HomeEntertainmentTVYellowstone‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Reveals Why He Chose ‘1923’ to Continue Dutton Story

‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Reveals Why He Chose ‘1923’ to Continue Dutton Story

by Taylor Cunningham
Taylor Sheridan
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Paramount+)

Taylor Sheridan has been sharing the Dutton saga through flashbacks and spinoff series that detail exactly how the family came to be the wealthy cattle-farming tycoons that they are in Yellowstone.

In the first spinoff, 1883, which aired in its entirety last year, we watched James and Margaret Dutton join a wagon train and migrate their children to the west. Along the way, they met outlaws and Indians and suffered terrible losses. But they managed to make it to Montana and claim their now-infamous land. This past December, the story picked up 40 years later in 1923.

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Sheridan had well over 100 years to choose from when he wrote his latest scripts, but he honed in on the roaring 20s for good reason.

“I chose that moment in time to peek back in because you’re seeing the children that we’ve met in 1883 attempting to raise another generation of Dutton,” he shared in a Paramount + video during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “At a time of great drought, at a time of prohibition, at a time of all this expansion, the Wild West was truly becoming a relevant center of resources.

1883 introduced several new Duttons, but one, John Dutton Sr., made his first appearance as a young boy in the prequel. John and his older sister, Elsa, took the harrowing trek to the west, and John was the only child to survive.

Elsa died from an infection just as she reached the site of the Dutton Ranch, but she returns to the new series as the narrator. Margaret had another son, Spencer, sometime in between shows. He also plays a part in the new series.

Taylor Sheridan Thinks the 1920s Give a Perfect Backdrop to the Newest ‘Yellowstone’ Story

When 1883 picks up, we learn from Elsa that her family didn’t fare well with the brutal conditions of the underdeveloped West. James died and left Margaret a widow with her two young boys to raise. But her situation brought Jacob into the mix.

While struggling to survive, Margaret wrote a letter to Jacob (Harrison Ford), her husband’s brother, and begged him to come to the ranch to help. Unfortunately, he didn’t get there in time to save her. When Jacob arrived, he found Margaret frozen to death in a snowdrift.

John and Spencer were alive, but barely. So Jacob and his wife, Cara (Helen Mirren) stayed and raised them.

Now that the boys are grown, they’re battling new problems brought on by the ’20s. And as Sheridan shared in a separate interview with Deadline, he also took those battles into consideration while deciding on the year for the current show.

“There’s a real romanticism to that era, the ‘20s, that permeated every portion of existence. Even though if you look at the ‘20s it’s not dissimilar from the political culture we’re in right now,” he explained. “You had the rise of the caucus movement in the United States, you had a real questioning of a capitalistic society.”

“You had a war taking place inside the United States, and it was taking place throughout Europe and Eastern Europe and obviously in Russia where that war was lost or won depending on your point of view,” he continued. “And all of these things were playing out in Montana when there we 80 thousand people.”