Children of the Dust

"Children of the Dust" is an absorbing Western that's propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story.

With:
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Michael Moriarty, Joanna Going, Regina Taylor, Hart Bochner, Billy Wirth, James Caviezel, Shirley Knight, Grace Zabriskie, Robert Guillaume, Farrah Fawcett, Basil Wallace, John Pyper Ferguson, Byron Chief-Moon, Kevin McNulty, Katherine Isobel, Mitchell LaPlante, Zachary Savard, Jesse Lipscomb, Wilma Pelly, Lindsey Campbell, Brent Stait, Charles Andre, Eric Keenlyside, Jack Ackroyd, Tom Schanley, Brian Jensen, Dale Wilson, Michael Elias , Crystal Verge, Donna Belleville, Michelle Thrush, Edward C.K. Richardson, Joshua Myers.

“Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story.

Helmed by David Greene and adapted by co-exec producer Joyce Eliason from a novel by Clancy Carlile, the mini features principals who are black, Indian and white, and the dramatic payoff is romance, racism and revenge.

“Dust” is set against sweeping fields and deep blue skies that frequently dwarf the human silhouettes struggling to survive; and the territory (Alberta, Canada) is beautifully lensed by Canadian cameraman Ron Orieux.

The principal characters include a Cheyenne youth (Billy Wirth) raised as a Caucasian by a white family, the girl with whom he was raised and who later becomes his tortured love (Joanna Going), and her decent, well-meaning Indian Agent father (Michael Moriarty) ensnared in the swirl of racial tensions.

Not least among the co-stars is Gypsy Smith’s love (Regina Taylor), a black teacher from Tennessee. Taylor’s tearful, tragic love scenes with Poitier are unquestionably the production’s strongest moments, thanks to their perfs.

A large number of well-known names take surprisingly minuscule roles, which lends unexpected depth and flavor. Among them are Farrah Fawcett, playing a frail East Coast wife driven to suicide by the bleak and rough terrain; Grace Zabriskie as an Annie Oakley type who joins a gang of outlaws; and Robert Guillaume, who organizes the former slaves’ trek to Oklahoma.

As a miniseries, “Dust” ranks up there with “Lonesome Dove.”

Children of the Dust

Sun., Tues. (26, 28), 9-11 p.m., CBS

Production: Filmed in Calgary, Alberta, by the Konigsberg Co. Executive producers, Frank Konigsberg, Joyce Eliason; producer, Harold Tichenor; director, David Greene; writer, Eliason; based on a novel by Clancy Carlile.

Crew: Camera, Ron Orieux; editor, Tod Feuerman; production design, Trevor Williams; music, Mark Snow.

Cast: Cast: Sidney Poitier, Michael Moriarty, Joanna Going, Regina Taylor, Hart Bochner, Billy Wirth, James Caviezel, Shirley Knight, Grace Zabriskie, Robert Guillaume, Farrah Fawcett, Basil Wallace, John Pyper Ferguson, Byron Chief-Moon, Kevin McNulty, Katherine Isobel, Mitchell LaPlante, Zachary Savard, Jesse Lipscomb, Wilma Pelly, Lindsey Campbell, Brent Stait, Charles Andre, Eric Keenlyside, Jack Ackroyd, Tom Schanley, Brian Jensen, Dale Wilson, Michael Elias , Crystal Verge, Donna Belleville, Michelle Thrush, Edward C.K. Richardson, Joshua Myers.

More TV

  • NFL Network Thursday Night Football on

    NFL Network Suspends On-Air Analysts Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

  • Edgar Ramirez, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin.

    'The Assassination of Gianni Versace': 6 Things We Learned From FX's First Screening

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

  • Jimmy Kimmel Brings Son on Show,

    Jimmy Kimmel Brings Son on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' Asks Congress to Renew CHIP

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Knightfall' Grows by

    TV News Roundup: 'Knightfall' Premiere Grows by 71 Percent in Delayed Viewing

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

  • Tax Plan Strikes Fear Among Below

    Hollywood's Below-the-Line Workers Anxious About New Tax Plans

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

  • Steve Edwards Good Day LA

    Veteran Anchor Steve Edwards Out at 'Good Day L.A.'

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

  • Rupert Murdoch Bob Iger Disney Fox

    Disney Nearing Finish Line With 21st Century Fox as Comcast Bows Out of Acquisition Hunt

    “Children of the Dust” is an absorbing Western that’s propelled by its multiracial dynamics and refreshing setting: the great Land Rush of the Oklahoma Territory in the 1880s. The mini, toplining Sydney Poitier as a half-black, half-Cherokee gunslinger, is sufficiently free of flab to indeed require four hours to spin its sprawling, brawling story. Helmed […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content