Monday, September 11, 2006

Deadville to Leadville

Television promoters and producers, listen up! We’ve come up with the ultimate idea to “continue” the popular Deadwood television program without having to pay the now well-recognized (not to mention, expensive) actors of Timothy Olyphant, who plays Seth Bullock, and Ian McShane, who plays Al Swearengen. And for this idea, Alma Garrett, played by Molly Parker, isn’t even a consideration, as that character didn’t exist in real life anyway.

In 1878, about the time that the vast majority of Deadwood's mining claims were consolidated into large corporate holdings, such as the Homestake Mine, a new silver strike erupted in Leadville, Colorado. Miners were transient creatures and at the first talk of new fortune-making opportunities, they wasted no time pulling up stakes and flocking to the next big adventure. Such was the case in Deadwood, when hundreds of its residents, miners and businessmen alike, folded up their holdings in the gulch and headed for the higher plateaus of the Rocky Mountains.

Plus, Leadville had just as many fascinating characters, and as much flair, flamboyance, and violence as did Deadwood. A few of the characters that “we” could bring along into this new series were Deadwood transplants, Charlie Utter, Con Stapleton, Billy Nuttall, and Jack Langrishe. These folks, along with hundreds of others came to Leadville, where Billy Nuttall reinvented the Bella Union, Jack Langrishe brought his entire troupe to entertain a whole new audience of miners, Charlie Utter did a little prospecting, and Con Stapleton obviously ran afoul of something when he died in nearby Denver just eight months after he arrived in Colorado.

Leadville also provides opportunity for a whole new cast of characters as the beautiful Baby Doe steals away the millionaire Horace Tabor from his wife of many years, Doc Holliday deals faro at Hyman’s Saloon and winds up in a gunfight with ex-Tombstone enemy Billy Allen, and the unsinkable Molly Brown and her husband find instant wealth in the mines of Leadville. We also bring into this mix, Leadville visitors Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, as well as infamous con-artist “Soapy” Smith.

By 1880, the town was as notorious as Deadwood ever thought of being and its mining rush lasted into 1893, when the “silver panic” gripped the nation.

Leadville provides an opportunity for a new series that could potentially last a lot longer than the Deadwood program and fill the vacuum that so many of us die-hard Deadwood fans are suffering from.