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The plot – and the mud – thickens

The plot – and the mud – thickens

Ian McShane as Al Swearengen


SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – There’s a lot of hustle and bustle on the set of “Deadwood,” which has been built here on the late Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch. Horses struggle to drag covered wagons through the river of mud that courses through the main street of the ramshackle mining settlement.

In front of the hardware and supply stores, extras dressed as dudes, miners and cowboys go about their business. The only unnatural elements are the cameras and lights manned by technicians in sneakers and baseball hats. It’s a strange amalgam of present and past.


“It’s amazing that a story of this size can be told in such detail and over such a large spate of time,” says actor Powers Boothe, who plays one of Deadwood’s main power brokers, the entrepreneur Cy Tolliver.


David Milch, the creative force behind the HBO series, which begins its second season tonight at 9, describes the South Dakota frontier town as a midway point for everything America was up to 1876-77 – and as a symbol for everything it continues to be.


“It’s the most obvious example of how things we’re all familiar with start – …

Verbeek keeps looking … and looking Qq Poker Online



Pim Verbeek’s Australia have made it through to their toughest qualifying campaign since joining the Asian confederation – and with a match to spare at that. But a flattering points total wasn’t enough to paper over the cracks of some suspect selections by the new national coach.


It’s perhaps not so much Verbeek’s first Qq Poker Online choice side which is suspect. When the canny Dutchman has Australia’s full armoury at his disposal you would tip the Socceroos to be among the World Cup qualifying places at the end of a marathon AFC campaign.


It’s more the ongoing and lingering doubts over the identity of the country’s best backup XI.


Mind you, Verbeek’s defensive tactics have taken a bit of a bashing too in Australia (he tended to use a pair of holding midfielders in the away games against Iraq and Qatar with just a lone striker upfront), a ploy which stifled any creativity fostered from Harry Kewell’s busy performances.


But considering the Socceroos booked their passage into the final 10 with a 3-1 win in Doha – albeit from a Brett Emerton brace from right wing-back – few are bothering to overly quibble.…

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