Deadwood: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

In the late 19th Century, Deadwood, South Dakota, was a boom town where prospectors came to strike it rich. It was illegally established on Indian land and attracted a wide variety of people from all different backgrounds. The town sheriff, Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), came to Deadwood to open a business and ends up wearing a badge in order to keep law and order. Opposite him is Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), a local business man whose moral compass veers in the opposite direction as a local pimp and crime boss.

This show isn't for those easily offended by foul language or violence, both of which are quite prevalent. In fact, my wife left the room 15 minutes into the first episode because the "F-word" was said over 20 times—literally. She complained the writing was lazy but in fact it was completely intentional according to creator David Milch. He wanted to recreate the rough and tumble atmosphere of the real town and by my wife's reaction; he succeeded a little too well.

Video Highlights

  • AVC/1080p encodes on 13 discs
  • Sepia based color palette
  • Excellent detail
  • Occasional soft shots and crushed blacks

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks
  • Outstanding frequency response
  • Engaging surround track
  • Superb imaging
  • Plethora of discrete effects

The video transfers are quite good with only the occasional rough patch, which is to be expected with 36 hours of material. That being said, it's the audio track that really impresses with crisp dynamics, reference-quality imaging, and outstanding frequency response.

Bonus Materials

  • 17 Cast and Crew Audio Commentaries
  • Making Deadwood: The Show Behind the Show featurette
  • The Real Deadwood: Out of the Ashes behind-the-scenes featurette
  • The New Language of the Old West featurette
  • An Imaginative Reality Season One wrap-up
  • The Real Deadwood: 1877 documentary
  • Making of the Season Two Finale documentary
  • Production photographs
  • Deadwood Matures featurette
  • The Education of Swearengen and Bullock featurette
  • The Meaning of Endings
  • Cast and Creative Team Q&A
  • Deadwood 360 tour
  • Al Swearengen Audition Reel

The show aired on HBO for three seasons and despite positive critical reaction, the audience started the falter and it was canceled. All 36 episodes are included and while I was able to tolerate the language and violence, it certainly isn't for the faint at heart. The show has a fitting conclusion with only a few loose ends and if you're a fan of westerns, this may be right up your ally.

Release Date: November 23, 2010
Studio: HBO

Series: 7/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 10/10

Review System

Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player

JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Panamax M5400PM power conditioner

M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics