The ever expanding Yellowstone-verse now comprises prequel 1883, as well as the upcoming 1932 which will star Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, and yet another spin-off called 6666. 1883 was originally planned to be a one-and-done self-contained season, but of course its popularity dictates that the people want more. Westerns really are back in fashion, it would seem.
The heart and soul of the first season of 1883 was a real life couple – country singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw – who played James and Margaret Dutton. They are ancestors of Kevin Costner’s John Dutton in the main Yellowstone series, and the season focused on how they came to settle the land that John Dutton would come to fiercely defend.
The Duttons’ resolve was tested several times during the season, as they travelled out West to Oregon – bringing their family and a band of immigrants with them. There were several emotional and heated exchanges between the couple, not least when Margaret slaps James. On the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, McGraw explained that the slap was actually very real.
McGraw said; “That was a real slap. We talked about it before, we didn’t want to do a TV slap, we wanted to do a real slap. But after about the eighth take…I was concussed a bit. And I told her afterwards, ‘Do we need to talk? There’s something going on I don’t know about?’ You know, I was expecting a good finger-slap. No. It was a palm. It was like Rocky hitting me.”
It is unlikely that Hill and McGraw will be returning for season two, because it will focus on a totally different character – the real life historical figure Bass Reeves.
While we wait for season 5 of Yellowstone, and season 2 of 1883, check out our guide to the best Westerns.