05 December 2011

Hell on Wheels (2011)

So there are two periods of history that really fascinate me.  The US Civil War, and the period right after with the expansion into the West and construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Just my luck then that AMC kindly created a show that caters to both of those interests.

Hell on Wheels tells the story of Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a former CSA Army soldier.  Cullen is seeking to avenge the death of his wife, which came at the hands of USA soldiers that were part of General Sherman's March to the sea. (Look that one up... one of the first 'scorched Earth' war tactics.)  So, right from the start, I knew this was going to be an interesting ride. We are first introduced to Cullen as he pretends to be a preacher, and summarily executes a Federal soldier who just gave confession to Cullen.

Intense, right?

So from there Cullen journey's West to join up with the teams building the Transcontinental Railroad.  We learn that Cullen found out some people responsible for his wife's death are working the rail lines.

Let's talk about some of the other players now, shall we?

Colm Meany plays Thomas Durant, one of the builders of the Westward route of the railroad.  Then there's Christopher Heyerdhal who plays The Swede, the head of security for Mr. Durant.  The Swede is quite an interesting character.  I'm not sure what his deal is, but he is one creepy dude.  Going to be a bit of a headache for Cullen.

Then there is Elam Ferguson (Common).  Elam is a former slave who is put under the leadership of Cullen.  Can we say tension?  They do however come to a truce of sorts, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

To summarize: I'm really digging this show.  Its dark and edgy enough to not be allowed on regular broadcast television, but not to over the top with language and violence that it would need to be on premium cable.  Its a show set in my favorite period of American History, a period that is not always given the attention it deserves.  If historical dramas are your thing, then check this out.  Sundays on AMC, following The Walking Dead.


  1. "Yes I said I would give you a LITTLE more time" gotta love the Swede

  2. I do love The Swede. Its weird for me though to see him sans makeup as the last thing I saw that actor in was Stargate: Atlantis, where he had full face makeup. I think its his delivery of lines that really make him creepy.

  3. That second episode when I saw Christopher Heyerdahl on the opening credits I was super excited! I love him on SGA and currently on Sanctuary. That's right, he's currently on two shows airing right now! It's great to see a Syfy regular getting some different exposure.

  4. I recognized his name, but had to look him (Christopher Heyerdahl) up. Looks different without all that Wraith makeup!