POSTED BY STUART LEVINE

"Deadwood" will never die. Well, at least as long as there are critics to talk about it.

Three years from now at press tour, if there is a press tour, there will be a question about the "Deadwood" telepics that never happened.Deadwood029

It occurred last week at the HBO panel and Tuesday at the "Damages" session as well, where Timothy Olyphant will have a recurring role on the FX drama. The Old West is long gone, but "Deadwood," it seems, is still very much a hot topic.

Said Olyphant, who played Sheriff Seth Bullock, on the chances that the movies were ever going to take place following the demise of the series: "I thought there was a really strong chance it would never happen. It was never clear, but nothing is very clear on that."

Before a scene on "Deadwood," David Milch, who is currently working on the HBO series "Last of the Ninth," about New York cops in the 1970s, would often talk to his actors in great detail about the psychological mindset of their characters, where they were coming from and why they might be speaking a specific line of dialogue.

The conversations were often very Milch-ian: Dense, brilliant and baffling … all at once.

To that effect, when asked the difference between working on "Damages" and "Deadwood," Olyphant said, "When those guys talk ("Damages" exec producers Glenn A. Kessler, Todd Kessler and Daniel Zelman), I understand what they’re saying."

Olyphant went on to say after the panel that he considers his time on "Deadwood" "quite a blessing" and he’s not quite sure how the Western changed his career. Since the show wrapped, he’s had parts in indies like "Bill" and big studio pics, such as "Hitman" and "Live Free or Die Hard."

When mentioned about the playful banter on the first-season DVD of "Deadwood," Olyphant added that he and Ian McShane, who played Al Swearengen, remain close friends and speak regularly. He also indicated that if Milch called him up for another project, he’d "absolutely work with him again."

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