David Milch’s original vision was to create a TV drama about cops in Rome, during the time of Nero. “What had interested me was the idea of order without law,” Milch said. “I wanted to focus on that idea of how order is generated in the absence of law.” HBO already had “Rome” on the way, though, so when the network’s executives asked if he could explore his idea in a different setting, “Deadwood” was born.
The series debuted ten years ago this year, and much has changed in the last decade of TV, in large measure because of the influence of “Deadwood.” Both Alan Sepinwall in his book “The Revolution Was Televised” and Brett Martin in his “Difficult Men” include Milch’s Western as one of the key shows that have helped usher in this new Golden Age of Television, which has left our viewing cup so runneth over we have to schedule binge-watching sessions just to keep up with all the great TV drama available to us.
In honor of the “Deadwood”-iversary, several of the beloved series’ cast members — including actor/”Deadwood” writing staff member W. Earl Brown — shared with Yahoo TV their colorful tales of being cast on the show, their experiences working with the “mad genius” that is David Milch, what it was like to work on the “Deadwood” set (including the surprise set wedding that featured Milch as best man), how they felt about the show’s use of profanity and the art of a Milchian monologue, and what made “Deadwood” such a special entry on their acting résumés.