I’m staying in a tricked-out eco-house in Dublin (watch this space – it’s recently been nominated for all sorts of awards). While it has hemp insulation, bamboo stairs, LED lighting, and a zero-carbon-footprint wood-pellet burner (of which also more anon), the landlord/architect/housemate only finished the place a few weeks before I rocked up. It’s thus lacking some more-or-less common amenities, such as a television. Ironic, given that there was a crew here last week and the resulting show about the building goes out this Tuesday.

Otherwise, the lack of TV is less of a bind than one might expect. In part because Studio 60 isn’t yet being shown in Europe, and in part because my brother-in-law thoughtfully left behind DVDs of the first series of Deadwood when he was last in Glasgow.


Made in 2004, Deadwood is an uncompromising Western, set in a gold-rush town in the late nineteenth century. It’s entirely, wonderfully, gloriously, brilliantly well carried-off; supremely confident, nicely written, beautifully shot, magnificently paced (which I cannot say of every glossy-and-otherwise-excellent US drama – Galactica, I’m looking at you) and with career-defining performances. Not least from Ian McShane, for whom Lovejoy is now some piffling little thing he did back in his early years; McShane is Al Swearengen. I can’t wait to see the second series.

What I hadn’t appreciated until part-way through the series is that not only did Deadwood genuinely exist, but most of the characters were inspired by historic figures too. Amazing times.