitude and attitude required to survive in a pre-civilized state of nature.  James Dutton does not blink at at the dangers of solidarity, poor, nasty, brutish and short frontier life.  In the first episode, patriarch Dutton stacks six or seven, maybe eight  bodies just making his arrival.

All the parties come together in Fort Worth, Texas—a staging ground for American expansion.   It’s here that the founding family, the Duttons, come together.  His wife is nice, his boy is still a boy, but his daughter, wow!—she is the source of Beth Dutton’s DNA.

They all find common purpose traveling together, shepherding immigrants to the new world, people who are not up to the challenge but are in company of the few who are.  It’s clear from the beginning—particularly to those leading the expedition—that most, including them, will likely die in the journey.

Welcome to the beginning of the beginning.  The smell of a Lonesome Dove, an American epic, is on the Paramount prairie. 

To reach Guy Shepherd contact: [email protected]

For media enquires contact: [email protected]