Godless (miniseries)

Last updated

Godless 2017 Miniseries.jpg
Created by Scott Frank
Written byScott Frank
Directed byScott Frank
Music by Carlos Rafael Rivera
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes7
Executive producers
  • Jessica Levin
  • Michael Malone
Production locations Santa Fe, New Mexico
CinematographySteven Meizler
Editor Michelle Tesoro
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time41–80 minutes
Production companies
  • Casey Silver Productions
  • Extension 765
  • Flitcraft, Ltd.
Distributor Netflix Streaming Services
Original network Netflix
Original releaseNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
External links

Godless is an American Western drama streaming television miniseries created, written and directed by Scott Frank. [1] In the series, set in 1884, a young outlaw on the run from his vengeful mentor winds up in a small New Mexico town populated almost entirely by women. The seven-episode series began production in Santa Fe, New Mexico in September 2016, and was released on Netflix globally on November 22, 2017. [2] [3] [4] The series received positive reviews, [5] [6] and was named one of the year's 10 best by The Washington Post and Vanity Fair . [7] [8]







The series was filmed in New Mexico, primarily on location, although the production was based at Santa Fe Studios. The town of La Belle, with a full 28 buildings, was constructed at the San Cristobal Ranch near Lamy. Other locations included Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, a Paiute community in Abiquiú, New Mexico, Diablo Canyon near Los Alamos, New Mexico, El Rancho de las Golondrinas in Santa Fe, Cherry Meadow near Pecos, New Mexico, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico and the Galisteo ranch; the latter, in the Galisteo Basin outside Santa Fe, also known as Cerro Pelon Ranch, was the location for the town of Creede, attacked by the Griffin gang. According to one source, the final shot of the series, set on the California coast in a fictionalized version of Atascadero, California, was filmed near Big Sur, California, but inland, not on the coast. Filming commenced in September 2016 and continued for five months. [15] [16]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"An Incident at Creede" Scott Frank Scott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
In 1884, Marshal John Cook discovers a train wreck in Creede, Colorado and finds that all aboard have been killed. Cook believes this to be the work of Frank Griffin, a notorious outlaw, in response to his son-figure, Roy Goode, betraying him. Roy winds up at the ranch of Alice Fletcher outside La Belle, New Mexico. Alice shoots Roy, but nurses him back to health with the help of Iyovi, her Paiute mother-in-law, and Truckee, Alice's mixed-race son. Cook arrives in La Belle, a town of mostly women after nearly all the men were killed in a mining accident. He alerts Sheriff Bill McNue of the incident at Creede. Bill goes to Alice's ranch, where he meets Roy who explains the event; Roy stole the money Frank and his gang stole from the train, drew the gang away, then faced them down in a canyon where Roy shot off Frank's left arm. Roy surrenders to Bill who takes him into custody.
2"The Ladies of La Belle"Scott FrankScott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
The Quicksilver Mining Company, led by J.J. Valentine and accompanied by head of security Ed Logan, arrive in La Belle to discuss the future of the mine. Quicksilver proposes a deal to get La Belle back on its feet. While Mary Agnes McNue, Bill's sister and the widow of the town mayor, believes the deal to be suspicious, she is overruled and the town takes the deal. Frank confronts A.T. Grigg, a newspaper editor, and forces him to write an article enhancing Frank's image. Bill and Roy discuss finding Frank before he tracks Roy to La Belle. Bill goes off in search of Frank, leaving his deputy Whitey Winn in charge of Roy. However, Alice breaks Roy out. Alice strikes a deal with Roy, giving him food, a place to sleep, and teaching him to read in exchange for him breaking her horses. Bill hears a story from a cafe patron about a gang of 25 men (the size of Frank's gang). He schedules a meeting with Cook.
3"Wisdom of the Horse"Scott FrankScott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
At the canyon where Roy stood down Frank's gang, Bill meets a Native American, who observes Bill's deteriorating eyesight. Cook meets with Valentine, and urges Quicksilver to go to La Belle and protect them against Frank Griffin. At Alice's ranch, Whitey and a posse arrive asking for Roy back; however, they do not know it is really Roy Goode, as Bill told Whitey and others his name was "Mr. Ward". Alice agrees to sell her horses to the town if Roy can stay and break them. Bill comes across a family traumatized by an encounter with Frank and his gang; they urge Bill to find and kill Frank. Whitey goes to Blackdom, a small village near La Belle made up of Buffalo Soldiers, to take violin lessons from his friend Louise, in spite of the village and her father's animosity towards him. Mary Agnes shares a moment with Callie, her lover and the town teacher. Grigg publishes Frank's story, declaring that the gang is coming and will kill Roy and anyone who protects him. Logan arrives at La Belle with his security men and declares himself "the law" in Bill's absence. Cook arrives at his meeting place with Bill, but the Griffin Gang are already there, and they shoot and kill him.
4"Fathers & Sons"Scott FrankScott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
Bill arrives at the meeting place and finds Cook's body. Noting the local law's disinterest in helping, and seeing that a Griffin gang member stole Cook's badge, Bill becomes more motivated to find Frank. The Griffin Gang finds a house full of people dead and suffering from smallpox. Frank decides to stay and help the sick; he is unafraid to do so because he claims to know exactly how he will die. Roy goes hunting with Truckee and Iyovi, where he finds a box of mail in a crashed stage coach. Logan goes to Blackdom and tells the Buffalo Soldiers if they keep to themselves, Quicksilver will divert a river to the village. Grigg, believing Roy to be in La Belle, goes there, but the townsfolk (not knowing "Mr. Ward" is Roy) tell him he is being fooled. A flashback introduces Lucy Cole, a nun who cared for Roy and his older brother Jim as children. Whitey is told by Louise's father to stay away. Seeing him beat Louise, Whitey nearly shoots him but is interrupted by Roy; Whitey talks to Roy and realizes Roy is a good man. Bill encounters the Griffin gang. After initially trying to fool them, Bill admits he is the law. Frank is indifferent and they leave.
5"Shot the Head off a Snake"Scott FrankScott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
Flashbacks show Roy's relationship with Frank and Frank's focus on the gang being family, as well as Roy meeting Frank after leaving Lucy. In the present, Grigg speaks with Charlotte, a calm, religious La Belle resident. Grigg learns of the man at the Fletcher ranch, whom he hypothesizes is Roy. Mary Agnes sees Callie with another woman, leading to an argument in the street; she and Whitey share in their heartbreak. Alice has been teaching Roy to read; their bond grows as he reads a love letter from the mail he found. Roy says he has become his own father and no longer needed Frank as a surrogate. Frank and the gang come upon the last known location of Lucy to find she is gone, but they learn she bought a nearby saloon. Grigg sees "Mr. Ward" and knows him to be Roy. He rides off to report his sighting.
6"Dear Roy..."Scott FrankScott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
Grigg prepares a special edition of his paper which will report Roy being in La Belle. Instead of warning the people, Grigg wants a shootout so he has a story to report. Mary Agnes reunites with Callie. Roy prepares to leave the ranch, and finally reads the letter from his brother Jim (which he carried with him years ago), which says he is living happily in California. Truckee learns Roy plans to leave and becomes furious, lashing out at him, making Roy emotional. Alice approaches Roy, showing him her scars, and they have sex. The next morning, Roy rides off, but leaves the letter for Alice to read, which she does. Frank reads Grigg's article, and rides off to La Belle.
7"Homecoming"Scott FrankScott FrankNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22)
Callie, Mary Agnes, and a few other women read Grigg's paper. The women go to Alice's ranch to retrieve Roy, but he has already left. Mary Agnes suggests hiding in the hills, but Logan and his men have stolen the horses and fled. Roy and Bill both stumble upon them; they incapacitate the men, take the horses, and ride to La Belle. Frank and his men go to Blackdom, where he warns them to stay out of the fight; however, the people recognize Frank. A shootout ensues that kills nearly all of Blackdom, except Louise, who is saved by Whitey. The women of La Belle arm themselves for a stand inside the hotel. Alice rides out looking for Truckee, but upon seeing the Griffin Gang, goes to La Belle and joins the fight. As the gang arrives, Whitey goes out to confront them, but is killed by a throwing knife. A large shootout ensues. Midway through, Roy and Bill arrive and join the fight. Many citizens of La Belle and all of the Griffin Gang are killed, but Frank flees. Roy gives pursuit, confronts Frank and kills him in a duel. The survivors hold a funeral for the fallen, during which the town's long-awaited preacher finally arrives and gives a eulogy for Whitey. Roy says goodbye to Alice and Truckee, and rides to California, leaving behind a large satchel of money for Alice. He arrives at the coast and stares out at the Pacific Ocean.


Critical response

The series received positive reviews. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 85% "fresh" rating and average rating of 7.94 out of 10, based on 78 reviews, with critics consensus, "Vistas and violence root Godless firmly in traditional Western territory, but its female-driven ensemble sets it apart in a male-dominated genre." [6] On Metacritic, it has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [5]

Alan Sepinwall from Uproxx reviewed it positively, saying, "Godless doesn’t quite find that happy middle, but the storytelling excesses created by this format make it more fun than the traditional movie version probably would have been." [17]

Vanity Fair and The Washington Post included Godless on their "best shows of 2017" lists. [7] [8]

Awards and nominations

Critics' Choice Television Awards

2017 Best Limited Series GodlessNominated
Best Actor in a Movie/Limited Series Jeff Daniels Nominated
Jack O'Connell Nominated

Directors Guild of America Awards

2017 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series Scott FrankNominated

GLAAD Media Awards

2018 Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series GodlessNominated

Primetime Emmy Awards

2018 Outstanding Limited Series Casey Silver, Steven Soderbergh, Scott Frank, Jessica Levin and Michael MaloneNominated [21]
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Michelle Dockery Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Jeff Daniels (for "An Incident at Creede")Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Merritt Wever (for "The Ladies of La Belle")Won
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Scott FrankNominated
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special Ellen Lewis, Jo Edna Boldin and Rene HaynesNominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie Steven Meizler (for "An Incident at Creede")Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie Geordie Sheffer, Megan Daum and Carmen JonesNominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special Carlos Rafael Rivera (for "Homecoming")Nominated
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Carlos Rafael RiveraWon
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special Wylie Stateman, Eric Hoehn, Harry Cohen, Gregg Swiatlowski, Hector C. Gika, Leo Marcil, Sylvain Lasseur, Jackie Zhou and Tom Kramer (for "Homecoming")Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Awards

2018 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series Jeff DanielsNominated

Writers Guild of America Awards

2018 Outstanding Writing for a Long Form – Original Scott FrankNominated

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