Of course, 1883 tells the story of how the Duttons came to settle in Montana, making their way from Texas across the treacherous Great Plains to settle on the modern day Dutton Ranch property.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill play James and Margaret Dutton, the patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton family, while Sam Elliott has the role of Shea Brennan, the hardnosed cowboy tasked with leading the expedition.
With a group of cowboys for support and a large pack of German immigrants, the group departs Texas and sets out for Oregon… although, between disease, the elements, rattlesnakes, Native Americans, bandits, the threat of starvation, and the sheer willpower this journey requires, the odds are more than stacked against them.
In Episode 4, we saw what a deadly and disastrous task just getting across a river can be, but in Episode 5, Taylor Sheridan introduced a much more dangerous problem… bandits.
We saw the demise of Ennis, a cowboy and cattle herder helping the Dutton caravan along the way, but more importantly, the love interest of Elsa Dutton (Isabel May).
It’s been exciting to watch, however, if you’ve never seen an episode of Yellowstone, it doesn’t really matter. And Sam Elliott agrees.
According to CinemaBlend, Elliott sat down with a bunch of media members ahead of the big 1883 premiere, and dug into what it was like to work with Taylor Sheridan, how the prequel series relates to Yellowstone and why it stands on its own.
Regarding series creator Taylor Sheridan, Elliott says he’s never worked with anyone like him:
“I’ve never worked with anyone like Taylor before. I mean, I’ve certainly I’ve worked with some good directors, I don’t mean that. But Taylor is so talented and so complex on so many levels that I would say that I’ve never worked with anyone like him.
That said, I think we share a lot of common bones. You know, he has this love and understanding of the West, and the history of the West, the history of this country… that makes him the right guy to make a project like this and tell a tale on the Oregon Trail.
I don’t know a lot of other people around that could pull that off. It’s been a joy working with him, I think for everybody.”
But for Elliott, other than the last name “Dutton,” the show really has nothing to do with Yellowstone.
And it can be frustrating living in the shadow of its big brother:
“I think I can speak for the entire cast. ‘Yellowstone’ is all over this. We’re tainted by ‘Yellowstone,’ which on some level, I can’t stand because I think 1883 stands alone, and will, once it comes out.
People are gonna say, ‘Oh yeah, well, the only connection there is that it got John Dutton to Montana.'”
A fair point.
One of things I love about Yellowstone (as a country music blogger) is the great soundtrack that comes with it. 1883 doesn’t have any of that, and I completely understand why it doesn’t, but it’s another significant factor that distinguishes it from Yellowstone for me.
Either way, if you got nothing to do, I’d recommend tuning into both shows… not to mention, a Four Sixes spinoff series is in the works as well.