1 December 2008 | dorotka24
Interesting, informative, violent
The Old West of the United States is a place as shrouded in legend and mystery as any time in history. Fortunately there seems to have been enough reliable eyewitness accounts for historians to have pieced together a more logical picture of life during those times.
There were numerous innovations during this period, both for destructive and constructive practices. From the obvious such as rapid fire weapons and smokeless powder, to railways and mine technology, this covers just about every advance one could imagine. The focus is, however, on the technology of warfare, which most probably find more fascinating than less exciting disciplines.
It is most interesting how the show weaves the tech into tales of the myriad colorful characters of the west, from lawmen to prostitutes and outlaws. Many figures stand out in Western lore, such as Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, and others. But there were many lesser known, but equally interesting, figures with fantastic stories to tell, and the show does an outstanding job of making these tales known through well shot re-creations. Several apparently expert historians, character actors, cowboys, and old west exhibition shooters contribute to and add much via interviews and demonstrations over the course of the show.
Although there is no specific time period for the "Wild West," I had always thought of it as a relatively narrow span around the mid to latter part of the 19th century. The show provides tales from the early 19th to the early 20th century, however, which I found to be surprising and intriguing.
Be forewarned that this is a show for adults, even though it is typically shown early in the morning. Extreme violence is often shown and graphically depicted. Then there are the prostitutes, outlaws, and other unsavory characters representing the more colorful aspects of the time.
This is without a doubt one of the finest TV shows depicting the Old West, and one of the best shows on today. Fans of this time period and history would be loathe to miss out, and even those not crazy about such things would find much to enjoy.