By the time Deadwood first aired in 2004, HBO was enjoying a fantastic run of success, having already produced three of the best television shows of all time: Band of Brothers, The Sopranos and The Wire.
Any one of these shows would have been a tough enough act to follow but with both The Sopranos and The Wire still firmly in their stride, it would take something special to win over an audience, quite frankly, spoiled on quality.
With David Milch at the helm (co-creator of the critically acclaimed NYPD Blue) and with Ian McShane in a starring role (alongside an incredibly strong ensemble cast), the show was in safe hands. Deadwood ultimately reinvented the period drama, delivering three powerful seasons of gritty, foul-mouthed television set in a fictionalised version of the famous gold-rush settlement of the 1870s Wild West.
Despite winning 8 Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, the renewal of Deadwood for a short fourth season was instead replaced by the promise of two feature-length films, and rumours over the next few years would lead to fears that the series was dead. After an excruciatingly long wait - of over a decade - a standalone movie finally arrived in 2019 to conclude the story.
With all three seasons of the show, and the film, now available on a variety of streaming services, there's never been a better time to watch this groundbreaking show for the first time. Not convinced? Here's why you should take notice.
Christopher is a freelance pop culture writer, podcaster and self-confessed nerd from Scotland.
He's also the owner, founder and editor at "The Head Scratcher" and a host of "The Scratch Cast" podcast.
Visit www.theheadscratcher.com to find out more.