New Longmire Trailer . . . We Can’t Wait!

Walt Longmire
Rough and ready.
Hold on to your ten-gallons, pardners, because A&E TV is cowboy-ing up. The cable network, better known for its reality shows like Storage Wars and Hoarders, will air a new scripted Western series, Longmire, based on Craig Johnson’s bestselling mysteries, this summer (the premiere is Sunday, June 3, 10 pm).

Featuring Australian actor Robert Taylor (The Matrix), as the stoic Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming, the series promises breathtaking western vistas, solid mysteries, pulse-pounding action, and a host of colorful characters causing mischief. Not the least of which are Walt’s new volatile deputy  Victoria “Vic” Moretti (played by Battlestar Galactica’s, Katee Sackhoff), and his best friend Henry Standing Bear (film, TV actor, and amateur chef Lou Diamond Phillips).

Walt is a man in “psychic repair” according to the show’s press materials, and the pilot script finds him still actively mourning his wife, deceased nearly a year ago, and finally taking interest in his job again when a stranger turns up dead on his normally quiet turf. As he starts investigating, the case twists in darker and deeper ways, with connections to a shocking crime from the past.

Other familiar TV faces fill out the cast including Louanne Stephens (Friday Night Lights) as Ruby, the sheriff’s office manager; Cassidy Freeman (Smallville) as Cady, Walt’s lawyer daughter; and Bailey Chase (Damages) as Branch Connally, a young deputy who runs for sherriff against Walt.

Katee Sackhoff in Longmire
Just call her Vic.
Whenever a beloved book series gets adapted for film or television, there are changes made. But the heart of the novels seems to have been lovingly captured here. Taylor gives off just the right rugged but wounded vibes in the series trailer (he’s a bit reminiscent of Harrison Ford, perhaps?) and we even get glimpses of the dry humor that Walt employs in the novels. Physically, Sackhoff doesn’t quite resemble the brunette, Italian deputy of the books, but anyone who’s seen her Starbuck, knows she’s unquestionably got the cojones to nail the ballsy, beautiful, and badass Vic. (There’s a great moment in the pilot where she smirkingly tells a line-up of male suspects to drop their pants.) Likewise, it’s easy to imagine Phillips as the wry, but quietly commanding Henry, despite having short hair and considerably less bulk than his literary counterpart.

The pilot script neatly encapsulates the plot of Johnson’s first book, The Cold Dish, but casting news and episode titles (they’re currently filming episode five in Santa Fe, New Mexico) hint that future episodes (Amish teens! Strip clubs! Oh my!) will likely deviate from Johnson’s novels considerably. One of the regular characters, Chase’s Branch, seems to be a slight variation on a minor deputy who only shows up in the first novel, reconfigured here to be a foil and adversary for Walt. No doubt the show will also develop other continuing storylines featuring the secondary characters, expanding the novels’ Walt-centric perspectives.

It’ll be interesting to see how the series evolves throughout the first season’s ten episodes, but the trailer already offers a lot to be excited about. There’s a coolness, an intangible sense of style on display here already. The big question for A&E is whether Longmire can wrangle some of the viewers who regularly tune in to FX’s Justified. Walt aims to give Raylan a run for his spurs, but is cable TV big enough for the both of them? Guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I wouldn’t bet my boots against Walt & Co. (Vic would probably beat me up if I tried it!)


Tara Gelsomino is a reader, writer, pop culture junkie, and Internet addict. You can tweet her at @taragel

Read all of Tara Gelsomino’s posts on Criminal Element.

Comments

  1. Clare 2e

    So cool that you got to read the pilot’s script, Tara! Very excited about this series, and it hits during a part of summer while so many othe fave series are napping. Hello cable’s crime season!

  2. Taragel

    Looks like A&E is really putting some promo muscle behind this too. I know the trailer aired before the Avengers in many or all the AMC theatres this past weekend. Lots of folks on twitter were buzzing about it.

  3. Betty Breier

    I discovered Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire mysteries just a few years ago and it quickly became my favorite series. It looks like A&E is going to do it justice, even with some of the changes from the books. Looking forward to seeing it.

  4. Taragel

    BLB – I think they’ve done an impressive job getting the feel of it down! Can’t wait till the premiere!

  5. clay

    It’s better to say “pard” than “partner”, even in Wyoming.

  6. Ugh

    The only thing “western” about Longmire is the stereotypical tin star on his jacket. It’s just another boring crime drama show.

  7. William Leveille

    How to find the song title of the current commercial playing on A&E??
    Also song titles on the show.

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