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Dominion Creek

Score: 67%
Rating: 14+
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/2
Running Time: 216 Mins.
Genre: Western/Foreign/Mini-series
Audio: English, Gaelic
Subtitles: English SDH


  • Cast and Crew Interviews
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Audio Track - Gaelic

Dominion Creek is an Irish Western drama... wait, what? Yep, it's a series surrounding the three brothers Connolly who make their way to the Klondike in search of gold.

The three brothers are living in Montana in 1897, with their sickly father, when an old family friend announces that he has made his fortune in the Yukon territory and wishes to return to Ireland, and in doing so, he is deeding his claim to the boys and their father. Dad returns to Ireland and the three brothers head to Klondike country.

Tom (Owen McDonnell) is the eldest, and he's the hard-working, responsible brother, although he holds a deep, dark secret as to why the family left Ireland. Middle brother Séamus (Dara Devaney) is the family troublemaker, but a charmer, while youngest Pádraig (Seán T. Ó Meallaigh) is a gentle and religious man, not concerned with wealth, but with helping others. They settle in the rough mining town of Dominion Creek which is populated heavily by fellow Irishmen and women, although the town is run by a brooding Bostonian man-child named JJ Hopkins (Ian Toner), his wife Estella (Megan Riordan), and his father Col. Jacob Hopkins (Robert O'Mahoney). The main place of congregation for the miners is a saloon and whorehouse run by Hopkins, where the lovely Kate Mulryan (Siobhán O'Kelly) sings nightly. Of course, Séamus is intrigued.

Naturally, there are all types in Dominion Creek, but most are pretty rough and the Connolly boys find themselves at odds with some of the more dangerous denizens pretty quickly, men like Irish Pat (Ned Dennehy), who controls and abuses the whores, and Soapy Smith, who isn't dangerous unless it comes to money, as he is always looking to part the men from their gold via the roulette wheel or some other scam. On the other hand, there are good folks there, as well, like resident Native American (although far less PC terms are used in Dominion Creek) ass-kicker and drunk Skookum Jim (Julian Black Antelope), Father Judge (Clive Geraghty), who runs the local hospital, and Bridget Mannion (Fionnuala Flaherty), a kind girl who is maid to Estella Hopkins, but yearns for so much more in life.

The Connollys manage to get into all sorts of trouble, whether it is in working the claim like Tom, getting involved in a foolish business prospect like Séamus, or simply doing God's work, but managing to anger the powerful locals like Pádraig. The Connollys will have more than their share of ups and downs and will feud among themselves at times and they might also find love along the way, but one way or another, everything always comes back to the importance of family.

It's interesting that several people portrayed in Dominion Creek are based on real life characters, such as Soapy Smith, Father Judge, and Bridget Mannion, while some of the more unsavory characters are clearly based on real life people, but their names have been changed slightly. This is also the first series I've seen that offers audio in either English or Gaelic, which I thought would be cool at first, but turned out to be distracting for me, even with the English subtitles, so I switched it to English dubbed Audio, which was fine.

There are also two special features, each clocking in at around 30 minutes. The first is Cast and Crew Interviews, where we hear from Dara Devaney, who plays Séamus, and also series creator Dathaí Keane, and costume head Triona Lillis, where each provides background and insight into their process. There are also a bunch of Deleted Scenes from each of the four episodes, but they were all wisely deleted, even though some do provide an extra bit of info.

Dominion Creek wasn't a show I, personally, really enjoyed. While I did learn a few things I didn't know previously, I felt like the fight sequences were really fake looking (the pulling of punches was pretty obvious) and I just wasn't really drawn in by the characters. I'd imagine this show would really appeal to anyone of Irish decent or anyone who really enjoys that culture, because it is brimming with Irish songs and Irish cultural references of the time, but I just wasn't the target audience. Do be aware that if you choose to view Dominion Creek, that it does really earn its 14+ rating between the f-bombs, adult material, and the occasional but frontal male nudity, so send the kiddies out.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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