What You Need to Know About ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel ‘1923’
Yellowstone prequel 1923 will continue the Dutton family journey after 1883 ended, with the family settling in Montana. Don't expect to see Tim McGraw or his character James Dutton, however. There's quite a few things you need to understand about the cast and characters, and of course, how to watch.
Here is everything you need to know about 1923, beginning with how to watch and continuing through the new show's plot, key characters and actors hired to play them.
Taste of Country's team also brought some insider knowledge to a new episode of the Dutton Rules podcast, which you can hear here:
How to Watch 1923:
Yellowstone prequel 1923 begins on Dec. 18 on Paramount+. That's the same subscription streaming service that 1883 aired on, but should not be confused with Paramount Network, where one finds Yellowstone. If you're hoping to get all three shows by subscribing to P+, you'll be disappointed. Understanding that requires a separate conversation, which we've prepared here.
Paramount+ is a CBS property, so with a subscription you'll get shows like Criminal Minds, Seal Team and Young Sheldon, too.
What Is 1923 About?
This new Taylor Sheridan drama advances the Dutton family's story 40 years, to a time when they've starting building an empire in Montana. The Yellowstone Ranch is developed and functioning, and the family is fighting to protect it and their way of life. This time the enemy is more natural: There's a drought, the great depression and prohibition. Plus, America is fresh out of World War I.
Each of these elements help shape the decisions made by the Dutton family patriarch. You'll find a few true villains as well, but much like 1883, it's a fight against nature as much as against neighbors.
The Cast of 1923:
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are the two stars of 1923. They play (respectively) Jacob and Cara Dutton, a married couple that is still very much working full-time as they approach 80. The rest of the cast is a fascinating mix of film and television icons and newcomers.
James Badge Dale: John Dutton Sr., son of James Dutton and nephew to Jacob Dutton
Marley Shelton: Emma Dutton, wife to John Dutton Sr., mother to Jack
Darren Mann: Jack Dutton, John Dutton Sr.'s son, great nephew to Jacob Dutton
Michelle Randolph: Elizabeth Strafford, a "feisty and capable young woman set to marry into the Dutton family
Brandon Sklenar: Spencer Dutton, the youngest son of James Dutton. His character is described as having a type of PTSD after serving in WWI
Brian Geraghty: Zane, a loyal ranch foreman.
Aminah Nieves: Teonna Rainwater, a young woman at a government residential boarding school. This is her first acting role
Jennifer Ehle: Sister Mary O’Connor, an Irish nun that teaches at the School for American Indians in Montana
Julia Schlaepfer: Alexandra, a British woman who meets one of the Duttons abroad
Sebastian Roché: Father Renaud. During interviews leading up to the premiere, the actor described his character as "truly a horrific character"
Timothy Dalton: Donald Whitfield, a powerful, self-confident man who reeks of wealth and the lack of empathy it requires to attain it
Robert Patrick: Sheriff William McDowell, a family friend to the Duttons
How Is Jacob Dutton Related to John Dutton?
The above video explains the Dutton family tree, but it was made before 1923 was announced. Now we know that Jacob Dutton is James Dutton's (McGraw) older brother. Taste of Country has seen the first episode of 1923 and can promise that all will be explained early on. Ford's character is now running the Yellowstone Ranch, but with no kids of his own, it looks to be destined to go to John Dutton Sr., played by Dale. Of course the Yellowstone franchise is known for the twists and turns, so place no money on that gamble!
We'll have more on the Dutton family tree after Ep. 1 of 1923, but for now it looks like Jacob Dutton (Ford) is the brother to John Dutton's (Kevin Costner) great-great-grandfather (McGraw).
What Happened to James and Margaret Dutton?
That is explained during the opening moments of the premiere episode of 1923. Sharp-eyed fans of Yellowstone may have noticed that both are buried at the Dutton family cemetery. Viewers saw their graves during Ep. 6 of Yellowstone.
Is 1923 Any Good?
The short answer is yes. Like 1883, the show promises to be a much grittier experience than Yellowstone. It's likely it will be filled with a similar amount of tragedy, as well. What we've seen has been of the same caliber of that Taylor Sheridan drama. The best actors and set builders are once again working in concert with one the most creative script writers on the planet.
However, if you didn't like 1883, you may want until you hear a more anecdotal reviews as new episodes are rolled out.