Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Go ahead, make his day! Anson Mount returns as trigger finger ready Cullen Bohannon in HELL ON WHEELS Season Two. Images: AMC.
Thinking that he'd finally put to rest his considerable revenge against the ex-Union soldiers that had previously butchered his wife during the long and bloody Civil War, enigmatic and pragmatic western hero and practical overseer of the mighty American Transcontinental Railway construction project, known by its belittled workers as "Hell on Wheels", the lone gunman figure of Cullen Bohannon (played by the equally enigmatic Anson Mount-the only man on modern television who can make wearing a beard actually look cool!) got the shock of his life when he discovered that the final perpetrator he had sought and killed suddenly turned out to be the wrong man after all, resulting in his once again fleeing his re-established life and prospects to become an on-the-road fugitive. Such is the starting scenario for the new stirring, plains travelling second season of the hit AMC series HELL ON WHEELS, created by Tony and Joe Gayton, beginning its exclusive UK premiere on the TCM channel in January (though sadly not properly transmitted by the them in full widescreen or in HD! C'mon, guys and gals, get with the modern viewing programme!), as Cullen now becomes part of a posse of sturdy and cruel hearted train robbers. But  a series of circumstances will soon put him back on track with his former payroller: hard-eyed and resourceful industrialist Thomas "Doc" Durant (the always terrific character actor Colm Meaney, who has that twinkle in his eyes that can be either cruel or kind, or both!) and his new business partner, and once possible love interest for Cullen, Lily Bell (the lovely Dominique McElligott). now over her late architect husband's death from American Indians and determined to carve a name and future for herself in a business domain of the time mainly controlled by men. Meanwhile, former slave Elam Ferguson (subtly played with dignity by Common), a man of intelligence and overall decency in a harsh world, is getting his life in order but is dragged back into Cullen's affairs, in a not always for the good way, as the train robbing posse want their revenge on their once compatriot and plan to descend on the railroad enterprise. Oh, and then there's that scary Swede, Thor Gundersen (payed with mirth and menace by the brilliantly distinctive Christopher Heyerdahl), ex-enforcer to Durant, who wants revenge against Cullen and the Railway/towns-folk that ran him tar-feathered and beaten out of his lucrative and ball-busting black market enterprises. Just how he'll put his bone-cruching fingers into the mix is yet to be seen, but we know it'll be very bad for everyone...

American history in the making. The characters of HELL ON WHEELS. L-R: Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney), Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott), Elam Ferguson (Common), and Cullen (Anson Mount).

Hell on Wheels - Season 2 Trailer - YouTube
Hell on Wheels Season 2 Preview - Interview with Common and Anson Mount - YouTube
Christopher Heyerdahl on UR - YouTube

With more money being spent on the series than ever before (nice to see, too, as Season One did look a little under-funded in certain production areas), and especially notable in the new and expanded outdoor location sets, as well as the return of guest star Virginia Madsen as Doc's wife Hannah for three episodes, the often tough and gritty HELL ON WHEELS looks likely to keep its fans enthused and excited for a few more years yet (recently renewed for a third season) with its popular blending of action and character drama in a realistic but more audience friendly way than what was previously seen in dark period drama the likes of DEADWOOD.

Check out the official FACEBOOK page here: Hell On Wheels

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