Think Red Dead Redemption meets Sid Meir’s Railroad Tycoon and you have the basic premise for AMC’s gritty new western series, Hell on Wheels.
The story is set in 19th century America, after the Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. As the nation tries to heal from the scars of war, a great endeavor is put forth: unite the halved country by stitching eastern shore to western shore with a railroad. It’s on the front lines of said railroad that we meet Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount), a mysterious gunslinger who (after a brazen murder) comes out west under the guise of working for the railroad, in order to continue his quest for vengeance. Leading the push for railroad expansion is Thomas ‘Doc’ Durant (Colm Meaney), a tycoon who at once wants to fatten his pocket and make the nation great via cross-country tranist. The other players include a famous topographer’s wife, a fire-and-brimstone preacher (Tom Noonan), a freed slave with a major grudge (Common), and a former slave master with a major grudge (Ted Levine). By the end of the pilot, not all of the aforementioned characters make it out alive.
It’s dark, gritty and historically accurate to the time period…what more can you ask for in a show airing Sunday nights directly after, The Walking Dead?
Hell on Wheels: First Look (AMC)