Set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, the show is set before and after the area's annexation by the Dakota Territory. The series charts Deadwood's growth from camp to town, incorporating themes ranging from the formation of communities to western capitalism. The show features a large ensemble cast, and many historical figures—such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, and George Hearst—appear as characters on the show. The plotlines involving these characters include historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements. Some of the characters are fully fictional, although they may have been based on actual persons.