Having read the novel, one can quickly surmise that this rendition should have been made into a proper film instead of a two part CBC television series. What saves the whole thing are the performances or Katharine Isabelle, and more specifically, Nicholas Campbell. There is too much restraint in the film; it should have been more violent, more beautifully shot, and more cinematic in it's direction. I bore all of these limitations only to get another glimpse of Shorty, the haunted, remnant of a time when cowboys were real, and life held no room for frivolity. Critics have accused Mr. Campbell of showing too much restraint in his performance; but the actor had his own real life demons to contend with, and I feel he channels this angst in his performance. You can see it in his eyes. He is acting from his belly, immersing himself in the pain of Shorty. It's a wonderful performance; even down to the way his eyes look into the distance, like a real cowboy would. Some great performances wasted in a rather flat television drama.